Twilight — A Review of a Review

My film criticism site of choice is Ruthless Reviews and they don’t disappoint with their review of the new Twilight movie. Modern popular cinema is mostly rubbish, so it’s pleasant to read nihilistic and hateful reviews of its cynical attempts to tap the lowest common denominator. Sometimes these reviews are informative as well, like this one which equates the Twilight franchise with porn. It’s a meditation on the differences between men and women in the worst stand up comic tradition, but it brings out the way in which both porn and Twilight feed the vanity of the spectator.

If Twilight is considered cinema, then Busty Nurses 9 is too. Sure both happen on screen, but the screen is secondary. It’s your own reaction you crave. Everybody knows what will happen already: Bella and Edward get married and start a family, Nina Hartley does reverse cowgirl to the guy with the brain injury and cures his amnesia. We put ourselves inside these visceral simulations via cinema to harvest our deepest desires: Women want to be eternally worshipped by supernatural forces that fight over them while overdosing on praise from this world and the next. Men just want to get boned by sluts. And love has absolutely nothing to do with either of these things.

There is very little to add to this but to say that I believe Dan Brown’s junk seemed to work in the same way. Take one regular young lady with whom all the women in the audience can identify and make her Jesus Christ. The association is automatic and a woman will find herself Jesus Christ for a while, which apparently gives her great pleasure. As with Twilight and love, it has nothing to do with religion nor is it supposed to. It’s designed to make one think one is a god among men, worshiped and revered as divine.

I don’t get this reaction in any palpable way and the review is as close as I will get to watching Twilight, but thinking about it made me realize I do get Charles Bronsonesque revenge fantasies. It’s great fun to see Clint Eastwood or Arnie lose it and murder everything in sight. That’s fiction, by the way, and it should stay fiction, as Frank Miller’s crazy comments have recently shown. Ruthless Reviews reviews these action fantasies as well in their 80s Action section. I get porn, of course, but can’t experience Twilightesque porn in the same way, perhaps for lack of estrogen. Fantasies about being worshiped as a god or by demonic forces for whatever reason sound like nightmares to me, but it’s great to finally see a sensible explanation of the phenomenon that takes into account how some get off on Twilight like others get off on Busty Nurses 1-9. It has made me look at Twilight in a new way and, I hate to say it, even appreciate what the series is trying to do.

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