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Apr 18th
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‘Twi’ and ‘Twi’ Again

film_twilightA deeper look into the ‘Twilight’ melodrama

Twi-hards are ecstatic. (The rest of us, not so much.) But now that the Twilight movie franchise is back with Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), her dreamboat of an immortal, vamp Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and the boy-werewolf she tossed away, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), it’s best to simply accept fate and embrace the timeline we’ve been given. (This isn’t Fringe, for crying out loud.) In Breaking Dawn, the first of Twilight’s two-part final opus, Melissa Rosenberg’s screenplay effectively delivers what tweens and teens seem to be craving: a shirtless Taylor Lautner (and that’s in the first five minutes!); plenty of teenage angst (oh, that Bella!) and a craving for more (the final moments of the film have generated buzz.) But even if you haven’t read the Stephenie Meyer novels, director Catherine Hardwicke creates an acceptable outing here that simply mirrors the times we live in. It’s not about the characters.

It’s not about the acting. It’s about emotional pangs. If you experience them—in all their teenage-like mood-swingy revelry—then this ★★ film is so the ★★★★ film of your dreams. Here’s how it all goes down:

Forever Is SUCH A Long Time …

Stewart’s Bella Swan has always longed for Edward. Such endless teenage angst. “I want you. I don’t want you. You’re good for me. You’re so bad for me—and that’s what I why I want you.” I suppose teens—perhaps all of us—can relate to such emotional turmoils but, as has often been the case with Stewart, she just comes across looking constipated. (Read: unconvincing.) Performed in Stewart’s unique way—the girl boasts little range—Bella is always one big frosty mess. Yet death—immortality—may await her here. Wake up moviegoers: she’s already dead. (Inside.)  But back to the plot … At long last, Bella and Edward wed. The entire Twilight gang attends—Edward’s vampire “family,” Bella’s friends, parents. Jacob the Werewolf (Lautner) even pops up, manages to keep his shirt on, but then trips over his paws the moment he discovers that Bella will indeed give herself up sexually to vamp Edward on their wedding night. “He’ll kill you!” Jacob howls with beastly disbelief. Bella looks the other way. Edward may be a monster, but she’s going to have her dead man—completely.

Virgin No Morefilm_twi

Apparently sex with a vampire is such a wildly, animalistic act that it is downright life-threatening. Setting is important. Which is why Edward takes Bella to romantic Rio. Before the act, Bella is nervous. She showers, shaves, spritzes and then meets Edward out in the ocean, where they frolic in naked splendor. Oh, how she has been waiting for this moment. Edward, too. He hasn’t aged since 1918 and we know little of his previous indiscretions. This vamp needs to get it on and get it on good. But he’s a gentleman. He resists his urges. “No,” Bella assures him back in the bedroom. “It’s OK.” A wrecked bed and a few small bruises on her arm later—savage beast!—and Bella is officially … a “woman?” Weeks pass. More intimate relations happen. And then …

Girl Gets Knocked Up

Things suddenly begin to smack of Rosemary’s Baby. Young people out there: Upon your parent’s approval, look into this movie for reference. Perhaps Twitter has you occupied. That’s OK. But it’s a classic movie that starred Mia Farrow in 1968 and you really should …. Oh, nevermind. Bella is suddenly with child—and Edward frets. Spawning has rarely, if ever, happened before between a vamp and a human. (See … see what true love can do! I mean, Bella hasn’t even been “turned”—like, into a vampire and everything—and oh dear … what the heck is growing inside of her? And you thought you had problems.) The entire second half of the tale revolves around Bella’s pregnancy and the decision to possibly terminate the pregnancy because remaining pregnant could cost Bella her life. Now securely back in Edward’s Northwest family vampire lair, the clan worries. More trouble lurks outside because the wolves—Jacob’s pack—suddenly wants to destroy Bella because she is pregnant. (I’m not sure I understood this plot device, either, but there we are.) Kudos to the FX department, though, for infusing several much-needed action sequences. The fights among the wolves, and between the wolves and the vampires, are delivered to effective ends. All film_twilightthings lead up to the pivotal point of birth: is the baby a monster? Will Jacob succumb and destroy it? Oh yes—will Bella die, live, or be finally be turned into a desperate vampire housewife? Box office receipts (more than $130 million) and online buzz suggest fans appreciate the cliffhanger that was offered.

Fangs For the Memories?

Twi-hards may bemoan this, but it wouldn’t hurt to review the Twilight lesson plan thus far. What have we learned since the franchise began in 2008? 1) Keeping your virginity is cool. 2) Unavailable men are out and it’s just a matter of time before your infatuation gets the better of you. 3) Taylor Lautner looks good without his shirt on. 4) Vampires dig daylight—who knew? 5) You can’t always get what you need, but can most certainly have what you want. (Sorry, Rolling Stones.)

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Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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