HULK VS. TWILIGHT – WHY IT’S WAY WORSE THAN YOU THINK

November 17, 2011

HULK TAKES AIM ABOUT THE THEMATIC INS AND OUTS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR, SILLY, STRANGE, AND TOTALLY MISUNDERSTOOD PHENOMENONS IN RECENT MEMORY!

CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE ON BADASS DIGEST!

http://badassdigest.com/2011/11/17/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs-twilight/

40 Responses to “HULK VS. TWILIGHT – WHY IT’S WAY WORSE THAN YOU THINK”

  1. E. said

    It’s a good article, but you need to have a copy editor go over your work before you post it. I love your writing, and I hate hitting boulders in comprehension formed by misused words, missing words, and omitted words. All three appear in Hulk’s excellent work, undermining it.

    “LET US NOT FOR ONE SECOND DISLIKE THE SERIES BECAUSE OF IT’S FREAKING AUDIENCE”

    IT’S for ITS

    “EVEN IT’S OWN STARS”

    IT’S for ITS

    “BY ALL CONCERNS SHE MAY BE AN AWESOME AND KIND PERSON”

    I don’t know what “BY ALL CONCERNS” means here. Leave it out.

    “ABJECT CERTAINTY”

    “ABJECT” used incorrectly. No definition of the word supports the writer’s apparent intention.

    “LACKS CONTROL OVER WHAT SHE WRITES THE RENDERS THE STORYTELLING”

    “THE” is the wrong word here, and it’s unclear what the right word or phrase might be.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      ALL SUPER VALID. USUALLY IT’S BETTER THAN THIS, BUT THERE WAS ACTUAL DEADLINE FOR BREAKING DAWN. HULK USUALLY ONE MORE COMPLETE RE-WRITE. ALSO THE TIME FOR EDIT USUALLY LONGER BUT HULK HANDED IT IN 3 HOURS LATE. HULK ACCEPTS THE CONSEQUENCES THOUGH BECAUSE HULK ALREADY SPENT A GOOD 25 HOURS ON THE COLUMN.

  2. E. said

    Even if you blew the deadline, they should have given it a quick read-through. Argh, web production values.

    It’s an excellent discussion of Twilight, one of the best I’ve read (though I am by no means reading everything or even a good percentage of it); what I most admire about it is that your criticism is respectful and kind: kind to the readers and kind too to Meyers, who seems to have written fanfiction without a fandom.

  3. Ariadne said

    A very good and in-depth analysis of Twilight saga. I particulary liked – as previous poster – that you treated fans of the series very kindly. I, to my shame, usually just yell “How can you like this s*it!” – an opening which rarely leads to constructive discussion…

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      YEAH, HULK APPRECIATE THAT. EVEN IF HULK HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH THE PROPERTY ITSELF, IT’S SO TOTALLY NOT DIRECTED AT THE FANS. IF ANYTHING, THE REASONS TO LIKE TOTALLY UNDERSTANDABLE AND HUMAN.

  4. Kristian said

    Hey Hulk,

    I have to say I was a little disapointed this wasn’t in HULKSPEAK, and worried you were switching from Incredible to Hogan; but the content as usual was insightfull and well put together. As someone who has an interest in the movie being successful but NO interest in seeing it I’m glad you were able to appreciate it.

  5. Sunflower said

    Great article, Hulk. I really enjoyed it and I don’t mind the all-caps thing because it is consistent with the style and facilitates reading the content in its own way rather than obstructs it, because of the consistency.

    I don’t agree with you about one thing: “EVEN STILL, IT DOESN’T SPEAK ALL THAT HIGHLY OF BELLA WHO JUST UNENDING-LY PROPAGATES IT WITH NO SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR JACOB’S FEELINGS”

    I don’t think Bella is responsible for anyone’s feelings but her own. At the same time, I think that what you’re saying is that she is not acting in a way that is decent or human to Jacob. However, I have an issue with this based on personal experience.

    A lot of times, guys like to act friendly, and I become friends with them, and we spend time together doing things that friends do. Suddenly out of nowhere it seems they have developed feelings other than friendship, and then the burden is on me to have to deal with them, as if I’m responsible for them happening. Usually what happens is they declare their love, I am surprised, I tell them honestly I don’t feel the same, and the so-called friendship is over with no explanation, and sometimes with a great deal of animosity toward me. I understand rejection is hard, but at the same time, it makes me think the whole friendship was nothing but a fake ploy to see if they could worm their way into some weird state of togetherness, and if the ultimate prize is not achieved, my personhood and friendship and care mean nothing at all.

    In the real world, relationships are complicated and there’s no hard boundary between “just friends” and “in love”. People have a variety of emotions, and if Jacob is happy to hang around Bella and do her bidding, that’s his deal. It doesn’t make him less of a man, but it does make him a jerk if he later accuses her of not taking responsibility for his own choices. Men have brains and hopefully can use them, and if the situation feels unfair or unequal to him, he has the means to speak up or stop it. If I remember correctly, Bella even brings it up at one point, and he assures her he likes being around her or something. We need to really stop making women feel they are responsible for men’s emotions, it’s a sickness in our society that leads to all sorts of horrible things, perfectly illustrated by Jacob acting like a manipulative asshole later on.

    I liked these books at first because I love vampire stories (even badly written ones!), and these vampires had a lot of fun in general and weren’t endlessly angsty (except Edward at times). I liked how they were using their powers to actually make life better for themselves and enjoy the things they had. I liked how Carlisle made choices about how he wanted to give back to the world and how to involve himself in a way that made him feel he was doing something good and moral. I completely missed a lot of the awful stuff you pointed out the first time I read them, but my husband read them too and pointed all those things out to me which I didn’t even see. I’m really happy people out there are questioning these awful messages, and even happier that men are doing it, because you’re right, women have to live with a lot of mixed messages, and the number of expectations put on us are just impossible. Sometimes some of us women are so deep in the middle of it that we don’t even have the distance to see how much society has shaped us with their stupid rules and issues.

    In the end I see part of the charm of these books is that Edward is the ultimate status boyfriend. He is everything that society says men should be, and the fact that his life suddenly revolves around Bella speaks to women who get a lot of indifference from some men (who themselves are afraid of emotion, feedback, and honesty). I think it is wish fulfillment for some people. I can see how someone would love having a bf like Edward and would love to brag about him to her friends, and how he would win the boyfriend status game every time. I’m not saying women are shallow. This is due to the way our own society is set up and what men themselves have told us we should value. It’s complicated. Thanks again for a great analysis.

  6. JuntMonkey said

    I don’t think the typos and “its” for “it’s” moments are that big a deal because it works as Hulk speak.

  7. Sunflower said

    One more quick thing relating to the “Nice Guy TM” (Jacob/Bella) syndrome: http://restructure.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/nice-guy-tm-at-xkcd/

    They put it way better than I did! Sorry for double post!

  8. Rossweise said

    It disturbs deeply me that some people see the rape of Bella as “IT’S SYMBOLIC OF THE FIRST TIME! THE BREAKING OF THE HYMEN AND THE PAIN AND BRUISING!” because it is so wrong, wrong, wrong. The hymen will break during first time sex in 20%-30% of cases, in 80%-70% of cases IT WILL NOT BREAK AT ALL. It may just as well break during sex which occurs after the first time you had penetrative sex, or during physical activity such as riding. And, if it breaks, IT WILL HEAL. I agree that a person goes through changes when experiencing sex for the first time, but I argue that these changes are mental and emotional, and not physical.

    Teaching girls that sex will hurt the first time, that their bodies will be damaged beyond repair and that all this is perfectly normal is nothing but cruel. They will suffer (initially, to some degree, the whole time or if under correct circumstances not at all) through sex for the first time thinking that’s how it’s supposed to be, and that it will be better the next time. Big chance is there won’t.
    Sex should ALWAYS be enjoyable, and instead of teaching girls that pain is normal we should teach them that pain is not normal.

    Also, something that baffles me is how the always protective Edward knocks Bella up, considering that pregnancy and medical problems related to preganancy is the largest cause of death among females in their teenage years and young adulthood worldwide.

    Baffled by #2: Bella wants to spend eternity with Edward, but when pregnant gets all “eff this meant-to-be-love, It’s more important to have a baby even though there’s a big chance that neither the baby or I will survive! Yayy!”

  9. Anti-Twilighter Girl said

    Fuck yes! I’ve been waiting for this post. Since I read the first book (attempted actually; I couldn’t get through it either) I thought that, beyond all of the other things that are laughable and bat-shit about it, there are a lot of themes/messages that are downright injurious for women of all ages, but especially for the tweens and teens who form the bulk of its audience. These are manifold, and you discussed them, but the absolute worst one to me is that Bella falls in love with someone who is perpetually on the brink of murdering her (this is mostly relevant in the first book, but that’s when she falls in love with him). Her reason for continually putting herself in mortal peril? Edward is so gorgeous and perfect, it would be an honor to die by his hand. It’s not only vomit-worthy in its superficiality but also dangerous in its misogynistic implications. I was astonished that so many women not only over-looked this, but it only seemed to add to the appeal of the series for them. Like “oh, how intense and romantic! He wants to rip her to pieces and eat her, but doesn’t! And she’s willing to be with him, even if he kills her in a fit of blood-lust!” Ugh.

    So, like you, I wanted to know: is Meyers conscious of how she constructed her heroine as a character with no sense of self-worth or self-preservation, who is defined by her feelings for a man (whose only clear merit is his good looks)? The only thing I could find where Meyers is addressing any feminist criticism is on her website, where she argues against Bella as a damsel-in-distress:

    “there are those who think Bella is a wuss. There are those who think my stories are misogynistic—the damsel in distress must be rescued by strong hero.

    To the first accusation, I can only say that we all handle grief in our own way. Bella’s way is no less valid than any other to my mind. Detractors of her reaction don’t always take into account that I’m talking about true love here, rather than high school infatuation.

    I emphatically reject the second accusation. I am all about girl power—look at Alice and Jane if you doubt that. I am not anti-female, I am anti-human. I wrote this story from the perspective of a female human because that came most naturally, as you might imagine. But if the narrator had been a male human, it would not have changed the events. When a human being is totally surrounded by creatures with supernatural strength, speed, senses, and various other uncanny powers, he or she is not going to be able to hold his or her own. Sorry. That’s just the way it is. We can’t all be slayers.”

    Pretty incoherent shit. So basically, no, Meyers is not aware of the import of her own work. She doesn’t even seem to be aware of the basic fact that she CONSTRUCTED Bella as the damsel in distress, as a character who is surrounded by super-natural beings that are vastly stronger than her. And she constructed Bella as a character who welcomes this, who enjoys being in the company of people who render her weak and helpless. (Also, “true love”?? Seriously?? It totally IS highschool infatuation). Meyers treats the characters like real people whose lives she is merely recording rather than products of her own mind. I understand feeling like the characters take on lives of their own, but as a writer, you still have to acknowledge that you created them and their circumstances and take responsibility for that. That’s pretty much authorship 101 stuff!

    Also, the damsel in distress thing is problematic on its own, but compounded with Edward being a controlling, patronizing dick, the violent sex, and Bella’s utter willingness to risk her own life to be with said dick and for her unborn baby, it’s honestly one of the most anti-feminist popular fiction written in the 21st century that I’ve ever seen, and what’s worse is it was created by a woman and is adored by so many women! It’s worse when a woman comes out with this shit, because then other women will say “oh my god, she GETS ME.” It honestly frustrates me a lot.

    When I’ve voiced my frustration to my friends I was either met with “it sucks anyway, don’t take it so seriously” or they admitted it was bad, but still liked it. How could all of these things not destroy their enjoyment, the way it did for me? I understand this more with young girls, because a lot of this stuff would go over their heads (which makes it more insidious), but with older women? And if the books were aware of all of these issues, it’d be one thing; it’d still be problematic, but then it would at least call attention to the problems. But Stephanie Meyers isn’t aware of them. She just seemed to get defensive and totally miss the point with the damsel-in-distress thing, so I’ve given up on her getting the big picture.

    Sorry, I know this was long and I recapitulated a lot of what you already said. I just wanted to say that I appreciated that you took the Twilight series/phenomenon seriously as well. Thank you for this, and for repeatedly bringing up issues of female representation in the arts. There are two similar articles about Twilight written from a feminist perspective that I thought you might be interested in reading:

    http://bitchmagazine.org/article/bite-me-or-dont

    and

    http://www.salon.com/2008/07/30/twilight_3/

    Thanks again! I always enjoy reading your posts : )

  10. Hi Hulk, good stuff, as usual.

    Quick question: what do you make of Meyer’s intent to rewrite the first book from Edward’s perspective? Cash grab? An actual attempt to see the male’s perspective of the female?

    Just Curious.

    Also, McWeeney’s review of Breaking Dawn was pretty good.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      LACK OF CREATIVITY.

      DREW IS THE DON.

      • Yeah, surprisingly, his review kind of made me want to see it. Just for the pure camp. His description of “karate kicking vampires” and werewolves that “think vigorously at each other” sounds fucking hilarious.

        And now that I know there’s rampant pedophilia, a c-section done with someone’s mouth, and crazy exposition, it seems right up my alley. Like a a Corman movie or something. Also, the link to Feraci’s expectations for the movie from a few years back was funny as hell, too. I had no idea that’s how the series ended up.

        Also, and I type this next thing with caution, but can’t you sort of tie the imprinting the female baby to an adult male thing to some of the beliefs of the fundamentalist mormon church? That’s not too far of a stretch, right? Isn’t Meyers of that faith?

        peace!

    • Since Meyer neither finished nor published Midnight Sun and has only grudgingly made a PDF of a half-finished draft available on her website (after it was distributed without her permission or knowledge), it isn’t much of a cash grab.

      My theory? Meyer’s primary interest in the story has always been Edward’s character. She was never all that invested in Bella–and Lord, does it show.

    • And no, Meyer is not a fundamentalist Mormon. She’s mainstream LDS, which is roughly the equivalent of comparing a backwoods Pentecostal snake handler to a surburban Southern Baptist. The FLDS and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints parted ways more than 90 years ago and barely acknowledge each others’ existence. Meyer’s faith does not go in for anything resembling imprinting. It’s an authorial invention, period.

      So yes, your theory is quite a stretch.

  11. Daybreaker said

    Bella has a personality. It’s just a personality that some people, mostly for motives influenced by liberal values and a dislike of conservative values, won’t acknowledge. She’s feminine, giving, highly emotional but not in standard attention-demanding ways, and vastly likable. Her femininity licenses her to do things that cause a lot of trouble to her male protectors, and she uses her license to the max. Sorry guys, it really is a girl thing. She’s not just being a bitch. You’ve got to man up and deal with it.

    Would all the girls you know, if they were in Bella’s situation, cook all dad’s meals? More to the point, is that standard behavior for a thoroughly modern movie girl? If not, then Bella really is different, which is to say she displays a personality, just not in ways that people with a liberal agenda about how young women “have” to be are likely to be willing to respect.

    Bella becomes more likable with every movie, while making some impressive progress in her life / unlife.

    Unlike for example Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson, who goes nowhere but becomes more dislikable through three Spider-Man movies, who is unappreciative, who is not very loyal, who is pointlessly jealous of her powerful boyfriend’s success, etcetera, and who winds up undermining everything she’s involved in, because she’s not worth Peter Parker’s suffering over.

    Mary Jane isn’t unique, though obviously I picked her as my counter-example because the box-office of the Spider-Man series says just about everyone’s seen her, and I’m guessing most men will have had their teeth set on edge by her, or at least be able to see why other people would find her a pain.

    There’s legions of bad damsels in distress out there, even in otherwise good or great movies. How lovable do you really find Rachel Dawes, and is it obvious to you why Batman would want to spend the rest of his life with her, getting day-in-day out rejection, which is all she gives him in two movies? Does Lois Lane work for you as a damsel in Superman Return, lying to Richard White and having this innocent sucker raise as his own a boy Lois conceived with someone else? Supes goes along with this horrible behavior, basically because he hasn’t got the stones to stand up to Lois under any circumstances, which is why he fled the planet in secret in the first place, rather than telling her goodbye. And on, and on, and on.

    Hollywood does terrible damsels, nowadays, I suspect because people think it’s not all right, in terms of modern values, to simply do the damsel right, but yet she’s so important that you can’t get rid of her.

    Bella is a great damsel in distress. And there’s there’s nothing wrong with that role, if it’s done right, as Bella does it.

  12. Daybreaker said

    Is there really nothing you find human and touching and endearing about Bella Cullen brushing her teeth and shaving her legs and telling herself not to be a coward on her wedding night? Can you see no personality there at all?

    In a movie age when grrl power means it’s normal for waifs to wipe the floor with gangs of thugs twice their size and top assassins should go in terror of any normal girl if she has a feminist point to make (as in Red Eye), can you really see no point of distinction between Bella and how every other female character is assumed to think and act?

    Is it repugnant, is it politically unacceptable, for a virgin facing her husband not to be in “god mode”? What previous age would have thought so?

    Would you prefer Sue Storm’s attitude to HER (and not her prospective husband’s) wedding throughout the second Fantastic Four movie? Or the antics of many interchangeable bridezillas?

    I’m not seeing what’s not admirable and charming about a young woman who goes ahead and gets all the fundamental things done despite being massively vulnerable to just about everyone around her, and the baby inside her too.

  13. Daybreaker said

    “SUBTLY”?

    I’m just making random comments while I browse around HULK’s archives looking for what brought me here, which was a “Hulk aesthetics” search, looking for ideas on how to think systematically about production design and how it can be used by creators and by characters within the stories themselves to support individual and group identity and the point of whatever quest the characters are on. Stuff like how Batman shapes his world to make himself Batman and how the movie presents its world to make his self-creation fit in or clash or whatever it’s supposed to do fascinates me.

    Which is not what HULK is about, but you’re nearer to what I’m looking for than anything else I’ve hit so far, because you’re about story and making things like action aesthetics serve the story.

    Twilight to me is an interesting case, with good values and likable characters, crazy stories that support those characters and would not be any good in isolation from them … and a bunch of decisions about how to present this that seem like someone was hit on the head with a hammer, or solutions were picked at random by an unlucky gambler. Carter Burwell’s score for Twilight is great and emotional and really connects with the female audience, so of course for New Moon he’s replaced by Alexandre Desplat who throws out everything and does a really great, brilliant bit of work – but how often does it work in any art to get about a quarter of the way in and then just throw everything out and go in a different direction? And then we get Howard Shore for the next movie and then back to Carter Burwell – what? And the signage that’s become the signature for Twilight, with guidelines for the letters left in – how is that unfinished quality supposed to represent these super-pretty vampires? And why the shift from just very pale vampires in Twilight first movie to sickly white with too much makeup on in New Moon? And now I’m on colors: the movies seem to go: roughly cyan to yellow to blue-black to red, because … why? And what is up with a rap track on the most recent music CD? Rap? Since when are the Cullens down with the bros and the hos ‘n the ‘hood?

    As far as I can tell, everything that you want to attack in these movies (on the ground that some kinds of values, culture and themes are acceptable and others aren’t and this is the kind that isn’t) is stuff I started by approving so much I was bound to love a series of movie that followed through effectively on that. But I’ve wound up mostly liking the movies, especially Breaking Dawn Part 1, but partly scratching my head.

    Why is does the color filter or whatever they call it seem so much more dominant in the first movie than later ones?

    Bella seems to have a strong sense that she dresses this way and not that way, and that (apart from the dream-catcher) her room is this and not that. She never tries to Edward-ize it to make herself more connected to him. Why not? It’s not like she’s not obsessed enough to do something like that. Etc.

  14. Daybreaker said

    Sounds like I’m on trial. (For outrageousness?) My lawyer, Jennifer Susan Walters of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway, advises me to remain silent for the time being.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK LAUGH. NO, YOU NOT ON TRIAL. A LARGE DEAL OF HULK’S RESPONSE JUST GOING TO BE OUR DIFFERENCE IN WHAT CONSTITUTES BOTH GOOD AND PRACTICAL VALUES, (ALSO SOME OTHER GOOD THINGS). NO WORRIES. WE’LL SORT SOON.

  15. Daybreaker said

    Jacob: “Since when are you and Blondie BFFs?”

    Rosalie is the one person who shows the most contempt for Bella. Bella likely dying on what should have been her honeymoon is fine with Rosalie. Rosalie just wants that baby, ’cause she wants that chance to be a mommy, which she lost when she was made into a vampire.

    That makes Rosalie Bella’s new best friend.

    Bella comes from a broken home. After being bounced from one parental unit to the other, she finds a magic family that lives in a forest. In that family, people restrain their selfish impulses (not snacking on people, though they are vampires), and they stand by each other and don’t break up.

    Eventually Bella gets to marry into that family. But it looks as if the main chance is that she won’t get to “live” to enjoy it, unless she gets rid of her unborn baby.

    Bella’s response is: let me die if need be, and let she who most despises me have her. Rosalie will be a good mother. I may not get to “live” as part of the magic family, but my son or daughter will.

    She’s completely genuine about it. No reservations, no selfish moments.

    As Edward said in the first movie, Bella was someone who was nervous about visiting a house full of vampires not because they were vampires but because they might not like her. But little Bella grew up. She didn’t need to be liked any more; what she needed was what was best for her baby, and on that basis she had an adult Best Female Friend relationship with Rosalie.

    An un-giving person does not react like that.

  16. Daybreaker said

    Oops. I meant to reply to:

    la.donna.pietra (@ladonnapietra): “Can you please provide an example of Bella being “giving?””

    And I assumed this meant “apart from the fact that Bella volunteers to cook her father meals every day” because I already mentioned that.

    Also, that should have been: “Bella’s response is: let me die if need be, and let she who most despises me have my child.” Bella doesn’t know the baby will be a “her” when she sets her attitude toward Rosalie in the new situation.

    Naturally Bella wants to “live” and she hopes that she will. But “live” or die, it’s not about her, it’s about the little person inside her.

    Apart from that, there’s not a lot of opportunities for Bella to show she is giving. She’s not rich, wildly beautiful, obviously talented or anything. When a situation comes up, for example, when she’s invited to die in place of her mother, Bella takes it. (Fortunately she doesn’t die, because of Edward.) When there’s no such call to sacrifice, she gets on with life.

    (Except when Edward leaves and the magic family moves away, leaving her alone. Then she withers, and just getting on with life is beyond her. But that’s natural.)

    • Daybreaker said

      And there’s that “cut yourself to distract the enemy vampires” trick in Eclipse. It wasn’t much, but however much she had to bleed, she was going to bleed.

      And there’s her “kill me, not Edward” to the Volturi in New Moon. Unless you think that was just talk, unlike in every other movie, where she proved she meant it.

      In every case Bella is willing to sacrifice herself for family. She is a great force for cohesion, loyalty and continuity. Her kind of love is the thing that makes families and keeps them going from generation to generation.

      • Except that cutting herself to distract the enemy vampires didn’t actually accomplish anything and instead made a difficult situation worse for Edward and Seth. Likewise, her attempts to sacrifice herself for her mother or her child are neither productive nor particularly successful. Her mother was never at risk; she would have been better off explaining the situation to the Cullens and asking for their assistance; Bella’s 180 on motherhood makes zero sense in terms of the plot and puts all of the people she cares about at risk–including herself *and* the baby. That’s because Bella doesn’t do these things because she’s genuinely giving and selfless. She does them because she gets off on thinking that she’s a saintly self-sacrificing person, when in reality she is completely self-centered. She doesn’t do a single thing in the course of four books that stems from a genuine sense of consideration or even awareness of another character’s well-being.

      • For comparison: here’s an example of a genuinely selfless act in a novel: Mr. Darcy’s resolution of the Lydia/Wickham situation in Pride and Prejudice. By tracking down the couple, paying for their wedding, and setting up a situation in which Wickham is able to redeem himself socially, Mr. Darcy 1) spends a lot of money, 2) has to interact with someone who tried to knock up his sister, and 3) has to surrender a tremendous amount of pride. He does this because he loves Elizabeth–not because he thinks it will ingratiate himself to her, because at that point, she’s told him to blow off–but because he wants to do whatever he can to help her, and he’s one of the very few people who can. He stands to gain nothing and lose a great deal.

        Which is, of course, how Elizabeth figures out that he is a decent guy after all, as does the reader. Despite the fact that Meyer based Twilight on Pride and Prejudice, there is nothing comparable in any of Bella’s actions.

  17. Daybreaker said

    ALLOW HULK TO START BY TAKING A PAGE FROM RED LETTER MEDIA. WITHOUT DESCRIBING HER AGE, HAIR COLOR, OR HOW MUCH SHE LOVES A CERTAIN PERSON, DESCRIBE THE PERSONALITY OF BELLA SWAN.

    GO AHEAD.

    … HULK WAITING.

    What I’m doing is describing her obvious characteristics in terms of family, which from the outset is a key issue for Bella and would be if there was no such person as Edward Cullen.

    What you’re doing, la.donna.pietra (@ladonnapietra) , is denying a piece of my description and instead insisting on characterizing Bella in negative terms: she gets off on thinking that she’s a saintly self-sacrificing person, when in reality she is completely self-centered.

    Obviously we disagree strongly, and we have different reactions to the character, emotionally.

    But either way, we are characterizing her, and not just by saying “loves character X, and the rest is a blank”.

    Bella takes actions and makes choices that must be explained, and sometimes she explains herself, as in the speech at the end of Eclipse where she tells Edward it’s not all about him, on this issue it’s about her, and where she belongs, and how she has never belonged, and her frustration in stumbling through mortal life out of place.

    Either she’s genuine and evidencing her personality, which is well-supported in every movie, or she is a great phony, and phoniness too is a personality trait.

    We are having a conversation like this. After HULK says that Aragorn has no personality and simply cannot be described other than by saying “loves Arwen,” I go on about his kingly character, and you reply that he’s a fake, secretly unconcerned for the realm and with an obsession to see himself as manly when he isn’t. Even if you are right, HULK is wrong. “Phony” and “selfish” are personality characteristics, and Aragorn wasn’t supposed to have any of those.

  18. Charming Charlie said

    I wanna know what Hulk wrote as a response. It’s a learning opportunity.

  19. conzeit said

    Hulk, I think I have an idea why the doormat falls in love with the baby…I never read the books but from your clear resumes I can see a reason…however likely to be wrong. The instinctive reason to go for the mean-boy is sex and infatuation, while the reason to go with the doormat is for reproduction and building a life together, but since infatuation is conflated with love Bella would never go with anyone but the mean-boy because that would betray true love, therefore a way to link the baby with the doormat sans bella is necessary. Since enfatuation is the only way of true love, his love for Bella is simply transferred to the child and all things are good, because this is all Bella every really wanted from the doormat and everybody has their infatuation insured for life. yay?

  20. Carebear42 said

    Hulk, I’m not sure if you get notified of new comments, but I wanted to introduce a family member to your column on Twilight, and every time I click the link, I get a blank page. Did something happen to your column?

  21. […] history of Twilight’s primary theme and characters, in response to Film Crit Hulk’s Hulk vs. Twilight […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: