Dec 14, 2017
Twilight (2008) (part 8 of 9)
Daytime again, and the millionth thunderstorm so far is brewing. Charlie is cleaning a shotgun and Bella brings him another beer like the good little woman she is. She tells him she’s got a date with Edward, and Charlie asks if he isn’t too old for her. Harhar.
Bella says Edward’s outside and wants to meet him before they go. Charlie snaps the shotgun closed and tells her to send him in. I love that bit.
Edward is shown in and introduces himself politely, saying that he’s taking Bella to play baseball with his family. Charlie snickers at the idea of Bella playing baseball and wishes them “good luck with that”. I love this guy. As Bella leaves, he subtly asks her if she’s still got the pepper spray. I really love this guy.
And now, the other moment everybody’s been waiting for—the baseball scene. You all knew it was coming. Doesn’t matter if you’ve read the book; everyone knows about the vampire baseball. Brace yourselves.
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Edward and Bella hop in the Cullens’ jeep, as he explains that they only play baseball during thunderstorms. They drive up to a mountaintop field near a waterfall, where all the Cullens are waiting. And yes, they’re wearing little matching uniforms. You know, I really can’t take vampires seriously when I see them like this. Really, if you watched just this bit right here without knowing about the vampire thing, you’d swear they were just an incredibly wholesome, ordinary family. Which is pretty much what they are. They’re an idealised Mormon family. Nice and white, clean, no smoking, drinking or swearing, lots of kids, and nobody’s single. That really is what Mormonism is basically about, from what I understand, and it adds a really weird subtext to the whole thing.
Man, I’m mean. Here I am analysing Mormon symbolism in this movie when you’re all waiting for me to get to the vampire baseball already. Then let’s go for it!
“Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse (Meyer’s favourite band) kicks in, and the game begins. Alice bowls, doing a hilarious ballet thing with her leg in the process. Rosalie hits the ball super-hard and fast, and sends it hurtling off through the forest. And no, she doesn’t break the bat, so now this movie is just reminding us of Superman IV. Edward dashes off in pursuit of the ball, and returns it just in time. Bella, acting as umpire, declares that Rosalie is out. Rosalie gives her a “ur so ded” look. Ooh, someone just made an enemy for life.
So the game continues at warp speed, with huge “cracking” sounds every time the bat connects, and all in all it’s enjoyable as much as it is surreal. The fun ends when Rosalie bats the ball again and as it disappears, Alice gets a Danger Migraine this big. We see the three rogue killer vampires approach, and Alice yells, “Stop!” Everything does stop, along with the song unfortunately, and the Jamaican with the cravat comes striding up with Victoria beside him and James bringing up the rear.
James in particular, I should note, has a whole bunch of trinkets hanging off his belt and clothes. These are meant to be trophies from his victims, and in fact the jacket he’s now wearing used to be on the creepy guy with the boat. I like that touch.
The Cullens rush off to protect Bella, while the cool, non-wimpy vampires approach. Edward tries to hide Bella, but a sullen Rosalie says they’ll be able to smell her from a mile away.
Enjoy this video clip of Vampire Baseball!
The Jamaican vampire approaches the Cullens and holds up the ball. He now introduces himself as Laurent, and he and the Cullens greet each other warily. Dr. Cullen very diplomatically tells him that his hunting around Forks has caused some trouble for himself and his family. Laurent apologises and says they’re about to move on anyway, while Edward and James size each other up.
Laurent asks if they can join in the game, and Dr. Cullen accepts, giving Bella and Edward an out while he’s at it. Everything is fine, and the two are about to head off. James turns away, but in that moment a breeze blows up (curse you!), and carries Bella’s scent straight to him. James immediately takes an interest, but the Cullens are quick to put a stop to it, and the two groups of vampires have a ridiculous standoff where they hunch and hiss at each other. Ask your average six-year-old to do a vampire impression, and this is pretty much what you’d get.
Dr. Cullen vouches for Bella, and tells the nomads to leave. Laurent backs down, but James is obviously not satisfied. He walks off, plotting mischief.
Cue another Edward bipolar episode, as he frog-marches Bella to the jeep and stuffs her inside before driving off at high speed. They’re still driving when it’s dark, and he has a rant. Apparently, James is a tracker, obsessed with hunting people, and now there’s a particularly tasty human who’s under the protection of other vampires, he’s found himself a challenge too tantalising to resist.
Bella wants to go home, but Edward refuses, since that’s the first place James will go. But Bella finally asserts herself by insisting that they go back to Charlie, lest he be killed. They have to find a way to direct James away from him.
Charlie is dozing on his couch when Bella and Edward show up, still arguing. Finally, Bella tells Edward that it’s over, and storms off upstairs. Charlie follows her, but she tells him she’s leaving and locks herself in her room.
Inside, Edward is waiting, and he urges Bella to make it totally clear that she’s leaving, and to hurt Charlie’s feelings if she has to.
Bella leaves her room and starts getting her stuff from the bathroom, telling the bewildered Charlie that she broke up with Edward and she has to leave, now. Poor Charlie tells her no and to calm down, but she goes into full-on angry teenager mode, telling him she hates Forks and she hates living with him and she has to leave or she’ll be stuck there just like her mother. He pleads with her, genuinely upset, but she throws it in his face and leaves. Poor Charlie. I wanna give him a hug.
However, the plan works at least, as we see James watching her leave. As she’s driving along, Edward jumps in the window and assures her that her father will forgive her. Bella is close to tears, and says he won’t, because she said exactly what her mother said when she left. Edward reassures her that he’s safe, at least, because James is now following them. Meanwhile, the other Cullens are following.
They drive past the diner, and Bella sees her friends coming out together, laughing and joking. Shoulda stuck with those guys, Bella. Sure, they’re mere mortals, but they’re better company. I wish I was with them… instead of being stuck here in my room in the middle of the night… writing a movie recap that’s taken me hours already… with nothing but my pet rats for company… *bursts into tears*
They arrive at Casa de Cullen, and find none other than Laurent waiting for them. But Dr. Cullen is there too, and tells them that Laurent is there to help.
Laurent tells them he’s tired of James’ little games, and he’s going off on his own. But he warns that James is very dangerous. His girl, Victoria, shouldn’t be underestimated either. His piece said, Laurent takes his cute little cravat and leaves.
In the Cullens’ huge garage, Bella and the Cullens start preparing, and discussing how they’ll kill James. Nooo! You can’t kill him! He’s the hottest guy in the movie! I won’t let you!
Dr. Cullen says he doesn’t like the idea of killing another vampire, even an evil one like James. Hey, you know what would make this series way, way more exciting and readable? If the Cullens, instead of sitting around collecting wealth and idling away their immortality, spent their time travelling the world to eliminate dangerous vampires like James. Then Bella would have to decide whether to leave her home forever and travel with them, and there would be high-powered fight scenes, and all sorts of undercover stuff, and…
…holy shit, I’m gonna be rich! Keep your greasy paws off my idea, you lot!
Back in the movie, the Cullens decide that Bella will go with Alice and Jasper. Edward will head off with Rosalie and Esme and use some of Bella’s clothes to lay a false trail. Rosalie gets sulky again, asking why she should stick her neck out for Bella, but gives up when Dr. Cullen steps in. I should maybe mention that in the books, Rosalie was originally made a vampire because she was intended for Edward. Unfortunately, it didn’t take, but maybe there’s some jealousy involved here.
(In the books, of course, we find out that Rosalie hates Bella because, as a human, Bella can have the babies that Rosalie so desperately wants. And yep, there go even more Mary Sue points for Bella, and more lousy characterisation points for Rosalie).
Bella gets into Alice’s car, and shares a farewell with Edward. This contains the expected clichés, and ends with Edward telling Bella he’ll take her somewhere safe when this is all over.
The cars drives off. Bella calls Mum and leaves a message saying she’s okay, since nobody’s answering. Elsewhere, Edward, Rosalie and Esme run along a forest track, rubbing Bella’s clothes on trees to make the false trail.
Alice and Jasper drive Bella straight back to Phoenix—no idea why they decided to go there—while James follows the false trail.
Bella is taken to a hotel. Up in their room, Alice suddenly has a vision. She sees James realise he’s been fooled, and go running off in the opposite direction. She knows he’s going to a room full of mirrors, and starts sketching it with what looks like a handy… stick of charcoal? Okay, maybe it’s just a pencil, but from the way she draws it looks like some sort of fancy art thing. What gives?
Bella looks at the picture and recognises it as her old ballet school. A moment later, she answers her phone, even though I don’t think I heard it ring. It’s Edward, and he tells her they’ve lost James, and he’s coming to Phoenix to find her and will do anything to keep her safe. Something notable in this scene is that Bella is standing in front of a TV, which is apparently showing a scene from earlier in the movie. I can’t pick it, but that’s what the IMDb claimed, and we all know it’s never wrong.
Jasper and Alice go down to the hotel lobby for some reason. Up in their room, Bella is messing around with her luggage when her phone vibrates—oh, so that’s why it didn’t ring. The little screen says it’s a call from “home”. She answers, thinking it’s her mum. On the other end she hears her mum’s voice asking where she is, and then James’ voice suddenly cuts in. Visibly gloating, he tells her that Victoria broke into the school’s records and found her previous address. Now he’s there, and he’s got her mother hostage.
Bella freaks out, and James tells her that if she wants Mum to be okay she has to sneak off and come to the ballet school. She can’t tell the Cullens where she’s going. Bella instantly—I mean instantly—falls for what has to be the most obvious trick ever played, and duly sneaks out of the hotel and into a taxi. What is it with her? Anything without a pulse can push her around! Okay, even if she honestly believed what James said, shouldn’t she at least have thought it over first? Maybe had a crisis of conscience? Some sort of freak-out?
No, instead she just scoots off like a good little doggie doing what it’s told. This girl makes me embarrassed to have boobs.
The taxi drives on into the night, and now we’ve finally come full circle, as Bella repeats her monologue from the prologue. You know, about how she’d never thought much about how she would die, but dying in the place of someone she loves isn’t so bad, etc. I think a lot of people would have expected her to be referring to Edward—I was, sort of, even though I knew the whole plot already.
That aside, since she’s just toddled into a trap without a moment’s thought, I think I can safely say that she deserves whatever unpleasant adventures James has in mind.