Shutter Island: Shutter Island, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, is a minor entry in the Martin Scorsese canon, but it's skillfully put together for all that. In 1954, U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) visit an island hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the mysterious disappearance of one of its patients. However, the place is seriously creepy, and keeps on getting weirder. Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow, playing doctors, and Ted Levine, playing the Warden, excel at racheting up the unease – there's something they're hiding. Teddy isn't in great shape himself, and seems to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or something else. He has nightmares about WWII and his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams), and as he begins to see odd things starts to wonder if he's being drugged, or going crazy himself. Did the missing woman ever exist? Are the doctors conducting cruel experiments on the patients? Who, if anyone, can he trust? And is he in danger himself? I'll be interested in seeing how Shutter Island plays on a second viewing. It's a "twist" movie, and many viewers might guess at it, but I think the performances and relationships keep it interesting for all that. Some of the sequences, notably a creepy one with a power blackout in the violent ward, are very effectively put together. Scorsese's always worth a look.
The Town: It's Heat in Boston, directed by, and starring, Ben Affleck, based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. Doug MacRay (Affleck) and his buddies are experienced bank robbers, and on one job, they take a hostage, bank employee Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). They're concerned she might be able to identify them. James Coughlin (Jeremy Renner), the hot dog, wants to just kill her, but Doug volunteers to feel her out and contrives to bump into her. As they spend more time together, he starts to fall for her. He wants to leave his life of crime behind, but he's pressured to do one last job by the gang, who also threaten Claire. Meanwhile, FBI agent Adam Frawley (Jon Hamm) and his team are hot on the gang's trail, and risk exposing Doug's crime activities to Claire. The Town isn't as good as either Heat or Affleck's excellent, first directorial effort, Gone Baby Gone. Still, it's a solid entry in the bank heist-crime film genre, with above-average performances and a Boston-Irish flavor. This was Pete Postlewaithe's last film.
The Karate Kid: This remake of the surprise 80s hit is longer and more serious, and transplants the action to a new continent. Young, skinny Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) moves with his single mom, Sherry (Taraji P. Henson) for a new job in China. Early on, he meets a cute Chinese girl, Meiying (Wenwen Han), but promptly gets his ass kicked by the local bully, Cheng (Zhenwei Wang), who knows kung fu. Dre is saved from a later beating by his apartment building's maintenance man, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who's an expert in kung fu. Dre begs to be taught, and Mr. Han reluctantly agrees, but Dre's less eager to learn the core lessons Mr. Han's stressing: discipline, humility, patience and respect. Young Jaden Smith has the charisma and attitude to carry most of the film, and Henson is good as his mom. Jackie Chan gets to do some of his signature inventive fights, but also handles the drama well (it's one of his more serious roles). At 140 minutes, the film feels a bit bloated, but it handles the mentor-apprentice stuff, budding romance and the final competition well.
Robin Hood: The idea of a more adult Robin Hood that shows his origins is a neat one, and the casting is superb overall – Russell Crowe as Robin, Cate Blanchett as Maid Marion, plus Max von Sydow, Mark Addy, Scott Grimes and several other character stalwarts. Working in the Magna Carta, an episode for which the historical Prince John is best known, is also an interesting choice, as is showing Richard the Lionhearted as an imperialist dolt. Having Ridley Scott direct generally guarantees a certain level of quality. The acting, particularly between Crowe, Blanchett and von Sydow is strong. However, the film's middle section, with Robin trying out domestic life, is bloated and drags. The final big battle is underwhelming. Meanwhile, the daddy issues that are supposed to comprise Robin's internal journey feel tacked on and unnecessary. (Enough with badly-done daddy issues, please, Hollywood!) For fans of Robin Hood, it's worth a look at this take, but considering the team put together for this effort, the end result is a bit disappointing – this version is decent, but not excellent.
The Other Guys: There are the over-the-top hero cops of action flicks – and then there are the other guys. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are the latter. They're oddball cop partners looking to crack a big case to get out of the department doghouse. Most of the comedy comes from high-strung tough guy Terry Holtz (Wahlberg) being incredibly abusive to accountant-at-heart Allen Gamble (Ferrell), who occasionally strikes back in his own dorky way. Holtz also openly hits on Allen's incredibly hot wife, Sheila (Eva Mendes), who Allen seems barely to notice. This isn't a nice comedy, or a realistic comedy, but some of it is pretty damn funny. The raunchy, grandma go-between scene is great, as is one of the early verbal duels between our heroes. (You can read it here if you like - dialogue spoiler!) One of the few elements of realism is the film's choice of bad guys. Make sure to stay through the ending credits, which list some shocking stats about real-life Wall Street villainy. (The filmmakers did the credit thing as a bit of a lark, and were surprised by the strong reaction.)
(Here's Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay on Fresh Air.)
Alice in Wonderland: As with all Tim Burton flicks, we get great production design, an interesting aesthetic, and a good Danny Elfman score. And as with most Burton flicks, he's less interested in story and character. The film takes the premise that Alice visited Wonderland as a child, was convinced by adults it was a dream, and now, on the verge of a loveless marriage, she flees the ceremony and falls down the rabbit hole once again. It does look neat, but Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is a rather passive heroine, showing some cleverness, but mostly along for the ride. From the ads prominently featuring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, you may have guessed a minor character would be inflated to a prominent role, and you'd have been correct. It doesn't really work. Fans of Lewis Carroll's work will probably enjoy seeing the characters (the Cheshire Cat, voiced by Stephen Fry, is cool), and there are scattered bits of wonder and whimsy, but Burton, while playful, has a more Gothic sensibility. Meanwhile, as with many Burton flicks, it's a series of quips and bits and scenes that may be amusing or briefly entertaining, but don't build up to something greater, aren't that engaging, and certainly not moving. I just grew weary of elements like the deliberate zaniness of the Red Queen (a morphed Helena Bonham-Carter) screaming for another pig for her feet, and the sniveling fiancé, so obviously a horrible match for Alice. Your mileage may vary; devoted Burton fans will rank this higher.
The Book of Eli: It's Fahrenheit 451 meets The Road, or any of a number of other post-apocalyptic tales. It's the future after a nuclear war, and people live in survivalist mode, holing out in barricaded houses, resorting to cannibalism, traveling in gangs, or gathering in wild west-style small towns. Eli (Denzel Washington) does the Kung Fu/Yojimbo thing, traveling across the country on foot, trying to deliver one of the world's remaining books (a Bible) to a sanctuary, and occasionally kicking ass along the way. He's pretty self-sufficient, but he does need water and food, and stops at a small town run by Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who collects books himself and wants Eli to stay after his sees his fighting skills. To this end, he asks Solara (Mila Kunis) to seduce Eli. She's reluctant, but Carnegie dangles the fate of her and her blind mother Claudia (Jennifer Beals). Denzel Washington's a great leading man, and Gary Oldman hasn't chewed up the scenery a villain in a while. Michael Gambon's got a brief role, and he's good as always, but rather wasted by the film. I didn't find The Book of Eli that compelling. The aesthetic is dusty and gritty, but Eli isn't just a badass, he's a comic book badass, possessing preternatural abilities and zen awareness. To me, those felt like conflicting elements, with one not fully set up. More importantly, it changes the power dynamics. Some of the plot holes (sudden miraculous technical expertise) become distracting. Most prominently, this is a world where Bibles are unknown and only remembered by the older folks, because supposedly, when the nuclear war hit, the angry survivors rejected religion. The notion that in hyper-religious America, the entire populace would completely reject religion versus at least a few pockets going full zealot may be the most far-fetched thing about the movie. The plot also gives the flick a slightly preachy tone, that what the world needs is more religion. The Book of Eli has its fans as a popcorn apocalyptic flick, but I found it below average for its genre.
Predators: A group of human killers – soldiers, mercenaries, mobsters and murderers – are kidnapped and wake up on an alien planet to be hunted by their alien captors, the predators. At this point, most viewers should know the drill. It's yet another variation on The Most Dangerous Game, but the challenge for this group is not only to survive, but to somehow get off the planet. Adrien Brody is convincing as a skilled, cold-hearted mercenary, Royce, who's challenged by the more compassionate Isabella (Alice Braga). There's a handful of memorably funny lines (mostly from Topher Grace or Walton Goggins). There's a major twist in the middle that's very promising at first, but peters out, as if the writers didn't know where to go with it. The action scenes vary in quality from good to all right to that-could-have-been-so-much-cooler. Fans of the series will probably want to check it out. Oddly enough, the first, occasionally cheeseball, action/horror B-movie that was Predator remains the best of the lot.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Young Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel) is recruited by the good-but-slightly-insane sorcerer Balthazar (Nicholas Cage) to fight the evil wizard Horvath (Alfred Molina), who seeks to resurrect the evil Morgana - who now possesses the body of their former flame, Veronica (Monica Belucci). The centuries-old magic war thing is a big adjustment for Dave, who is also trying to woo his long-time crush, Becky (Teresa Palmer). The Sorcerer's Apprentice works well enough as summer fare (one sequence is based on the Fantasia segment of the same name). There are many underwhelming magic battles throughout the history of cinema, but the ones here are often pretty clever, and Baruschel makes for a likeable, dorky hero. Director Jon Turtltaub teamed up with Cage for the National Treasure movies, so that should give you a decent idea of what's in store.
Despicable Me: Evil super-genius Gru (Steve Carrell) has been upstaged by the new kid on the villain block, Vector, so he schemes a daring new plot to steal the moon to re-establish his evil cred. Too bad the Bank of Evil doesn't want to back his venture, and when Gru steals a shrink ray for his plot, Vector steals it again from Gru. Vector's lair is near impenetrable (Gru has some funny failed attempts), but he notices that Vector opens up the gates for three orphan girls selling cookies. Gru decides to "adopt" them to further his plans – but even brief, insincere fatherhood is a challenge for him, and his plans are further complicated by the girls. Despicable Me gets a bit treacly at times, but mostly avoids pure saccharine with some dark humor. It's not as good as Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon, but it's a cute, fun flick. Gru's little yellow minions are entertaining, and make sure to watch them through the closing credits. (I didn't get a chance to see the similar-themed Megamind, which I heard was better.)
Iron Man 2: Not quite as good or fun as the first one, Iron Man 2 still rates as enjoyable summer fare with an upscale cast. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts are joined this time by Mickey Rourke, Scarlet Johansson and Sam Rockwell. Don Cheadle replaces Terrence Howard as Tony Stark's long-time buddy, sometime conscience and occasional adversary, Rhodey. This time around, the device in Tony's chest keeping him alive is also slowly poisoning him, and it's a race against time for him to discover a cure. Even worse, each time he uses the suit, it accelerates the poison. That's problematic, especially since super-villain Whiplash/ Ivan Vanko (Rourke, suitably menacing) is trying to kill him out of some revenge grudge, with help from Stark's business rival, Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell, entertainingly sleazy). Stark's also got a congressional investigation to fend off, as the insufferable Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) wants him to turn over the Iron Man suit, which Stark points out is impossible, since he and the suit are one. Further complicating things, Rhodey steals one of his spare suits and gives it to the military, he's hiding both his illness and love from Pepper, he's got daddy issues to work out, and he's handling it all poorly by drinking heavily. Scarlet Johansson is good as Tony's latest lust interest, Natasha Romanoff, and she's convincing in her well-shot fight scenes. Likewise, director Jon Favreau is funny playing Stark's occasional sidekick, Happy Hogan. Downey and Paltrow have fantastic chemistry, worthy of a screwball comedy, and Rockwell is a standout, with some wonderful lines, as when he describes his company's smart missile: "If this baby were any smarter, it would write a book. And that book would make Ulysses look like it was written in crayon. And it would read it to you." Still, something's lacking in the final stretch and the climatic fight. Maybe it's Whiplash obligingly making a dumb move, or a lack of chemistry between Downey and Cheadle, but it's not quite satisfying. That said, Iron Man 2 is a respectable entry in the super-hero genre, and looks better when compared to other 2010 summer flicks.
Tron: Legacy: Most viewers either never saw the original Tron, or only dimly remember it, further complicated by Disney pulling copies of it. (Supposedly they thought it aged poorly, and would reflect badly on the new film, but now you can buy both films bundled.) That creates some obstacles for Tron: Legacy. It succeeds extremely well as spectacle, but the plot is problematic and confused, making it disappointing - much like the original. Jeff Bridges instantly classes it up, Garett Hedlund is decent as a leading man, and Olivia Wilde, in addition to looking both gorgeous and otherworldly, delivers some great lines. The Daft Punk score adds to the aesthetic. It's hard to buy the stakes, though, and at times the rules of the world are confusing. If a disc is essentially one's identity, is it really wise to go throwing it around? (Granted, it makes for cool fights, but it seems to make our heroes ridiculously vulnerable.) If the bad guy is supposed to be all cold computer and ruthless efficiency, why does he demonstrate such rage? And what about the whole flesh-to-digital thing, and more importantly, the prospects of going the other way, with an entity that has been completely digital and virtual? If the bad guy succeeds in his evil plan, what would really happen? And how would it happen? (And in the actual ending, how was that thing that happened achieved, y'know?) It seems like the makers of Tron: Legacy never stopped to figure out any of the core mechanics and their own, well, mythological framework, and that really does hurt the film. The original Tron was never as innovative as Disney thought it was, since sci-fi lit had gone there decades before, but it was fun enough, and perhaps even a tantalizing effort. Tron: Legacy looks great, its aesthetic is worth checking out, and the early action sequences are splendid - but likewise, it falls short of its promise in the end.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1: More than any other film in the series, this one feels like it's just marking time until the next one. In this case, the next film is the big finale. But while Part 1 picks a good spot to stop, it still feels like a by-the-numbers entry, without much forward momentum, probably due to the atrocious pacing and low energy of the middle section. Some of the sequences are quite good; the early escape, a raid on the Ministry of Magic and a late sequence at Malfoy Manor work well as self-contained chapters, with builds, twists, reverses, ingenuity by our heroes and climaxes. Others fall flat. The foray to Godric's Hollow is actually more cinematic in the book, but the filmmakers chose to substitute a fight for suspense. Meanwhile, the middle section, with Harry, Ron and Hermione on the run, becomes interminable. This was a flaw of the book as well, but why repeat it? The scenery is gorgeous, but all our heroes look and feel weary. The kids, who have all become better actors, are forced to carry most of the film on their own, without the help of the stellar supporting cast. That may be a factor. But the bigger issue seems to be the story and the directing. Plot-wise, the schism between the trio rings false, and the energy level craters. Given all this, this section could have been massively condensed, rather than lingering at such great length on the implausible and uninteresting. It only accentuates the rip-off, studios-lining-their-pockets aspect of Part 1. (You made me sit through that?) Meanwhile, some other subplots that could have been addressed with a simple line or two are dumped. With a bloated running time of 146, that's poor clock management. Part 2 will feature massive spectacle, and many showdowns, but I hope the filmmakers manage to focus on the human, character elements that make such conflicts effective.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Dawn Treader: This third entry in the series sees Edmund and Lucy, the two youngest of the four Pevensie kids, returning to Narnia, this time with their annoying, prissy cousin Eustace in tow. They hook up with Prince Caspian and Reepicheep the swashbuckling mouse, who tell them of Narnians disappearing into a mysterious green mist. The seven lords who set out to find out what happened have disappeared, too. Can Edmund, Lucy and Caspian succeed where others have failed? Dawn Treader is episodic, but most of those episodes are fun, featuring dragons, sea monsters, invisible beasties, wizards and various tempting perils. The one problem is that some of those temptations are awfully repetitive – Edmund is tempted by the White Witch no less than three times. The series' strong Christian underpinnings also represent a slight challenge for the filmmakers, but they seem to strike a decent balance – it's hard to miss this element during the ending, but it's not completely in your face, either. Will Poulter (from Son of Rambow) makes the character growth of Eustace convincing, and veteran director Michael Apted makes Dawn Treader a respectable entry.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief: Young Percy Jackson, diagnosed as dyslexic and ADHD, has always felt out of place – and then discovers, after being attacked by mythical creatures, that he's the son of the Greek god Poseidon, gifted with special powers. His guardians take him to train at Camp Half-Blood with other demigod kids. However, when his mother is kidnapped by Hades, Percy (Logan Lerman) sets out to rescue her with his new friends, Annabeth (daughter of Athena, played by Alexandra Daddario) and Grover, a satyr (Brandon Jackson). The mythological aspect is fun, and the way myths crop in the current day is often clever, particularly the lotus eaters sequence. (Maybe the books explain how Athena, one of the three virgin goddesses in the actual myths, came to have a daughter.) The demigod kids have some issues with their absentee parents, some more than others. Percy's training at the Camp is one of the weaker parts of the story – apparently, as the child of one of the big three (Zeus-Poseidon-Hades), he just needs to let go and allow his godly powers take over, at which point his sword-fighting becomes exceptional, he commands water and all the rest. That's pretty uninteresting, but luckily, throughout the rest of the movie Percy and his companions show more ingenuity. The dialogue quality really varies – some is clever, but some is pretty bad. Catherine Keener feels tamed and ill-used as Percy's mother Sally, and Kevin McKidd is bland as Poseidon. Otherwise, though, the supporting cast is pretty stellar – Pierce Brosnan as the teacher Chiron, Uma Thurman as a diva Medusa, Sean Bean as Zeus, Steve Coogan as a jealous and scheming Hades, and Rosario Dawson as a bored, lustful Persephone. I enjoyed parts of this, but some of the "big" moments fall flat (Percy and Annabeth, Percy and his dad Poseidon), so it felt like a near miss to me. The next movie is slotted for a 2013 release; maybe I'll see how the books are.
Clash of the Titans: I was a fan of the original film as a kid, despite some misgivings. I didn't like all of the liberties it took with the mythology, but Harryhausen was pretty cool. In later years, when it happened to be on TV (the Turner stations loved it), I'd sometimes switch over just to catch the Medusa sequence, which is masterful and still holds up. The remake does let Liam Neeson thunder as Zeus, "Release the Kraken!" and Ralph Fiennes as Hades always makes a good villain, but there's just not much spirit to this loose remake. Sam Worthington plays Perseus, demigod son of Zeus, and while he's decent actor who's credible doing the action sequences, I'm not convinced he's a strong leading man. Gemma Arterton does good vocal work as Io, in this version a demigoddess tasked with looking over Perseus. Perseus seeks a way to defeat the Kraken, a monster scheduled to destroy the city of Argos because of the citizens' insufficient groveling to the gods. The rest of Perseus' team are pretty forgettable. Similar to Percy Jackson, Perseus' demigod status and celestial weaponry means he can defeat people through superior power versus skill, making some fights rather uninteresting. Perseus rebels against this aspect of his heritage, though, and does show some brains. The scorpion fight is genuinely good, but most of the scenes, including the Medusa sequence, aren't that compelling. There's one prominent shout-out to the Harryhausen film, and while not being slavish to the original film (or the original mythology) is probably a good idea, the end results just don't add up to much, and it's hard to care about these characters. The premise that the Greek gods are bastards is a promising angle (and certainly supported by the mythology), but the man-versus-god theme gets muddled as the movie goes along – or maybe the aim was that human, demigod and god all learn a valuable lesson by the end.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: Based on a video game, Prince of Persia features a few actors giving it their all, but it's an uphill battle. The biggest problem is that, if the hero can briefly turn back time (if only briefly, and only so many times), it makes for cool slow-mo sequences but radically diminishes the stakes. If he's losing, just break out the time-dagger! Jake Gyllenhaal's a good young actor, and got in excellent shape to play the heroic Dastan, but his American look and long face feel jarring in the role of a Persian prince of antiquity. As princess Tamina, Gemma Arterton looks great, but her feisty antics throughout the bulk of the movie feel pretty one-note – indignant outrage, often in a high pitch. It's an odd choice by experienced director Mike Newell, because Arterton has a good vocal quality and a great low register. Given the plot, she could have easily thrown in purring deception to mix things up a bit. That may seem trivial, but the peril of all effects-laden flicks is that they can lose the actors and the human element; we get spectacle, but often don't care about the characters. Especially near the end of the film, that becomes the case here. Ben Kingsley, playing Dastan's uncle Nizam, is always a welcome addition, and Alfred Molina has some fun playing a shady trader. (Arterton has a funny story about being asked to do "posh" by Newell, and some interesting thoughts on the whole Hollywood image factory.)
The Wolfman: A good old-fashioned monster movie, well-done, would be most welcome. Unfortunately, this ain't quite it. Lawrence Talbot, estranged from his family, returns from America to his family's dreary English country mansion when his brother is found mauled to death by some beast. The film's well-cast, with Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving. There's even some memorable dialogue, and a werewolf on werewolf fight. The early hunting scenes – searching for the werewolf in the woods – may be stock horror, but they're pretty well done. So why doesn't it all work? I'm guessing Benicio del Toro is supposed to be brooding, but he's low energy, almost somnambulant at points. He's a superb character actor, but perhaps he's not a leading man, or just miscast. Meanwhile, the motivations of Hopkins' character seem increasingly bizarre. The key hook of many a werewolf tale is the anguish of the main character, and the tension between the guilt of murder and the thrill of power and freedom that comes with the transformation. It's present here, but not that well done – and the human element in general is lacking. The dynamics in the family Talbot are seriously odd, and make it hard to relate. Meanwhile, there's not a strong love connection between Lawrence Talbot (del Toro) and Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt). That gives us little to keep us engaged, and the plot twist(s) are predictable and make the film less interesting than it was before. It's a shame.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Admittedly, I am not the target audience for this series. I missed the first two films, and went into this one as a kind of sociological study of its fan base. The main plot is that Bella (Kristen Stewart) wants her true love, brooding, sensitive vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson), to "turn" her (into a vampire), and join his (mostly good) vampire family. The complications are that hunky werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is in love with her, too, and is desperate to stop her from doing this. Oh, and the evil vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), wants revenge on Edward, and is forming an army of "newborn" vampires – less skilled, but stronger and hungry – to come and kill them all. In the shadows are the Volturi, the ruling vampire clan from Italy, watching the proceedings, and musing about how and whether to intervene. Anyway, at least this entry in the series features some vampire versus werewolf fights, and vampire versus vampire fights. There was one decent scene between Edward and Jacob as they watch over Bella in the tent, where both actors seemed natural – but many other scenes feel stilted and stiff, or just uninteresting. We're also given brief flashbacks of two other Cullen vampires' lives, and how they came to become vampires. The problem is, these brief segments are far more compelling than anything in the present, and these side characters are more interesting than the love triangle at the story's center. The bulk of the movie is a sappy, high-school soap opera. There's certainly a place for teen fiction, including wish-fulfillment teen girl fiction, but there's still good and bad within that. Bella is wan and whiny, and things are oh so tough for her as she bemoans her not-at-all-dreadful life and the two guys fighting over her. She's also quite a passive heroine, with one exception near the end of the film. Keep in mind, this is a series where vampires walk in the day, and they "sparkle" in the sunlight. The book's author, Stephenie Meyer, is also a strong proponent of chastity before marriage, which comes up ham-handedly and unconvincingly, at least in the movie. The sparkling and no sex are major departures from vampire lore of the past few centuries, leaving us with, well, bloodless, defanged, perfectly safe vampires suitable for brooding sullenly and pining over a naïve teen girl still in her unicorn phase. This isn't much of a spoiler, more of a warning: In one scene, Bella and Edward, who are engaged at this point, are finally going to have sex, and she wants to - but Edward refuses, because they're not married, and this would sully her purity or something. This got audible guffaws even from the Twilight-friendly audience. As Rob Vaux puts it:
Edward has a line about not ravishing Bella until they get married that stands as the single most pussified thing any vampire has ever said. Ever, ever, ever. Vampires are supposed to ravish unmarried virgins. It’s what they freaking do!
Pick another term if you like, but Edward is pathetic, not even a bad boy. Hey, to each their own. Apparently, the final book has a weird and problematic plot, and will be split across two movies (shudder). Maybe they'll be a step up from this, maybe not. The Twilight series will continue to be mocked, but to its fans, no amount of mockery will matter. Tween love may be unwise, but it can be loyal.