It’s easy, even understandable, to dismiss things we find uninteresting, distasteful or downright stupid. I do that often enough in this column, so let me be clear: I like fantasy fiction. I grew up with it. I read it. I play games based on the genre. I believe J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett and Orson Scott Card and Michael Moorcock and Dan Abnett Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson should have their own hall of fame.
It’s easy, even understandable, to dismiss things we find uninteresting, distasteful or downright stupid. I do that often enough in this column, so let me be clear: I like fantasy fiction.
I grew up with it. I read it. I play games based on the genre. I believe J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett and Orson Scott Card and Michael Moorcock and Dan Abnett Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson should have their own hall of fame.
But there’s a scene in “Poltergeist III” ... no, really, they made three ... that pops into my head every time I hear or see anything related to “Twilight.”
It’s the scene when Tom Skerritt peels his face off. You remember. Everyone in their 30s must. It gave me nightmares for years, and made me think twice about shaving. But it perfectly illustrates the annoyance, frustration and sheer rage I feel when it comes to this mess.
First, I’m sick of hearing about it. It’s too much. Like other things that have the potential to make gobs and gobs of money, the marketing blitz is stifling, and suddenly you’re weird if you don’t know who Bella is. I avoid college basketball, especially in tourney time, for this reason (among others).
I understand these fads happen. I understand vampires are trendy, even if I don’t understand why. They’re monsters. The one everyone knows, Dracula, was based on a bad, bad guy, although varying histories depict him as a sadistic murderer or a freedom fighter. But that’s splitting hairs.
What we get are starved teens in skinny jeans making doe eyes at each other.
And the primary conflict of “Twilight” is the lead female’s decision to be with a vampire ... or a werewolf? Isn’t that like picking Brussels sprouts or Lima beans?
On one hand, you’ve got the nocturnal, societal parasite. On the other, you have the diseased (or cursed, take your pick) hairball in torn pants who uses his tongue as a wash cloth. If ever there was an argument for Internet dating.
The first “Twilight” had an estimated $37 million budget. It made $191 million. But considering the hype, I’m torn as to whether this is a disappointment, a coup or something in between.
Also in theaters
Surprisingly, there are some other, ill-timed movies coming out this week. There are “Planet 51,” featuring another awful choice, Dwayne Johnson, and “The Blind Side,” starring Sandra Bullock.
As the obligatory, weekly animated offering, “Planet 51” will feature some laughs, some goofiness, and probably some message about how wasteful and self-absorbed humans are.
“The Blind Side” is a football movie that doesn’t seem to be much about football. Check out Michael Oher’s story. He’s the left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. He’s either the feel-good story of the minute, or is the reason everyone should be highly suspicious of everything and everyone associated with college athletics.