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Last year, I reviewed and dissected every Harry Potter movie from the position of a person who had never seen a single one of them. Having done a fair amount of follow-up work, I'm happy to say that, even though they were based solely on the trailers and misremembered conversations about Harry Potter with children, my reviews were mostly accurate (I now realize that a "muggle" is, of course, a type of candy).

I've also never seen any of the Twilight movies, because I didn't want to invest myself in a franchise so thoroughly that I wouldn't have time for all of the other things I like, and because I'm not a wiener. That said, with the final installment of the Twilight series out now, it seemed as good a time as any to get everyone up to speed on the franchise while doing the least amount of work possible.

1
Twilight

What We See in the Trailer

The camera does a slow pan over a bunch of clouds and then some cars, and it sounds like they got the chick who sang in the Gladiator score to sing a bunch of nonsense here, too.


This, with a bunch of vaguely foreign gibberish.

We meet characters who I know to be named Bella and Edward, because I've been alive on planet Earth for the last few years and it's impossible to not know that.

The spooky text in the trailer informs us that, after this movie comes out, "Nothing will be the same," which is true in a very basic, technical sense (before this movie came out, there were no Twilight movies, and after it came out, there was one). Bella is about to get hit by a car, but Edward uses his super speed and strength to save her, and then whoever did color correction on this trailer gets fired.

Edward and Bella stare at each other with expressions that say "I am in this movie and looking at you" and "Me too," respectively. Edward runs away, but then Bella finds him again on a mountain and tells him that she thinks he's very fast and very strong, which, pro tip, is exactly what you should say to me if you ever want to hit on me.


"You're so strong and fast and oh MY, but that's an impressive vertical leap!"

Edward doesn't return the complimentary favor by talking about how pretty and nice-smelling and fast Bella is (which is what I would have done, because chivalry is NOT dead), and instead tells Bella to tell him why she thinks he's so fast and strong. She says, "I have considered radioactive spiders and kryptonite," which is dumb. Kryptonite didn't make Superman faster or stronger, it did the opposite of that. Next we see a bunch of shots of Edward jumping really high and running really fast and climbing trees with incredible ease, but I'm not going to post any pictures of that because I'm still too mad that Bella thought Edward might have been a spider-man.

Next, Edward says, "What if I'm not the hero? What if I'm ... the bad guy." Judging by this picture ...

... he almost certainly is. Look at him. He's all "Ooh, my dad could buy and sell this whole school," and she's all "Tell 'em, babe." Sidebar: My whole life I thought this franchise was about vampires, and a minute into the trailer I haven't seen any. It's so far a high school drama about pale people who climb trees and, if that's the case, I no longer understand what tweens respond to.

Bella and Edward are in the woods and Bella is slowly and clumsily putting Edward's secret together. She says he's pale, his skin is cold and he doesn't go into the sunlight, which, based on literally every image I've seen of Edward in this trailer, is factually unsound.

Bella says, "I know what you are," and Edward forces her to say it. Finally, she says "vampire," and the camera gets, like, right in her fucking mouth when she says it, to remind the audience where words come from.

There's also a scene where Bella's in the school cafeteria and she drops an apple, which Edward first catches on his foot, then kicks up to his hand and catches, while wearing the smuggest smirk I've ever seen on a person who thought kicking a cute girl's apple was a good thing.

Also, and I don't mean to come back to this, but Bella invited the comparison to Spider-Man by mentioning a radioactive spider, and I just want Bella and every freaking other person to know that this is how an Edward saves a girl's lunch:

And this is how a goddamn Spider-Man does it:

Again, Bella was the one who mentioned radioactive spiders, and I think it's important to point out that Edward is behaving very un-Spider-Man-like in everything he does.

Just ... when you throw around radioactive spiders and kryptonite, you sound stupid, Bella. You sound stupid.

Anyway, Bella knows that Edward's a vampire, but that doesn't seem to bother anyone, anywhere. Romance happens.

One minute and 30 seconds into the trailer is the first time anyone mentions someone potentially dying from a vampire. This is good news, because it's the closest thing resembling a plot we've seen yet. There's a different vampire, who is blond and shirtless and handsome, which, according to movie law, means he is bad.

It's clear that Blond Vamp wants to eat Bella, which seems like a perfectly normal vampire thing to do, but Edward doesn't want to let him, which seems less like a perfectly normal vampire thing to do. Bella says she'd rather die than be away from Edward, and suddenly I get extremely worried about the impressionable 12-year-olds who love this movie. To any 12-year-old Twilight fans reading this article, please don't die because the cute boy at school can run fast and kicks apples, he is a weird boy.

Hey, Blond Vamp and Edward are fighting! I didn't know this movie had fighting, that's neat. I thought it was about white people fucking, and some of them happen to be vampires but it's not a big deal. The trailer ends with Edward telling Bella, "You are my life now."

What I Think It's About

This trailer does a pretty good job of telling absolutely everything that's going to happen in the movie. Edward and Bella meet and fall in love based on their mutual appreciation of paleness and keeping your mouth open all the time, and then a bad vampire shows up and Edward has to kill him, and everyone's fine with it.

2
Twilight 2: Twi Harder

What We See in the Trailer

This trailer has 13 million views? Jesus. You ever feel like the world isn't yours anymore? I feel like the world isn't mine anymore. Anyway, this trailer ALSO begins with a slow pan over the natural world (the ocean this time instead of clouds), followed by a shot of a car. That's a very specific stylistic decision, but whatever.

Edward and Bella are a couple, so I guess Edward murdered that blond guy from the first movie. Bella says she loves Edward, and he says, "You're my only reason to stay alive," which fuck this is a creepy relationship. Then Edward and some vampire friends throw a birthday party for Bella.

This is just me polling the audience, but do normal people always have lots of candles? I don't think I'll ever own or want to own as many candles as fancy people in movies and TV shows. I see it all the time -- whenever someone's trying to be spontaneous and romantic, they light like a hundred fuckin' little white candles. I have just enough candles to survive if the power goes out for a while, no more, no less. Anyway, the vampires make a nice cake for Bella, who jokes, "Why'd you make such a nice cake; you guys don't even eat!" Feels like a bold joke to make when, in fact, historically vampires eat stupid little white girls, but that's fine. Tease away, Bella.

Right on cue, Bella gets a paper cut. We know this because she is holding paper and then winces and drops it and then she says, "Ow. Paper cut." Just like a human. The blood from her fingers drives one of the other vampires crazy, and to protect her, Edward shoves her as hard as he possibly can, and then he fights the other vampire.

Bella was really hurt from Edward's aggressive shove, but she seems over it. She says that what happened with the blood-hungry vampire (whose name is Jasper, of all things) was "nothing." Edward is so upset with how he handled the situation that he tells Bella he's leaving and she'll never see him again, and I don't understand a goddamn bit of anything.


"I'm really sorry I saved you from that vampire. To make sure it never happens again, I'M GOING TO KILL MYSELF."

I don't want to keep harping on this, but Spider-Man ALSO left the girl he loved to protect her. When Spider-Man did it, he just walked away, leaving Mary Jane to live her own life as an actress in New York. When Edward left Bella, he literally left her in the middle of the woods.

I don't bring this up because I'm obsessed with Spider-Man. Bella brought it up first. She made this happen.

Bella meets the first non-white person I've seen, who tells Bella he'll protect her, and then he immediately tries to eat her. That's actually what happens. He says, "I'll protect you, but I can't help myself, you're so mouth-watering." Just as quick as that. He's about to kill Bella, because he is also some kind of monster, when he notices something in the distance.

It's a shirtless guy! But not just any shirtless guy -- the shirtless guy who's in lots of movies now even though he's very bland indeed!

Hey, shirtless guy's magic, too! He has the ability to turn into a distractingly-terrible-looking-CGI-wolf whenever he wants!

I'd say he was a werewolf, but werewolves don't just turn into large dogs; they turn into monsters, and that only happens during a full moon, so something else must be going on here. Anyway that's the end of the trailer.

What I Think It's About

Things are great with Edward and Bella until they're not, and then Edward fucks off for a while. Bella, who claimed she'd rather die than be without Edward, decides that's a crazy thing to do, and she decides to start dating the handsome bland guy who can turn into a wolf. The rest of this movie is about those two falling in love while he protects her. It's just like the first movie, except now it's a love story between Bella and Shirtless Guy, and instead of them having a Blond Guy as the bad guy, they have the Dreadlocked Black Guy. All fight scenes will likely involve a painful amount of bad CGI.

Continue Reading Below

3
Twilight 3: Twi, Darkman, Twi

What We See in the Trailer

19 million views for that trailer? Man.

This trailer also starts with a slow pan over the natural world. Mountains instead of clouds or the ocean this time. No cars, though. Progress, I guess.

We hear Edward's voice, so I guess he got tired of fucking off and came back. Edward and Bella stand in a field and he promises to love her every moment, forever. Is this how teen girls want to be talked to? Someone should fix teen girls. Suddenly, plot!

A shadowy organization headed by Dakota Fanning (really? She's in this? Huh.) confronts Edward. She's mad that Bella is still human, which is understandable -- I'm mad, too. Dakota mentions what I think is called "The Vulturey," and I'm assuming that's her club (and also an obvious attempt to force more Spider-Man comparisons, as the Vulture is a popular Spider-Man villain. It's not going to work, Movie, you will never be as cool, bold and funky as Spider-Man).

"The Vulturey does not give second chances," Dakota warns, and now I'm worried that maybe the Vulturey is a person, and not a club. Bella wants Edward to turn her into a vampire, but he doesn't want that life for her, because "every few decades, everyone [she] know[s] will be dead," and I don't give a shit.

We see shots of Bella hugging people and I don't give a shit, and then later some other bullshit happens and, if you can believe it, I don't give a shit about that either.

Although, hey, wow, what a dumb-looking guy. Dumb-looking Shirtless Guy says to Bella, "I'm in love with you, and I want you to pick me instead of him," because this movie's screenwriter graduated from the Characters Explicitly Saying What They Want and Are Feeling at Any Given Moment School of Screenwriting (I think the guys who write The Walking Dead TV show teach there). After Shirtless Guy gives Bella her ultimatum, she wears an expression that can only be described as "I haven't seen the new pages of the script yet and no one told me how to react to this news."


"I am aware that sounds are coming from your mouth."

People talk quietly for a little bit longer, and then Bella says, "Edward ... she found us." And then we learn that "she" is the live-action version of the chick from Brave.

I have now decided that that chick is the Vulturey. Maybe it's because she's here to kill Edward. Like, vultures circle things that are near death, and Edward, as a casual vampire, is sort of dead, so she's here to be all vulture-y and ... eat him?

Edward says he'll protect Bella, and Shirtless Guy says he will fight for her until her heart stops beating. Tween girls: Stay away from guys who say stuff like that to you in high school, they are not good guys!

What I Think It's About

Whooooooooo caaaaaaares?

4
The Twilight Saga, Part 4 (of 4), Part 1 (of 2)

What We See in the Trailer

BOOM! Slow pan over shots of a lake.

Oh, hey, there's going to be a wedding. Bella and Edward are going to get married, and Bella's hanging out with her dad, who has black hair and a mustache, because that's what unimaginative writers think all dads look like.

Shirtless Guy is dancing with Bella at her wedding, because he's a dick, I guess. He says, "This is how I'll remember you: pink cheeks, heartbeat." Take it easy, Casanova!


"No matter what, you'll always be the girl with blood and functioning arteries to me."

Bella continues to wear facial expressions that baffle me, unless a thing about her character is that she's always pooping, in which case she is nailing it.


Poooooop.

Bella and Edward drive away and move into a giant house and then bone in it and it's really great for them. So great that Edward breaks part of the house while doing it.

Is Bella still in high school at this point? How did they afford such a nice house? Does Edward have a job? Doing what? Vampire stuff? Why would he let hard fucking ruin such a nice house? I don't understand anything. To distract me from all of my very reasonable questions, the movie makes Bella immediately pregnant.

We learn from a blond guy who isn't that first blond guy who we hate that the fetus isn't compatible with Bella's body, which, holy shit, why do kids like these books? The baby is apparently crushing Bella from the inside out, and Edward's really mad about this. Shirtless Guy is mad at Edward for making Bella pregnant, which seems unfair on Shirtless Guy's part, and also all of Shirtless Guy's wolf friends are mad, too, and they want to destroy Bella. For being pregnant, I guess. Is the stance of this movie that you shouldn't have sex even after you're married? This poor, boring girl is getting punished for finally having sex and she didn't even break a nice house while doing it.

Bella says, "You have to accept what is," and Edward says, "You've given me no choice," because screenwriting is whatever.

...

I swear I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, but let's consider the comic Spider-Man: Reign, a four-issue Spider-Man story set 30 years into the future (where Spider-Man is old and retired). In this very dark story, we learn that Mary Jane, the love of Peter's life, died as a result of having sex with Peter. MJ couldn't handle the radiation in Peter's ... fluids, so she died after sex-related complications. That death was meaningful, because it perfectly fits in with the essence of Peter Parker and one of the major themes of Spider-Man: guilt. Parker becomes Spider-Man because he feels guilty after his uncle's death, he pushes people away because he feels guilty after Gwen Stacy's death, and then he eventually accidentally kills Mary Jane and, of course, feels guilty after that. It's meaningful and important and perfect for the character.

I'm saying that Spider-Man already did the "supernatural guy has sex with normal chick and it's disastrous" storyline, and it was more appropriate and poignant and handled much better. Because in Reign, Mary Jane stayed dead, and in Twilight, I'm assuming that Bella is either going to survive childbirth or become a vampire, making the entire "I killed the love of my life by fucking too good!" plot completely meaningless.

Anyway, this fucking movie.

The wolf pack (minus Shirtless Guy) is coming for Bella, which implies a longstanding werewolf/vampire rivalry that literally hasn't been mentioned in any of the other trailers. Next, we see the only person in this entire franchise who actually looks like a vampire.

The trailer ends with a bunch of people running around while Bella attempts to give birth in the middle of the fancy house.

What I Think It's About

Edward and Bella fuck and it's great until it's bad, and then everyone's mad at everyone. This is Part 1 of a two-part finale, and unless Part 2 is all about how dead Bella is, I'm assuming she survives childbirth. Someone probably figures out "Hey let's just make her a vampire," and then they make her a vampire, and then everyone's a vampire, which makes the wolves more or less angry, I'm not really sure. Shirtless Guy will either die heroically or end up with one of the other minor characters. Dakota Fanning? Is she too young?

Anyway Bella fails out of high school the end.



Daniel O'Brien is Cracked.com's senior writer (ladies) and had a lot more fun pretending to know what was going on in the Harry Potter movies (Hermione). BUT the movie he's most excited about is Kill Me Now!, a teen-sex-horror-comedy by Those Aren't Muskets! featuring a TON of familiar Cracked faces. Go here to find out how to bring the movie to your town and make money doing it.

For more from Dan, check out 6 Harry Potter Films According to Someone Who Never Saw Them and If 'Twilight' Was About Dragons (And Contained More Fisting).

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