Tags: Twilight | Vampire-Style | Traditional | Values | Tom Cruise | Joe Biden | Comic Book Convention

'Twilight' - Big on Vampire-Style Traditional Values

By James Hirsen
Wednesday, 30 Jun 2010 02:37 AM More Posts by James Hirsen

The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

A Newsmax Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Tom Cruise’s ‘Knight and Day’ — Non-comeback?
2. Joe Biden Heads to Left Coast to Boost Boxer
3. Comic Book Convention Is Big Draw for Hollywood Honchos
4. ‘Twilight’ — Big on Vampire-Style Traditional Values

1. Tom Cruise’s ‘Knight and Day’ — Non-comeback?

“Knight and Day” had been referred to in the industry as the “Tom Cruise comeback.”

But the movie, which features Cameron Diaz alongside Cruise, has experienced a disappointing debut weekend at the box office.

It landed in third place, bringing in only $20.5 million for its three-day weekend take.

In contrast, the first and second place films respectively were “Toy Story 3,” the summer masterpiece that took in $59 million and Adam Sandler's “Grown Ups,” which tickled 41 million bucks out of young and young-at-heart audiences.

Cruise has had an amazing career, which has been punctuated with consistently sizable box-office receipts.

But the $100 million mark domestically has eluded him ever since “Mission: Impossible III” came out in 2006.

Cruise’s last outing had him miscast as an eye-patch wearing Nazi in “Valkyrie.” And although the flick had a similar box-office debut to “Knight and Day,” it differed with respect to its budget, which was considerably lower for a Cruise film (estimated at $75 million). Box-office expectations for the movie were also lower.

In contrast, “Knight and Day” had a larger budget, an A-list co-star, plenty of action and scads of special effects. And box-office expectations were high.

Thanks to examples like this and others, though, the trend in movies looks to be less about stars and more about franchises, sequels, and remakes.

2. Joe Biden Heads to Left Coast to Boost Boxer

Fresh off the news cycle on the command change in Afghanistan, Vice President Joe Biden is set to jet off to Los Angeles for a Hollywood fundraiser to help out the increasingly vulnerable Sen. Barbara Boxer in her re-election bid.

Last fall Biden tried to raise cash for Boxer at the home of food mogul and prominent Dem donor Ron Burkle.

President Obama was also recently on the left coast with the same goal in mind, to shake the Hollywood money tree for California’s empty pantsuit.

The upcoming Biden-Boxer bash is scheduled to be held in July at the Bel Air home of Thomas E. Rothman, CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.

To hobnob with assembled glitterati, it’ll cost you $1,500 per person. And if you want to pose for a picture with the senator or the veep, you’ll have to shell out $2,500 per person.

In typical liberal hypocrisy-style, the best seats in the house are reserved for those who fork over 25 grand.

Boxer’s GOP rival, Carly Fiorina, is rumored to be contemplating besting Barbara by holding a roast beef sandwich soiree with tea.

3. Comic Book Convention Is Big Draw for Hollywood Honchos

Would studio execs, directors, and producers go all the way out to San Diego to speak to 100,000 or so comic book fans? You betcha.

Comic books are the new source material for what the industry calls “tent poles,” i.e., big-budget spring and summer blockbusters that lead to sequels like the “Superman,” “Batman,” and “Spider-Man” flicks.

Hollywood is paying close attention as the Comic-Con International Convention opens this July in San Diego.

Participants of Comic-Con dress up as their favorite characters and trade comic book, science fiction, and fantasy memorabilia.

They’re not exactly representative of the majority of the film-going public. But in the age of digital social networking, they’re enthusiasts and aficionados that can be integral in creating the much sought after buzz.

At the convention, Disney will tout “Tron: Legacy,” an upcoming, although belated, 3-D film sequel.

DreamWorks Animation and Paramount plan to screen a Will Ferrell-Brad Pitt animated superhero send-up called “Megamind.”

Warner Brothers will promo “Green Lantern,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and “Sucker Punch,” a new fantasy film that features “High School Musical” star Vanessa Hudgens.

Lionsgate is bringing “The Expendables,” an action hero extravaganza starring Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Jet Li, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The studio’s timing is perfect. “The Expendables” opens this summer on Aug. 13, shortly after the conclusion of the convention, so word of mouth generated in San Diego could be piquing just in time for the debut weekend.

4. ‘Twilight’ — Big on Vampire-Style Traditional Values

“Eclipse,” the latest installment in the phenomenal “Twilight” series, is generating Internet tweets and posts from fans that can’t wait to see the parade of new movie icons that appear in the franchise.

Stephenie Meyer, a Mormon, wrote the best-selling novels, which were transformed into screenplays that have captured the imagination of tweens, teens, and even adults.

A number of critics, however, have expressed discomfort with some of the values that are found in the “Twilight” stories.

Bella’s marriage to Edward has traditional romantic aspects, particularly when it comes to the notion of nuptials lasting forever. She stays away from alcohol and cigarettes and also chooses to avoid coffee and tea, just like the author who created her.

When abortion is suggested because Bella’s child is half vamp, she summarily rejects the idea.

She often engages in traditional domestic roles such as preparing meals and cleaning, which undoubtedly tweaks feminist extremists. Perhaps the most vexing to the “Twilight” critics, though, is the fact that the main characters, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), have exercised a form of cinematic abstinence through three movies.

At the “Eclipse” premiere, Pattinson spoke to E! about Edward’s restraint. When asked whether his character’s self-control is relatable to guys his age, Pattinson answered, “I hope so.”

He said he wouldn’t know for sure because he didn't really attend a normal high school. “I went to a very romantic high school,” the actor said.

Underscoring the abstinence theme depicted in the “Twilight” films, Ashley Greene, who portrays Alice Cullen in the film said, “I think that's the positive impact and positive message our film has: to teach girls there are guys that will wait for you, and there are guys that will respect you.”

Kellan Lutz, who plays Emmett Cullen, thinks that self-control and a special kind of waiting are behaviors that are coming back. “The world has gone kind of corrupt,” Lutz said. “I remember from my day, I had twin brothers in high school — all those drugs are around, what are kids doing these days, and other things, sexual experiences. In reading these books, my sisters really stay true to themselves and their feelings and don't just go off of lust, but love, and holding out.”

Lutz added, “It's really cool.”

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood A Newsmax Report Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Tom Cruise s Knight and Day Non-comeback? 2. Joe Biden Heads to Left Coast to Boost Boxer 3. Comic Book Convention Is Big Draw for Hollywood...
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