So I finally watched all the Twilight movies

When I was in high school, you were either fully obsessed with Twilight or vehemently against it. I definitely fell into the latter camp. At the time, I was fully invested in all things Harry Potter, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Twilight was supposed to be a cheap knockoff that only girls liked because they were in love with Edward Cullen. I had never read a single word from any of the four Twilight books, but I was convinced they were horrible. Bella was a boring protagonist who was a bad role model for young girls and Edward was a creepy stalker. That’s what I knew.

So needless to say, I completely ignored the Twilight movies when they came out in my high school and college years. I kept my focus on Harry Potter movies and the early days of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I did end up watching the original Twilight movie once (with my parents I think?) but it did not leave a lasting impression in my memory.

So what better to do during a global pandemic when movie theaters are shut down then finally sit down and watch the entire Twilight Saga? So that’s what I did. And they are NOT GOOD movies, but like… I get it?

Twilight is a spectacularly awkward movie. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are both good actors (now), but the material they had to work with was not flattering to either of them. Everyone seems uncomfortable the whole time and a lot of the performances are very wooden and boring. The script and dialogue are so dull and the directing and camera choices were actually kind of distracting. And then they decided to slap a weird blue/grey filter over the entire movie, which I guess is supposed to make everything look overcast and gloomy, but it’s so overwhelmingly blue that it’s weird. The only good scene is when they play baseball. 5/10.

I had vague ideas of what the plot of New Moon was about, but woah boy this movie was the worst. Thankfully, everything is no longer blue, though. Edward leaves and Bella just shuts down for three months. Taylor Lautner finally gets to be a character and the friendship between Bella and Jacob is cute at first, but then surprise! Jacob is a werewolf. And thus begins the world’s most boring, controlling and gaslighting love triangle. Bella spends half of the movie trying to almost kill herself to see these imagined glimpses of Edward. The movie spends its first 10 minutes hammering Romeo and Juliet down your throat and then halfway through you realize they did so because the plot literally turns into Romeo and Juliet. Edward thinks Bella killed herself, so he wants to die too, but Bella shows up (in Italy??) at the last minute to save him. The introduction of the Volturi is an interesting concept but seems weirdly out of place for the world that was set up in Twilight and they never really do anything. 4/10.

Eclipse actually has some decently interesting parts buried among the terrible love triangle of Bella, Edward and Jacob. That part of the movie was bad. Everything else actually kept me interested. Victoria, a villain who has just been hanging out for the past two movies, finally gets to do something and creates an army of newborn vampires to kill Bella because Edward killed Victoria’s vampire lover in the first movie. We also get backstory for Jasper and Rosalie, two of Edward’s adoptive siblings, and their stories are so much more interesting than literally anything that’s happened with Bella and Edward in three movies. The movie ends with a decently exciting battle between the newborn vampire army and the Cullens/werewolves. Oh yeah, Bella and Edward get engaged at some point either in this movie or New Moon, I can’t remember. Every movie ends with them in the same field of flowers so they all start to feel the same. 5/10.

Breaking Dawn followed in the footsteps of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and split the final book into two movies. Breaking Dawn, however, absolutely did not need to be two movies. Literally three things happen in Part 1 and it’s still two hours long. Bella and Edward get married and go on their honeymoon, Bella gets pregnant and has the baby in like two months, and Edward finally turns Bella into a vampire. That may sound like a lot, but trust me, it’s not. Also, Jacob still can’t take a hint, literally trying to get Bella to ditch Edward RIGHT AFTER THEY GOT MARRIED. 3/10.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens with Bella becoming a vampire and learning that Jacob has “imprinted” (i.e., fallen in love) with her NEWBORN BABY (who has been given the spectacularly awful name of Renesmee). Side note – this baby is the creepiest thing ever committed to film. She’s supposed to age rapidly, so they, like, CGI-ed a toddler’s face on an infant body?? Nightmare fuel. Anyway, the Volturi are still around and they’re upset about Bella and Edward’s child so they plan to come and kill her. The Cullens then spend about 30 minutes of the movie recruiting their own army and suddenly become the X-men? Apparently, all vampires have a special superpower. The Cullen army and the Volturi army meet and begin to have this massive battle. Some major characters are killed and at this point I’m actually invested in how this will turn out. But once it looks like the Cullens are going to win, the movie CUTS BACK TO BEFORE THE BATTLE STARTED. Alice, who’s special superpower is the ability to see possible futures, has shown the Volturi leader what WOULD HAVE HAPPENED if they stayed and fought. So the Volturi JUST LEAVE. I was so disappointed. But everyone gets their happily vampire after. 5/10.

The Twilight Saga is absolutely insane, but on some level I can now understand the love people have for these movies, whether they unironically enjoy them or they love to hate them. They’re modern cult classics.

A lot of the criticisms I have of the series still stand now that I’ve seen the movies. Edward and Jacob are both problematic and weirdly controlling of Bella, who is not really all that interesting in the first place. Charlie and Alice are the real MVPs of this series. I actually had a great time watching these movies. Will I ever watch them again? Probably not. But I can say that I’m glad I’ve finally seen them.

Best movies I’ve watched during quarantine (so far)

We’ve all been spending a lot of time at home lately as we protect ourselves and other from COVID-19. I’ve used a lot of my extra time at home to watch a lot of movies, especially ones that I haven’t had time to watch or have been on my list for a long time. Plus, some new releases are being sent directly to our homes now.

So here are some of the best movies I’ve watched over the past few months, including some iconic classics and new releases.  

My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away

When HBO Max launched during quarantine, one of their biggest selling points was the entire library of films from Studio Ghibli, the legendary Japanese animation company. I had never seen any of the Ghibli films, but everywhere I went online people said they were some of the best animated movies of all time, right up there with the best of Pixar and the Disney renaissance. So some of the first movies I watched on HBO Max were three of the most famous Studio Ghibli films: My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away.

And let me tell you: everyone was not lying when they said these movies are phenomenal. They’re gorgeous, full of creativity and adventure, and strangely comforting to watch. The soundtrack for each movie is a huge standout as well. Highly, highly recommend these three movies and I intend on making my way through the rest of the Studio Ghibli catalog.

Where to watch: HBO Max

Tom Hanks mini-thon: Big, That Thing You Do, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and A League of Their Own

For a couple of weeks during this quarantine, I went through a late 1980s-1990s Tom Hanks marathon. Hanks has been in so many iconic movies it’s hard to keep track of them all. Big is honestly so good mainly because of Hanks’ performance and that piano scene is truly something special. The only issue with the movie is the uncomfortable romantic relationship.

That Thing You Do was Hanks’ first time directing a movie and it is almost too much fun. If you don’t walk away from the movie with the title song stuck in your head then you weren’t paying enough attention. Hanks is great, but the true stars are the band members and a young Liv Tyler.

Was there a more dynamic duo in the 90s than Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? The pair cemented themselves in romantic comedy history by starring in You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. While both were highly enjoyable, I thought the premise of You’ve Got Mail was much better than Sleepless in Seattle. But you can’t deny the finale of Sleepless in Seattle is one of the most satisfying in movie history.

A League of Their Own had been on my list for a long time, mainly because of the iconic line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” This is probably the first time I’ve ever seen Hanks in an antagonistic role, but unsurprisingly he does a great job. But he’s not the focus of this movie. The women of the team are all so delightful and interesting that it’s almost impossible not to root for them. And the fact that it’s based on true events makes it even more resonant.

Where to watch: Big (rent on Apple or Amazon), That Thing You Do (HBO Max), You’ve Got Mail (HBO Max), Sleepless in Seattle (Netflix), A League of Their Own (rent on Apple or Amazon)


Recently, I’ve been using my quarantine time to educate myself on racial injustice and systemic racism. 13th is a documentary showing the history of the U.S. prison and legal system and how it has been disproportionately biased against Black Americans for decades. From the 13th amendment to Jim Crow laws to the War on Drugs and the 1994 crime bill, Black Americans have been consistently dehumanized and overly criminalized. 13th is powerful, haunting, and should be required viewing for everyone right now.

Where to watch: Netflix

Do the Right Thing

Another essential piece of my racial injustice education was Do the Right Thing. Spike Lee’s masterpiece was released in 1989 but tells an eerily relevant story that could have happened last week. It begins as a slice-of-life style movie wandering lazily between different areas of a Brooklyn community. But tensions boil under the surface throughout the movie until they erupt in a horrible but familiar tragedy.

Where to watch: rent on Apple or Amazon

The Sound of Music

Embarrassingly, I had never seen The Sound of Music until this year. Sure, I knew the general story and most of the iconic songs, but I had never sat through the full three-hour experience. And honestly, it’s pretty great. The story and characters are fun and the music is even better when heard in context (although I’m still not sure how “My Favorite Things” became a Christmas song). The final act does feel like it comes from an entirely different movie, but overall it’s easy to see why this is such an iconic piece of film history.

Where to watch: Disney+

Palm Springs

This new 2020 release is the latest in the long line of Groundhog Day-inspired movies. Palm Springs tweaks the formula so multiple people can get trapped in the same time loop together. Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti are SO GOOD together and their chemistry and the movie’s script make this such an effortlessly fun movie. Palm Springs also features a fantastic supporting cast and a wildly entertaining finale.

Where to watch: Hulu


Another embarrassing confession: I’ve never paid much attention to Jane Austen adaptations. I’ve never seen any Pride & Prejudice movie, although I did finally read the book a few years ago. But the trailers for the 2020 adaptation of Emma. (there’s a period in the title because it’s a ~period piece~) made it look so intriguing that I had to watch it. And I was definitely not disappointed. The humor in this movie is spectacular and it’s easy to see how much fun the cast had making this. I was particularly obsessed with the aesthetic, production design and cinematography of the movie.

Where to watch: rent on Apple or Amazon