Archive for the ‘Robert Pattinson’ category

Rob Redux (as in Pattinson)? (Sorry–Can Resist.)

November 18, 2011


I am feeling tremendously guilty tonight.

This is, oddly, because of the opening of the new Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn I.

As long-term followers of this blog know, ages ago (make that about two years back), I was strangely (wildly) smitten by a combo of Robert Pattinson and Edward Cullen.

It was so weird–(make that pathetic)–the type of thing you don’t want anyone to know, and yet are also desperate to blather on about.

And I blathered–I blogged about Rob and Edward, bemoaned Robsten, bemoaned Jacob even more.  I became so–let’s stick with odd–that I even speculated at one point on whether Rob and Kristen would like jury duty.  (One of the few public activities in NYC where there are no cameras.)

And then, somehow, I was cured.  (It may have been seeing Twilight movies II and III.)

But, despite my antipathy for New Moon and Eclipse, I reviewed them on opening night.

I can’t even get myself to buy a ticket to Breaking Dawn, much less deliver the customary bad review.

(Or can I?)

Nope.  At least not tonight.


(But what about… next week…????)


December 15, 2010



I was thinking last night about past topics/obsessions of this blog.  Two came to mind:  Sarah Palin and Robert Pattinson (who, for the non-cognoscienti, plays Edward Cullen, star vampire, in the movies based on Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.)

So, what do Palin and Pattinson have in common?

  1. Big hair.
  2. Careers in which they act out the part of  ordinary Americans.   (Rob, of course, pretends to be a blood-sucking ordinary American, Sarah to be a non-money and celebrity-sucking ordinary American.)
  3. Close relationships with dark-haired teenage girls (or just past teenage), which have somehow augmented their celebrity.  (Okay, that one’s a bit silly.)
  4. Media vehicles that promote fantasy, the bare suppression (or not) of intense (seeming) passion, and (ahem) abstinence.  (Twilight/Fox).
  5. Fortunes that have been made from such media vehicles.
  6. Exuberant fans who do not seem to question what skeptics view as possible deficiencies–Rob’s acting, Sarah’s governing.   (Query–is it the hair?  Or the fantasy?)

Calling Robert Pattinson

October 4, 2010

Where Are You RPatz?

Oh where oh where oh where is Robert Pattinson when you need him?

It’s October (possibly only weeks before another Black Tuesday) and I’m desperate for some escapism–mind candy, serial silliness, possibly  believable fantasy.  (This is not the kind of fantasy that imagines that the people of this country will finally join ranks to take positive action over any of the 4 E’s – Education, Energy, the Environment and the Economy – this is something I can sink my teeth into.)

Oh Rob!  What I need is something…  anything… to take my mind away from the facts that winter is icumen in, another office Christmas party almost upon me, and, most mindboggling of all, another year, another decade, is beginning and I still haven’t finished virtually any of the projects that I thought I would surely have finished by the last decade.  (Make that millenium!)


Last October, you offered solace!  Smoulder! The image of a restrained, caring, wealthy vampire who would do just about anything for an outwardly clumsy and ordinary but secretly gifted and super sweet-smelling Everygirl.  (The kind we all are at heart.)   And, in the glare of you and Kristen and all those paparazzi, I could simply avoid all that work I promised myself I would do.

And now what?

Well, for one thing, you’ve cut your hair.

And, sorry, but now I’ve seen the movies.  (I don’t blame you.  Honestly, it’s the screenwriter, directors, producers–)

So what do I do?

Paul Krugman just doesn’t cut it.  (Seriously.)

I’m allergic to chocolate.

And forget about those silly Swedish books. Salander is sometimes fun,  but Kalle f–ing Blomquist?

I guess I’ll just have to get working.

(Lhude sing goddamn.)

On the Dark Side of Eclipse – What To Do When the Escapist Mind Candy Just Doesn’t Taste Sweet?

July 1, 2010

Feeling footloose and a bit depressed tonight, the night after seeing Twilight Saga Eclipse. Such a very unsatisfying dose of Pattinson!  (It occurs to me that perhaps there is no such thing as a satisfying dose of Pattinson.)  But really, in this last movie, he is not so much the vampire as the “Man”, not as in THE man, or macho man, or, even delectable or  wonderful man, but as in guard guy, grim reaper, stern authority figure, nay-sayer.  (On top of that, he always seems to have a head-ache.)

One thing that the overly-stressed do not need more of is the Man.  With a head-ache.

It’s especially unfortunate because one quality Pattinson seems to genuinely emanate in real life is a fairly generous self-deprecating sense of humor.  But there’s very little humor allowed him here.  A touch of snideness maybe.  No generosity.

In the meantime, Lautner—ugh.  (Sorry, Team Jacob.)  He seems like a friend of your son’s or brother’s who comes in and cleans out the fridge.  (Through consumption not Ajax.)   When I see him I just think about having to wash someone’s gym clothes.  I’m sure he’s a sweet person–he comes across as a sweet enough person–but talk about luck.

What makes some people successful and others not?  Being in the right time and place?  The ability to bulk up?  (I hope not.)

In any case, I’ve just about given up on Twilight franchise for secret (or not so secret) escapism.  This, I’m afraid, puts me at a bit of a loss on the pop culture/vampire or other superish male/female hero front.   Especially since I haven’t been able to make myself watch a single full True Blood episode; I don’t think I could stomach one of the Steig Larrson films; and I somehow doubt that Horatio Hornblower is going to catch on.

What to do when the mind candy just isn’t very sweet?  Will I have to write my own?   (It just might be easier to bulk up.)

Twilight Saga Eclipse – Embarrassing – Something To Learn From

July 1, 2010

Embarrassed Pattinson

I’m putting aside all this discussion of constitutional issues and the Second Amendment today and getting to something really important:  the new cinematic installment of the Twilight Saga – Eclipse.

And I’ll stop right here.  I can’t, with a straight face, call it really important.  With a straight face, all I can call it is really terrible.

The most fun part, in fact. was standing in line in the theater with two twenty-somethings who kept talking about how much they hoped that they would not run into anyone they knew, and which particular person they would least want to run into.

At the end of the movie, we all three walked away very very fast.

The problem, aside from idiotic dialogue, and visuals that, on individual shots, make the actors look incapacitated by angst or glum boredom, and group shots, as if they are on a fashion photo shoot, is that its makers disdain the basic material.  Yes, the books are goofy; yes, the writer is a Mormon; yes, a big feature in the plot is the maintenance of chastity before marriage; and yes, Edward is just too “good” to be true—yes, these factors are all pretty dumb and very uncool (as is a lot of the Twilight crowd),  but they are the givens; a big part of what made the books popular.

One can feel the director, David Slade, the script writer, Melissa Rosenberg, strain against these very uncool, unhip, givens; they seem embarrassed to be connected to a movie promoting them  (just as we, hip New Yorkers, were embarrassed to see it.)  (Although Slade and Rosenberg are, I’m sure, eager enough to make money from it.)

The exceptions here are perhaps Taylor Lautner who seems, sorry, clueless enough, not to mind the story, and still too thrilled by the fact that they kept him in to be disdainful of anything, and Billie Burke, who is just a good professional actor.  Okay, okay—I’m not going to blame Pattinson (who is given truly awful lines, and very little leeway to smile charmingly) or Stewart either.  It’s the Director and Screenwriter, who seem like the true teenagers here, mortified by their parent, i.e. their base storyline.

But a movie that doesn’t like itself is just not likeable.   To make a stupid, uncool, story work, you have to just go with the stupid, uncool flow, not try for a stupid cool flow.  (Otherwise, it just doesn’t make internal sense.)

Bringing this around to something that may be of more interest to followers of this blog:  it really is important, in pursuing any kind of artistic endeavor, to make a kind of peace with it, to let go of that edge of embarrassment that sometimes clouds one’s work and commitment.  If you find your work truly embarrassing (not because of modesty, but because of something deeper—because the work is it is too personal, too openly reflective of your goofy side, or the opposite, too blatantly commercial and not reflective of your goofy side), it will be very difficult for you to really push it to any kind of happy fruition.

Robert Pattinson, Stanley McChrystal, Judge Martin Feldman – I know which one I’d rather think about

June 22, 2010

Short-haired Rob

I suppose that today I could try to find something charitable to say about General Stanley  A. McChrystal, the general who blabbed his discontent with various top level administration figures to the Rolling Stone (of all places), or, perhaps, something diplomatic about Judge Martin L.C. Feldman, the judge blocking Obama’s moratorium on deep-water drilling.  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough energy to quash the cynicism, despair, and plain old irritation that each of these figures raises in me.

So instead I’m going to focus on a proper Rolling Stone subject and a cinematic (rather than environmental) vampire, and one of this blog’s traditionally favorite people – poor/lucky/hounded/sought-after Robert Pattinson.

I am responding here not to anything that Pattinson has done recently–gotten a hair cut!  Awkwardly kissed Kristen Stewart on stage!  Seriously—a hair cut?!–but to one of the few articles in the New York Times that isn’t seriously depressing me: “His Cross To Bear; Heartthrob Vampire.”

The article discusses Pattinson’s fatigue with all things Twilight, including (quite understandably) the fame and the fame surrounding the fame, the phenomenon and the phenomenon of the phenomenon. (Our media is so self-referential that attention is itself a huge story.)

Poor Pattinson reminds me of King Midas, except that everything he touches turns to Twilight –no, that’s not right – everything Twilight that he touches turns to gold.   And everyone wants gold, right?   Rob seems a bit unsure at this point.
And yet, grateful, always grateful.   (Unlike some Generals we could name.)

The Twilight success has theoretically given Rob freedom to do whatever he wants, whether or not it makes sense (like some judges), but because his other projects have not, thus far, been terribly successful, they supposedly risk tying him further to Twilight, causing him to be the guy who is only deemed successful as Edward Cullen.

I, for one (smitten and non-McChrystally loyal), don’t believe that.  The problem with Rob’s other projects has not been his performance, so much as a quirk in the overall project:  any movie in which a Brit, an Irishman, and an Aussie, sit down to discuss the New York Yankees is going to lack a certain credibility for U.S. viewers.  (Remember Me performed much better overseas.)

Still, Pattinson’s been working non-stop for the last few months.  Can all the other films counterbalance his identification with handsome vampires:  we’ll/I’ll see.  In the meantime, there’s always Eclipse coming out on June 30th.   Yes, it looks bloated, overproduced, schmaltzy, draggy, and his eyebrows are way too thick.

But at least he’s not threatening pelicans, nor talking trash.

Pattinson and Poetry

May 2, 2010

Comparative Hair - Billy Collins/Robert Pattinson

After a month of posting draft poems in honor of National Poetry Month, I have to say that there’s a certain payback to blogging about Robert Pattinson (the 23-or-4 year old star of the Twilight Saga movies).

The fact is that not that many people are interested in poetry, particularly the draft poems of an unknown blogger, while many many people are interested in Pattinson (as in gaga over, or contemptuous of). Sure, there are also a lot of people who are disinterested in Pattinson, but often disinterested in a way that borders on the self-righteously dismissive (e.g., a teeny teeny bit interested).

Lately, an important percentage of the fascination does not seem to be with Pattinson himself, as with the very interest he elicits (all those screaming girls.) He was recently named, for instance, one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Curiously, the commentator justifying this designation did not cite any particular example Rob sets, or influence he levers, so much as the fact that any information about Pattinson–public sighting or comment–is the immediate subject of a zillion tweets and retweets.

And why are people so interested in Rob? Okay, the looks—Nureyev cheekbones, tortured eyes, hair—this blog has already discussed those at length. More importantly, however, Pattinson is identified with a character (Twilight’s Edward Cullen) who is an escapist ideal—the perfect…oops! nearly perfect…oops! not quite man. Here Pattinson plays into a double fantasy of male perfection and vampirism, with each element vying for the most incredible. (Sorry, guys!)

Poetry is tremendously down to earth in comparison. A good poem tends to bring the reader more fully into the moment, or, at least, some moment, rather than out of it.   Even fantastical poems, such as those by Yeats or Keats or Robert Bly, deal in the real and human and very imperfect.

But people like perfect escapes. Which may be why poets, even those super popular poets, like Billy Collins, tend to earn much less than movie stars. That and the hair.

Subway Blog – St. Patrick’s Day/Ground Zero

March 17, 2010

Tassled Boot

St. Patrick’s Day.  Spring.  (Crocuses in the small park in front of my Battery Park City building.)

I work at home in the morning, so miss the main parade rush (usually bright green with hats), and go into the office late.   A small group of teenage girls stand beside me  on the platform with tight jeans tucked into knee-high boots, slightly wavy hair swooping across broad foreheads. Vague green (a dark shade on a shirt, or just eye shadow on a lid) is worn by the ones who look Irish, a brighter viridian on the girl who looks Italian.  “Like” is said frequently, and large slouchy purses are held protectively.

Their smiles slacken in the subway car as they become quickly aware that all seats are taken, mainly by very large men who are not giving them up.  They are not small girls, and there is only one small channel of grey plastic bench, which, after a minute or so (and a nod from one of the men),  I nab.

It’s amazing to me how men can take up so much space on the subway.  Even men who are not particularly large take up huge spans, their legs spread wide as a matter of course.  They never ever cross these legs, or even press them together.  (It may be a physical thing, but I always think it’s ego, ego stretching wide.)

The girls congregate by one of the poles, looking young, pale, and a bit subdued, under the fluorescents.   I want to shout out “Robert Pattinson”, to see if that would perk them up again.  But there is something about the way they hold their large purses which makes me think that they probably wouldn’t react (except to think I was nuts.  Hmmm….)

A friend at my office, male, who is completely immune to, and somewhat obtuse about, Pattinson’s charms assures me that the poor showing of Pattinson’s new film Remember Me is a sign that (i) Rob doesn’t really have it; and (ii) that the celebrity fixation of our culture is exaggerated.  (“People may look at little blogs about Pattinson,” he says contemptuously, “but they won’t shell out ten bucks.)

$12.75 in Manhattan.

Maybe he’s right.  I still think that the emphasis on 9/11 may have something to do with the poor showing of Remember Me. I walked by Ground Zero on the way to the subway today, before encountering the Irish/Italian girls on the subway.  I walk by Ground Zero every day, but today for the first time (perhaps because of the suddenly blue sky),  I realized that the site has turned into “Above Ground Zero”, or really “Above-Ground-By-A-Couple-Of-Stories-Zero.”

Big rust-colored girders are now extending into the air.  I know enough to recognize that the girders do not stand on the “footprint” of the old towers, but they are close enough.

My heart caught in my throat, my breath in my chest.  I was amazed, and embarrassed, that the sight of the girders almost brought on an asthma attack.  (I’m not someone who commonly has asthma attacks, but I was genuinely panting.)

I called my husband as I crossed Church Street.  He said something about pollen in the air.

“It’s not pollen; it started right here,” I insisted.

I told him finally the terrible feelings came because I didn’t like to feel like a target.  (As a non-New York City person, he doesn’t fully understand.)  I didn’t talk about the sadness that encompassed me.

But all of that was before the subway, before the Irish-looking, wavy-haired girls, and their Italian looking friend, before the possibly pregnant Hispanic woman just across from me on the train, who crooks her arm in her man’s arm, whose sweet smile is punctuated by braces and quick laughs.

Before too, the little girls on the platform as I get out, who wear green shamrock vests, and black and white polka-dotted dirndls, and white much-tassled cowboy boots.  They hold hands as they wait, behind their parents, for the next train, one of them tap dancing.

Further Spoiler Alert (“Remember Me”)

March 13, 2010

Continuing briefly with my Pattinson binge (and I promise I’ll stop soon), I’m happy to report that the sinking feeling I felt in my stomach when contemplating seeing the new movie Remember Me really did not need to be so pronounced.

I’ve seen it now and my stomach is okay.

Yes, it feels way too early (especially to a New Yorker) to see 9/11 used as a kind of stupid plot device.  (I guess some screen writers will go to any length to get family members to talk to each other.)

Yes, the movie does make New York out to be a horrible place, where violence not only breaks out on random street corners but also in board rooms,  bookstores, private school classrooms, and lower school slumber parties (not to mention in nearly everyone’s home.)   Oddly, the most peaceful place depicted in the movie is probably the jail cell where Rob a/k/a Tyler Hawkins winds up every once in a while.

And yes, Pattinson’s hair is on the flat side, and he looks beaten up for much of the film.

Still, well, Rob has a certain charm.  He is not embarrassing.  That’s a pretty low standard, and frankly, it’s also unfair, because really he’s better than “not embarrassing.”   He simply has, well, this certain charm, which is enlarged by an ability to project a kind of sweetness.   He’s extremely likeable.  (The camera loves him, but he is able to seem unself-conscious of his looks.)  This caring quality seems especially genuine in the scenes with his movie sister, Caroline (played by Ruby Jerins) who is winningly awkward and knowing at once.

Granted, all the characters in the movie are pretty typed.   They hardly need to open their mouths in order for us to know their parts.

And, granted, there is much that is difficult to swallow for even the most willing to suspend belief.  (If the sister lives in a town house in Greenwich Village, why are they always up at the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park?   How can those other little girls be so catty when Caroline is dropped off and picked up by Robert Pattinson?  How can New Yorkers with no clear lock on their door never ever get burglarized? )

One of the most refreshing  of these odd details is that Tyler (RPatz), the incipient young writer and diarist, always writes by hand in little crumpled notebooks.   The only computers shown are not in the NYU student centers or in student apartments, but in  his father’s corporate office.    Perhaps this is meant to show that the movie took place at an earlier time?   Unfortunately, that’s a point you’re not really allowed to forget.

Possible Spoiler Alert – “Remember Me” – Reasons For Sinking Feeling Pre-Ticket Purchase

March 12, 2010

As followers of this  blog know, I am an embarrassed fan of Robert Pattinson.  (It’s the smile, the eyes, the hair, the cheekbones, the….)  As a result, I have to,  I have to, get myself to his new film Remember Me, opening today.   Unfortunately, after reading a few reviews (mixed), I have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Here’s  why:

Reasons For Sinking Feeling Pre-Remember Me

1.  That Rob really will prove to be a not very good actor and I won’t be able to blame it on the Twilight scripts.   (Rob not a very good actor?  Does not compute.)

2.  That Rob’s hair will be flatter than Edward Cullen’s, and even though I thought Edward’s was ridiculous, I will somehow feel crest fallen. (Like the hair.)

3.  That the movie will be ponderous. (Likely.)

4.  That he’ll smoke cigarettes non-stop.  (Ugh.)

5.  That his American accent will make him seem dopey.  (Does it matter?)

6.  That the movie will have some kind of heavy-handed 9/11 ending–maybe the cop father of Emilie de Ravin is killed, maybe one of Emilie or Rob is killed–and that this will make me feel truly sick, upset, and manipulated, even as it will inevitably move me.  (This seems a strong possibility and is extremely worrisome.)

Oh well.   In the interest of not being a true spoiler, I will try not to let you know.