tb-two* photo galleries
Well, for one thing, it's the coolest high school newspaper in all the land. Watch our video and find out more.
Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY LOUIE CASTILLO, Clearwater Central Catholic High
I took my grandfather to see The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. No, it wasn’t revenge for him forgetting my birthday or anything, Grandpa is the birthday-meister. No, the reason I escorted him to the film was purely scientific. Grandpa had never heard of the Twilight series and is in an age group that automatically pictures Sean Connery as James Bond and remembers the night he took Grandma to see the original Godfather — down to the spaghetti dinner they had at Tina’s Italian Restaurant beforehand — as if it were yesterday.
In the name of science, I wanted to see if he could help answer this question: If someone without any prior knowledge of the storyline or Bella and Edward’s love affair or how vampires have infiltrated today’s teen society goes to see Breaking Dawn Part 2, what would he think?
The test subject, Grandpa Bill, 84, is never scared of saying what’s on his mind. Grandpa, the perfect Guinea Pig.
The reason the test subject needed to be a non-teen was so that he didn’t have the bias of our age group already loaded into him. Though I may sound like I’m stereotyping, to an extent it’s true. Boys 14-18 are automatically wary of movies that girls 14-18 tend to like; revolutionary events such as Dear John, A Cinderella Story, and most significantly, The Notebook, have instilled this fear into most boys.
My grandpa, having no knowledge of such movies, heartily agreed to see Breaking Dawn Part 2, a movie he assumed was going to be a horror film because it was “That Vampire Movie.”
We entered the movie theater, and my grandpa was already being his PUNny self.
“Hey Lou, I’ve only known three vampires in my life — Count Dracula, and the Kelley twins!”
The joke, which brought a smile to my face, did nothing for the two girls we sat next to.
Both were the epitome of female Twilight fandom. Both wore team Edward/Jacob shirts, and you could definitely tell this wasn’t their first time seeing the movie (more like the seventh, as evident by their incessant quoting of the movie, during the movie).
They were also Twilight snobs. Upon seeing my “date,” they scoffed haughtily, as if to say, “Who is this blasphemer who dares enter the sacred hall of Cullen, Swan and Black?”
In some ways my grandpa proved them right. He has the absolute inability to whisper and would ask me questions on the backstory of the movie.
“So Lou, the ugly, sissy one, um, Edward, is he a vampire?”
The insulted gasp of our neighbors was hilarious music to my ears.
I must admit I started to get sucked into the story, especially in the final fight scene. I was skeptical of my grandpa’s interest, though. He appeared interested, but you couldn’t tell for sure.
After the final credits rolled and the last tears were wiped from our neighbors’ eyes, we walked to the car. Grandpa was the first to speak.
“Well, that was an experience,” he said. “I’m not sure I got it.”
For the first three-quarters of the movie, he said, he was not moved at all by the story. It was “weird, slow and repetitive, and it was unexpected that the male leads were so . . . sissy; well, I guess Jacob Black wasn’t.’’
Grandpa, child of the Great Depression, also thought of dollars and cents.
“My goodness, the money they must’ve spent,” he said. “But you see where the cost went, and visually it was divine. The scenery was really deee-vine,” he said.
The Louisiana and Canada film locations provided “some of the greatest cinematic photography I’ve ever seen,’’ he said. “However, it’s just such a shame it had to be thrown into such a peculiar story.”
He was also captivated by the beautiful female actors, although one almost made him blow his top. Casey LaBow, who plays Kate Denali, had obviously gone through extensive plastic surgery.
“Nothing angers me more than when beautiful women do things to the way they look and end up looking like fish!” he said. “That alone strained the movie experience for me.”
The last quarter of the movie was a little different, though.
It was here, Grandpa said, he found himself caught up in the story. In the final fight scene he rooted for Bella, Edward and Renesmee. “As a father, I found myself rooting for Edward’s family, even though I really didn’t like him.”
It was the classic good vs. bad scenario that made it easy to get into the movie, he said. “And the captivating special effects helped, too.’’
After seeing the movie, Grandpa didn’t write me out of the will. Breaking Dawn — Part 2 wasn’t awful but “just wasn’t that good. I am surprised so many people are interested in this kind of vampire thing,” he said.
A pleasurable, mellow, pre-Thanksgiving afternoon seeing a flick with my cool Grandpa Bill, now an admitted member of Team Jacob. “I got to say, Edward was too sissy. I liked Jacob. Yep. He was the better of the two.”
Next up: Teaching Grandpa Gangnam Style. He’d be good at it, I know. I’ve seen the dude do the Charleston.