Host Haste

MovieBob

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Host Haste

This week, MovieBob discusses how some of the criticism aimed at Stephanie Meyer for the Twilight series may go over the line.

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bearlotz

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One can only imagine what these same projectionists will make of The Host, which is yet another instance of an impressively novel, creative reworking of the alien invasion template
The "Soul" aliens are basically the Yeerks from the Animorphs series. I'm pretty sure there was even a book in that series where one of the main characters gets possessed, learns to cooperate with her parasite, and eventually parts with it on reasonable terms. I'm not sure "novel" is what I'd go with to describe the story of The Host, maybe "an underutilized trope" or something similar.
 

MovieBob

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I get the feeling that the "art critics" judging "outside art" as Bob puts it in this article, might actually be absolutely correct, but that fact is drowned out by it being seemingly blind hate.
 

Psykoma

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I'm going to see the movie, like I saw all the twilight books, because I'm a sad, lonely and most of all, extremely bored person.
And I doubt I'll enjoy it much.


But have to say
Peggy Hill's steel sculpture of a robot made of propane tanks gets purchased by a Dallas art dealer. Peggy actually worked hard on the piece and was trying very consciously to make "real" art, and thus was devastated to learn that the dealer was featuring her as an Outsider Artist - pitching her to the gallery crowd as a naive "hillbilly housewife" (as evidenced by the "primitiveness" of her work) when in reality she's a reasonably intelligent schoolteacher.
I never really got the impression of 'intelligent' from peggy while watching that show. Was I the only one?
 

Uratoh

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Psykoma said:
I never really got the impression of 'intelligent' from peggy while watching that show. Was I the only one?
Eh...she's not STUPID, she does know enough to keep her teacher credentials up. She does not, however, know how to speak Spanish, no matter what she may think, and she is *VERY* naive.

Side note, does 'naive' feel like it should be 'naieve' to anyone else?
 

Callate

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I don't know... When an author has a body of work that all seems to incorporate similar themes, how can one not start wondering about the author's issues? I mean, yeah, the whole "armchair psychiatrist" thing gets old, and people are perhaps more than a little glib and flippant when it comes to presuming to make deep, piercing insights about the people behind works of different media. But the whole thing kind of circles in on itself in ways that are pretty disturbing on their own: are the observers making assumptions about Meyer's issues with violence and sexuality and gender roles because of their own deep-seated antagonisms with certain traditional assumptions that come from their own upbringing, etc., etc. And are people uncomfortable with that because of various characteristics of the target of the examination- Meyer is a woman, Meyer is a Mormon, Meyer is a stay-at home mom- while they're all too comfortable assuming things about issues like racism, classism, or misogyny in the work of targets that aren't afforded a degree of protection by similar characteristics?
 

dubious_wolf

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So your saying hate the game not the player?
Bob that goes against everything society has ever told me.
 

itsthesheppy

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Even though my tastes and opinions don't always align with his, I have to respect Bob for his rigorous self-examination and quest for personal betterment.
 

Falseprophet

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I understand that sometimes something strikes you as so bad, you can't help but nitpick and tear it apart on every level. And then I also remember one of Film Critic Hulk's essays about how a lay audience can realize a work is bad, but the majority don't really have the knowledge or training to really explain or understand the fundamental reasons why it was bad, and so end up harping on a superficial things they'd probably forgive in a better work.

I think the argument is that if you scratch deeply enough, you can plainly see all art and fiction is artifice and illusion, and all of it has some plot holes, or inconsistent characterization, or factual errors, etc. In works that "work", you bother your enjoyment [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FridgeLogic]. But in works that fail fundamentally, almost every little thing will become a glaring flaw.

With regards to Twilight, I have no problems with people bringing up the stupid characters, the plots where nothing happens, the sexual politics, etc. I get annoyed when people start arguing "vampires and werewolves don't work that way", as if zoologists have observed these fictional creatures in their natural state and made broad conclusions about them. I get this from the vampire LARPers I used to hang out with, many of whom perfectly accept that vampires from different fictional universes almost never work exactly the same, but for some reason Twilight is the one singled out for this.

CAPTCHA: It is different.

You're damn right, Captcha!
 

MovieBob

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Falseprophet said:
I understand that sometimes something strikes you as so bad, you can't help but nitpick and tear it apart on every level. And then I also remember one of Film Critic Hulk's essays about how a lay audience can realize a work is bad, but the majority don't really have the knowledge or training to really explain or understand the fundamental reasons why it was bad, and so end up harping on a superficial things they'd probably forgive in a better work.

I think the argument is that if you scratch deeply enough, you can plainly see all art and fiction is artifice and illusion, and all of it has some plot holes, or inconsistent characterization, or factual errors, etc. In works that "work", you bother your enjoyment [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FridgeLogic]. But in works that fail fundamentally, almost every little thing will become a glaring flaw.

With regards to Twilight, I have no problems with people bringing up the stupid characters, the plots where nothing happens, the sexual politics, etc. I get annoyed when people start arguing "vampires and werewolves don't work that way", as if zoologists have observed these fictional creatures in their natural state and made broad conclusions about them. I get this from the vampire LARPers I used to hang out with, many of whom perfectly accept that vampires from different fictional universes almost never work exactly the same, but for some reason Twilight is the one singled out for this.

CAPTCHA: It is different.

You're damn right, Captcha!
Are you sure you are not mixing up "vampires don't work that way" with "vampires shouldn't work that way" in these arguments? Because... yeah, vampires and werewolves should not be such wimpy crybabies, they are monsters damnit.
 

Chaos999

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This is why I mostly hate critics. If someone makes millions with books and movies there has to be something about them that people like.
The first movie I liked the second was not that good, but still better than a lot of movies I?ve seen and I saw many. And by many I?m probably in your category. Anyway, the third I haven?t seen it yet. My critic isn?t only about Twilight but about movies which make many million, but critics still hate them.
But let?s get to the point. No matter what anyone says if that many people were paying for a third movie. Then they had to like the others and no matter how you turn it, this is art. Even if it goes against everything that defines art and even if every critic in the world hates it. In the end that?s their problem because it has to do something right or so many people wouldn?t watch it.
I understand that critics should present a deeper knowledge about the material, the acting and the presentation of movies. But like all art rules don?t apply to it. And most critics judge by predetermined rules. But art cannot be judged.
I don?t say you have to like it but as a critic you have to accept it as art even if you don?t understand it or like it.
(The last sentence made me laugh. I hope you understand why :) )
And by your statements I am happy that you slowly get to understand this.

If there are many big errors in my text let them be. My written English is still bad:)
 

Tireseas_v1legacy

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bearlotz said:
One can only imagine what these same projectionists will make of The Host, which is yet another instance of an impressively novel, creative reworking of the alien invasion template
The "Soul" aliens are basically the Yeerks from the Animorphs series. I'm pretty sure there was even a book in that series where one of the main characters gets possessed, learns to cooperate with her parasite, and eventually parts with it on reasonable terms. I'm not sure "novel" is what I'd go with to describe the story of The Host, maybe "an underutilized trope" or something similar.
batti said:
wait, why does the plot of The Host strangely sound like Parasyte?
Huh, I pegged it as a "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" if-they-won fan fiction...
 

MovieBob

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Chaos999 said:
This is why I mostly hate critics. If someone makes millions with books and movies there has to be something about them that people like.
The first movie I liked the second was not that good, but still better than a lot of movies I?ve seen and I saw many. And by many I?m probably in your category. Anyway, the third I haven?t seen it yet. My critic isn?t only about Twilight but about movies which make many million, but critics still hate them.
But let?s get to the point. No matter what anyone says if that many people were paying for a third movie. Then they had to like the others and no matter how you turn it, this is art. Even if it goes against everything that defines art and even if every critic in the world hates it. In the end that?s their problem because it has to do something right or so many people wouldn?t watch it.
I understand that critics should present a deeper knowledge about the material, the acting and the presentation of movies. But like all art rules don?t apply to it. And most critics judge by predetermined rules. But art cannot be judged.
I don?t say you have to like it but as a critic you have to accept it as art even if you don?t understand it or like it.
(The last sentence made me laugh. I hope you understand why :) )
And by your statements I am happy that you slowly get to understand this.

If there are many big errors in my text let them be. My written English is still bad:)
That argument does not hold up, millions saw the second and third Transformer movies and they are objectively god awful.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

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I don't personally dislike Meyer more than i dislike, say, Michael Bay. She wrote some bad books that shouldn't have become successful that were adapted into some slightly better but still pretty bad movies that shouldn't have been sucessful either. But Meyer is not the problem.

Smarter people than me have to sort out why a book with such negative values als Twilight got so popular but Meyer is not to blame. Don't shoot the messenger.
 

Inquisitor Slayde

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So, uh, is the take away here 'Stop being so mean to Stephanie Meyer'?

Yes, personal attacks are out of line. Yes, the line of thought that she's 'just a housewife' and therefore too stupid to see what she's doing is objectionable, but I think she'll be fine, she can't hear us yelling at her over the sound of her bank account filling up.

Her writing is terrible, her impact on our culture is almost entirely negative (I'll give you the possibility that her books might get more people reading who may then go on to less unpleasant fare) and, while I don't think it's fair to blame her directly for it, the fanaticism with which some of her readers attach to an extremely unhealthy relationship is downright disturbing.

I don't want to get into a whole 'thing' but she and her writing are absolutely deserving of the criticism they get.
 

Entitled

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bearlotz said:
The "Soul" aliens are basically the Yeerks from the Animorphs series.
batti said:
wait, why does the plot of The Host strangely sound like Parasyte?
The Gentleman said:
Huh, I pegged it as a "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" if-they-won fan fiction...
And the Goa'uld from Stargate.

The body-snacher parasite alien concept is not original, but it's usage here as a protagonist, and the setting after the human defeat, ARE very unique takes on the trope.

It really leads to the thought that Meyer wrote it after first hearing about the concept, before learning more details about how the subgenre usually follows, so she simply didn't know that she is doing anything unusual by making the alien the POV protagonist or by using it for a four-person-three-body love triangle.

Reminds me of Peter Molyneux a bit, the way he has no idea about popular modern genres, so he makes games that are a mix of incredibly basic tropes with weirdly unpredictable applications.