Since damn near everything that opens in wide release these is either a sequel or a remake, and since I feel some obligation to at least sample anything that qualifies as a "cultural phenomenon," whether or not I like it, I usually find myself hoping for the best from franchises that haven't much impressed me in the past. One reason for optimism – or at least for less existential dread – about the 2010 release schedule is that a number of thus far middling-to-terrible franchises appear to have been taken over by obviously talented filmmakers who stand a chance of making this year's installments of their respective series at least tolerable. Certainly any doubts I had about whether I was going to watch these latest franchise entries disappeared once I found out who was directing them.
The franchise: Twilight. So far, Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown) and Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass) have delivered two dull-as-nails installments of this wuss-vampire franchise, though Weitz's New Moon did at least appear to pick up some steam as a teen soap opera, if not (at all) as a thriller or a horror flick.