For those of you who are wondering, Robert Pattinson is the English actor/model who plays Edward Cullen in the Twilight series. He was actually a relatively unknown actor before starring in the Twilight series, having mostly appeared in smaller, independent films. Thanks to the massive international success of the Twilight films, he has become a major player in Hollywood, and it is fairly clear that he will be playing a very prominent role in the coming years. In the meantime, we will enjoy watching his portrayal of Edward Cullen.

The Riddler’s Persistence

One of the things that makes the Twilight series so fascinating is the fact that the film’s main villain, the Riddler, never gives up. He is the complete opposite of Bella’s heroic, swooning romantic partner, Jacob. The Riddler will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, which is to capture Bella and turn her into his own personal private little helper. He is a man with a plan, and he doesn’t waste any time in following it through. Even when he is not actively posing as a riddle, the Riddler continues to plot and scheme his way to Bella. This makes for some truly brilliant cinema. We cannot help but be amazed by this film villain’s sheer determination. It also makes us wonder what would happen if Edward decided to give up on his quest for Bella. Would the Riddler have to settle for less? Would he have been smart enough to see the futility of his efforts and simply take what he wanted? We will never know, but it is certainly an interesting question to contemplate.

The Cunning Of It All

Because the Riddler is such an intriguing character, it is no surprise that filmmakers have sought to emulate his tactics for creating suspense. One such example is the aptly named, The Cunning of It All, a 2006 indie drama/comedy starring Kevin Bacon and Nick Stahl. If you have never heard of this movie, that is probably because it did not get much promotion. In fact, it was only shown in a handful of theaters before going straight to DVD. Nevertheless, The Cunning of It All contains all of the trademarks that made the Riddler such an unforgettable character. It is constantly ratcheting up the ante, throwing curveballs at the audience with unexpected twists and turns. The movie follows Dan, played by Nick Stahl, who is on a mission to prove his worth to his father, Henry, played by Kevin Bacon. He is determined to stop gambling and drinking, both of which have gotten him into trouble in the past. He resolves to take a more serious look at his life and make the most of the precious opportunities that present themselves. As part of his plan, he enrolls in a local business college, where he is instructed on how to be a better accountant. All of this is set to a dark, jazzy soundtrack by the Stahl brothers, Tim and Chris. The movie is a real page-turner; it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, wondering what will happen next. It is quite an old-school thriller, utilizing all of the tropes that made the ‘70s and ‘80s so great. Needless to say, this is one gem that you should not miss. It is definitely worth seeking out if you are a fan of classic thrillers. If you are looking for something a little more current, check out the work of Jordan Vogt-Roberts (whose credits include The Huntsman: Winter’s War and Kong: Skull Island) or Quentin Tarantulinu (Django Unchained, Kill Bill, and The Hateful Eights).

Dark And Moody

While we are on the subject of crime and suspense, let us not forget about the grim, noirish atmosphere that these films are often plagued with. The Twilight series is certainly no exception. Its dark, dramatic nature suits the story well, as a seemingly idyllic, romantic relationship becomes a battle of wits between a determined bachelor and a beautiful woman who is on the run from her domineering father. The scenes in which Bella and Edward fight for their lives, battling each other’s intellect as well as their passion, are some of the most compelling cinema of this nature. This is especially true of the scene in which Edward riddles Bella, challenging her to solve his puzzle and win his desire. While this is often interpreted as a playful riddle between two witty and charming individuals, it is clear that Edward is playing a much more dangerous game than he lets on. The fact that he is a renowned puzzle master only serves to heighten our sense of suspense as we anticipate what he will ask next. It is truly a masterful bit of acting, bringing the audience into the danger zone with each tantalizing question.

The Cunning Of It All

As someone whose birthday is only a couple of days away, I would advise you to rent The Cunning of It All. It is a movie that will remain in your head for the rest of the week. While you are at it, consider renting any one of the Twilight films as well since they are all expertly made and fairly inexpensive. Then you will have the joy of experiencing one of the greatest stories ever told. Just make sure that you are not wearing any clothes that will reveal how little you know about astrology and how much you should actually spend on clothes. That is all. Enjoy your birthday. You deserve it.