11.24.2008

Twilight Review


Cole and I saw Twilight at 2:40 AM on Friday morning (I know, insane much?). I was pretty excited to see it, since the Twilight series is currently my guilty reading pleasure. However, since I'm fairly critical of movies adapted from my favorite books, I was expecting to be a little bit disappointed (I'd rather sit through a 4-hour movie than have parts of the book cut for time purposes). Unfortunately, I was more than a little disappointed with the movie. I felt completely let down. Here is my list of grievances. *spoilers ahead!*

First, the casting. I think the supporting cast was overall excellently chosen. Bella's friends are ridiculously amusing, especially Jessica, and I loved the competition between Eric and Mike for Bella's attention. The Cullens were fabulous, and I think they should have gotten more screen time. My only beef with them is that Alice didn't quite have enough spunk for my taste, but that could have been just because she wasn't in many scenes. James, Laurent, and Victoria were amazingly creepy. For once in my life, I absolutely loved Jacob Black. It's a good thing the back-up characters were so good, because the main characters were absolutely dreadful. From her very first line, Kristen Stewart dulls down Bella Swan to an almost catatonic state. Even her most passionate, emotional lines are delivered with a monotone drawl. Sure, Bella is quiet and semi-reclusive, but she has spunky, vivacious, emotional moments. Stewart portrayed Bella as a jaded, depressed, colorless teen the entire time. I almost rooted for James to kill her at the end of the movie! As for Robert Pattinson? Well, he wasn't much better. He played the tortured vampire role very well...but I was more convinced his torment resulted not from an uncontrollable thirst for Bella's blood but from an unpredictable GI tract. He appeared nauseated, constipated, and in intense physical pain in many different parts of the movie. It was almost comical to watch. Stewart and Pattinson did have good chemistry, though, in the ONE scene where they got to kiss.

Second, the SFX. I know the budget for the movie wasn't huge, but seriously? The scenes where Edward has Bella on his back and is running are just horrible. There's got to be a better way, because he looked so obviously fake.

Third, the dialogue. My favorite lines were "Your scent is like a drug to me...like my own personal brand of heroin"; and "I dream about being with you forever." Seriously? I'm pretty sure these gems were not actually said by characters in the book. I know the first, in some shape, is part of the text, but I'm fairly sure it's more like commentary by Bella describing her understanding of Edward's thirst for her. Commentary? Ok. Dialogue? RIDICULOUS! Of course, a lot of the dialogue problems stem from bad delivery (and the fact that Twilight isn't exactly high-quality literature to begin with), so I'll give the script writers the benefit of the doubt.

Fourth: ANGST! The movie was practically dripping with it. I felt like I needed a shower after all of the ANGST. First, it's Bella: "Boo hoo, my life is so hard because my mom wants to move to Florida, and I'm being a big person by moving to a podunk town with my father that I'm not even close to so she can follow her dreams and her trophy husband." Then some more Bella: "Why does that really, really ridiculously good-looking boy Edward hate me? And if he hates me, then why did he save my life?" Then throw in some Edward: "I want to suck your blood so badly it hurts, but I don't want to be a bad person! Oh yeah, and I want you for more than just eating, too." And, of course, more Bella: "All the vampires want to kill me. Why can't I just become a vampire so I can hang out with them instead?" Yes, there's angst in the book, too, but it's ANGST in the movie. Kinda like it's hopped up on Red Bull and caffeine pills. It's so bad I couldn't stop my eyes from rolling around in their sockets uncontrollably. The ANGST downplayed the gravity of the situation (because face it, being desired by a vampire for more than just lovin', then being hunted by another "non-vegetarian" vampire is pretty serious business) and placed it firmly on the level of any other high school "I want this boy but he doesn't know I'm alive and wastes all his time with what's-her-face" drama...which does not a good movie make.

Fifth: The script writers changing/leaving out minute (and sometimes important) details. For example: Rosalie drives a red BMW M3 convertible. In the movie, her car is very much a red Mercedes convertible. Edward's car is a HATCHBACK (not sexy) Volvo, rather than the S60R he drives in the book. Come on! Stephenie Meyer made it so easy for you by posting pictures of the cars on her website! Next example: Bella's prom ensemble (actually, the entire prom scene). Alice is not a participant in Bella's beautifying process. In fact, Bella appears to be going willingly, which is contrary to Bella's very nature! Plus, Bella wears a Converse sneaker (*shudder*) on her un-broken foot. Ew. It would have been a thousand times more comical if Bella had been tricked into going to the prom, and it would have given the audience a chance to see Alice's moxie and quirks.

Don't get me wrong; the movie did have some good parts (Stephenie Meyer's cameo being one). It wasn't a total waste of money. It definitely was not worth losing sleep to see (plus, I had to listen to the screaming of all of the violent fangirls--ugh.). Overall, I'd give the movie a C+.


Maybe I'll go see it again when I'm well-rested and headache-free, just to see how much those things clouded my opinion. After all, I'm a glutton for all things Twilight at the moment. Plus, most people seem to have an extremely positive opinion of the movie, and I'd like to believe humanity isn't lost yet, so I may be in the wrong here. Unlikely, though. :)

3 comments:

Cole, Jessica, and Kyle said...

I am so glad you liked going to the movies with me! I am so glad I chose that movie!

Love, Cole

WitchKingGreen said...

Wow. Jessica, you should quit your day job and become a movie critic. Seriously, you have quite the analytical mind and way with words. By the way, you have successfully killed any desire I had to see the movie. SWEET!

kaseygrey said...

You know what, every time I read your blog I remember why we are friends. We think so much alike! (for the most part.) ;) haha, between you and me, we could be the next Siskel & Ebert.

I agree with you on all counts except for the angst point. I thought the movie was SOOO much easier to get through than the book, mostly because the angst was almost all cut out. haha, they have a little bit about it in this article, which is almost as good as the "Lost Script" hee hee hee. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/11/slideshow_of_twilight.html (note: the "at no point in the movie does this scene occur" pages)

Also, Stephenie Meyer's cameo was LAME.

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