Sunday, November 23, 2008

TWILIGHT: My Movie Review

Saturday night, me and two of my best gal pals hit the theater amidst the town's teenage female population (and a handful of boys and I think one man) to see Twilight.  Now, if you're going to see the movie - there may be some spoilers here.  If you read the book, I don't think anything I say will surprise you. 

But before I get into the actual film, I have to comment on the atmosphere.  I will admit, I bought my tickets a week ago.  I read that the pre-sales of this movie were crazy and I didn't want to stress out about it all week long, because I am anal and it would seriously worry me.  So I just went into town and bought the puppies.  I say this, also, so you see that despite the fact that I am 37 years old, I was just as giddy as all the thirteen year olds.  They had nothing on me.  Well, okay, I didn't scream out "Edward Cullen" when the theater went black and I didn't giggle with nerves and lust when Robert Pattenson made his first appearance on screen.  So maybe I have a few years of maturity on these young ladies - but just a few.

I'm going to break this down into pro's and con's - or rather , what the movie got right (according to me) and what maybe wasn't so hot.

What the movie got right:  I think the cast was really great.  I thought both Robert (who played Edward) and Kristen Stewart (who played Bella) looked great in their roles and had wonderful chemistry together.  The actor who played Bella's Dad was perfect as were some of the supporting vamps.  The kids at school did really well with the small parts they had.  The actress who played gossipy Jessica stood out for me.  All in all, good job there.

The scenery and look of the movie were right out of the pages of the book.  They nailed it. Stephenie Meyer, who wrote the Twilight Saga, is good with description, but we all know sometimes the movie adaptations decide to go their own way.  I give them props for sticking to the page and delivering.

Along those lines - they really tried to bring the book, as written, alive.  They basically provided the scenes from the books - in order - as they were - with only a few alterations and additions.  For one thing, they introduced the dangerous vampires much earlier.  This may have been to give the 3 unsuspecting movie goers a chance to suspect Edward as a possible killer when 99% of us knew he doesn't kill people.  (Or, at least he hasn't in a really long time. Teenage girls like their dangerous boys, after all.)  Also, they included a field trip scene for Bella and Edward to talk a few things over.  I think this was simply to provide variety in the scenery.

What I didn't like so much:
Okay - it's a long book.  Not really to read - you can plow right throw it if it's your cup o' tea - but there are pages there.  Shopgirl worked well as a movie adaptation b/c it was only a novella to begin with.  There was a lot more ground to cover for Twilight so they hit the ground running and they didn't stop to rest once.  It was kinda like an over-caffinated fifteen year old telling you about the book.

"So like Bella buys this book on vampires, right?  And then she gets lost in town and wanders down an alley, right?  And these guys are following her and she's super freaked and she's like, "Don't touch me!" and then this car drives up, crazy fast, right?  And then Edward gets out and, omigod, he's so hot.  And he's all like, "Get in the car!" so she totally does and then he growls at the guys and drives off.  It was awesome."

In the book - there's a long scene where Bella is, in fact, lost in town, but we're with her while she gets lost.  And they build up the tension with the guys following her.  At one point she thinks she has lost them, but then she turns a corner into a dead end.  That kind of thing.  It's good, it builds up a sense of isolation and because it's written in first person, you feel her panic and fear, but also the way her mind tries to solve the problem.  Then, when it's almost too late, she's definitely in trouble with these guys, Edward peels into the alley in his car and rescues Bella and drives her away.  Then there's a short conversation where she's trying to calm him down because he really, really wants to go back and kill those guys.  That scene was three sentences in the movie.  And - well, anyway, the whole thing was a little rushed and I would have loved to draw some pivotal scenes out more.

You know how when you see a two hour Pride and Prejudice - it just doesn't do the story justice?  But the six hour one with Colin Firth - oh yeah, baby.  That's the ticket.  Same goes here.  If they could have made a longer movie - and I understand - who wants to sit through a four hour vampire love story  (Well, me, please.) then they would have been able to build the juicy tension more.

So, the rushed pace bothered me, but I understood.

The other issue was the vampire make-up.  It was a wee bit chalky and obvious in some scenes.  Carlisle in the hospital looked like he was about to work on his mime routine for the cancer children as soon as he was done with rounds.  It was a little over the top.

If I gave it a grade, it would be a B.  I enjoyed it.  I'm glad I saw it.  I'll probably rent it when it comes out and like it even more.  But I don't think it will ever truly live in my heart like the book.  That said, I will but my ticket to the sequel, New Moon, a week ahead of time too.


Chicklebee said...

The more I think about it... the more I LOVE this movie. I've been daydreaming about Edward ALLLL day!
I SOOO have to read the book again! Can I borrow your copy (Jess has mine!).

Chicklebee said...

You also forgot to mention how freakish Jasper was. I couldn't help laughing everytime I saw him! It finally dawned on me why he looked familiar....He was like a vampire Harpo Marx!

Julie_c said...

Sara - is that you? You can't just use a weirdo username and expect I know who you are!!! :)

And there's a lot I didn't mention. Did you see how long that post was - and I was being frugal! :) But I loved Jasper. He made me laugh.

And yes - you can borrow my copy.