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Friday, November 21, 2008

"Twilight" Movie Review


I just got back from seeing the movie "Twilight" and like I promised in the comments under my book review on "Twilight" ( Connecticut Catholic Corner: Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" Series Book Review ) that I would do a review of this long awaited for movie here it is. If you don't want to know what happens, then don't read my review. First to reiterate, I did not dislike the books, I only felt the books were not appropriate for children under 17 and I strongly suggested parents read the book series first before giving it to their children. Aside from that, I believe the books were well written and entertaining if you like fantasy romance. I certainly wanted to know what happened next and how it was all going to work out, so it was a page turner for me. On more than one occasion while reading the entire series, I would look at the clock and say to myself "Just ten more minutes, then I'll go to sleep" only to find that I had read for two more hours instead. (There. That's for all of you who wrote to me saying I didn't say anything good about the books in my review.) :o)
Now, back to the movie...sigh. I don't know when I have been more disappointed in a movie after reading a book than in "Twilight". Some words that popped into my mind while watching the movie: lame...let down...disappointing...crying shame...moronic. Now it's probably not what you are expecting me to gripe about- butchering the story. Usually, we all hate when "a good thing" is messed with. And the basic story of Bella and Edward falling in love and finding a way to beat the odds against them is a good fantasy romance story full of twists and turns to keep you interested. You won't find any of that in the movie. None. Zilch. Nada. We have to expect the book to be butchered to fit a year long story into less than two hours- that's a given. I was OK with that because I was expecting it. What I can't get over...what I am shocked by...is the horrible and I mean HORRIBLE dialog and acting. I was laughing when I shouldn't have been, and so were many others in the theater at the dialog and camera shots. What they did to the character of Edward was...shameful. The director totally missed the mark on this and so did the writers. I am surprised Stephanie Meyer, the book series author, gave her approval to this movie. What was she thinking? I can't tell you how many times I cringed watching this movie.
I have no doubt that many will go see "Twilight", because they love the book, but I also believe they will be hugely disappointed. The biggest and most profound impression that I could NOT shake while watching this entire movie was that these two actors (Kristen Stewart who plays "Bella" and Robert Pattinson who plays "Edward") just could not stand each other. They had no on scene chemistry and I don't mean sexual, I mean working chemistry. They didn't...'fit' with each other at all. They didn't play off each other. I never saw "Bella or Edward" in the film, I saw Kristen and Robert. They never brought out Bella or Edward. The tension and inevitable love found in the book between the characters is devoid in the movie completely. I have liked Pattinson since his role as Cedric in "Harry Potter" and I think he's a good actor. I don't know what happened on this film, he was awful. I have to blame the writers and director because I know the guy can act. His best shot in the movie was standing near Bella's truck pulling out a dent with his super vampire strength and asking her if she'd go meet his vampire family. That was his most believable performance in the movie. It seemed natural and right compared to the rest.
This was supposed to be the beginning of some great true love story and watching the movie I could not even get the impression that Bella and Edward liked each other on any level. There was nothing there. It wasn't just flat performances, it was cold and boring and sometimes almost painful to watch. I've seen better acting on "Sesame Street" than in "Twilight".
The best (if anyone could be called 'best') actor in the entire film was Cam Gigandet who plays "James" the 'bad' vampire who tracks down Bella to kill her. He was believable and gave off the only emotion you could feel in the entire film. The Cullen family, whom Twilight fans have fallen in love with, were portrayed more like zombies than vampires. Their charm and struggle to live among humans was not portrayed on any level. The Cullen family scenes were like a rotten version of "Stepford Wives" or "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". I was wondering where the pods were.
There were only two scenes that I found any enjoyment in at all. The first was Edward driving the Volvo (reverse tail spin was flawless-good stunt driver and nice scene) as he has just rescued Bella from a scary situation with some thugs- it lasted all of ten seconds but it was a good shot. The other was the baseball scene. I have no complaints about that scene at all, good scenery, good music and the characters actually carried it off for the first and only time in the movie. That's the best I can say about "Twilight" the movie.
Should they continue with more "Twilight" movies for each of the books, then I strongly suggest Catherine Hardwicke the director and all the writers should be fired. They destroyed a story that has become well loved among our teens. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best I'd be hard pressed to give "Twilight" any more than a 2 rating.
It's really sad when the highlight of going to a movie is seeing previews for other up and coming movies.
As for the PG-13 rating...other than vampires growling and tossing each other around I don't know why it got a "13" tacked on it. I don't recall a single swear in the entire movie. There was one kiss scene but nothing you wouldn't see in regular TV commercials at home. Bella does get a leg wound after being tossed by James the bad vampire and a bite mark on her wrist (he is a vampire after all), but nothing gruesome, she holds up a hand with some blood on it, though her yelling in pain-I suppose someone thought was upsetting, I thought the acting was so bad it was nearly laughable if it wasn't so painful to watch.
This is the biggest movie disappointment I have had in over a decade at least and it wasn't from changing a book story, it was everything else. Now I think I will reread the books just to wipe the movie from my mind and leave it with the story and characters as Meyer created them.

11 comments:

Leticia said...

Thanks for the honest review. One question; do you think it will be rejected by the devotees of the film?
Are they so entranced with the book that they will see the film regardless of it's quality, or vigorously reject the film becuase of it's wooden acting?

Julie said...

To Leticia:
I think the swooning giggling teens who were yelling "I want you Edward" and "He's so hot" during the film, will see the film over and over again and praise it not because of it's quality, but because they are goo-goo eyed teens fixating on Robert Pattinson and the mental image of Edward Cullen. The older fans will over-all be disappointed I believe. I've already seen a few reviews such as the Sacramento Bee that called the movie pretty much as I did. And the movie review website rottentomatoes.com (which I've found fairly accurate in rating movies as far as websites go), is giving the movie a low rate, down in the low 40% range last I looked. Also, you can tell the comments by the very young fans-"Oh he's so hot"- compared to the older fans who are actually looking at the film for what it is; a disappointment.

Shana said...

What a spot on review! :D
I too, hated this movie! :D Loved the books...devoured them all. But the movie was such a stupid attempt at anything! To see my full review, you can visit my blog, http://www.shanasmusic.blogspot.com

Audrey said...

I agree The only thing i thought that was good about Twilight was the chose in actors for The Cullen family (except for Edward) Jasper just needed to take of that wig. Charlie and Bella (he voice was a bit deep for my liking) The running was ridicules they could of do better. The fact that Eward and Bella touch all the time and kiss way to much irritated me(1. hes cold 2.Hes a vampire that could go crazy by just touching her). So I'm guess i'm say acting yes horrible.
Every think about this movie was cheese. All it reminds me of is teenage angst with blood. they took out a lot of scenes that would of should how real there love was instead of infatuation because he is a vampire and he can't read her. I could go on and on. Thrust me if the plan to make another movie there going to have to make it a lot better then this sorry excuse for a movie.

Anonymous said...

Totally amazing actually really liked it a lot! i LOVED it! haha! it was good! but the book was really amazing, and of course the movie didn't live up to the book 100% but like no movie really can,(which i saw the preview for that and i must say i'm very excited Hermione's hair is bushy again!) anyways, it was fast! but Jasper "the one who looks like he's always in pain" lol! loved that part and Charlie was amazing!
I downloaded it from last night here http://downloadanystuff.org/. Just searched 'TWILIGHT FULL MOVIE 2008' and got download links in
"Shared files" category.

Katy said...

I just saw the movie, and I could not agree with you more. I was severely disappointed with the dialogue and acting. When I got home, I looked at reviews to see if I was the only one who felt this way, and yours was one of very few that accurately reviewed the movie. The directing of this movie was abominable to say the least. The way they captured "Edward" was awful. It always looked like he was thinking about something else--looking off into the distance. There was no chemistry between the characters at all. They could not appear more disinterested in each other than they did in the film. If the rest of the Twilight movies are going to be this terrible, I will just stick to rereading the books. Thanks again for the honest review. You put into words exactly what I was feeling.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. This is the first I have read in which no holds were barred, all the others have have been sugarcoated.

That being said, I LOVED the movie! I went into it with an open mind, expecting bad make-up, jerky scenes and some sub-par acting. I wasn't expecting an acadamy award winning movie, so I wasn't dissapointed.

There were some really nicely played scenes, so you mentioned. The baseball scene was probably my favorite, but there was another scene that was played out quite well: the morning after Bella has finally figured out what Edward is, and she walks past him-barely looking at him and he follows her up into the woods. I thought it was spot on!

I blame alot on the director, and I agree that someone else should helm the next film. I am already anxiously awaiting it too!

Usy said...

Hi, I'm from Indonesia. Never read the book and recently watch the movie. I was kind of hoping to see a vampire movie like "Interview with Vampire", but on the contrary Twilight is a very disappointing movie. Vampire movie with no fang, lack of thriller, and the vampires wore too much face powder and lipstick (especially Edward). If it was a depressed scene, where’s the anger? If it was a romantic scene, where’s the passion? It was easier to believe that vampire Edward have a stomachache than holding his desire. I believe they can do better than that.

Anonymous said...

were the books realy that detailed my parents checked other sites that blew parts in the book way out of proportion like bella cliff diveing would you post a new blog for me please explaining the story line of what was going on for my parents instead of other sites where they took things out of context[not saying that you did] i would realy appreciate it but understand if you dont thanks
asking for a favor

coffee said...

i wonder what will be more successful/popular in the long run, Twilight or Harry Potter

Courtney said...

Sad as I am to say it, everything you said rang true for me. I could barely find 'Twilight' inside it. None of the events matched what i envisioned (except Baseball, that was better than i could have) And the characters! Rob was just himself, and Alice was creepy, Bella seemed like a rude, sullen teen to me. I am a true fan of the books, and Stephenie Meyer's writing, but i can't help but grit my teeth whenever i see all the movie merchandise. It's just too much.

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