Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Review (Caution: Teeny Spoilers)


Okay. So I am a nerd who took off the afternoon and went and watched Twilight with my girlfriends. It was a fun afternoon with the girls. Even though any Friday afternoon off work and out with the girls would be fun, I'm sure the movie possibly has something to do with it. Here are my biased and emotional comments about it. I'll try to be vague about the movie because I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but beware. There are spoilers.

Did I like the movie?

YES.

But I like a lot of movies. There are seriously very few movies I don't like. I am easily entertained. Heck, I'm watching Scare Tactics right now. Easily entertained, folks, easily entertained.

Problems:

Like any book turned into a movie, there are small details that kind of bug me. The kitchen was not painted yellow like Bella's mom had done. The high school was one big building instead of a the small series of independent buildings that made up the classrooms.

Like any book turned into a movie, there was so much condensing of the plot and exposition. I felt like this movie was especially rough due to this. There were some scenes that were suddenly dramatic instense without any kind of lead up. I felt the movie was a good companion to the book but I honestly wonder how well it will come off to someone who hasn't read the book.

Favorite scenes were changed. Like the restaurant/drive home from Port Angeles scene in the book. And the meadow scene. I read an interview with Stephenie Meyer a couple weeks back. She said that the director wanted to take out the line "And so the lamb fell in love with the lion" but Meyer fought to keep it in because it was such a popular, anticipated line. All I have to say is: and the meadow scene wasn't popular and anticipated??? That was your dream that inspired the book!

Casting complaints. I've always been ok with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson because they were cast before I ever read the books, so I pictured them. I think all the cast was mostly on. The one that bugged me the most was Jasper. He is not attractive at all. In my head, he has this Legolas vibe--gorgeous, silent, majestic, and standoff-ish. Also, I would imagine Alice more petite. I think she's taller than Bella.

Edward's hair is too crazy. Alice is too tall. Jasper is too plain.


Yummy Legolas. I've never seen blonde look so sexy. He's introverted, intuitive, powerful, and oh so delicious.


Better choice for Jasper, no? (Trent Ford)

Acting complaints: Edward was weird. Flat, almost. I know he's stoic and so controlled, but he also has an obvious temper and a devious sense of humor. I think I only saw Edward smile once. If he's just found the love of his life (and his whole family knows this because they've never seen him this happy) he needs to show it! Rob Pattinson is British. His American accent is accurate but...it's a little Marlon Brando. Which is kind of sexy, but doesn't seem to fit. With Edward being from the the early 1900's I'd almost expect him to have a twinge of the British accent - a more refined dialect from a different time. Also, he wasn't that heart-melting and dazzling. There are several scenes in the book (and a couple in the movie) where he turns on the charm and the females turn to puddy and he gets whatever he wants. Did not see this at all.

Cheesy Effects (or lack thereof): Didn't like the "fast" movement of the vampires. Rather have them just appear. The first time we heard Edward growl in Port Angeles was awesome. Later in the baseball field with Laurent, James, and Victoria, the hissing between all the vampires was ridiculous. I could hiss more menanclingly. I really didn't feel a dangerous, threatening vibe from ANY of the vamps. I'll admit I'm a Buffy the vampire slayer fan, and I don't want to compare apples to oranges, but in Buffy, I love the vampire growls and the way they move and fight. Much more dangerous.

Random Weirdness: Where were Bella's pants in the kissing scene? Edward's Volvo is not nearly as sexy as it was in my head. I guess that's just how they look. Just looked like a shiny station-wagon to me. Edward had a reflection. In the books, Edward didn't have one. (Remember the prologue to New Moon when Bella sees her old self mimicking her actions and she thinks it's her grandmother but it's actually her aged self in the mirror and Edward not being in the reflection?) Edward in his prom clothes -- he's a very proper young man. I think he'd do up the top button of his shirt. The cinematography was too tight. I really wanted the camera to zoom out, let me get oriented, and then go for the tight visuals.

Things I loved:

Casting/Acting: Loved Charlie! I thought he was rather flat in the books. Just a necessary character (a teenager needs a parent, right?). He was golden in the movie. He was the source of so much humor. I LOVED Charlie. Jessica was PERFECT. Loved Esme and Carlisle. Loved Bella. I was worried about Kristen Stewart. She usually plays this mature-for-her-age, jaded type girl, so I worried about her pulling off Bella's innocence and klutziness. She nailed it and also pulled off Bella's maturity and depth. Oh, and Jacob is adorable. I am totally Team Edward, but in the movie, I might just be Team Jacob because Edward was played so weird and Jacob is so adorable. The chemistry between Bella and Edward was great. The kiss was way steamy. Also loved Bella's appearance. In the book, I knew she was a natural beauty, but I had problems picturing her attraction since she was always in a sweatshirt and jeans and had a ponytail. Bella in the movie had many different and pretty hair styles and cute clothes. Loved Rose's attitude.

Expected scenes that rocked: Trying on dresses in Port Angeles. Loved the cleavage references from Jessica. Good stuff. The scene when Bella goes to biology class for the first time - her hair being tossed by the fan, Edward's reaction - it was great. The ballet studio - James breaking her leg. Wow! They went all out there.

The flashbacks/dreams: Since the story has to be condensed for a movie, the flashbacks helped fill in the gaps and exposition.

Effects/Action: The action was great. The baseball scene was fun. The ballet studio scene was fun. The car crash scene was different, but worked. I was always confused by the description in the book and hoped the movie would clear up some of how the cars and Edward were situated, but they simplified it. Which is probably good. But I guess I'll always be confused. I've heard that a sequel isn't in the bag yet. It really depends on how well Twilight does. But they are TOTALLY set up for a sequel between references to Edward's leaving, Jacob wolfing out, and Victoria's revenge. It did not end happily ever after all wrapped up in a bow. The sparkly vampire skin was WAY better than I imagined. It was always so cheesey in my imagination with the books. This was a total improvement. Very cool.

Changes to the script: Loved meeting Jacob and Billy Black earlier in the story. REALLY loved that Laurent, James, and Victoria were a menace before the baseball game. I always felt that turn in the story in the novel came out of left-field. So their continuous menace improved the story for me. Loved seeing the details of James's dispatching.

Little gems: Pepperspray. Shotgun. Billy and Charlie's relationship. The little easter eggs - the appearance of Little Brown & Co. on the Google search and Stephenie Meyer's blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo. Bella's constant yet unemphasized klutziness. The way Charlie treated Tyler after the "almost" accident.

Random things that I don't have an opinion about: I never saw Bella cook for her father once. Bella wore one converse sneaker to prom instead of a high heel. Bella knew Edward was taking her to the prom and wasn't upset about it and didn't have her dashed expectations about not getting turned that night. Edward's hair was way crazy. I looked for the deep blue v-neck sweater. It never made an appearance. Bella's Lullaby was lovely, but it was never said that Edward wrote that song for her.

Conclusion:

It isn't as compelling at adaption as the Harry Potters and Lord of the Rings movies, but it is definitely a better adaption than the catastrophes like Da Vinci Code and Count of Monte Cristo. I think it makes a good companion to the book. If you are expecting the book word for word and scene for scene in visual format, you'll be disappointed. If you're up for a fun story and open to changes, you'll probably enjoy it like I did. So take a chill pill. Calm your raging teenage hormones and go see a fun show!

(P.S. I think I'm going to see it again tomorrow with my husband. So it's definitely worth dropping $15 to see it again.)

4 comments:

Melissa Giles said...

Hey, I totally agree with you in all aspects! I did kinda like Alice though, she was cute.
I totally agree with you on Edward. He was weird and totally not Edward. He was not that mesmerizing, smooth, and charmer like I'd imagined.
Oh well, I'm glad I read the books, so I have the real thing (ha ha, fictional book) in my head.

Melissa Giles said...

Hey Lara, it's me Briant. Let me tell you what I thought...it was like the time my buddy and I went and saw Britney Spears' "Crossroads" on opening day...tons of teenie boppers...awkward!

Liz Smith said...

i loved it!! i also went and saw it with friends, but i still want to want to see it again. :) you'll have to let me know if your hubby can tolerate it, maybe i can convince jared to take me. :)

p.s. did you ever get my email about maria's address?

Brittany G said...

lol.. um Edward has a reflection in the books, just not in that one DREAM of Bella's..

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