24 November 2008
I went to see Twilight with my sister-in-law. As I have said previously regarding the Twilight Saga, the story is captivating, the writing not spectacular. I liked Twilight. I did not like New Moon at all. I was lukewarm on Eclipse. Breaking Dawn gets a so-so from me. I've read the portion of Midnight Sun that Stephanie Meyer posted on her website, and I do like that. Too bad she's shelved the project for now.
Even though they aren't great literature, I've read each of the novels more than once, but I am not as rabid as the fanpiers (who would be called fangirls in any other fandom). My expectations for the movie weren't particularly high, because the movie is never better than the book. When Hollywood gets its hands on something, they inevitably screw it up. That said, I thought that the actors selected to play Bella and Edward were pretty spot-on, when I saw that information in the gossip rags.
The movie met my expectations. So incredibly much was left out. The storyline was altered. I HATE it when they do that!!!
The "bad" vampires, James, Victoria, and Laurent, played a much larger role in the movie than they do in the book. That's crappy, because who the hell cares about them? The price of admission was to see BELLA and EDWARD, ffs. The guy who played Jasper always looked like he was in pain, although after reading Midnight Sun, that makes sense.
Some of the choices for characters puzzled me, though. Laurent is played by an African-American actor with long, black dreads. He had the French accent down, but page after page after page in the book talks about how all vampires are pale, unnaturally so. Pure white skin, like marble or granite. While there is not a single mention of ethnicity or race anywhere in the books, that refrain of pale, pale, pale is constant for the vampires. Forgive me for saying this so bluntly, but it is difficult to make someone with mocha-colored skin look pale. They did get the eyes right, at least.
You're left to draw your own conclusions about what Bella's fellow high-school students Eric Yorkie, Angela Webber, Jessica Stanley, and Tyler Crowley look like, because other than describing Jessica as having dark, curly hair, there ain't much to go on for the humans in the books. The novel specifically says that Mike Newton is a blonde, baby-faced guy, and he was in the movie. He came off as fairly annoying, as he does in the books. Well done, there.
The school isn't a collection of buildings as the book describes, and Bella meets Mike and Jessica in gym rather than separately.
They leave out all of the information about Bella doing the cooking, they added a cafe/restaurant that doesn't exist, altered the girl's choice dance to prom, Tyler and Eric never ask her out (or if they did, I missed it), huge chunks of all kinds of things were missing.
Dialog lifted straight from the book was altered, a word or two here or there, which is all right, but when there's so little of it, why not keep what was there to begin with? Edward and Bella's first kiss is nothing at all like it is in the book, they never talk about her sleep-talking, and worst of all is the Cullen family house.
It is amazing, the house they used. It looks NOTHING like the description in the books of a three-story WHITE wooden structure, with a back wall of glass. The movie house was a cedar and glass confection, beautiful beyond imagining, but....not the same.
The bit about the artwork, Carlise's story, the 300 year old wooden cross, Bella, Jasper & Alice spending three days in a Phoenix hotel, all left out.
What was good? The chemistry between Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. I liked the way Pattinson played Edward, brooding, intense, and lest we forget, oh-so-pretty. Stewart showcases Bella's shy and awkward persona well. Nikki Reed plays Rosalie's icy beauty flawlessly. The location was great, Port Angeles and Forks displayed well. Cinematography was excellent.
The scene in the dance studio was done well, although they left out the explanation of Alice's origins. Wonder how they'll cover for that in the sequels.
Will I watch it again? Yeah, probably. If I were grading, though, I'd give it about a C.