Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Forever. Begins. Now." - Oh, How True.


Release: 11.21.08
Rated PG-13
2 hours, 2 minutes

Second-Run Seats ($$)

With her mom and stepdad traveling the country, Isabella "Bella" Swan (Kristen Stewart, The Messengers) returns to her hometown of Forks, Washington to live with her father, Police Chief Charlie Swan (Billy Burke, Untraceable). The aloof Bella receives a warm welcome in high school, but feels drawn to the odd Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). The strange boy and stranger attraction draws Bella into an inhuman world. As her romantic fantasy with Edward becomes real, an outsider, James (Cam Gigandet), chooses Bella as his next murder victim.

I haven't read the Twilight series. I tend to dislike movies if I've read the book first. For perspective, I accompanied a Twilighter (a fan of the series). We both agreed the movie really makes you want to read the book - just to have proof the tween phenomenon is not as bad as this adaptation. Like to hear why? Here it go:

During the first half, Bella's angst and yearning is impenetrable. Bella is greeted warmly by the most diverse group of students ever for a town with a population of 3,125. Bella, in return, is rudely indifferent to the Mouseketeers, repeatedly turning down invitations and ignoring them. Unbelievably, their onslaught of kindness never falters. When Edward shares the screen, the duo mostly share intense eye contact. Their occasional snippets of conversation end abruptly and cryptically. At one point, Edward confesses to Bella he can read everyone's mind except hers. That's because she has the personality and aptitude of a doorknob. This budding romance is so frustratingly slow that even the camera goes insane; it's like riding a carnival Orbiter on a dreary day.

Having to establish the prevailing series arc doesn't help the pacing either for director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen). Several characters are irrelevant, but need introduction for the inevitable sequels. The excruciating slowness picks up after the one-hour mark when Bella and Edward finally reveal their love and he, his secrets. Edward manages to stop looking nauseated around Bella and she actually smiles; both improve the tale by leaps and bounds. If you're like a few from my screening, it won't matter because you've left long before the climax.

Dirty Undies
This barely deserves its PG-13 rating. Their love is a chaste one, though the then under-aged Stewart is a little agressive. Us adults are free to stare at the other 'high schoolers'; the glittering chest of Pattinson or the slight cleavage of Anna Kendrick (Rocket Science) is about all the heat this steamy tale musters. The climatic final battle was pretty exciting, with a little blood and some insinuated brutality. It probably wasn't that great, but I was feening for a fight fix after sitting this long.

The Money Shot
Hardwicke portrays Bella as a strong, independent young woman, the one thing my Twilighter buddy found improved from the needy character in the books. If you, like me, are one of the contributors to Twilight's huge opening box office, I feel your pain. If you haven't anted up yet, save your money. Us dupes have helped to greenlight the sequel; I only hope we'll know better next time.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. Well... just to let you know... I've read every book in the series, and I felt the movie was BETTER than the book. Yes, you heard me right.

    You made the statement "We both agreed the movie really makes you want to read the book - just to have proof the tween phenomenon is not as bad as this adaptation." I can honestly tell you that no, the tween phenomenon does not base itself in the glorified goodness that is its hype. It IS occasionally entertaining, but mostly just very poor writing, almost zero storytelling, and pretty annoying characters.

    I liked everything you said about what you disliked about the movie... because the book is exactly the same way. Everybody is pretty much friendly to Bella, and she shuns them all. Everything else you said, too... dead on with the book. In fact, I felt that the movie was a really good adaptation of the book... pretty spot on with just about everything, though taking out the poor writing, which is what made the movie superior to the book.

  2. A movie superior to the book? Now I definitely have to read the book.

    My friend said she hated how needy Bella was in the book. She was offended that the story sends that woman must have a man to be complete vibe. She also mentioned some of the other characters are intolerable. It made me wonder how she finds the series impossible to put down.

    Only one way to find out.

  3. Yeah, I agree with your friend. The books are mind-bogglingly perplexing in the fact that the majority of its readership is female... however, the books themselves are highly sexist and anti-feminist. Bella is incredibly annoying (especially in Book 2... God, I wanted her to just kill herself already and stop whining). And yeah, there are some other annoying characters, too. Jacob starts out as a great character, but halfway through book 2 becomes a dick, and he doesn't really redeem himself until book 4. Charlie (Bella's father) even gets on my nerves at times, particularly in book 3. Even Edward can be a bit annoying.

    The only character who is constantly a great, fun character is Alice (Edward's 'sister' who can see the future).

    Again, I did enjoy the first book quite a bit. I loathed the second book, and the only reason I didn't just put it down was because I figured it HAD to get better with all this hype around the series. I did enjoy most of the third book, though I think that's mostly due to the second being so awful that it's difficult to get lower than that one. And the fourth was great up until the last couple chapters.

    Seriously, you should check the books out... but prepare to see a lot of bad writing, annoying characters, and cheesy descriptions about Edward's godly breath every other sentence.

    I was telling a friend of mine earlier that I find it funny that so many fans think the movie is terrible. I told her that the movie is terrible because the source material is terrible, but fans are too caught up in the descriptions of Edward's godly looks and breath to notice it. Take away the overly-repetitious descriptions of superficiality, and you're left with the movie.

    Therefore, the movie is better than the book :P .

  4. Sorry for the late response but thanks for the series rundown. While I'm stuck at home this month I will have to give the books a read. I'm working my way through a few gifted books at the moment but another week and they'll be done.