Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight: My Review

Did you go see the movie? If so, we want to hear from you! Give us your review! Post it in the comments below.
For Deb's review, click here.

11 comments:

Debnog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debnog said...

Twilight: Deb's review
Did I like it? That is the question everyone keeps asking me. The answer is yes, but I do have mixed feelings. Let’s pick this thing apart…

First, the movie was a beautiful film to look at, and makes great use of landscape and small-town structures. Catherine Hardwicke’s deliberate choice to film organically—instead of in front of a green screen—makes the film lush, rich, and green. The mostly cloudy, gray drizzly atmosphere makes he overall feel of the film somewhat ominous, seemingly appropriate for the doomed romance of a vampire and a human. As I sat in the warm, room-temperature theater, I swear that there were times when I felt myself shivering because of the cold, damp weather onscreen. The Pacific Northwest was its own character in the film: mossy rocks, sweeping vistas, far off mountains, and stretches of unspoiled beaches fill the screen with texture and add authenticity to the film. This organic approach, while a good choice, is also the fodder of critics who say that the special effects are not up to snuff. I think it shows sincerity in the filmmaking. Twilight isn’t Iron Man: it isn’t meant to be a blockbuster special effects-driven piece.

I appreciated the close-up “intimate” shots in some scenes, but these same intimate shots became annoying because of overuse, and it gave me a dizzying feeling. Much of the film features the camera at odd angles, cutting off the tops of the characters’ heads and chins, or panning over body parts. While this technique is effective for romantic scenes, it unfortunately accentuates Robert Pattinson’s already heavily-tormented facial expressions, which could have been a little more subtle. Or perhaps, if the camera were a bit farther out, we could appreciate these facial expressions by seeing more of the big picture of his body language. Instead, we are forced to stare at each follicle of his furrowed brow, as he contemplates, “hmmm…should I love or eat this girl?”

Pattinson does deliver, though, as a strong romantic lead. He is convincing as the outcast vampire, who relishes in the prospect of first love, after centuries of emotionless existence. His obsession for Bella seems genuine. When Edward smiles, and when he acts a bit cocky, Pattinson shines with confidence and credibility. Kristin Stewart is left breathless a lot from his invasions into her personal space, and I’d like to see a little more emotion in her performance. Ashley Green as Alice is simply perfect, with a darling musical voice and graceful movements, but is sadly underused in the story. This creates a problem with continuity in the storytelling—unless you’ve read the books, her special talents, and the way she foretells the future could be confusing. It would have been nice to have a more formal introduction to Alice and her ability to foretell the future. Perhaps she will be more utilized in future films, because the relationship between Bella and Alice is not at all developed in this one.

Other acting was mixed. Kellan Lutz as Emmett was sweet, jolly, and big, and was close to what I’d imagined in the books. Elizabeth Reaser as Esme was soft-spoken, genteel, and kind, and perfectly portrayed. I had a problem with Carlisle—in some scenes he was implausible as the head of this family. Peter Facinelli just didn’t get the authority position down as he should have. He did get the hot-doctor-on-the-scene stance right, but that only contributed to the problem that he was totally unbelievable as a medical professional. Jasper and Rosalie weren’t very likeable, and it was clear that Jackson Rathbone’s strategy for the portrayal of Jasper was to be frozen into this wide-eyed look of dismay all the time. The acting for the Forks High gang (Eric, Angela, Jessica and Mike) was great, probably because we didn’t have to view them up close all the time. Justin Chon as Eric really shines, and he was a character that I didn’t even remember from the book! Jacob is well done by Taylor Lautner, and actually, I really liked the way that he, Quil and Embry came across as proud, yet modern Native Americans. Lautner expertly captures the friendly, slightly goofy youth really well. I predict that he will grow into this role nicely as the character becomes an integral part of the storyline in future books.

There were times when I felt like the blocking was stilted, as if the characters were almost posing for a still picture, and it really detracted from the action. For example, in the Cullen kitchen, all the family gathers in the kitchen island, but they stand awkwardly in couples in front of counter, instead of scattered around the room. In fact, every time we see the Cullens on screen together, they seem to gather into a family picture pose, pairing off into their respective couples. Is this really necessary? It just seems so awkward and unnatural.

The baseball scene was a highlight, when the characters were really being themselves, having fun, and this is what I really wanted to see. I wanted to hear Esme say something about her “sons” with motherly pride, see Emmett jump and run with superhuman strength, and see Alice pitch with the grace of a ballerina---and they did not disappoint. For me, seeing these characters that I’ve loved brought to life were what I’d been waiting for, and this scene really satisfied that craving. The exciting soundtrack to this scene only added to the fun I was having watching them play ball. I thought that the choreography of that whole scene was absolutely excellent, and I smiled, laughed and sat at the edge of my seat with glee.

I’d really like to mention that the use of the soundtrack in the film was well done. I can’t wait to buy the CD, so I can relive some of those moments. The soundtrack is haunting and hypnotic at times, and also rocks out at times. I just felt the placement of music was really great: subtle, but definitely sets the tone from scene to scene. The much anticipated “Bella’s Lullaby” was lovely, but oddly, it was never mentioned—at all---so non-readers wouldn’t get the significance of the dreamlike scene with Pattinson at the piano, and why that’s so important. It was a shame to waste the opportunity to strengthen the bond between the two characters, because again, we needed to hear WHY Bella can’t live without him, and WHY Edward can’t kill her.

I’ll admit, there was plenty of chemistry between the two of them, and when Pattinson looks into Stewart’s eyes, I totally believed that it was love. I just didn’t see “soul mate” love, but I think with subsequent movies, there is time for that to develop.

So, did I like it? Yes. Did I like it better than the first of the Harry Potter movies? Definitely (it was light-years better in quality). Will I buy the DVD? Absolutely. I’m actually waiting for the opportunity to go and see the movie again.

wolfgirl said...

omg this is the only time i will ever say that i love the movie it was so awsome there were only a few things me and me friends did not like about it 1 edwards runing was not cool because it does not look like he is runing at all it looks like he is flying not cool 2 jacods hair look so not real its sad 3 shiny edward cool but not what i havd in mine i thought of a blinding dimond in the light not sparkles what i did love was that they used real sayings from the book bellas car was awsome thelandscape was great ever thing was wonderful and all i have to say is when is the next one.

Amanda said...

See this why we should have gotten coffee and discussed the whole thing after seeing it...lol. I really liked the movie and I felt like they did a pretty good job of staying with the story line though I do see how people who have not read the books could find it a bit disjointed. Beyond the fact that I don't find Robert Pattinson to be that attractive, I think he made a great Edward. It was obvious that he read the completed Midnight Sun chapters to form the way he played Edward as he played the part more at odds and reserved than Edward comes across in Twilight from Bella's point of view. Had I not read Midnight Sun I don't know if I would have liked the way he played it but it was very true to Edward. I liked Kristen Stewart as well.

There is one thing I don't agree with though. I actually loved Jasper. I thought the way Jackson Rathbone played him was hilarious. The choice to be very stand offish and withdrawn and to almost back up every time a human was around I think was almost a comical way of showing that Jasper has a harder time around humans than the rest of them do. What his motivation for the glee he expressed while burning James was is another story but I laughed at that too. He had a very small role in the movie but he stood out to me as almost a sense of comic relief to all the tension of the film.

Rosalie, well we weren't supposed to like her so I guess she did a great job because I didn't.

The baseball scene, I was concerned about before seeing the movie. The uniforms came across as cheesy and weird in previews and pictures but that was probably one of my favorite scenes. The music choice was awesome in that scene and set them up very much for them to be the total rock stars they were for the first time actually seeing what they could do. (And then there's my love of Muse) Loved the choreography as well.

Most of the movie didn't come off as cheesy as it looked in previews. With the exception maybe of when Carlisle appears in the hospital for the first time. I laughed but I'm sure it wasn't meant to be funny. The intimate scenes with Edward and Bella weren't over the top except maybe the "lion falls in love with the lamb." Even if it is a direct quote from the book it was a bit much. I liked Jacob and I'm not a Jacob fan. I'm concerned about how they're possibly going to age him for the next movies with that baby face but we'll see.

That Robert Pattinson is a talented dude. Playing the piano live in the movie was awesome and the two songs for the soundtrack are both decent. I like his singing voice.

The kissing scene: why no mention of the kiss scene? How intense was that? The whole time I was like this might be the most intense first kiss scene ever.

As far as the close ups, not so bad from farther away. You don't feel overwhelmed as much. Next time try sitting farther back. I think it will transfer well to a tv screen where Edward isn't giant.

And if you want to see it again...I'm in.

Bella said...

Amanda,

You are CRAZY. Robert Pattinson is quite possibly, the MOST attractive human on earth.

B

Amanda said...

Well he's all yours. Congratulations.

Amanda said...

I've just been told that the last comment may come off a little rude and I totally didn't mean it that way at all. So sorry about that. I just meant that I was gifting him to you...if that were possible...an act of good will totally.

wolfgirl said...

she has to share lol because now everone wants him or almost everone
love to you all

Juliana said...

i'd have to agree with a lot of what Debnog said in her review. i wasn't expecting much from the movie, and to be honest it disappointed me even more. they completely left out a lot of important parts from the book, like how Carlisle turns into a vampire, Alice's story, etc. that was a bummer. and the scene from the clearing!!!! i was so looking forward to that part, and they totally butchered it!!!! it was supposed to be a planned occasion and instead it was just "on the spot" and such. mt friends and i were completely disappointed with that. and when Edward shows what he looks like in the sun, he just looked... well... sweaty. i was kinda disgusted by seeing him like that.

i must say though that the scenery was beautiful and i loved that it was all live screening and such. the music was ok. i wish the movie would have further gone into Bella's Lullaby and even just the entire scene when she meets all the Cullens.

i absolutely LOVED Alice! she was my favorite, but i was sad that she wasn't given the proper ammount of lines or screen time. i hope that in the future movies she's given what she's deserved.

the baseball scene was a favorite of mine, probably the best in the whole movie.

i didn't like how all throughout the movie there were really close up shots with Edward and Bella; it got kinda discomforting after a while, and there were even giggles and sighs of exasperation in the theater when i went to see it. a couple shots like that would have been fine, but the whole movie? come on.

on the whole i was really let down, but i will be seeing the other movies if and when they come out.

wolfgirl said...

my fav was Alice (i love love love alice) but jasper was the funnyest to me. yes it could have been better but i cant wait for the next one so happy

Isle_Esme said...

I enjoyed the film better the second time around. I think the first viewing was too riddled with my overt anticipation to truly enjoy it.

My critical analysis:
1) The cameo of Stephenie Meyer was hideous and tacky. If only they'd used that precious 2 seconds of film to cover something else. The only thing missing here was a neon flashing bulb over her head that said "STEPHENIE MEYER, AUTHOR OF TWILIGHT SITTING HERE!"
Cameos are supposed to be subtle. Ick.
2) They left out one of my favorite parts of the book: where Bella is "blood-typing" in Biology and has to be sent to the nurses office for passing out. I thought this was a clever and funny display of the ironic nature of Bella/Edward relationship, so I missed that part. Oh well.
3) The makeup on everyone looked ok, except for Carlisle. For some reason, it looked like $5 halloween makeup, and the line he delivers to Edward in the ballet studio was pretty cheez-tastic. ("Remember who you are.") Who is he, Yoda?

Ok, my favorite things:
1) The on-screen chemistry between Pattinson and Stewart was dynamic and real. I felt myself blushing as a fly on the wall during intimate scenes. It was perfect.
2) The baseball scene - when I saw the previews I HATED the scene already. I was dumbfounded at how awesome that scene was in the movie, and now it's one of my favorite scenes. I loved the mixture of slow motion and the dark atmosphere, and the song was perfect for the scene.
3) Obviously...the kissing scene...in Bella's words, "Holy crow!"
4) I loved Jasper - he cracked me up, but if you didn't read the books, you'd miss out on that.
5) I loved Jessica - she was hilarious in her insecurity and I hope she gets more lines in the next film. In fact, I loved all of the high school peripheral characters. This I enjoyed on-screen better than the book.

Ok, I'll stop now. Overall, I really enjoyed it. I is hard to follow if you haven't read the book at times. The music was great, acting was great, and hopefully with a bigger budget for the next film, the critics bashing the special effects can find something to smile about.