Sunday, November 30, 2008
Ok, so, I have to admit that I am a fan of the book series. I love, love the characters and the way Stephanie Meyer constructs the Twilight universe. While I love the story between Bella and Edward, Jacob Black is my favorite character (with Charlie Swan pulling a close second).
Against my better judgment I went to see the movie, and was not only disappointed, but shocked. I thought that with the director of "Thirteen" and "Lords of Dogtown" at the helm that this movie would have some of the grit and "real-ness" that the Twilight movie needed to convey more than a CW-esque take on such a great story.
The casting was another jolt. Most of the actors I thought were great (Bella, Edward, Charlie, Mike Newton, Jessica, Alice), others so-so (Jacob Black- I hoping the young actor will step up in the coming sequel, Emmet, Renee, Esme), and some just plain "what were they thinking?!" (Rosalie, Jasper, Carlisle, the Nomad Vamps). Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have a chemistry, it's true, but I feel that the ineptness of other characters taints the integrity of the movie as a whole. I was constantly irritated by the presence of Carlisle and Jasper (who is definitely not played as the James Dean like character described in the book), two characters who are supposed to have a comforting and appeasing effect on others, but came across as forced and phony. Rosalie and Emmet were slightly less irritating- I never pictured Rosalie as a snotty brat or Emmet as a meathead frat boy. I was just plain annoyed at the choice of James (the villain) who they played as a 6-packed blonde pony-tailed beefcake rather than an average-looking predator with a touch of sadism.
The whole movie just seemed so rushed and contrived, and it put so much emphasis on the viewer believing the "I'd rather die than be without you" aspect of Bella & Edward's relationship that they didn't show us why they are so right for each other. There were efforts at humor (moments that were easy and effortless in the book), some of which worked, others that fell flat. There was, for the most part, a simbiance between text and screenplay, with minor plot differences (yes, it would take way too much screen time to relate the story scene for scene).
I would have waited a few additional months (maybe I'm the only one) for extra time spent on believable special effects and vampire-ness. The way the on-screen Cullens and Nomads spoke, moved, and behaved was not any different than characters on a nighttime teen drama. Yes, they are supposed to be integrated with the Forks community, but they are also obviously different and set apart. Moreover, when they are at home, and in the clearing, they are supposed to be at ease and most vampirey, all of which came across as campy and corny.
I really hope that they step it up for the next movie "New Moon". I'm excited to see the development of Jacob's character and his relationship with Bella. Here's for hoping...