Monday, November 24, 2008

I am not 14 years old

Twilight movie review: spoilers abound, proceed with caution!

I saw the movie last night, and when it was over one of my friends said, "Don't let anyone make you feel bad for liking it." But what if I feel bad because.... I didn't like it as much as I feel like I should have?

What was good:
  • Everyone in the cast who WASN'T Edward & Bella. Charlie was AWESOME, all the high school kids were great, Jessica was a surprise treat, and Jacob was darling. The Cullens were mostly okay, except that Emmett's sideways hat was stupid and Jasper looked like a Fraggle.
  • All the scenes with high school kids interacting like normal high school kids. These were fun and well done and provided great normal contrast to the whole vampire thing.
  • Sweeping shots of the beautiful Olympic Peninsula. Amazing.
  • Scenes with Bella & Charlie. Again, I thought Charlie was the best. I loved how when he showed her around her room and pointed out, "This is a good work lamp." Just exactly like a dad would do.
  • Vampire baseball. And Alice pointing her toes when she pitches.
  • The fight at the end--particularly how Alice, well. I don't need to spoil everything, but she's awesome.
  • Edward popping the dent out of Bella's truck--that was my favorite Edward & Bella scene, which should tell you something.
What was unintentionally hilarious:
  • Carlisle Cullen/Peter Facinelli in BAD vampire makeup strolling through the hospital door like it's his first scene of Can't Hardly Wait: "Huntington Hills, kiss my ass!"
  • Way-too-skinny Angela saying, "I'm taking control of my life!" and my friend Molly leaning over and whispering, "Girl needs to take control of a cheeseburger."
  • Bella Googling "cold ones" and Mac whispering, "Like that wouldn't bring up 'Beer'." And then the phrase "The Immortal Drink" floating past us on the screen.
  • Edward reacting to Bella's scent in biology for the first time.
  • Edward and Billy staring at each other from their cars.
  • Edward's sparkly skin. Honestly, he just looked sweaty. Hopefully we get a bigger special effects budget for the next one so the whole skin thing looks a little less stupid.
What was bad:
  • The screenplay: the narration and all the Edward/Bella dialog in particular. I mean, it's way cheesy in the book, but I thought they were going to make this better? If they thought they did: FAIL.
  • Robert Pattinson's "acting."
  • Kristen Stewart's "acting."
And this is just a note to the young actors of the world everywhere, because I've been noticing this a lot lately: Contorting your face into different variations of "Confused," is not the same as acting. Making weird faces and staring only makes you look weird and stare-y, not intense. And, for the love of God, can we stop moving and sighing and twitching and looking about and doing all kinds of other things with our faces that are NOT acting, are ONLY distracting. Let's try being in the scene, making some choices, and sticking with them, shall we?

My two biggest problems with the movie:
  • This was not a good movie; it was a faithful adaptation. There's a huge difference. It was painfully clear to me while I was watching that they were so focused on making fans of the book happy, that they forgot to make a good movie. So, you know, some stuff was good and fun for me, because I like the book and they put that on screen for me. But other stuff was just an uncreative, verbatim lift off the page that didn't translate to the screen at all, so it fell flat.
  • My biggest problem with the movie, though, was this: I liked Twilight, and the rest of the series, because while the vampire stuff is fun, it's the whole First Big Important Love story that's really thrilling. First love is THRILLING. Or at least it's supposed to be. It felt that way in the book. In the movie, all the Edward & Bella scenes were drawn out with so many Dramatic! Pauses! Neither of them EVER looked happy to be in each other's company, like, don't they enjoy each other ever? I know there's a whole primal attraction vs Danger! thing going on, but in the book it seemed like they enjoyed and liked each other more. I can't claim credit for this description because I read it somewhere last week, but it's apt--basically, Robert & Kristen just made me feel like they were engaged in a 90-minue-long Intense-Off.

So....not horrible, but disappointing. I'll watch it again on DVD, and I'll check out New Moon for sure (I never thought I'd be on Team Jacob, but for the movies, yeah. For starters, he's WAY CUTER). But overall, it was uneven and fell way short of its potential.

Then again, I am not 14 years old. I'll ask my niece what she thought of it, I bet her opinion is way different.


Kate said...

"Jasper looked like a Fraggle" Please explain?

I'd heard that the adaptation was a little too "faithful", this also happened with the first Harry Potter movie. When the fans are that fanatic, the director is stuck with making a verbatim version which usually sucks.

I actually (shockingly) liked Twilight too, but I would not see the movie because the books got repetitive and that is not good in a book and terrible in a movie.

Intense-off has become the new currency in exchange for talent, that's why I love Leighton Meester.

Read the books!

Dinah said...

Hmm, let's see...


And your distaste for movie adaptations of books is well-known, m'dear. Although I still maintain that the 5th Harry Potter movie is better than the book. :)

robot said...

Glad to see a review of someone I know, and since we share similar tastes, I find that yours are usually "spot on".

Aside: Ebert's review was sorta funny because he likened the whole vampire theme as a metaphor for teen sex, and that if you take the vampire element out of the movie, it's basically about a horny guy fighting with himself and others about taking a girls virginity.

I guess that's my review of your reviews. I'll go now..

Dinah said...

I don't think Ebert is wrong about that metaphor, at all. Which makes the whole series that much goofier, but whatever. It's still fun.