Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reviewing Twilight

Last night at 12:15, I took a bite from the Twilight apple. It was a great time to see a blockbuster. Hardly anyone in the theatre--my local cineplex sold less than fifty tickets for the after-midnight show.

My fellow filmgoers were clearly not fans of the book. Laughter and hooting were the order of the day as each cheesy special effect debuted on screen. More than one ticket-holder left before the film ended.

Things to Like About Twilight

  • Kristen Stewart--the young actress who plays Bella approaches her role very seriously. She is not playing the heroine campily.
  • The atmosphere of the locale. Forks, Washington is supposedly the gloomiest, wettest place in the continental U.S. It makes for a wonderful setting.
  • Robert Pattinson (the hero, Edward Cullen) looks both handsome and scary. Aesthetically, he makes a great vampire.
  • Cam Gigandet makes a good scary vampire villain.
  • Director Catherine Hardwicke opted for action rather than endless scenes of dialogue (read here: purple prose) from the book.

Things to Dislike About Twilight

  • The cheesy makeup. While Pattinson looks the part, they have him made up in thick white pancake with lip rouge. There were times he looked as though he were auditioning for the Emcee in Cabaret. And when his "father," Carlisle Cullen makes his first appearance in the same dead white makeup and bleached blonde hair, the audience laughed hysterically.
  • The cheesy special effects. This movie had the potential to become a blockbuster. As my middle brother said yesterday, "The teenage girls will go because of the romance. The teenage boys will go because of the teenage girls." You'd think the producers could have spent enough money to make the special effects look decent. When Edward reveals himself in sunlight to Bella, the audience went wild with laughter.
  • The setup for the inevitable sequels. Most of the first hour was a string of introductions to secondary characters who played little to no role in the rest of the film.
  • The god-awful dialogue:
    Edward Cullen: And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.
    Isabella Swan: What a stupid lamb.
    Edward Cullen: What a sick, masochistic lion.

It helps if you are a teenage girl. It helps a lot if you have already read the book.

Alternatively, it helps if you have a sense of humor. If you ever choked while laughing and watching reruns of the first vampire soap opera Dark Shadows, you may enjoy the film. Otherwise, find another movie.

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