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Twilight (movie)

A 2008 film based on the Stephenie Meyer book of the same name, directed by Catherine Hardwicke

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Very Wooden

  • Jun 27, 2009

The Twilight Books have become popular all on their own.  They've made a huge dent in the literary world (albeit, for all the wrong reasons, but see my reviews for that).  With becoming such mega huge bestsellers, it's no suprise that they opted for a film.  And while my expectations for the film were low heading in, I'm sad to say that they couldn't even fulfill that.  As I kept watching, my only real thought was... how much worse can it get?

Normally at this point I'd provide those who haven't seen the buzz with a trailer.  But I decided to skip it.  Why?  Because it's Twilight!  If you don't kno what it is... you've been living under a rock.  Plain and simple. 

Bella Swan has just moved to Forks, Washington. She's the new girl in school.  Far be in from Stephenie Meyer or the director to make Bella seem like an awkward girl.  The moment she sets foot into Forks... all the girls admire her and all the boys want to date her.  But Bella is just too good for them.  Instead she has her eyes set on Edward, who immediately thursts for Bella's blood.  Despite treaing Bella like pure and utter crap, Bella feels attracted to him... and it isn't long before the feeling becomes mutual.  As it turns out, Edward is a vampire... but not the typical vampire.  He and his family feed on animal blood.  There's something strange about Carlisle feeding on a bunch of teenage vampire but we're able to ignore that for the most part. 

While this is going on, another group of vampires is roaming around and killing innocent cavillians.  It all comes to a head when Bella, Edward and his vamp[ire family are playing baseball.  Suddenly it becomes a race to save Bella. 

I'm a good sport about adaptations.  I'm not the kind of person to complain that a movie isn't like the book.  As Stephen King said, "Books and films are like apples and oranges.  Both are delicious, but taste very different."  For the most part, I didn't think the books were terrible, but they are far from being literary expertise like some say.  The movie, on the other hand suffers from problems that stem mostly from the acting and the written script.  Many a time you'll find yourself laughing not because of a comedic moment, but because a part of the movie was done so terribly you can't believe it got into the final cut. 

To begin, the acting stands out first and foremost as being one of the flaws of the film.  Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) is a wooden character.  It's bad enough she's unbelievable by being admired by all the girls and being hit on by all the guys, but it's a lot worse when you watch her on screen and say to yourself, "she must've been in my woodshop class in high school... she was the board of wood."  But Kristen Stewart comes off as that unbelievably bland.  In the scene near the end when she's in a hospital bed saying Edward can't leave her she uses the same monotone voice she uses throughout the film despite that she's supposed to be in love.  

Just as bad as Robert Pattinson as Edward.  He's just as lifeless when he's Edward.  His lines are delivered in the same monotnous manner.  If the two weren't the leads it might ot be so bad, but when every dialog exchange is so wooden it's hard to get into the magic of film making. 

Perhaps what also hits against the movie is that it doesn't go into enough depth on all the characters.  We begin to learn a lot about Bella and Edward, but we hardly learn anything about Edward's vampire family.  They're just there.  With the emphasis that's put out there about his family, it's a wonder we don't learn much more about them.  That's a shame.

If you're a fan of set designs, however, you might be pleased to know that Twilight is as gloomy looking as it was meant to be.  The skies are mostly overcast, the streets are dreary.  Each and every scene looks as though it was filmed right after a rainstorm, but this is what it's supposed to look like.  Some of the special effects might come off as a little cheesy, but at least the look of the movie isn't so bad. 

For the most part Twilight isn't any better as a film than it is as a literary novel.  The acting is wooden, and the script tasteless.  When you sit down and you're hearing lines such as, "Your mood swings are giving me whiplash," that can't be a good sign of what's to come from the films in the future of the franchise.  It isn't so much that Twilight is a bad movie as it is that if feels like a complete and utter cash in on the famous novels by Stephenie Meyer.  It might please some of the most die-hard of Twilight fans, but not much else beyond that. 

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June 30, 2009
Great review, Sean! I rated it 2 out of 5, boy, you can be real harsh LOL! Anyway, I definitely know I am NOT this film's target audience--this is Edward and Bella; Staring contest...ENGAGE!!
June 15, 2010
in light of "Eclipse" I opted to feature this in the community...LOL!
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review by . July 19, 2010
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did they even read the book??
i will say this: had i never read the book, i may have liked this movie. but to bad for summit entertainment, i did read the book and so did a WHOLE lot of other people. it was (or at least seemed to be) really low budget. aside from pattington, who had some notable acting experience, the rest of the acting was really bad. some of the minor supporting actors shined brighter than Bella's character as far as acting goes. and the vampire makeup effects were awful. it looked like baby powder mixed …
review by . May 05, 2009
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More than any other movie released last Fall, I so wanted to hate Twilight & actually made a special point to avoid it at all costs. You might even ask what changed my mind or why I'd bothered going at all. Hell, why write a review for the film? Surprisingly, this was actually somewhat better than I thought & somehow I felt compelled to write up a small one for you guys. Hmm. Empty spot in my schedule, right? Ha!      As anyone will tell you, Twilight has been the …
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review by . July 08, 2010
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did they even read the book??
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Quick Tip by . October 01, 2010
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review by . May 12, 2010
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About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this movie


Twilight is a 2008 American romantic vampire film based on Stephenie Meyer's popular novel of the same name. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the film stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. It is the first film in The Twilight Saga film series. This film focuses on the development of the relationship between Bella Swan (a teenage girl) and Edward Cullen (a vampire), and the subsequent efforts of Cullen and his family to keep Swan safe from a coven of evil vampires.

The project was in development for approximately three years at Paramount Pictures, during which time a screen adaptation that differed significantly from the novel was written. Summit Entertainment acquired the rights to the novel after three years of the project's stagnant development. Melissa Rosenberg wrote a new adaptation of the novel shortly before the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike and sought to be faithful to the novel's storyline. Principal photography took 44 days, and completed on May 2, 2008; the film was primarily shot in Oregon.

Twilight was theatrically released on November 21, 2008, grossing over US$392 million worldwide. It was released on DVD March 21, 2009, and became the most purchased DVD of the year. The soundtrack was released on November 4, 2008. Following the film's success, New Moon and Eclipse, the next two novels in the series, were produced as films the following year.
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Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: November 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Summit Entertainment (October 27, 2009)
Runtime: 122 minutes
Studio: Summit Entertainment
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