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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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A Huge Disappointing Mess

  • Jan 26, 2010
Rating:
-3
Pros: Love the scenes of the Pacific Northwest.

Cons: Slow in places; boring; not well acted at all; terrible script.

The Bottom Line:

Twilight is a mess and it shame that the target audience lacks the ability to discern the difference between real art and modernistic, amateur elephant paintings.



Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Twilight (2008)
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg
Principles: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Green, Anna Kendrick, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz,
Running Time: 122 minutes
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: "PG-13"  

Ah, the new fascination with vampires and vampire lore takes a decidedly (bad) romantic turn in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series of novels, the first of which I read.  The book was distinctly sophomoric in tone and tenor, was poorly written and not very exciting.  The book was written for tweens and so too is the movie Twilight, which, poor us, mirrors the book far too closely in, well tone and tenor.     

Story-Line      

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown), Twilight is based on Stephanie Meyer's novel of the same title.  Isabella Swan-Bella-(Kristen Stewart ~ Panic Room, In The Land of Women, Jumper) is a transplant from Arizona to a small coastal town in Washington state where her father Charlie Swan (Billy burke ~ 24, Ladder 49, Fracture) lives. 

Once there she meets and falls in with a crowd of locals, including Jessica Stanley (Anna Kendrick ~ Rocket Science, Up in the Air), and Eric Yorkie (Justin Chon ~ Just Jordan), among others.  And she falls for Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson ~ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), a Vampire.  He and his band of merry companions Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene ~ Desire), Emmet Cullen (Kellan Lutz ~ The Comeback, Generation Kill, 90210), Rosalie Hale (Nikki Reed ~ Thirteen, The O.C., Mini's First Time) go to the same high school as Bella.             

After a series of incidents involving Edward's shall we say, super human feats, and a succession of gruesome murders in and around town, Bella figures out that Edward is a vampire and so the fun begins.

My Thoughts

In a word Twilight is boring!  But this is not unlike the book, so I am not surprised by the outcome, but I expected more with all of the hype leading up to the release of the movie and the subsequent media and fan furor.  To say that I am disappointed in the outcome would be a tremendous understatement!  I hardly know where to start savaging this mediocre effort. 

Well, let's start with the acting: it was horrendous.  I am sure given better material from which to work the principles could have done a better job, but as it is I felt as thought I was watching a high school production and not a big budget Hollywood creation.  All of the characters were wooded and boring in their delivery's, especially Kristen Stewart (and wunderkind Anna Kendrick, who mumbled most of her lines) who spend half the movie starring at the camera with a puzzled look on her face that blared "what am I doing here?"  

And why pray-tell is Kristen (Bella) so pale (white)?  So white in fact that in some shots her face almost completely disappears except for her open mouth, nostrils, eyes, and dark eye brows!  Bella just spent a large chunk of her life in Phoenix, Arizona and yet not even a hint of a tan; it's as if she has been living in a cave.  At one point even a classmate at her high school in Forks, Washington feels compelled to ask the astonishingly pale Bella why she doesn't have even a hint of a tan. No explanation is forthcoming from the tongue-shy teen.   

Next up the characters: Isabella, a.k.a. Bella is a fairly unlikable young woman who never smiled-not once-in the entire movie, despite the fact that she was supposed to be in love.  She is an unhappy, sullen sort given to fit of unexplainable anger.  What was Edward's supposed attraction to this rather glum and sour human with the white-washed face?  Perhaps it was the white-washed face that attracts him to her and visa-versa, since being a Vampire and all Edward is well pale. 

Edward Cullen as portrayed by Robert Pattinson doesn't strike me as particularly handsome, but I supposed the ruby red lips juxtaposed against his pale, cold, skin drew Bella in, and if that weren't enough his initial rude behavior sealed the deal for her; after all she has found a soul-mate, someone who matched her sullen and grave disposition.   

The love connection is never really explained in Twilight; one moment Bella loathes Edward, the next she is "inexorably in love" with him.  Now there is word I often hear rolling off the lips of teenage girls.

The script for Twilight is choppy, moving us from scene to scene without much context or connection to the whole.  It's as if the movie were rushing through the plot to get us to the Love Story inspired middle, wherein we can watch Bella and Edward stare for long minutes into each others' eyes; that is when they are not jumping from tree to tree and running through the impossibly foggy forest. 

Characters are just dropped into a scene with no ration explanation for being there.  And there is absolutely no character development, none; everyone in Twilight, looks, acts, and feels like a two-dimensional cutout doll with little to no personality or interest.  As I watched Twilight unfold upon the screen like a bad movie-of-the -week feature I had to keep reminding myself that I, a 47-year-old Black man, was not the target audience for this movie.  That honor goes to teenage girls.

And given the novels' head-scratching popularity (millions sold world-wide), it would appear that the teenage female audience could care less about mundane concepts such as a respectable plot, pacing, or character development.  But the comparison(s) to J.K. Rowling's brilliantly inventive Harry Potter series to this shockingly poor film, based on an amateur writer's limited imagination, has really got to stop; it's akin to comparing Space Balls (1987) to the epic 2001 A Space Odyssey (1968).  Or Sarah Palin to the study of nuclear fission, or Rush Limbaugh to the concept of common sense & decency; you get the idea.

It would appear that the backers of this little mess of a movie were so excited at the prospect of box office gold that they forgot to make a decent film!  But, of course given the target audience, they probably felt as though they didn't need to!  Twilight is a mess and it's a shame that the target audience lacks the ability to discern the difference between real art and modernistic, amateur elephant paintings.

Recommended:
No

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 9 - 12

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October 13, 2010
excellent write up! I just wanted to take a moment and welcome you to this site and to our Movie Hype community, Vincent! We are really excited to see you with us! Please feel free to message me if you have any questions. :)
 
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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin ()
Ranked #78
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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About this movie

Wiki


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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Details

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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