Friday, December 5, 2008

Twilight Movie Review

It's always fun to see a book you enjoyed be made into a movie. It brings it to life and you get to see what happens and how the story is changed or enhanced (or not) by being acted out. I took my husband to see the Twilight movie last weekend. I knew going in that he probably wouldn't like it that much, but I was hoping that they made it into a good movie so that it would surprise me and he would enjoy it a little bit.

Unfortunately, Twilight was not that great of a movie if you didn't read the book. I liked seeing it come to life on the big screen, but I didn't think it was a good movie. It reminded me a lot of the first Harry Potter movie, in that they tried to follow the book so much that they lost sight of telling a good story. Hopefully the next installments will be better at converting books into movies.

There were a ton of teenagers in the theater, which made it more fun for me, because they were laughing and reacting to all the same things I was. It was obvious what was happening in the movie, but if you hadn't read the books, the funny parts were just ordinary. For instance, during the biology scene, it was obvious that Edward was reacting negatively to Bella, but they didn't say why, and they didn't say why he was being nice to her all of a sudden after his camping trip. They could have made that scene funny for everyone in the theater, but instead, it was just a boy meets girl, hates girl, then boy likes girl kind of thing, with no explanation whatsoever.

Details and context would have taken the superficial movie characters and made them more interesting, like they were in the books. I know they can't include everything, but they need to include some stuff for the people that aren't already fans. Plus it would be nice for those of us who are fans too. Adding just a few more key details would have helped to make the characters more rounded and make the romance more epic and understandable (if you didn't read the books, you wouldn't know why Edward and Bella got together other than maybe hormones or forbidden love).

I really liked James, Victoria and Laurent, but I thought it would have been more suspenseful to allude to the killings w/o showing the other vampires until the baseball scene. It would have been great to get more of the danger and James tracking Bella into the movie too. That would have made the violent scene in the dance studio much more plausible and interesting. The way it was, it seemed out of place with the rest of the movie. (Don't get me wrong, I totally loved that scene, especially where Alice is helping Bella and gets blood on her hand. Actually, that was my favorite scene.)

I'm glad I saw it but I wish it had been better. I'm planning on going to see Eclipse when they make it a movie too, just not with my husband.

The best parts (IMO) were:

The scene in the dance studio with James and Bella and how it plays out between them, and when Edward and then the others arrive. If the rest of the movie had that kind of intensity, it would have been excellent (think what they could have done with the romance).

The look that Edward gave the guys harassing Bella. One stare and they all scatter - HA!

Bella falling on her butt. It was over before I even had a chance to laugh (which I totally would have if they had made the fall just a little bit more drawn out). I waited the whole movie for more spaz moves - there were tons in the books, I was hoping for more in the movies.

Alice - LOVED her!

Jasper - I wasn't sure if I liked him at first, but I was sold by the end of the movie. I loved the expression on his face, and thought it was realistic that he would let his guard down just a bit during the baseball scene.

Sparkles - I don't think they were supposed to be funny, but compared to the description in the book, they were hilarious. Everyone in the theater was laughing, or maybe it was just me.

Edward catching the apple. Cool move.

Bella - I thought KS made a great Bella.

I wasn't prepared for Carlisle. I had heard things, but had a different picture in my mind based on that. When he first appeared I was not ready for that, but he grew on me. The Cullens actually all looked a little more like live dolls than like sexy vampires the first time you see them. All of them together is a cool look, just not exactly what I expected. It did grow on me though. Edward looks different.

Mike - great casting, cute guy. Sorry they didn't have Bella go out with him.

Jacob - loved his smile! I'm not a team Jacob fan, but I liked the actor and can't wait to see what he does with the bigger part in the next movie.

Jumping out of Edward's window into the forest. That was cool. Wish I could do that. Plus the scenery was gorgeous!

The not so great parts (IMO):

The sleep stalking. I didn't think it could be any creepier than in the books, but seeing it on screen was worse. It's not romantic to have someone watching you sleep without your knowledge or permission, even if they say they are protecting you. It's just creepy and stalkerish.

Edward - I like RP, he's just not how I pictured Edward. Sorry! I'm hoping I'll get used to that by the next movie.

The voice overs. I could have done without that. I don't think it added to the movie; it just made me think about how much better the book was.

I would have liked to see more of the reservation side of the story. Without that, the next one will seem even stranger than it already does in the book.

Continuity issues (for those of you that will go see the movie multiple times):
When Bella went to the bookstore to get the book on legends, she put it in her bag. Then Edward saved her from the bad guys. On the way home, they stopped at the Sherrif's dept. and Bella got out, without her bag. Edward went with Carlisle. In the next scene, Bella magically has her book. ??? (It's always fun to point out stuff like that - every movie has at least one scene.)

Another continuity thing: when she's in the hospital, they keep showing Bella close up, then farther away. Back and forth and back and forth. The tubes are over her eyes one way, then they're not, then they are, then they're not!

Final Thoughts:
If you read the books or just want to see the movie, go see it. If you don't like teenage girl movies or movies made from books, then stay home.

Other Reviews:
Courtney did a really fun review of her Twilight movie experience.

Entertainment Weekly review. They have video interviews with Robert Pattinson and Stephenie Meyer (8-10 video segments), which I watched. There were more videos after that, but I didn't watch them.

The Variety review
also has an interview with Robert Pattinson (with some seriously bad hair).

School Library Journal review
has a book/movie comparison.


  1. I just went to see it with my daughter. We both thought it was a little cheesy, but entertaining. Once I got past being disappointed with Edward (not how I pictured him at all) and the campy make-up, I enjoyed it. Loved Jacob and I'm reading the second book now, so I'll be interested to see what they do with that, too.

  2. Thanks for the review. But I have to admit: Team Jacob.

  3. I haven't read the book yet (or seen the movie) BUT fully intend to so I didn't read all of your review! I didn't want any spoilers! I can't wait to read and see what everyone is buzzing about though!

  4. Adrienne, the make-up was campy, wasn't it? I think that's why they looked so doll like. Are you liking the second book?

    Jacqui, Team Jacob, really? Have you read all the books yet? Just curious.

    Kelly, go read, go watch, enjoy!