Thursday, December 25, 2008

First Impressions: Twilight

So, Christmas Eve and myself and family go to see Twilight, the Catherine Hardwicke directed movie of Stephanie Meyer’s novel and I have to admit to some, not so small, trepidation. I really enjoyed the novels, yes they were teen romance novels but they were well written. Meyer’s writes a fine character and focuses very much on how those characters then relate to each other. Good reading, not so good as a movie potentially. I was also concerned that, coming in at just over 2 hours, my 12 year old son might notice the con… yes son, it’s a vampire film… (don’t mention the romance).

Then there were the reviews, when reviewers seem to have all agreed it is a good film… if you are a teenage girl. Let me scotch that one; it's more that it is a good film if you are emo – gender not restrictive. For the rest of us, what we have is the story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) who moves to Forks, Washington State, to be with her dad, Charlie Swan (Billy Burke), when her mom (Sarah Clarke) goes on the road with her new husband (Matt Bushell). There she meets Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) a boy who seems a little rude at first but then just plain old conflicted.

The reason, Edward and the others in the Cullen clan are vampires. Very different to the standard vampires to be fair – for instance they avoid sunlight not because they burn but because their skin glistens like diamond. Of course Edward and Bella fall in love but at the same time there have been a couple of murders, by what seems like an animal, but it is another group of vampires. The Cullens are ‘vegetarian’ – they only feed from animals – but these other vampires like their blood human and soon Bella is in peril.

My initial verdict? Well to be honest it was just a little overlong and often boring as a result, to be fair. Robert Pattinson did a fine job as Edward Cullen. He had all the right levels of awkwardness and insecurity, with a barely constrained violence/hunger below the surface. I should also mention Billy Burke who plays Charlie Swan, a great character and fitting performance.

Not so much, however, Kristen Stewart as Bella. My god that was a full on constant whinge, we are in the land of angsty teen and not in any good way. She did not come across as sympathetic at all and a lot of that was in performance as much as anything.

The boredom levels lifted when James (Cam Gigandet), vampire and tracker – the sort of vampire who just loves to hunt, gets wind of Bella and she is in peril. I actually thought that the climax battle was really well done – with a nice bit of ripping head off that could have been more explicit, but that’s just me. However the film then should have wrapped up quickly but it just seemed to go on and on, back into the romance and Bella whinging.

But it wasn’t just me there and my family offered their thoughts. My wife gives Cam Gigandet an A+, though that was for looks alone, plus his pretty coloured contact lenses. However she actually said, during the film, that she wished we could have watched the movie on fast forward and afterwards confirmed that she found it incredibly boring – I believe the phrase 'it sucked' was used but, then again, she dislikes a good number of the films reviewed on this page. My son, on the other hand, gave the whole thing a B+, and there was me thinking a 12 year old boy would be bored out of his mind.

All in all I think the book a much better option than the film, but as always a full review will be written when the DVD is available. Interesting, however, to have the trailers last night for both new ITV series Demons and for Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.


Rhiannon said...

I felt the movie was very uneven in many ways. At times I felt the actors were in different movies, some acting like they were in a serious drama, the others as if they were in an after school special.

I'm heading back to see it a second time after the holidays to see how it plays a second time around. Several fans of Twilight say it's better the second time.

Besides, I want to see Carlisle hot!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Rhiannon said: "the others as if they were in an after school special." - worst offender was, imho, Anna Kendrick, who played Jessica sort of children's TV/sub-Disney... *shivers with horror*

I'll next view it on DVD I suspect

Rhiannon said...

My friend, Heather, would agree with your assessment of Jessica and would toss in the rest of the highschool mortals. They felt like they were in a very different movie.

Anonymous said...

I saw the movie before I read the book, and I'm glad I did. I don't think I would have liked the book that much if I hadn't. I liked the movie much better, and will not read "New Moon" until after seeing that movie.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Fair play, writers journey - I think its each to their own. I prefered the books and don't think I'd have enjoyed the movie as much if I hadn't read it.

CrabStiX said...

I take it that is a special kind of 'vegetarianism'? A bit like mine, in fact, that allows for bacon sarnies, lamb chops and a good old slab of hot and juicy burger in between nuts and leaves?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

lol... obviously they mean just a non-human diet!