Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Movie Review: "Twilight"

Ok, I have now stopped laughing long enough to write my Twilight review. It took awhile. Now, don't get me wrong. I liked the movie. Quite a bit, actually. FAR more than I thought I would. But it was often ridiculous and overwrought, you know, much like teenage romance. I actually think the movie is better than the book. And that almost never happens. I saw the movie with my mom and we both read all four books and enjoyed them, mostly. One of my favorite things to do is to tell unsuspecting people what happens in book four. (You ever see Alien? It's JUST like that! Only not as good! And WAY more gory!) I spent equal time laughing hysterically and leaning forward in my seat making goo-goo eyes at the lovestruck teenagers. It took until halfway through the movie for Mom and I to stop giggling whenever Robert Pattison and his hair came onscreen. (At his first appearance, I cracked up and Mom exclaimed, "His eyebrows are trapezoids!" Don't you wish you'd been sitting behind us?)

Quick and dirty plot synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Bella Swann moves to some rainy town in Washington (Or is it Oregon? Whatever) to live with her dad because, blah, no one cares. She meets some kids at school, including the BEAUTIFUL AND MYSTERIOUS CULLEN FAMILY. All the other Cullen kids are paired up pseudo-incestuously with other Cullens except for the wild-haired Edward. Oh, the Cullens are vampires. SHHHH. It's a (poorly kept) secret! But they're nice vampires, they don't eat people. Only wildlife. Edward totally wants to eat/have awkward sex with Bella. Ah, young love. Bella is down with either because she's stupid. Blah blah blah, longing looks, sparkling, vampire baseball, evil vampire trio, plot, plot, plot, VAMPIRE FIGHT, WRIST-SUCKING, prom, kissing, THE END.

Things I liked:
  • The script. Given the source material, Twilight has a very good script. It's structured better than the book (I liked how the vampire killings are shown from the beginning of the movie. That way it's not like, "SURPRISE! EVIL VAMPIRE AMBUSH!!" when they appear later.), the characters, particularly Bella's classmates, are better drawn and it had FAR less padding than the book. The novel is at least 100 pages too long. Pages and pages of adolescent whining and repetition.
  • The actors. With one notable exception (JASPER!!), all the actors are excellent. They all throw themselves into their roles and inhabit them completely. The vampire family is especially well done, except for one. (JASPER. OH, WE'LL TALK ABOUT HIM LATER)
  • The chemistry between Bella and Edward. Robert Pattison and Kristen Stewart have SMOKIN' chemistry. Seriously. That kiss? Was very, very hot. You could feel the LONGING. Of course, they can't have sex because Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon, I mean, because Edward could kill Bella if he "loses control." Ah, yes, the demon that is sexuality. SCARY. (It's like in Mallrats when Brodie is wondering if Superman and Lois Lane could have sex because wouldn't his Super Sperm pierce her uterus? Just like that, only more repressed!)
  • Everything in Twilight is very pretty to look at. Both the scenery and all the people. You could retitle it Pretty People Posing and Occasionally Hiking in Pretty Woods and Sometimes Talking. A bit wordy, but accurate.
  • VAMPIRE FIGHT!!!
  • Bella's dad. I didn't find him nearly as touching in the book as I did in the movie. He was really sweet! The actor did a really nice job with such a lightweight role.
  • The trio of evil vampires. They were almost actually scary! And oddly hot.
  • I liked that the movie does not downplay how fucking creepy Edward is. First, he stares at Bella like she's lunch and then twitches around like a freak. Then he befriends her all weirdly and possessively. Then he offers to kill people for her. (To be fair, they were like, would-be gang rapists, but still) Then he tells her that there's a chance he might kill her. You know, accidentally. Then he admits that he sneaks into her room at night...to watch her sleep. Riiiiight. Romantic! At the very least, the actor playing Edward knows what a stalky creeper he is and plays him accordingly.
  • I was amused by the montages of Edward and Bella having deep conversations and seeming to connect on a level other than hormonal/sanguinary. You could never hear what they were talking about which is unfortunate because I can't imagine what a teenage girl and a 150-year-old stalker would talk about. Now we'll never know!
Things I Didn't Like:
  • JASPER. OH MY GOD. What is WRONG with that actor? Was he in a coma? I don't think he made a single facial expression during the entire movie. Every time someone made a comment about how Jasper was feeling or something, I was like, "Um. How can you tell?" Since everyone else in the movie was fine, I'm going to have to chalk his SOCIOPATHICALLY FLAT AFFECT up to bad acting, rather than bad directing. DAMN.
  • Robert Pattison's hair. Did his stylist hate him? There's a fine line between "artfully tousled" and "desperately trying to escape the earthly confines of his scalp" and that line is crossed MANY times.
  • Bella's narration. UGH. Book-Bella is really fucking annoying. Movie-Bella is less so because we are not in her head. We don't have to listen to her whine about how Edward would never love someone like her and rain sucks and school is stupid and blah blah infinity. But then, pretentious narration!
  • And ok, since Bella's classmates are so much more well-written in the movie than in the book, it makes Bella seem like even more of a wet blanket for ditching them for a guy who wants to make a smoothie out of her innards. They're fun, quirky kids who write the school newspaper and hang out in hippied-out vans! Add cigarettes and magnetic locker poetry and that's just like Mame's and my group of friends in high school! But no, Bella is totally bored by them. Of course, Mom pointed out that every girl who is obsessed with her boyfriend totally ditches her friends and acts like that. True, true.
  • The stupid thing with Edward catching the apple. That caused me to guffaw so loudly that Mom hissed at me to behave myself. HAHAHAHA.
  • THE WRIST-SUCKING. Are you KIDDING me?! Was that supposed to be serious?
  • I was disappointed with the sparkling. I expected Edward to be WAY sparklier. I'm assuming the filmmakers were trying to avoid camp, but guys? TOO LATE. This is Twilight; less is NOT more.
  • Some of the dialogue was appalling. And most of the real groaners? Came straight from the book. Guys, it was bad enough having to READ that lion/lamb shit, let alone hearing real people actually SAY it.
  • My Chemical Romance does not appear on the soundtrack. I DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS.
  • I still want to send Stephenie Meyer a care package containing copies of The Gift of Fear, Backlash and Reviving Opelia, 'cause damn.
Still. It was great times. It was not, however, good enough to deserve a text at 2:3o in the morning opening night telling me how AWESUM!!11 it was, MY TEENAGE COUSIN BRIANNA. Ugh.

Also, I may or may not be writing this review under the influence of muscle relaxers. So, you know, keep that in mind. (TEAM JACOB ALL THE WAY, BITCHES!!!)

4 comments:

docsmartypants said...

OK, I haven't read the books or seen the film, but I've heard all about them, and this review was absolutely ace! Bonus points for mentioning the Mallrats Superman/Lois Lane conversation.

"Lady" Bea said...

Thanks! I highly recommend the books AND the movie. They are SUPREME for mocking purposes.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I read this review. It is no wonder we are friends.

-Niki

"Lady" Bea said...

No wonder INDEED, Nik.