I just returned from an evening out with my husband, we went to go see a movie, just the two of us without the girls. It was his birthday too, so what could be more perfect than a contemporary Romeo and Juliet love story between a high school girl and a vampire? Thanks to http://43kix.com I received 2 VIP tickets to the advance screening of Twilight the movie, in Raleigh.
If you haven’t read the Twlight series of books yet (you should get on it right away!) here’s a quick synopsis for the first one which the movie is based on:
Bella, 17 year old high school junior, moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father after her mom and her new husband, Phil, a minor league baseball player, decide to leave their Phoenix home and hit the road. Forks is a small town; it is cold, rainy and cloudy almost year round and on her first day of school she runs into Edward, a mysteriously attractive boy who seemed repulsed by her. It turns out he wasn’t exactly repulsed but rather strongly attracted to her. Strongly attracted to the scent of her blood, that is. So what’s a girl to do when a vampire wants to drink her blood dry? Why fall in love with him of course!
You’d think they had enough problems dealing with the fact that while Edward dearly loves her, he also battles his desire to kill her every time they are together (is there a better example of true love?). Of course not. They have to meet up with the villain James and his girlfriend Victoria. James gets it into his head that he wants Bella. Wants her blood, that is, and Edward has to protect her from being devoured literally.
When you read a great book that elicits a range of emotions from you, it would be pretty hard for any movie to top the images you’ve formed in your head. Knowing that and realizing that the book had to be drastically condensed for the movie, the movie version of Twilight did a fairly good job rendering the story on screen. The movie starts with Bella’s narrative introduction. You realize straight away that this is all going to be from her point of view.
The first thing I looked for is whether the same palpable chemistry between Bella and Edward will be conveyed by the movie. Edward did his part. His searing stares, his fears, his hunger, his playfulness all come through actor Robert Pattinson’s portrayal. I thought he was a bit over made up, but I got past the chalky make up and red lipstick quite fast. However, try as I might to be impartial to Bella, Kristen Stewart’s acting just came off as flat. She looked perfect for the role; not too pretty, not too plain. But I had a hard time getting Bella’s emotions from her. Pattinson did an awesome job in the facial expressions department. It was almost like reading the book right from his face. Some reviewers had talked about the chemistry between Pattinson and Stewart but I didn’t see it. I had a hard time buying into their attraction on screen. BUT, (just because I refuse to give up on Bella) seeing as Twilight is all about Bella’s ‘growing up’ and developing into the kick ass vamp in the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, I won’t say that she totally sucked, just that she has a lot of growing up to do and I’m hoping that happens by the sequel. Because this time around, Stewart’s portrayal of Bella just didn’t convey the intensity and knot-in-your-stomach feeling that you got from the book.
Overall, the movie was enjoyable. My husband who hadn’t read the book liked it. He thought Alice rocked and I agreed. Alice just had a lot more in the personality department than Bella. Jacob was hot, but was not on screen enough. I can’t wait for the sequel just to see more of Jacob. Roselie was annoying as ever but I suppose that’s good because that’s just how she is in the book. The high school friends, Mike, Jessica, Eric and Angela were all spot on. Charlie, Bella’s dad, was perfect. Not quite what I had in mind, but was a pleasantly surprising choice for the role. I actually liked the movie version of Charlie better than the one in my imagination.
I also enjoyed the fact that many of the actual dialogue from the book made it on to the script. As my favorite quote from the book says, “When Life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end”. Meaning, the book was just too awesome to fully do justice on screen. The movie is good, go see it. Just don’t expect all the little details you enjoyed in the book to be on the big screen.
p.s. There were some genuinely funny moments in the movie. I know my daughter will hate one fact when she sees it. That’s Jasper. She loves Jasper and when I told her that he was characterized in the film as the one looking always scared, she didn’t like that at all. 🙂 But then, even in the book, Jasper is the one long suffering, wounded character among the vampires.
OTHER WEIRD DETAILS I NOTICED IN THE MOVIE (will update as more ideas come to mind):
1. No fangs. No where in the movie did I see fangs. Let me know if you do. Actually, Jacob had more prominent canines than any of the Cullens.
2. Bite Mark instead of Puncture. When Bella gets bitten by James during that violent scene in the dance studio, she had regular human bite impressions on her arm. Not the usual 2-holed punch from a vampire bite.
3. Laptop instead of PC. Cool change from the book. LOL! I thought they would give her a dinosaur PC like my imagination.
4. Sexy Bella. Bella is actually sexy in quite a few scenes in the movie. You don’t get too much of her sexiness in the book except through Edward’s eyes.
5. Eric is Asian. Brilliant casting, I think. He was actually cute rather than just a dweeb as in the book.
6. Diversity in Forks. Glad to see more people of color 🙂 Aside from the Quileute people, you didn’t really get a sense of diversity from the book. The movie did a much better job in this regard.
7. Cullen Crest. Let me know if you notice it. I did because I was looking for it.
8. Bella’s Song. I wish they would have explored this more. He didn’t ever sing her to sleep with the melody.
9. Soundtrack. none of the music jumped out at me. Now I wish I had paid better attention. Good thing I’m going to see it again this weekend with the girls.
10. Roselie vs. Victoria I thought the girl cast as Victoria looked a lot more like how envisioned Roselie.
11. Tree top scene was not in the book but the visual on film was fantastic. It really was otherworldly.
12. The Meadow was not what I envisioned. I thought it would be larger. But that shot of them lying together, that should have been a movie poster.
13. The Cullen’s House was not the stately and rambling white house in the book but rather a very modern glass house. It was beautiful.
14. Art at the Cullen House beautiful art work throughout the house. The one with the graduations caps/mortar boards was brilliant! A nice addition to the setting. Supposedly it’s all the graduation caps collected by the Cullens over the many years spent in high school.