Twilight

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Remo D
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Twilight

Post by Remo D » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:00 am

Nope--didn't see it. But it's the genre "event" film of the year and it needs to be acknowledged. The problem is that I'm so removed from personal interest in it that nothing I say would be particularly helpful (I did my "teen horror" penance with PROM NIGHT and had a similar disinterest in THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY, okay?).

So I'm turning the reins over to my daughter Rebecca. She's 16, she's read all of the TWILIGHT books, she's the target audience... and for some reason, she has an excellent genre grounding from the Universal classics to the harshest material being released today (gee, wonder how THAT happened?). Therefore, my "official" review of TWILIGHT will default to someone who truly ought to "get" it.

Here's Rebecca!

Okay. I saw "Twilight" today. Before I really get into this, I just want everyone to know that I have been into the books since I was fourteen, waaaaaay before they became overly popular. I am not a fangirl and I never have been, either.

Anyway. So, last year when I first heard that they were adapting "Twilight" into a film, I was so excited. I was excited by everything about it. However, as the series became more and more popular with the film coming closer and closer, I began to lose interest. Seriously, for the last few weeks I had been dreading this movie. I really just wanted to get it over with and out of the way, because I felt like the entire series had been ruined for me by fangirls. The more and more I thought about the series, the more it became imperfect to me.

So, I went with Megan, Rocket, and Haydn to see it today, and I have to say that it was better than I thought it would be. No, it was not great. It was all right. In a sense, it was very much like the book for me, in the way that the entire beginning until Bella and Edward fall in love just bores me to tears. And I have to tell you, the beginning of the film just isn't good. There were a lot of changes made, the acting seemed a bit strained and weird, and it really made me think that I was right, that the film would be completely terrible. But then Edward and Bella fall in love, and I swear, it all just changed.

Lets face it: I'm a complete and total sucker for Edward and Bella.

Once they go through the scene in the woods and admit their feelings, it is all just peachy. The acting improved, the mood improved, everything was just better. I have to say that I really did like the last hour or so of the movie. It made me remember how much these books mean to me, how much they've always meant to me since I first started reading them, before the fangirls and before the craze. I did, however, feel that parts of the movie pandered too much to the fangirl and non-reader audience. In a way, I felt that they were aiming it more towards the audience that hadn't read the book. But if you're a fan, you should go check it out.

Now I'm just waiting to see what they do with "Breaking Dawn," if they make it that far.

LONG LIVE TWILIGHT! (No joke, I swear.)

-Rebecca
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!


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Irrylath
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Post by Irrylath » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:57 am

well, I read the books back in "the day" and LOVE them. I also saw the twilight movie at the midnight showing and though it wasn't exactly like the book, I didn't expect it to be, and they left out parts that I was hoping would be in there...I enjoyed it. I'd watch it maybe 10-15 more times. :)


PS I did like the little inside jokes that were pointed towards the readers.
There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.
- - - Albert Schweitzer

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Griff [Mola]
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Post by Griff [Mola] » Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:03 am

Ha ha! Awesome guest reviewer, Remo. Well done, Rebecca!

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Remo D
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Post by Remo D » Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:36 pm

All right. I caved.

Rebecca's review was one thing, but then I started hearing back from other people whose opinions I respected as well--including one MANOR cast member who liked the movie even more than SHE did... and even more than the book (which he read later). Yes, I said "he." We're not talking C.C. the Vaultmistress, we're talking Triple M. (That's Mad Mark Mak for those out of the loop.)

Not only did he like the film, but he gave it a generous ranking on his yearly Top Ten (of ALL movies, not limited to genre movies), went back and started in on the books and is still ranting about where the storyline is headed.

Okay--this TWLIGHT business obviously has an effect, it's not going anywhere anytime soon, and I had better get acquainted with it even if it doesn't look like my cup of tea.

So I got acquainted with it. Lonely matinee, no "fangirl" distraction. Just me and the movie.

Now obviously, when it comes to "vampire" movies, I'm always going to prefer something like 30 DAYS OF NIGHT. Or LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. Or NEAR DARK. Or HORROR OF DRACULA. You get the idea. And had it been my intention to savage TWILIGHT mercilessly, sight unseen, simply for being a romantically inclined, PG-13, high school-set vampire movie, then I would have had plenty of ammunition.

The "sparkling in the sunlight" thing? Corny and ridiculous. When one is about to reveal oneself as a "monster," then grim reality ought to look at least a LITTLE BIT frightening. The entrance of head vampire Carlyle Cullen as the town doctor? Cracked me up--pale kids at the school were one thing, but for this guy to step in as your MD? You'd swear you were already dead and he was there to embalm you... I know, you're supposed to feel something like that, but it just seemed so over the top at the time.

Oh, and the entrance of heartthrob vampire Edward, doing a droopy-eyed "take" to the camera? Sorry. I understand the appeal to young female viewers, but I couldn't get ZOOLANDER out of my head once I saw that (Ben Stiller unleashes "Magnum!") And to make matters worse, I was still thinking of ZOOLANDER when the film unintentionally echoed one of the funniest lines from that very production ("You can read minds!"). Sorry--I was a goner after that.

Zipping around the trees using fancy computer effects? Well, TWILIGHT hardly INVENTED it, but I just felt the same way I did when I saw Stuart Townsend walking the ceiling in QUEEN OF THE DAMNED or Dracula climbing the walls in VAN HELSING... they weren't doing it because they particularly needed to; they were doing it just because they "could," so the movie could show off to the audience (unlike, say, Christopher Lee in SCARS OF DRACULA, who had a legitimate reason to go Bram Stoker on the tower).

And every time it seems some genuine intensity and violence are building up, the movie shies away--though I'm given to understand that the movie DOES outdo the book in the graphic suggestion of "tear up his body and burn the pieces" at a crucial moment. And said crucial moment wasn't bad at all--but again, it's too little, too late--that is, of course, if you're expecting "horror."

I won't mislead you. This is one of those that's going to stay in the reference books because it DOES feature blood-sucking vampires. It's supernatural, there are bad guys, there are genre elements. But it doesn't play as horror, and everyone who wants to see it knows that going in, making an attack on that aspect of the film completely pointless. This won't go down as my favorite film of this or any other year, horror or not...

...and yet ...and yet. Lacking in "horror" it may be, but TWILIGHT still offers a pleasant alternative to material that's been hacked, slashed and cliched to death. After a hundred vampire "seduction" movies, watching a tale concerning restraint and the value of a normal human existence was genuinely different (not to get Moral Majority on you, but I can certainly understand why many parents approve of this series). I expected Bella to show up in high school as "the misfit" and immediately meet the "geeks," the "jocks" and the "princesses" as in virtually every other high school movie ever made... but no. We actually got a believable and likable bunch of characters, none of which made me groan "Not again!" I also expected Bella's police chief father to overreact and go ballistic/tyrannical on his poor, misunderstood daughter--but again, no. He's sympathetic to the point where you can actually feel remorse for the way Bella treats HIM (though there's no real choice at that point). There's amusing interplay with the vampire "family" (I particularly liked their huge collection of graduation caps--since they don't age, they have to repeat high school through eternity) and always something to keep the proceedings watchable, whether or not I was "buying" it.

So there you go. It's part of our world whether we invited it or not, and there's no point in trying to "beat" it. And there are far, far worse examples of PG-13 genre poison out there... including plenty that actually tried to represent themselves as HORROR... hmmm... something else that came out this year which also involved a high school prom comes to mind, but I can't remember the title...

Meantime, I borrowed the book from my daughter.

Really.

Remo D.
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!


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