Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Movie Review: Twilight

I have reached an interesting stage in my relationship with the Twilight series--I refuse to call it a "saga". I have gone through the stages of denial ("I should probably read those books, but I'm not going to!"), intense criticism ("This is one of the worst things I've ever read, I may never recover and neither will feminism."), acceptance ("But I am checking out the next book, just to see what happens."), guilt ("I can't wait for the next book to come in, why is ILL taking so long, maybe I should buy it, OH PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME!"), and depression ("It's over. What on earth will I read now?"). At some point, I reached a kind of free-fall where all Twilight-related things are still interesting to me, but I didn't have a lot of material to fan the flames of obsession. Until the recent release of the Twilight movie on DVD, that is.

I spent a lot of time last year reading reviews of the movie and resisting the urge to see it in the theater. After finally viewing it last night, I have to pat myself on the back for that decision. I saved us at least $20! On the bright side, it was very faithful to the book, and even improved on the pace a little, although I'm sure purists were disappointed that the agonizingly slow development of Edward and Bella's relationship was somewhat sped up. In the negative column: really bad special effects (I was especially disappointed by the lame sparkling--I NEED MY SPARKLES, DAMMIT!), wooden acting by many of the principals, occasionally hideous dialogue (although this sometimes was unavoidable since it was lifted directly from the book), bad voiceovers, and a severe lack of anything ever actually happening until the very end. It also seemed that Robert Pattinson frequently had his head tilted slightly down, so that we were always treated to a view of Edward's furrowed brow as the point closest to us. I felt that although Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were excellent choices for the lead roles, some of the supporting characters--notably Bella's parents and some of the Cullens--weren't quite what I had envisioned. Neither was the set design for their houses. I know I am in danger here of becoming a reviewer who is complaining that the movie wasn't more like the book, when actually I am relieved it wasn't more like the book, because the book has a lot of flaws.

Overall, I have to give the movie a positive grade because the experience of looking forward to it and watching it was so entertaining. I am firmly in the camp of people who enjoy So Bad It's Good, and Twilight: The Movie veers sharply toward this designation at several points. Will I watch the next one in the theater? I'm not sure yet. I may be busy organizing my Twilight Conversation Hearts into stacks of "dazzle," "bite me," and "I [heart] EC."

Final Grade: C+

Edited to Add: Twilight links I enjoy:

The Onion


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