Film Review: Twilight

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This evening I went to the advanced screening for Twilight. Putting my die-hard Twilight obsession aside, I thought the film was good...for the most part. Still there are some things that need addressing. Here's my break down:

The Cinematography

Unlike other teen films, the cinematography in Twilight isn't stagnant. In fact, it's pretty edgy. Twilight has a certain charm that places it outside the realm of the other dozen teen movies that came out this year. There is a certain undertone to the camera work. When we first meet Bella, the camera is a bit shaky and usually providing us wide angle shots to grasp the scope of the awkwardness of being the new girl in town, but after Edward enters Bella's life the cinematography takes on a completely different feel. It becomes much more steady and clean whilst still placing emphasis on interesting angles and unique perspectives.

The Locations

One word: Gorgeous. Though I am somewhat disappointed with the Cullen home. Personally, I pictured it quite different, but either way it is still incredibly beautiful. Whoever scouted the locations should definitely be rehired, because honestly wow. Between the sweeping scenery, the interesting camera work and the sentimental score, this film is not just your ordinary teen movie.

The Minor Characters:

Billy Black - What a G! Loved him and his dynamics with Charlie.

Jacob Black - Sigh. The hair. The hair needs to go. I wasn't particularly thrilled by Lautner's performance as we initially encounter him in the film, but he was particularly good in the La Push scene as well as the final scene. ... Still the hair needs to go!

Charlie - Here is where a friend and I defer. Personally, I'm not crazy about him, but others actually like him. I suppose you will have to choose for yourselves.

Renee - I absolutely loved her. Period.

The Humans:

The humans stole the show. Anna Kendrick, as Jessica, was particularly good! She's definitely an actress to watch out for. Mark my words! Mike Welsh, as Mike Newton, was also the perfect mix of awkward and adorable.

The Villains:

I enjoyed watching them on screen. Rachelle LeFevre, playing Victoria, was cheeky and entertaining to watch. For such a small role, her personality really shines though. Another actress to keep an eye on. Cam Gigandet is a great James. Sexy & evil... and I love it!

The Cullen Family:

- Hands down my favorite Cullen (outside of Edward) in both the book and film. Ashley Green is so adorable and the perfect Alice. Can't wait to see her in the next installment!

Jasper - Had, literally, two lines in the entire film. Also the lack of emotion with which the role was played was painful to watch. Very awkward!

Emmett - Amazing. Kellan Lutz is genius in this role. He straddles the line of being ferocious while simultaneously hilarious perfectly! Really looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.

Rosalie - I know a lot of you had issues with Nikki Reed as Rosalie. Personally, I've always liked her and have always found her beautiful both as a brunette and blond. That being said, she is wonderful as Rosalie. So wonderful. Nikki Reed manages to bring forth Rosalie's inner turmoil and anger in her portrayal of the character. Enjoyed watching her on screen, though I really think they should style her differently. Her outfits were god awful.

Esme - I wasn't particularly thrilled about how this role was cast, but I actually liked Elizabeth Reaser as Esme. She was cute and sensitive, yet stern and motherly. The right mix for this part.

Carlisle - Not crazy about that particular shade of blond on Peter Facinelli's hair, but I can honestly say that when he came on screen I leaned over to my friend and said "Wow, he's hot." Not only is he hot, but he's good actor. At least, he's convincing as Carlisle. Wish they would change his hair though.

Edward and Bella:

Robert Pattinson as Edward - A little bit awkward, but I still like it. Not gonna lie, he was a pretty decent Edward. He is definitely swoon worthy.

I will confess, however, that I was initially thrown off by his voice. It does take a little getting used to, especially after listening to his sexy British accent during the interview blitz that has been going on for the past few weeks. Generally liked his performance, although I still think he needs to work a bit on his craft.

Kristen Stewart as Bella - For months now, I've been harboring a secret.... I wasn't crazy about Kristen Stewart's voice. I felt for a long time that it was much too deep and thus was a bit turned off by her playing Bella. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong. SO WRONG. She is AMAZING. Let me say that again so that it sinks in.... AMAZING. She is the embodiment of Bella. Painfully awkward, shy, clumsy, independent, gorgeous...and heartbreakingly in love with Edward. Her performance was spot on. And as for her voice... PERFECT.

Robert & Kristen's on screen chemistry - Sexy. Awkward. Adorable. Funny. Sweet.... the list can go on and on.

Least Favorite Things/Scenes:

The special effects - Oh. My. If there is a God, please let New Moon have a higher budget! I would love to know how Edward can now embody both Spiderman and Superman! Also hated the magic carpet effect. Personally thought it was cheesy and over done.

Hospital scene - The one and only time I can say that I wasn't crazy about Kristen's acting. It just felt a bit over the top, even though Rob played his part well.

Really disappointed that they removed the line "None of us want to look into his eyes for the next hundred years if he loses you."

Also really disappointed that they removed all "I love you's" as well as most of the physical affection that steadily grows in the novel. This may be a problem when it comes to explaining why it's so painful for her to lose Edward in New Moon.

Favorite Scenes (so many!):

- Biology scene. I seriously died at Edward's reaction to Bella's scent.

- Port Angeles scene. From beginning to end. P.S. Never Think plays during this scene.

- I absolutely adore the day they ride to school in the morning.

- The kiss. You think the commercial was sexy? You haven't seen anything yet.

- The meadow. I thought that the whole "You don't know how long I've waited for you" scene would end up being cheesy, but in fact it was pretty sexy. Which was followed by...

- The lion fell in love with the lamb moment = delivery was spot on and heart felt.

- Edward sparkles. Subtle and not over done (you can now let out a sigh of relief).

- Fight scene. Alice.Is.A.Badass. P.S. Let Me Sign plays during a Bella and Edward moment in this scene.

- Prom. From beginning to end. I heart that scene. (And in case you Jacob lovers are wondering, he does make a rather good cameo. I'm sure you can guess why he's there. Funny little line from Edward about it, too. Also, Bella dancing on top of Edward's feet is beyond cute.)

- When Bella leaves Edward to be taken by Alice and Jasper to Arizona. The emotion in that scene is heartbreaking. It's framed nicely as well.

- Baseball scene. I didn't think I would enjoy this as much as I did, but I would probably rank it in my top 5 favorite scenes in the film.

My advice before you see it: Go with an open mind. This is, first and foremost, an adaptation. Also most scenes do not take place in the same places or in the same order that they did in the book, but console yourselves with the fact that they did take full lines of dialog directly from the novel. Moreover, remember they were trying to capture the essence of the novel, not the novel itself. Keep in mind as well that the budget was ridiculously small (a mere $37 million). Enjoy!

P.S. Can people please stop asking poor Robert Pattinson to bite them? Fan girlz control yourselves! For serious.