Twilight

Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Writer: Stephanie Meyer (novel) and Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)
Released: 2008
Starring: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

This is a rather delayed review of the first film of the Twilight Saga. But it has won the poll with an impressive 221 votes! It’s a much longer review than usual, so to keep you interested, I have put in a lot of pretty pictures. So here is my take on it:

First of all, I think we need to ignore our prejudices – whether it’s from the Twihards or the Twilight haters, and watch the film as if we have never heard about it before.

The first thing that I can comment truthfully on is the music. If anything, I do enjoy the music very much, so much so that I have bought the soundtrack. Researching into it further, the music supervisor was Alexandra Patsavas who also worked on the famous soundtracks of Grey’s Anatomy. She picks unknown and indie songs along with well-known musicians and their more unheard music. If anything, the emotion comes from the music in this film.

Emotion, however, is not something that would be seen throughout the protagonists. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire boyfriend, Edward, (Robert Pattinson) are predominately absent of extreme feelings or overall facial movement. This makes me feel awkward throughout the whole film because I can’t relate to Bella’s lack of action or opinion in anything she does

Kristen Stewart and Jodie Foster in the amazing thriller Panic Room. An awesome film – with surprisingly great acting on Stewart’s behalf… Where did it all go wrong?

(who would have thought that this is the same actress who played the girl in Panic Room alongside Jodie Foster!?).

Bearing in mind that she is in a house full of vampires… I’m just saying, if I were in a situation where I was hanging out with vampires for the first time, I would not have a blank appearance… I would either be totally fascinated and asking them a ton of questions, or I would locate the nearest emergency exit.

However, lets be honest, these vampires are not the traditional sort.

The type of vampire from 30 Days of Night directed by David Slade (who also directed Twilight: Eclipse)

 

Although it could be applauded to go outside the box and stay away from the tall, pale, black-haired, cloaked, haunting figure who has fangs and sleeps in a coffin. But I don’t think that Twilight’s Hollywood-moulded type of vampire really works for me.

Vampires are/were my favourite super-natural fantasy creature, with the likes of The Lost Boys and 30 Days of Night being just a couple of my favourite interpretations of the blood-sucking killers.

“Vampire” of a different kind…

 

But now, every time a vampire is mentioned in casual conversation, the first thing that pollutes our mind is Meyer’s lustful image of a certain Mr. Edward Cullen, and not the fearless, sadistic killers that would once come to mind.

But the 25 year old-looking high schoolers who glittered in daylight and are transformed into sexualised and attractive killers… Well. It just doesn’t go down well for me. I think that vampire + sparkles = evil fairy… Not a pin-up highschool boy, like Hollywood has portrayed Edward Cullen to be. It makes nobody scared or nervous, but practically asks the internet to make numerous memes about him.

I would also like to note that the vampire Cullen family drive a Volvo. A Volvo. Not a dangerous motorcycle. But the immortal beings who can not be harmed drive a safe family vehicle… I… I can not fathom this peculiar choice of automobile. If I could not be hurt or killed, I would not only drive a dangerous and rebellious-looking motorbike, but I would drive it at great speeds… Without a helmet on too! What kind of vampire drives a Volvo? Aren’t they one of the safest cars on the road? Made for safety-conscious families who can in fact be injured..? But, I guess fantastical one-hundred year-old creatures with skin as cold and clammy as a rock on a chilly winters day, who would not sustain a mere scratch in a severe car crash, would also be attracted to the top safety ratings and efficient air bags… Makes sense. -_-

I also have a huge problem with how Bella is portrayed. It just seems like she is happy to throw away her entire life for a boy. She’s seventeen and runs away with some guy she just met – a guy who she knows to be a predatory killer. It just seems crazy. She was going to go to university and everything.

Plus, we are frequently reminded that she is totally vulnerable and in danger of being hurt all the time – she has to be looked after and looked out for. It just feels like she’s a pathetic and battered down “pet” – which is in fact how she is referred to in Twilight: New Moon. I always prefer a female lead to be strong, like Trinity in The Matrix and Katniss in The Hunger Games. Why would I want to be put in the shoes of a weakling?

Having had a rage at the characters and the actors, I can say that I do like the filters that were used. The ice blue filter that makes you feel cold whenever there is a vampire in the room. The accented green in the woods to show the intimidation yet fascination around Edward Cullen.
I only wish that this filtration was continued throughout the sequels because it does not show the collection of films as a uniform, but jars the relation between each addition. I can only contrast this to the Harry Potter movies where the feel of each film is similar or only enhanced with each sequel, not necessarily changed.

I would also like to comment on the use of special effects and stunts, despite some of the directorial decisions being questionable, I do think that the stunts are simple, yet effective (although perhaps not always particularly believable). Especially with the fight between Edward and James in the mirrored dance hall where the camera work was done quite well, despite the use of wires being obvious.

To end this positively negative review on a high note, here is a funny video:
Bad lip reading of Twilight...

Keifer Sutherland is the best [looking] ‘teenage’ vampire. And at least The Lost Boys didn’t take themselves too seriously; it was a black comedy after all.

I think that there is a lot of hype over nothing, but also a bit of shame among those who secretly enjoy the film. I don’t think it’s “bad”. It’s just… poor. It could have been done better if the cast was re-thought. But, even so, the characters were pretty pathetic too… It should have become a film that faded into the background; a one-hit wonder.

I don’t think it really deserves the hype – or the hate – that it has attracted. The appreciation would have been more appropriate if the movie came and went. It would have done much better as a fantasy horror – not a fantasy highschool chick-flick.

Jodie’s rating: 4/10

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About Jodie (NZ Film Freak)

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. I enjoy writing on my blog about films and songs, plus the odd random thought. Currently working as a writer in UK. Follow me on Twitter @NZFilmFreak and like my Facebook page NZ Film Freak. Follow my travels around the world www.jodiehart.co.nz
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