Twilight (2008)

Twilight is the movie based on the book [my reviews of the series here]by Stephenie Meyer. And if you haven’t heard anything about it, you must be new to this blog and not have any teenage girl in your vicinity.

The plot follows the book closely: After her mother remarries, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her father. There she meets beautiful Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who turns out to be a vampire. The rest is smiling, stalking, clumsiness, over-protectiveness, a tentative kiss, dazzling perfection, angst and an evil vampire.



Anyone who hasn’t read the books: They’re bad. Badly written, drenched in religious imagery, poorly crafted characters, feministically dubious at best. BUT they are completely addictive. And when I say addictive, I mean that I own all the books and read them within weeks – additionally to all the other books I read. And somehow feel compelled to defend them, at least a little bit.

The movie is equally bad. They tried to make it better – start with the murder plot earlier and not 20 minutes before the end, make Bella into a character – but ultimately, they failed. And unfortunately, where they also failed was the addictive quality: Whatever it is that made the books that way, the film doesn’t have it. [I’m sure this won’t change the popularity of it, though, because it has very pretty people acting in it.]

I was completely ready to fight for Catherine Hardwicke, the director, because she got kicked off New Moon even though Twilight is immensly successful. But I really can’t do this anymore. Not and still have a clear conscience. Her directing sucked. Like big time. She had a couple of scenes, where the camera makes circles around Bella and Edward and those scenes were so messy that I almost got nauseous. Also, there’s this thing called subtle symbolism, which is completely lost on her.
[Btw, Chris Weitz was chosen as her replacement. Because he completely destroyed The Golden Compass, he definitely is the perfect choice to adapt yet another fan favourite fantasy book.]

twilight-vampire-familyWho has the worst haircut? Edward or Jasper?

I have to admit that one of the things that had me most curious about this adaptation was whether Edward will sparkle in the movie (for all, who don’t know: in this world, vampires can’t go into the sunlight because they start sparkling and people’d notice). Well, he does. (Yay!) It’s very subtle and as beautiful as a sparkling person can be, I think. The thing is only that they added a sound effect to it and now vampires don’t only sparkle, they also tinkle. And let me tell you, if they wanted to augment the effect of the sparkling, that was the wrong way to go. Instead I couldn’t help but laugh about it. Why not make the sparkling a little bit more visible, which will be important in film 2 (New Moon) anyway?

Optically, they have done well – except for Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), who looks less anxious than constipated most of the time. And, seriously, can you imagine him having Jasper’s backstory that is revealed in Book 3?
Other than that, it was fine. While neither of the guys is my type, I can see the pretty. And especially Alice (Ashley Greene) is exactly as I imagined her.

As for the acting abilities… Well, let’s leave some things unsaid, shall we? Let’s just say, “It was not good.”
Okay, I will have to say a bit more: Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are good actors by themselves. Together, they are a catastrophe of chemistry. I mean, there is supposed to be a spark between them, isn’t there?


The best thing about the movie: Charlie, Bella’s Dad (Billy Burke). It’s a steady, good performance, for a steady, better-than-in-the-book character. And his conflict with Bella and the development of their relationship is really what works best in the entire film.

The worst thing about the movie: The vampire-superpower special effects. When Edward started running, I wanted to throw myself on the floor, laughing.

Interesting sidenote: Nice try to make Meyer’s world more diverse by including some people of colour. Originally, there were only the Quileute, who were not white. In the movie we have 2 black guys, 1 Asian guy, 2 latinos. Yay.  

Summarising, this one is only for the fans. And they won’t care about reviews. :)

15 thoughts on “Twilight (2008)

  1. Pingback: Twilight Review « Into Twilight

  2. Oh come ON…
    …show me one woman who isn’t dreaming of a long and happy life with an overprotective stalker creep with anger and maturity issues, who tinkles and looks like he’s in excrutiating pain every time he so much as kisses her.


  3. Alice really was the one characterI LIKED about the movie. And Bella’s dad,too, although I don’t typically like the strong and silent outdoorsy type.
    I thought Mr. Cullen was a little too hot, especially compared to his kids. And yes, the tinkling and the vampire superpower special effects were all “wtf” moments for me :) .

    By the way, when we say “nice try” here-maybe not in India in general, but certainly in my college- it invariably implies sarcasm. I take it that’s not what you meant, though?

  4. @deadra:
    Put it like that… that is an absolutely dreamy description. Very true…

    Das ist echt lustig. So positive Besprechungen hätte ich echt nicht erwartet.

    Hast du ihn denn jetzt schon gesehen?

    Alice is also one of the best characters in the book. (Meaning: She IS a character!) Bella’s Dad is great, but especially his interaction with her in the movie is very well done. Mr. Cullen looked kind of out of place, didn’t he? And yes, definitely too good looking compared to the rest of the vampires.

    Nice try is usually also really sarcastic here. In this context, it was kind of half-sarcastic. I mean, it was very thoughtful to try and do it, but it was not very successful.

  5. 1. your review of the books (of which i’ve as yet only read the first two though) sums up my thoughts entirely! :)
    2. haircutwise: jasper is worse than edward but better than robert pattinson
    3. actually the movie worked quite well for me, not hearing bella’s overrepetitive thoughts helped i think. also the “pretty people acting in it” helped a lot for me too (read edward), but alas, we two are known to have mostly diagonally diverging opinions about men. :)
    4. can’t comment on how well jasper is cast as i haven’t read eclipse (yet!) but talking about bad casting (now that i’ve read new moon): uhm… jacob???

  6. ad 1: So, you started with Eclipse already? Or are you still waiting?

    ad 2: I think I have to agree – Jasper’s haircut is worse. But Robert Pattinson’s haircut is Edward’s haircut, isn’t it?

    ad 3: Fair enough. I guess our tastes in men will never be the same. Which can only be good for both of us, can’t it? :)

    ad 4: I thought Jacob was a good cast, actually. What didn’t you like about him?
    Let’s talk about Jasper when you’ve read Eclipse. :)

  7. ad 1: purchased eclipse today and will start reading asap! :)
    ad 2: i’m talking about robert pattinson’s “haircut” as e.g. here: – funny interview by the way.
    ad 3: agreed! :)
    ad 4: i liked jacob in twilight but how is he supposed to be a new moon-jacob?

    i mean he can put on muscles but how are they going to make him over 6 feet tall? a box? high heels? and he could have been more native american for my taste, too.

    ps: if you’re lacking company for watching anymore oscar-nominees (if you haven’t already seen all of them?) let me know. :)

  8. ad 1: They do addict, these books… Thank goodness, it’s holidays, eh?

    ad 2: Watched the video [man, he’s funny]. I think the haircut is the same [I’ve read that he isn’t allowed to cut it], just differently styled. And I have to admit that the Edward style is better.

    ad 4:

    True. That could cause problems. But maybe he’ll have a growth spurt as well? ;) If not – werewolf in high heels? Sounds good to me!

  9. Pingback: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) « Stuff

  10. Pingback: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012) « Stuff

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