Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
2008. Rated PG-13, 122 minutes.
Kristen Stewart
Robert Pattinson
Billy Burke
Taylor Lautner
Peter Facinelli
Elizabeth Reaser
Anna Kendrick
Jackson Rathbone

Ashley Greene
Gil Birmingham
Cam Gigandet

Plot: Bella (Stewart) moves to Forks, Washington to live with her dad. At her new high school, she meets and falls in love with Edward (Pattinson) whom she discovers is a vampire.

The Good: It's a very stylish movie. The camera often seems to be next to a fog machine but it works. It works because all that slow-motion fog, the usually soft rain, the angst-stricken looks on the major characters' faces and the almost constant 6 AM lighting, more on that later, stress that this is a romance. Since it so diligently creates the atmosphere of a storybook romance it only has to do a few other things right to make it's target audience, teenage girls, fall in love with it. It does. The couple involved has to make a huge sacrifice to be together and face some sort of seemingly insurmountable challenge to their love. If they cannot overcome that obstacle, on of them must die with the other weeping at his/her side. If they do, then they must pledge their undying love for one another. I won't tell you which happens here, just know that Twilight covers it's bases.

The Bad: Now, about that lighting: this is probably the brightest vampire movie in history. Think about that, a vampire movie with only a few nighttime scenes. It uses the fact that cloudiness and rain are near constant in the area as an excuse. However, when there is sunlight it doesn't seem to be life-threatening to the vampires. Hmmm. This, among other things spits in the face of traditional vampire lore. However, the most grating factor is that our heroes both seem to be suffering from depression and share a fondness for whining. As a result, Edward might be the least sexy vampire to ever hit the screen. He's an introvert who lacks charm, basic confidence and who glares and snaps at everyone. He's the Anakin Skywalker of his species. This problem of assigning sexiness to unsexy characters is evident in Bella, as well. Instead of developing her properly, they just make everyone around her so lame she becomes the most popular and desirable girl in school about 30 seconds into her first day. They were actually waiting for her to get there. They even knew her background and were planning to do a front page feature on her in the school paper. I know I've been out of school for awhile but c'mon, really? As it pertains to Bella and Edward as a couple, the movie tries to have these two obviously cynical people both fall head over heels for one another instantly but other than the aforementioned shared deprssion and whining we've no idea why they would.

The Ugly: Am I the only one who thinks it incredibly stupid for a family of vampires to live in a house high up in the hills with huge floor-to-ceiling windows in nearly every room with no curtains?

Recommendation: It's not nearly as bad as most critics and adults who read the novel will tell you. However, it's not nearly as good as most teenage girls would have you believe. It certainly has it's flaws but it basically does what it sets out to, namely, make a ton of money and have young girls everywhere clamoring for the sequel.

MY SCORE: 5/10

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