I am very upset with Associated Press Movie Critic Christy Lemire's review of Twilight. She gave the film 1.5 Stars and wrote a very unappealing look at the book's film adaptation. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I think the review was written to be controversial rather than an adequate depiction of the movie. I don't know why critics try to take the fun out of something, but I am determined she was just being a sourpuss about the whole affair.
I went to the midnight premiere last night wearing one of my handmade Twilight pendants. I sat there in my seat waiting for the movie to start for nearly two hours and chatted with a nice girl who came dragging along a friend who wasn't at all interested in the movie or books. We were both Edward fans and had similar opinions and views of the books and the waiting time was spent very pleasurably. I commend the theater for opening up seating immediately instead of making us wait outside. The one question we both asked was:
Would the movie live up to the hype?
I say it did. Sure there were some over the top segments, but it was done in accordance to the book. The slow-down filming of the scenes pushed it to the level of being too much. This mostly occurs with the introduction of the supermodel vampires - wonderfully cast and in the biology scene when Edward first gets a whiff of Bella's pungent and lethal scent. It was unintentionally funny, and I think watching it a second time away from immature boy commentators will be thoroughly acceptable instead of slightly laughable.
Thoughts on the Casting:
Bella was perfectly cast with Kristen Stewart. She made watching the slightly awkward and shy Bella Swan very enjoyable not at all the sullen face Lemire makes her out to be. (Her hair I could kill for - gorgeous!) The sexual/romantic tension between Stewart and Robert Pattinson, playing vampire Edward Cullens, was phenomenal. Very hot kiss scenes between them (once again would be more enjoyable without the immature boys yelling across the theater... and that's saying something because the scenes were amazing even with the commentary going on.)
The Cullens family was wonderfully cast too. I was worried with how many unknown names (at least to me) that were appearing throughout the film that it would fall short of readers' expectations. Alice played by Ashley Greene was perky, cute, and fun. Jackson Rathbone played a seriously sexy Jasper. I loved him in the film and could watch him as often as Bella and Edward. Jasper is the newest Vegan vampire and it's very hard for him to be around humans - hence the nearly always present expression of pain on his face.
Lemire mentioned that Rosalie only had one expression - the sneer and scowl. Well if Lemire has read the books Rosalie is the disapproving vampire. She doesn't like Bella and all Bella ever sees her do is sneer and scowl. Rosalie does provide some good humor at the start of the flight from danger scenes.
Dr. Carlisle Cullen is also one sexy vampire. Yum. He plays the hot fatherly doctor figure very well. Of the vampires, he looks most like a vampire. The others are as pale as Bella in most instances.
The high school mortals were also amazing in their roles. The film built up their friendship quickly without much dialogue. I could easily believe that the group had been friends for years. Eric and Mike were fantastic. Jessica and Angela too. Jessica provided a lot of humor to her scenes because you can see where her thoughts were all the time based on her facial expressions.
Bella's father and mother were similarly excellent choices, though I agree with Lemire's comment on the bad cop style mustache for Billy Burke.
Jacob and the rest of the Quileute Tribe were done well. I have never been a Jacob fan by any stretch of the imagination but I enjoyed him in this movie. I did hear on the way out of the theaters that some girls were switching loyalties to Edward. I thought Jacob was pretty cute - apparently they didn't agree.
Casting gets a 5 out of 5.
Thoughts on Special Effects:
Lemire says Twilight was a low budget film. I don't know what that means, or how much Twilight ran on so I can't really comment on money to visual effects and ask something like where did all the money go?
Edward's flying through the trees reminded me of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It was more choppy than the Chinese film and harder to get behind. This goes very much into the over the top area. The meadow sequence was perfectly acceptable. I also enjoyed his second run through the trees and climbing up them with Bella on his back. That was easier to believe in a way. Sort of Spider-Manish. I also liked his pet name for her in spider monkey. Much better than sweetheart, baby, luv, honey, sexy, etc. we hear most of the time. It's unique and therefore special.
The ballet studio sequence was wonderful. I can only imagine how hard it was to edit out all the camera and extra people and I've seen the behind the scenes look at the ballet studio and what they were doing. It was amazing! I liked it a lot and I sure most moviegoers will too.
Back to the meadow - Edward as his sparkly vampire self could have passed easily any sunny day in San Francisco as a Queen with glitter decorating his whole body. I could see the diamond comment, but it wasn't as noticeable or excessive as the books made it out to be. If all vampires looked like that in the sun they should just move to California and nobody would notice or look twice.
The ending was great with prom. Jacob showed up but didn't get to dance with Bella. I'm so vindictive that I giggled on the inside at this, striking up a point for Edward. Very possessive returning to Bella's side when he spies the soon to be werewolf.
The gazebo reminded me of a lot of dancing sequences in other high school films... for instance A Cinderella Story. But I loved how he picked her up and had her dance with him. As they were dancing the other couples noticeably left the gazebo giving Edward and Bella a few private moments at the end. The parting words were sweet and the moment sizzling even as it was tender.
Overall I give this movie 4.5 Stars. A must see for any Twilight fan and a chance for non-Twihards to become smitten with Twilight and its biting appeal.