Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ranting and Raving! (Yeah, still about Twilight).

~This post is lengthy, gang. I don't want you to rush through it - read when you have time to enjoy. Go ahead, I'll wait right here!~

Back already? Okay, I know I've been almost completely absent here lately! Life got busy and I got sick the latter part of last week - ugh! Hateful summer cold (and now, apparently, bronchitis. Just lovely.) But on a happier note, whenever I'm sick I tend to watch a lot of movies. And that brings me around to my current favorite subject - yep, again - you're not really surprised, right?

Twilight. The movie, this time.

Now, let me clarify that last part - I'm not saying the movie is my favorite. Just the subject matter. And let me also say - this post will contain spoilers, if you have not already seen the movie. You've been warned! But I've watched it a couple times now, and I do want to throw a few thoughts out there, for fellow lovers of this series. I'm curious what you all thought, so let me know in the comments!

My BFF Angie and I had grand plans to get together this weekend and scrapbook, swim and watch the movie (since I had not seen it). However, we had lots of disappointment in store, including both of us getting sick, a rainy weekend (even if we'd felt up to swimming), and worst of all - no visit! Waahhh!! We have to plan like four months in advance, so I hated to miss our weekend! ~Sniffles~

So, to cheer myself up (and because the curiosity was killing me), I rented Twilight on iTunes. After reading a couple of reviews, I was prepared with my sackcloth and ashes. I also spoke with a couple friends, who made sure I went in with reasonably low expectations. But after seeing it, I have a few thoughts to share (in case you want to read them!) myself. So here you go - grab a cup of coffee, glance through, and then let me know your thoughts too. Here are my notes on the good, the bad, and the justplainfrugly (that's "just plain fricking ugly" - this site is rated E for everyone)!

We'll start with the frugly, so that we can end on a happier note. And there was, unfortunately, plenty of frugly to go around.

First and foremost - I agree with Lula's friend Kristen, who said we should bring out the sackcloth and ashes for the first half hour. Yep, that first half hour is painful, as the movie starts promisingly enough, but quickly begins to flounder in a sea of poor acting (I didn't say poor actors), valley-girl-speak (really? do teenagers really speak that way even today?) and (apparently) low-budget issues. Is it just me, or is it not missing...something? Identity? Depth? Feelings, emotions, inflection, maybe?? Of course for those of us who knew the plot going in, it's easy enough to follow what is supposed to be happening... but to me, it was as though the first half hour or so (up to the Port Angeles encounter, anyway) lacked a lot. Even the van scene. It just didn't pull me in, didn't engage me. It felt like everyone was simply reading their lines, rather than acting them. Not that the actors aren't all fine - just that the acting was not that great in this movie. There are exceptions (see: Peter Facinelli), but there weren't many. The general lack of inflection in many of Kristen Stewart's deliveries just made me want to scream (and not just in my head - I was doing that already). Bella had a LOT more personality than THAT in the books.

Second - DETAILS, people, DETAILS. Details are critical in any good story, but there is a special significance to detail when it comes to books made into movies. It never ceases to amaze me when makers of (book-based) movies don't play, as closely as possible, from the script that the public has already read. Of course, there will always be certain elements of any story that cannot be physically translated to the big screen. I get that. But come on - it's the little things that make a story ring true - or unhappily off key!

Perhaps my single biggest grievance in this category... the Cullen cars. Most specifically, Edward's car. What the @#$@#$@% is that? It may be a Volvo, but that is NOT the car Stephenie Meyer specified.** And it looks ridiculous. Not only is it not the model we've pictured Edward driving through four books now (go here to see the real deal specified by the author). And - seriously - can I get an amen on this? It looks like a Gremlin, people!! It's a ridiculous little car and does not suit Edward at all. I think I actually got gray hair the first time I saw that car in a trailer. I moaned. I wailed, y'all. I know there are mixed opinions on this switch and I respect everyone's right to theirs, but I, personally don't care if it's trendy, I don't care if it's cool (to some, I guess) - it's fricking-fracking freaky ugly and it's WRONG for the story. Ahem. (You didn't know I could feel that strongly about a car, did you?) I take my cars seriously, gang. I either love a car or hate it - I am not a woman of lukewarm emotions ;-) Edward may play a teenager in "real life", but the character is an old-fashioned man (yes, man) at heart. The car Stephenie Meyer placed in the book suits the character. A special GRRRR! goes out to Volvo here, as I am sure their product placement folks had a part in this fiasco.

And don't get me started on Rose's car. The Cullen cars are really almost characters in these stories. To make intentional deviations from those details - and for what? - makes no sense to me. And while I'm on the subject of details - why is Bella suddenly vegetarian? What in the world happened to the (real) meadow scene? And for the love of all that is holy, I agree with Lula on the glitter issue. Edward does, indeed, look like he's been Bedazzled. And not in a good way!

Okay, so moving on. The merely bad?

Mini-rant 1: The overall feeling of being rushed through the story. I think the lack of detail contributes to that feeling, along with hideously fragmented plot pacing. If you watched this without knowing the story beforehand, I'm not actually sure you could follow it. It's that bad. It feels like we're only hitting the high points of the story - with none of the texture that makes the story real. Where is the scene with Edward and Bella (with happy sparks flying, this time) in Biology during the class movie? Where are the scenes of Edward watching Bella sleep, and singing her to sleep? Why rush them through the lead up to the kiss in (literally) a two-minute scene? And what about the time Bella actually spends with Alice and Jasper in Phoenix? And okay, I like the actor they cast as Jacob, except that I already found the character of Jacob annoying enough. Am I the only one who thinks that poor kid is a fine actor, but has a terribly obnoxious voice? He sounds like a SoCal surfer dude, NOT a native northwesterner. GAH! DETAILS!!! I could go on... but I will (mercifully) spare you further raving.

This brings me to the good news - and there were good aspects of this movie - few and far between though they may have been. The high(er) points for me:

(1) Edward. Okay, you know by now of my love and devotion for this character. And we know my BFF has a thing for Robert Pattinson. Now, I would not dare disagree with her to say anything bad about her beloved Rob. And here, I actually agree with the casting decision - I think Robert looks the part of Edward just fine (exception - Bedazzled, above). My only gripe with Rob is that he needs to bring it a little more. He didn't quite sell me on the chemistry with Bella - almost, but not really. Something was missing. He was a little too rigid, too reserved through most of the movie - and not in the character sense, but in the actor sense. Blessed exceptions to this issue included his more natural behavior when he helps Bella out of the car at school, the treetop scenes, and during the baseball game. He was just a little too stiff in some places. But overall, I give Rob a thumbs up. This is a part I think he may mature into. And meanwhile, I liked what I saw.

(2) Peter Facinelli as Carlisle. This was, honestly, a true high point of the movie for me. His part is minor in this movie, but will factor in more later in the saga. Peter was perhaps the only character I felt was perfectly cast here, and who performed flawlessly. Excellent job, Peter! {throws roses and blows kisses}

(3) The first kiss. Ummm... now that part, they got right. It was hot. Hawt, even...swoon!

(4) The last kiss...during the dance. And the almost-bite. Also nicely done.

(5) Like many others, I enjoyed the baseball scene - perhaps my favorite of the movie. It seemed the truest to the spirit of the book - it had energy, and special effects were decently done (as opposed to elsewhere in the movie), music was good, and everyone seemed alive.

(6) The Cullen house - what a gorgeous place! And that, also, rang true to the book. Loved the group effort at cooking dinner for Bella, too. And the scenery. Breathtaking!

(7) Rob catching the apple. This was cute - nicely done, Robert. They needed more of that kind of thing - more of the little details that tipped Bella off. Less "creepyRobmovinginfastforward" and more old fashioned acting to get the point across.

(8) Have I already mentioned Peter? Oh yeah. {blushes}.

(9) Mike Newton calling Bella "Arizona." I actually liked that improv (at least, I don't remember it coming from the book) - it made his character more natural somehow.

(10) Bella's lullaby. I love piano music, I like the song, and I really enjoyed watching Rob play it. (Yep, Angie, I see it now!)

(11) And last but not least, I LOVED Alice. The actress they chose for Alice fit my mental image of her character perfectly, and she's just adorable. I hope she sticks with the production through each movie. She'll be a more central figure later, and they need a good image fit for the actress in that part.

So there you have it, gang. Those are my thoughts. And if I may, I am going to run over to Lula's now to ask if I can join her in prayer for New Moon. May it be soooooooooooooooooooo much better than its predecessor. So much better, in fact, that we only cry because of the plot!

That's it for now. If you've seen the movie, I would love to hear your thoughts too!

Love, Dahrlin'

**"Ed, this is not the car I ordered!" - Bonus points to the first person to name that movie! And extra points too because you actually read this far.


Angie's Spot said...

Ok, first, is that quote from "NL Vacation"?

As far as your assessment goes, I 100% agree with you on all points. Including the comments about Rob's performance in places. I'll be the first to admit that I was extremely unhappy when I saw that he had been cast as Edward. And I wasn't one of the droves of women who squealed with delight when he first appeared onscreen when I saw the movie in the theater on opening night. (Speaking of which, you need to plan to come here and see NM with me on opening night. Nov. 20th. Put it on your calendar.)

Robward has grown on me over time (obviously, lol!) and I'm crossing my fingers that he'll bring so much more to the role in NM.

And I'm going on the record here to say that I've never liked K Stew. And yes, Taylor L (Jacob) DOES have an annoying voice.

Ok, overall I did enjoy the film, but we're definitely on the same page. :-)

Angela said...

LOL Yep, you win the prize! That quote is indeed from Vacation. "Metallic Peat? No, I ordered Antarctic Blue!?" (Loved that movie).

And yep, sounds like we're on the same page. And I WILL put the Nov 20 date on my calendar! YAY!

t.t. millers said...

I wasn't too happy with the movie, but it didn't prevent me from seeing it more than once! LOL! I too thought it lacked SOMETHING. Wasn't quite sure what until I read your post. It hit it right on! I thing Rob was okay, wasn't my mental image at all. Wasn't thrilled with Jacob, he looks too much like a friend of my son - totally takes away from the sex image! I LOVED PETER! yummy! I liked all the girls they cast too. Didn't think Bella was portrayed well, though. I am hoping New Moon will be better.

Michelle said...

And this is why I hate watching movies when I've seen the book. I think you've pretty much sealed the deal for me, and I'll skip it. But I REALLY want to hear that lullaby. I've been intrigued with it all the way through!

Angela said...

LOL Michelle - I actually have to agree with those who promised me that, on the whole, it's worth a viewing, especially since you loved Twilight the best of the books. Let me know if you ever decide to see it; I would love to hear what you thought.

Jane In The Jungle said...

Saw the movie first before I read the books so I didn't really miss anything cause I didn't know what to miss!
But after reading the books I did see the wrongs!
There really was a lot of stiffness throughout!
I thought Rob fit, Alice rocked!! Bella was disappointing and how in the world are they gonna buff up Jacob that much for NM??

Live.Love.Eat said...

Dang girl!!!!!!!!! Are you obsessed or what right now? Hah. I don't even remember the cars. But I do remember the awful Scissorhands who played Edward's brother. Oh, I also don't like Jacob. The kid who plays him reminds me of Sharkboy of Sharkboy and Lava Girl. I know you're probably wondering how I loved the books so much. It was the story. The love. The vampire sex.

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