So, Elaine Cullen posted on my New Moon Wishlist that she would like to see Rick Mugrage get a song on the New Moon Soundtrack. She suggests Signs is the perfect choice, while I thought Medicate felt more New Moon-ish. What do you all think? If you like his stuff, let’s get some buzz going for Rick, so he gets his shot.
February 17, 2009
January 20, 2009
I don’t know how many versions of this I have on this site now. Consider this the final draft until I write my next one. These wishes are really in no particular order.
There may be some SPOILERS here. I’m not moving this to my Twilight page because at this particular moment I am thinking that if you’re surfing for Twilight stuff, specifically stuff on New Moon, you don’t mind spoilers so much. If you do, surf elsewhere for now. But do come back later.
Dear Summit Entertainment, Chris Weitz, et al,
I’m happy to hear that New Moon will be filming in Vancouver AND Italy. If you can’t film in Forks, Vancouver seems ideal. Not only is it one of my favorite places I’ve been, but they are used to the film and television industry up there. From what I heard, Portland was a little overwhelmed. It’s strange but I’m not terribly concerned about the continuity of having the same high school or the same Cullen house, or even Bella’s same house. In all likelihood you would have chosen different shots, and it would have seemed like different places anyway. Who knows, maybe you can even shoot in such a way that it feels like the same places even though they aren’t the same places. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.
So, Wish #1 is already taken care of. I was really concerned that you were going to fake Italy. I hope if you don’t shoot in Volterra that you pick an Etruscan town at least. I’ll be able to tell if you don’t. It will bother me and “take me out” of the movie. I don’t like these kinds of distractions. While I’m on the subject of Italy, Alice really needs to steal a yellow Porsche.
Which leads me to Wish #2: More Cullens! I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t get to know the Cullens much in Twilight. I think the script could have been much tighter to include these wonderful characters. They are truly a family, and I didn’t get that feeling from them in the movie. Also, Jasper’s gift was never even discussed. There is some catching up to do in this regard, now, if we are to fully feel the emotional impact of Bella’s birthday. I’m happy to help in any way I can. Have your people call…well, me. I don’t have people yet.
Wish #3 is better dialogue. Please don’t fail the actors again. They’ve had a rough couple months if they are reading the endless flaming in the blogosphere about their “wooden” acting. They can only do so much with the words you are putting in their mouths. Yes, I’m aware that most of what is said in the books is actually being said in Bella’s head, but you’ve chosen to adapt the Twilight Saga to the screen so you really need to figure out a way to translate what’s in Bella’s head into dialogue and stage direction. And please, enough with the voice overs. Remember, show, don’t tell.
Wish #4. Like Edward, I’m wishing for more time. What’s your rush? I know you want either a holiday or summer release. I know you don’t want to go up against Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in July. I know you don’t want to wait another whole year. Why not a May 2010 release? You could be the Memorial Day/Early Summer blockbuster and not compete so heavily with Harry Potter for the summer box office. It would give you another six months. Would six months be so bad? I think it would really help. We’ve all been pretty forgiving about Twilight because we understand that it was originally this little indie film and that the fan base exploded during filming. We won’t be so forgiving this time. This time you knew in advance what kind of film this was going to be. If it’s not budgeted, scripted, and filmed accordingly you will not get the return on your New Moon investment that you did with Twilight. I’ll see it twice, tops, if you mess it up. I’ve seen Twilight 7 times, and you can check my blog for what I thought of that one to begin with.
Oh boy. Here I go. Wish #5 is better direction. Catherine Hardwicke, again, we disagree on what the basics of story are. I have to say once again that I appreciate your willingness to step back when you didn’t get the time you wanted for pre-production. I’m with you on this one. I just hope that Chris Weitz is up to the task. I watched The Golden Compass, which I think is one of the worst adaptations of a novel to screen that I’ve ever seen. I was highly entertained, don’t get me wrong, but I could tell there was something missing. When I read the books immediately after seeing the movie I understood just how much was cut away. It was almost unrecognizable. New Moon won’t have a completely fantastic setting to awe the audience into submission, and the fans are a bit more rabid than your average His Dark Materials fan. One thing I did think was good about The Golden Compass was the acting. I found all the characters believable and engaging. There was some big talent there, sure, but I’m certain that some of the credit goes to Chris Weitz. There were some pretty young actors, including the star of the film, Dakota Blue Richards, who I see has no other credits before this film listed in IMDB. I have high hopes for Chris Weitz’s handling of actors here. To tell the truth, I was hoping for David Fincher. He directed Panic Room…and Kristen Stewart.
Wish #6 is for KStew herself. I like you. I have been working on a blog post just about you for some time now. I’ve been catching up on your movies since Twilight came out. I’ve been one of your biggest supporters. I just can’t take the stammering. Did you just not learn your lines properly? Where you encouraged to ad lib? Please get this under control. It’s very distracting. I don’t see you doing this in other films, but I do see you doing this in interviews. Please, get more into Bella. You have a very emotional performance coming up. If you do it right, we’ll all be crying with you. If not, we’ll just be crying.
Wish #7 is a faithful script. I am one of the few who did not like the whole treetop thing in Twilight. Visually dynamic, blah, blah, blah. It was out of character for Edward to allow Bella to go climbing around in treetops. He can’t fly. If she were to fall, there is no Superman/Lois Lane “you’ve got me?!? Who’s got you?!?” scenario. There is so much to this wonderful story. At over 500 pages, you should not be lacking to the point of needing to create new scenes.
We all know what happens for 379 or so of those pages. Wish #8 is a faithful script. Yes, I’m wishing this twice. Do not diminish Bella and Jacob’s relationship by having Edward hanging around over much, if you know what I mean. If you are too nervous about a lack of Heart ThRob, then give us a few cut scenes to show us how miserable he is. Don’t over do, though. We want to feel this pain. It’s the heart of the story. Parting is such sweet sorrow.
As I sit here listening to the Twilight Soundtrack, I am reminded how terribly important music is to a film. Wish #9 is, and I cringe to say this, no soundtrack. Sure I’d love another killer CD like this one, but Bella just really doesn’t like music during this particular phase of her life. I really want a soundtrack though. So, if you could, just give us a few snippets, maybe while Jacob is learning about Bella’s aversion to music, that would be great. I vote for Kristen Stewart covering Radiohead’s Creep, as I’ve stated in a previous post. Other than these few snippets, and some mood music, I really think this film should be pretty quiet. I think an absence of music would go a long way toward the mood, as much as I’d like another Supermassive Black Hole moment. Hey, maybe the whole soundtrack can come from before Bella’s birthday and after Volterra. The dark spot inbetween would be pretty powerful, I’d bet.
I think 10 wishes is enough, for now. Wish #10 is better wardrobe for the Cullens. The character quirks in the Twilight Saga are what really make if for me. Jasper’s inner struggle to satisfy his physical and emotional cravings. Emmett’s love of both Rosalie and irritible grizzlies. Rosalie’s love of Emmett and auto mechanics. Carlisle and Esme’s love for each other and their work. And Alice’s love of couture. She is the personal shopper for seven very wealthy vampires. We are forever seeing French tags on clothes. Please, pay more attention to the clothing, or Alice will be very put out. I’m going to throw Jacob’s wig into this category. You can do better.
All right, so I’m turning it up to 11. Wish #11 is that everything not be blue. I love blue. Twilight has long been my favorite time of day because everything turns blue. But Forks doesn’t exist in eternal twilight. It’s not in Alaska. It’s in Washington. If I go to Forks and find that every building I visit does indeed have a blue interior, I will recant this wish, but until then, please, give us some natural light.
Let’s just make it an even dozen and talk about effects. Wish #12 is for better special effects. You have a bigger budget this time, but I know a chunk of that is going toward locations and higher salaries for the actors. I know you are already thinking in terms of effects, but please, if you can’t improve on Edward’s sparkle, don’t feel compelled to make him sparkle at all. And for heaven’s sake, no more cheesy wire work for running through the forest. Just keep it real, and save the effects budget for fur-sploding werewolves.
What’s on your Wish List?
December 22, 2008
This post is very late. I apologize to my Sketching in Stereo friends. Your December 5, 2008 show was amazing. I knew you were good. I’d heard you on your MySpace page, but I didn’t not expect the stage presence. Well done! I look forward to more shows and more CDs. Remind me again why you weren’t on the Twilight Soundtrack.
PS Technicolor Dreams has become the playlist for my novel.
December 8, 2008
November 21, 2008
I Demand A Remake, or I Straightened My Hair For This?!?
This just in. I’ve seen the Twilight movie. I have to admit, I am as torn as Edward, warring with the beast within and the man within. As a Twilight fan and purist I want to tell you not to waste your time, money, and emotion on this film. As a Twilight fan and a pragmatist I want to tell you to see this movie as many times as possible because the more money we throw at it the more likely there will be another film…with better production values. Better yet, they would use the money to start over.
I don’t mean start completely over. What I would really like to see is Twilight remade with the same actors under new direction. That would be an interesting experiment. I’ve seen most of the actors in the film in other movies or TV shows. I like to think I know what they are capable of. The characters are very well fleshed out in the books. I see no reason, other than direction, for the wooden delivery of the lines. Ok, I will give you that Kristen Stewart does have a naturally wooden delivery, and I would like to see her work on a few new facial expressions, but if you’ve seen her in Speak, you know she is capable of true emotion. She seems to be a character actor, and I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. She just tends to play emotionally scarred types. I think she does that very well, and as I always say, find something you’re good at and stick to it. However, if you’re going to play an emotionally scarred type in a love story, you do have to stretch yourself a bit and portray the love part. Here I can’t blame Ms. Stewart. I must blame the director, Catherine Hardwicke, for not demanding more of her cast and crew. I think the same is true in the case of Robert Pattinson. I stick by my opinion that he was the right man for the job. He has the smoldering good looks to get the job done, and if you’ve seen him in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you know he should have been quite capable of dazzling both Bella and the audience. Too bad the script didn’t carry the glory that is Edward. Rob never had a chance to shine. No pun intended, though now that I mention it the sparkle effects were less than dazzling.
What do I mean the script didn’t carry the glory that is Edward? Well, Team Edward will probably back me up here when I say we spent a lot of time being frustrated with the Edward in the books, willing him to make the right choice and stick with Bella. His resistance to getting to know her in the beginning created a lot of wonderful tension between the characters. In the film, the director chose to show us Edward looking angry when he first catches Bella’s scent as she walks by a fan, which does happen in the book, but I didn’t imagine it with tight close-ups and music reminiscent of a Dirty Harry movie. I wondered if they were going to duel in the hallway. My group wasn’t the only group giggling. This should have been a very tense scene, not a scene that drew laughs. It wasn’t giddy school girl giggling either.
Edward then disappears for a few days, as he should according to the storyline, but again direction fails. She doesn’t show us that Bella is upset about Edward’s absence, she tells us in the form of a voice-over by Bella. I’m normally not one to complain about voice-overs in movies. Here it came across as a lack of confidence in the ability to show us what was happening. When Edward comes back, the story really fails him. He does his 180 and decides to befriend Bella, but not even adding a field trip scene gives the impression that they are actually getting to know each other. One scene in the bedroom tries to do this, but it’s a very brief montage in which you see them talking, but you don’t hear them. It’s a pity. That conversation looked animated and fun. Almost all the dialog you can hear up until Bella’s life is threatened and the action begins, is about how Bella should stay away from Edward.
There are many little things I wish here in the movie. I can think of one huge mistake as far as scenes that were left out: the blood lab scene. This is such an important scene. Mike is doing his best to get into Bella’s good graces and you see how no mortal boy ever stood a chance. Edward tries to tempt Bella beforehand to ditch class and spend time with him. This would have added a lot to their getting-to-know-you problems. It would have shown Edward keeping tabs on Bella and coming to her rescue again. It would have shown Edward actually being fascinated with Bella, as he should be. I could have shown how Edward gets the help of his family when he takes her home and explains how they will get her truck back to her. And it’s just completely absent.
So, I suppose the problems really start with the writing. Nearly all the little elements from the book that make it understandable for Edward and Bella to get together are missing. What is left is a very boiled down version of a beautiful love story without much emotion. The director then picks up where writing problem left off and somehow mistakes sullen for tortured. It felt like watching a reading or a dress rehearsal at best. Maybe an After School Special. I know at one point I envisioned myself freaking out like Helen Hunt on Angel Dust and jumping out a second story window.
I’m not sure who to point the finger at next. Photography was bothersome for me. As mentioned earlier the close-ups were just bad. It is hard for me as the audience to feel the tension between characters when I am seeing those characters one at a time. The best shots, the ones with the most emotion and tension, came from seeing Edward and Bella together. They have great chemistry, but it wasn’t utilized enough. For most of the movie, they could very well have be shooting separately for all I know.
How do I even explain what a travesty I think the score was? I was worried when I listened to the soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, I love the songs, and I will continue to listen to them. I worried because I couldn’t see how they were going to fit into the movie. As it turns out, they fit into the movie better than the score, which as I already mentioned made it feel like a spaghetti western, especially with all the close-ups on the eyes. C’mon, you know the westerns I’m talking about.
Are there things I liked about the movie, sure. Charlie was wonderful. I loved the added bit with him cleaning the shotgun. I also liked what little we saw of his friendship with Billy. Mike Newton was also great. I wanted to see more of him and Bella together though. I think that’s an important part of her character development that was skipped over. We didn’t really get to see how poorly she interacts with your basic human a whole lot, and the dialog between Edward and Bella certainly didn’t cover it.
In short, I don’t know who looked like they were in more pain, the audience or Jasper, but please, don’t let anything I write here scare you away. You must make your own decisions.
November 13, 2008
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A boy I knew in high school once intrigued me with the idea of the Lunch List. He didn’t give it a specific name, that came later in my head, but he said he would like to have lunch with Madame Curie. It stuck with me because she’s dead. We spent some time that afternoon getting to know each other by creating our lists. My list changes periodically. I’ve just added Robert Pattinson to my Lunch List. It’s not what you think. Sure, he plays Edward Cullen, the fictional vampire who has ruined me for real men for all time, but this is not about his charming smile or amazing, tousled hair…I’m ok…No this isn’t about that. He’s just a weird little dude. I am highly amused by the “off” things he says in his interviews. I love that kind of quirky banter, especially over lunch. So there you have it. Robert Pattinson, you’re on my Lunch List. By the way, I’ve had Never Think in my head for the better part of the day. What! It’s a good thing!
My Lunch List
Thomas Jefferson, George Lucas, Betsy Ross, the person who invented chocolate, Nathan Fillion, Denise Linn, Crazy Horse, Benjamin Franklin, JK Rowling, Jane Austen, Boba Fett, Salvador Dali, Hatsepsut, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Meryl Streep, Stephenie Meyer, Yoda, and Robert Pattinson.
November 10, 2008
I was driving home from work, listening to my Twilight soundtrack (Thanks again Old Man Bobby!) and who should drive by but ACULLEN. Yep, that was the vanity plate. So, I know that Alice wouldn’t drive a minivan, but it was a fun moment nonetheless.