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.