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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Twilight


I knew it. As soon as I started to read about this movie I knew that those unfamiliar with the books had to enjoy this movie a lot less than those that have read the books –like me. So I stop reading as definitively I did not want any more contamination when writing about this movie that in three words: I loved it!

As it seems happened to many, I picked up the first book as it was there in the bookstore. Read it in a few hours and rushed to get the other three as I couldn’t stop reading! I read the four books in less than 48 hours and loved the first and the last; the ones in the middle were okay but not as good as when the story is focused on Bella and Edward. But you could say that I am a fan of Stephenie Meyer so addictive writing style.

This Catherine Hardwicke movie tells how Isabella moves from Phoenix to Forks, Washington to live with her father and how she meets and falls for Edward Cullen only to find that he’s a vampire. But when she does, it’s too late as she has totally fallen for him and for Edward, Bella is the thing he has waited many years for – a soul mate. As you can imagine nothing comes easy when each time Edward gets close to Bella, her scent is too strong for him and he has to do the impossible to not bite her. Their story in the this first installment is really intoxicating and you can hardly stop watching in the screen everything that happens… but I totally filled the gaps that the screenplay has as I absolutely remember everything from the book, like the great descriptions of both characters, Bella and Edward, which I know that in the screen they are a little underdeveloped and for some will be hard to understand their motives to do what they do.

So if by any chance you have not read the book I strongly suggest that you read it before watching the movie to be able to enjoy it, at least as much as I did.

But I also loved the movie as a movie. I believe that the movie style with moody, washed-out tones and darkish/grayish/blueish palette was just fantastic, plus the pale makeup in Bella and Edward was so good and the lighting was outstanding as totally makes you feel the sluggish mood of a very unusual vampire story. Obviously cinematography was excellent taking total advantage of its Oregon beautiful forest locations and the music score totally complements whatever is happening in the screen without calling too much attention out from the plot. Special/visual effects are really minimal and not spectacular, but then I believe that the story in the first installment does not really need them and I’m glad that the producers and/or director didn’t chose to include them only to please action hungry teenagers.

Just loved performances by Kristen Stewart as Bella (I may be biased as I like her from before) and yep also liked Robert Pattinson performance as Edward. But secondary characters that’s a different story. I just laughed when I first saw Peter Facinelli as Emmet Cullen (Edward’s father), he really looks ridiculous with the white makeup and the little he did in the movie was awfully not good. Also Edward’s mother Esme Cullen played by none other than Elizabeth Reaser was dismayed.

I do not know about you but when you read a book I tend to “imagine” the characters. I didn’t imagined Bella and Edward as I knew which actors played the roles in the movie, but I did imagine the rest of secondary characters and in my opinion the casting for the movie was a total disappointment. From all the unknown-to -me actors playing the secondary roles, none fit the ones I imagined. This is especially true for Taylor Lautner that plays Jacob Black and I really hope that for the sequel, New Moon, the role could be magically re-casted with someone more faithful to the book description. As a matter of fact, if it was up-to-me, I would recast all Edward’s brother and sisters, but that’s too much asking, isn’t?

I watched the movie with a friend that hasn’t read the books and yep, I had to explain a lot about the plot while watching. But this is such an unusual movie (and quite an unusual vampire story/movie) that definitively I do recommend it as a must be seen movie for the few that haven’t seen it yet, that I imagine are more mature audiences than younger ones.

As probably some of you know the next installment, New Moon is already filmed and I was reading that they are shooting the third installment, Eclipse. Somehow I imagine that they have to shoot the sequels fast as actors need not to change and look older or the “magic” will disappear as they are immortals. But these are total Hollywood productions and perhaps they will have to use more special/visual effects in the future to keep actors' from aging. Nevertheless, I am one that is looking forward to watch the next three installments and obviously, this movie is a keeper for me when the DVD finally becomes available.

The odds say that some of you will love the movie, while others will not that much. I truly believe that will depend if you have or have not read the books.

Enjoy!!!

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