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Twilight Packs a Bite…

Posted 12/14/2008 by Katie Bone

…but does it dazzle?
by Katie Bone
photo by Katie BoneTweeLeet_SMALL.gif
    Fans of the Twilight novel will undoubtedly appreciate the movie adaptation’s faithfulness, with the characters quoting near exact lines from the novel, but the movie may leave the rest of the audience in confusion.

    The plot is fairly straight-forward. Bella (Kristen Stewart) moves to the rainy city of Forks, Washington to live with her father Charlie (Billy Burke). One day in her new school’s cafeteria she encounters a group of pale, pretty people known as the Cullens. The only single Cullen, Edward (Robert Pattinson), apparently generates a good-sized amount of unprovoked distaste for poor Bella, but then saves her life in various mysterious, heroic ways and decides to befriend her (maybe). Now, although their transition from distaste to mad, puppy-love supposedly takes months, the movie makes it seem as though it takes one week. I was often left scratching my head over the lovey-dovey things Bella was spewing to a near perfect stranger.

     Alright, back to the plot. Bella finds out through her crafty means that Edward’s being pale, cold, super strong and fast obviously means that he’s a vampire, but she’s not afraid of him (“I’m only afraid of losing you,” she says). Edward throws a vampire-style hissy fit of gigantic proportions in the woods and then the sap ensues. They cuddle in the woods and it is frankly so sickly sweet romantic and cheesy that I cringed a bit as I watched it. Bella then gets chased by some odd vagrant vampires, and you’ll just have to see how it ends for yourself.

    The movie characters, for the most part, were perfect matches for their novel counterparts. Pattinson played Edward’s patronizing, bipolar personage to a tee. Emmett (Kellan Lutz) was an appropriate frat boy, Rosalie (Nikki Reed) was haughty and cold, Esme (Elizabeth Reaser) and Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) were warm and fuzzy and Alice (Ashley Greene) was a bubbly pixie. The only problems I encountered were that Stewart played Bella with such a monotone style, it was hard not to be bored by her and Jasper (who is my own personal favorite novel character, but wasn’t in the film enough to tell if he was a good fit or not.)

    The special effects left a lot to be desired, but with the aspect of super human speed and strength it’s hard to avoid looking fake. Edward dashing through the woods and climbing a tree with Bella on his back was so unrealistic; it seemed like some cheap live-action cartoon. Edward saving Bella from being hit by the van is probably the most realistic looking example of super strength while still maintaining that this could be real.

    The dialogue was about as sappy as one could imagine, but stayed true to the style of the novel. They often use quotes directly from the book itself, and instead of being endearing it becomes annoying (“I said that it would be better if we weren’t friends, not that I didn’t want to be,” says Edward). I continued to stare in slack-jawed confusion as Bella threw herself at a bipolar, hateful vampire.

    Although banal, it is certainly entertaining. My favorite part of the movie was probably the silliest part: the baseball scene. The special effects were at their worst; the whole scene seeming completely ridiculous, and yet I was grinning the entire time.  They ran in fast motion, leaped far too high in the air to catch balls, and the sound of the balls being hit was akin to thunder.  In my opinion, it was undoubtedly the most amusing part.

    Twilight will be a hit with its intended audience: adolescent girls and fans of the book. For the rest of the population, it’s quite a mildly entertaining film worth watching if you can stomach the romance.