Twilight MAG

November 30, 2008
By Leah Stapleton, Peoria, AZ

“Twilight”– based on the first book in the best-selling series by Stephenie Meyer – is a faithful adaptation that will satiate the thirst of fans and simultaneously captivate new audiences.

The movie follows the story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a normal girl thrust into a secret supernatural world when she falls in love with her mysterious classmate, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). He just happens to be a vampire.

Ditch your preconceived ­notions of vampires; this isn't a typical vampire tale. If you are looking for clichéd stereotypes with fangs, coffins, and stakes through the heart, this isn't the movie for you. Director Catherine Hardwicke and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg stay true to Meyer's vision and create a film that ­exposes “Twilight” for what it essentially is: a story of the ­ultimate forbidden love.

Hardwicke once again proves her knack for portraying raw teenage experiences, as she did in “Thirteen” and “Lords of Dogtown.” She directs a young cast of phenomenal talent. Leads Stewart and Pattinson throw themselves into their roles and portray their characters exceptionally well. The chemistry between the two is electric.

Stewart gives a fresh, honest take on Bella. Her straightforward interpretation allows viewers to live vicariously through Bella and experience what she does. You feel her longing and desire.

Pattinson conveys Edward's inner turmoil flawlessly. His complex perception of the ­character creates a believable Edward. He conveys his feelings of vitality and emotional reawakening through his ­expressions.

The movie also has an outstanding supporting cast. Billy Burke as Bella's father, Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, and Michael Welch as Mike Newton all deserve a nod for excellent portrayal of their characters.

The film itself is visually ­dynamic. The movie is shot in crisp blue tones. The costumes are pallid, veering away from traditional vampire attire. Bella's wardrobe ­becomes closer to the Cullens' as she grows closer to them. The nomad vampires appear savage in clothes taken from their victims.

Filmed in Portland, Oregon, the movie features stunning views and beautiful landscapes. Because of the small budget, action sequences were done physically. Though some may find the special effects lacking, the simplicity enhances Hardwicke's unique documentary-style filming. Using extreme close-ups and whimsical angles, the camera work gives the movie an intimate, realistic feel.

The music ties in to the story perfectly. Consisting of moody, angst-filled rock songs, the soundtrack fits the tone. From Muse's upbeat “Supermassive Black Hole” playing during a game of vampire baseball, to Iron and Wine's romantic “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” at prom, the songs set the mood for the scenes.

A longer film would have ­allowed more time to explain the essentials of the plot, making it easier for those who have not read the book. Although it mirrors the book very closely, many scenes had to be cut. The danger of the nomadic vampires is threaded throughout the movie to create more tension. The essence of the story is present, making changes in details insignificant; the movie's creators successfully captured the elements that made readers fall in love with Bella and Edward.

The book and the movie are equally ­satisfying, albeit in different ways, and neither is better. While you can imagine the detailed story unfolding in your head when reading the book, the movie creates a sweet condensed version for the big screen. Both allow you to lose yourself in this passionate, unorthodox romance.

All components work to­gether nicely in “Twilight” to efficiently bring the book to life. The film is a beautiful mixture of romance, action, comedy, and horror, containing aspects that will appeal to everyone.

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This article has 359 comments.

on Oct. 27 2012 at 11:06 am
@Ice_Queen - Are you joking? Nobody thinks Romeo and Juliet sucks. Whoever taught it to you and disliked it was a very tiny minority among teachers.

on Oct. 27 2012 at 10:57 am
Oh, no... that really sucks for you.

XxEmo_VampxX said...
on Oct. 6 2012 at 9:45 am
I agree w/ u TuffGurl,,,,PFach(Carlisle) is gorgeous and HAWT, Peter portrayed Carlisle's character perfectly, they did make him a little too pale in the hospital scene but he is till stunningly sexy,and his accent for all of the movies makes me melt,,,lol i'm a sucker for English accents. I reckon SM did a fantastic job, i mean if u think bout all the effort she/directors/crew has put into the Twilight movies, it does add up. and it's a tale about forbidden love and it shows the human nature of vampires unlike other vampire movies with gore in em twilight is more subtle and more about the human side of vampires.

molly reid said...
on Oct. 4 2012 at 10:45 am
molly reid, Ballymena, Other
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
I love your review it has persuaded me to go and read the book and view the movie!

BellaCharlie said...
on Sep. 21 2012 at 8:52 pm
BellaCharlie, Osler, Other
0 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!
-Audrey Hepburn

Your review is really good. You gave details that drew the reader in without giving away the ending. I love the Twilight book series, but I have trouble watching the movie because I am one of those people who get frustrated when movies do not match the books exactly. However, you made the movie sound awesome. Fantastic job!

sunnyday said...
on Sep. 21 2012 at 10:51 am
Twilight is awesome! I like it because of the mysterious ways of Edward and Jacob. I am obsessed with vampires. I don't know why. Maybe it is because of their rock hard abs, but i love them. They are so amazing. I've wanted to be a vampire for a long time.

Snark said...
on Aug. 31 2012 at 2:42 am
The reason so many people like Twilight is actually pretty simple: there is a stereotype for every single 'type' of guy. Emmett: the friendly jock. Edward: the untouchable angsty rich guy. Jasper: brooding with a hint of danger. Carlisle: all-around nice guy and doctor. It's really quite shallow.

Snark said...
on Aug. 31 2012 at 2:36 am
No, really, you're not missing a single thing. Please preserve your sanity by avoiding the books, movies, or anything to do with the series like the bubonic plague. It seems to be equally as infectious.

Snark said...
on Aug. 31 2012 at 2:35 am
Really. In a book where vampires periodically kill each other by ripping their opponents apart limb from limb and incinerating the twitching remains. Don't even get me started on the actual story.

on Aug. 27 2012 at 8:52 am
While I whole-heartedly agree, I know that some people will always love this series and we can't change that. Have fun reading Twilight, guys. Don't come complaining to me when it gets bad.

Time Lord said...
on Jul. 9 2012 at 7:37 pm
...And it's a good thing to live vicarousily through a (badly written) book character?

ahren said...
on May. 20 2012 at 2:05 pm

You seem devoted. Someone who hasn't yet read the books or watched the movies would actually be inclined to read it. I like the review. Twilight series- I do not.

For someone who's had the misfortune to read the books and bump across the movies during channel surfing rampages, the article seems to elevate them beyond belief. For one, the themes in the book are not merely trite and un-original (vampire, forbidden love, love triangles. really?) but the writing style is disappointingly one-dimensional and morose. Also, angst and vampires has been done and done by Anne Rice. Brilliantly.

As for the movies...if anything can make the books worse, it's the movies. Stewart seems barely convinced herself with what she's doing, let alone her being able to convince the audience. Pattinson- a fairly decent actor otherwise- seems to have deliberated his skills to match those of Stewart. Lautner does a decent job as does the rest of the supporting cast- more or less- but with the main two characters acting like washboards, the movies are painful to watch. Or funny, depending on your mood.

For good vampire shows/books/movies- Blade, Van Helsing, Dracula(obviously), Let Me In, Anne Rice stuff.

For good vampire AND forbidden love- Buffy. The special effects might not have been the best at that time, but Whedon remains a god.

on May. 20 2012 at 12:11 pm
twilightfan4eva, Sangre Grange, Other
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Believe in God


tsl2013 BRONZE said...
on Apr. 12 2012 at 11:40 pm
tsl2013 BRONZE, Breakfast, Iowa
2 articles 0 photos 35 comments

i love you damonsalvatore 1864 i cant tell u how hilarious it was tht aftr seeing ur username the 1st time i knew ud reccomend the best vampire series at some point!


on Mar. 9 2012 at 12:44 pm
Ana_vrin SILVER, Corpus Christi, Texas
7 articles 1 photo 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
-I'd rather be hated for who i am then be loved for who i am not. by kurt cobain
-The worst crime is faking it. by kurt cobain

well your missing out they are the best movies in the world:)

zoid123 GOLD said...
on Mar. 7 2012 at 11:40 am
zoid123 GOLD, Charlotte, Vermont
15 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Trying to be someone your not is a waste of the person you currently are.

I think that what you are saying is somewhat true. R.P. although is supposed to come off as stiff. He is trying to avoid falling for her because he doesn't want to hurt her. BUUUUTT, I do agree that K.S. could come off better and have more facial expressions.

zoid123 GOLD said...
on Mar. 7 2012 at 11:38 am
zoid123 GOLD, Charlotte, Vermont
15 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Trying to be someone your not is a waste of the person you currently are.

I think that what you are saying is somewhat true. R.P. although is supposed to come off as stiff. He is trying to avoid falling for her because he doesn't want to hurt her. BUUUUTT, I do agree that K.S. could come off better and have more facial expressions.

zoid123 GOLD said...
on Mar. 7 2012 at 11:35 am
zoid123 GOLD, Charlotte, Vermont
15 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Trying to be someone your not is a waste of the person you currently are.

Try checking out Queen of The Damned, or Interview with the Vampire. If I am remembering correctly Interview with the vampire as "typical" vampries. Queen of The Damned has vampires but gives a little bit of an interesting twist on them. But I think it still haves the scare your looking for in them. I loved both movies if you have never watched either then you should think about checking them out.

on Feb. 22 2012 at 2:52 am

The story seems meant to reflect Romeo and Juliet, only in a modern and supernatural world that gives teens like me, who love vampires/werewolves, dragons, and other scifi/fantasy things another, nicer take on it.  As for Romeo and Juliet "sucking," no, it does not.  It's a rather well-written script, with witty banter and characters that, while they may not be realistic according to our times and customs (Yes, I know, people don't fall that deep into love with eachother in less than three conversations), they still capture our love or our disgust with their innocence and blatant naivety. Bluntly, they make us feel something. If we take the time to understand the text in Romeo and Juliet, we may find ourselves interacting with the main characters as if they were real, laughing at their follies, swooning, or snorting, as the case may be, at their sappy flirtations.  When their plans get skewed we know just what will happen.

As far as Twilight, I did enjoy the book.  Stephanie Meyer added a nice touch by using Bella's english reading assignment (Romeo and Juliet) to forshadow this morbid and unlikely romance between the 'vampire' and the narrator. I admit, a lot of the time I was imagining myself as Bella, but that's almost what makes this book so good. Bella is entirely human, entirely average, (as to Kristen's portrayal...I will acknowledge that the character she was trying to portray didn't have a distinct personality, or have one at all, other than lonely, angsty teenager, so given the circumstances, she did alright), while Edward is described as extremely handsome, and whether your type has bronzed hair or not doesn't matter, because it is a book and you can imagine whatever hair you like, and whichever face as well, which isn't something movies allow you to do (and frankly, Robert Pattinson isn't my ideal stud, and his interpretation of the role seemed more overprotective than loving, which also isn't my favorite choice). 

I think it's interesting that the first time she actually sees him, he constantly is glaring at her, and doesn't want to touch her, which, for a girl like Bella, who hasn't had many friends (and would therefore care if people seem to hate her for no conceivable reason), could lead to: avoidance (as much as possible; there's no reason to try and put yourself where you not only don't belong but are also not wanted), or confrontation. Since avoiding him is taken away by her biology class, well...

I don't think vampires are sparkly and unkillable and whatnot, nor that people with 12-pack abs actually turn into werewolves when said sparkly freaks are nearby (no offense intended to sparkle-lovers), but that really isn't the point of the story.  And the point? Enjoyment.  Whether you like it or not, the book contains a well-thought out universe using age-old ideas presented in a new, and interesting, way.

The movie, however, I did not like. Partially, this distaste is due to the actors' portrayal of the two main characters, but mainly it is the ommittance of the longest (and my favorite) conflict of the first book: Edward in the sunlight.  The director took his shame and her curiosity and turned it into a drive to scare her away, and her hormonal tendency to overlook the fact that he's a killer addicted to blood, and his favorite type? Her! She turned the revealing of his sun-bared skin from a symbol of his love and trust in her to not run from him or laugh at him, or even tease him, into an embodiment (however that is spelled...) of a desire to, somehow, get her to stay away from him. Albeit it's supposedly for her own safety and thus still an act of love, but it loses some of the meaning, I think.

Yeah I know, really long bunch of blah, blah, blah, but hey, just because a piece of art has been talked about by too many people doesn't make it any less a work of art.  Not all teachers hate Romeo and Juliet, and not all teens are adoring fans of the Twilight Saga, or Taylor Lautner's abs.  I like Stephanie Meyer's writing for her wonderful ability to draw the reader in as the main character, and her books always draw me into whichever universe she's created in whatever book I choose to read by her.  It's a lot of fun to be able to go through experiences with her characters, but also to contrast myself with them; what I would do differently in their situations, and if I'd really do anything different at all.  She makes me laugh; she makes me cry, and everything in between.  I'd recommend reading her books to anyone, as long as they're read, and not watched ;)

Caravana GOLD said...
on Feb. 20 2012 at 10:49 am
Caravana GOLD, Joplin, Missouri
11 articles 1 photo 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who gives me strength."

I really liked your writing style for this review and you did great informing the audience. With that said I don't think it matters who agrees or disagrees you may not like the series but the actual questions that should be asked is how well the writer did with this work personal opinion on the series itself does not matter. Good Job I loved it :)


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