This blog is going to smell a little bit like shame. I am a Twilight fan. I absolutely adore the Twilight Saga-esp Midnight Sun, which hasn't even been finished yet. Stephanie Meyers is a talented author, whose ability to transport me from my living room in Victorville CA to the rain soaked forest of Forks WA is pure genius. I wonder if I would have picked up my first Twilight book (I own 2 copies) if I would have foreseen (Ha ha, Alice "I have foreseen") the fact that it would be a "pop-culture phenomenon", and that my local Hot Topic would have 3-4 aisles of their already small and crammed store dedicated to all things Twilight. Would I have read all 4 of the books in one weeks time if I would have known that a "Team Edward" and a "Team Jacob" would be formed? Perhaps the dishes wouldn't have piled up in the evening time, while I sat perched on the couch, struggling to keep my eyes open through one more chapter-if I had been able to predict that the movie version would be a huge embarrassing representation of SM's literary masterpiece?
I went to the midnight showing on opening night. I stood in line with hundreds of other people, mostly under the age of 18, with their "Team Edward" sweatshirts, and their "I *heart* boys who sparkle" T-shirts. I oohed and aahed when Dr. Carlisle Cullen came onto screen. I cringed when James viciously snapped Bella's leg in half. I teared up as Bella and Edward danced check to check at prom. I admit-it drew me in...initially.
A few weeks after opening night, I went to the mall and I saw it again. I was alone this time, in a near empty theater...and was able to view the movie with a little more clarity. I walked away, pretty disappointed about the lacking content, the added plot lines, and a tad incredulous that it was done so poorly and cheaply. When I consider how mass-marketed this movie is, the fact that the vision was to be an "indie" movie is insulting. As if I had any entitlement to that insult. I sobered up, the love for the books still burning in my heart. I chose not to go see the movie version of Inkheart, not desiring for my heart to be broken again, in the same way, so soon. I refused to pre-order the DVD, or stand in line for the midnight release parties at my local Hot Topic or *shudder* Wal-Mart. I did scour the city one night, looking for a copy to rent-for $1. Providence answered this past week, when I found one copy left at the Red Box in Vons. I watched it late last night, and again this afternoon...and after much deliberation...here are my critics and a spare praise or two.
1) Casting Kirsten Stewert as Bella is, by far, the fatal flaw. In the book, Bella is an intelligent, independent, albeit clumsy, and reserved girl. In the movie, Bella is a girl who cannot form a complete sentence. She stammers and stutters. Long pauses and sighs are NOT the way shyness plays out on screen. I understand that Bella is *dazzled*. However, this girl cannot act, and a HUGE portion of the magic is lost between Bella and Edward, due to her complete inability to deliver a line with any speck of talent or charisma.
2)Now, I will admit that I don't think Rob Pattinson did the best portrayal of Edward. He did infinitely better than KS, but then again, is that saying very much? His posture throughout the movie is more hulking menace than broody vampire.
3) The extra plot line of James, Victoria and Laurent killing the townsfolk is 100% unnecessary. Lame, cheesy, and took time away from some of the wonderful conversations that were held in the book.
4) Spider-monkey? Butt crack Santa? For reals? This angst-driven story is mucked up by such crassness. I cannot fathom that 19th century Edward would ever udder the words "Spider monkey." Disgraceful.
5) Along the same lines, and perhaps this is my hatred for Rosalie coming out (not Nikki Reed, she did a fantastic job with her character)...Monkey Man? Strong, handsome, flat-out intimidating Emmett? A monkey man?
6)Bella climbs around in the top of a tree unassisted? Um, Bella? The girl who can't dance in the scene just before this one? Puh-leaze.
7)I do understand that there was a need to condense the dialogue in the transition from page to screen. HOWEVER, there were some very pivotal and or memorable lines in the book that did not make the crossover, and I feel that was a great injustice. They saw fit to include "The lion fell in love with the lamb..." but not "Never mind, then, I can see that it's impossible...." or "It didn't work out, okay? I really, really hate Forks!" Attention to details, folks...I promise, it's not difficult.
8)I have a hard time believing that Victoria was at Prom so calmly...at the beginning we see her from the back, playing one of the games...could she really withstand ALL that human blood in the room? I mean, Jasper has a hard enough time...and he's a "vegetarian!" The only possible allowance for her being there, is that being without James, and wanting revenge on Bella takes her focus off her thirst...but then again, why wouldn't she have taken Bella right there? If there's going to be a portrayal in the movie...let's think it through, eh? Everyone already knows that Victoria is still around...at least those who have continued through with New Moon. To those who just watched the movie, I'm sorry, but let's not throw all logic out the window just so you can have a little of hint of what's to come.
I close with two thoughts-one...I am ashamed. I feel empty and hollow inside just by writing this. I pray those of who read this won't judge me! Second, I get that it's just a movie, and believe me, I don't place all that much stock in it. I love the spell-binding aspect of books, not movies. I'm a purist who fell off the wagon...willing to drink fine scotch but not stale beer.