Thanks to a good friend - Becky, you're a sweetheart to have invited me... I had a blast - I was able to get into the midnight premiere of Twilight.
I just couldn't keep my mouth shut so here's a full run down on what I thought of the movie.
The movie itself... OK. I usually am let down by movie adaptations of books. It's just always better in book form and this was no different. At first, the way it was filmed was really disconcerting. All the shots were too close-up and it was a bit annoying. It's like there was no personal space between the camera and the person.
Perhaps the best scene in the books was when Edward first sees Bella and smells her. That whole scene is absolutely mesmerizing, intense, just a bit scary. It ends up being just funny in the movie. While trying to get the point across, the actor playing Edward completely overacted.
I always imagined this being very subtle, he stares at her, his copper eyes go black, his fingers dig into the desk, leaving marks, splintering part of the desk, his jaw it tensed and he's holding back with every part of his being to keep from attacking her. It was SOOOO good in the book.
Yeah, that wasn't good.
I also think that they should have made some concessions to reality when they made the movie - in the books, vampires sparkle like diamonds in the light. Personally, I don't think it came across well in the movie, I thought it looked hoakie (sp?). The absolute whiteness of the vampires skin was also disconcerting. Because it was so white, you could see where the application of makeup wasn't as good here or there, an ear, around the neck.
Honestly, I like how Buffy handled it. The Vampires were just pale, not stark white. By not drawing attention to just how pale they are, you weren't looking at their skin so much and noticing issues with makeup. Also, while Stephanie states in the books the color of the vampire's hair, blond/ off blond just looks ridiculous against incredibly pale skin. And three of the vamps have really pale hair. So Esme, Jasper, and Rosalynn all just look featureless except for their eyes and lips. They should have added layered streaks instead of all one color.
On the issue of hair, the wig Jacob wears is ridiculous. As I remember, I don’t think he had really long hair in the first book - just shaggy, longer than normal hair. They should have just had the actor grow his hair out. You can totally tell it's a wig.
They did a horrible job with Jasper - makeup and acting wise, he's more of a joke in the movie with the expression he's wearing most of the time. And I found him to be the sexiest next to Edward in the books. (There's actually a reason why this guy looks so pained all the time and it never really comes out - he's holding his breath while he's around humans because the smell of blood is very hard for him to take..)
OK... and finally... the actor playing Edward is WAY too tall for Bella... He's ALWAYS hovering and looming, annoying really. And I feel like he didn't know what to do with his body at times - he really needed more direction and I think the camera is unkind to him in many ways when he doesn't know what to do with his body.
Oh and a lot of the dialogue just wasn't as well written as the book.
On the plus side, the visuals were very real... this didn't feel like a high-end special effects bonanza - it looked real.
I love the actress who played Alice. OMG... I totally love her. She's got this beautiful dark hair and the girl who plays her just has this expression. You just want her as your best friend.
Both main actors did really well with many of the close-ups they had - this book has so much internal dialogue, a lot of what's going on happens with looks and action. They did a great job - even if no explanations of what was really going on ever came out.
The actress playing Bella was surprisingly good. I absolutely ADORE (and could fall in love with) the guy that played her father. (There's one scene where Edwards coming to pick Bella up and he's cleaning his shotgun. She's trying to get him to come meet Edward and he looks up at her, raises the gun and slams
And oddly enough - I like the regular kids WAY better in the movie than in the books. They're just a fun-loving bunch of kids, funny and just kind of innocent...
Once in awhile there was some snappy, unexpected dialogue that was really funny which was a nice diversion from the actual story which was really heavy and so serious. (There were also some inappropriate places where the audience was laughing - didn't they show this to a test audience??? I don’t think they meant those scenes to be funny.)
Anyway, it was fun. I wouldn't say it was my all time favorite and maybe I'll like the actor playing Edward better after many showings and alcohol (too bad I don't drink... sigh) but I wouldn't have missed it for anything either.
Then again I didn't like the fifth Harry Potter movie the first time but now it's my favorite. Who knows...