Saturday, September 26, 2009

Review: Twilight

Staring Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson
Directed by Catherine Handwicke

What does a film critic do? What is our job and our faithful duty? Why should we be able to have a career or in most cases aspirations of a career in today's society? A good film critic should give every movie a fair chance in spite of word of mouth, other reviews, and at times our gut instinct. EVERY movie deserves a fair chance. The bad publicity the latest teen sensation Twilight is getting with the feeling it's single-handedly "destroying cinema" needs no introduction. I admit I hadn't seen it until recently and I thought it unfair to simply dismiss this movie without seeing it; being in film school I know how it feels to have someone ignorantly dismiss your work. As a professional film critic; I decided to take a plunge into what is being called the worst movie of 2008 and give it a fair chance.

Thanks MTV for the photo

The film is about Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a high school student who has moved into the cloudiest small town in America to live with her father while her mother goes on a trip with her new step-father. While getting aquatinted with everyone in town, she meets Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a student with very strange mood swings and mannerisms. As she gets to try and know him, they she starts to realize that Ed's a vampire living in the town with her family. So the rest of the movie is about this romance and the forces trying to stop them.


Only one thing is good about this movie: Kristen Stewart. She isn't brilliant but she shows a lot of great promise in the years to come. While delivering her...dialogue...I did really buy her. She somehow added some good context to her character that made me almost fall for her. Don't believe me? I'd look up both Adventureland and Into the Wild. She miraculously carries this film and she's someone to keep an eye out for.

Well, I think I've delayed this long enough. That's the only praise I can give this movie and I've given it a fair shot. I can now safely say this: Twilight is awful. Really REALLY awful. Where do I begin?

First off: why can't people stop using voice-overs irresponsibly? In the beginning of the film, we're introduced to the Bella character wandering around Phoenix just trying to find something to do as her mother packs away to leave all while the voice-over explains what she's doing and where she's going. The visuals are doing a good job at showing what's going on, why do we need a voice-over to spoon-feed us this information? Part of cinema is showing us without telling us, that's what film can do and books cant do. Stop holding my hand Twilight, I can cross myself.

Second: These are indeed some of the stupidest townspeople in the history of cinema. How can no one guess about this vampires that don't eat, drink, hang-out in sunlight, and one can save a girl from a car accident by running across a parking lot in a split second? Not to mention, a lot of people in this town are just either melodramatically nice to everyone or horribly mean with no middle-ground: it's like the town has a moral choice system from Fallout 3 they have to abide by.

Third: Why does every vampire movie need a climactic battle? We're introduced to these three vampires who are after Bella and Edward in a pointless game of vampire baseball (or let's do cool stuff with budget CGI). We don't know who this guy is and why he's after Bella other than he just has the munchies bad. Thus we get an unmemorable showdown and a test of the two leads inconsistent love. Was a battle really necessary? We can't even see what happens to the other guy in the end, how did they kill him? Should we even care?

Forth: Robert Pattinson cannot act to save his life. I don't know whether to condemn him or give him funniest performance of the year. He's introduced by covering his mouth for an entire scene reason I guess. His chemistry is painful to watch at times and laughable at others. Also, I know these guys are vampires but would it have killed the make-up team to give him a little color? It's like the vampires swim in bleach for five hours a day.

In all honesty, I really could go on and on about his movie with it's bad dialogue, cliched camera work, and really sloppy rules but I think I can sum it all up with one part. Edward takes Bella to a mountain area where, for whatever reason only has sunlight, and reveals what he looks like in the sun. The suspense was there as I waited to see what could possibly be bad for this vampire to let the sun shine in. I almost fell out of my chair in disbelief. For what they decided to do to the vampire genre with the sunlight rule is officially the most retarded thing I think anyone could ever conceive possible. When Edward stepped into the sun and revealed his face against the sunlight to show what horrors it is to be a vampire in the real world, his skin is covered in glitter. I'm dead serious, the movie is about shining, glittery vampires. I think it was about when Bella said "It's beautiful" to this image when the movie officially ended. I can understand they're going for prejudice for the scene but...sparkling vampires?

I don't know who did this, but it certainly does justice

I would almost make a case of the movie being aimed at a mostly female audience which is rare these days in the realms of Sci-Fi. It is refreshing to know that a new market has opened up for this genre of sci-fi chick flicks is opening up giving some much needed originality to Hollywood's endless line of sequels every summer but this movie just isn't the right start. Edward has both stalker, manipulating, and overall a jerk written all over him. Great message for the middle school girls; Yeesh.

I really can't talk about it anymore. This thing is terrible; a laughably bad waste of time. I still don't think it's unsalvageable, it's making a star of Kristen Stewart and she defiantly deserves it. It's certainly not the worst movie of 2008, I still think that covenant award goes to both The Happening and Resident Evil: Degeneration but it certainly makes a Bronze. Now that my obligation to giving Twilight a fair chance is done, I'm off to watch Army of Darkness before I decide to just get an office job to leave cinema to it's Count Twinkles.

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