A Twilight Addict's Movie Commentary
As most of you can probably guess from the fact that it has now been over a week since I've posted anything even though I promised I would be updating a lot during my break, I have been having some major creativity issues. It's not that I've had writer's block. I know what I'm doing with Lifetime next. I just haven't been in the mood to write… at all. However, this morning when I eagerly got up so that I could watch the newly released Twilight movie bright and early, I realized that I had a lot to say about what I was watching… So, to get my writing back in gear, I've decided to write all of this.
I discovered when I was only 15 minutes into the movie and 8 pages into my commentary that this is a very long opinion piece. Because of this, I've cut my writing up into short pieces so that you won't have to absorb all my ramblings at once and, if you want to skip over parts and move straight to one piece of the movie, you can do that.
Please remember that I do not own Twilight or anything that has to do with it. This is just one fan's thoughts, opinions, and ideas about the Summit Entertainment movie.
PLEASE READ! Guys, I'm really getting tired of people telling me this is fan fiction or saying that it shouldn't be here on Fiction Press. This is not a fan fiction. A fan fiction is a story based on someone else's work- borrowed characters with a new plotline. This is not a story, it's a commentary, which, when written out, is a very long essay. Because it is an essay, I've got every right to post it here on Fiction Press in the essay area. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the commentary.
A Quick Introduction
This morning I watched the Twilight movie.
Now, before I say anything else, I think I should say I'm a big fan of the book series, I saw the movie twice in theaters (the first time at a midnight viewing), and I pre-ordered my copy of the dvd so that I could watch it again ASAP in the comfort of my own home. Therefore, this review/commentary is not anti-Twilight or anti-Twilight movie in any way, shape, or form. I saw the movie with an open mind, and I truly enjoyed it, no matter what negative things I might have written in my commentary. I found it to be well put together and well done for the budget they were given. It could have been better—yes, by far—but I wasn't particularly upset with what they had done… well, I was a little, but we'll get into that later. For the most part I was genuinely pleased with the movie.
When I went to watch the movie for a second and then third times, I realized I had a lot to say about what I was watching. So, I decided to voice my thoughts in a little step by step commentary of the movie.
I suppose the best place to begin, even before I talk about the movie, is to say that I know I'll probably get a bunch of flames for what I've written. But you know what? That's okay. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion and this happens to be mine. So, I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on the movie. If not, that's fine too.
Arriving in Forks
"I'd never given much thought to how I would die." This is the way the book begins… It's also the way the movie begins as well. I couldn't have been happier when the movie began and this was the first thing I heard. To start a movie with the first line of the book it's based on is a simple promise to the audience that they've kept the story as faithful to the book as they possible can. Of course as you all probably know, the movie wasn't completely faithful, but they definitely did their best. I went into the theater with a knot in the pit of my stomach, dreading what horrible things they would do to my favorite book. But, the moment I heard the opening line, the knot instantly dissolved. If they were taking actual lines out of the book within the first second of the movie, everything was going to be okay.
Unfortunately, my first problem with the movie also appeared within the first second of the film. If the Cullens are so fast and strong, why the heck is one of them (I think it's Edward although you can never see his face) wasting his time chasing a deer? For one, as we've learned from the books, the Cullens prefer carnivorous animals' blood, which a deer certainly isn't. And more importantly, if any of the Cullens had chosen to drink from a deer for some reason, it probably would have taken any of them an eighth of a second or less to kill that sort of weak prey. So, why did they let it run around in the woods for a good thirty seconds before doing the deed? I know enough about cinematography to let this little blip retangle my stomach knot, but it was still enough to frustrate the Twilight purist within me.
While the beginning of the next scene where Bella's hanging out with the cacti was a pretty big difference from the book, but I didn't mind it. It did a good job introducing Renee and Phil, especially with Bella's voice over. Phil's only line in the movie made me laugh and there was a smile on my face while I watched the station wagon pull out of the driveway.
However, that smile exploded into a grin that threatened to rip my face in two when "Full Moon" by The Black Ghosts began to play. I had purchased the soundtrack weeks before seeing the movie and this song happened to be one of my favorites on the cd, but the sheer perfection of the song's placement in the movie more or less took my breath away. I loved it. There's only one other song in the movie that really caught my attention like "Full Moon" did. I'll let you know which one that was when we get to it though.
My smile remained as the song played, especially when the "Twilight" logo appeared on the screen as the cameras flew us over a mountain range, presumably the Olympic Mountains. Once again, Bella's voice over was expertly placed and written to be as helpful as possible, easily moving us from Arizona to Forks, and all the way to Charlie's police cruser.
As much as I like Bella's voice-overs, I think this is the best time to discuss how I feel about Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan. When I first saw pictures of Stewart right after they said she would be playing her, I was horrified. I thought she was too pretty to play the part. But, after a few days I got used to the idea, looked over some other pictures of Stewart, and decided that she actually did look like Bella. So, as the release date for the movie approached, I wasn't worried about how Bella would be portrayed. Unfortunately, when I actually went to see the movie, I was saddened to find that Stewart's acting was incredibly disappointing in my own opinion. I know Bella's supposed to be a bit of an awkward character, but she still knows who she is and what's she's doing. In my opinion, the way Stewart portrays Bella makes it look like she's completely lost no matter where she is or what she's doing and isn't really comfortable with herself at all. What really made these negative qualities of Stewart's Bella appear were the awkward gaps in her lines along with the tone of her voice that either made her seem either unsure of what she's saying or just agreeing with something another character has said. There were very few scenes in the movie where I liked the way Stewart played Bella. It's sad and I wish it wasn't true, but it is.
Moving back to the moive, I was a little surprised by the scenes they showed of Forks when Bella was first arriving. I had built Forks up in my mind to be more or less an exact copy of my own little town except much cloudier. You know, your basic small town America with a main street with all the shops and then some residential streets branching off of that, but not much else. Yet, the movie showed it to be much busier than I had expected, especially with the logging truck driving through the center of town. But after my initial shock, I realized I kind of liked this new idea of Forks. It's probably more realistic than my idea anyways seeing as they're the ones who have done all the research, not me.
One of the best things the movie did for me was improving my opinion of Charlie. While reading the books, I was never a big fan of his. I mean, sure, he seemed like a nice guy and he obviously cared a lot about Bella, which I respected, but I just didn't get much out of him. Plus, Billy Burke, the actor they chose for Charlie, was nothing like I had pictured Charlie to look like. To me, Colin Ferguson from the Sci-fi show Eureka was my Charlie. Let's just say I was not a fan of Billy Burke and I wasn't expecting much from his character. Surprisingly though, I fell in love with Charlie the moment he told Bella, "Your hair's longer." This coupled with Bella's response about how she had actually cut it since the last time they had seen each other, won my approval for Charlie and Billy Burke. It was just such a dad thing to say I couldn't help but love him. Plus, the awkwardness in the conversation really got across the point that they hadn't seen each other in a long time.
I was pleased to see that Charlie's house looked more or less like I had pictured it in my head. Charlie scored another point with his comment about having the store clerk pick out Bella's sheets. "You like purple, right?" made me want to hug him. It was so cute in a 'I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing' dad sort of way.
"One of the best things about Charlie—he doesn't hover." While this line isn't completely out of the book, it was entirely close enough for me to recognize it as a line out of the book and get more of my approval.
For understandable cinematic reasons, the writer, Melissa Rosenberg, decided to move the scene about Bella's truck and put it after the part where Bella gets settled in her room. I felt this improved the flow of the movie, especially seeing as Rosenberg chose this scene to introduce Billy and Jacob. I felt this change also worked. However, I really did not like the whole fake fight between Charlie and Billy in the street while Jake and Bella talk. Not only is it entirely awkward to watch (who wants to see two middle aged guys act like ten year olds?), but I couldn't stop watching them to really concentrate on the conversation we're supposed to be focusing on. Charlie lost one of his points in this scene for being an embarrassing dad. Luckily Jake's comment, "It's getting worse with old age," makes it more funny and a little less awkward.
Seeing as this is the first time we meet Jake in the movie, I guess I should take the time to go off on a tangent and explain my opinions on his character. I like Jake. Because of this, I can't stand people who hate him just because he has a crush on Bella. I think these people are immature and shallow. Not only that, but if they really think Jake can threaten Bella and Edward's relationship enough to hate the character, they obviously don't understand what Bella and Edward have. As for Taylor Lautner in the role of Jake, I also like him. I think he does a good job portraying Jake and he makes the friendly connection between Jake and Bella evident right from the beginning, even with Kristen Stewart's awkward acting working against him.
This brings us to one of the few times I like the way Stewart treats Bella. Her acting during the part where Charlie announces he's bought the truck for her is impressively natural. If I didn't know better, I would think I was watching actual footage of a teenager getting a car. This idea is further justified by Bella slamming the door into poor Jake in her rush to get in. Personally, I think this was a complete mistake that just happened when they were filming and they decided to leave it in. I'm glad they did. It's pretty funny.
Charlie and Billy's little conversation—"I'm down with the kids." "Oh yeah, you're the bomb."—also makes me laugh. Parents are so embarrassing and this little piece sums it up in a nutshell nicely.
Author's Note- I'll put up more tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed reading my opinions!