Movie Review: Twilight (2008)

If there was one movie that I never thought I would ever even watch, much less write a review about for this site, Twilight is it. I did want want to get caught up in the world-wide hysteria, having to answer such questions as, “Team Edward or Team Jacob?”

My friend, who is a die-hard fan or, “Twihard” as they call them, had been pestering me for a while to borrow the first two movies that she owns. So begrudgingly, this weekend, I decided to give it a shot. I sat down today to watch the first one, and much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed it. Here was a film that I went out of my way not to see, and I found myself actually not checking how much time was left every five minutes.

There is a lot wrong with this movie, and many scenes I thought they could have done without, but overall, it was not bad.

The cinematography under the direction of Catherine Hardwicke is actually quite stunning, and makes up for the poor acting, which was really all that plagued this movie. Robert Pattinson looks awkward as the romantic vampire Edward Cullen, but I guess that is to his advantage, as his character is supposed to be uneasy. Kristen Stewart is decent as Bella Swan, and unfortunately, the acting of Taylor Lautner is bad, if not downright awful.

However, he had such a small role so I will not write him off just yet. Once I watch New Moon, I will make my final ruling on him.

The actors I felt that did the best job were the ones that were secondary to the story. Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, and Gil Birmingham delivered the best performances of the film, as the fathers of each of the three main characters.

As for the cinematography mentioned earlier, the scenery of Washington state is naturally beautiful, but enhanced with some clever camerawork and darkening of the color tones. The makeup jobs were also pretty good, although when Pattinson first makes his entrance, he has the cliche pale vampire look, but other then that first scene, it blends in well.

There was one scene, though, that as a sports fan, really caught my eye. That is when the Cullen family takes Bella to play baseball with them. This had all the makings of a memorable scene, which they ended up achieving in a bad way. What ended up being a unique and original idea was marred by cheesy background music and an overuse of seeing the actors running at a superhuman speed.

Perhaps the one aspect of this film that really drew me in was the use of American Indian folklore. Although fictionalized for this particular story, it was a very interesting addition, and due to my love of wolves, I really enjoyed it (and may have me ending up siding with team Jacob).

Overall, I did not love the movie, but I am glad I watched what is considered to be the pop-culture phenomenon of this present generation. I did not read the books, but I can imagine they were much better than this film.

I will be giving the second movie a viewing, which will probably effect what I think of the first one, since this basically took a slow moving approach to establishing the characters. I will not see Eclipse in theaters, or maybe even at all if I don’t like New Moon,  but I would consider waiting for it to come out on DVD before watching it.

My final grade of this movie will be 6.5 out of 10. This was an original idea that gave a new outlook on the legend of vampires, and is probably the best physiological love story since Ghost, which starred Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

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