Twilight at Midnight – a Twilight Movie Review

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On one of the first cold nights of November, at midnight on November 20th to be precise, I went to Bellevue Cinema 8 in Nashville for the midnight screening of the highly anticipated movie, Twilight. Did I say midnight screening? That’s what we had been told, but the Twilight movie didn’t actually start until 12:20 AM on November 21. There were 10 of us there when I arrived at midnight. Where were the screaming hoards of teen-age girls? I suppose wise parents had kept their young ones at home on a school night, a decision I applaud.

By 12:20 there were 18 of us there (only 3 of them males), including two groups of giggling female teens – the target demographic of this movie about an eternally 17-year-old vampire and the girl who loves him. After 20 minutes of fidgitting in a very un-vampirelike fashion, the audience was more than ready for the movieTwilight to start.

Twilight began with Bella narrating a bit of the story, anticipating her death, while on the screen a frightened deer tried frantically to evade a dangerous predator. Those of us who have read the book knew the predator was Bella’s love, Edward Cullen, and that the deer was doomed. I’m sure the audience collectively wanted so badly for the small deer to escape, and yet, Twilight readers knew the death of the deer meant that Edward, the vampire, had chosen not to feed on humans. Edward’s clan, the Cullen family, had all made the decision to not let themselves become monsters, and while as vampires they still thirsted for blood, they had chosen animals for their diet.

Much like the book, the Twilight movie gave us a glimpse into the themes of temptation and abstinence found in Twilight, but while much of the book was rich with layers of emotion and nuance, the movie fell a little flat. Twilight was not a bad movie but it was not great, either. It was somewhat one-dimensional compared to the book, yet it did flesh out the story, giving us many wonderful visuals we had only imagined on page. It was nice to see Bella’s Arizona home, and I liked the addition of Bella carrying a cactus all the way to Forks from Phoenix to keep a little bit of her old home with her. The scenery shot to represent the area around Forks was a breathtaking addition to the Twilight story.

Kristen Stewart made a perfect Bella Swan and Rob Pattinson came close to Edward Cullen. I am not sure anyone else could have pulled it off, and Pattinson was believably dangerous in some scenes while quite gorgeous in others.

Both young actors perhaps over acted a couple of scenes as they tried to bring some of the emotion of the book to the screen, but teens are dramatic, so even over acting was not necessarily out of place in this flick. However, in the scene where Bella encountered Edward’s hostility in the biology class on her first day, Edward’s reaction was so over the top, I had to wonder what the director was thinking. Another couple of scenes showed Edward’s warm breath bilowing out in a frosty cloud — wait a minute! Vampire’s are supposed to be COLD blooded!

One of my favorite touches was also in the biology class where a snow-white owl sat on a ledge behind Edward Cullen, a fitting homage to Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter.” The owl also lent its white wings to an artsy shot of Edward as a dark angel.

The Twilight movie soundtrack  was a jarring disappointment. The music was a distraction rather than an enhancement in many places – too loud in some spots, too discordant in others. The movie would have been much better served and hit the emotional marks needed much more readily with a completely different score. Edwards piano, Debussy’s piano suite Clair de lune, were beautiful and added much to the movie, but most of the other choices were awful. They might appeal to teens, but they added nothing to the Twilight movie.

The Twilight movie has its pros and cons. I didn’t leave Twilight disappointed, yet I didn’t leave with that, “WOW! I’ve GOT to see it again!” feeling, either. It was fairly true to the Twilight book, and the added scenes of the bad vampires were actually good for continuity and to keep a level of excitement to the movie.

I’m glad I saw the movie Twilight, but I am equally glad I didn’t have to pay $9 for it.

On November 22, Summit Entertainment announced that the studio is officially moving forward with the production of New Moon, the second installment of the film franchise TWILIGHT. The movie will be based on the second novel in author Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series titled, New Moon .

Previously published at Twilight at Midnight – a Movie Review of Twilight Starring Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart

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