I am a huge fan of the Twilight series of books so I was excited when a friend of mine got me tickets to attend a private screening of Twilight on Thursday, November 20th at 7:00 pm. I should probably preface my review by saying that I had fairly low expectations for the movie going in. Movies are NEVER as good as the books. The clips that I had watched online I wasn't impressed with. Plus it didn't encourage me the fact that most of the cast was comprised of relative unknowns. So I guess the easiest way to sum this up is to say that the movie lived up to my expectations.
Twilight the book is a romance. Sure, there's more to the story than that - action, drama, horror - but the reason it has such a huge fan base is its a tender, sensual, and often tumultuous romance. Twilight the movie has a very low budget, artsy, independent film quality. I didn't like the weird camera angles or the horrible soundtrack. And the special effects were laughable. No really, people in the theater were actually laughing.
The individual performances were, for the most part, pretty good. Robert Pattinson as Edward definitely looked and acted the part of the drop dead gorgeous immortal, although I agree with him that he is no stunt man. His American accent wasn't perfect, but it may be that I just prefer to hear his British accent. Kristen Stewart was a believable Bella. For me, the star of the show was Cam Gigandet as James. He was exactly the image of James that I had formed from the book, so it's a shame that he is destroyed in this film and won't continue in the sequels. I think they need to ditch Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale) before they shoot the sequels. I'm not sure what was worse, their performance or their terrible bleached hair color and make-up.
Here is what I hope: that they make enough from Twilight that they will make the sequels, and have a bigger budget to do so. With the bigger budget they need to replace Catherine Hardwicke with a better director, and spend WAY more money on special effects. The vampires are fast, strong, and powerful - they should NOT look like puppets on strings. I would also like to see more of the romance - the movie lacked so much of the tenderness between Bella and Edward that the book so beautifully portrays.
The film was free of bad language, as far as I remember, which I appreciated. There is some sensuality, but nothing over the top. There is definitely violence. So parents, be cautioned. It's not a movie I would let my 9 year old see.