by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
Kristen Stewart as BELLA SWAN
Robert Pattinson as EDWARD CULLEN
Billy Burke as CHARLIE SWAN
Ashley Greene as ALICE CULLEN
Nikki Reed as ROSALIE HALE
Jackson Rathbone as JASPER HALE
Kellan Lutz as EMMET CULLEN
Peter Facinelli as DR. CARLISLE CULLEN
Cam Gigandet as JAMES
Taylor Lautner as JACOB BLACK
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
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Based on the best-selling novel by Stephanie Meyer, “Twilight” tells the story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a high school girl who moves from Phoenix to the overcast town of Forks, Oregon, to live with her dad. She makes some new friends at school but is drawn to a senior boy named Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who happens to be a vampire.
They strike up a romance, but Edward is cautious because he doesn’t want a late-night make-out session to turn into a midnight snack for him. As Bella and Edward’s relationship grows, and she learns more about his “family,” they run across some rogue vampires who are interested in Bella as a tasty treat, and it’s up to the Cullen family to save her.
WHAT I LIKED
Much to the chagrin of the Twilighters floating around the internet, I was not taken in by this flick. Of course, teenage girls don’t usually listen to me... they never have, which accounted for a strained dating life in high school. Fortunately for the folks at Summit Entertainment, the Twilighters came out to see this movie in droves and made it a monster hit, if you’ll pardon the pun.
However, over the few short months since the book became a blockbuster film, I have at least grown to respect the phenomenon. I’m not a teenager girl, so this movie wasn’t made for me. Even my wife, who loves the entire “Twilight” series is quick to point out I’m not part of the film’s target market.
With the release of the DVD, I totally understand that this product was put together with the fans in mind. While I’m not a fan, I think that’s a great thing. Speak to your audience, especially if it’s a rabid one, and you’ll make a healthy profit.
The bonus material on the DVD is geared for a teenage viewer who has read the book. Like the film itself, there are plenty of assumptions that you know what happens – not just in this movie but in the future books as well. It was definitely a smart move by Summit and the folks behind the film.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
There were plenty of elements to the story and the film itself that I didn’t enjoy. On the whole, I don’t like whiney or wimpy vampires, and the Cullen clan seemed to embody this. They’re not as bad as the Anne Rice vampires, but I prefer sharper fangs on my movie monsters.
Likewise, there’s an overwhelming amount of teen angst in the film, but then again that’s very appropriate for the audience it serves.
However, what became very obvious in watching the DVD features was how much from future books – and even from the original “Twilight” novel itself – was not explained in the movie. So much was lost about Jacob’s clan and even some of the motivations behind the vampires themselves. Even the fascination that Edward and the non-vegetarian vampires had with Bella didn’t make much sense to the viewer unless you’ve read the book.
Catherine Hardwicke, while passionate about the project, tended to annoy me in the bonus material, and I figure that her direction is part of my problem with the film. I do predict that possibly under a new director, I’ll actually enjoy the subsequent films.
The two-disc DVD of “Twilight” is loaded with special features that the fans are going to love. On the first disc, there’s an audio commentary with Catherine Hardwicke, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, extended scenes with Hardwicke’s introduction and three music videos from the film.
The second disc has an hour-long documentary that takes the viewer through the filmmaking process from script to screen. Again, made with the fans in mind, it focuses on the choices that were made from the book and how the filmmakers worked to keep the film true to the source. There’s also a slate of deleted scenes plus a ten minute presentation from the Comic-Con panel, filled with so many teenage girls that you’d think you were at a Jonas Brothers concert.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Twilighters, Twi-moms and pretty much any teenage girl with a little bit (or a lot) of angst and a taste for romance.