Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight shines on the silver screen

I just got back from seeing Twilight and judging by the very contented teenage girls who were in the matinee audience with me,this movie should do extremely well at the box office this weekend and perhaps a few more to follow.

After the show was over,many of the young ladies who were leaving the theater were also making plans to see it again,a damn good sign that points towards financial success,in my opinion. Hell,I wouldn't be surprised if Twilight does good enough to help save the economy.

"Enough about what the kids thought-what was YOUR impression of the movie,Lady T?" Well,granted that I was predisposed to like Twilight right from the start,since I enjoyed the books and am a huge fan of vampire lore(I do have my limits and standards,tho,folks,trust me)-overall,the movie was a well made and entertaining adaptation that holds promise for the on screen follow-ups to come.

It was a wise move to go with lesser known actors and actresses in the cast,particularly for the leads. Part of the appeal of the books is being able to identify with Bella(the narrator for the first three titles)and Kristen Stewart makes that work just as well on film. She's not bland or generic in the part;in fact,Stewart showcases the core of emotional strength and passion that endears Bella to the reader.

Many people did have concerns about Rob Pattinson as Edward;rest assured,friends,that he is dead solid perfect in this role. Pattinson seems to naturally radiate exquisite tension without being becoming a caricature of romantic despair.

It helps the film a lot that he and Stewart clicked together so well in their scenes,bringing a believability and charm to their budding romance.In other hands,many of the moments between Edward and Bella could instantly devolve into overwrought bits of business ripe for the mocking. Fortunately,Twilight fans should be spared some of that media misery:

Director Catherine Hardwicke deserves plenty of props for giving a firm grounding and strong sense of place to this story and endowing the film with a good sense of reality that puts the supernatural elements into a nice perspective.

In even such small scenes as the awkward interactions Bella has with her father or when she's hanging out with her more human contemporaries,everything has a suitably understated tone of real life to it. You feel as if you're eavesdropping on actual family moments or teenagers just acting naturally together,even in such homogenized settings.

Also,credit is due to the screenwriter,Melissa Rosenberg,who keeps what she can from the book to make the action flow on film. Both she and Hardwicke manage to drop a few sly hints about things to come later on in the sequels without spoiling the plot for the uninitiated.

Speaking of the uninitiated, I suspect that a few of them might find the plot to be a bit on the slow side and will still wonder what all of the fuss is about. While capturing lightening in a bottle twice with the same story is difficult,especially in a visual medium,folks should try to keep in mind that this vampire story is not in the old school grand opera tradition or even a Anne Rice melodrama.

Rather,it's an All-American love story-boy meets girl,boy is afraid to connect with girl due to being from a completely different culture than her,girl persists in making things work despite their obstacles,boy gives in and they try to live happily ever after(don't panic,folks,this is non spoiler stuff). Seen in that light,Twilight is a great beginning to what I hope will be more of this series being successfully brought to the silver screen.

Many theaters are showing a new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with Twilight,a very sweet treat indeed. While it's much too soon to tell if Stephenie Meyer(who has a small cameo in the movie,look for it!)will have the same luck in quality control of her work as J.K. Rowling has with her HP movies,she does have a real good shot at keeping her hands on the reins for future films.

At any rate,it's very fitting that audiences get a Harry Potter preview before seeing Twilight. Both series have increased the power and influence of books and
are a lot of fun for younger and older fantasy fans. Share the joy,people!:


Ladytink_534 said...

Hubby and I went to see it on Friday. It's SUCH a good movie! I wouldn't mind seeing it again myself... Oh and even though my husband is mostly a non-reader, he says he wants to read the books now!

jandkland said...

Hi, Lady T! I hopped over here from Robin's site. First-time visitor to your blog, but I had to read what you wrote about Twilight. I saw the film tonight and, as Robin would say, my "fifteen-year-old self" is still giddy inside. I thought it was a fabulous translation of the story to screen. As you said, the principal actors were spot-on. I think I may have to sneak and see it one more time. Can 31-year-old moms do that? Oh, and I want my own personal vampire. Can 31-year-old moms say that?

--Kelley (queenkelley.com)

lady t said...

Nice going,Lady Tink-getting another convert to the Twilight cause! Glad both you and your hubby liked the movie.

Kelley,hi and welcome! Any friend of Robin's is a friend of mine:) And,yes,a 31 year old mom can sneak in for another show and is definitely deserving of her own personal vampire(I've been wanting one myself for a long time!)