November 21, 2008

Lion Falls in Love With Lamb. Stupid Movie Goer!

Uggg. I haven't been looking forward to this. Like that little speck in the sky that is the massive asteroid that will eventually end all life on our planet, Twilight has been looming over me, ready to destroy me with it's supposed earnestness and sweet love story. I saw a trailer of this a while back, and thought, "Dear God! Could they make that movie look more depressing?" I saw it as some cheap, poorly made fantasy story about forbidden love, only it would be the exact same thing we had seen before. And it turns out I was right.
Twilight's premise can be summed up in a few short sentences. Angst ridden teenager moves to Depressistan. Teenager meets and falls in love with recluse boy. Turns out boy is a vampire. Shit happens. Ok, fine, that's a bit harsh. Here are the details. Angst ridden teenager Bella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her dad. At school, she meets Edward Cullen. Her emotions toward Eddie are a bit mixed, seeing as she is mesmerized by him despite the fact that he acts like a huge dick to her most of the time. It turns out that he is a vampire, and he really wants to drink her blood. So he's being a dick to push her away. Yeah, but Bella's not gonna take that. Eventually they fall in love. Everything works out alright, you say? Ha, foolish human. By some strange coincidence, another pack of vampires comes to town, and they really want to drink Bella's blood. Vampire violence and cheesy love ensues. On the surface, it looks original, but as you progress, it's just a hip, more emo version of Beauty and the Beast. It doesn't really bring anything new to the whole "forbidden love" style of story telling, and I, due to the fact that I am dead inside, found the love story to be completely ludicrous, and actually a little creepy. There are some good moments, but I will talk about them later.   
Kristen Stewart plays Bella. I've heard from a friend of mine that the character of Bella is not supposed to be pretty. So, I guess that aspect of the story got thrown to the dogs, because Bella is quite a looker in this one. She actually does a pretty good job, conveying the right amount of emotion when she needs to. So she basically needs to look distressed for the entire thing. But, she does a decent job, despite the script and direction. Robert Pattison plays Edward. You may remember Pattison from the way his body pirouetted through the air as he died in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. (Speaking of which, the new trailer for Harry Potter is attached to this.) And guess what. He did a much better job in that movie then he does here. Sure, he is beautiful, but, unlike Stewart, that is the only thing he has going for him. You see him walk into the frame, and all you can think is, "My God, he is so white!" There is something wrong with a movie when all you can think about is the main character's skin color. There are other supporting roles, but they're not worth mentioning. I will say that Cam Gigandet does a great job as the bad vampire. He looks like he would suck your blood, unlike Edward. 
Director Catherine Hardwicke is not the most likely choice to direct this. On reflection, she probably shouldn't have. Her best movie was Lords of Dogtown, which saw Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsh skateboarding and being cool. This movie could not be more different from that. Instead of the vibrant colors she used in Lords, Hardwicke is employing the My Chemical Romance color palette. That is, gray, white, gray, a little red, gray, some other colors, and gray. This is probably the most visually depressing film I have seen this year. The fact that all the other characters, with there just short of albino skin, almost blend into the background doesn't really help. I don't know what you think, but it helps your movie if you can actually see the characters. The special effects are pretty bad as well. They consist of a vampire running real fast, jumping to enormous heights, or grappling with another vampire. The technique used is simple. Blur the image of the character as he runs, so it looks like he's running fast. You' think they could do better. This movie probably had a huge budget, and by the looks of it, most of that went into voice lessons for Pattison, so that he could cover up that sexy British accent of his. This is not a well directed or visually compelling movie, to say the least. 
Now, and I going a lot of crap for this, despite the fact that it is a love story, and it's meant for "young adults," it is still a vampire story, and that is the movie's biggest flaw. It doesn't feel like a vampire movie. A vampire movie should scare you, a lot. Hey, Dracula was technically a love story, but Dracula managed to scare the shit out of me. Hell, even Queen of the Damned does a better job at giving us potentially life threatening and dangerous beasts. And, for those who care to know, Queen of the Damned sucked. Anyway, Edward goes on and on about he is a monster, that he's killed people. Forgive me, but it doesn't look like he's killed so much as a gerbil in his entire immortal life span. Yeah, I know, I know, I know, this is a different type of vampire, but I don't care. Give me some proof that this guy would rip my head off, drink my blood and enjoy it, and maybe I'll hop on the band wagon.
Now, I said I would talk about the good scenes. There is one good scene that I liked. A dude has his head and appendages ripped off and burned. Delicious.
But, you know what? What I am saying has no bearing on how people will view this. Twilight will make absurd amounts of money. It will probably spawn a clothing line, lunch boxes, beach towels, Hasbro action figures, and more. You have already decided if you love Twilight or not. It will appeal to it's fans; they will just eat it up. I know I'm not the target audience, but then, I do not consider myself the target audience for any film. I review based on the quality of the film, not because I was biased toward the thing before I even went in. So, if you are already a fan, go for it. Damn the torpedoes. For the rest of you? Rent Interview With a Vampire. 

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