Not only an outsider to the book series, but also to these reviews. My friend Daren saw the movie on Friday and did a much better job explaining what I tried to get across in a simple paragraph. Here's mine take;I went to see Twilight last night at midnight. It was fine, but I finally understand how people are not always amazed by the Harry Potter series. I feel like a lot of the magic of the movie was left up to the assumption that viewers have read the book. Maybe it was mostly the midnight showing and all the laughter at every little detail making me feel like I was outside of the biggest inside joke on the planet, or maybe I'm right and it really wasn't all too spectacular. I am willing to see it again to confirm, but probably not until the spring until it comes out on DVD.
And the much better explanation;
In anticipation of answering the question "what did you think of twilight" numerous times, here's my response...
I have never read the Twilight books, due to a few reasons - when it first came out, people (mainly young women of the lds faith) were going as far as to say "their testimony has been strengthened because of this book"...I steered far away. I was told that Edward was an emotionally abusive, rude, brash vampire that Bella fell madly in love with. Made no sense to me, and I do not really have any desire to read a book about 17 year old vampires...
Quite frankly, I could care less, and was often a little repulsed when I was looked at differently for not caring about this new cultural phenomenon that was the Twilight series.
I had no intention of ever watching the Twilight movie. Ever, really. I literally could care less. I saw the trailer many times over the last month or two, and watched as facebook lit up with status updates like "3 days and counting...2 days and counting...". I asked a friend of mine out on a date for last friday, and the recommendation of seeing the movie came up. I knew she was a huge fan, and probably wanted to see the movie more than anything else we could do that night. So, I purchased tickets (a day late...sorry again Erica...) quickly deleted the lovely facebook update from Fandango, and refused to discuss the fact that I was going to see this movie that I had so adamantly refused to see even the day before.
We showed up in just enough time to not have to wait in line to get seats, so we walked straight in, grabbed, surprisingly, two seats next to each other in a decent part of the theater - not too close, not too far to the side. I was surrounded by friends I didn't want knowing that I was there, and women dressed in their matching "twilight shirts"...wow, really? Its at the same level as a Harry Potter, Star Wars, or LOTR movie?
The movie started, and the crowd cheered. I knew what to expect, the audience getting way into the movie no matter how it was depicted or how the story was told. As long as Edward was incredibly handsome, Bella was forlorn, and everybody else fit at least in part the vision they had of what they looked like and how they acted, the movie could do no wrong.
I won't give you a play by play, but rather skip to the wrap up. I felt, watching through Twilight, that I just visually skipped through a couple hundred page book in right around 2 hours. I felt as if, from a film point of view, that the movie left out a lot of substance and back story because of the assumption that there audience "gets it". Had it not been for the overabundant reactions of the audience, I would have been lost, and would never have known that a certain "look" had pages and pages of meaning behind it, that the way one character did something or passed someone or said something had chapters worth of "depth" behind it....but really this is not a deep movie.
As a stand alone movie/love story, I think it kind of fails. The main character is mean, rude, emotionally abusive in a way, and gets away with it all because "he's a vampire, he doesn't know any better." For whatever reason, our main character Bella falls deeply in love with this guy, and we are never given any reason as to why she feels that way. Edward only "loves" her, because of two reasons that I could glean - 1, she smells good, and 2, he can't read her thoughts, so she's very very intriguing. Not a very strong basis for a love story.
There are a plethora, or should I say over abundance, of characters who while we know who they are and how they fit in the story, they really don't do anything save for maybe in one scene, which I can only take to mean that we need to know who they are for the inevitable sequels.
I thought the direction was good, not stellar, the action was ok, not distracting or humorous, and that the acting was decent, even good at times. Judging by the audience's reaction, the movie was everything they ever dreamed it could be, and more. As a movie goer looking for a good story and entertainment, it was a shallow summation of the book, recklessly taking advantage of all the knowledge of the story and characters that was possessed by the audience. If I was going to see it, I'm glad I got to see it opening night, as I would have no doubt felt completely left out had the theater not been full of googly-eyed twilight fans, eager to fall - once again - in love with Edward, and emotionally reconnect with Bella. If its anywhere near a "true" adaptation of the book, I've confirmed that I would not enjoy reading it.
So, if you're going to see it, enjoy it. Turn off your criticism, save it for after the show. See it early, as laughing at the crowd occurs much more often than laughing and what is going on on screen. Be prepared to just enjoy being part of such a silly and shallow part of culture, and hopefully if you are not a fan, you are with someone who's whose night you made by taking them to see the movie.
(And if you want me to give it a "score", i'd say a solid C. Yeah, i think Eric D. Snider was a little too generous...see his review here.
I hope to have a review up soon of a movie that Daren worked on, I've watched the first half about 3 times, and I'm enjoying it.