Generally, I like vampire flicks — Blade, Underworld, Interview with the Vampire. But I also have a disdain for movies that are pushed through writing and production too fast to accommodate public enthusiasm. Unfortunately, Twilight falls into this category. The script and the editing are sorely lacking, and from what I’ve heard, this series should have taken a few notes on “how to adapt a grossly popular book to a movie” from the Harry Potter films.
I did not read the book, so maybe I’m missing some of the history, the explanation behind why these two are supposed to have so much chemistry together. On screen, I just wasn’t engaged watching the two of them interact. Bella always seemed tentative and a bit vacant, like she was looking through Edward (see the photograph above — just where, exactly, is she supposed to be focusing her eyes?). And Edward? Well, he was just squinty, as if aware of the onset of a big headache. For a vampire who is supposed to have lived many years past his eternal age of 17, you would have thought he would seem more comfortable in his own skin, more self assured. Instead, he seemed awkward — that is, of course, unless he was showing off by piggy-backing Bella up a mountain or scaling a tree. In those moments, he just looks silly; a levitating mime on hyper-drive. (And shouldn’t Bella’s hair have blown in the wind if they were really going that fast?!)
I’d have to read the book in order to make a determination on the success (or not) of the film’s portrayal of the vampire’s “sparkly” skin. Without knowing how the author described the effect, it is kinda hard to say whether or not the film did a decent job of creating it. At first, I thought it was a mistake — like when you select the option to review photos on your digital camera with all of the overexposed areas highlighted and blinking. After realizing he was supposed to “sparkle,” I thought it looked a little cheesy — like digital glitter.
Overall, the acting was “okay” — Kristen Stewart (Bella) looked like she was always about a step behind, stumbling; a wide-eyed doe overwhelmed by the acting going on around her. Robert Pattinson (Edward) coasted during this film on his acclaimed good looks, watching Bella from under a set of rather heavy eyebrows… but I do give him points for actually playing the piano well. I did like Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, a Native American boy who was friends with Bella as a child, and the screenwriters could have done more with Billy Burke as Charlie Swan, Bella’s father. He was underused in his scenes, and rather weak in the one where Bella storms out. My father would never have let me get away with running out and talking to him like that!
In Twilight, none of the vampires bare even the slightest hint of fang — something that I felt could have been done well and made the movie a little sexier and upped the chemistry quotient. I’m not talking about crazy, ridiculous, protruding and/or ever-present fangs like these from Vamp (see thumbnail). That’s overkill; more comical than amorous. But who doesn’t like to see a little bit of slightly elongated canine pushing down on a lower lip, or the slight catch of an upper lip on said canine tooth?!
I don’t know about you, but if I’m watching a vampire romance movie I want to imagine what it would be like if I was the object of affection. Vampires — as even Edward tells Bella — are built for seduction; everything about them is supposed to be attractive, engaging, mesmerizing. A male vampire needs to look deep into your eyes, a steady gaze that imparts his hunger for you. And as a female, he should make you want to drop your head back and present your jugular, all while feeling tingly in your girlie parts.
Edward — and his crazy hair — didn’t do that for me, but perhaps a little fang would have helped.