Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)
Stephenie Meyer (novel)
Kristen Stewart ... Bella Swan
Robert Pattinson ... Edward Cullen
Billy Burke ... Charlie Swan
Ashley Greene ... Alice Cullen
Nikki Reed ... Rosalie Hale
Jackson Rathbone ... Jasper Hale
Kellan Lutz ... Emmet Cullen
Peter Facinelli ... Dr. Carlisle Cullen
Cam Gigandet ... James
Taylor Lautner ... Jacob Black
Anna Kendrick ... Jessica Stanley
Michael Welch ... Mike Newton
Christian Serratos ... Angela Weber
Gil Birmingham ... Billy Black
Elizabeth Reaser ... Esme Cullen
Taken from imdb.com. If only the movie turns out like how the plot written for imdb.
Isabella Swan moves to gloomy Forks to live with her father. As she starts her junior year in high school she becomes fascinated by Edward Cullen who holds a dark secret which is only known by his family. Edward falls in love with Bella as well but knows the further they progress in their relationship the more he is putting Bella and those close to her at risk. Edward warns Bella that she should leave him but she refuses to listen and to understand why he is saying this. Bella learns his secret. He is a vampire, however she is not afraid of his blood-thirsty needs and the fact he could kill her at any moment. Bella is afraid of losing him, the love of her life. The thrill begins when a new vampire finds it a challenge to hunt Bella down for her irresistible blood. The game is on and James will not stop until she is killed.
I read the book, wrote a review of the book and came to a conclusion that the movie will be better than the book. And quite smugly I shall declare myself as brilliant reviewer because the movie IS better than the book but after that I shall bury my head in the sand because it is NOT THAT MUCH BETTER than the book. A quick summary of how I feel about the movie; better than the book but considering the source is crap, the movie is in its own way crappy as well. You can see that the director tried her damnest best to make the movie credible with some interesting filming techniques and inclusions of certain scenes that were mentioned in passing in the book so as to make the movie more dreamy. You can also see most of the budget must have gone to the Cullens' amazingly beautiful home in the forest as well as the cars. You can certainly see huge effort given in casting, with some the characters cast looked the way I would envision them when I was reading the book eventhough the book hardly described the characters at all, the case in point is Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black. He really looked like animalistic-ish with his fangs like teeth and unique eyes and nose. He already looked like a werewolf even if he was smaller than the character described in the book. I thought he was rather handsome eventhough he hardly had any scenes and the scenes he had, he was smiling. Not much acting required. There were misses in the casting department which I shall elaborate further but most were perfect even if the acting is a bit not up to standards. But for all the goods that I highlighted about the movie, there are unfortunately many bads that in the end would bring the movie down, the primary being the source material. If you have a crappy source material, no amount of scripting wonder can do any good if the entire movie is faithful to the source material. This movie would have been the perfect opportunity for a scripwriter and a script doctor to make something coherent and cinematic out of it, by simply rewriting the entire story but keeping the basic "vampire falls in love with human being" story. I assume the writers' were being much too nice to Stephenie Meyer to suggest rewriting her story because no doubt if they had, the fans would boycott but the movie would have been so much better.
Is the movie entertaining? In a strange "Sweet Valley High" way, yes it was entertaining, in parts. Like the book, there were moments of utter silence and where the characters simply did nothing except to romance one another and towards the end, some drama and finally some action but too short lived. The book didn't quite spell out nicely the blossoming love between Edward and Bella, in fact they met, he wanted to suck her blood, she intrigued by his rejection, he intrigued by his inability to read her mind, she fell for his cool hotness, he fell for her so drinkable blood and boom, they're deeply and unequivocally in love. How they reached from A to C without much of B was never explained in the book and in the movie, B was never even mentioned. In fact much of A was never mentioned but we do get an overdose of C, unconvincingly. The problem with a romance movie such as this is I am not into their romance. The movie seems to be moving in a snail pace and felt very very long, like how I felt watching Quantum Of Solace and yet nothing much ever happens in there, or at least anything of much urgency happens. Like the points I highlighted in the book review, I can't feel the Cullens closeness. I felt like they were lodging with one another rather than really being a family. The supposed calmness and wisdom of Carlisle Cullen is lost in the cinematic translation but no fretting; he wasn't that all encompassing wisdom or voice of conscience. He was just this incredibly youthful handsome pale looking doctor who could never have been able to adopt such grown up kids in the first place and he walks into a scene, does something, walks out, and his role is of no significance, even when at the end he was the one who quietly advised Edward to control himself when Edward couldn't stop himself sucking Bella's blood. Even then it felt weird; I never felt the paternal love between them and in a way this is because of the lack of on screen time. Worse for Esme if you ask me. As for the other Cullens, I was rather shocked at how not so gorgeously awesomely perfect Rosalie or skipping happy perky Alice was. I find the casting for these 2 were way off, especially Nikki Reed as Rosalie who was a total miscast based on looks alone. Acting wise, amongst the amateurs, she was the better one and even that she wasn't entirely memorable. Let me put my thoughts in simple terms. The Cullens were very young when they became vampires but none of the actors even remotely look the age of the characters. They were described as Adonis and Athena perfection in the book and whilst there is no denying these are pretty people, they're no way awesomely gorgeous. Maybe they should just look at Lord Of The Rings and the elves especially. Make up makes them look beautiful and I suspect some catwalk training make them graceful. None of the Cullens were as graceful as described in the book. In fact, in the book they were described as so still that they're almost inhuman which they are by the way. During lunch they never move, when they talk they hardly move their lips and they whisper rather than normal talk. This movie however got that all wrong. The way they chit chat during lunch time shows they are of no difference than normal teenagers, they speak normal tones and they don't move lightning fast or gracefully as they should. In other words, whatever makes them a bit not human in the book were removed completely from the movie except they look pale and when I mean pale, I mean 10 inches of foundation and powder instead of real pale. A shame really because these factors are the only one that ever indicates they are not human, although none to indicate they're vampires. The movie removed all those elements so to me what's the problem with being a vampire? No harm, no problem at all and no stigma. Just like in the book, except different way to the same conclusion.
The story itself as in the movie is a laborious thing to watch. For those who haven't read the book may be intrigued but will ultimately be very confused with all those glitter, no fangs and forever stuck in high school stuff but for those who have read the book, it will either be satisfaction but still not quite happy some elements were not in the movie or total dislike simply because the book is awesome. I belong to the former simply because I felt the book was worse but I am not happy some elements were not in the movie or not properly represented in the movie. Even if these were properly represented, let's just say the movie still has a lot to be desired. You just have to read the book to know why. And of course it has a lot to do with the fact the movie tries to be artsy, tries to be mainstream when it should just stick to what it is; a teen romance from a material so thin that it is transparent. The movie tries to take itself too seriously and in the end it became like a child pretending to be a grown up which is all wrong.
That being said, I have a few favourite scenes. The Cullens house is nice, the Cullens cars are nice, the weather looks positively depressing which is nice. The forest scene is nice and the whole glitter thing is well done. Some complained not enough glitter and for awhile me too because I was expecting like huge sunbeams reflected from Edward's body but you know the effect may be subtle but yet noticeable and I thought well the glitter was nice. Robert Pattinson's hair is the real awesomeness of this movie, Taylor Lautner's looks are also awesome (he does look unique) and I quite enjoyed the silly baseball scenes, like all the pretend drama when there isn't any actually. In fact I still find the baseball scene weird, like it didn't belong in there or even in the book. Charlie was good, I enjoyed his scenes and I also liked the scene where Edward expressed why being a vampire ain't that good and how he revealed his glittery looks. Full of angst but after that notice how he leaned towards Bella, as in Robert Pattinson quite uncharacteristically fumbling to place both his palms face down on the rock that Kristen was leaning on, very clumsy and clearly a 2nd take would have been better than just settling for this bad NG take. But my most favourite scene is actually the scene when we first meet the Cullens, when Bella first saw them walking slow mo into the cafeteria, all 5 of them ending with Edward looking sullen and yes, handsome. I thought the introduction was great. Everything else was however not that great. Now that I look back, I don't think poor Jasper even had any lines at all.
Effects wise, not much. You can see not much budget on the effects so all those super fast running, super strength and super agility didn't look so super.
Acting wise, I have nothing much to say except surprisingly not much acting is involved since many scenes are like cuddle, chit chatting and not much dialogue. Any dialogue is cringe worthy but give the actors the credit for delivering them with conviction, so if they may sound silly, it is in the end because the lines themselves are silly and not the actors delivering them.
Robert Pattinson did well, despite the awful lines he had to deliver. So he failed in the hissing department, so he didn't look threatening but he did get the manic depressive side spot on. He looks depressed and yet when he smiled he has the prettiest smile, next to Taylor Lautner. I like him, and I felt amongst all his performance is better than the rest but that moment he was crouching and sucking Bella's blood was a tad overacting. American accent wasn't convincing though. Why not make Edward English? More exotic.
Kristen Stewart looked the part but her acting was like frozen look acting. She tries too hard being Jodie Foster you know. Her deep voice reminded me of Jodie Foster and she did play her daughter in Panic Room and she was annoying in there. In this movie she was annoying without even really being Bella. Bella is annoying. And terribly clumsy, an element that was not emphasised in this movie so nothing to make her loveable. I just find her Bella irritating, sulky and terribly moody. As in the book, yes I know so I suppose no more, no less than the book. She could have made Bella better, nice or maybe shy or quiet but none of these. I don't see what Edward sees in this movie version of Bella. There must be another young actress who could bring out the better qualities of Bella. Can't she make Bella shy but approachable? Clumsy in a charming way? Innately charming? Something like that?
Billy Burke was the saving grace of this movie. He had some funny scenes, and thanks to him the movie was slightly less than crappy.
Taylor Lautner, a name I shall remember to infinity and beyond has the most beautiful smile and the most unique look. Unfortunately he also has very little scenes and from what I can see, his performance leaves much to be desired.
Kellan Lutz did look like a credible Emmet Cullen but not big enough. Handsome though.
Nikki Reed is not pretty nor graceful enough to be Rosalie.
Jackson Rathbone looks weird as Jasper and later in the books Jasper will play a significant role and I feel the actor may have a hard time convincing the audiences his Jasper was a vampire tracker. He simply didn't look like one.
Ashley Greene is a miscast as the playful and super agile Alice because she looks too old. I always imagined Alice as someone in her mid teens, very young so Ashley to me didn't look the part. Worse, she didn't look playful or even a seer.
Elizabeth Reaser is too old to be Esme who wasn't that old when she became a vampire. I can see wrinkles which is not good. If Carlisle Cullen is so youthful looking, Esme shouldn't look so much older even if she was I think 2 years older.
Peter Facinelli as Carlisle Cullen is handsome but unfortunately does not have the gravitas to be the wise and dependable and calm and paternal Carlisle Cullen. Some actors have that but this one doesn't.
The rest are either just there or not there at all. What I mean is performance wise nothing worth commenting and most are a miscast eventhough the vampires seem rather hip. Again I ask, what's the stigma?
Twilight the movie (or even the book) is like Sarah Palin. Nice to look at but of little substance. And worse of all, people as in voters accept her to only not faint during debates and will then consider her a success. Like this movie, they expect total disaster and was pleasantly surprised to find out that the movie was not as crappy as the book and so they declared the movie as in not bad at all and so the conclusion is the movie is good. As long as it follows the book, it will be great. That to me is lazy adaptation. Directing wise, the director whilst made such an effort in making Twilight no crappy didn't help much by making the movie into something it isn't. The books call themselves The Twilight SAGA and I suppose the movie would describe itself as an EPIC of star crossed lovers. Total B.S if you ask me. Watch the movies like how you would hear Sarah Palin but please do not take it seriously like how some would take Sarah Palin's words seriously. The idea of Sarah Palin running for presidency and becoming one and like Twilight running for Best Oscar Picture and winning one will elicit the same response for me; it will be doomsday, the day when good taste becomes extinct. Twilight in the end isn't a good movie to begin with. If the book had been better, I would have declared the movie a bad boring crappy movie but since the book was worse, I shall repeat my sentiments; the movie will be better than the book, and it is better. Is it good enough is really in the end up to you as the viewer. If you must know, no, it is not good enough for me.
Stephenie Meyer was in the movie, in the cafe scene where Bella was having lunch with her father Charlie. She was the customer.