April 8, 2010

Book Vs. Movie: Twilight

I am not the intended audience for Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga, but I feel it's important to step outside my comfort zone when it comes to reading books and watching movies. Last year, I read Twilight--most of it, anyway--and just didn't care for it. As far the film adaptation was concerned, with its success, ardent fans, even more ardent detractors, and a less than impressive movie trailer, I was in no hurry to watch it. But I did anyway--comfort zone, remember.

I didn't like the book. I dare say I liked the movie even less. And that's saying something because my expectations were basically rock bottom when I popped in the DVD.

There are times in my life when I look at something incredibly popular and beloved by a huge swath of society and can only shake my head in wonder. I wonder what the hell is wrong with said swath. They love something I find to be utterly undeserving of such adoration. I felt that way about "Seinfeld", "Desperate Housewives", "Grey's Anatomy", reality TV at large, and Star Wars--yes, George Lucas' crown jewel ain't that great in my opinion. But I can't exactly sit on my high horse as if my tastes are beyond reproach. I used to be a wrestling fan, I'm still a fan of "Family Guy" and "Star Trek", and Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. Culturally elite, I am not.

Having laid out that caveat, allow me to simply state that the success of Twilight befuddles me more than any one book/movie franchise. The movie was so bad, bad doesn't cover it. I am amazed at the idea that the movie could be considered anything but an embarrassment and a terrible misstep in kicking off the franchise for the silver screen.

For one thing, two hours was way, way too long for this movie. Ninety minutes, tops, should have been sufficient to tell the story. To be fair, I wanted to stop watching after the first fifteen minutes. After forty minutes, I did. I literally needed to stop, leave the living room to do something less tiresome, then watch the rest of the movie later. As bad as both Transformers films were, I at least managed to sit through each without having to stop and internally rage over a movie night ruined.

Then there was the cinematography--or maybe it was the editing--that made pieces of this movie look like a bad music video or a lazy school film project. And while I can appreciate the idea that the people in charge wanted to get across immediately how the Cullen's were "different", the vampire makeup used was so awful and out of place, it made Clark Kent's eye glasses look like an ingenious disguise. And I won't even get into how ridiculous Pattinson looked when he sparkled.

As for the acting ... I groaned audibly whenever Edward and Bella were alone together. I may be too cynical to sit through a movie like this, but I've seen plenty of so-called "chick flicks" and enjoyed them. The on-screen chemistry was so bad, coupled by the sorely vapid dialogue, I became even more convinced Kristen Stewart can't act. Unless she intentionally portrayed the character as an insufferable dullard with enough angst and awkward body language to make the most emo rock band roll their eyes.

I'm sorry. To the fans of Twilight, I won't begrudge you your fun with this work. And as far as Stephenie Meyer is concerned, as wish her all the success in the world. I, however, am done with this franchise permanently. New Moon? No chance I'm going anywhere near that book or that movie. If you like or love it, have fun. I will do my best to keep my snarkiness down to a dull buzzing noise. People love "Seinfeld", I thought it was average at best. Transformers was a box-office juggernaut and I think both movies were abominations. So, hey ... what do I know?

Winner: The Book. I may not have liked the book, but at least it took me three hundred pages for me to give up on it. It only took forty minutes for the film to wear me out to the point where I abandoned it. I forget who directed it, but I do recall that someone else directed New Moon. I think people in charge realized they could do a lot better than what they ended up with for Twilight. For good or bad, Stephenie Meyer's words are as she wanted them on the page, so if I had to make a choice between the two I'd go with the author.


  1. I read your post to my family over breakfast and even my toddlers were laughing. All I can say is even though I enjoyed Breaking Dawn, I understand the pain of Twilight.

    If there a group to stand proud as a wrestling and Family Guy fan and good scifi (only the Stars Wars books get my vote not the movies) I want to join!

  2. Glad to hear I have a pleased audience over there at your house.

    Haven't read a Star Wars book yet, but there are a couple I have on my wish list.

  3. I'm with you on being utterly baffled at the Twilight phenomenon. But I do really love Transformers. Love it.

  4. i go for the book. what i like about the storyline is that there are some elements regarding vampires and werewolves the author incorporates that's original which makes it a fun read. as for the movies, i can wait for the dvd.

    btw: you've been awarded ;-D

  5. Brenda - Nobody's perfect. :)

    vvb32 - Thanks for the award.