26 January 2009

The Butchering of Twilight

I realise I have to approach this topic carefully. Too much praise for the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and I'll never be able to snatch my dignity back.
It is hard though, when you come across a book so utterly HILARIOUS, yet at the same time finding yourself unable to change a thing about the series. If I wanted dialogue that didn't make me retch involuntarily, if I wanted descriptive text that wasn't so freaking predictable, the books wouldn't be the same.
Anne Rice didn't do this to people. Sure, L'estat was cool, sexy, dangerous (given that writing about a harmless vampire would be as fascinating as the inns and outs of the tomato skin debate in Bengali cuisine, this is assumed); yet he doesn't have a hope against Edward Cullen. I must admit though, superb foresight of Tom Cruise to play this role. Who knew he would actually turn into the character everyone revolves around whilst making sure no direct contact is made?
You know, in case it's catching.

In short, we've got a vampire in love with a mortal girl; a Quileute reservation that is on the point of exploding into a werewolf pack; the most beautiful people in the world all living in the same house and having vampiric relations all night long; a wildcard coven who decide to hunt our heroine; obsession bordering on the creepy; and, just for the guys, fast cars.
This should have been cinematic gold people.
Instead we got... uneven and staccato camera close-ups of Edward's golden eyes (yeah, we got it, his eyes changed colour, you didn't have to show us three times); unflattering angles where we seriously question how attractive Pattinson actually is (he is obscenely attractive, that's how bad these were); a voiceover from Stewart that doesn't make up for the gigantic plot leaps; and the careless disregard the director/screenwriter apparently had for making the rest of the Cullens in any way credible. I mean, why did Jasper look stoned the entire time? Was that entirely necessary?
Also, why, WHY in all the photocalls for this did Pattinson's hair look so utterly ridiculous? He said he was contractually obliged to keep it long, but it's not long in the film! Sheer lunacy!
I must admit, the Italian food preparation scene was amusing... but this is another peeve of mine. Why bother to add in extra scenes when you don't even do the existing scenes justice?
It is no great surprise to me that the director has been shafted for New Moon, although apparently it's a timing clash.
Maybe they all needed a warm-up and New Moon will be spectacular.

In other news, it's a great time for movies of novels at the moment. Revolutionary Road, written by Richard Yates, is a seriously excellent kitchen-sink drama and a fitting film for Kate and Leo to reunite on. The Reader (seriously, Winslet's outdone herself this season) by Bernhard Schlink should be superb. On a sidenote, I'm so glad Schlink has got himself back together, Self's Punishment and Self's Deception were so ordinary, but he's back on form with Homecoming. I'll let Earhart do the comparison of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with David Fincher's film as I haven't seen it yet.
Was it butchered?
Probably, but we'll have to wait and see.
Film Rating: 2/10
Novel Rating: 10/10 (Oh for... don't spit the dummy, check out the ratings table.)
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