Tuesday, November 25, 2008

RedBlog Review of Twilight

I have read a few reviews of the Twilight movie and most of them don't even address movie issues at all - focusing instead on the plot. The rest of the reviews are either written by obsessed fans, thus being totally slanted (for OR against), or by people who haven't read the books at all, thus missing the point of the series.

Here is the one of the only balanced reviews I have read - at the RedBlog. I'd love links to any reviews of Twilight that present both its positive and negative points.

My thoughts on the review: This is the one of the only reviews of Twilight: The Movie that actually addressed aspects of the film itself. Most of the reviews I've read focused on how unrealistic/annoying/strange the storyline is. That's a BOOK issue, not a movie issue; sorry, critics! One review compared Pattinson to James Dean - HELLO? That is just silly. Twilight is a sub-par film based on a first novel with a cultish following. I read all 4 books and enjoyed them, but I'm not obsessed with them. I also had low expectations for the movie and was quite disappointed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight (2008)

Notification arrived that a review of Twilight should have appeared in this space before now (Sorry, C!), so here is my hurried-off-the-cuff-5-hours-of-sleep replica of a real review.

The Twilight series of books first came to my attention by way of a good friend. We made a trade-off bargain. I'd read Twilight and she'd read a book I'd been begging HER to read. I liked the vampire novel enough to read the two sequels. When the fourth book was published, I re-read the first three in order to read the fourth. (I couldn't remember them well enough to go on to the sequel without a re-read.)

I purposely didn't re-read Twilight before the movie, so as to avoid the book-movie comparison game that fans often must play. Then again, I'm not a typical Twilight fan, as Bella gets on my last nerve. To make matters worse, I am on Team Jacob. (I know - horrors!) So, my expectations were not perhaps the same as many Twilight fangirls. I hoped to enjoy the movie and perhaps to get a better insight into why people find Bella and Edward so compelling, since I don't apparently get the full extent of it through reading.

Several of my friends are also Twilight fans and we cooked up a plan to go to the midnight movie release. So, souped up on caffeine and hyped up after eating out, seven of us converged on the local theater last night to experience Twilight on the big screen. A midnight show gets out past 2 am, you understand.

So, what did you think of the movie? That question has been posed to me several times last night and throughout the day. Even though my expectations were not high, I felt that they weren't fulfilled. I didn't get any better understanding of the romance between Bella and Edward. I have heard speculation that the low budget of the film created some of the problems with the film, and that could be. But I think there are many issues that could have been solved without throwing more money at them.

I was disappointed in the casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward from the beginning. His looks don't come close to the ethereal angelic beauty described by author Stephenie Meyer. I was hoping that seeing him in action would change my mind, but by the end, I was convinced that the casting director had made a horrible mistake. As much as I hate to say it, the acting was not high caliber by any of the major characters.

Other problems? Special effects were poorly rendered. Key scenes and lines were left out or changed thus leaving the characters without their proper motivations. Pointless scenes were written and added unnecessarily. What's more? Scenes that should have been serious or sentimental instead elicited laughs from the audience. If anyone should grasp the nuances of your movie, it should be the fans that come out at midnight to see it. If they laugh when they should be crying? Not good. Not good at all.

There were things I did like. I liked the kiss. You'll know which one I mean. I enjoyed the baseball-in-a-thunderstorm scene. The school kids seemed realistic and I liked the interplay between the characters at school. I want Bella's hair. (Does that count?) Some of the secondary characters were spot-on with their portrayals - Billy, Charlie, James, and Jessica, for instance. I got a hint (only a hint, though) of the Jacob we may see in New Moon (TEAM JACOB!) and that was promising. I didn't detest the film, and I didn't love it. I suppose that leaves me feeling lackadaisical about it.

My poor sleep-deprived mind is now grasping at straws and I must conclude. Maybe I will be able to be more coherent another day and add to this review. Or maybe it'll just stand this way - a half-baked review for a so-so movie. Worth seeing? Depends on your level of commitment to the Twilight fandom. You decide.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Now I am on TEAM CHARLIE!!!

Plugged In review
IMDB page
Screenit.com Info - Coming soon

Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

October Reads

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - 10/13/08
Good - Fiction
Francie grows up very poor in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn.
My sister Janet recommended this. I surprisingly had not read it before. It was quite good, although not a light read at all. Wow, those people were POOR.

Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer - 10/15/08
Good - Romance
Betty Mueller put her foot down when she saw her teenage daughter had a crush on an older man; twenty years later, she wishes she hadn't done it, so she hatches a plan to bring them back together.
I had wanted a light read after reading Tree Grows in Brooklyn and the cupcake on the cover of this made me think it would be. It wasn't. But it was good anyway.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen - 10/22/08
Good - Classic
Catherine Moreland is na├»ve and prone to romantic fantasy; in Bath she meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney and is invited to visit his family estate – Northanger Abbey
This was for my Book Club and I really liked it! Henry Tilney is my almost-favorite Austen hero (after Darcy, of course!) Catherine is a lot like I was as a teenager, I think.

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer - 10/29/08
Good - Young Adult
Artemis travels back in time to find a remedy that will cure his mother.
I've read all the Artemis Fowl books and I think this was one of the better ones. Of course, I am always a sucker for time travel. And there was even a touch of romance! After all, Artemis is now 14.

I am in the middle of two books about how to write. I also finished a book today that I had hoped to finish in October. I will be listening to Diana Gabaldon's The Fiery Cross during November (and probably longer!). I won't be reading much else because of NaNoWriMo.

For my 888 Reading Challenge, I am nearly complete. I still need to read one young adult book, re-read 5 books (maybe including Lewis's Space Trilogy or maybe The Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers?), and read one Christian novel. Those will be my December reading goals. I dropped my Tolkien category and replaced it with a Jane Austen category. I do have some overlaps on my 888 list, which is allowable, but I had hoped not to do.