Knee-jerk review: "Twilight"

1. For the uninitiated, don't worry. It's not as bad as you might think.
2. In fact, it's pretty good for what it is.
3. Robert Pattinson could have dialed down his tortured, angst-ridden James Dean impersonation, though. You're a loner. We get it.
4. It's easy to see why the story appeals to tween girls (and the tween girl inside every adult woman): forbidden love, mysterious hunk protector, the adolescent melodramatic belief that first love is everlasting love. It's romantic, okay?
5. The movie was made cheap and it does sometimes show, but that only adds to its charm. There's a unity to the vision here, as opposed to the storytelling-by-committee vanilla pointlessness that sometimes infects big budget movies.
6. Billy Burke makes the most of his part as a small town cop. He's a lot of fun to watch.
7. Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the underrated 2003 teen drama Thirteen, shows again that she has a genuine knack for infusing teen stories, no matter how over-the-top, with a level of realism, especially with the high school student characters.
8. Kristen Stewart does a pretty goob job until that last hospital scene when she starts to "act."
9. Loved the mortar board gag.
10. The baseball game is pretty cheesy, all cornball fast-forwards and slow-motions, but the showdown that comes right after it (bad vampires meet good vampires) is the best part of the movie.
11. There's a very literary feel to the story, which is all broad strokes and big symbolism. For the most part, it works.

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