By Marty Meltz
"Twilight" (quality rating: 5 out of 10)
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg, based on the
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson. Billie Burke
Time: 2 hrs.
Rating: PG-13 (some violence and a scene of sensuality)
Vampires lite. A
teenage chick flick.
What director Catherine Hardwicke is dealing with here, or is trying to, is how teenage girls' rising and directionless sexuality would
confront a handsome, mentally tortured vampire teenage boy. I won't even make an attempt at commenting on how effective that is in the movie. But I rather believe
that teenage girl audiences will have to read their own meanings into this.
That is, such impact just isn't there as it's treated on the screen. Although Hardwicke,
commendably, does maintain a heady focus on all the sexually dynamic dialogue, the leads and their bleakness of personality make for a decidedly undercooked
Well, so here it is . . .
A time for teenage vampire love? Well, let's see . . .
A new place to live. A new high school to go to. Bella
Swan (Kristen Stewart) shrugs it all off.
Who cares, anyway? Back in her Phoenix, Arizona high school, she'd never bothered about conforming to anything or
anybody, least of all those snooty cliques and fashion-mad trendies who were such vacant individuals.
So here she is now, having moved to the very wet
little town of Forks, Washington living with her dad Charlie (Billie Burke). This was her option after mom had decided to move off with her new husband to Florida. Yet
why would anything be different here? Superficial high school kids, witless people, intellectual voids all.
But, well now, here comes something. Edward Cullen
(Robert Pattinson). He is . . . very . . . very different. Like no one she's ever known in her life. Yeah! Bright and sharp-minded, a virtual spiritual presence, this guy not
only sees into her but seems to drive his vibrations right into her soul.
And is he ever a magnificent hunk! Romance forthcoming? You bet. But there's
nothing, but nothing, normal about this boy. Nothing! For one thing he can effortlessly stop a car with his bare hands. For another, how about his running speed? Like
faster than a horse. But maybe the most shocking thing about him is that he has not aged a day since 1918.
Y'see, . . . Edward Cullen . . . is a
But hold on now -- not the fang and blood-drinking kind. They do exist, but he's a "vampire vegetarian." And he is immortal, of course. But
vegetarian or not, he and his cohorts do go on "hikes" in which they feed on cougars and grizzly bears.
But what's most of consequence is that Bella is
obviously a soul-mate. Her very scent can drive him nuts. But they've been waiting for each other for 90 years. Now what can they do when Edwards' mortal enemies
show up in town, James (Cam Gigandet), Laurent (Edi Gathegi), and Victoria (Rachel Lefevre)? Because, you see, James takes a liking to Bella. She may be in
Not helping matters at all is the jerky camera work, which calls attention to itself. As to the supernatural drive, it depends on events that don't
fit all that well with the plot's flow and are visual underachievers. The attacks by three other vampires seem rather random.
The acting is embarrassing. The
dialogue is amateurish. The kicks are schlock.
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