Twilight Catherine Hardwicke

Twilight Catherine Hardwicke
I'll admit it: I never read the book. I never refuted the casting of Robert Pattinson as the dreamy Edward. And, really, I never saw what the big deal was about bringing Twilight to the big screen. That was all before I saw the movie. But afterwards it didn't take me long to understand why Stephenie Meyer's adolescent vampire series has struck such a chord with tweens, teens and even adults. Mixing the underage melodrama and gawky pining of Dawson's Creek with Anne Rice's brand of mainstream-friendly, heroic vampirism, Twilight is a soap opera for the ages. The story follows Bella (Kristen Stewart), who moves to the small town of Forks, WA to live with her dad (Billy Burke), the local sheriff. Though she's welcomed at school by everyone with open arms, she's drawn to her lab partner, the aloof and tortured Edward (Pattinson), a pale-faced outsider who keeps to his foster family clan. After saving her life from a potential messy car accident, Bella realizes that Edward isn't like everyone else, and soon determines he is a vampire, of all things. But he's one of the good vampires, you see, raised by a family, the Cullens, who taught him how to feed on animals, as well as to respect and protect humans. And they fall madly in love — perhaps madder than any couple before, considering the fact that his bloodlust is really jonesin' for a bit of the red stuff. However, when a rogue group of bloodsuckers hit Forks and begin to feast, one of them, James (Cam Gigandet), sets his sights on Bella, forcing Edward to come to the rescue. While the conflict with James provides a climax, Twilight ends without resolution: Edward doesn't know if he can resist the temptation of Bella's humanity, while a subplot featuring a tryst between the vampires and wolves (lived out in human form by Native Americans) shows it's set to explode in forthcoming sequel New Moon. Despite its fangless night creatures who can survive in the daylight — the sun only makes their skin sparkle — the supposed hack-job of the source material and the questionable (ab)use of special effects, make-up and camera trickery, Twilight holds it ground by establishing a somewhat timeless love story destined for doom. And Pattinson and Stewart have the chops and smouldering gazes to keep this going until the end, which also includes Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. However, that doesn't translate in their commentary with Hardwicke, which is only recommended for diehards. The trio laugh and giggle their way through it but more than anything, it's the director's flaky disposition that makes sitting through it unbearable. In addition, the extended and deleted scenes add little. However, "The Adventure Begins," a seven-part featurette, does a good job of showing the celebrated novel coming to life through the casting, script development, set design and best of all, vampire baseball. (E1)