Monday, November 24, 2008

Mermaids at Twilight

Wow! I loved the movie even more than I had expected to (Edward Cullen is the hottest thing I've ever seen onscreen). Most people believe books are better than their movies. However, I usually have the opposite feeling. I'm a very visual person with a short attention span, so watching the story unfold onscreen in front of me often makes for more satisfying entertainment (and watching Robert Pattinson saunter his sexy self around for two hours makes for a lovely afternoon).

The movie did leave out a lot of scenes and became sort of a glossed over, Reader's Digest version of the novel. But if the movie-makers had crammed all 498 pages into a film, it would end up being 6 hours long (although, now that I think on it, 6 hours of staring at that perfect pale face and those luscious lips couldn't be all that bad).

The coolest thing to me was how well the characters were cast. Everyone looked almost exactly how I had pictured him/her. And, although Kristen Stewart was a little bland as Bella, she did capture her 16-year-old insecure yet idealistic persona. The acting was great. Not too melodramatic, but not too mellow either. The setting was perfect. And, yes, the "romantic tension" between Bella and Edward was palpable and anxiety provoking. Funny...I just realized that they only kissed one time onscreen. Amazing how the tiniest moments and slightest touches can be so romantic. I have to add that Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen was the most beautiful work of art I've seen onscreen since Brad Pitt trotted his way through Legends of the Fall. And did I mention how gorgeous Edward Cullen was?

Huge thumbs up for me!

I liked the movie. I did. I had a bit of a different reaction from Eve, in that I came away thinking, "Wow. The book was sooo much better." Which is a good thing. It tells me the book was more in-depth and I had a more emotional connection with the words than with the visuals. That's pretty cool! (I had the same reaction to The Prince of Tides.)

I would have to say there are things I wanted *more* of and things I wanted *less* of...

I wanted more of Bella's inner-thoughts so we could understand her motivations more.

I wanted less make-up. I mean, sheesh, just make them regular pale...not E.T.-dying-in-the-river pale. And not all of the family members were made up like that. Only Edward, Jasper, and Mr. Cullen. The others all looked normal. Weird!

I wanted more music. I heard the soundtrack rocks and I wish I had heard more.

I wanted less of Jay saying, "What!?!?" every time Eve and I squirmed when Edward came onscreen. Really, Jay. Just give us our girl-time!

I wanted more of Mr. Cullen's back-story. I found that part fascinating in the book--why he is the way he is and how they came to be a family of "vegetarian" vampires. And how he is a doctor and why he chooses to be one. I thought that was one of the best parts of the book.

I wanted more of Bella and Edward. Can you believe that!? I don't think they could've actually shot more scenes with them, but their relationship was so dripping with emotion and, you know...lust…that it was so much fun to watch.

And my only regret? Not seeing the midnight showing. (Sorry, Jay!) We saw it in the middle of the day on a school day and there were no teenagers in the crowd. It was a quiet group. I really wish I could've heard a bunch of girls swooning at all the right spots. Because that's what Twilight is all about...swooning and all-around fun.

I give it 3 out of 5 fangs, baby!

It’s funny how we all had different experiences at the same movie. Sitting by Robin and Eve, it sounded like the audience was packed with swooning girls. Packed! Of the three Mermaids, I think I was the only one who touched my popcorn. But I suppose it is hard to chew when your jaw is permanently dropped to the floor.

Okay, here are a couple changes made in the book-to-screen adaptation which drove me batty (tee-hee):

When Bella left the hotel and raced to the dance studio, my storyteller-brain nearly imploded at the lack of character motivation. Having read the book, I knew why she did that. But in the movie, she might as well have looked at the audience and said, “I have a sudden craving to do something really dangerous. Wanna watch?”

In the book, I loved the detail of the bad vampires first appearing as incognito backpackers coming out of the woods. In the movie, they were slo-mo Abercrombie & Fitch models (who happened to appear onscreen as Robin and Eve were just about to taste their first handfuls of popcorn).

But there were plenty lot of changes I loved, as well. Why simply run through the forest at breakneck speed when you can climb to the tops of the trees? It’s beautiful…and so cinematic…up there. Since Edward’s been a music lover for the past hundred years, his music collection should reflect that. In the book, he has a wall of C.D.s. In the movie, he also has vinyl records and 8-track tapes! Oh, and then there was that art piece made up of their collected graduation caps. Hilarious!

And then there’s my favorite change of all. In the book, when Bella first sits beside Edward in Biology, he seems like a barely contained ball of rage. But the movie takes a more creative approach and expands that scene. A book-reader knows the powerful thoughts ravaging Edward’s mind when she approaches, but to Bella, it appears less like rage and more like the mere sight of her is about to make him vomit. At that early point in the movie I thought to myself, that Robert Pattinson guy can act. That’s right. Act!

But you know who’s really hot? Ashley Greene, who played Alice Cullen. Unfortunately, whenever I did the masculine-swoon thing and shared my vampire crush, Robin and Eve shushed me and told me to eat my popcorn. Gotta love being a Mermaid!

If The Count from Sesame Street used decimal points, I'd give this movie "One. Two. Three-point-five out of five bats. Ah, ah, ahhhh!"


Katie said...

I have been shocked at how different everyone's reactions are to this movie. I told SF it was like watching the debates. We all saw the same movie, and everyone had a different opinion.

In fact, my babysitter just facebooked me to get my opinion because of her two best friends, one hated it - and one loved it.

Shelli said...

I always think the books are bettr. The question for me is "does the movie represent the book well?" Thanks for the reviews :)
Shelli (Market My Words)

Kelly Fineman said...

You guys crack me the hell up. Particularly Jay, with his puns and The Count and his audience full of squealy fans. I saw it at midnight Friday morning in a house packed with fanggirls and Twimoms, and it was hilarious to hear the level of swooning taking place, and vastly added to my enjoyment of the film. I posted my thoughts about the movie the other day. Something in common with all of you, I think. And some things different.

Disco Mermaids said...

Overall, I did think it represented the book well. And Kelly, it was great to get the perspective of someone who hadn't read the book. So now...go read it!

- Jay
(Founding member of Team Allison)

P.S. If any of you are near Pasadena, CA tonight, stop by Vroman's Bookstore at 6:30. I'll be doing a signing with Jordanna Fraiberg, author of In Your Room.

Suzanne Young said...

Hm.. well for me, I could have used a little more making out. I mean, sure, it's only in the book once, but couldn't they have taken more artistic license????

I think 3.5-4 is a fair rating. Let's hope the next movie has a bigger budget. And, oh yeah, Edward shirtless!!!

Christy Raedeke said...

I think you guys should make the "3-points-of-view-on-something post" a weekly feature here! I love reading your individual takes on the same piece of work.


Kimberly Derting said...

Okay, I am cracking up all by myself here after reading your posts! I agree with Christy, the three-way thing really worked. Wait. Did I just say...? You know what I meant.

And, Jay...the bat puns...that's just good stuff!

Disco Mermaids said...

Oooh, I like CR's idea of having a regular feature on our blog using 3 different points of view on the same thing. Veeerrry differently we see things! (yes, that was in Yoda-speak).

In re-reading our thoughts, I'm noticing that I had a very superficial "that was entertaining and fun!" reaction, Robin was more cerebral and arty in her analysis, and Jay focused on logistical and literary elements of storytelling. Just like in real life!

It's fascinating to read different bloggers' reactions to the same movie...Katie is right on- totally like watching the debates! Only, this was a lot more fun and less anxiety-producing.


Lee Wind said...

that was ridiculous fun hearing how you all saw three different movies at the same time!
thanks for sharing, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Namaste and Hugs to all three of you!

CPhodges said...

The graduation cap art piece was my favorite addition to the movie. It made me laugh and at the same time marvel at what a sense of humor the Cullen's must have.

I definitely agree with Robin on wanting more background info on the Cullens. And personally, I think Jacob is hotter in the movie! It will be interesting to see how he does in the next movie.

Disco Mermaids said...

Great idea, Christy. We should do this regularly. But only if we call it by your title: 3-points-of-view-on-something.

LOVE that!!!


Disco Mermaids said...

Oh, and Paige, I totally agree on your assessment of Jacob's hotness in the movie. (Waaay more than I expected!)