Bella Swan doesn't expect much when she moves to the small town of Forks, Washington, until she meets the mysterious and handsome Edward Cullen - a boy who's hiding a dark secret: he's a vampire. As their worlds and hearts collide, Edward must battle the bloodlust raging inside him as well as a coterie of undead that would make Bella their prey. TWILIGHT adds a dangerous twist to the classic story of star-crossed lovers.
About three things I was absolutely positive: First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-and I didn't know how dominant that part might be-that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him - Bella Swan
Pardon me for the record, I have never heard of Twilight that is until the first teaser trailer came out on the net. But then, I guess it is excusable for a thirty-something year old man who never ventures into the romance section. You see, Twilight the movie which is based on the teenage novel by first time author Stephenie Meyer is clearly aimed at the female fanbase.
Unlike any of the Vampire chronicles by Anne Rice, in Meyer’s world, Vampires don’t go kaput under the sun, in fact they glitter liked women’s best friend, diamonds. They drive nice fast cars and are incredibly charming and polite.
Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) is a vampire disguised as a high school student in a small town of Forks. When a girl from Phoenix named Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves to Forks to live with her father, they begin a compelling and forbidden relationship that threatens to harm not just themselves but those surrounding them as well.
Now, I can easily see why Twilight is so successful in the first place. The main protagonist, Edward has all the above mentioned merits and to add a certain air of melancholy, he is anguish, aloof and self-loathing as well. Bella, a character that many girls yearn to be is reckless and the sort that will do anything for love. These two central characters which embody the bulk of the running time mesmerized the audience with their intense chemistry.
Director Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown) truly knows the essence of the material and she even adds a sense of looming presence with subtle visual effects such as rain, clouds and even trees just to make things a little more sensual. While Harry Potter’s wizardry world has Quidditch, the vampires in Twilight have their own version of baseball. But the one scene that truly set hearts fluttering is Edward carrying Bella on a tree-climbing expedition and admiring the fantastic view of the surroundings.
Most regrettably however is the sloppy handling of the nomad vampires (the evil ones). Character developments are basically zilch and the battle between the Cullens and James, dubbed the most powerful vampire (Cam Gigandet from Never Back Down) is comparable to an episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Campy and done in a blink of an eye.
Renowned horror maestro Stephen King recently took a shot at Stephenie Meyer’s books saying she can’t write but then King’s novels to movie adaptations seldom or never reaches the heights of Meyer’s Twilight. Sour grapes? Perhaps. Then again, even for thirty-something year old man like yours truly can appreciate the success of Twilight. It’s the perfect material for die-hard romance fans and today’s iPod generation.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Audio Commentary with Catherine Hardwicke, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart – This is an audio track that hardly has any dry spots as Hardwicke, Pattinson and Stewart banters effortlessly throughout sharing behind-the-scenes anecdotes with Pattinson poking fun at himself and Hardwicke giggling like a school girl.
Music Videos – Disc Two begins with 3 music videos from the movie soundtrack featuring Muse, Paramore and Linkin Park.
Extended/Deleted Scenes – There are 5 extended and 5 deleted scenes with intros by Director Catherine Hardwicke. The perfect treat if you wish to see more screentime for Edward and Bella.
The Adventure Begins: The Journey from Page to Screen – Running almost an hour, you have the option to watch them individually or play all 7 chapters at one go. It intensively covers the production process, stunts, visual effects, characterizations and editing etc.
Behind-the-scene Pass to the Comic-Con Phenomenon – A 7 minutes feature that captured the phenomenal Twilight fanbase during the annual Comic-Con at San Deigo during the cast and crew appearance.
Conversation with Stephenie Meyer – A mother of 3 young sons who unwittingly becomes a best-seller writer, here’s a 23 minutes interview piece with Stephenie Meyer. Get to know more about how the story of Twilight initially came about.
Theatrical Campaign Featurette – Consisting of 2 teaser trailers, the final trailer, the first sneak peek and the footage shown at the New York Comic Con.
Music: The Heartbeat of Twilight – Robert Pattinson is an accomplished musician and here, he is shown playing the piano and other music pieces of Twilight is discussed in this 5 minutes featurette.
Edward’s Piano Concert – The complete scene where Edward plays the piano.
Becoming Edward – Since the focus is on Edward aka Robert Pattinson, this 7 minutes feature has him talking about his character and shooting process.
Becoming Bella – Now its Bella’s turn, Kristen Stewart discussed her role as Bella and other production anecdotes.
The DVD is rounded up with a Catherine Hardwicke’s Vampire Kiss Montage (fluffy and pointless) and a Catherine Hardwicke’s "Bella’s Lullaby Remix" (More fluffy stuff).
To summarize, though Twilight is not targeted at my demographics, this two-disc special edition DVD is highly recommended for the fans consider the extra features here run almost 150 minutes and cover almost every aspect of the production.
Twilight is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen and showcases a crisp, good-looking transfer that won’t disappoint the fans even though Twilight for the most part is set in a mostly grey, dark and rainy environment. The Dolby Digital 5.1 gets a good workout in the ballet school attack sequence. Generally on the whole, the dialogue is pitch-clear and music is well-intertwined into the movie.
by Linus Tee