TwilightBy Karen Wilson
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence and a scene of sensuality.
Theatrical Release Date: November 21, 2008
Running Time: 2 hours
Stars: 3 stars
Plot Synopsis: High schooler Isabella ("Bella" for short) Swan moves from Arizona to the tiny town of Forks in the Pacific Northwest to live with her father, Charlie. In school she notices one boy in particular, Edward Cullen, whose aloof behavior she finds aggravating and intriguing. As they get closer she notices other oddities about Edward like his pale, ice-cold skin, his lack of appetite and his glowing golden eyes. But by the time Edward reveals to Bella he's a vampire, albeit a non-human eating one, she's already head over heels for him.
Sex/Nudity: A couple of passionate kissing scenes between Edward and Bella, including one on Bella's bed, and a lot of smoldering looks in grassy meadows and in tree tops.
Violence/Gore: A group of teenage boys follow Bella down a dark alleyway until Edward comes to her rescue. A marauding vampire band attacks a few Forks townspeople in the shadows. There is one intense battle scene in the film lasting a few minutes where a bad vampire named James tries to kill Bella by tossing her across a room, flinging her through a window, breaking her leg, and biting her. Edward fights with James and the Cullen family destroys him together by snapping his neck and burning him.
Which Kids Will Like It?
Tween and teenage girls (and many of their moms) have been counting down the days to Twilight's release and they won't be disappointed with the faithful adaptation of their beloved bestseller. Boys and younger children will probably not be as interested in this paranormal romance.
Will Parents Like It?
Adults unfamiliar with the minutia of Twilight lore may feel a little lost as their teenager cheers for the appearance of certain characters and key lines of dialog. But if they know where they stand on the Team Edward/Team Jacob feud, they'll probably enjoy the movie as much as their daughters.
Kaboose Review: From the Lost Boys to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sexy teenage vampires have long stalked across our screens charming hapless human victims with their youth and charisma. In 2005, author Stephanie Meyer created her own utterly captivating teenage bloodsucker, Edward Cullen, whose mournful longing for the human Bella Swan made Meyer's series of four books about their love an international sensation. As soon as it was announced that director Catherine Hardwick would turn the first book in the series, Twilight, into a movie, the book's super fans called Twihards have been in a tizzy. Would all aspects of the film live up to their frenzied expectations?
When Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father Charlie (Billy Burke) she has low expectations for her new life. A slightly withdrawn and quiet girl, Bella isn't close with her police chief father and she's overwhelmed by the scrutiny that comes with small town life. But Bella's life takes a thrilling turn when she meets the most gorgeous and mysterious boy at school, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). At first Edward seems almost disgusted by Bella, holding his nose when she comes into a classroom and even skipping school to avoid her. But when Edward saves Bella from being crushed by an out of control car in the school parking lot, it's clear that there's more chemistry between them than meets the eye.
Fairly quickly Bella discovers Edward and his family's deep dark secret—they are "vegetarian" vampires who live among humans but don't feed on them. Bella and Edward also fall deeply in love, or so says Stewart's fraught voiceover and the mooning looks the two actors give each other for minutes on end. Meyer's description of their paranormal love affair is the ultimate in chaste teenage fantasies, and Hardwicke's film retains the book's depictions of Edward's magical hunkiness while also adding touches of humor the earnest books lacked.
Of course every film adaptation is not going to be exactly as the reader imagined but most fans, casual and fanatical, should be pleased with the movie--which only deviates from the book to flesh out the suspense or visualize a scene shrouded in subjectivity. Meyer even appears on screen in a cameo as a diner patron, so we can almost imagine this author, who loves to communicate with her readers via her website and discussion forums, is blessing the final product.
Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke
Cast: Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black), Billy Burke (Chief Charlie Swan), Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen), Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen), Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen), Nikki Reed (Rosalie Cullen), Keilan Lutz (Emmett Cullen), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Cullen), Cam Gigandet (James), Rachelle Lefevre (Victoria)
Karen Wilson is a freelance writer living in New York City.