Friday, May 1, 2009

Book & Movie Review: Twilight

I thought I would do something new. A combined book and movie review. I'm going to try to do this on the first of each month, we'll see how it goes... So for the very first Book and Movie review...

Title: Twilight

Author: Stephanie Meyer

Published: October 2005

Genre: Young Adult

Stand Alone/Series: Twilight #1

From Amazon: Bella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear.

Hero: Edward Cullen is a gem. Complete hero material, an old fashion hero with gentlemanly manners from a time long ago. As a vampire, he thinks of himself as a monster and tries to repel Bella every way he can, from leaving town to being rude and telling her that they shouldn't be friends. But he can't help but be drawn to Bella, not only is she irresistible to him as prey but she is also a mystery since she has the only mind he can't read. Once he gives into temptation, he is quite funny and delightful.

Heroine: Bella Swan is typical teenager with many common teen angst but with unusually sensitivity. She moves from sunny Arizona, where she was mostly satisfied with her life to Washington, where her life suddenly becomes the opposite of what she is used to, from being one in the crowd to being in the spotlight. She is not used to being popular and doesn't quite know how to handle her sudden popularity and Edward's unusual responses. At first she can't believe that someone could dislike her so much to being determined to solve the mystery that is Edward.

Book Review: This is a great love story. Very Romeo and Juliet, where the hero and heroine are naturally incompatible but are helplessly attracted to each other. He's a predator and she's his natural prey. It's also a story of true love and has all the angst involved with being the first love as well. All told in the first person, Bella's, and it highlights all her teen insecurities. At times her continuing insecurities and continued descriptions of Edward's flawless exterior are annoying but I didn't find it too much of a distraction from the overall story.

While some have compared this series with Harry Potter, I find it to be a comparison of apples to oranges. I think Harry Potter probably has a greater base audience than this series, I really find it hard to believe this series would be of interest to adolescent boys while I would think it would be wildly attractive to the average adolescent girl. Perhaps that's stereotyping, but it's like imagining my brother reading Sweet Valley High books, quite mind boggling. This is truly a teen fantasy romance with all the drama of first love and those difficult years in between childhood and adulthood.

Movie Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer: Here.

Movie Review: The movie followed the book for the most part and there weren't any great diversions from the overall plot. But as with most books turned movies, there are some leaps/short cuts that have to be taken.

For the most part it was quite enjoyable but I had issues with the casting. Jasper in particular, I thought he was particularly wimpy and sissy looking. I thought the actor who played James would have been a better fit for Jasper. James was delightful. Both wickedly evil but absolutely scrumptious. But I have to say Charlie was my favorite. His portrayal was dead on for me. The whole small town sheriff who's used to living alone who is suddenly the primary parent of a teenage girl and doesn't quite know how to deal with this strange species.

Keeper?: The book is definitely worth re-reading and a keeper. As for the movie, its worthwhile to rent for those who really enjoyed the book but not a must buy. Director Catherine Hardwicke did a good job of bringing the book to the big screen but there were some hick-ups in the storyline that I found distracting.

Recommendation: An excellent read. Anyone who enjoys a well crafted story will enjoy this book. The movie is good and worth seeing but, as always, I enjoyed the book infinitely more than the movie.

Book Rating: A-
Movie Rating: B-


orannia said...

Oh, nice idea Aymless! I am now 6th in the library queue for Twilight. I figured I would read the book before watching the movie, although I have heard good things it Jacob?

Aymless said...

Jacob only has itty bitty role in Twilight the book, but has BIG role in the series. He is quite interesting.

And I think it good idea to read the book first. I wonder what I would have thought of the movie if I had seen it first.

Mandi said...

What a cool review!

Ok - I'm a huge twilight fan. Loved the books..definitely team Edward!!! (in major love with Robert Pattinson).

The movie had a little cheesy feel to me but it ended well. I hope New Moon is a little better with a different director. Jasper looked constipated the entire movie:)

Aymless said...

Mandi: Edward is dreamy! *sigh* I'm interested in seeing how they do Jacob for New Moon.

Jasper looked constipated the entire movie.LOL! So true. I still think they should have gone with some tougher looking.


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