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November 2008
Twilight

by Kam Williams

Twilight

Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Screenwriter: Melissa Rosenberg, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer
Cinematographer: Elliot Davis
Composer: Carter Burwell
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Cam Cigandet, Kellan Lutz, Anna Kendrick, Taylor Lautner
 

   













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After all the hype and magazine covers and endless talk amongst teens, the vampire flick 'Twilight' is finally in theaters. Is it worth seeing? Is it any good? Does it matter what’s written or said? The answer is no to all, but it certainly leaves room for improvement.
 
Faithful fans of the book will no doubt will propel this film to be a blockbuster. As for its lead star, Robert Pattinson, he's the closest thing to a rock star in this film as if Dracula gave him the lyrics to lure women to his charm without singing a note.
 
It's the conventional boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl story but with a bloodthirsty spin. Isabella 'Bella' Swan (Kristen Stewart) is the new kid in town and everyone knows it. So much that she's the potential subject for the school paper. When she nixes that, she gets acquainted with some of the students who fill her in as to who's who in the school. When having lunch at the cafeteria, she's told about the elite Cullen family, and meets Edward Cullen (Pattinson), the good looking one who keeps to himself and speaks to no one but his family.
 
As shy as Bella is, she can't help herself in trying to communicate with Edward, until he reluctantly talks back. She's further intrigued when circumstances forces Edward to reveal himself as to who he is; and rather than run and be spooked, she's hooked and unafraid. Little does she know the dangers that come with this family and when evil doers (Cam Gigandet, Rachelle Lefevre, and Edi Gathegi) show up to do more harm than good, she has to decide whether she stays with Edward or move one.
 
With HBO's True Blood and the foreign film 'Let The Right One In', getting involved with a vampire is suddenly a cool thing. In a year of 'change', bloodsucking is in; but Melissa Rosenberg's script doesn't give any depth to the characters. The tone of the film is very campy. It has the feel of a pilot episode for a TV show, like an updated 'Dark Shadows'. If you haven't read any of Stephanie Meyer's books, then seeing the film will not inspire to you to go out and buy the entire collection. For all the good work Catherine Hardwicke did with her two previous films, 'Thirteen' and the biblical film 'The Nativity Story', helming this film is a step backwards. She window dressed it with rock music, wonderful cinematography and design, but little substance.
 
The redeeming factor in the film comes towards the end when once all of the principals have been identified and the love story becomes acceptable, a rivalry develops between families, much like the 'Underworld' films. If financially successful at the box office, Hardwicke can redeem herself by injecting some substance into the sequel and the story can unfold to what fans and newcomers can appreciate.