Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Twilight: The Movie

Biblio Bits Twilight, produced by Godfrey, Mooradian, Morgan, and Rosenfelt; screenplay by Rosenbery; directed by Hardwicke. Summit Entertainment 2009.

Reading Level/Interest Age Rated PG-13

Genre Pop culture, horror, romance, magical realism

Format DVD

Plot Summary
When Bella moves to Forks, Washington (from sunny Arizona and life with her mom), she expects a small, boring town and a quiet life with her dad. Bella reconnects with a childhood friend, Jacob, who lives on a nearby reservation. Her attention is captivated by the Cullen family: five gorgeous, adopted siblings who attend Forks High School with her, and keep to themselves. It turns out that Bella and Edward are assigned as biology lab-partners, but Edward is unbelievably rude and Bella is mystified. When Edward saves Bella's life with a demonstration of superhuman strength and speed, she begins to suspect that Edward might be something other than human. Romance, and plenty of complications, soon follow.

Critical Evaluation
Condensing a nearly-500 page best-selling novel into a feature-length film is a tough job. Overall, I was impressed with the choices the screenwriter made in selecting the most significant portions of the book to portray onscreen. I was also pleased with many of the casting choices (Bella, her dad, Jacob, James, Jessica), the visual "look" and filming-style, and the way the relationships played out onscreen. However, Robert Pattinson (teen heartthrob) just didn't do it for me, as Edward, particularly his flat-sounding voice. And I have tried to listen to this on CD and hated the sound of the reader's voice. In my mind, Edward has a timeless appeal (and not those ridiculously dark eyebrows!), like a younger George Clooney. I, and others, are eagerly awaiting the release of the next installment: New Moon (November 20, 2009).

Reader's Annotation
You've read all the books, you have to see the movie! The real question is: are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Author Information
Stephenie Meyer received her degree in English from Brigham Young University. The idea for the characters in this popular series came to her in a dream; she worked on the first installment at odd moments and late at night, while her three sons were little. All of the Twilight Books have appeared on bestseller lists and she was named one of the most promising authors of 2005 by Publishers Weekly. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three sons. (Information in this author bio is from the author's official site.)

Challenge issues
Mature themes like throwing yourself so wholeheartedly at a boy (vampire) that you exclude all other interests and friends are just one of the ways that viewers might object to this film. Also, giving vampires a place in our world---and having their world be attractive---is another shivery concept.

Booktalking Ideas
Another one you won't have to booktalk (movietalk?) because it will walk off the shelves and probably stay off the shelves. It would be natural to include this movie in a booktalk about the supernatural or a Halloween/spooky theme, but it would also work in a booktalk with a romance theme.

Curriculum Ties
Not really applicable unless it was in a language arts class where students were asked to examine the role of Bella as the unlikely heroine in this series, or perhaps what it means for feminism that this book has become so popular with teen and tween girls.

Why this movie?
I had to satisfy my curiosity about how the movie version would measure up to the characters and visuals I had in my head, after reading the books. I saw it first in the theater (with my husband and a bunch of teen/tween girls) and revisited it for this assignment.


Rockport Public Library owns?

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