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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.52%
Worth A Look: 4.76%
Pretty Bad: 23.81%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 9 user ratings

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Twilight (1998)
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by Scott Weinberg

"A great showcase for some excellent actors.It's also a dull mystery movie."
3 stars

On occasion, the plot of a movie can take a back seat to the showcasing of an acting ensemble. While Twilight is certainly that type of movie, it's not an entirely successful one. And while this movie is obviously intended to be a quiet and deliberate story, Twilight almost stops dead in its tracks once or twice.

Harry Ross (Paul Newman) is aging, and not well. He's a former cop and ex-P.I. also, so he's you can assume he's not a lot of laughs. His friend's daughter accidentally shoots him in the leg, and things basically head downhill from there. But when Jack (Gene Hackman) asks Harry to make a simple errand for him, it drudges up some nasty secrets from way back.

Harry stumbles over dead bodies, old newspapers and a bunch of old police buddies (James Garner, Stockard Channing) as he struggles to discover who killed who. Or was anyone actually killed?

Complicating things further is Harry's hidden love for Jack's wife Catherine (Susan Sarandon). He's longed for her for years, but he is an honorable guy basically, so he's stayed away. Catherine's daughter Mel (Reese Witherspoon) disrupts things quite a bit, as her sleazy ex-boyfriend Jeff (Liev Schrieber)
starts hatching blackmail schemes and punching people.

Although it does offer some solid dialogue and a few nice twists, the plot of Twilight is simply too slow for anyone to really get into. Granted, there are various excellent components, yet nothing really comes together. Writers Robert Benton and Richard Russo showed how to it right in their last film Nobody's Fool, which also starred Paul Newman. That film was actually 30 minutes longer than this one, and yet it still moved more quickly.

This movie could easily have been a waste without the cast it offers. With certain movies, it's OK to ignore the pacing and plot holes and just watch great performers do their stuff. With actors like Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, Susan Sarandon, James Garner and even cute little Reese Witherspoon on hand, Twilight gets pretty slow, but it's really never boring.

Obviously a movie about aging friends in the 'twilight' of their lives is not going to be Speed 3, but if you're a fan of good acting, and you don't mind a threadbare little mystery, Twilight should satisfy you. Paul Newman shows he can still get away with just about anything, Hackman and Garner offer solid support, and the script is just smart enough to avoid being dumb.

Although I wouldn't recommend watching it when you're sleepy, Twilight has more than enough good qualities to warrant a viewing. Except if you're expecting a lot of explosions, vulgarity and sex. (Actually, Ms. Witherspoon goes surprisingly topless here, so that's probably worth three stars right there!)

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originally posted: 04/12/00 16:45:06
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User Comments

12/14/09 Monday Morning Pretty damned boring. 2 stars
11/07/05 Gio Mortadella 5 stars
5/16/04 John should've been a welcomed throwback to script driven thrillers but just miandered aimlessly 2 stars
3/19/03 Jack Sommersby Lukewarm, low-key mystery at least displays Witherspoon's fine-as-hell boobies. 2 stars
11/11/02 E. Clifton Daniel A shoddy flick ... Newman acts like he is terminally somnambulant. 2 stars
3/05/02 Natalie Stonecipher (love my DVD and VCR slow buttons) Come now, Hepta. Would you have me not know my ass is prettier than her's? 4 stars
3/05/02 Hepta Hooty No need hasslin' with that slow button - Susan Sarandon's shitter is UGLY! 5 stars
1/23/02 Andrew Carden It Wasn't Bad By Any Means, but It Was Very Dull and Had Weak Characters. 3 stars
8/30/98 Mister Whoopee Yeah, okay, oldness n'stuff. Uh huh. (Yawn) 2 stars
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  27-Feb-1998 (R)
  DVD: 01-Apr-2003



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