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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.76%
Worth A Look: 15.89%
Average: 3.74%
Pretty Bad: 22.43%
Total Crap40.19%

5 reviews, 77 user ratings

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Twilight (2008)
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by brianorndorf

"I fear Catherine Hardwicke more than vampires"
1 stars

Perhaps the least likely event movie in the history of cinema, “Twilight,” after a full year of fire-stoking from fangirls of all ages and lung capacity, finally hits screens to greet its adoring followers, leaving the uninitiated on the outside looking in. However, that’s a great place to be when it comes to this impossibly sloppy, incoherent motion picture; the outside leaves plenty of leg room to run screaming from Catherine Hardwicke and her absolute inability to direct a stirring motion picture.

Moving from Phoenix to remote Forks, Washington, Bella (Kristen Stewart, “The Messengers”) has quickly found a focal point for her high school awkwardness: Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”). A pasty loner with severe social issues, Edward is a mystery to the swooning Bella, leaving the teen girl hopelessly in love with an enigma. When bodies start to pile up in surround counties and Edward saves Bella from certain death, it comes time for the strange boy to reveal the truth: he’s a vampire and Bella is his true love. As the duo work around their extraordinary relationship issues, trouble arrives in the form of a rival vampire clan, cursed with James (the woefully insipid Cam Gigandet, “Never Back Down”), a tracker who will not stop until Bella is dead.

I know I’m skating on thin ice to bring any note of condemnation to a franchise that has built a mighty tower of adoration from readers across the globe; author Stephenie Meyer’s world of vampires, unrequited sexual thirst, and self-conscious teen emoting has resulted in semi-Potteresque hysteria, extending to the release of this first feature film. However deafening the hype, I found “Twilight” to be a rotten movie, yet the blame for the failure of this tween sleeping pill doesn’t completely point toward Meyer’s imagination, but Hardwicke’s thundering screen cluelessness instead.

After a misfire (“The Nativity Story”) and two outright creative fiascos (“Lords of Dogtown” and “Thirteen”), what brought the producers to Hardwicke’s doorstep to direct “Twilight” is a mystery for the ages. I’m sure her time spent with young actors was a major consideration, but a film of this scope and sensual edge needed someone capable of communicating thick torrents of bodice-ripper romance and dark, violent tones, blended together to create a magical arena for the characters to work out their Northwestern angst. In place of challenging gloom, Hardwicke gives the material an inflated ABC Family Original treatment, draining the life out of “Twilight” through her sheer inexperience with fantasy and horror. Would you give an all-powerful fantasy franchise capable to producing hundreds of millions of box office dollars to a woman who once bungled the softball story of the Virgin Mary?

Shabbily edited and suffering from Hardwicke’s compositional ineptitude, “Twilight” is reduced to a poorly contained unintentional joke. With shirtless vampires running around at Superman speed, Edward rocking goofy Johnny Suede hair, and the picture offering perhaps the worst display of parental indifference I’ve ever seen, “Twilight” is riddled with secretive passages meant only for lovers of the source material. To the outsider, the whole experience alternates between embarrassing overindulgence and outright boredom, watching a promising concept for teen “Romeo and Juliet” style escapism turn into big screen triviality, with a horde of dreadful actors (Stewart is celebrating her eighth straight year of playing the exact same stuttery, awkward character) and Hardwicke trying to pull together everlasting love with extremely limited artistic means.

“Twilight” doesn’t play by standard vampire rules, so ingrained bloodsucker cinema logic is thrown out the window when processing Meyers’s pensive creation, as are most concepts of spatial relationships, motivations, and romantic chemistry (sorry folks, but I’ve seen siblings with more sexual heat than Bella and Edward). “Twilight” just dances where it wants to, assuming most of the audience is filling in the blanks on their own. It makes for an exhaustively moronic final act, where the entire cast suddenly pinballs around the country with minimal explanation, just to arrive at a mirror-filled final vampire showdown location straight out of the directing 101 handbook. Surely the vampires are a more complex bunch than what Hardwicke presents here…at least I hope so. I’ve never read the “Twilight” books, and if this film is any indication of their treehouse substance and foul whimsy, I have no interest in starting now.

Even with something as labyrinthine as the “Harry Potter” series, there’s an effort from the producers, however effective or ineffective, to include everyone in on the adventure. I never felt the same invitation with “Twilight,” watching Hardwicke stumble hopelessly around the material, making sure the basics, no matter how clumsy they fit into the overall visual scheme of the movie, are accounted for. Encountering vampires with diamond skin in the daylight, impromptu thunderstorm baseball games, and creepy undead boyfriends who show little regard for matters of nighttime privacy, it’s clear “Twilight” is an invitation-only experience, and should elicit the appropriate squeals from the core demographic.

Outside of the indoctrinated, it’s a toss-up how this movie will play with the masses, but I have to assume a full two hour blast of traditional Hardwicke blunders and head-slapping “romantic” lines such as “You are exactly my brand of heroin” (huh?) will snap even the most devoted of multiplex wills.

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originally posted: 11/22/08 00:48:28
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell teeny bopper crap 1 stars
1/28/16 Taylor Love this film! 5 stars
2/14/15 jason gracio this movie for girl, children, retarded people and geek like harry fucking potter movies 1 stars
11/13/14 Thomas Could you transfer $1000 from my current account to my deposit account? <a href=" htt 2 stars
11/11/14 Derek What's the last date I can post this to to arrive in time for Christmas? <a href=" h 5 stars
11/10/14 Charlie Could you transfer $1000 from my current account to my deposit account? <a href=" htt 5 stars
11/09/14 Amia What's the last date I can post this to to arrive in time for Christmas? <a href=" h 4 stars
10/24/14 Charlotte Cool site goodluck :) <a href=" ">how much does bimatoprost cost</a> The new Explore feat 5 stars
3/22/12 maxomai somewhere between paint drying and "wtf am I watching." 1 stars
10/14/11 ashley rexrode love this movie 5 stars
4/30/11 art I EAT MY WORD"S from last year,THIS IS AN EXCELLENT FABLE! 5 stars
2/23/11 Joey Something of a small masterpiece in the romance novel genre. 5 stars
12/14/10 sandra dee a awesome movie based on a great book with a wonderful romance. 5 stars
11/29/10 hunt a cool vampire romance flick with cool action and making out. 4 stars
11/29/10 car a epic gothic romance with cool effects and a decent story 4 stars
11/11/10 Lundon how anyone can enjoy this movie i'll never know very slow not a whole lot happens 1 stars
9/04/10 anjana twilight is a good teenage love story.i love edward 5 stars
6/18/10 art PLAY"S better as a DIME NOVEL,rathr than a NIGHTMARE movie! 1 stars
5/26/10 Daniel Well directed considering the material. Beautifully shot in a Goth way. 4 stars
3/16/10 LP Quagmire Gas-passing vampires are no fun. 1 stars
2/11/10 amanunsa cool man 5 stars
1/21/10 Stanley Thai A timeless romance with vampires. The performances are great! 4 stars
12/28/09 jcanthony The reviewer's right-rent Buffy. There's nothing original here. 1 stars
12/21/09 amy Pretty good. It was better than I had expected. Judge for yourself. 4 stars
12/16/09 TheGreatMillz33 All I can say is that Twilight as a whole is a great dissapointment. 1 stars
12/14/09 Sakes Twilight rocks. Edward is deliciously good and amazing with his emotions. Great deep movie 5 stars
12/10/09 Lucas Twilight is complete garbage. You want a REAL vampire book? Go read something of Ann Rice's 1 stars
11/29/09 nora wazwaz WHO EVER HATES TWILIGHT IS A NUB!! I LOVE THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/27/09 art OVERRATED JUNK! 1 stars
11/24/09 Albert Valentin It is a pretty good movie with dark tones and a tragic romance 4 stars
11/22/09 FrankNFurter Kristen Stewart is the worst actress.Ever.Makes a corpse look too enthusiastic. 1 stars
11/20/09 ronald Holst great If you are very young and love Vampires 3 stars
11/19/09 Stewie Mills and Boon for Generation 'Y' 1 stars
11/17/09 millersxing twits 3 stars
10/19/09 auzzie chickie the book? Awesome. The movie? Awful! To save from let down watch the movie first. 1 stars
10/15/09 art THIS IS FOR LITTLE KID"S! 1 stars
9/06/09 art PURE COMIC-BOOK DRIEVEL! 1 stars
9/06/09 CTT If CW ever made a vampire story... 2 stars
7/27/09 Arsenic More boring than watching paint dry. I gave up halfway and snuck into a different movie 1 stars
6/18/09 jurisprudence terrible 1 stars
6/02/09 Matt This making 200 fucking mil is everything that's wrong with America. i havent even seen it 1 stars
6/01/09 art "YEAH I REALLY DUG THIS YARN" 1 stars
5/29/09 Bobby the Critic hehehe...bob 2 stars
5/02/09 kali super 5 stars
4/13/09 Dion Stewart has charisma on screen. DIrector got the tone of the movie right to the book. 4 stars
3/30/09 Dani O. Mah naemz Bella n I preeeeetty n I mov 2 small town n make out w/ sparklee vamp-boy. *puke* 1 stars
3/29/09 Eric Stewart & Pattinson pretty good, but overall the movie didn't live up to the hype. 3 stars
3/27/09 Amy Boring. Stupid fake makeup. Bad special effects. Why are all the boys wearing lipstick? 2 stars
3/23/09 eidy V Not what I was expecting never have read the book, but nice flick for a date. nice overall. 4 stars
2/05/09 Rio Twilight is film's answer to the Jonas Brothers. Sucks, but sells with stupid fangirls. 1 stars
2/02/09 Ashley It was suckish.The book was WAYYYYYYYY better 1 stars
1/09/09 Samiijo German the best movie i ever seen ! honestly the book was better, but i still love the movie. :} 5 stars
1/05/09 Koko I have never read the books. After seeing the movie, I really don't want to. 1 stars
12/18/08 Morgan hopelessly dissapointing. no chemistry. krud acting. 2 stars
12/16/08 Cesceli This Movie Is the best Movie i have ever seen in yeqars.I lOve how you write your books, it 5 stars
12/05/08 Joan Lunden What a waste of money. I could have spent it on a new black dildo. 1 stars
11/29/08 Rebekah I absolutely loved it! 5 stars
11/29/08 Kat You're all nuts. Best comedy I've seen all year. 5 stars
11/27/08 littlered this movie rocks. everyone should see it! 5 stars
11/27/08 Rachel Rigodon Don't do it! Stay away! 2 stars
11/26/08 Jonathan Why watch "Twilight" when we've got "True Blood" on HBO? 2 stars
11/24/08 Nicole your review is so accurate it's scary 1 stars
11/24/08 Obi Wan What kinda vampire movie has vamps with no fangs?! 2 stars
11/23/08 AJ Muller Not completely horrible but nowhere near GOOD; can't deny any faults mentioned either. 2 stars
11/22/08 Hailey Incredible review. I feel enlightened. 1 stars
11/22/08 Lauren Hilarious review. This is pretty much everything I've hated about the series, put on screen 1 stars
11/22/08 Raul Valdez Jr This movie is for the book fans not really for those who are horror fans. 4 stars
11/22/08 Evan Wow that review rocked. Let The Right One in is way superior. Great book and movie. 1 stars
11/22/08 Andy I'm really not that surprised. Poorly written book, poorly constructed movie. 1 stars
11/21/08 Kate A lot of the problems you had with the movie are problems that are found in the book. 1 stars
11/21/08 Maria From your review alone, it sounds insanely faithful to its source material. 2 stars
11/21/08 jes A big disappointment 2 stars
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  21-Nov-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 21-Mar-2009



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