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Twilight Is Not Harry Potter

April 3, 2009

So what is a 26 year old grown man doing reviewing Twilight? Well, for one, I fancy myself an amateur film critic and it would be folly of me to not post my thoughts on a film as big as Twilight. Secondly, the series of vampire novels from author Stephenie Meyer were getting the kind of buzz the Harry Potter franchise was getting back in the early 2000s. I originally made some poor assumptions about the HP series (i.e. children’s lit) and that has grown into one of my all-time favorite book series. Not wanting to make the same mistake with The Twilight Saga, I jumped on the bandwagon much earlier this time. With that said, I borderline hated the first book in the series. I’ll get into more detail on my problems with the script (a.k.a. the novel) later, but I just wanted it to be known ahead of time that I was not a fan of the original material for this film.

I figured this film was moderately doomed from the start. As soon as I saw Robert Pattinson wearing lipstick on the cover of Entertainment Weekly I knew the filmmakers missed the mark on this one and any chance the story had of being presented in a serious manner was being flushed down the toilet. Not that I expect a ton of realism from a film about vampires, but the presentation of the source material was looking pretty corny before the film was even released. Actually watching the film, the level of quality really dropped as soon as the rest of the Cullen family was introduced. Not only was the acting from the Cullen family unnatural and rigid, but the whole baseball scenario was horribly adapted. The creators of this film need to holler at the makers of “Smallvillle” for some advice on super speed special effects.

I don’t want complain too much about the acting in the film, but something about it did rub me the wrong way. Kristen Stewart seemed so focused on “acting” that she looked like she was trying to remember her lines half the time. She always seemed to have a confused look on her face. It doesn’t help much that she had to take on the role of one of the worst heroines in the history of fiction. Okay, so I guess I can’t help but dive into my problems with the book. One of the biggest problems I had reading Twilight was that I absolutely hated Bella. If I was supposed to hate Bella, I’d say “hey, great job with the character,” but I’m pretty sure Bella is supposed to be likable. Well, she’s not. She’s an uptight, reactionary bitch that doesn’t seem to have a clue what she really wants. I thought she was continually unfair in her treatment of Edward and her disregard for every other guy in the book made her seem like a snob. Reading the book, I couldn’t come up with any reason Edward would be attracted to her. Speaking of which, how likely is it that an 80 year old vampire would find his soul mate in a 17 year old girl? I’m almost 27 and I can’t hold a five minute conversation with the idiot 18 year old girls my roommate sometimes has over for his “parties.” I just don’t buy into the fact that someone with that much life experience would fall in love with a kid. It’s not only an unlikely pairing, it’s perverse.

The comparisons between Twilight and Harry Potter are ludicrous and unfounded. The level of writing in the two series are not even comparable. J.K. Rowling has a thousand times the imagination that Stephenie Meyer has. What about Twilight is so unique? Vampires have been done to death and the only truly original elements being introduced here are the baseball thing and the way the sun makes their skin turn colors. How exciting. I could go on forever about how original the Harry Potter franchise is. Perhaps I’m being overly harsh on Meyer since I’ve only read the first book in the series and the first HP book didn’t exactly blow me away… but I didn’t dislike it either. It’s possible that the series will grow on me as I read more of the books, but that’s the problem, I didn’t like the first book enough to want to read the rest of them. Anyways, the box office totals say it all:

Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone: $317.5 million
Twilight: $191.5 million

Score: 3.5 out of 10

One comment

  1. I also couldn’t get over the fact that a 104-year-old vampire fell in love with a 17-year-old girl. Much more pedophilic than endearing.



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