Monday, 6 May 2013
Astoundingly poor stuff
This is kind-of-almost a true-confessions type post, but I just felt a desperate need to vent, and as nobody reads this blog anyway, here goes. I have a weakness for vampire stories. I actually love seeing the differences in various incarnations in books and films and seeing the changes that authors make to suit the world they’re creating. Not so big on zombies, but I do like a good vampire tale. I’d been feeling for a while that I really should see what all the Twilight fuss was about so we put in our order on LoveFilm and last week got the first film. And I was confused. The cinematography was SO gorgeous, and the characters so 1-dimensional and wooden, that I felt simultaneously intrigued and unsatisfied. So I bought the book. And in quick succession bought and read ALL the books.
Mostly, I will freely admit, they’re trash. But I quite like them. They’re rather simplistic. The first three books are really rather repetitive and there’s a lot of talking. They can mostly be summed up as:
Edward: Bella, I love you, but I’m no good for you
Bella: Edward, I don’t care – make me a vampire!
What I wasn’t expecting though – based on the film – is that both characters actually have some personality. Bella is sarcastic and Edward spends the whole of the first book laughing. I don’t think he ever actually *says* anything, he always *chuckles* it. The writing’s really not great, but at least they feel more like people than the cardboard cut-outs in the movie.
Anyway, tonight we watched New Moon and I was spellbound – I don’t think I have ever seen anything that bad that looked that good. It’s like the DoP was the only person on the project who actually knew what they were doing. The acting is poor, the music haphazard and often inappropriate for the scene it’s applied to, the direction bad and the writing abysmal. I was tempted to turn the sound off and just watch the beautiful scenery (which in this one didn’t include Robert Pattinson – evidently the makeup department were having a bad day and weren’t really paying attention to the bit of the brief which says “take good looking man and turn him into an Adonis” and instead interpreted it as “take good looking man and make him look grey, over-made-up and unappealing”. Possibly that was supposed to indicate his inner turmoil, but if so, it really didn’t work).
I’ll admit, it’d be hard book to turn into a screenplay – so much of what goes on is in Bella’s head, or what she’s feeling, but the salient features of the books are passion and obsession, both of which are lacking entirely in the film series so far. The device of the undeliverable letters to Alice was a good one, but didn’t make up for the spectacularly stilted early scenes of the film. Verdict: outrageously bad. But I’ll keep on going. Here’s hoping someone learns how to act in Eclipse – I don’t hold out any hope for the script as it’s by the same person… At least it’s the same guy behind the camera though!