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'Twilight' Countdown: Fans sound off on 'Twilight'

We're here! Today's the day! By now, many of you have already crossed the finish line. Congrats!

But was it worth the wait? Some of you have already posted your reviews in the comments of previous "Twilight Countdown" posts. Others e-mailed  their ideas directly to me.

In general, the consensus is that the movie gets the job done and many of you thought director Catherine Hardwicke and stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson delivered the goods. You're even planning second and third trips to the theater already. A minor complaint among the majority of you is the movie's special effects, which are of the low-budget variety. (However, nearly all of you qualified that, keeping in mind that Hardwicke was working with $40 million -- not a large sum by Hollywood movie standards.)

Of course, some of you were let down. With expectations so high, it's not surprising.

So what did I think? I should say I enjoyed reading "Twilight," a guilty pleasure with equal parts breathless romance and suspense. I read through the whole thing the day I started it. After two screenings of the film, however, I ultimately felt that the movie deviated from the book in ways that made the story better. Less of a "guilty" pleasure. True, as some have complained, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg stripped much of Edward and Bella's back-and-forth moments of dialog. But I thought having shots of Pattinson looking anguished and Stewart looking like she craved him worked a lot better than having Edward tell Bella repeatedly about how torn he is about their relationship and her pushing back. Kristen Stewart's Bella, too, comes off as stronger, her feelings more grounded albeit obsessive. In Hardwicke's version, Forks is a little more diverse, a little grittier, and the love story more real and less sweepingly and conventionally romantic.I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up.

Here's a sampling of how the rest of the fans who wrote to me felt:

For some, like 14-year-old Marie from Norcross, Ga., the anticipation was overwhelming. She attended the midnight screening, "the moment of my life," and said her "heart wanted to explode as the movie started, and I couldn't even breathe." Needless to say, she was pleased.

Bailey from Houston, Texas
, credited Pattinson for bringing "depth to Edward that went beyond good looks and chivalry. He has the ability to say so much without saying anything at all." Props go also to Stewart, but where are the Cullens? "I wish we could have seen more of the Cullens! One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Bella went home with Edward to meet his family."

Less enthusiastic was Darci in Iowa, who called the film a "mockery of the book I fell in love with!" "I think, perhaps, if the screenwriter would have been an obsessed fan (as I am), the movie would have been better. More like the book. You would have 'gotten' that Bella was selfless, brave, and more of a  caretaker. You would have seen her as more of a mature intellectual."

Gaby was happy with a couple of reservations: "The one thing that really bothered me was Edward's reaction to Bella in the biology room; he isn't supposed to be so obvious about the smell thing and he acted repulsed by her. The other major thing that i noticed was that they never said they loved each other and i think that is pretty important."

Pac4eva15 said he -– "and every single one of his friends who saw it with him" -- hated it. "This movie is nothing compared to the book. I am an avid 18 year old fan who has read the Twilight series since the beginning and i am seriously disappointed. I sincerely regret waiting in line for 8 hours, hours which i won't be able to ever recover… The movie seems like another 'Epic Movie' only this time parodying 'Twilight.'" Ouch!

Twenty-one-year-old Alex took reviews that said Edward and Bella’s love develops too quickly to task: "I actually really ended up liking the fact that Edward and Bella's relationship felt very rushed, and I'll tell you why. To me, their relationship in the film felt much more wild. Their love is a force of nature; it's chaotic and rushed and sudden and it doesn't make sense at all. That's what makes it so wonderful."

But Peggy said the movie missed the point: "Listen, I love the Twilight books. True, they are not great literary works, C+ at best, but what made the books so popular was the story itself. It brought you back to a time when you got your first kiss, the first time you fell in love and the feeling that you couldn’t breathe or your day couldn’t start until you saw that one person; the love of your life. The Twilight movie totally failed to capture the essence of the book."

Caroline and her group of pals both liked and disliked the movie. On the plus side: "Best PG-13 make-out scene EVER. (Major squealing!) The sexual tension! The chemistry! The conflict, the passion and the terror! All the characters were excellently developed. We loved Charlie, Jessica and Jacob. Also, the Cullens were perfectly cast. Many major scenes were done really well....The music was fantastic and well placed throughout the movie."

Not so good was: "The general tone of the movie didn't quite match the book. Translating the book to the movie cost us the romance. All the little conversations and scenes where they develop their feelings for each other and the sexual tension (i.e.: hand tracing in the meadow)  were not evident on the big screen. The meadow, as written, scene was non existent. THE MEADOW SCENE!"

Brianne couldn’t get over the dazzle –- and not in a good way: "It looked like someone just dumped a jar of glitter on him, not to mention it was hard to see his chest sparkle under all of the hair. He was meant to look as though he was made of marble. Marble is not hairy, my friends."

Robin from Woodland Park, Colo., liked it so much she's taking her kids to see the movie a second time. Her one quibble? "Some of the fast-moving scenes with Edward were a tiny bit cheesy (I suspect because of budget constraints for the first film).  It did not affect how I felt about the film however."

LyRonda from West Virgina and her 13-year-old daughter were split -– Mom loved it, while her daughter was "frustrated when cast members did not say their lines the exact way they did in the book."

And the humans get some love from Lexy G. and her boyfriend, who both appreciated Bella’s high school pals: “The supporting cast was great as well, especially Bella's human crew, which was 10  times cooler on screen than their literary counterparts."

Finally, someone pays respect to Bill Burke, who plays Bella's dad Charlie. Thank you Jessica from Atlanta for writing: "Surprise MVP: Charlie Swan and the other humans, who brought the light-heartedness and playfulness back into what could have been a full-on angst fest. Charlie’s character, though barely present through the book, is brought to the forefront a little more in the movie, and his reactions and discomfort at learning how to deal with a teenage daughter are hilarious and ring true."

Jessica also takes issue with folks who say too much was changed from the book: "True fans will be pleased that much of the dialog and voice-over from Bella is verbatim or paraphrased from the book; yes, it’s cheese-tastic, but that’s a large part of the appeal.  Where else can someone get away with saying 'And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…'?"

Tara from Hadley, Mass., misses "crucial one-line moments that could have been in the movie that would have helped develop the intensity of their relationship some more. Like when they are at the piano, that is when Bella finds out that Edward wrote her a lullaby. Him telling her and playing for her is pretty significant. It comes up a lot in their relationship throughout the series."

And then there's Nicole Marcks, who had a "Twilight"-themed wedding. She says: "It wasn't perfect, but it was so much dang fun. Moments of the uber-sincere performances edged on over-the-top, but honestly, with a crowd of 'tween-types squealing every time Robert Pattinson gave a smolder, it was hard to tell whether or not the environment was gilding the acting lily."

.... And with that, the Countdown signs off. But never fear, there will be plenty more "Twilight" coverage as news breaks. Keep the reviews coming in through the comments below. I'm always up for a healthy debate.

 

Catch up on past Countdown interviews: Robert Pattinson (Parts 1, 2 and 3), Kristen Stewart, author Stephenie Meyer, director Catherine Hardwicke (Parts 1 and 2), screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, Peter Facinelli, Edi Gathegi and Taylor Lautner.

-- Denise Martin

Related:
Complete "Twilight" Countdown coverage
Complete "Twilight" coverage on Hero Complex

 
Comments () | Archives (47)

I loved it. Yes, it wasn't the highest quality, but with 37 mil, what can you do? On another note: the Twilight fanbase has been overexposed to the movie/book series for a year now, and I'm not surprised at all by the disappointment from some people. First, they hate everything. They love to hate. It brings them joy and fills their miserable lives. Their expectations are always too high, as was the case with Breaking Dawn, the final installment in the book series. They ripped that to shreds, too, and it was actually pretty good. What does everyone expect from a fanbase half-made up of finicky little teenage girls? This tantrum is arriving exactly on cue. Believe it.

For what it was, I thought the movie was great. It was funny, unique, and the love story was wonderful, believable, and really hot (ie: that kiss!). It followed the book almost exactly, the book everyone that went into theaters last night loved. They need to stop scrutinizing so much and just be grateful it was made at all.

I'll be seeing it again. Robert and Kristen were terrific.

The beautify is in the eye of the beholder.. we knew this..

Die hard Twilight fans are pleased to see the movie come to life where is those from the 'outside' (parents) may feel otherwise.

The movie was GREATNESS! So awesome! Especially with what little money they had to work with! I'm definitly gonna see it again. ^_*

PLEEEEASE! give the cast and crew a freaking break. they didn't have to make a movie at all but they spent the time and money and effort to do this FOR US! for the FANS! so stop whining! it is not going to be exactly like the book because if it was it would be like six hours long. that should have been understood from the beginning. so get over yourselves and move on. at least we got a movie. i freaking pre-ordered this book, i was one of the first people who ever read it, straight from the beginning, and i haven't waited three years just to hear all you people whining about how it's not exactly how you wanted it!

Like I have already said in countless of twilight movie review websites, the twilight movie was ok, but could have been better!!!

I love the books passionately and I am not a teenager or even a twenty something and I was excited to see the movie...I left the theatre with the same feeling I had when I first finished reading the book....I felt the movie captured the essence of the book...I can hardly wait to see it again. I can only imagine how good the next movie will be with what most assuredly will be a bigger budget and a cast and crew that have already had the experience of taking a much loved book and creating movie magic...for me, it was worth the wait.

The movie is wonderful if you’re a fan, but if not, I don’t know if you could follow it. There were some great funny parts and the swooning was amazing. I think they must have piped in oxygen into the theater because we were all catching our breaths at the same time. Edward was breathtaking ::sigh:: and the rest was amazing. It really was as good as they could get for a 2 hour timeframe. I enjoyed myself and I’m looking forward to going again. I wished there were more character development, but the book just delves into that so deeply and a movie just never could do that. There were a couple of things I loved in the book and I was disappointed they weren’t in the movie (just nonsensical funny things, really, nothing story related) but they couldn’t add it all!

I got in line for the Twilight movie at about 8:30 and waited for the movie to start for 3 and a half hours. Many people say that the movie was a dissappointment but i honestly loved the movie. It made me love the book more and i am actually gonna read the book for a FOURTH time :] The movie made me laugh a lot, it may not have meant to be funny, but Charlie Swan and Emmet Cullen were hilarious, as were many other moments, and characters in the film. Edward and Bella had amazing chemistry on set and everything just worked well together. The only complaints I had on the movie was that they should have made Bella and Edward tell each other they loved eachother more, and Edward should have told Bella the song he was playing was a lullaby for her, The other thing i didn't like was the way they took out a lot of important parts of the book, such as Alice finding why she doesn't remember being human, or bella getting sick because of the biology incident.
Even though i didn;t like these minor setbacks, I still think this is definitly my favorite movie, or top 5 at least :D

I just saw the movie with my daughter and we thought it was better than we expected, with a few flaws. The casting of Kristin Stewart as Bella was "off". Bella in the book was sullen, but not to the point acted by Kristin. In the book, Bella is not only attractive, but has a compelling personality. The Bella portrayed in the movie was too standoffish for friends to flock to her. She also could have been shown to be more intelligent and domestic (cooking for Charlie, not eating a diner). They could have also portrayed Charlie as a little more goofy, like he is in the book. We were uncertain about Robert playing Edward but in the end thought he did a fantastic job. Overall they did a good job sticking fairly close to the book.

I think the entire movie was amazing!!! People need to give the crew and cast a break, they didn't do anything wrong i think the movie is a complete success. I plan to go back a couple more times to see it again. the ending was probably one of the best endings that the director;s could havve come up with. it leads perfectly into New Moon

The trees had more expression than the stars.

Being a male 29 year old who is single, I had never heard of the "Twilight" series or of the movie before the news started reporting on the sales. My first thought was, "There's a Twilight Zone movie out again?" (lol) My second thought was, "A female blockbuster! Who would've thunk of it?" My idea of a "blockbuster" is something like Star Wars or Indiana Jones, lol.

my daughter is sitting here (she & friends went to the midnight show) and she claims it was unremittingly bad. and the audience laughed AT IT throughout the showing.

in other words, it sucked. big time.

I AM A TEENAGER AND OH MY GOD! THIS MOVIE FREAKING SUCKED RUINED THE BOOK. I REALLY LIKED THE BOOKS BUT THE MOVIE JUST RUINED THE SERIES FOR ME, IF I WASN'T ALREADY ON THE FOURTH BOOK I WOULDN'T CONTINUE READING. THE MOVIE LEFT OUT A LOT OF REALLY IMOPORTANT SCENES AND THE ACTRESS THAT PLAYED BELLA IS AWFUL. MILEY CYRUS WOULD HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB. THEY SHOULD HAVE HIRED THE DIRECTOR OF HARRY POTTER TO DIRECT THE MOVIE. NEW MOON BETTER BE A BETTER MOVIE. I AM ON THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES AND I HOPE THAT THIS MOVIE DID NOT RUIN THE BOOK FOR ME. I BETTER NOT THINK OF EDWARD AND BELLA AS THEY WERE IN THE MOVIE WHILE I AM READING THE BOOK.

OK, I liked the movie, yes, but it could have been a LOT better.

i like just saw tthis movie it is the movie best ever i just want to watch it over and over again if i clould i would watch it every single day of my life!!!!

I liked the books as a light reading / entertainment, have many flaws.
The movie as well has many flaws, and I can only blame the writer, directors and the producers. The kids did a very good job though. They deserve the get to make the rest of the saga. The second and the third book have so much more to give, first one was more like an introduction anyway.
Conclusion, I had a big grin on my face when I left the theatre, that's a good sign.
Good luck kids with your career, don't mind the bad press!

They definitely did a respectable job, but everyone knows no book-to-movie situation is ever as actually as good as the book. But I thought the movie was great for exactly what it is, a movie - of course it's not the individual images everyone has in their head.

I only had two issues... the playfulness with the dialogue that shows Edward and Bella are more compatible on another level besides the crazy intense love was totally missing. I definitely felt the intensity, but the some of the light-heartedness was not there, it was more evident between Bella and Jacob.

And Rob... you were awesome, which I mean in an acting sense, not in the tween-tastic "OME I love you" way... but what is going on with the crazy eyes? Looking slightly less deranged would have cut out some of the awkward giggles from the 12 year-olds. But overall, great performance from the entire cast, and a well done movie with a tiny budget! The studio better cough it up for the next one.

God, I loved it. It was cheesy and there were moments I was giggling unintentionally and the sparkles and the wirework..ugh. BUTTTTT, Kristen and Robert freaking MAKE the movie. Chemistry off the charts, and I could watch them for two hours straight just making out. which means Chris Hansen is probably knocking on my door with Dateline's To Catch "A Predator as we speak, but oh well. Give me the jailbait love, Kristen and Robert style! Robert's a freaking star, 'ya'll.

Best movie I have ever seen. It was so insanely perfect I couldn't help but cry tears of joy at the end. I'm seeing it at least three more times this week.

It was so cool; the entire theater screamed the first time they showed Edward...LOL I was going to scream when they showed Alice but decided not too....She's freaking hot too!

I just returned from seeing 'Twilight' and loved it just as much as I did the books. Robert Pattinson is just gorgeous in the film and justly portrayed the part of Edward Cullen to a tee from my mind's view. i certainly look forward to seeing the other books on the big screen as well. I hope Robert Pattinson is prepared for the overnigt stardom he is sure to invoke after playing such a sexy, romantic role that will have all women saying OMG, he is too beautiful. I think Robert Pattinson was perfect and I enjoyed listening to him play the guitar and sing 'Never Think'. He is just too perfect!!!!

Saw the movie with 3 of my girlfriends, all of whom read the series. For the most part, we enjoyed the movie, but were disappointed by the changes that were made. We felt that there were key parts of the book, that were not carried out into the movie. Between the screaming teeny boppers, scenes and settings that were not like the book, all the hype and high expectations...I felt like I couldn't capture that feeling I got while reading the series, although I enjoyed the opportunity to see it on the big screen.

I absolutely loved 'Twilight'. I think the movie portrayed the books as well as a movie can. Robert Pattinson was absolutely gorgeous and played Edward Cullen to a tee. He had every woman in the theater saying under her breath 'OMG, he is the sexiest, romantic vampire I have ever seen'. I honestly hope that Robert Pattinson is prepared for the overnight stardom he is about to experience. He is so handsome and brought an electrifying personality to life for Edward Cullen. I am hooked for life as a Robert Pattinson fan. Not only is he a great actor, but he is also a wonderful musician., I enjoyed hearing 'Never Think' in the film. The Twilight Soundtrack is my number one selection in music. I am so much looking forward to the other books being brought to the big screen.

First of all, seeing this movie in theaters is fun. I highly recommend it. The enthusiasm that everyone shows gives each person in the theater a jolt of joy and giddiness (but for this effect, you should probably go Friday or Saturday--when all of the biggest fans go).

I enjoyed this movie for the most part, but I don't think someone who hasn't read the books would really get it. It's not like Harry Potter; in order to really enjoy the film, you have to have read the books and be a die-hard fan of at least one of the characters (namely, Edward). The movie's dialogue, etc. was pretty true to the book, but it was just too cheesy to trandlate well onto the screen at times.

I think that Bella's fainting should have been included.

I don't think that the last thing we should have seen in the movie was Victoria. That sort of ruined it for me. Bella and Edward dancing would have been a great final image. We don't need a cliffhanger. The next movie already has a built-in audience

The supporting cast (Bella's friends/family) was pretty awesome.

Kristen Stewart was really believable as Bella. It worked.

I think that there was/is way too much hype surrounding Robert Pattinson. He's not that great of an actor.

And by the way Katie (from first page of comments)-- this movie was not really made for fans; it was made to make money. If it wasn't going to earn anyone any money, it would not have been made.

OMG!!!!!!! that was what I was thinking the whole time.............................. we all loved it (means me, sister, mother, 3 cousins, and 2 friends, and of course all the beautiful TWILIGHT fans. The movie was so hilarious, we cant even concentrate in the movie with all the screaming (me included), I just cant help it!!!!

 
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