Friday, November 21, 2008

TWILIGHT; Quick thoughts

Oh goodness, I'm not sure where to start with where this film went wrong. Actually, I do...the beginning. Automatically, horrible casting for whoever played Phil because he couldn't even say his one line right, "Alright, everyone in the car, we're getting late." With production values that contend with Discovery Channel dramatizations and a cast that collectively botches every line of the film thanks to directing that seems to be given by a student filmmaker. I refuse to believe that this is the same Catherine Hardwicke who also directed THIRTEEN and LORDS OF DOGTOWN. And give me four weeks and I will churn out a better spec script for TWILIGHT, NEW MOON, ECLIPSE and BREAKING DAWN than screenwriter Rosenberg who I wouldn't have trusted with this material anyway seeing as she's only written one other film, and to its defense I have yet to see it, but that's STEP UP. Being a fan of the books, I have no love for this film which doesn't know it's undistinguished tone from it's shotty editing. And seriously, Kristen Stewart, Rob Pattinson, are you kidding me guys? That's the best performance both you leads could conjure up?...Seriosuly?! I could've gotten better performances out of Helen Keller and Ice Cube. I think the best part of the film was Anna Kendrick who plays Jessica in a supporting role. She was previously also in ROCKET SCIENCE in which she's supposedly great in as well, but apparently I'm not the only who sees promise in her because Jason Reitman (JUNO, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING) just cast her in his new film UP IN THE AIR as of twelve hours ago. C'mon Hollywood, I've got the eyes, ears, and mind of a producer, fly me out there.
As excited as I was to be there with some friends at the midnight showing, I felt embarrassed for us upon leaving the theater though we were still surrounded by pubescent emo girls and sexually frustrated housewives who proudly would choose this poor romance over some incredible ones such as PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, BEFORE SUNRISE/SUNSET, or even ATONEMENT. Honestly, I'm just really upset that I waited a year through casting, shooting and post-production for a straight-to-VHS I would have most likely tossed aside at a movie rental store in 1994.
NEW MOON will start up production in a few months and I have some advice for Summit Entertainment. First off and most importantly, hire Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith to write the screenplay. They're other films include 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU, LEGALLY BLONDE, and THE HOUSE BUNNY. They have rom-com background which might actually be refreshing though they'll have to tone it down some. Another writer pairing that would work is Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais who have previously written FLUSHED AWAY, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and THE BANK JOB. I'm talking about bringing on some actually weight to this film which Summit seems to have completely neglected with TWILIGHT. Second, I'm sorry Catherine Hardwicke, I still will watch whatever you do next but you're out for the second film. Enter David Slade of HARD CANDY and 30 DAYS OF NIGHT fame. It has little to do with the fact he directed a vampire film and more to do with the style. NEW MOON introduces several new elements of action. I'm not going to watch huskies battle it out on camera with a stuntman running around as a vampire. I want CGI heavy werewolves and I want to see some actual production value, not whatever it was that we got in this film. Slade definitely works well with lighting and colors and can tell a story without having the camera linger much longer than it needs to. Obviously we can't change up the cast but it's acceptable because we're actually going to have them rehearse and act this time which means fixing Robert's facial expressions and getting Kristen a speech therapist. I don't want to rush production especially when we'll need two to three months of solid post-production but we could have it out by Christmas 2009 but with AVATAR releasing then we'd be better off looking for a February/March 2010 release.


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