“Twilight” Movie Review

I freely admit to loving the “Twilight” books.  I don’t think I’d quite qualify as “obsessed” (I don’t own any “Team Edward” or “Bite Me” t-shirts, and I didn’t go see the movie at midnight), but I’m definitely close.  Anyway, this weekend I went to see the movie and thought I’d give me opinions.

Overall — I liked it.  Bella was perfect.  Edward was good but not out of this world, but how could any Edward be perfect?  My main problem with him was that sometimes there seemed to be too much weird emotion going on.  Now I don’t know if that’s an acting issue or a directing issue.  Don’t interpret this wrong, though.  I enjoyed watching and would definitely watch it again.

I did like how it really stuck to the book.  Some things were left out, some things were added, but the idea was the same.  I didn’t come away thinking:  “That’s not the book I read.”

As I sat there watching it, I did have one thought over and over.  I’d watch a scene that had problems and, as a writer, I’d realize that part of my problem with it was the lines the characters were given.  You can only do so much with the screenplay.  So, then I wondered if part of what I didn’t like with Edward was just a screenplay issue.  I really don’t know enough about movie making to know if it was acting, screenplay, or directing.

My final analysis is regarding the cheese factor.  There definitely was one.  Not that it was unexpected.  Heck, the book is written for teenage girls.  The storyline is about a vampire romance.  It’s going to have its cheesy elements.  My problem wasn’t that kind of cheese.  My problem was that there were some moments so cheesy that I laughed out loud — and I don’t think that was the intention.  And that brings me back to the screenplay thing.  How much of that could have been de-cheesed (is that even a word?).

All of this leads me to consider books made into movies in general.  Having read a lot of books made into movies, I have to admit that sometimes I like it and sometimes I don’t.  I loved “Lord of the Rings.”  Of course, Peter Jackson had nine hours to do it justice.  I’ve also loved the Harry Potter movies.  I know some people have complained about details left out, and I’ve felt the same about a few myself, but still, the movies portray the overall emotion of the books so well that I can’t complain.  When “The Firm” was made into a movie, I actually liked the ending in the movie better.  Go figure. 

And then there’s “Eragon.”  I liked the book a lot.  I liked the story and characters.  I didn’t like the movie.  And it wasn’t the casting.  I liked the casting (except for Saphira, which might not have been casting, but how the whole talking to the dragon was portrayed).  I especially liked Brom.  Perfect.  BUT…and as you can see, it’s a bit but, the story wasn’t even the same.  If you hadn’t read the book, it might have been all right.  But if you liked the book, you knew it was almost a different plot.  Why take a perfectly good story and change it?

Well, that’s my rant about movies for the day.  Tell me how you felt about the “Twilgiht” movie if you saw it.  I know other people who have hated it and people who have absolutely loved it.

Stephenie Meyer’s “Midnight Sun” Leak

I don’t know if any of you follow the “Twilight” series.  I personally love it, but I know it’s not for everyone.  Whether you like it or not, every writer out there can understand her anger at the posting of a portion of her “Midnight Sun” manuscript.  It’s about 12 chapters, and looking at how far along that is in “Twilight,” I would guess that’s about 1/3 of her book.  Here’s a link to where she talks about it on her web site.   Personally, I hope she can let go of her initial anger and annoyance and finish the book.  Everyone who would have bought it before will still buy it.  I’ve read the chapters she posted and it doesn’t finish the story.  There’s still so much to be told.

In other news, my editing has gone well this week.  I’ve done chapters 9 and 10 and think I will finish chapter 11 today.  That brings my chapter percentage up to about 33, but if you look at the actual page numbers, it’s almost 40% completed.  Yea!!!!  I guess some of my later chapters are shorter.  I think it’s going really well, and I love the changes I’ve made and the different dynamic it adds to portions of the story.

Breaking Dawn, again.

For those of you not at all interested in this topic, sorry.  A couple of days ago I posted my initial impressions of “Breaking Dawn.”  I then went online and found that quite a few people felt the same way I did.  I also saw some discussion about how the second read is much better.  You know how when you read a book the first time you just don’t absorb it all.  Sometimes you miss little nuances that are important the second time through.  Well, I reread it (ok, I’ll admit it, I didn’t reread every word.  I skimmed some spots), and I agree.  I didn’t miss Edward the second time through.  His role in this book was still there, he was still there, he did interact with his family, it’s just not the main plot element so it’s harder to spot.

Conclusion:  Second time through, even better than the first.

Book Review Time: Breaking Dawn

I haven’t seen any other reviews out there yet (I purposely haven’t looked because I want to write my initial impressions first), so here goes.  And if you haven’t read it yet, there is one little spoiler.

I LOVED the book.  I thought Stephenie came up with some great solutions to little problems we’d all been wondering about.  I also thought that even the “Team Jacob” people would probably be satisfied.

I only had one problem, and it wasn’t even a problem so much.  It wasn’t what she wrote, it’s what she didn’t write.  I loved the plot and the way things worked out, but I wanted to see more of Edward.  Specifically, I wanted to see a scene (even one) where Edward was interacting with Renesmee.  I mean, if he’s so passionate about Bella, wouldn’t he be about her also?  And yet, we see almost no immediate interaction, no tender moments.  If he wants marriage so bad, wouldn’t it follow he also wants a family (at least once he realizes Bella isn’t going to die)?  Anyway, just a thought.  I’ll have to go online and see if anyone else feels the same way.

What really is good writing?

About a month or so back, Kristen Nelson blogged about how good writing is sooooo subjective.  She was specifically addressing those books that are million dollar sellers but that get a whole lot of criticism about the quality of the writing (i.e. Stephenie Meyer, Dan Brown, Christopher Paolini).  Here’s a link.

Her conclusion?  “Millions of readers can’t be wrong.”  And I would have to agree.

Let’s face it, most people read to be entertained.   I know there are those exceptions who read for good writing, who will read almost anything if it’s written beautifully.  I won’t.  I’d much rather have a great story, written well enough, than a beautifully written but not that captivating classic.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I do think that if you can have a combination of both:  a great story and something that’s written well, then you’ve got the perfect mix.

Personally, I don’t think my writing will ever win a pulitzer prize or anything, but that’s not my goal.  My goal is to entertain, to make people love my world and my characters — and my story.  Still, it has to be good enough to sell to an agent and publisher, and that’s why I am working so hard still, even though the story is actually complete.

Along these lines, I have to admit I can hardly wait for Stephenie Meyer’s “Breaking Dawn” release this weekend.  Say what you want, her story is fabulous.  (And yes, I am a little obsessed!!)  My husband will be out of town Friday night, so I’m hoping to get a copy at midnight and read a little that night and the next morning.  And for those of you rolling your eyes right now, I can live with that.