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Lions and Werewolves and Vampires….Oh My!!! January 26, 2009

Posted by Alichat in Movies.
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***I had to edit this to add…..the comments about Twilight will contain spoilers.  There’s nothing spoilery revealed about Underworld.  But I have a pet peeve about people giving away the plot on films, and I forgot my spoiler notice when I first posted.  Bad Alichat….bad!***

So this weekend, which started Thursday night for me, was mostly spent reading about and watching vampires.   Mwahahahahahaha!!!  

Thursday night, Mere and I went to a sneak peek of Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie, knowing that most of the backstory had been revealed in the first two movies.  What could this prequel reveal that hadn’t already been revealed?  Well, not much.  There was a slight change to the mythology….I say slight because it could be debated that it’s new information about how the Lycans decended from William as that wasn’t fully explored in the second movie.  The movie was entertaining, and it’s interesting to see Michael Sheen, who expertly dances between roles as politicians and werewolves.  Although, in this movie, he’s a bit of a politician as well.  All and all though, I liked the movie.  It was bloodier than the previous two, which can mostly be attributed to the time period.  Guns versus swords and arrows….yep, that gets bloody.  Oh, and if I may make a request…..don’t bring your baby or toddler to this movie.  That’s just stupid.

Saturday and Sunday I spent some time reading the first of Stephenie Meyer’s books, Twilight, in anticipation of seeing the movie tonight.  My friend Abby hands me her copy of the book Wednesday night with the instructions “Just take it in, don’t analyze it.”   “What’s that mean?” I replied.  LOL!  I loved the book.  Loved that Bella and Edward’s romance is not built entirely on their mutual chemical attraction to each other, but on communication.  I love that they talk to each other, joke and banter, tease and fight.  It was a very human relationship being built, and Bella’s desire to be with him, regardless of Edward’s vampirism, is  much more fluidly explained in the novel than in the movie.  There was a nice group of us seeing the movie.  9 in total with half having seen the movie already, and all but two or three having read the book completely.  I had the advantage of having finished the book only three hours before seeing the movie, so I could immediately recognize lines in the movie that were taken verbatum from the book.  I was also at a disadvantage in that having so recently read the book, I knew what scenes I wanted to see in the movie, and I didn’t.  I’ll give you two examples, the van crash and the meadow scene.  I know…..those were in the movie.  But they were not in the movie as they were in the book. 

I loved the meadow scene in the book.  Edward displaying for Bella how his kind look in sunlight.  Her lightly touching his hand with her finger tips, then gently cradling it in hers.  His reaction as she moves closer to his face to inhale his breath, and his subsequent oath to never harm her as she is the most important thing in his life ever.  While in the novel, there is alot revealed in this scene that could not be used in the movie, I still feel it was a beautiful scene of innocent emotional and physical exploration.   In the movie, a slew of these scenes from the novel are all condensed into one large scene with a few non-dialogue scenes.  I just really missed the meadow scene.  As for the van crash, it wasn’t as complex as it is in the novel.  I had to read that passage two to three times in order to visualize the mechanics of what happened.  I was really hoping to see it played out in all its cinematic, and CGI’d, intracacy. 

As for characters, I was disappointed in the portrayal of Jasper, Edward’s brother, and Charlie, Bella’s father.  They didn’t develop the other characters as fully as Edward and Bella, which I expected, but Jasper was just portrayed as a robotic Ken doll.  I don’t even think he moved his head at times.  Even the Ken doll can swivel his head from right to left.  I was more annoyed with the portrayal of Charlie.  Bella and her dad in the book have a uncomfortable relationship at the very beginning, which eventually falls into a comfortable and trusted routine.  In the movie, they overplayed the uncomfortable beginning to the relationship, taking it almost to the end of the film.  Gone was Bella’s nurturing nature to Charlie, making his meals and transforming the house into a less bachelor-like atmosphere.  Movie Charlie is suspicious and ackward, cocking a shotgun before allowing Edward in for a formal introduction (which was funny in the film, don’t get me wrong).   Novel Charlie was jovial and relaxed, defending the Cullens, quietly watching out for Bella, and greeting Edward warmly (although it took him awhile to get his name right for some reason.)  They really just didn’t do Charlie justice in the movie. 

Otherwise, I loved the movie.  As for the novels, I’m going to crack open New Moon on Monday……ha! Duran Duran reference!!…….and try to determine why Edward is so tense around Jacob.  Oh…and on a side note…..two comments…..continuity.  In Twilight, why was Victoria at the prom at the end of the movie??  Alice would have seen her coming.  Edward would have heard her mind.  They would have sensed her.  It was such a big goof to have her at the end of the movie. Crappy continuity.   And to the cinematographers/directors/editors/CGI team of both of these movies, please make note.  WE CAN SEE THE CONTACT LENSES.  In both Underworld and Twilight, there was a close up of the leads….respectively Rhona Mitra and Robert Pattinson…..where we could see the outer edge of the contacts they were wearing.   Was it distracting…..YES!   Please remember to remove the lines in CGI please.

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