Jessica and I saw Twilight this evening. Okay, maybe I should backtrack. We read the Twilight saga in about two and a half weeks last month. The books were nothing special, but they were at least interesting and moody and a fun read.
I fear movie adaptations of book series because I normally will read the publicated story first. We did that with Harry Potter and we did it with Twilight. The difference between the two is that the HP movies are actually incredibly good.
What I fear from adaptations goes along a thought process. If the book or series is relatively current--and, especially, enjoyable--you only get one shot at making a film that will do it justice. One shot at cinematography, one shot at casting, one shot at having a director that fits. And usually a movie-worthy novel will have to have a perfect match in order to work properly, not to mention a good screenplay.
Twilight had none of that. And it was really disappointing because I look at it and can point out exactly what was wrong. The casting--for the most part--was great. I wish the Bella character had had a higher pitched voice, but the only terrible casting decision was the Rosalie character. In the book, she is supposed to be a ravishing woman, the most beautiful thing anyone has seen. In the film she was kind of heavy, not very pretty, and annoying.
The directing for the film was horrid as well. Edward should have been much more cool, stoic and controlled and not as emotional as played out. The rest of the vampires should have had a much more "bad-ass" tone throughout the movie. And they didn't.
The overall feel of the film was off too. The book had a melancholy, dark feel and was really "moody". But the film came off as cheap. I haven't seen how much they spent on the film but the shots were horrible, the music was atrocious, and the tone of the film was "amateur" and cheap. They spent too much money on the Carlisle character's bad makeup job and could've hired a good cinematographer instead.
And that is the one chance they got. If you sat it next to even the first Harry Potter film and compared them simply on the quality points I listed above, Twilight wouldn't even compare it was so bad.
The Twilight books as a series were engrossing. They suck you in and, though the first book's plot doesn't start for 370 pages, you can find other things in the book to enjoy. The film was repelling because of how amateurish it comes off. An extreme disappointment. I wish I could remake it right now.