Earth to Bella, Pt 3

This was due to be a post (I refuse to use the word blog, sound like a German sex act) on music alone, but I have had a busy week so I haven’t got round to my planned reviews of Susan Boyle’s debut warbling and Robbie Williams’ comeback thing.

But I decided to branch out (due to my ineptitude of planning) to review Twilight, the first of the similarly named ‘saga’, which has been closely followed by New Moon.

Now, firstly, I have to say I have not read the books, everyone who has says they are brilliant and flowing and pant-moistingly romantic. So they take Chick-Lit to a whole new level of ‘giddy’. It’s not that I avoid reading them, in fact if someone was to supply me with them I’m sure I’d be happy to mow through them. Seeing as the first book can only be 40 pages long…..

So this is my first issue with the film…..there is no dialogue for most of the film. Unless the book actually contained the lines “she waits for him at school. When he arrives, she stares at him. He stares back. There is more staring. She continues to stare, and then starts a super-slow motion, Sky HD walk up a hill. He follows. They continue to walk up hill, him following her” zzzzzzzzz. This film has to have pared away so much of the book it is unbelievable. As I said, I haven’t read it, and I’m sure I will receive messages from those who wish to shout abuse/agree with me, but the directors choice of sacrificing plot advancement and dialogue, in place of swooshy cameras and 3 minute long scenes involving a piano and a Scottish mountain (in Washington), that wouldn’t be out of place in a perfume advert is one I feel that Ms Mayer and the legions of fans can’t be happy with.

This brings me neatly onto point number two. Catherine Hardwicke, the overtly feminine director (and not in a good way), STAND STILL! The shot selection and movement during scenes genuinely makes me a little nauseous. Instead of having your cameramen jigging around the set like twats, pick a position and stay there. If you must track, go slow and calm. Also, what’s wrong with a shot where all the cast are vertical? Why must all scenes be at a tilt, like I’m watching the film aboard the Titanic and wanted the rush of teen vampire flicks one last time before plunging to my doom?

For a large portion of the film I assumed that these were all design choices and that Catherine was being artsy (and failing) but now I see it! Summit Entertainment are an equal opportunities employer and she’s obviously gone out and got a job-lot of one-legged, ADHD-suffering, hyper midgets. It’s all clear now! I honestly congratulate you on your altruism and I think this should be encouraged. I might even support you; I’ll buy the little buggers some filters than other ‘Washing-up bowl Grey’.

Finally, the lack of original score. The cardinal rule of a mainstream film (unless you are doing a music film, see High Fidelity) is: Never, ever, EVER use music that has not been written expressly for your film…

Using pop/indie/rock/emo songs, as has been done here, means that your film is instantly dated and has a certain shelf life. Think of the other ‘epic sagas’ (as this film purports to be) Star Wars, Bond, fuck – even Harry Potter; they all have original scores. In the end credits, ironically shot over Radiohead’s excellent 15 Step, I saw that Carter Burwell was the musician on set. Well Carter I hope you took them for all they got, cos you did jackshit. In fact, checking out the credits in detail shows that Pattison wrote more that you, you useless sodhat. That’s right the funny looking, bobble-headed chap did a better job of your job than you did AND he was the lead of the fucking film!

All in all, and after I’ve vented this, I actually really enjoyed the film.

There were some scenes that I didn’t like, the drifty piano perfume-advert type ones for example, but on the whole the film was genuinely intriguing, mysterious and covers a subject of such depth and wealth that it cannot help to have rich flowing plots. Throw in the romcom element, which isn’t aimed at me and my traitorous Y chromosome, but still adds another dimension to a film of many.

Await New Moon with anticipation……

(Also, 10 points to anyone who can leave a comment with where the title is taken from…)


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