Plot: What’s it about?
While perusing through my issue of Entertainment Weekly last summer, I came across an article on an author by the name of Stephenie Meyer. I hadn’t heard the name before, but I was vaguely familiar with the series of vampire books that was (and had been) taking the country by storm for the last few years. Personally I had decided to add to my duties as a film critic by reading the entire ?Harry Potter? series; so maybe it was fate that I found this article and consequently the series of books. If you?ve been to a Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstore in the last, oh, year or so then you?ve undoubtedly been deluged by the book/movie that is ?Twilight.? Granted the audience is strictly-aimed at teenagers ? girls in particular; but I?d be remiss if I said I didn?t pick up a copy and read it. Now a word about books and movies about vampires. They?re not real. No matter how much you want to live in a coffin, drink blood and live forever it?ll never happen. There?s not a lot of consistency with vampires either. I suppose that there are no set rules when it comes to the supernatural. Enough about the history, let?s find out what ?Twilight? is all about.
Bella (Kristen Stewart) has just moved from the flats of Arizona to the dank and dismal Pacific Northwest (Forks, Washington to be exact). Her father (Billy Burke) is the local sheriff and isn?t quite sure what to do with his teenage daughter. Bella wants to be left alone and, well, fit in just like every other teenager out there. It?s when she sees the Cullens for the first time that changes her perception of her new locale. In particular, Edward (Robert Pattinson) has developed somewhat of a crush on her too. The Cullens are all vampires, you see and as aloof as they are they?re also ageless. There?s no real explanation for their porcelain skin or why they never eat. We follow Bella as she gets to know Edward and attempts to have a relationship with him. After he saves her life, Bella starts to figure out there?s more to Edward (and all the Cullens) than meets the eye. Will Bella find true happiness with Edward or is a teenager dating a vampire something that?s just not meant to be?
?Twilight? is most certainly not for everyone. Currently there are four books in the series and after making megastars out of Pattinson and Stewart, the second book is already being made into a film. Ironically, star Robert Pattinson had a part in ?Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? playing the ill-fated Cedric Diggory. On a personal note, I do like movies about vampires, mainly because they?re so diverse. Recently I watched a Swedish film by the title ?Let the Right One In? and it?s amazing how different that movie is from this one yet the genre is the same. ?Twilight? is as close to a phenomenon as they come, yet I don?t think it?s quite the same thing as the ?Harry Potter? books. Odds are that if you?re still reading this then you?re either a fan or just curious and if you?re just curious I?d say that ?Twilight? is recommended for a rental at the very least.
Video: How does it look?
“Twilight” comes to Blu-ray in a very nice-looking 2.35:1 AVC HD transfer. To say the palette used is bleak is somewhat of an understatement. The film is set in the Pacific Northwest which isn’t exactly known for an abundance of color. Couple this with the fact that it’s a movie about vampires and, well, it’s not exactly a ray of sunshine. The de-saturated look and feel of the movie was to be expected. A majority of the book and movie constantly refer to the grey clouds and dreary weather. There are a few moments that have some color but by and large this transfer is dark and the CGI effects aren’t exactly top notch. Detail is razor sharp, however, giving the transfer a pop that’s consistent with a new to Blu-ray movie. Viewers will be very pleased with this visual effort, though better transfers are most certainly out there.
Audio: How does it sound?
The uncompressed DTS-Master Audio soundtrack is good, though not great. A majority of the movie is very dialogue-driven and there are only a few instances in which the uncompressed track really stands out. I’m reminded of the baseball scene when the crack of the thunder is dampened by the sound of a baseball being hit. That and the ending fight scene between the vampires does sound pretty impressive. Everything else is a wee bit bland I’m afraid. Again, it’s not a bad soundtrack, but it’s not demo material either.
Supplements: What are the extras?
“Twilight” comes in a variety of formats and editions. Depending on where you get your copy, yours might differ from someone else’s. Case in point, I was in Borders the other day and they have a “Borders Exclusive” edition. At any rate, we start off this two disc edition with a commentary by director Catherine Hardwicke and the stars of the show Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Hardwicke tries her best to get some legitimate information in the track though Pattinson and Stewart are pretty much acting their age. I don’t know of many teenage girls that will listen to this track, but if they do they’re most likely in for a treat. A documentary is included entitled “The Adventure Begins: The Journey from Script to Screen” which runs nearly an hour. This may be watched by itself or as a picture-in-picture feature during the movie. We don’t get a lot of information here, just some behind the scenes footage along with some stock interviews. Also included are some deleted scenes, music videos and the theatrical trailer. The disc is also BD-Live enabled and you get a digital copy of the movie as well.