Sunday, April 12, 2009

Twilight - Finally!

As the not-very-bigtime showrunner of a nationally syndicated movie show [REEL TALK], I'm almost embarrassed to admit this in a forum that will no doubt be seen by dozens and dozens of people worldwide.

I didn't get around to seeing Twilight until YESTERDAY. That's right. One of the biggest pop-cult phenoms of the past year fell completely off the Avila radar. It wasn't intentional, mind you. As the producer of the show, I have so many things on my plate that I'm simply not able to see every movie Jeffrey Lyons & Alison Bailes are reviewing on the show. I try to, because I want to be as informed as possible to decide where to slot movies in a particular week's show, what kind of clips to use (because you wouldn't believe how bad studios are at promoting their own films. They often send truly awful clips to media outlets, which makes it nearly impossible to put together a review/feature that makes sense).

When Twilight came out last October, Summit Entertainment only screened it once before opening, at 7:30pm. Now, this makes it inconvenient for critics. Ask most of them, they'll tell you a 'take it or leave it' scenario usually indicates the film isn't very good. This is true.

Sometimes, and this is becoming the case more and more these days, the studios know they have a critic-proof film on their hands so they don't need to hold many screenings. Do one of them so you don't get labeled as a 'so bad they didn't screen it advance' movie, but just one. This saves lots of $$. And let's face it. All those people who read Stephenie Meyer's books weren't going to be dissuaded from seeing the movie by anything critics said. It hurts me to say that, because my livelihood depends on people caring what movie critics think.

But there are certain franchises and characters that defy any sort of critical effect. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Tyler Perry ... and Twilight.

So my point before I went off on my tangent was, I didn't skip it on purpose. I couldn't make that one-shot screening, and then I just never made it to the theater to see it because frankly, vampires don't really float my boat. This fascination with bloodsuckers completely escapes me. I don't watch True Blood, I have Let the Right One In on my 'To Watch' pile, and I have never read any of the Twilight books.

But this weekend I decided to finally pop in the dvd that's been at the bottom of that aforementioned 'To Watch' stack, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. After a slow start, I got into it. By the end, I was genuinely interested in seeing where the story goes with the 2nd film.

However, this is far from a masterpiece. And if anyone from Summit Ent. is reading this, please, PLEASE, reinvest some of the ridiculous piles of $$ you made on the first film to improve the special effects for #2. Because they were laughably bad in Twilight. Every time a vampire showed off his talents it looked about as impressive as the slo-mo FX from "The Six Million Dollar Man." The sequence where Edward takes Bella to the top of the mountain appeared to have been done on a college student's iBook. You wanna be a big-dog franchise in Hollywood? Gotta pony up the $$ to look the part. That won't cut it a second time.

Also, can someone please get Kristen Stewart to smile at least once? I know she's not thrilled to be part of this media spectacle but for the sake of Pete's love, you don't have to look miserable in EVERY SINGLE FRAME OF THE MOVIE. She's taking teen angst to new levels in this and Adventureland. Her agent needs to find her a romantic comedy in the worst way.

But those two major problems aside, count me as one who is looking forward to the sequel. And I don't think I'll wait six months after opening day to see it.

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