Book to Movie: Twilight (series)

The good old pseudo debate of the book is better than the movie.  Most books are always better than the movie.  But then again, the movie experience is different from books.  I’m a comic book geek/nerd.  Well not hardcore… I don’t have a collection (though I’m working on it… Marvel comics are now selling hardcovers collections!  When I was a kid I had to save two dollars to buy the thin 12 pages issues….they are in book form now!  Yay!  In hardcover!  Over 200+ pages…. a collection of issues!   Anyway…) and there has been a ton of superhero movies out.  Avengers, X Men, Batman, Green Lantern, Iron Man, Spider Man…  Heck even graphics novels (drawn story in the fashion of superhero comics without the superheroes) are making a splash. The Walking Dead,that popular zombie TV show on one of those cable channels – yep, graphic novel first.  Or take True Blood.  I read the books and enjoyed Charlene Harris’ books long before Twilight existed or the TV show came into existence.  Everyone else are just posers.  Really.  😉

I love the X Men comics.  Love them.  The movies were vastly different from the comics and I went in knowing this and expecting this… in comic books, there a thing called alternate realities… and that’s what I consider movies: an alternate reality of the books.  So that’s how I view books to movies too.

In recent years, tons and tons and tons of books have been made into movies.  For this first post in “Books to Movie,” I will talk about the long passionately loved/hated books/movies: Twilight.

*gasps* (Oh noes!)  Oh yes!

So I’ll be honest.  I did read the entire series.  In 2 days.  I found out about the book when I was working retail as a cashier at an office supply store.  Little girl comes in head in a book and leaves store head still in book, never taking face/head out.  I asked her what book she was reading, her response, “Twilight.”  She then proceeds to give me a glaring pinched eyed look as if I just interrupted her performing heart surgery and walks out of store.  So I decided to go to the library and find out about this Twilight book.  Low and behold there was a hold list… and 2 other books, with the final one coming in like 2 days.  Called friends, asked them about it.  They accused me of living under a rock ( I wasn’t.  I was living under a university… or in one… on campus, and head swimming in projects).  Long story short said friends, dragged me to movies when they came out.

I’ll say this.  I have not seen Breaking Dawn nor will I go see part 2.  3 movies are enough for me.  I read all the books because they were quick reads.  I read all the books completely because I don’t like leaving things unfinished before I could comment or assess.  I almost stopped reading Eclipsebecause I was so tired of the damn triangle.  I read Breaking Dawn and actually liked the last book the most.  Why?  Because we get to know about the Volturi and in essence the Vampire lore in Twilight saga.  The interesting background info comes forth.  The information that makes and constructs the details of a believable world was introduced here.  Too bad it was the last book.  Too bad I already hate the main characters.  I don’t remember having liked any of the characters.  I was “meh” *shrugs shoulders* with all of them.  If I was to rate these books with a complete detailed listing of why, I would rate each book around 1 to 2 points.  I’m not a “hater.”  Look at my reviews and read them all… if you have good assessment and analytical skills you will know why I would rate them that way.

The movies had an opportunity to be different.  They can give us visual stimulation.  Only they didn’t.  The cast members were vastly different from what I imagined the characters to be.  Jacob Black was tiny in the movies.  I mean Taylor Lautner is a good looking kid.  I’ll give him his dues, but I imagined someone taller, beefier, with sharp features – piercing eyes and angled face.  Taylor Lautner has a baby face.  Pattison will always just be Cedric to me  (He’s in Harry Potter if you didn’t know).  Plus he looks dirty.  Maybe it’s the hair and the eyes.  So he just does.  I’ve seen him in interviews before where he actually looks clean and well-kept, but the whole pale thing and dark eyes with red/gold irises and unkempt hair: dirty.  Like literally.  Reminds me of soap scum on the side of a bath tub.  Pale, dingy, and white.  I’m not trying to be funny.  I’m serious.  Then there’s the whole Alice thing.  My mind kept imagining a brown-blonde character.  Not dark brown with short spikey hair.  Even when I skimmed the pages again when the movie came out (yes, the book did say brown pixie cut hair Alice) and I knew that in the back of my mind that I was imagining her wrong, but still… (shows there wasn’t much authority in the story telling, no re-enforcement of details).  So the casting failed me.

So then characterization.  Where the books attempted to give life to each of the characters through interesting back stories, the movies’ editing failed those back stories with choppy editing.  In both instances (book and movie), there were nice moments but those moments failed because the rest of said medium failed at giving an equal response. thourhgout respective medium  Like Rose-girl’s brutal past life.  Sexually assaulted.  Beaten.  And comes back as one pissed off b****h.  I mean yay!  Only, there wasn’t enough proof in her character for her character to drive the point home or the proof comes off as childish.  Movie was horrible in this respect too.  The scene was nice, her in her wedding dress and all, and kicking down the door.  Nice.  Only again the rest of the movie didn’t meet the caliber of scene.

But I had hope!  I’m a guy who likes action.  So in Twilight, readers were given the lame-o excuse of dainty hero girl fainting when she is rescued by her undead prince at the end.  Movie will have to show a fight scene.  Awesomeness!  Not.  The scene was okay.  Believable yes.  But the climax of the fight scene: anti-climatic.

So in this long winded comparison.  I watched the movie thinking and expecting it to be different from books.  With that it failed.  So I had to compare it to the books.  It still failed.  The book also did not fit into my view of a good written book.  I felt like I wasted time on both movies and books.  If I had to choose which one is better, I would choose books.  But then I already asserted before that books are usually better.  I was hoping to pull out some worth from the movie in this post, but after thinking about it… there’s nothing worth pulling from the movies to explain why it made it special.

Below average books and movie.

So after all that…. how do you view a book turned to movie?   Compare?  Divide the two entities?  Fandomize over both?  You do evaluate the cast against your imagined cast? What was your take on the Twilight books/movies?

I’ll be doing more of these later.  Since there are so many books turned into movies/ TV shows.

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