The Twilight Saga
Director: Catherine Hardwicke (1) Chris Weitz (2) David Slade (3) Bill Condon (4-5)
Date Created: 2008-11-21 00:00
Ah, Twilight. I remember being a fan of Twilight. Not a hardcore fan to any extent but I definitely found it interesting and entertaining. It was EVERYWHERE. It was HUGE back then. Revisiting childhood stories is always fun because a mature perspective changes how you view the film.
So, I’m going to watch the entire saga in succession and decide whether hmm, is Twilight good, or is it only enjoyable to the middle-school mind? Embark on this journey with me if you will. Let’s binge-watch the Twilight saga to answer the question: “Is Twilight Good?”
*This is largely just my train of thought so just read the bold words to get the gist of it*
Twilight (Movie 1)
Alright so just finished the first movie and I must say – I enjoyed myself.
I was genuinely surprised by the number of details I remembered as I was watching it. I had a vague memory of where the plot was going and who each character was. I remembered the little details about Edward and Bellas’s relationship like he’s enamored with the smell of her blood which is why he was so avoidant in the beginning. I remembered his sparkling skin in the sun, his cold touch. I forgot that he could read minds though. That’s pretty cool.
And I kept forgetting that Jacob was a part of the story although I know he’s gonna play an even bigger part as the third corner of the love triangle with Bella and Edward. So, in short, all of the memories are coming back to me and I’m getting reminded of more of the details that made this story so well-constructed.
I completely was unaware of the fact that Anna Kendrick, who I most strongly associate with Pitch Perfect, was also in Twilight. Was this her first big role? (according to her Wikipedia this is the film where she “rose to prominence”). I didn’t know she was in a movie as big as Twilight before going on to grander roles like Pitch Perfect.
I love the distinct color palette of this movie. The dreary gray contrasted with the bright evergreen colors and every shade in between. It’s the perfect mood for this story.
The dramatics! Oh my goodness the dramatics of this script and the dialogue are unmatched. I totally understand how these books and this movie were catered to middle and high schoolers.
My fav lines:
*after Bella mentions that Edwards eye color had changed*
Edward: Yeah, I know. It’s the fluorescents. Umm…* swiftly walks away*
Edward: So the lion fell in love with the lamb.
Bella: What a stupid lamb.
Edward: What a sick, masochistic lion.
Edward: I like watching you sleep.
Bella: You’re a vampire.
Edward: SAY IT WITH YOUR CHEST! (lol this was never said, I was too busy laughing to realize that; this is just what I heard)
So yeah, the awkward dialogue and constructively intense timing of the lines was SOOOO middle/high school and actually kind of endearing. And then they said they were in love so quickly too but I guess that goes to show how intense the connection between them was. Twilight definitely deserved all of those memes though. Were there memes back then? All I know is that it was definitely made fun of for the awkward, overdramatic dialogue and acting.
Speaking of acting, it’s so weird to see baby Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Like Kristen’s grown and her hair is short and blonde now and she was in Charlie’s Angels and Happiest Season and Robert Pattinson was just recently in The Devil All the Time. They’ve definitely grown as actors.
I thought Kristen played Bella very well. She just was quiet and plain and awkward/ slightly monotone which is what Bella was designed to be. Edwards’s character was more difficult because he was abnormal and intense and not necessarily a teen but his character had less of a niche to fit into. It’s hard to pin down who he is but I guess in a way, it works with the story.
Their chemistry was obviously on point. They dated in real life so that confirms it was real but honestly in general, I think this movie was cast splendidly according to what I remember of the book. But yeah, this book was brought to life very well.
Was it just me or was Edward almost too possessive? Why women are kinda into a man just taking control almost to an extreme extent?
The scene where Edward reveals himself in all his vampire glory was the most dramatic thing I’ve ever seen. The cameras were doing the MOST. They whipped out every camera angle, zoom, dolly, drone, every single visual effect, they pulled it out in that scene. I was ROLLING.
My favorite element of this movie is definitely the story. The delicate mixture of supernatural and super regular. It’s the perfect setup for all of the chaos that is still to come. The characters, even the side character friends in school all have strong motivations that are the perfect foundation for some juicy conflict. The vampires and the explanation of who they are and how they work, the rivalries, the animal attacks, the underbearing stepfather, all of the elements that work together to create some nail-biting conflict.
So quite frankly, I’m done with writing and I’m impatient to get into the next installment in this Twilight action.
The first movie was definitely good and established the distinct Twilight vibe, mood, and plot so we’ll start off the rating with a:
New Moon (Movie 2)
New moon just deepened the rabbit hole. So now Bella has been exposed to the world of werewolves in addition to vampires and I am loving this.
So what really struck me is the contrast between hot and cold. I feel like a new color template has been added to the twilight saga. There are now oranges and yellows, like a moon. A new moon *insert smug face here.* Jacob brings an element of warmth and safety while Edward was cold and more dangerous. Obviously, Jacob is not completely safe cuz sometimes werewolf temper gets the best of them but I definitely felt that compared to Edward he was safer.
Another new theme, Romeo and Juliet. I didn’t notice that at all in the story, the interlacing of the classic Romeo and Juliet narrative. They explicitly introduce it in class and then it plays out in Edward and Bella’s romance. Intertextuality, I literally scoured the depths of my notes from that one film class that I took to find this word because I knew there was a word for this. Intertextuality. That’s what it is. Save your notes kids.
Another thing, character-wise, I feel as though each character is more assured in themselves. Like the acting was less awkward and cringey this time around. And Jacob – whoo- how was he able to glow up so quickly over the span of the two films?! That’s got to be the glow-up of the century – my goodness those abs.
*in Bella’s bedroom*
Jacob: Look, I’m sorry.
Bella: (punches her fist into Jacob’s washboard, perfectly-chiseled abs staring at them for a moment too long) For what?
The timing of those lines got me for some reason. I thought she was going to justify her actions, maybe bring up his abs that she was so distracted by – but no. Just continue the conversation like that didn’t just happen.
Jacob also filled out his face more. How did the casting directors predict when puberty would hit him? How did they work that timing out? I got to look into that (so according to trusty ol’ Wikipedia, he put on 30 lbs and worked out hardcore to keep the role; good on him). I mean, in general, each character looked older, and more mature which they were supposed to be since they’re now in their senior year of high school.
Why is Bella like a danger magnet? Why is she always attracted to the most dangerous men and the most dangerous men always attracted to her? And she’s so ready and willing to be hurt by them but that’s love. People who are worth dying for, crying for, and hurting for. Life is about choosing what’s worth your suffering. And Bella’s choosing between the most supernatural of pains.
So many different creatures are so possessive and protective over Bella.
The graphics of this movie were much better than the first one. The wolves looked pretty great to me. Realistic. And the wolf and vampire fights were really good as well. I was graphically convinced of this world. I thought that was really well done. More believable than the first. Twilight obviously brought in enough money for them to up their CGI game.
Another change from the original – the music. In Twilight the music was more alternative rocky like drums and guitar and teen angst. But New Moon, the music was more orchestral, with violins and piano, more of a sci-fi soundtrack. So yeah, mood shift in this one for sure, new color is introduced to the palette, and a soundtrack that indicates how much further Bella is moving from her regular world and deeper into the supernatural.
Also, the Vulturi scenes, it made me realize that Bella is an Italian name and the vampires seem to originate in Italy. Bella becoming a vampire eventually seems like destiny as mentioned in Alice’s vision.
Also, completely forgot that Dakota Fanning was in this movie too. She did really well. Stone-cold and sinister.
So new conflict to build upon, the redhead killer vampire is still out there, the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob, the Vulturi expecting the transition of Bella into a vampire, and high school is still supposed to be happening for Bella so I’m excited to see where it goes from here because I really don’t remember.
Eclipse (Movie 3)
Alright so movie 3 is done and my enthusiasm is waning.
This movie was also good I guess but I feel as though it was like this limbo area where nothing really life-changing happened. It was just a display of the tensions between the love triangle. The new vampire army was just a conflict to magnify the real issue which was Bella having to “choose” between Jacob and Edward.
Bella has always been team Edward but the fact that Jacob feels as though he knows Bella better than she knows herself was just a little irritating. The classic misogynistic mindset of women not knowing what they want. At the same time, a man who knows what he wants and takes the reigns to do all that he can to get it is a really attractive quality but it’s a tightrope of a line to walk between being misogynistic and self-assured.
Mad props to Edward for tolerating the relationship between Bella and Jacob. That’s – whoo – that’s rough. To watch your lady hugging up on another man, in another man’s arms, kissing another man and knowing that this other man loves it and wants to be with your woman… Yo, good thing Edward is naturally cold. Probably helps to keep his temper in check.
My favorite scene was the one where Edward and Bella were hiding out in the mountain and then Bella got really cold and there was nothing that Edward could do about it. When Jacob stepped in and he was literally cuddling up with Bella while having a civil conversation with Edward.
I just feel as though this movie showed more of Edwards’s soft side. Like he actually cares for Bella and wants the best for her even if it hurts him. He is a bit controlling, protective, and intense but he’s also caring, understanding, and compassionate.
*Edward and Jacob bickering at each other*
Bella: From now on, I’m Switzerland. Ok?
*Edward finally agrees to let Jacob cuddle Bella to keep her warm*
Jacob: And let’s face it. I am hotter than you.
(serious quote that I liked)
Bella: “I’ve had to face death and loss and pain… but I’ve never felt stronger.”
This movie included a lot more backstory and probably groundwork for what’s to come. Now that Victoria is gone, the Volutri seem to now be the established villains of the story.
I also had a feeling that the origin of the werewolf story that was told at the campfire would be revisited in the fight scene in the end which it was. The full circle structure of each movie remains. Whatever concept is introduced in the beginning will most likely fulfill itself in the end.
I didn’t notice any huge shifts in the color palette or the music. I was a little more distracted and interrupted during this movie than the other two so maybe it was just harder for me to focus in. I was expecting more purple since the movie poster was purple but if there was more purple it wasn’t obvious enough for me to notice.
My least favorite film of the series so far only because the plot felt a little like it was reaching and like it didn’t really progress to much, just added external conflict to move along the internal conflict between the love triangle.
Still excited to see what comes and see how this whole story ends.
Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 (Movie 4)
Y’all I’m gonna be honest with you, when this movie started and like halfway through, I was prepared to write a lackluster review saying how the plot has just gone downhill but now that I’ve finished it – this was the most thrilling part of the series so far.
The beginning felt so dreadfully slow and meaningless to me.
Now the mood for this installment of the saga was quite romantic comedy-esque. The music felt almost Disney princess-like with the wedding and the honeymoon and all. Just very happily ever after.
The wedding itself was even humorous with the toasts and all. Very different vibes from the earlier movies which didn’t really bother with deliberate humor. Not bad, just different.
Even when Bella got pregnant, everything still felt kinda slow, like the buildup to her delivery was dragged out. Then when Jake mind-told his clan that Bella was pregnant, I was having flashbacks to when I watched the live Lion King remake. All of these big live looking creatures talking without their mouths matching their wording. A little bit of an odd moment but I understood. Also, was expecting Jake to vie for the alpha role. Not surprised there.
Don’t understand why the wolves got so immediately defensive without first understanding whether the baby posed an actual threat or not.
Question for post-saga research: Did Kristen Stewart actually have to lose weight for this movie or did they use special effects to make her look so emaciated? (she didn’t have to lose any weight, it was all technology according to this article)
So – the part of the movie that MADE this movie for me was when the baby was coming. When instead of Bella’s water breaking, her ribs were breaking. It went from 0 to 100 REAL quick.
I genuinely didn’t remember what happened next in the story. I didn’t know if the outcome would be favorable or not. I didn’t know if Bella would survive, the baby, both, neither … I was truly on edge biting my nails.
The baby was delivered and she looked normal – great – but Bella, my goodness – she looked DEAD dead. And Edward’s venom didn’t seem to be doing the trick. Then on top of that, the whole wolf clan was ready to pounce on that baby, especially Jake who had VIP entry into the house.
Then OUT OF NOWHERE Jacob imprints on the BABY?!? Like isn’t he too old to imprint on a baby? Idk, I guess it could be like a protective fatherhood thing but he would have to wait til she’s 18 and he’s like 35 before anything romantic can legally happen, and even then it’s still incredibly sketchy. I’m expecting to address this in the next chapter.
And finally, when Bella is revived to new life, her cheeks fill out, her ribs reattach, and her hair is revived – first off, great effects. The opening eyes = rebirth. Anywho, I physically clapped at the end of this movie because it had me in my feels. I was emotionally invested in this one, even if that emotional investment was primarily towards the end.
And while Bella was being revived, seeing the flashbacks of her love story with Edward even all the way back to her parents giving birth to her it all just felt like fate manifested and it felt like I’d really embarked on this journey with them. Like it felt profound and reminded me of where this all came from even film-wise, plot-wise, all of that. It was cool to reminisce on.
So, about to move on the LAST FILM OF THE SAGA. WHOOP WHOOP. So excited to see how all the t’s are crossed and how all the i’s are dotted. Who does Renesmee turn out to be? What are her superhuman skills? How does the whole Jake imprinting on Renesmee thing work practically? How does Bella handle being a new vampire? How do the werewolves handle the new vampires in their town? Do Bella’s parents ever find out? What becomes of Edward and Bella? Is it happy ever after?
I’m so excited to find out!!!
Conclusion of the Twilight Saga and this really enjoyable challenge that I embarked on – here I come!
Breaking Dawn Pt.2 (Movie 5)
Wow. I actually can’t stop cheesing right now. Awww I can’t believe this journey is over *sobbing*. I literally rented this whole day out just to Twilight. This story was my life for the day and now that life is over and I’m actually pretty bummed about that right now. Is there no additional sequel? (there’s Midnight Sun which is a recent book release showing the story of Twilight from Edward’s point of view. Maybe I’ll look into reading it…)
Wow. Yeah. I definitely have a soft spot for the Twilight Saga now that I know the story from beginning to end, have immersed myself in it, and have taken the time to like write my thoughts on it too for future reference.
Super duper sentimental ending to an iconic story.
Even from the very beginning when they begin to list out and feature all of the actors in the movie and then in the end when they restated the actors… I knew there were 2 different Victorias. I was looking at the second girl like, I don’t think that was the same Victoria from before. I even have it in my notes but I didn’t look it up.
Also Boo Boo Stewart from The Descendents. I knew that kid looked familiar. It’s hard to recognize him without his long luscious hair.
Ok, enough of the emotion – who the heck was in charge of the CGI for Resenmee’s baby face cuz it was ATROCIOUS. It was so comically bad whenever they showed the baby’s face. It was very obviously fake but I get that working with actual babies is probably really difficult and that was probably the best they could do with what they had.
Besides the terrible baby face, all the other graphics looked really sharp. Especially seeing the world through Bellas newly formed vampire eyes.
I knew Bella would be a natural vampire. She already looked like one from the beginning. And now that she’s a vampire she does definitely carry herself with a new sense of grace and class. Her clothing changed from flannel to bodycon dresses and her gait changed from clumsy to graceful, from weak to strong.
It was so hilarious to see Edward’s reaction to Bella’s new strength. Especially when she was confronting Jake for imprinting on her daughter which, like I mentioned in the review of the last movie, was a satisfyingly appropriate reaction. Like – pedophile behavior much? But you know, it’s the supernatural world, and Renesmee ages way faster than the average human being. Also technically, Edward was like what 85 years old when Bella was born? So the supernatural world is just on a different time schedule.
I knew the Volturis would be the villains in this last one. And I must say, every good supernatural, fantasy story has a war. And what I love about this movie is that there was a war and there were lives lost, but… not really.
We got all the action, the wolves, the vampires, the cool flips, the stunts, the awesome utilization of superhuman powers. We lost some of our favorite characters like Carlise for me was a favorite and I was in disbelief when his head came off. Like I barely reacted cuz I was like, nope, that didn’t just happen. And it turns out that no, none of it actually happened. It was all just an alternate timeline that would have happened if the Volturi was stubborn and decided to go through with the war.
Everything relied on whether the Volturi would go through with the war or not. And I think that Bella learning how to use her shield to its maximum power may have changed the timeline to be more favorable for them.
The ending was super happily ever after but I don’t think I’d want it any other way. Everyone is alive and happy, the future looks really bright, and there were a lot of obstacles that were overcome in order for them to get there. I literally watched everyone grow over like 5 years in the span of 24-ish hours. Pretty cool stuff.
Also, Bella and Edwards’ love story jump-started all this action. A love story for the ages. Fate.
Definitely enjoyed indulging in this storyline for the day. Satisfying ending to a satisfying story.
Rating: (7 + 7.3 + 6.2 + 8 + 9) / 5 = 7.5/10
Overall, the Twilight Saga gets a rating of 7.5 which makes it a really good story. The third film of the Saga, Eclipse is the worst and the fifth and final film of the Saga, Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 is the best.
So, is Twilight good? Absolutely!
What do you think of the Twiight Saga? Let me know in the comments below!
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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,