‘Twilight’ descends at midnight Friday night

[18 March 2009]

By Sharon Hoffmann

McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

After months of hype and screaming fangirls and barrels of newspaper ink dumped on Robert Pattinson and “Twilight,” there was bound to be some backlash.

But who’d have thought that the funniest voice in that critical chorus would be ... RobPat himself.

There he is with director Catherine Hardwicke and co-star Kristen Stewart in the audio commentary on the new “Twilight” DVD, dissing himself and tossing in silly bits of new dialogue for his vampire hottie character, Edward Cullen.

During the school cafeteria scene where an iconic apple bounces off Edward’s feet and into his hands: “Wow, he’s a superhuman moron. ... He wears lipstick, has a little bouffant and does little circus acts.”

A make-out scene with his human girlfriend, Bella (Stewart): “I’ve got one of those butt chins” - explaining his usual stubble and beards off camera. During other pivotal scenes Pattinson pipes in to point out his “scraggly sideburns,” “effeminate hands,” “sculpted eyebrows” and a clueless “where am I?” gaze.

In the forest, when Edward is warning Bella to stay away:

Edward: “Do you know what vampires eat?”

Pattinson (in a high, nasal voice): “Cheeseburgers!”

During the romantic prom dance in the gazebo, when Edward leans in toward Bella’s outstretched neck:

Hardwicke: “Oh ... that’s hot.”

Stewart: “That was really difficult on my neck.”

Pattinson: “I look like an anime character.”

Now there’s an idea.

Aside from the movie itself and the commentary, this two-disc set is loaded with extended and deleted scenes (some cut for good reason, others - the meadow! - making you want more), music videos from the likes of Paramore and Muse and a seven-part making-of documentary with a full coven of cast and crew interviewed before, during and after filming.

The documentary doesn’t offer much new info for hardcore fans (nor for those who already slavishly researched “Twilight” for purely journalistic reasons and not out of some odd obsession, I swear).

Author Stephenie Meyer kicks it off relating her startling dream that led to the novel. Hardwicke & Co. talk about the challenges of filming outdoors in the Pacific Northwest: the bitter cold, the rain, the unwanted sunshine (bad for a vampire movie).

We see how the vampire cast can’t really jump 50 feet high, how they’re all hooked to wires. The effects crew shows how the sparkle was added to Edward’s skin (sorry, it still doesn’t work for me).

But it is entertaining to meet the mannequin with detachable head and arms that stands in for an evil vampire (you know who). And it took 13 takes to get that apple to bounce just right in the cafeteria (it’s attached to a fishing line). Not to mention the take after take after take of an errant volleyball bouncing off the head of Bella’s annoying suitor Mike (Michael Welch). (We also learn that Kristen Stewart can play ball well, unlike klutzy Bella.)

Hardwicke notes her subtle touches. A stuffed owl that happened to perch behind Edward in science class makes it seem he has sprouted angel wings. A painting of a wolf in Bella’s house foreshadows the next movie, “New Moon.”

Stick with the documentary all the way to the end to find this little message: “If you actually watched all the credits you should be treated for OCD ... Obsessive Cullen Disorder.” (Hey, just doing my job.)

It’s ironic that Hardwicke mentions “New Moon” to an audience that now knows she won’t be directing the sequel. A disagreement with the studio forced her to walk away from the franchise that so far has grossed $191 million in the U.S. and $350 million worldwide - not counting the DVD sales.

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‘TWILIGHT FRIDAY’

Seveal stores, including many Borders, Hot Topics, FYEs and Wal-Marts, will host “Twilight” parties starting at 10 p.m. Friday and culminating with the DVD (and Blu-Ray) release at midnight. To find the locations, go to www.twilightthemovie.com.

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WHAT’S NEXT

The April issue of GQ, on newsstands next week, has cover boy Robert Pattinson talking about “Twilight,” his dating life and the uncomfortable “naked stuff” in his next film, “Little Ashes.” The R-rated biopic of surreal artist Salvador Dali is set to open in some markets in May.

Kristen Stewart stars in “Adventureland” (April 3), a teen romantic comedy set at an ‘80s amusement park. She’s also featured in “Cake Eater” on DVD Tuesday, and she’s talking up her role as Joan Jett in 2010’s “The Runaways,” a biopic of the 1970s girl band. Dakota Fanning co-stars.

Speaking of Fanning, she’ll play the heartless, powerful vampire Jane in the “Twilight” sequel “New Moon” (Nov. 20). Filming is supposed to start in Vancouver, British Columbia, this month.

The third “Twilight” installment, “Eclipse,” is due out June 30, 2010, and several names have been mentioned for its director: horrormeister Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Orphanage), Drew Barrymore, James Mangold (“Walk the Line”) and Paul Weitz, who is directing “New Moon” and may or may not have time to jump into another movie so soon.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/article/71863-twilight-descends-at-midnight-friday-night/