Monday, June 1, 2009

Books are Brain Food

Like a lot of other moms, I've been sucked into the Twighlight series by Stephenie Meyer. Of course, the joke's on us as kajillions of teenage girls have been into the series for a couple of years now. But I digress... I've read the first three books and am waiting for the library to call me when a copy of the fourth is on reserve for me.

So for kicks, and to tide me over until the book is in, I checked out the trailer for the second movie in the series, New Moon. Okay, I realize I'm a bit older than the movie's target demographic; however, I do like to kid myself and think that I'm still in touch with my preteen-angst self. That said, my comment to the studios: Really? Am I missing something? I'll admit that when reading the books, I imagine Edward looking rather Robert Pattinsonesque, but in this clip he could pass for an escaped animatronic from Disney's Hall of Presidents. Maybe he was directed to act that way (in that case, he's a director's dream, a wonderfully malleable actor), but he was just so ... wooden ... in the scene where he tells Bella he's leaving. I was really disappointed.

Maybe it's because I spent four years of college learning how to make and critique movies (my coursework included scripting for the media, recording and editing film, experimental video, and film and video analysis), but with the exception of the Harry Potter series, I have rarely seen a movie version of a book that did the book justice. Maybe it's because I spent many a summer devouring stacks of fiction that I learned how to create vivid mental pictures that can't be faithfully translated into reality. Maybe it's because the best images are left incomplete, left to one's own imagination rather than to some hotshot director's vision.

Maybe it's because books are way better brain food than movies.

(Note to self: Continue to demonstrate this by being an example of a voracious reader for the boys.)

(Note to everyone else: While I am enjoying the Twilight series tremendously and do not begrudge Stephenie Meyer her success, I do not think the books are examples of good writing. In fact, I find them quite the opposite, and felt that Eclipse was the poorest written of the series so far. I don't know that I could do any better, but you know what they say about those who can't do... they either teach, or become critics. I'd be happy being a combination of the two, as long as my criticism of my students is purely to help them improve their skills and not out of spite or malice.)

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