Saturday, November 22, 2008

Summit Entertainment and Robert Pattinson in the "Twilight"

Summit Entertainment has long been known as a producer of innovative dramatic, thriller and horror films, usually released by other studios. Now it is in the distribution business itself (as another “indie specialty distributor” like LionsGate, Overture, Magnolia, ThinkFilm, etc), and its latest hit “Twilight” has suddenly put it on the map. The film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, based on the famous novel by Stephenie Meyer.

I sat in the front row of a large Regal auditorium last night and heard the teenage girls screaming at every appearance of 22 year old British heartthrob Robert Pattinson, as the 17 year old Edward Cullen. The trouble is, he has been 17 since he was “bitten” in 1918 while recovering from the Spanish Flu.

We all know the story. A teenage girl Bella (Kristen Stewart), having moved with her father to Washington state, falls in love with classmate Cullen, and stays in love even as she learns he is a vampire. And Cullen seems transformed and tamed by the experience. He has powers similar to the teenage Clark Kent in Smallville (saving Bella once from being crushed by a crashing car, and flying through the Pacific Northwest firs, around the Columbia Gorge, with her) . But he becomes protective and chaste. He would wait until “marriage.”

Pattinson looks a bit like Tyler Hanes (the gay “vampire” movie “In the Blood”). There is a scene were he flies Bella to a mountaintop to appear in the skin, and opens his shirt to show a body that twinkles, and that is hairy and smooth at the same time. I suppose the Pattinson will join the list of hunky heartthrobs like Tom Welling, Jared Padalecki, and Chace Crawford. His speaking style is slightly disjointed, as if he hadn’t completely mastered overcoming his British accent naturally. (By way of comparison, note how natural the “American” speech of Jim Sturgess in “21” sounds.)

The film, in full 2.35:1 Panavision, treats us with continuous stunning scenery of the Columbia River country and forests, which I last visited in 1996, and some of Arizona.

Update: March 20, 2009

The April 2009 issue of GQ offers a spread on Robert Pattinson, but one picture shows him with a cigarette in his mouth (p 109). How depressing! Britain's most perfect young adult male, smoking. Not bong hits but cigarette hits! And GQ is no tabloid.

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