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Book vs. Movie: Twilight

By Eric Hughes

November 24, 2008

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If movies like Freddy vs. Jason, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Alien vs. Predator, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Kramer vs. Kramer, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Ecks vs. Sever, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and King Kong vs. Godzilla have taught us nothing else, it's that everything is somehow better in battle format. We here at BOP recognize this fact, but at the same time realize that our breed of super-smart readers sometimes yearns for a touch of the intellectual at the same time. And since Hollywood has a certain obsession with turning literature of all types into big screen features, we're afforded the perfect opportunity to set up grudge matches galore.

And so, whenever the Tinsel Town hotshots decide that it's a great idea to turn the little-known Herman Melville classic Redburn into a theatrical event film, we'll be there. Whether the results are triumphant (see: The Lord of the Rings trilogy) or tragic (i.e. The Scarlett Letter), we'll take it upon ourselves to give you the verdict and spark the discussion.

Twilight

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga blew up in a big way earlier this year, especially with the release of the series' fourth and (likely) final novel, Breaking Dawn. And rightfully so. The series, about a teenage girl, Bella Swan, who brings unspeakable danger to her life after falling in love with an immortal vampire, Edward Cullen, is an engaging read that admittedly may not win a Pulitzer any time soon, but nonetheless satisfies the guiltiest of reading pleasures.

On October 5, 2005, Meyer started the whole thing off by releasing the series' title book, Twilight, a 500-plus page potboiler that introduces Bella (and its readers) to the world of vampires after the 17-year-old moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father.

Before the hit fiction series became a phenomenon - 1.3 million copies of Breaking Dawn were sold in its first day alone - teeny Summit Entertainment made the incredibly smart move a few years ago in purchasing the rights to adapt Twilight (and its three sequels) for the big screen. Coming from a studio with very little money (in comparison to the Universal and DreamWorks monsters), I was initially hesitant in determining what Summit's finished product would be. Given the film's laughable budget and shoddy-looking trailer, would Summit be able to craft a respectable adaptation of Meyer's uber popular debut novel?




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The Book

Having read some fairly dense and heavy material for nearly the duration of summer 2008, I at some point grew restlessly interested in gnawing at something a tad lighter. Enter the Twilight saga, a series of four books that definitely appeased my literary craving.

Aimed at young adults (who are preferably female), the series puts a twist on standard vampire stories by featuring a young human girl who falls head over heels for a being who usually would like nothing better than to feast on her insides. Instead of fearing Edward, Bella loves him. And instead of moving through time without any sense of emotion, Twilight's lead vampire finds himself oddly attracted to the chick, too.


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