Anyone expecting more from a home-video version of Twilight than the chance to watch the movie ad infinitum may be disappointed by Summit's two-disc DVD/ one-disc Blu-ray, both out March 21. Even though the set seems designed as a deliberate thank-you to fans, its bonus materials fail to reciprocate the thought, time and energy that the series' hordes of followers put into examining every aspect of the Twilight universe.
As a bona fide cultural phenomenon, the technical and artistic merits of the movie itself have already been determined by its fans and detractors. Sadly, this new release does little more than reinforce those initial impressions, be they good or bad.
The commentary tracks, featuring director Catherine Hardwicke and stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, offers superficial or technical insights at best, unless you count the discovery that Stewart's own relentless self-consciousness makes her an ideally suited Bella. Otherwise, Pattinson spends much of the time lampooning his character's self-seriousness, while Hardwicke marvels at the end result without providing any sense that her sensitivity and insight into teenagers from one film to the next is more than mere coincidence.
A seven-part documentary purports to delve into the production itself, but despite a wealth of behind-the-scenes footage that is virtually indistinguishable from making-of material on any other effects-laden epic, no one, not even Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer, manages to qualify why this series struck such a nerve. That said, the "Comic-Con Phenomenon" featurette certainly documents the overwhelming, Beatlesque mania that accompanied the cast and crew's appearance at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con.
But for those unsold on the meaning of the self-conscious longing of Bella and the forbidden romanticism of Edward Cullen, the set might have served a greater purpose had it bothered to look a little deeper or ask these rabid fans more serious questions than "How much do you love Robert Pattinson?"
Ultimately, it's safe to assume that most people who love Twilight will at least like this DVD/ Blu-ray release. After all, it almost literally thanks them for their support and patronage, citing them as the reason for the film's success, not to mention the fact that it provides them with what must be all remaining footage via two collections of extended and deleted scenes. But for people who believe that there is something more substantive in these books than a series of dreamy-eyed exchanges between two people with perfect complexions, it would have been nice to see something included that could convince others of that depth or meaning as well.