Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - My Review

From the moment I put down my hard cover copy of Breaking Dawn for the first time, I knew this movie would be next to impossible to make. There is just too much that works only on the page. That has been the case with most of the Twilight series, especially in regards to a lot of the dialogue (which is cheesy on the sweet side when read but mostly absurd when heard aloud) and the sparkling effect of the vampire’s “marble” like skin. In this movie I felt that there were some parts that turned out really well on screen. And a few that really didn’t.


What I Loved:
  • Before the movie even started I got to see a commercial for The Vampire Diaries on the big screen (can you imagine getting to watch them that big every week? EPIC. Must win lottery) and I got to watch the trailer for The Hunger Games (which I am obsessed with). I did good this time though. No choking sobs. Yay me!
  • The wedding was beautiful. Edward and Bella were stunning, Charlie Swan & Jessica Stanley were hilarious (as a matter of fact Billy Burke and Anna Kendrick stole every scene they were in). And while usually I feel like Kristen Stewart couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag, her nerves heading to the alter were more than believable, they were gripping. As was her relief at seeing Edward at the end of the aisle. Bella’s moment with Jacob was also very well done and came across almost exactly how I saw it when reading. I loved the use of the Iron & Wine song from Edward & Bella’s first dance in the first movie. It was a great way to bring their relationship full circle.
  • I loved almost everything about the honeymoon (OMFG I WANT THAT HOUSE!) Though I would have loved to see the rated R sex scene, what they did show was romantic and sexy and really beautifully shot (the bed breaking was fun and made the entire theater laugh really loud). And oh my God yay! Feathers! I’m glad they didn’t actually show him ripping the pillows open with his teeth. That would have looked so dumb. Bella prancing around in her nighties and getting Edward all riled up was adorable. I also really loved the chess board with the red & white pieces as a shout out to the book cover. Subtle and fun.
  •  I thought some of Bella’s pregnancy and death special effects were pretty awesome. They really made Bella look so nasty. Sunken eyes and bones protruding. I thought that was pretty true to the book. I also loved the effect they used when showing Edward’s venom traveling through her veins and her body repairing itself (ok, some of that looked silly as hell but some was really awesome). Robert and Taylor did an excellent job playing two men losing the love of their lives as Bella lay dying on the table. Edward’s desperate attempts to spread more of his venom and give her CPR were moving and intense. I was wringing my hands rather much for someone who has read the book several times.
  • My favorite of the movie is when she opens her eyes to flash those red irises right before the screen cuts to black. Excellent place to make the cut. I was impressed

What I hated:
  • The shot of Stephenie Meyer as a wedding guest was wicked stupid and way too long. Was it in her contract or something? Who does she think she is? Stephen King? Stan Lee. I think not lady. Sit the hell down.
  •  Are they sure they can’t create the honey color of the vampires’ eyes with CGI? Did they even try? Those contacts are awful and they make some of the most mediocre acting even worse. The Cullens weren't as bad as the Alaskan cousins though. WOW. Very distracting.
  •  One of my husband’s least favorite things in the world is animals in costumes. Drives him nuts. The only thing he hates more is talking animal movies. When the wolves started having a human conversation in dog form I thought he was going to walk out. Had they been wearing clothes over their fur I am sure he would have. It’s another one of those things that works on the page but not at all on the screen and it was definitely one of the most ridiculous things I have seen from these movies so far. My entire group was howling (ha! Get it?) with laughter.
  • Carter Burwell, who scored the first film, was back for this one. Much to my chagrin. I hated what he did with the music in Twilight and I hated it in Breaking Dawn. Scenes that should have felt scary or somber came off confusingly light due to the melodies he used. Especially the birth scene. It didn’t fit at all. On the other hand, I thought the songs chosen for the soundtrack DID fit with each of the scenese they were chosen for and can't wait to listen to them nonstop on my iPod.
  • Speaking of the birth scene, and maybe I’m getting picky here, but the scene when she gets to see the baby for the first time just didn’t have the same desperation and intensity I was expecting. It moved a little slow for a life or death situation. Very strange pacing. And like the sex, I could have used more rated R stuff here. Damn PG-13 rating.
What did you think friends? Love it? Hate it? Favorite part? Least favorite part? I haven’t quite decided where this one ranks with the other 3. I may have to see Part 2 before I can decide. I’m not sure it’s my favorite but I may just have to see it a second time before I am sure about that. Yes. A second time would totally be for research and nothing else. Uh-huh.