The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011)
Directed by: Bill Condon
Running time: 117 minutes
This may come as a shock to those of you who are either close friends of mine or avid readers, but I actually really enjoy going to see the Twilight Saga movies. That isn’t to say that I enjoy the movies themselves, good god no, but I do enjoy the experience of going to see them. I rather enjoy listening to the weird tween girls talk about how much they want to elope with the wooden, fictional men of the series as it always gives me a bit of a chuckle. I openly like to discuss Stephanie Myer’s faults with my girlfriend while within ear shot of these tweens just to listen to their hushed rage afterwards. I believe that New Moon was my favourite film to see so far as I had two moments of triumph during the screening. One was when the group of teenage girls in the row behind me were exclaiming their saddness to each other while Edward was breaking up with Bella, whilst I was laughing histerically at how plain the whole thing was; and then Edward just abandoned Bella in a forest! Pure gold! The second triumph was when Jacob took his shirt off for the first time since he’d gotten all muscular and the same group of girls all got excited; but THEN the cinema was struck by lightning and the screen turned off and I burst out laughing at their disappointment! So anyway, bottom line is that watching these terrible films is enjoyable for me simply because that their level of terribleness is often laughable. And if laughing isn’t fun, then I don’t know what is.
Now I will throw up a spoiler warning here as I will probably talk about very significant events of the film. But I’m assuming you’ve all either seen the film, read the books or you really don’t give a crap so let’s get on with the show!
Now Showing this week is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, directed by Bill Condon. Eighteen year old clutz Bella Swan is getting married to creepy-stalker-
fairy vampire Edward Cullen. Shortly afterwards, they embark on their honeymoon to Brazil and proceed to shag like rabbits and Bella gets pregnant because that’s what happens when you forsake your virginity. But the baby is part vampire and therefore Bella’s pansy human body cannot handle it and it is going to kill her. This stirs up issues in the truce between the Cullens and the cuddley bears werewolves as it means that a Cullen will have been responsible for the death of a human. And that’s really all there is to it.
The first thing that strikes me about this film (and all of the films in fact) is that it is really starting to show how quickly these films are being pumped out. They look rushed, with fairly basic camera work that often awkwardly shows events; along with crappy special effects. With a few possible exceptions, the special effects in the film are terrible. The werewolves don’t actually look like they are in the world we are witnessing, and they don’t seem to carry any weight with them; not to mention the fact that when they move even the slightest amount they blur like they’re running a million miles an hour! And there were many instances where the green screening of certain locations was awfully obvious. The swimming scenes in Brazil looked shocking, and I have no idea if they were filmed on location or not but if they were then that makes it even worse that an on location shoot can look like crappy green screening. It just seems so clear to me that these films are made fast, given they have a yearly or sometimes half yearly, release cycle. They aren’t made like Lord of the Rings where they spent four years filming the entire trilogy and then spent a year editing each one so that they were ready every Boxing Day. The Twilight films are made back to back, from scratch, between each film; pre-production, shooting, editing, the works; and god does it show.
Now, the acting. Dear god, the acting! I seriously think that Kristen Stewart has forgotten how to move the upper half of her face. Her eyebrows and forehead are more lifeless than the majority of central Australia, and it leaves all her “expressions” (if I can even dare to use that word to describe them) seeming strange and extremely forced. And I know she can act properly, I’ve seen her do it before in Panic Room back when she was maybe thirteen or fourteen; so I don’t know what has throw her back into the stone age of performance technique, but my lord does it make her irritating to watch. And the vampires…. It’s like I’m watching that soap opera that Dr. House likes to watch all the time in House. They are wooden, husky and mind-numbingly melodramatic. And given the entire film revolves around two young (physically, I know that Edward is one hundred and twenty years old or something) newly-weds recklessly getting pregnant and the social backlash as a result thereof, it feels like I’m watching an episode of Neighbours only the central characters have superpowers. And you’d think that that would make for an awesome episode of Neighbours, but it doesn’t! Taylor Lautner was alright though, he’s been the one character across these films that I can actually stand to watch.
Which brings me to my next point: jesus christ the vampires are pansies! They are even self acknowledged pansies. At one point the mother and father Cullens are planning to make a daring escape across werewolf territory and one of the other Cullens protests, to which the father responds: “it’s ok, Emmett will be with us,” Emmett being another one of the vampires. So it seems that the head Cullens, who may I remind you are super strong vampires who’s strength or agility will not decrease with age given that they are immortal, have to remind their family that one of their partiuclar sons is going with them in order to be convincing that they will be formidable in a confrontation. WHAT?! Why?! Your super strength isn’t something that is gained from extended exercise or training but is part of your genetic makeup! So the only reason I can think of for this need to prove their defensive capabilities is because they have actually realised what a bunch of sissies they are.
The film even tries to paint Edward as this being that is capable of horrible things and they fail miserably. He tells Bella about the things he’s done in the past, which was basically that he just killed and fed on lots of people who were murderers, and it’s pathetic. The encounters (I can’t actually bring myself to call them attacks or maulings, they are undeserving of that right) are so bland and non-violent, it’s horrendous. One moment there is a man stalking a woman; suddenly Edward has embraced the man without so much as a struggle and is sucking on his neck; Edward then drops the man to show he is standing there with nothing but a tiny trickle of blood protruding from his pretty mouth. It is just another attempt to make Edward, and the Twilight vampires in general, into something scary and it fails miserably. True Blood seems to be able to make the vampires be able to effortlessly maul people and somehow make it harsh and violent so there’s no excuse.
Do you know why everything about the Twilight vampires completely fails to make them scary? Because, above all else, Stephanie Myer has to make sure that Edward is still romantically appealing. She is so blinded by the fact that her story must still be romantic that she is unwilling to let her claws out. And what hurts me about this is that some of her ideas have been very original, but heaven forbid do they actually make him scary because then the tween girlies/lonely housewives couldn’t vigorously swoon over the very thought of themselves being in Bella’s place. Let me give an example: I loved the idea that instead of the sun killing the vampires, it instead reveals them to others for what they really are. And if that transformation actually showed them looking their age in real time or at least changed their eyes and sharpened all their teeth into razorblades of death then that would have been an awesome change to traditional vampire mythology. But sadly, Edward still had to be pretty for the tweens/housewives so let’s make him look like every girls’ favourite thing shall we? A diamond.
Whoa, don’t get mad at me! I didn’t make these books/films, it’s their sexism not mine.
And this issue can be attributed to the scene I spoke of earlier. Edward could only have a trickle of blood from his lips as I’m sure that if his face and neck was coated in the blood and tendons of the man he just bit in the jugular vein while he is recovering from what would seem like an orgasmic release due to the blood lust, then he probably wouldn’t look very attractive anymore would he? And the biggest insult of it all is that after she’s done all this, Myer has, in one fell swoop, destoryed about two hundred years of vampire writing for both literature and film. Anything that contains PROPER vampires these days is only contained in works intended for adults such as True Blood (an R18+ show) or the Laura Caxton novels by David Wellington; but that doesn’t matter because us adults know better then to believe this Twilight junk is good. The youth of today however seem to believe that this is what vampires are and future generations will be taught that by these kids and slowly the vampire, one of the oldest monsters, will become something that is no longer feared but is instead the ideal boyfriend. I really hope I do not live to see that day.
There is something else that Stephanie Myer has ruined with this series other than vampires, something that is far more important: society. Forget the vampire part for a minute and just think about the fact that there are a lot of young girls who are actually falling in love with the fictional character of Edward Cullen. Does that not scare you? Well it should because that means that these girls believe that a man who has a lust to kill you, likes to stand outside your house at night and likes to silently enter your room and watch you while you sleep, is the kind of person who really loves you and is the right person to give your heart to. Now I ask you, in the real world, what kind of people fit that description? I would say serial killers, but if you think I am exaggerating too much then let me say this then: how about those kind of men you see in those crappy “COPS” shows that have been reported for domestic violence? Those backwards, unhinged and obsessive stalkers who smother women emotionally and when the women want to do something independantly they beat them? Those are the kind of men that these “Twi-hards” will think are appealing. And there goes the ideal reality of married couples growing old together because they will either get divorced or the creepy manic she married will have killed her by then.
I could go on forever, but I think you’ve heard enough. I even had a whole sectioned planned on how these films further show how this whole series is an effort for Myer to push her religion (Mormonism) on a younger generation, but I’m gonna leave it there because you either already know that or you’re a Twilight fan who’s beyond saving. But who knows, maybe I’ll pull that and the many more complaints I had for when Breaking Dawn Part 2 comes out.
See you next time!