Man, that one sucked! Haha! Get it? Vampires? Suck your blood! But seriously this one was pretty bad.
Welcome back to Rated D!
This weekend, Erika forced me to complete part of an agreement that I made years ago and attended a screening of a fine film called The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. SPOILER ALERT: Comedy ensues as a human girl and vampire get wrapped up in a whacky love triangle with werewolf and his friends.... hold on... really? Oh... apparently it wasn't supposed to be a comedy.
In that case... Let's start from the beginning...
The Twilight Saga... Oh what a saga it has been... It must be. After all, the other movies were simply called Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse. I guess the producers wanted to make sure we weren't going to confuse Breaking Dawn with another multi-million dollar sparkle vampire franchise. Therefore it was dubbed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. In an attempt to help you, I will also dub movies with a lead in "Saga" title. The film begins with wedding bells ringing in the air for the young Bella Swan played by Kristen Stewart (The Amusement Park Saga: Adventureland, The Hiking Saga: Into the Wild) and her vampire fiance, Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson (The Pachyderm Saga: Water for Elephants, The Romance Saga: Remember Me). Soon after the wedding invitations are received Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner (The Secret Agent Saga: Abduction, The Steve Martin Saga: Cheaper by the Dozen 2) rips off his shirt and the movie really gets going. All of our favorite characters begin to appear including our tortured vampire Jasper, who is apparently no longer from Texas which I can only attribute to the non-regional dialect classes he must have been taking in the first two films. Hooray consistency! The wedding looks beautiful and everyone's invited: humans, werewolves, weird Alaskan vampire cousins. We even get a visit from Bella's high school friends including the ever-underuntilized Anna Kendrick (The Airplane Saga: Up in the Air, The Cancer Saga: 50/50). As a seventeen year old girl about to be wed and soon to be turned into a vampire, Bella is obviously going to be a little nervous which Stewart subtly conveys using the "act-like-your-going-to-have-siezure-while-trying-not-to-sneeze method". Constantine Stanislovsky would be proud. Following the wedding and yet another final goodbye altercation with Jacob, Bella is whisked away on a Brazillian honeymoon where Edward refuses to put out more than once for fear of murdering his new bride. There's a pretty obvious "safe sex" joke there somewhere, but moving on... After about an hour (somehow), we learn that Bella is pregnant with a half-vampire half-human baby. What do we do? Ask the cleaning lady! No help there. Google! No. Google images? Come on Edward, everyone knows you want to get your immortalicum info from Wikipedia. Anyway, back home in Washington the Werewolves learn of the baby and instantly declare war in the most unintentionally funny scene of the year. In all fairness CGI wolves gnashing their fangs, growling, and communicating telepathically probably reads better than it looks. The rest of the story revolves around what to do with Bella and the baby. Nobody can be sure if the pregnancy will kill her or if she can be turned into a vampire at the last second or if the werewolves are going to tear them apart at any moment, but Bella demands that she will keep the baby no matter what. It's good to put your main characters in danger because it makes for great drama, however, you can't really make us worry too much about Bella when you tagged on Part 1 to the end of the title. Killing off Gandalph in The Fellowship of the Ring is just fine, but trying to convince the Audience that Harry Potter might be dead in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 won't fool you even if you haven't read the books and don't know how the story ends. I would, however, love it if Breaking Dawn Part 2 did take place after Bella had died and could be alternately titled "Three Men and a Vampire Baby". Just imagine the hilarity that could ensue as the halfling child is raised haphazardly by Jacob, Edward, and Steve Guttenberg... What?... Oh I'm sorry! Are we now looking for logic and believablity in this story? Besides Guttenberg can't be too busy these days. Alas, I just didn't find this story to be all that interesting. Yes, there is some drama with the baby in the second half of the movie and sure there's some looming danger that the werewolves might attack at any moment, but that danger seems a bit too tamed. It tries too hard to be suspenseful and dangerous without spending enough time on the conflict and is a bit too goofy and bumbling to succeed as a drama. Perhaps it'll the Saga will have a sweeping finale that doesn't let you down, but it just doesn't happen here.
To Tie It Back to Health and Fitness...
In the Twilight movies, at least in the first three, when the vampires go outside, their skin sparkles as if it is made of diamonds. For some people, their concern is not getting enough sun. SAD (or Seasonal Affective Disorder) typically causes depression in Autumn and Winter months. Treatments for SAD can be as simple as spending more time outdoors during the day and keeping socially active or even light therapy to replace the real thing. It's important to take care of your eyes however, if using flourescent lamps to aid in your treatment.
"What's a wedding without a little family drama, right?" Robert Pattison as Edward
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hater just for the sake of being trendy. In fact I think there can be a great movie with these characters in these situations, it's just not this one. The idea of a mortal caught between worlds and in love with two equally different men can make for some enjoyable drama, but either the direction, writing, or acting (or maybe all of the above) is preventing it from achieving that winning status. Also, some people say "well, of course you didn't like it, but if you'd read the books... blah blah blah..." but in my opinion a movie should stand on its own regardless of how much it is based on something else. You shouldn't have to read an Abraham Lincoln biography just to enjoy a bio-pic about him. While we're on that subject, I am very interested in reading the new book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter that I saw on the shelf at Target the other day. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
REVIEW - I give it 1 Really Long Pause between Lines of Dialogue out of 5 (I was tempted to make a joke about Long Pause and Werewolves... ya know... long paws?... you get it...)
A LIST OF FIVES - This Week's List... The Sum of Its Parts: Movies with Part in the title.
1. History of the World: Part 1 - The classic comedy of Mel Brooks spans the ages in this hilarious parody of history featuring Ancient Rome, The Spanish Inquisition, and The French Revolution. Perhaps the funniest joke is that Brooks never made a Part 2 though he did make a fake preview which features Hitler on Ice and Jews in space!
2. Back to the Future: Part 2 - What a fantastic idea. What a cool concept. What guts to end a movie like that and tell the audience to come back in six months "To Be Concluded." Now it happens all the time... on second thought... Thanks a lot.
3. Hot Shots: Part Deux - Ah, Charlie Sheen. Back before he went crazy, destroyed his carreer, and awkwardly now blames the press and the public for taking him too seriously, he was a Rambo-esque soldier killing bad guys with a bow and chicken while Lloyd Bridges dueled with Saddam Hussein. Not too dated, right?
4. The Godfather: Part II - I hadn't paid much attention to the Godfather series growing up, but I finally rented them a couple of years ago. Masterful storytelling and fantastic performances. "I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart."
5. Hostel: Part II - Don't bother asking why I've seen it. The first one was interesting, and revolting. The second one was less interesting and disgusting still. It was either this or Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Part 1. I probably should've gone with that...
Still Haven't Seen It?
Crazy, Stupid, Love - Rented this one last night and loved it. It's got a great script with fantastic performances across the board from familiar faces like Steve Carrell (The Office), Ryan Gosling (Drive), Emma Stone (Easy A) and more as well as a few newcomers. This one kept me laughing all the way through and kept my interest, but maintained a realistic quality that instantly turned this into one of the best romantic movies I've seen in a long time.
Next Time on Rated D -
After I act like an ANIMAL while I PIG out on turkey-lurkey cooked by my Swedish Chef we'll hop like FROGS to go GONZO at the movies... Did ya get the reference? That's right! We're gonna go see The Rum Diaries based on a novel by Hunter S. Thompson who was nicknamed Gonzo! Why what did you think we were gonna go see? Let me reread. Oh, to heck with that! We're going to The Muppets!
Happy Thanksgiving from Rated D!