more by MaryAnn

pumpkin-spice flavored | by maryann johanson

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Amazon author
tumblr
Pinterest
RSS

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (review)

Twilight Breaking Dawn 2 red light Kristen Stewart Mackenzie Foy Robert Pattinson Taylor Lautner

I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): find the whole franchise laughable when it isn’t offensive

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)


The world’s most insipid vampires are back in inaction! Twilight has never been more about people standing around waiting for stuff to happen to them than Breaking Dawn Part 2 is. The inert Cullen clan of the Pacific Northwest is two larger — what with former human Bella Swan now all superstrong and supersparkly, and her half-vampire/half-human daughter, Renesmee (*snort*), now arrived in the world — and twice as torpid. The new additions to the family only just barely rouse the Cullens to endless rounds of gazing adoringly at one another. Seriously, what do these people do all day, all year, all eternity? Being immortal must be excruciating if this is how one must pass the time.

And even for a franchise that has attempted to make virtues, of the actual moral sort as well as the narrative variety, out of the most inconsequential of things — has it ever taken a woman so much screen time to decide between this guy and that one? — Breaking Dawn Part 2 is weirdly, wildly anticlimactic. Bella (Kristen Stewart: On the Road, Snow White and the Huntsman) doesn’t merely glide smoothly into the vampiric lifestyle, she does vampire amazingly well, astonishing the Cullens with her self-control and her rare and neato paranormal abilities. (All new vampires get a mutant power, as if they were blood-sucking X-Men.) Can you imagine how powerful and tragic it could have been if Bella, in the first rush of blood-thirst upon by her awakening as a vampire, accidentally killed her father, Charlie (Billy Burke: TV’s Revolution, Untraceable), just about the only mortal human around for miles? But no. It’s all hugs and his casual acceptance of how odd his daughter — and new granddaughter, who grows freakishly fast — are. Bella remains resolutely bland and, much worse for the purposes of dramatic conflict, unchallenged, either from outside or within herself. Perhaps this is why Edward (Robert Pattinson: Cosmopolis, Bel Ami) and all the other Cullens love her so much: she’s just like them.

It’s pretty much just Edward and Bella playing house — literally: the Cullens give them their own adorbs little cottage right outta Pottery Barn to live in — and everyone cuddling the deeply creepy CGI infant Renesmee for long tedious stretches. Distractions offered to those of us who aren’t consumed with sighing at how happy and beautiful everyone is? Well, there’s the flip-flopping of emotions and visceral reactions, but which I mean that things that are meant to be cute — such as that CGI baby — are unintentionally horrifying, and the things that are meant to be scary and thrilling and dangerous are unintentionally hilarious. As how Bella satisfies her blood-thirst: by killing a mountain lion in a scene that appears to have been stolen from Jimmy McRettin’s classic Scott of the Sahara. A close second may be Bella’s disgust at how the werewolf Jake (Taylor Lautner: Abduction, Valentine’s Day), whom she rejected, is now magically romantically and sexually attracted to her infant daughter (“it’s a wolf thing”). Maybe screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg (who’s written all the other Twilights) stumbled across the very thing that would dissipate our own disgust at this contrivance, by making us laugh at the thing that bothers Bella the most: “You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?!” she shouts at Jake.

This is a real line from the film. Probably someone should have shouted something similar at novelist Stephenie Meyer: “You named a character we’re supposed to find adorable after a giant slimy lizard?” Nessie is a name for an evil Slytherin kid, probably Draco Malfoy’s girlfriend, not the perfect, precious, half-immortal daughter of the most perfectly precious romantic couple ever. (Wait: How can someone be half-immortal? Isn’t that like being a little bit pregnant?) This moment, however, sadly represents perhaps the pinnacle of drama and conflict in Meyer’s anemic imagination, and it is quickly forgotten as Bella instantly forgives Jake. Because awww sweet perfect perfect world of happiness and longing and desire that are indulged and satisfied with no hint of negative consequences for anyone.

(I lie. There’s one moment in which a random vampire, not anyone we have any reason to care about, just before he dies, says, “Finally…” Intriguing! What’s that about? A hint that being a vampire isn’t all sparkles and decade-long bouts of lovemaking, which Edward actually says this is a real thing for some vampires. This moment passes instantly, lest it get in the way of sparkles and sex.)

Even the overall ostensible “conflict” of this (hoorah) final film, the moment that the entire story has been building toward since Bella first got stalked by Edward, is preposterously lacking in actual conflict. (I’m gonna spoil here, but I figure that either you’ve read the book and already know how it ends, or you haven’t read the book and have no intention of seeing the film. If neither of these is true, skip to the next paragraph.) The Volturi, the ridiculous Eurotrashy Italian clan that for some reason runs the vampire world, is about to attack the Cullens, because on the word of a single witness, they presume that Renesmee is an immortal child, a human child who has been turned vampire, and that’s a big no-no (for, apparently, very good reasons, which is perhaps the only plausible aspect of Meyer’s vampire realm). There they all are, poised for bloody battle on the snowy plains, and when Volturi leader Aro (Michael Sheen: Midnight in Paris, Tron: Legacy) learns that they’re wrong about Nessie (*snort*), he’s all like, “Oh, right, our bad, sorry ’bout that. Go about your business.” Rosenberg and director Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters) throw in a feint that’s meant to distract from the fact that the story lacks a satisfying conclusion — basically, they stage that bloody battle and then, wait, oh, it was only a vision showing Aro that his people will get their immortal asses whupped if they fight — but all it does is underscore what a letdown the ending is. Imagine if, at the end of Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader brought Luke before the Emperor and the Emperor said, “You know what? I’m an old man. You wanna run this galaxy, kid? It’s all yours. Good luck. I’m retiring to Miamiooine.” The fundamental conflict — oops, I keep using that word — between the two vampire ways of life that Meyer had presented via the Cullens and the Volturi remains unresolved. So what the hell has this story been about? I don’t mean metaphorically. (We know that metaphorically it’s been about limiting a woman’s life to romance and babies and making that desirable.) I mean, on its own face.

I’ll tell you what it’s been about: it’s been about nothing. Not one thing. Twilight has been nothing more than an onscreen masturbation fantasy. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with a story being partly that, but only that? That offends me more, as a story geek, than even how deeply Twilight has offended me as a feminist. The only thing at stake here has been whether or not Meyer got off daydreaming about a sparkly vampire boyfriend. Why should I care about that? Why should anyone besides her care about that?

UK
DVD/streaming

Amazon UK DVD
US/Canada release date: Nov 16 2012 | UK release date: Nov 16 2012

Flick Filosopher Real Rating: rated MF for extended masturbatory fantasy
MPAA: rated PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity
BBFC: rated 12A (contains moderate fantasy violence)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes
  • MisterAntrobus

    by killing a mountain lion in a scene that appears to have been stolen from Jimmy McRettin’s classic Scott of the Sahara.

    Ahh ha ha ha ha . . . now I’m envisioning a drunk John Cleese running around the set of Twilight yelling “that’s grreeet!” and falling over. (And the blood goes, “pheeeeeewwwwww!”)

  • FunWithHeadlines

    I can hear the death scream of 400 Twimom minds crying out.

  • RogerBW

    I’m reminded of the Lensman series – when our hero has to impersonate a drug addict, he’s the Best Drug Addict Ever, just as Bella is the Best Vampire Ever.

    At least they didn’t split this into three films, which was apparently their initial reaction to the Harry Potter split.

  • http://twitter.com/DoctorAvenue Drave

    In the immortal words of Cleolinda, “Forget it Jake, it’s SparkleTown.”

    Seriously, though, I actually felt like this one was more entertaining than the other four put together. (That’s not saying much…) I mean, it’s still not GOOD, but at least the director managed to give Bella a personality, Jacob a shirt, and the story a climax. And now we can all click our heels together and be rid of this franchise for good.

  • LaSargenta

    I am counting down to when we are invaded by people telling you that you are the worst reviewer ever. 

  • http://bluejaysway.wordpress.com/ Bluejay

    Are we ready?

  • http://bluejaysway.wordpress.com/ Bluejay

    (Hmm. Click directly on “ready” to see the bit I had in mind…)

  • applekate

    What the hell is a “half-immortal”child?! You can’t halve immortality, Stephanie Meyer. Either you’re immortal or you’re mortal. There is nothing in between!

    Why am I getting so worked up about this?

  • http://twitter.com/Dart159 Ryan Stone

    I liked it a lot, and I’ve read all the (painfully, needlessly long) books. I’m going to side with that guy at SlantMagazine on this one: It has feeling, for once. “Eclipse” (both book and movie) and the first “Twilight” can be summed up in 11 words each: Bella loves Edward. Gets hurt. Gets back with Edward. The end. “Eclipse” alone had 200 pages of arguments , 400 pages of back-story, and 10 pages of action. But at least “New Moon” and “Breaking Dawn” had STUFF happen. It wasn’t by any means shocking or groundbreaking stuff, but compared to 1 and 3, they’re Coen Brothers movies.

    It’s funny you should mention that nothing bad happens to anybody, cause….

    SPOILER ALERT!

    I would’ve totally accepted those characters dying. When I saw what was happening I just nodded my head, glad they were going in that direction. Powerful, even cathartic stuff.

  • LaSargenta

    I’ve made popcorn with butter and old bay seasoning…want some?

  • KeithAllGamer

    I didn’t have much interest in the series initially.  My dad likes it.  Got me to watch the first three movies when I visited him a year or so ago.  Read the last book.  I liked it ok, except I thought the lawyer scenes were quite a waste of time as they were mostly red herrings.  Rented Pt 1 last week.  Skipped through parts of it.  Only watched it as a lead-up to Pt 2.  I liked Pt 2 well enough.  Saw it at a discount matinee.  I wasn’t bothered by the faux climax.  It was fairly exciting and could be something Aro saw when he accessed Alice’s precog ability.  They folded in some of actually what happens in the book (mainly Bella using her shield power to block the Volturi vampires offensive powers until Alice shows up and defuses the situation.  Aro really wanted to break up the Cullen clan and acquire Alice for her ability, the rest was pretext.

    I don’t have any problem MaryAnn’s review.  I think she’s mostly correct.  A lot of it is just personal taste.  If you don’t like this sort of thing, you’re just wasting your time spending any thought on it at all.  Noting better to do?  Anyway, the only correction I would make is that not all new vampires in this world gain abilities/powers.  Only certain ones do.  Bella had her shield before she became a vampire.  She didn’t realize she had it when she was human and couldn’t do anything other than protect herself.  Maybe Edward wouldn’t have fallen for her if she wasn’t the only person whose mind he couldn’t read.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.borrelli Joe Borrelli

    “Miamiooine”

    BWAHAHAH!

    Nice

  • http://twitter.com/mcjwserenity Matt Clayton

    The films improve significantly with Rifftrax. The ones for Eclipse and Breaking Dawn: Part 1 alone make the DVD worth buying.

  • Danielm80

     They’re immortal every other day and on national holidays. And, actually, I’d rather watch a movie about a half-immortal than any of the Twilight films.

  • Kanerwa

    Mysogynistic and sexist comments from almost all (male of course)critisc that are more focus on insulting female fanbase of Twilight than writing about the movie,offend me as a faminist.I am honestly happy that this saga came to the end, because I don’t have to read reviews telling me I’m an idiot liking this movies.That only showing me in how male dominated world we are living; male-oriented movies no matter how idiotic and violent could have been, never would generate so much hate toward fans.Those haters can’t stand that girls/women came on their blockbuster territory showing that they also can be obsessed by movies,not only men have this ”privilege”.Always male poin of view and male perspective are respected and important,no matter where you are living,in Poland(like me)or in (I would say civilized) America.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    Where’s the feeling? Just curious, cuz I didn’t feel anything.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    not all new vampires in this world gain abilities/powers

    I don’t think the movie makes that at all clear. The impression I got was that all new vampires discover a power. Bella had hers before because she’s Special.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    I’m not sure if you’re accusing me of anything. I’ve said pretty much everything you just posted at some point. I agree with you.

    But the movies still suck. Not because girls and women like them but because they’re just bad movies

  • http://mistermunshun.blogspot.com/ Carl Eusebius

    I’m glad you pointed out, MaryAnn, that the central conflict between the Good Cullens and the Evil People-Eating Volturi (nevermind that some of the Cullen allies do in fact eat people) is just left hanging. Two of the characters even point this out at the end of the movie. Some climax.

    Something you didn’t mention, though, is how horribly cheap and lazy this film is. (I talk about it some in my own review, but don’t get into specifics.) The CGI is appalling, the movie is mostly filmed on a soundstage surrounded by incredibly obvious matte paintings, the underwearwolves look faker than ever–the filmmakers were satisfied putting this shoddy work before the eyes of millions of people? Eh, well, it’s Twilight, right? Who cares?

    Not the people who made this film, that’s for sure, including Stephenie Meyer herself. If I were a Twilight fan, I’d be insulted by the laziness. That’s the part that bothers me the most: The storytelling, acting, set design, costuming, special effects–everything about this film screams that no one making it cared about producing something to be proud of.

  • http://twitter.com/Dart159 Ryan Stone

    BD1 and BD2 have a pulse. The film(s) has a sense of humour and a palpable sense of dread – both absent before. The acting is less wooden, mostly on Taylor Lautner’s part. The chemistry is less forced. The difference between the action and romance of this sequel and the mopefests that came before is noticeable. 

  • Dokeo

     Those half-immortals…they’re very unique.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    If you say so. :-> I don’t see it.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    My brain was too scoured by the horrifying CGI baby to see anything else after that.

  • http://twitter.com/Dart159 Ryan Stone

    At least we can agree we both saw one of the creepiest CGI babies of all time, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/knitkat Kathleen Rose Ann Maghie

    Iyou gave too much credit to the movie makers. The writer  actually wrote in the book  that Bella was upset that they named her child nessie. It hurts me that I even know that. Thank you for taking one for the team and watching the movie so others may not have to.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’m also unsure why this is a semantic sticking point. Consider:
    -the trope of the demi-god is older than Aesop
    -vampires (in genral, Meyer vampires in particular) aren’t actually immortal. They don’t age or get diseases, but are vulnerable to physical damage
    -”mortal” vs “immortal” is a common fantasy rephrasing of “human” vs. “non-human”

  • MisterAntrobus

     I’d like to see a Leap-immortal: you can only kill them on Leap Day.

  • MNM74

    “Back in inaction!” Thought I was reading a typo for a moment there, then realized itw as intentional, and chortled mightily.

    Well played, madam!

  • MNM74

    “Back in inaction!” Though I was reading a typo at first, then, realizing it was indeed intentional, chortled mightily.

    Well played old girl!

  • teenygozer

    There would not have been a single extra audience member lining up to slap down whatever the hell it cost to see this movie if the creatives involved spent money on the CGI and whatnot. Therefore, it made no sense to spend money to make it look better. There would be no return on their investment.  Anyone who was going to see it was going to see it no matter what it looked like, so why spend the money?

  • teenygozer

    Ah, I’m beginning to understand some of the jokes in “1313 Mockingbird Lane”!

  • http://hoopla.nu/ Stuart Wilson

    I agree about the climax part.  They managed to create one where the book had a whole lot of nothing going on.  If i could buy a Blu-ray of that 20 minute battle scene (which, on its own, was more exciting and emotional than the entire series put together) then i would…

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    SPOILER!

    But then it negates itself — dramatically and narratively speaking — but not actually having happened. That’s bullshit in my book.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    It’s only a common rephrasing when the nonhuman is in fact immortal (or as close as as makes no difference). “Immortal” isn’t *always* a synonym for “nonhuman.”

    It might not make a difference in a better movie. But here, it’s just one more lazy silly thing.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    Oh yes.

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    My favorite terrible thing that I didn’t mention in my review is how all the non-American vampires have hilariously awful exaggerated accents and wear “ethnic” attire, while the Americans get to wear basic comfortable modern casual clothes. (I suppose, in this case, it’s a plus that the Native American characters are seen as “American” rather than “ethnic.”)

  • http://www.flickfilosopher.com/ MaryAnn Johanson

    Oh, I had no doubt that the Nessie thing was from the book. The question is, Why the hell would that be in the book? Why would the writer think it was a good thing to have one character dub another character Nessie? *shudder*

  • Fionna

    I was thinking the same thing…..seems a bit quiet.

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    oh, dear god. 

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, these are fantasy tropes; there’s no “always”. However, while I can easily name another vampire property where the vampires don’t die in sunlight(Dracula, of all things), I’m hard pressed to think of  single one where vampires aren’t referred to as “immortal”. And I’ve never heard of them referred to a “mortal”, despite all the dying they do.

    I think we’ve hit that point in the conversation about Twilight where we go beyond reasonable criticism, and into picking nits because we think it’s funny.

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    i laughed out loud when they panned to the irish group. what a joke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1186107134 MarkyD

     I think she won’t get the normal Twihard reaction due to getting her review out a couple days after the release. If she had managed a get one out on release day, we’d be bombarded. Crisis averted.

  • http://twitter.com/BludhavenOracle Rachel Hartman

     I’d read that.  Or watch it.  Especially if Pratchett was responsible, and it’s the sort of hook I can see him using.

  • Kat105

     /Can you imagine how powerful and tragic it could have been
    if Bella, in the first rush of blood-thirst upon by her awakening as a vampire,
    accidentally killed her father, Charlie/

    Not for Book!Bella, who’s perfectly happy to insult her
    father at every turn and has no problem with abandoning him. But yes, if Bella
    actually acted like a newborn the way that Meyer says that newborns behave,
    then she wouldn’t have been the most special and amazing vampire ever. *snorts*

    /Probably someone should have shouted something similar at
    novelist Stephenie Meyer: “You named a character we’re supposed to find adorable
    after a giant slimy lizard?”/

    She named Bella’s daughter after Renee (Bella’s mother) and
    Esme (Bella’s mother-in-law) and combined them in an embarrassing portmanteau
    because apparently that’s a Mormon tradition.

    /Nessie is a name for an evil Slytherin kid, probably Draco
    Malfoy’s girlfriend/

    Albus Severus was thanking his lucky stars that he no longer
    had the most ridiculous name in fiction.

    /it is quickly forgotten as Bella instantly forgives Jake.
    Because awww sweet perfect perfect world of happiness and longing and desire
    that are indulged and satisfied/

    In other words, pedophilia and child grooming are fine as long as it gets that pesky
    love interest that you were using for the past several movies off your back.

  • http://twitter.com/misscelista Celista

    Critics love to trash the Twilight franchise–and with good reason, this is not Oscar-quality cinema fare by any stretch of the imagination–but as a woman I find the films were a guilty pleasure after deciding to spend a rainy weekend indoors indulging in a Twilight marathon. I was prepared to hate them–the reviews online and from friends were terrible–but the eye candy and lighthearted script made for a fun and relaxing weekend. It was as indulgent as reading a trashy romance novel. I’d never recommend the films to anyone, but after holding out for so long I finally see the cinematic appeal of sparkly vampires and hot barechested werewolves. The source material, however, is god awful–I couldn’t make it 10 pages into the first book, and I have a high tolerance for bad writing (I did after all mention my fondness for trashy paperback romances). In any case, I enjoyed your review. 

  • doa766

    it would so awesome if movie critics had to take an exam before being allow to review movies, it should have only one question:

    does the fact that you don’t personally like a movie neccesarally make it bad?  If they answer “yes” then they’re not allow to write reviews

    one can only dream

  • http://bluejaysway.wordpress.com/ Bluejay

    It would be so awesome if commenters who have beaten the same dead horse over and over again — and received multiple responses to their argument — would just give it a rest.

    One can only dream.

  • LaSargenta

    Now I’ve gone back and re-read too much of that thread. *headdesk* Do you know if Dr. Rocketscience ever made the doa766 bingo card?

    http://www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2011/03/sucker_punch_review.html#comment-176245574

  • http://bluejaysway.wordpress.com/ Bluejay

    Oh, and there’s this thread, too. Fun fun fun!

  • LaSargenta

     I am NOT clicking that…you evil, evil man!

  • Danielm80

     Douglas Adams wrote the movie review you want to see, back in 1980. It went something like this:

    That’s how it looks to me…but how you feel about it might be an altogether different matter. If you find warmth makes you dry, you’d better come in….I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say….I only decide about my Universe…My Universe is my eyes and my ears. Anything else is hearsay. It is folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know, if they exist. They have their own Universes of their eyes and ears….I have no opinion. How can I say?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Nah. I decided I was tired of thinking about his stupid bullshit “reasoning”. Basically, if he makes more than 6 non-identical posts, I’m just gonna yell “Bingo” and be done with it. He’s welcome to go on being as wrong as he wants.

  • http://twitter.com/mcjwserenity Matt Clayton

    I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned Lee Pace at all. His involvement is little more than a glorified cameo, but he was one of the few highlights in the film.

  • PeaceBang

    How about the racism galore? I’m still kinda in shock about that, although I shouldn’t be…considering the source. 

  • amanohyo

    Do you believe that it’s possible to objectively state that one piece of art is better than another?  For example, if I was to say “Aliens is a better movie than Wing Commander,” would you be willing to label that as an objectively true statement, even though there are no doubt a few sane adults who prefer Wing Commander?  Putting it another way, does the existence of one rational adult who disagrees with another make it impossible to objectively state that one piece of art (a movie in this case) is objectively better?

    Do you believe that there are certain shared values that all adults use when evaluating a piece of art, although they may prioritize these values differently, or do you believe that we each have unique, independent standards of quality?  For example, if I was to state that my favourite movies are the ones that make me sick to my stomach and any movie that fails to inspire a feeling of nausea is a bad movie in my book, would you say that my perspective and values are just as valid as anyone else’s?

    There are no right or wrong answers (although there are good and bad ones =) , I’m just curious about your personal aesthetic theory.  I get the impression that you believe a reviewer should occasionally excuse themselves from duty by writing something to the effect of, “This isn’t the kind of thing I like, but if it’s the kind of thing you like, you might like it,”  which, as Danielm80′s Adams quote shows below, is such a useless statement it’s a little funny.  Sadly, this type of “review” occasionally appears on video game sites and unsurprisingly often makes an appearance in Entertainment Tonight-ish puff pieces.

    It seems to me that if a critic doesn’t like a movie, it’s because it has failed to demonstrate the values that they believe a good movie should possess.  It’s taken for granted that each critic will prioritize these values differently, that they will be biased.  However, it’s also taken for granted that there are certain values that all people within a certain culture have in common.  When a critic states that a movie is bad, they are not stating definitively that there are no people who could possibly enjoy the movie.  They are making an argument about how the movie fails or succeeds in demonstrating these mutually agreed upon values.  If they believe it fails, then they are justified in calling it a bad movie.  If they believe that it promotes negative values, they are justified in questioning the taste of those who consider it to be a good movie.  These people are then free to attempt the construction of a compelling counterargument – which, if it’s well structured, will reveal if, why, and how they have prioritized the shared values differently and will demonstrate how the movie succeeds from the perspective of this value system.

    A world in which a critic is not allowed to say that a movie that they don’t like is bad is a slippery slope leading to a situation in which everyone’s individual perspective must be taken into account and there are no true shared aesthetic values.  Is that the kind of world you want to live in?  A world where reviews are frequently just empty excuses about not being part of the intended audience?  How would that audience be defined?  Who would define it?  Enforcing such a cultural revolution would require a socialist dictatorship, and even then a few brave critics would continue to defy their rulers and dare to call bad movies bad.  You are free to argue in favour of your own set of values, priorities, and interpretations, but I don’t believe censorship in the form of a litmus test is a tenable solution (even in dreams).

  • CB

    Also one can only dream about a world where “you only think it’s bad because you don’t like it!” actually negates a review’s lengthy description of why a movie is bad, and a world where other people’s opinions are wrong and yours are objective fact.

    Because that’s not reality.

  • CB

    Oh yay, a MAJ Twilight review!  So much more entertaining than the movies themselves.  I bask in your reflected baffle-rage-ment.

    I’ll tell you what it’s been about: it’s been about nothing.

    Huh.  Was Jerry Seinfeld involved in this?  No, wait, then it might have been funny.  On purpose, I mean.

  • Lliira

    That offends me more, as a story geek, than even how deeply Twilight has offended me as a feminist.

    I’m attempting to plow my way through the books, and this is exactly how I’m feeling. I expected to get angry. I did not expect to get angrier over grammar, continuity, style, and the most basic rules of storytelling than I am about the misogyny, racism, classism, etc. And yet, I am. Twilight is a not-told glob of nothing, not even an acceptable masturbation fantasy unless one’s masturbation fantasy consists entirely of picturing (supposedly) pretty people standing there being pretty.

    So I guess the movies were true to the books. They can’t possibly have been as bad, though, because in the movies, you don’t have to listen to Bella Swan’s narration the whole time. Unless the movies have Bella saying “hate hate hate hate hate hate hate” on endless loop in the background, they have got to be better than the books.

  • Juliemariebrown

    Dude. Ever heard of suspension of disbelief? Sometimes we likey the sparkles and sex since real life mostly lacks these things… You know, like a modern romantic fairy tale with hot British guys that are actually taller than 5′ 5″… Smooches

  • CB

    Um yes I’ve heard of it but I have no idea how it’s supposed to apply in this situation.  The problem isn’t that it’s too hard to believe in sparkly vampires or werewolves or half-vampire babies.  It’s that they’re all boring, nothing happens, and the characters don’t act or talk like real people.  How do I “suspend my disbelief” in that?

  • Bex

    That’s because the actual book never had it to begin with.  It was what everyone wanted to happen when they read it (those who did) but the book literally ended with nothing happening and no really good explanation.

  • Bex

    Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention but the only “American” vampires we see are the ones with golden eyes, right?  The ones trying to fit in with modern society?  Except for the bad vamps in the first one but they seemed to simply steal clothing and were more animalistic… I figured everyone was just a stereotype. 

  • Bex

    That creeped me out but later I thought – after all these years of having different young actresses play a character as they age it was interesting to see a movie try to make the actress look like the same kid.  I just don’t think we’re there yet technology-wise.  Then again, as bad as the werewolves are, maybe we are there but they simply didn’t try hard enough.  

  • Bex

    I feel like Jekyll and Hyde… I totally agree with this review.  I do.  My other half (maybe a result of my Peter Pan complex?) actually likes the occasional fluff film and enjoys it.  It is so weird to want to read a book like Twilight or see the resulting movie then sit and mock the entire thing as I watch it.  My adult half has been at war with my 12 year old self for years in this respect so when my niece wants to go to the midnight opening I’m more than happy to take her.  I thrill at the idea of finally seeing what has been a build-up to a series I’ve watched yet I hold in my snorts of derision at the cringe-worthy moments.  The Twilight series is a guilty pleasure and painful disaster at the same time.  

    Whew.  There.  I purged.  Glad I got that out there.

    But saying I liked it would be a lie.  I don’t really.  There’s so many things wrong with the story, the writing is Lit 101… er, no wait, I don’t think it even makes it to college level.  But it called to the inner 12-year-old girl my adult self has been trying to crush for so long.  So I call it fluff.  Fluff is flawed, overly dramatic at times, and makes absolutely no since in a realistic world be it ours or one built by the author.  It should not be compared to it’s betters.  It’s not even in the same class.  It’s simple mindless fun with sparkly vampires and hot native guys with abs.  

    The movies were doomed from the beginning.  The moment Bella stepped in front of a fan and Edward gagged at her smell, not to mention the owl wings hovering behind him like angel wings… and the horrible over dramatic acting… no one can see them as great cinema.  But if you watch all the others you can’t expect them to get better writing-wise.  Maybe they actors grow a little and they get bigger budgets but the build up to the last film is still at a fan-girl level.

    So we have to take the film at face value.  Drop your IQs a little, act like you haven’t seen a mountain of better films and you’ll find justification for everything there.  Plot?  why do we need plot.  Falling in love can be a plot.  Like, you know, with your first crush, that like totally is angelic and cute and looks at you with those dreamy eyes.  Ugh, okay I can’t do that for long.  But here’s the point:

    What do they do all year?  They play act like normal people.  They go to school/work and go home and listen to music or have lots of sex.  Leave it at that.  Because if you ask why they aren’t tired of that, there’s no answer.  It’s empty space.  They just are.

    I may be misrepresenting the chapter in the book about Bella’s first meeting with Charlie (forgive me for not looking it up) but I think she held her breath through that entire meeting. The movie failed to represent this and made it look like it was more just a “hey whats up Dad” kind of meeting.  Film fail.  Only readers would get that (and this reader quirked an eyebrow since the movie didn’t explain that).

    Bella is bland as a vampire because she’s bland as a person.  It’s bad character building but at least it’s consistent.  She has no interests.  At all.  Except Edward.  Which I think is why she latches on so fiercely.  Edward: “I’ve killed people”  Bella:  “I don’t care.”  Whaaaatt?  But that was the first movie so we moved on after rolling our eyes.  She’s an introvert who only cares about things inside her.  Her disregard for her parents and even her own life at times is bizarre and sad.  But then Edward has her heart and without that she doesn’t care to live.  When he turns her she becomes Super Bland Girl.  Her power is she has self-control to the nth degree.  Not exactly a cool power until she realizes that overprotective nature of her inner self can be expanded to include others.  I think the movie tried and failed to represent that properly.

    Yes.  Creepy Baby.  Ugh.  I give props for the idea of making a character look the same through childhood but want to smack the person who thought technology could pull this off yet.

    Okay so… the imprinting thing.  I think our society has become so jaded by sex offenders that we automatically think of it as creepy.  Even I do.  But I try to put it in other terms.  “The Time Travelers Wife”  terms.  Sam and Frodo terms.  Based on the world built by those authors, is anyone creeped out by the fact that a guy hangs out with this kid who is eventually his wife?  He’s seen her future-self naked.  We could debate that all day.  And Sam and Frodo, despite their loving brotherly relationship have plenty of gay jokes following their story.  In this world it’s a native spirit thing.  Jake’s spirit chooses Renesmee’s spirit.  It’s inconvenient that she’s young, yes, and he could move away and come back when she’s 18 but he’s also a wolf and super-protective so he can’t stand to leave her.  Awkward.  That’s how my non-Mormon brain tries to handle it.

    Renesmee’s name.  Sigh.  I can’t defend that one.  I read an article once after it was revealed and Meyers was all shocked at the response to it then realized she had a whole year or two to get used to it and forgot it was unusual.  At least they made fun of it in Part 1 to try and justify the reactions.

    Half-immortal child.  Again, reduce your IQs.  So like, omg, that one is easy.  A half mortal half immortal.  *snorting noise*  Thought I think the end of the movie the other halfsie is like 150 years old, and hasn’t aged since becoming mature so I suppose only time will tell if she lives forever (unless killed).

    Bella gets over the whole Jake-Nessie thing quick but not in the book. I don’t think. It’s been a while since I read it but I just accepted it as moving the movie along quicker.  

    The random vampire who said “Finally…” is Marcus.  He’s actually the reason for all the red robes in “New Moon.”  He’s the less verbal of the three Volturi leaders and I loved that line of his.  BTW all those ladies behind them were their wives.  Plural.  Bet that fact sets your brain spinning.

    The feint at the end isn’t even in the book.  I remember reading and wondering what the hell that was.  There was literally nothing.  No mention of Aro seeing Alice’s vision.  Well, that’s not true, we know he saw something but it’s never explained what other than they wouldn’t win.  Literally, they show up, talk, and part ways.  At least the movie put in the battle scene.  That alone was worth watching cause you get to see people get killed that the story never would dare.  And those who deserved it too.  

    What is the story about?  Meyer had a dream about a sparkly cute guy and her laying in a field of flowers.  She wrote four books revolving around that.  Somehow it caught on and became an obsession.  Who needs plot?   Like the song says, “Love is all you need.”  *snort*

    Wow.  Big purge.  My apologies.  It’s been building for 4.5 movies.

  • LynchmomVT

    I actually sat up at the point when his character was introduced and said out loud, “Yes! Now THAT’s the kind of vampire I like to see.” Unfortunately, there was very little for him to do after that first scene. Such wasted potential in this film.

  • LynchmomVT

    I actually watched this film twice because at first I couldn’t figure out what it was that made it so bad.
    At the second viewing I realized a few things. One was the terrible sound effects – waaay too dramatic and obvious. For example, to show that vampires are fast, they have them zipping to Bella’s side in a flash. That in itself is dorky but not outrageous. But accompanying the zippiness is a ridiculous, swooshing sound effect straight out of Loony Tunes. So we stopped the film, went back and muted it at those points and the result was amazingly better.
    That kind of thing – overdoing the melodramatic sound, lighting, and cutsie moments, just ruined what could have been an OK (not great but acceptable) conclusion to the series for me.

  • LissapieTheGreat

    He says “finally” because his mate had been killed by aro long before for some reason I don’t remember, and aro wouldn’t let him leave the volturi. Edward explains this to Bella in the end of new moon or somewhere in eclipse.