Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (Special Edition) (2011)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1I just saw "Breaking Dawn" part 1, and I was VERY impressed, even if as a man I am probably not the most typical fan of "Twilight" series. I rather liked all the "Twilight" movies until now and this one is, to my personnal taste, as good as the previous ones and even in one aspect a little bit better, as Edward and Bella finally become lovers. Below, you will find a short description of what I believe are the best elements of this film, with very limited SPOILERS:

1. Actors. All actors evolved as the serie continued and I believe they all got better with time. Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are both excellent, but in my humble opinion it is Kristen Stewart who in this movie shines the most. Quite a lot of people frequently criticized her actorship claiming that she simply can not play at all and has a very limited assortment of expressions in her tool box. But for me, after reading "Twilight" books, this is how the character of Bella should be. I can hardly picture her wide smiling with all her teeth bared or doing any other highly extraverted things like that. In fact I believe that either by design or by accident Kristen Stewart got the things right about this character her minimalistic approach to facial expressions actually makes (for me) Bella very believable and also quite likeable. In this part of the story, Bella takes a more dynamic approach to life by taking her destiny firmly under control. She makes important decisions and takes extreme risks, stubbornly resisting the opposite advice of all her family and friends all of that in a deceptively unassuming way... And Kristen Stewart acted in the movie exactly as I pictured Bella did it, when I read the books. A very good job!

Other actors are also great, with Ashley Greene and Billy Burke being as usual the pillars but amongst the supporting roles it is Nikki Reed who really gets the most praise from me. She has a much bigger role in this film and she is perfect in it! The one (little) disappointment is Jackson Rathbone, who changed comletely his haircut for this film and as a result his character, Jasper, seems much less impressive, which is a pity. He also seems to appear very little in the "first line", almost as if the director preferred to hide him a little...

2. Visual aspects. As usual, the images of state of Washington are great, but the tropical island where Bella and Edward spend their honey moon is also very pleasantly showed. Dark forests filled with (were)wolves are very much present here and they are a great background for the story.

3. Music. As usual in those series, music and songs have been selected very carefully and with a great taste.

4. The (were)wolf pack. The Quileute wolves are shown here even more and better than in the previous part. The scene of their war council, when they are all in the werewolf form, is absolutely great! The scene when Sam (the alpha male) asserts and confirms his power over the pack is excellent as good as the description of Jacob's defiance and its consequences.

5. The wedding. A very nice and moving scene with some humour elements, especially when the guests make speeches offering toasts. Emmett, Jessica and Bella's father give here a great show. In the same time Mike Newton obsesses on vampire bridesmaids from the Denali clan, to the point of drooling (and I TOTALLY understand him!). Bella's mum and, suprprise surprise, Rosalie (!) are also real treasures in wedding scenes.

6. Quileute wolves vs. Cullen coven confrontation. This heartbreaking, tense and at moments violent conflict in which both sides are trapped against their will is a great moment in the Twilight saga and its final resolution is even better! Finally it is true what the Beatles were singing all you need is love! Babies help too...

7. The fight for Bella's life, Renesmee's bloody birth and Bella's fate excellent! Those were moments very difficult to film but the challenge was met succesfully! Nothing more about it to avoid more spoilers, but I was very impressed!

Conclusion: it is an excellent movie which I watched with great pleasure. My wife, who usually is a much harder person to please, loved it too and she is going to see it again with some girlfriends. And we will certainly both wait with great expectations for the "Breaking dawn" part 2. If it was done as well as that one, it will be certainly worth waiting one year to see it...

Being a huge fan of the books and a pretty big fan of the movies, I was blown away at what a great job they did with this movie installment. I loved the visual and audio parallels they drew between the original movie, Twilight, and this movie. For instance (Spoiler Alerts throughout): I loved how they played Flightless Bird during the wedding ceremony and the way the camera circled them kissing in the same manner the camera circled E & B kissing at Prom at the very end of Twilight. It was a subtle, yet stunning way to visually tie the two movies together and really made more of an emotional impact than if they had just shot them straight on and plugged in a different song. That was genius. And that dress...gorgeous. Just as it was described in the book.

I also loved that rather than having one continuous honeymoon "consummation" scene, they broke it up with Bella thinking about certain moments the next morning after looking in the mirror for the first time, where she's no longer a virgin. It was all done so tastefully. The way one's first time should be at that age. Not at some house party or in the back of some guy's car. For those who read the books and knew how Edward did everything he could to exhaust Bella with activities on their honeymoon so she'd be too tired to "try again", you have to admit that Bill Condon did such a great job showing you visually all the things they were doing without either character having to come out and say, I'm/you're trying to exhaust you/me. And it was adorable with KS put on her little nightgown and leaned against the wall...I got married when I was 19 and I felt the exact same way when I put on lingerie for the first time and dreaded walking into the bedroom with my little gown on. I felt like a child playing dress-up, much like it came off Bella felt.

I was also very impressed by the manner with which Bill Condon allowed us to see through the eyes of Jacob for the first time and hear what he hears with regard to the internal dialog between him and the pack. That scene where the wolves were running to the lumber yard and their voices echoed in Jacob's mind...that was so perfectly done. AND, I loved loved loved the way the Sam and Jacob had their battle for alpha. It was as if you, the person watching the movie, was in the mind of a wolf who is being forced into submission by it's Alpha. The CGI team did a great job because I forgot I was watching computer generated wolves and the intensity of the scene felt like I was there witnessing the true dynamic of a wolf pack.

I thought the birth scene was beyond intense. The scene almost mirroring that as it's written in the book. I think they showed just the right amount of Bella's internal agony during her transformation. For those of us who read the books, to say she had a prolonged bout of suffering during her transformation would be an understatement. However, if they had shown more of that in the movie, it would have taken from the torture that Edward was going through thinking he had lost Bella, and Jacob's malevolence towards Renesmee prior to imprinting on her. That whole scene allowed for each character's state of mind to be both seen, visually, and felt, emotionally. Powerfully shot and brilliantly executed.

I imagine the imprinting scene was a difficult one to translate from paper to screen. They did a great job in this as well. Not in any way cheesy, but sweet and breathless...if that makes any sense. The only thing I did not love about it was that the girl/teenager Jacob sees as an older Renesmee appeared to be CGI. They used an actual young girl to play the younger Renesmee, why not use a real person for the older Renesmee too? I'm sure Hollywood has a few young actresses that would have auditioned for the part???

I loved the fight between the wolves and the Cullens at the very end of the movie. In the books, you go from Jacob's perspective where he witnesses Bella's death and then walks into the living room to kill Renesmee, only to imprint on her. And then you go immediately back to Bella's perspective where she's riving in pain while she's transforming into a vampire. I feel Melissa Rosenburg had a stroke of brilliance when she decided to add this scene so that the audience could see what could have happened in the books, but did happen in the movie, during the time period between Jacob imprinting on Renesmee and Bella awakening for the first time as a vampire. Another unexpected and totally welcomed brilliant surprise of this movie.

Another welcome surprise for me was while Bella was at the very end of her transformation. I thought it was a touching visual moment that just before her heart beat for the very last time, we witnessed Bella's memories in a somewhat reverse chronological order, ending with her very first human memory as a baby in the arms of her parents bouncing her in front of a mirror.

But what was not a surprise and what I've been telling my fellow twi-hards the past couple years is the very last scene of the movie. Once I heard they were splitting BD into two parts, I've always maintained there's only one way to end part 1 with truly visual impact...and that is to witness Bella's subtle transformation from a broken human to a perfect vampire, surrounded by the Cullens, with the scene closing in on Bella's perfect facial features, zooming into her perfectly shut eyes...that suddenly open the most gorgeous crimson red....and straight to credits. I actually gave myself a little pat on the back for that one because so much of the movie exceeded my expectations of visual and audio creativity, and yet the last scene ending a certain way was something I was very adamant with my friends about, and sure enough that's how it ends. So maybe now I can revel in having an ounce of the vision that Bill Condon and Melissa Rosenburg possess...hey I'll take that ounce.

Aside from the standout scenes I've mentioned herein, I thought Kristen Stewart did her best portrayal of Bella yet. Her facial expressions alone are so real to each moment they're almost tangible. I've enjoyed the work KS has done prior to the Twilight Saga, and I am so glad these movies have launched her career because I am certain she will be one of the great leading ladies of acting for many decades to come. So to all Twi-hards out there. This movie was amazing. A must see for those who loved the books and fans of the previous movies. I can't wait for it to come out on DVD so that I can add it to my Twilight Saga collection.

Buy The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (Special Edition) (2011) Now

From the raised, reproduced lace on the DVD package that matches Bellas Wedding gown, to the simply gorgeous, delicate silk commemorative flag/poster of their wedding photo, this is a no-brainer, must have edition to build your collection, ladies!

Included is the music from the film, the movie disk, a documentary disk that shows how they used a dummy to make Bella appear so emaciated as her pregnancy with

Renesmee progressed, and so much more.

I was gifted this from my brother who works at WalMart and hid it away for me a week before the release/sale date, and I had no idea it was a wedding version.

Upon receiving it you feel like you are truly apart of the Wedding, and that this rare DVD set is your wedding favor!

The movie is beautiful, the packaging is beautiful It truly is one of those instances where you need to buy the rare edition, in this case, this very Wedding Dress Edition. Its worth whatever you have to pay for it.

Read Best Reviews of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (Special Edition) (2011) Here

You get a single disk with the Theatrical Release and a few extras. What in THE world makes this a special edition? You don't even know this is your lot until you open it and see it on the disc. :(

Want The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (Special Edition) (2011) Discount?

This is one of the worst movies I've seen.

I know it's sort of the "in" thing to hate on Twilight, and there are good reasons for that. It depicts an abusive relationship between two unlikeable people who have absolutely nothing in common, beyond a sort of warped physical attraction, and tries to convince the reader that this is romantic. It's been called misogynistic, classist, racist, and ableist, among other -ists, and transphobic. Stephanie Meyer tries to set up her own vampire mythos, which is fine, but then she contradicts it whenever it's convenient for the plot. We could talk about all of this, and more, and many have, but as far as I'm concerned, it all boils down to one thing:

It's not entertaining.

I only ask one thing from a movie, and that's to be entertained. It may be cerebral, or melodramatic, or a big, dumb action movie, but as long as it's entertaining, I don't care. This is why I love Ed Wood, adore The Asylum, and count "Birdemic: Shock and Terror" among my favorites. Yes, all of these are, technically, of a lower quality than the Twilight series, but I don't care because they entertain me. The Twilight series does not.

The reason for this is a near-total lack of conflict. When I first tried to read "Twilight", I made it as far as a scene in which Stephanie Meyer narrates Bella microwaving and eating lasagna. If I remember correctly, this is about a third of the way in, by which point all potential sources of conflict have been resolved. Most of the book is completely static and then the plot finally advances in the last third or so, but you don't care because it's already been spoiled by Stephanie Meyer's attempts at foreshadowing. This is a problem which plagues the entire series and it translates into some truly agonizing movies.

"Breaking Dawn: Part 1" is the worst offender. It's two hours long. Absolutely nothing happens for the first hour, apart from some terrible music, at which point the movie's conflict finally arrives: Bella gets pregnant. Shock. Then nothing happens and there are some CG werewolves that are even worse than the music and nothing happens until fifteen minutes to the end, when Bella goes into labor. Edward gives her a c-section with his teeth, a horrific CG baby is given the world's most embarrassing name, and Jacob turns into a pedophile. Besides Charlie, Jacob was the only likable character to go through these movies. Then "Breaking Dawn" happened and now he's a pedophile. Goody. I understand he's supposed to be even more unlikable and out-of-character (compared to previous installments, anyway) in the book, but good lord.

That's it, really. It's two hours long. I'd say maybe forty-five minutes of it actually needs to be there. I only just saw it, and even with the RiffTrax commentary, I was so bored I could barely pay attention. It's boring. Don't watch it.

Actually, I take that back. There are three (3) things worth seeing:

1. Watch it if only to skip the entire movie and see the Volturi scene in the end credits. The actors clearly don't care and are just doing what they want, and it's a riot. "Carlisle... who spells his name with an esssssssssss."

2. Robert Pattinson's makeup makes him look like he's about to die of alcohol poisoning.

3. At the end of Bella's getting-ready-to-have-sex montage, she looks like she's trying to psyche herself up to muck out the pigs. Seriously, she's finally going to screw this guy she's been trying to screw for three movies, and she looks revolted. It's hilarious.

PS: There's going to be an extended version of this on DVD. WHY. It didn't need to be two movies in the first place, but now they're making the first one even longer?!

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