Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 Is A Long Title..

Now that I have experienced The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1..twice, I feel that I am more qualified to have an opinion. 

The first time I saw the film was at midnight (well, 12:10) on opening night, a tradition that I started with New Moon.  And, just like the last two middle of the night movie forays, I left slightly disappointed.  It's not that I didn't like the film - but I didn't immediately love it.  There wasn't that instant, jaw-dropping moment as the credits rolled down the screen that I wanted to have.  I'm not sure if it was that exhaustion had set in at that point, or that my mind was still consumed in dissecting the differences that exist between the cinematic version and the novel.  Either way, it always takes me at least a couple viewings to decide whether I really liked it or not.

Critics are always quick to dismiss the Twilight films, like those in academia do for the books.  I, on the other hand, can appreciate the escapist feelings that the novels invoked and the attempt to translate that into a visual format.

I must say that after seeing the film for a second time, I am more likely to give it some praise.  There were definitely moments from the book that I would have liked to see expanded on screen, i.e. the scene between Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) on the driveway after Jacob discovers Bella (Kristen Stewart) is pregnant.  It is supposed to be an enormously complex emotional scene between these two guys that hate each other when Jacob finds something to appreciate in Edward's desperate plea - at this point in the text, we are seeing things from Jacob's point of view.  Jacob describes Edward as a "burning man" and feels this uncontrollable surge of empathy for his situation.  Instead, we get a fairly pathetic, "hey man, can you talk to Bella?" type of scenario.
As for realism, the birth scene - incredible. Bella looked like a corpse for sure, it was quite a sickening sight. As for the dress they choose for her when she is transforming into a vampire - another scene that could have been spoofed up with some additional dialogue, even if it was just Bella's internal monologue, like in the book - wouldn't have been my first choice. The color is darling, but I thought it would have been more flattering to her new "perfect" physique.

Other than that, there were some funny scenes.  Any of them with Charlie (Billy Burke) in it is almost a guaranteed laugh out loud moment!  He is just amazing at delivering those one liners.  The honeymoon after Edward decides that sex is out gets pretty funny as well.  His attempts to distract Bella from naughty thoughts and exhaust her are definitely amusing.

Overall, I give it a solid B (which may or may not improve after I see
it another dozen or so times).  But, let's face it, even if the movie was a total drag, I would have seen it multiple times in theaters and bought every version of it when it hits DVD.