Friday, November 16, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part Two | Screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg and Stephenie Meyer | Directed by Bill Condon

*This review contains spoilers for those who have not read the novel.

Much like with Breaking Dawn: Part One, I didn't have high expectations for this final Twilight film. Though the second half of first part managed to exceed my low expectations in the end, it was because of the way the corniness fell away during times of action. I did not expect much of any action in Breaking Dawn: Part Two, simply because I thought that the two-part split would not work. Everything that I envisioned to be most entertaining on screen happened in the first part, so I thought Part Two would be a bit boring, leaving room for the inevitable gushiness that the movies in this series tends to bring - except for this one.

The filmmakers threw a major curve ball at me, and I love it!

In this film, Bella thinks she has the 'forever' she's always wanted as a vampire, and she has to deal with the quirks that come with the lifestyle. (This includes hunting and trying to look human.) But of course, the Volturi become suspicious of her mixed-breed daughter, Renesmee, and the Cullens know they can't convince them that she's harmless without some help. Even with Jacob and the wolf pack on their side, it may not be enough despite Jacob's strong connection to Renesmee.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's start at the very beginning... The opening credits.

Yes, I'm even critiquing the credits. That's probably not normal, but seriously - the credits looked awesome! The names and background kept switching from a normal woodsy scene to red. Despite the cool-looking credits, they went way too fast; it felt odd. Really, the beginning of the movie felt a little bit sped up.

As I mentioned earlier, the corny element I always complain about in this series is barely there. Of course, there's affection, but it's cute. It's sweet. It doesn't make me roll my eyes. And I'm not just talking about Edward and Bella's love story, I'm talking about Renesmee's protector, Jacob. Breaking Dawn is the book that really made me fall in love with Jacob. He's a dependable, all-around good guy and Taylor Lautner did a great job portraying him in this film.

Another thing that contributed in making me take the movie seriously is the film score, which was much better compared to some of the other films in the series.

I know I've said this every time, but I'll say it for the final time now: This is the best movie in the series. Though I've said it before, I've often meant 'well, this is a little better than the last one.' Breaking Dawn: Part Two buries the previous four movies in the ground because for the first time, they tricked the audience. (I promise not to spoil.) They changed something without changing anything, and that made it the good movie it was. If they did not throw the curveball, this movie would have been as boring and nearly uneventful as I predicted. It was the BEST part.

Am I saying that the movie got it right and the book got it wrong? No. The fact of the matter is, some things in books don't work well on screen. (Honestly, I've even seen movies with original scripts that I thought would have been better in novel formation...) The filmmakers knew that they couldn't possibly target a movie audience unless they made things a little more eventful even if there's nothing wrong with the book.

Don't think that this adaptation isn't true to the book either, because it is.

Anyhow, the very end was sweet, just as the book's ending was. I liked that they put actors' names with character faces at the end along with occasional pages from the books. In fact, this movie's ending note was perfect... I'm sad to see it all go now. But, I'll always have the books to revisit as I wish; for at the end of the day, The Twilight Saga offers good fun and an enjoyable love story that made me happy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dilemmas with Cinemas

I have a problem. Truth to be told, I have a series of problems.

There are so many movies that I want to see, but I only end up seeing no more than six a year. (How often does the average person go to the movies a year anyway? Is six a normal number?) Either way, I don't get to see nearly as many as I want. Since I'm an avid book-lover, I tend to go see movies that are based off of the books I've read. When you take into account for how many books series' there are, that's a lot of film adaptations. But... why do I even need to see to see these adaptations? Honestly, I've always felt like it was some sort of fan obligation. Though my curiosity would drive me crazy in some cases, there's always the rare occasion where I really don't care.

November 16th is the perfect example. Since I enjoyed the Twilight books (DON'T JUDGE ME), I feel obligated to see Breaking Dawn: Part 2. But quite frankly, I'm just so pessimistic about this movie! The two part split was utterly unnecessary and every film adaptation in this series has been corny. Besides, all of the interesting events in the book have already happened in the first part; why should I bother with this movie? I have nothing to go for.

However, I do want to see Lincoln, which debuts on the same day. Steven Spielberg's magic glorifying my favorite president in movie form? I'm in! And am I the only one completely enthralled by this movie's TV spot? It's even better than the theatrical trailer. Has anyone else ever seen a TV  spot better than the theatrical trailer? Not I.

Watch it; it's only about 30 seconds:

So, why not see both? Well, my mother really, really, really wants to see Breaking Dawn: Part 2 for one thing, and for another thing, going to the movies is overly expensive. By the time I get my popcorn, soft drink, and cookie dough, I feel like I'm pouring money down the drain. The fact that the food is overpriced isn't the only problem, though. I can't even consume everything I buy! I always buy a small soft drink and popcorn, but smalls aren't even small! How can someone eat/drink all of that? It's ridiculous! If you ask me, they shouldn't even be called small, medium and large; they should be called, big, bigger, and huge.

Not to mention how embarrassing it is to cry in a movie theatre. But the worst part isn't that I cry at nearly every movie, the worst part is that I've also cried during the trailers. When I saw the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 trailer in the cinema, I probably looked like I was having major respiratory issue. (TRAILERS ARE AMAZING, OKAY!?)

Yet at the end of the day, despite all of my complaints about going to the movies, it's something I really do like to go out and do. It would be wonderful if my complaints did not exist; then I'd be able to go more often and actually see all (or at least most) of the movies I'm interested in. Until that day comes, I will remain choosy.