50 Movies, 1 Summer — Movie #1: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

Well, I’ve been lax in my movie watching again. Either I just haven’t gotten out to the movies enough or I’ve been kept away by too many mediocre reviews, but I have built up a huge backlog in my movie watch list. So, I figure that I’ll try again (like I did two summers ago) to blitz through my list by watching 50 movies in a single summer — all from the comfort of my living room. Unfortunately I’ve gotten a bit of a late start, so I’ll have to work even harder to accomplish my goal. As anyone who reads my blog should know, my tastes run towards the sci-fi and fantasy genres, so you’ll probably find more schlocky b-movies than cheesy rom-coms on my list. Not quite sure where movie #1 fits in that spectrum, but I figure I would start with a big movie, namely Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. Here’s my capsule review:

I had done my homework: watched all the previous instalments, and exposed myself to some of the hype around this movie, so I knew that [spoiler alert] this movie would be all about the wedding of broody, dreamy vamp Edward Cullen to sullen girl, Bella Swan; then her pregnancy and the bloody birth; and ending at her vamping. Little did I realize that a summary actually makes it sound much more interesting than it would play out on screen. Even adding the remnants of a love triangle that includes best bud and werewolf Jacob Black (along with all his clan’s complex werewolf melodrama) was not enough to make this movie interesting. Both Kristen Stewart (Bella) and Robert Pattinson (Edward) spend a lot of the movie posing as deers in headlights. The events of the movie seem incredibly disjointed, and it’s really hard to feel much for the characters, even when they’re going through really big and meaningful events. Vampires have always been used as exaggerations of humanity as metaphors for the difficult experiences in human life, but the idea that newlywed sex is physically injurious to Bella and leads to a quickie pregnancy that literally drains her life away? That’s heavy-handed by any standards. Plus, it’s an incredible drag to watch the already wan Bella become grey-skinned and skeletal when she should be bright with mommy-glow. Simply put, there’s little fun to be had in this movie. The coolness of vampires and their lives have been explored already, and the joy of a wedding and honeymoon are dampened by all the vampire baggage. I’m sad that they still give all the Cullen family such horrible dye-jobs and is it me or are their faces even more cakey-white than they used to be? (At least the bloody birth scene was not as horrific as I expected, from the hype. But the simulated microscopic super-close-ups of Bella’s blood turning from human to vampire was squishy and gross.) If the last movie (i.e. part 2) weren’t to feature a conflict with the Volturi (Italian vampire-ruling elite, who I think are cool), I’m not sure I’d bother to finish out the series. (3 out of 5)

1 down, 49 to go!


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