By Stephanie Zacharek
By Inkoo Kang
By Voice Film Critics
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Aaron Hills
The single advantage the awful Twilight movies have over Stephenie Meyer’s awful-but-gripping novels is that, unlike the books' sad sack, movie Bella Swan is a spiky, populist heroine. On film, Kristen Stewart beautifully underplays (or, for all I know, overplays to the absolute peak of her abilities) Bella’s deadpan ordinariness, rubbing uncomfortably against the physical perfection and remote coolness of the Cullen vampire clan. There’s real interest in seeing that slightly morose, slightly angry young woman interact with the sparkling mannequins around her.
Unfortunately, in Bill Condon’s Breaking Dawn–Part 1, Bella gets turned. That’s not to say she becomes a vampire, necessarily—though you might recall that in the previous Twilight film, Eclipse, she pursued undeath with steely determination—but that in marrying Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), she becomes truly one of them. Maybe it was the enormous wedding with benches carved from tree trunks, or the private jet, or the villa on the Cullens’ Brazilian island. When the local housekeepers gawked at Bella lounging on an immaculate leather sofa, I thought, well, shit, Bella Swan’s no longer one of us. She has joined the vampires in the 1 percent.
Yes, Bella and Edward marry in Breaking–Part 1. And they do it. And Bella gets pregnant with some kind of Miracle-Gro demon spawn that breaks her ribs from the inside. That’s just the beginning of the shit show that is Condon’s film, barely adapted by Melissa Rosenberg from the first half of the last book of Meyer’s series. Condon delivers the most authoritatively directed Twilight film so far, which only brings into sharp relief how tonally incoherent its story is. In 117 minutes Breaking Dawn lurches from erotic awakening to sex farce to body horror—three genres, Condon seems to have discovered, not made for PG-13. Coming off worst is the film’s climax, a bloody, gruesome sequence that begged the question of how it might be filmed from the instant Meyer wrote it. The answer: teasingly, clumsily, and not nearly bloodily gruesome enough.
First, though, there’s the debate between Bella and most of the Cullens about whether to get rid of what’s growing inside of her. Expect much to be written about this, and for op-ed hacks on either side of the debate to squeeze Breaking Dawn for all it’s worth; the film’s actual politics are muddy. Bella, who’s willing to have the baby even though it’ll certainly kill her, could best be described as anti–life, while the vampires trying to strong-arm her might be pro–abortion, but they’re pretty determinedly anti–choice. (“Carlisle will know how to get that thing out of you,” Edward growls.) Suffering from some kind of hellish preeclampsia—her body, it’s explained, is rejecting the fetus—an increasingly cadaverous Bella stares listlessly at the X-rays and ultrasounds, which, in the film’s most affecting visual, reveal an empty black hole where the baby should be.
Breaking Dawn’s plot points—and there are only four in total—are separated by long montages and music-video sequences. The padding is at its most brutally obvious when we’re treated to a long sequence, covered by three separate cameras, of Jacob (Taylor Lautner) walking up a staircase, turning at the landing, walking up another staircase, turning at the landing, and walking up a third and final staircase. Yet whole characters and subplots are shoved to the side, never to be seen again; I’m almost certain that one vampire played by Jackson Rathbone utters but a single word. (“Possibly.”) Breaking Dawn is both overlong and understuffed. I lived a thousand lifetimes watching it, and died a thousand deaths. (The worst one was when Edward looked up “immortalicum” on Yahoo! search. On Yahoo! search!)
For the teens of all ages who are Twilight’s true audience, the movie will serve, I’m sure. For parents—dragged willingly or unwillingly into the theater to be buffeted by screams and sighs and hormones buzzing like a power line—the real horror of Breaking Dawn–Part 1 comes as we see Bella’s parents (played warmly by Sarah Clarke and Billy Burke) watch their girl disappear. They seem to know that the Cullens are no average in-laws and that once Bella becomes part of that family, she’ll cease—in a way that parents fear, deep inside, will be the case but rarely, in real life, is—to be a part of her own. Burke’s expression during the wedding is that of a man passing a stone, and I teared up a bit for the first time ever in a Twilight film when, walking down the aisle, Bella asked him not to let her fall, and he replied, “Never.”
When Bella and Edward kiss at the altar, you’ll hear applause in your theater but not, at first, in the film. Condon 360s the camera around the newly married couple to reveal their own private world: friends and family gone, those artisanal benches empty, covered in vines. I can’t be the only father of daughters who saw that and felt, for a moment, a stab of sorrow—that one day I’ll be gone from my daughters’ lives, and also that before that happens, I’ll probably have to watch this fucking movie again.
No comment on the writer above, you like the Saga, or you don't. We all love it because it is a love story and most people are not love fanatics. These books made me feel the stirrings I felt when I was first in love with my husband. You either feel it or you don't know what the heck we are talking about. Then having the uncertainties of the Cullen life mixed together with human, it unbeatable. Call it corny, I'm all for it. The movie should have gone farther into the book. I wish they would have showed Bella and her new car at the begining of Breaking Dawn. I agree the dialogue could have been better and sometimes I feel they are just using the wrong guy who knows nothing about love to tell this story. Twilight was made a lot better because it was by Catherine Hardwicke, she had some consept of romance.
Being that this was probably the most anticipated twilight movie I thought it was more than a little disappointing. The film didn't seem to have the movie "umph" factor. I thought the most important scenes (the wedding, the sex/ honeymoon part, and the birth) were rushed through and the dialogue in some parts were either pointless or there wasn't enough. Even the soundtrack was kind of lame especially since the first two movies paid a lot of attention to a variety of artist.
I'm not a twilight fanatic but I really had high hopes for this one, maybe part 2 will be better.
Iâ€™ve seen all the Twilight movies and have enjoyed them thoroughly. Sometimes sequels take the original story in a totally different direction that interferes with the natural flow of the story, but this did not. It was as if it was the day after the â€śthe eclipse sequelâ€ť. This movie did seem to take a little too long before the action got started. After all, I am an action movie lover. But that maybe because lingered on the love scenes a little longer than I would have liked. The wedding was just breathtaking. I wish I could have afforded such lavish honeymoon when I got married years ago. But once the action startedâ€¦it didnâ€™t stop. Which I really loved! And when the movie was at its best it was over. I canâ€™t wait to watch the last sequel. I would even pay someone to get my hands on an exclusive copy. I rate this movieâ€¦.A MUST SEE! www.moviesthatmotivate.com
Just saw the movie in one of warsaw, poland cinemas. I'd call it a boring, stiffed with emptiness (yes, it is possible!), predictable, sexless, liveless, non-logical, inappropriatelly decored with very weak soundtrack pilot of brand new tearjerking venezuelan romantic tv series watched by cleaning ladies. The best part of this unfortunate saga is still the first one. If I were a producer of the movie I would think of hiring younger director and screenwriter cause the movie was very 1983 in aproach.
i wish just once these critics would MAN up or WOMAN up & admit that they actually cared about these characters which is why they signed up to review this flick over the sublime Kung Fu Panda 2. An honest review (even if written under pseudonym) would be so much more useful than yet another teenager-esque attempt at seeming cool by pretending NOT to like a flick you actually drooled over. When are people gonna grow up?
I have to note his crying end reflecting on his daughter's potential life. Isn't that the chord that the books and movies play for us?
I'm going to watch it tonight... I cant wait to be let down. Once I read a book, I have to watch the movie-- so I'm forced to sit through it, and cry with the tweenie boppers when bella chooses the way wrong dude for her. I really wish twilight had lived up to it's expectations in a movie.. BUT I CAN'T STOP!
Omg, I love your balls! You have successfully torn down one of the biggest movie empires of today's generation, and you know what?...THANK YOU! As addictive as this series may be, nobody seems to want to admit that they are terrible films! Yes, they are full of overly appealing eye-candy, but otherwise poorly written and chock-full of subpar acting. What's worse is that these films, as well as the books, seem to have instilled extremely unrealistic expectations of normal healthy relationships in our teens and young adults. Although entertaining, the twilight saga is, in my opinion, the definition of crap, and hopefully this craze dies down after the release of the final film.
This is, quite simply and clearly, the worst critical review of any film, good, bad, or ugly, that I've ever read. Dan? Please. Quit your day job.
Your a moron , critics are people that have no talent them selves and because of that feel the need to bad mouth others that have the guts to write books , act or whatever. Get a real job .
U r dead-on in your review. I admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the show, regardless of scant plot, acting, or any other film substance. But it is totally fun. I hated the Yahoo search thing, too. How ridiculous. The book's advantage in this case is that you are inside Bella's head and understand her warring emotions during the pregnancy. Just not enough faith that Stewart could portray that, I assume. Hence all the activity like Jacob going up the stairs, and prowling the perimeters, etc.
Awww.. u poor, jealous, tiny man...... U don't have a clue and I'm sure u don't have a girl either.. Get a new job cuz u suck at thks one!
It's readily apparent that 1) you don't have a romantic bone in your body, 2) you must be legally blind and 3) you pretend to be intelligent and anyone with an IQ over 120 would spot you as an ignoramus immediately. It's Romeo and Juliet, but with shape shifters and vampires AND a good ending. That is the beauty of it. At the midnight showing where I live, there were 12 completely sold out theatres; the whole complex. And the average age was probably 45. I counted 100 mature women for every teenager out of 1,000 people. Face it, Twihards are the only ones out in the snow at midnight. The wedding was beautifully done, just as we all would have it for ourselves. The wedding night was not nearly long enough, but with 2 7 year olds on my lap. it was very tastefully done. Hopefully, there will be a Director's Cut!!! (X rated works for me). Movies never follow the book except in these and the very best classics; Gone With The Wind, 2001, Jane Eyre, Brigadoon, Cleopatra, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc. Get your head out of your behind and read the classics, if you can understand the big words!! Even then, I doubt you'll ever get it!! But my 7 year old, a total romantic, gets it, but she's a genius. You, sadly, are neither!
Breaking Dawn Part 1 was a horrible movie. I read all the books multiple times and really enjoyed them. However the movies just haven't done them ANY justice. I didn't want to show my face after walking out of the theater. Don't go see it again, man. Save yourself!
This was an elitist review. Luckily for the people who actually made the movie it is the entertainment value that matters to their bank accounts. Go watch some indy B movies and read dusty literary classics if you want art. I would love to find a movie critic who understands how much more important the entertainment element is than the art element of a big budget film. Without entertainment, art is empty and meaningless to the vast majority of moviegoers. Critiqueing a big budget movie based on elitist artistic principles entirely misses the point.
Seriously, you people are complaining about grammar using sentances that lack punctuation and contain misspelled words? Here, here Chukimani!
Hahahahahaah! Seriously, I love it when people do this. If you are going to take a review personally and try to belittle the reviewer by attacking the thing he does for a living (i.e. writing), for God's sake, make sure you write in perfect English or you look like an idiot. a) It should be "I am a mature reader, too" (other than using the wrong form of "too", don't split your infinitives)b) Seriously, "appauling"? Really? The piece is trying to complain about the use of the English language and it mispells "appalling" in the very same sentence? c) Same sentence "the reviewers appauling" - now, I'm not expert like this person on the English language, but I'm pretty sure that there is an apostrophe that's gone missing there. d) "He seemed intent on castigating the film book actors and its readers" - I feel that there was a real famine of punctuation in this post. Either that, or there is a new thing I've not heard of called "film book actors" - maybe that means actors that star in a film of a book - "film book actors" - though congrats on NOT putting an apostrophe in the its.e) "No heart soul or romance just a foul mouth." Still looks like commas were in short supply in that household. Sad. There needs to be some charity around this. I'm sure you can get some down at Walmart. Most of the workers there would probably know where to put them in the sentence for you as well.
That was fun. This and the post below really do make me happier about not getting why "educated" people would ever enjoy this pap. Mainly, because the education was not really that great. By the way, the post two down is even worse than this one and she too complains about the English! Though I did have a good laugh that the person thinks it is "If the ladder is the case". It's "latter". Not "ladder". How long have you gone through life thinking that? Wonderful. Good times.
i to am a mature reader . I loved all thebooks and have read them over and over. I was merely pointing out the reviewers appauling use of the English language, when the film and books were intended at the younger reader/viewer. He seemed intent on castigating the film book actors and its readers. No heart soul or romance just a foul mouth.
Having read all of the books in the twlight saga, as well as seen the first three movies breaking dawn part 1 was incredibly anticipated and well worth the wait. Breaking dawn was by far my favorite book, and although it would have been impossible.for the director to include the detail of this book in over an hour they did in my opinion capture the jest of it. Would I have liked to see some of the sceens in greater detail? Of course I would, but what I saw was fabulous. I cried in parts, was tense in ours and smiled through most of it to finally see the wedding of bella and edward. I am not a teenaget but an educated mid 40 year old women who fell in love with this authors imagination. I am also from washimgton state whete I grew spending summers forks area and taught native ametican folklore from tribal elders. I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see am amazing love story.
If you seek to slay a vampire film, you must be grammatically precise.
To the "writer" of this article: I could barely track your arguments and issues of contempt. So eager to swear, you cannot string-together a coherent argument. Each incorrectly-used bit of language, and every hyperbolic malapropism, distracted me from the your argument. Or, you have no goal? If the ladder is the case, you could have aimed for more entertaining, grammatically-correct verbal-diarrhea. I have entertained better rants from adolescents.
If you seek to slay a vampire film, you must be grammatically precise.
To the "writer" of this article: I could barely track the arguments and issues of contempt. The critic is so eager to swear, the author can sting together a coherent argument. Each incorrectly-used bit of language and every hyperbolic malapropism distracted me from the critic's argument. Or, did the critic have no goal? If the ladder is the case, the author could have aimed for more entertaining, grammatically-correct verbal-diarrhea.
Dan Kois loved your review for Breaking Dawn I mean for a high schools kid it was riveting. I donâ€™t know what our editor was on that day allowing it to be published but It is apparent from your potty mouth that you are wildly uneducated. I find it astonishing that you find yourself in a position to write such opinions on a public forum not really having read the Twighlight series, you probably had no idea what was going on. Please go back to writing reviews for films you know more about like killer piranha or the Octo-crock and her killer babies leaving the general public to not have to be subject to your horrific views and opinions. God bless America and free speak right! Keep exercising that right preferably in your own house in a small corner alone where nobody can hear you.
This is by far the best review about this piece of shit movie/book. The entire Twilight book series is a complete mentally retarded idea of vampires and werewolves to begin with. Vampires and Werewolves would not be getting urges to have sexual intercourse with a young woman or women in general they are basically either living dead that thrive on the blood of living humans or they are animalistic like wolfish creatures that would most likely only mate with their own kind and then eat or attack other species. Twilight is just a fail series, I'm thoroughly amazed at how many stupid teen-age girls eat this tripe up like it's the best thing they've ever dreamed about. Twilight is pure shit!
I gotta say I love this movie is one of the best ones I can wait for part 2 this movie brought not only happiness,sadness, the graphics where really intense i give it 5 stars all the way..i would go pay to watch it again!!
Ahm i havent even seen the movie anx i know this review is full of it and biased.Ill see it soon and i wont be dissapointed cause i go for the escape into a word thats dark exciting dangerous and still manages to provide humanity even if the main character isnt human.Ive been entertained every time cause i take it at face value and with a grain of salt.Im 40yrs old and male so buck up buddy and stick to documentaries.
I think your review is quite harsh.. not sure where the objectivity is either. That's what reviews are meant to be. What good is it to read this kind of review when you are not taking everyone's taste into account but your own? Why is Twilight so popular? Is it because of Rob Pattinson and Taylor etc? No. It's because of the love story. Without that love story those actors would still be unknown. Why was Shakespeare so renowned? Because he was a master of telling stories of love, tragedy and comedy.. that is what sells books and movies. Who doesn't want to be loved or to feel that incredible passion and connection that we all ultimately yearn for? You should at least appreciate this book/movie for giving readers and audiences a chance to escape the mundane day to day life of reality and get swept away with romance and adventure. I think Twilight contains all those key elements.. love, tragedy and comedy. The unbreakable love between Bella and Edward, the tragedy and turmoil that keeps them apart, the unrequited love and the sweet little light hearted moments where you get to enjoy a laugh or two. What's so "aweful" about that??
You need therapy. Somewhere along the lines, somebody convinced you that what YOU like doesn't matter. And now your self-hatred is stinking up the internet.
Wait, wait, you are criticizing the author for his word choices when you use abbreviations like "u," misspellings like "discrepances," and grammatical-what-the-fuck's like "you are an asshole old" (whatever the hell that means)...
HA! What are you, 7 yrs-old? This is hilarious! At least use your damn spell-check before you criticize someone's word choices so you look like *less* of an idiot!
And we have a comment with the maturity of a 7 yr-old... par for the course. Don't take it so personally that he didn't like the film. It's an opinion. He's entitled to that just like you're entitled to respond like a 7 yr-old. I am concerned that you are an adult and PARENT (no less) with this kind of emotional instability, though.
Everybody thinks their kid is a genius.
You brought up To Kill A Mockingbird for a reference with the crummy Twilight series.
Shows your intelligence.
Rofl "if the ladder is the case" ....i ..ah.. i think you mean "If the latter is the case..."
I am also pretty sure you abuse the hyphen there, but hey, I would look it up.
I am all for grammatical precision, but the irony is too much to bear.
Hey Norinadasilva,First off I love your irony. Of course you realize everything you just wrote only stabs you right in the back as you tell other folks to not share their opinions in a public forum... Then you continue by telling people to only exercise their first amendment rights to the freedom of speech only if it's something you agree with or to keep it to themselves or among their own. You know you should write reviews on yourself on how not to be a fucking idiot. Just for those who might be assuming, I'm not Dan Kois.
Are you actually trying to dismiss the Twilight Saga by explaining how Vampires and Werewovles really behave?
If you read the books you would know that Hollywood dumbed up the writing by Stephanie Meyers and trashed her books making it into a teen heart throb movie and that the vampire werewolf theme is a small piece of the book but has nothing to do with its deeper message. The fact that they are of the supernatural is just a clever analogy for the choices people have in love between who they should be with and who they choose because love chooses us sometimes. Sounds to me that has never happened for you though so I get your bitterness.
What's aweful is your comparison of twilight to shakespeare.
Seriously, I feel violently ill...almost like there is a small, demonic child growing within me...
I'm just upset shakespeare didn't come up with that revolutionary plot twist. Although there is something to be said about Caliban...
"I think your review is quite harsh.. not sure where the objectivity is either. That's what reviews are meant to be."
Ha ha! No they're not, dear. But thanks for playing!
You again proved you can't read or think intelligently. I was commenting on your writing skills not your opinion. As well as the fact that you are so dumb you canâ€™t put a sentence together without cursing lol get a life.
No, I think that the original ideas of Vampires (Bram Stoker's Dracula) and Werewolves (Werewolves of London) kinda sums up how they would think and automatically dismisses the Twilight series based on those facts. Werewolves and Vampires have been written with such behavior patterns for hundreds of years and now they are acting like high school kids???? The original authors creations of the fantasy creatures is where I got my ideas on how such fantasy like creatures think. I have nothing against the writer of the Twilight series creating an entirely new fantasy creature something with a completely different title then a creature that has in every previous description incompatible behavior to her (the authors) objective. High school heart throbs and blood drinking wild creatures don't necessarily mix too well. I just can't see the young school girl getting her jollies off of the vampire to begin with because it simply would never have happened how the author wrote them into her books, in all honesty it's more twisted the way she wrote them then the way the creatures behave in the way they were previously portrayed. The school girls of today are only into it because they chose one of the beefiest boys they could find to play the parts. The behavior is simply ridiculous for a 150 year old vampire to be involved with to begin with. Why would this vampire be attending high school to begin with? Just stupid simply incompatible behavior for such a creature fantasy or not. Hell, I'm only in my early 40's and going back to high school after another 110 years are you kidding. High school kids are completely idiotic retards why would anyone go back and hang out with a bunch of intellectual preschoolers and try to be one of the crowd again? The books are pure rubbish written specifically for the age group simply to get a paycheck. I guess if that was truly the authors purpose then I applaud and say bravo mission accomplished, you've got your payday and lifestyle, now please for the rest of the people in the world who have some intelligence write something worth reading or watching.
I'm sorry if my comment made you feel like that.. my intention was not to insult or make anyone feel ill at all. I'm not here to insult people. I was merely letting the reviewer know that I found his review quite biased.
I want to assure you, in the hope to possibly make you feel a little better, that I wasn't comparing Twilight to Shakespeare in the way that you have made it out to be.. I was actually just expressing the reasons why Shakespeare's stories were so popular. Shakespeare wasn't the first writer to use those themes and he definitely hasn't been the last. Love is a very powerful emotion and anyone who can manage to convey it through their story telling by blending in all the other elements that give it that extra light and shade is going to be successful. I just felt that the reviewer was ignoring the reasons why Twilight was so popular.. despite all the haters out there!
All the best.
Love the name! :)
Thank you to you too for playing.. even though I wasn't aware that I was playing anything! Still.. it's nice to converse with someone who likes to laugh and be happy!
And thank you for correcting my comment! You're absolutely right.. reviews do not have to be objective. A critic can be either constructive or destructive and in this case this writer has definitely been destructive in his criticism.
What I should have said was that, for me personally, I prefer to read reviews from writers who can think beyond their own opinions or emotions and evaluate what makes it effective not only the things that make it "awful". Its easy to have opinions.. everyone has them! And ultimately if I wanted opinions I'd just read a blog or a comments forum! ;) But I think it takes a lot more effort and, in my perspective, shows how good a writer is if they can critique something constructively. More people can appreciate that sort of review and for me.. if I want to decide whether to go see a movie what good is it to me to read a totally one sided review? I don't know them personally so how do I know if our tastes are the same? Its better to read something that can be useful to my decision making.
Actually there are numerous articles you can find that start like this one . . On August 4 of this year in Houston a woman was ticketed for using the "F" word in public. I didn't say i was offended I just said I think if you can't articulate a sentence properly without slang maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself. Have you ever heard the expression; It is better to be thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt. That goes for you and Dan Krois lol. Being in his position he is a person people would look up to and maybe he should take that into account before letting it loose on a forum that is world wide and forever. I also feel like he should do his homework and so should you. Then again with my little brain and your superior mega mind who am I. If he is able to have his opinion I can have mine about you and him. I have enjoyed our debate immensely but I do have a life, I have to go see Breaking Dawn again with all my 15 year old friends lol good night and good luck
I'm honestly not Dan Kois my full name is Daniel L. Royben but I'll let you have your fantasy for whatever purpose it serves you. I just think it's funny when you tell people they don't have the right to use profanity or express their opinion on a public forum. If such things offend you, you may want to consider not visiting such sites on the web.
Feel free to ask Dan Kois yourself I promise you he wouldn't even know who I am. I simply agree with his comments about the stupid and pitiful movie recently released by the Twilight series.
You're missing the point people have the right to use whatever language they want to in a public forum, be it profane or vulgar. This is also what the first amendment bestows upon the people of the U.S.A.. Another thing Norinadasilva vulgarity has nothing to do with an individuals IQ score, I promise and if you still don't believe me you can look it up yourself to enlighten and increase you own intelligence as you put it. I assure you my intelligence level is far greater than your own but don't let that discourage you from growing that little brain in your head. Lastly, please don't pat yourself on the back so hard. Clearly I can read or the responses I gave wouldn't have anything to do with what you wrote.
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