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Review: Breaking Dawn (Part 1)

11.18.2011

PLOT: The big day is here! Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) are finally getting married- and after a honeymoon in Rio, Edward’s going to turn Bella into a vamp so the two can spend eternity together. But alas, right after taking Bella’s virginity, she falls pregnant with Edward’s undead spawn- who feeds on the helpless Bella from the inside. Will she survive her pregnancy long enough to be turned into a vamp? Will Jacob (Taylor Lautner) ever find a shirt? The answers, partially- lie in Part 1, of BREAKING DAWN!

REVIEW: TWILIGHT fans rejoice! After eighteen months, the latest installment of this tween and teen adored franchise is finally hitting theaters. But- there’s a catch see… Taking a cue from the last HARRY POTTER, the clever producers have decided to cut Stephanie Meyer’s epic length (too long according to most reviews) tome, and split it in two. Why have one $500 Million grossing movie when you can have two? So, TWILIGHT fans will have to make do with only half of the final installment before the series comes to a merciful end next November.

So, whether or not you’re on “Team Edward”, or “Team Jacob”, Twi-hards are going to very busy at the multiplex this weekend. Everyone else…yeah, this might be a good weekend to stay in and dig into the 5-season set of THE WIRE you’ve been looking to finally give a spin. Despite having big-shot director Bill Condon at the helm, BREAKING DAWN is every bit the insipid bore fest the other films have been.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. I. Don’t. Get. It. Why, oh why are these films popular? They are the cheesiest, most tepid series of films to come along in decades (next to them the STEP-UP franchise looks like THE DARK KNIGHT) - yet people FLOCK to see them like sheep. I dunno, I guess something about them struck a nerve for a big chunk of the movie-going public, and of course- being a non-pervy thirty-year-old male, I’ve never read the books.

What really pisses me off about these films is that the ingredients are there. I mean, c’mon- good looking teens, a vampire mythology contrasted with the virginal loss of innocence, if they weren’t so slavishly devoted to Meyer’s gooey books, these could have been a lot of fun. Heck, even the leads aren’t bad. Kristen Stewart is a terrific young actress (obvious in ADVENTURELAND, THE RUNAWAYS, WELCOME TO THE RILEYS, and more), and even Pattinson, and Lautner are not without talent (I respect Lautner’s physical transformation from gawky teen to six-packed action hero between the first two films). But the material…gee whiz…

However, the thing that really gets my gall is the fact that Bill Condon is directing. He’s a really talented director, and all of his films (GODS & MONSTERS, KINSEY, and DREAMGIRLS) have proven his skill behind the camera. If anyone could give these films a jolt, he’s the one. But no- the direction here is virtually indistinguishable from the paycheck jobs done by Chris Weitz, and David Slade in the last two (to be fair to Catherine Hardwicke, I never saw the first film).

The only difference is that, between Condon and DP Guillermo Navarro, the film looks a lot nicer than the last two. They make all the leads look very pretty indeed- and also, my jaw dropped when it turned out Lautner only had ONE shirtless scene. If you think that means the films have matured, you’re sadly mistaken.

First off, the wedding scene goes on FOREVER. I mean, this isn’t THE DEER HUNTER folks; a drawn-out wedding scene is not needed. That said, Billy Burke deserves some kudos for ringing a few (intentional for once) laughs out of those early scenes. The honeymoon also takes a solid forty minutes of screen time, and if you’re expecting some really sexy stuff between Stewart and Patinson, well- you ain’t gonna get it. This is tame even for a PG-13.

I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t admit that the film picks up A BIT in the last twenty minutes when Bella goes into labor, and the Cullen clan is attacked by a clan of angry werewolves (yes, the CGI is as bad as ever). Condon manages to infuse a bit of menace and energy into the ending, although the cliffhanger followed by credits that had the audacity to imitate those from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE pretty much killed all the goodwill I had going in the last twenty minutes.

Before I get flamed (or murdered) by clan of angry Twi-hards, I’ll say this…it’s no worse than the other films. If you liked those, then chances are you’ll like this. Essentially these movies are critic proof, and my telling you its bad isn’t going to make the slightest difference to anyone interested in the series. That said, if you expected Condon’s involvement to make the film (or films) worth seeing, sadly- it does not. It’s just like the others. Take from that, what you will…

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: Pattinson is very good at sulking. Just sayin...
Source: JoBlo.com

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2:18PM on 11/23/2011
the one film series where you get bitched at for hating it or loving it. That's why I avoid it all together.
the one film series where you get bitched at for hating it or loving it. That's why I avoid it all together.
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+0
5:59PM on 11/20/2011
Yeah, this sucked pretty bad, even worse than usual. Here's my full review:

[link]
Yeah, this sucked pretty bad, even worse than usual. Here's my full review:

[link]
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9:58PM on 11/19/2011
I'm no fan of these movies but is it really necessary to rag endlessly on something that other people enjoy just because you don't like it. Everyone is going to have their own personally tastes and like it or not, we need to respect them.
I'm no fan of these movies but is it really necessary to rag endlessly on something that other people enjoy just because you don't like it. Everyone is going to have their own personally tastes and like it or not, we need to respect them.
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6:12PM on 11/19/2011
Never having seen the previous films, I escorted a friend of mine to see this movie. Apparently even my female friends who I think are smart are really just mindless followers. I wasn't too sure if it was supposed to be a comedy, but everyone was laughing. Even at the stuff that wasn't funny (guess my sense of humor differs from most). I do love me a great vampire film, but there was nothing enjoyable about this film. The dialogue was horrible, CGI of course was terrible, and the film was too
Never having seen the previous films, I escorted a friend of mine to see this movie. Apparently even my female friends who I think are smart are really just mindless followers. I wasn't too sure if it was supposed to be a comedy, but everyone was laughing. Even at the stuff that wasn't funny (guess my sense of humor differs from most). I do love me a great vampire film, but there was nothing enjoyable about this film. The dialogue was horrible, CGI of course was terrible, and the film was too slow paced. I found myself nodding off a few times. But it wasn't like I missed anything. I'd rather sit through a mindless action movie with great fight scenes and explosions then sit through a mindless tween movie with no real action and some of the worst dialogue every written. For all the money these films make, you think they could get a decent writing team and better special effects. But I guess that's just there way of milking more profit out of the movie going public.

I think you were generous in your review, as I only would have given this 2 stars. And I only went that high because Anna Kendrick was in the film. Save your money if at all possible, even if it means pissing off a wife or a gf.
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3:52PM on 11/19/2011
When the star of the movie (Pattinson) is quoted as saying the books are crap, you kinda know what you're gonna get from the movie.
When the star of the movie (Pattinson) is quoted as saying the books are crap, you kinda know what you're gonna get from the movie.
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-1
8:47AM on 11/19/2011
i hated the first three movies and i'm surely not gonna watch this one even on dvd or tv.this saga is boring and unattractive!!!!!!!!!!
i hated the first three movies and i'm surely not gonna watch this one even on dvd or tv.this saga is boring and unattractive!!!!!!!!!!
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11:58AM on 11/20/2011
If you hated the first one, why would you have watched 2 let alone 3? Your story does not add up, I think you secretly enjoy these films and don't want to admit it. You are Team Jacob, admit it!
If you hated the first one, why would you have watched 2 let alone 3? Your story does not add up, I think you secretly enjoy these films and don't want to admit it. You are Team Jacob, admit it!
+1
4:07AM on 11/19/2011
I'm going to get hate for this, but the first Twilight film is a decently directed movie. The writing is terrible, but that's not the directors fault. I stick by saying Cathrine Hardwinke (spelling?) is an awesome director.

Didn't care for the others though...
I'm going to get hate for this, but the first Twilight film is a decently directed movie. The writing is terrible, but that's not the directors fault. I stick by saying Cathrine Hardwinke (spelling?) is an awesome director.

Didn't care for the others though...
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3:01PM on 11/18/2011
Warning this review contains my love of my hatred for this film and spoilers

[link]
Warning this review contains my love of my hatred for this film and spoilers

[link]
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+8
2:03PM on 11/18/2011
I'm not going to hate on what other people like or don't like but it's a dick move to make fans of the series wait a whole year for part 2. It should come out no later than May.
I'm not going to hate on what other people like or don't like but it's a dick move to make fans of the series wait a whole year for part 2. It should come out no later than May.
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1:34PM on 11/18/2011

Why couldn't they just make...

it one long fuckin movie now we gotta wait till next yr to listen to more BS from this horse shit films.
it one long fuckin movie now we gotta wait till next yr to listen to more BS from this horse shit films.
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1:30PM on 11/18/2011

Sorry, I can't take people seriously

When they like shit like Twilight. If you like this shit, then you most likely enjoy other garbage like reality TV or shitty ABC family crap.

Its not just an "opinion" it's fact that these movies are crap. I'm not a hater, if the movie was good, then I'd enjoy it.

If I told you I loved cars, and told you the Ford Pinto was a great car, you'd look at me like I'm a fucking idiot. Could my defense be "Your a hater!" NO, a piece of shit is a piece of shit, REGARDLESS of personal opinion
When they like shit like Twilight. If you like this shit, then you most likely enjoy other garbage like reality TV or shitty ABC family crap.

Its not just an "opinion" it's fact that these movies are crap. I'm not a hater, if the movie was good, then I'd enjoy it.

If I told you I loved cars, and told you the Ford Pinto was a great car, you'd look at me like I'm a fucking idiot. Could my defense be "Your a hater!" NO, a piece of shit is a piece of shit, REGARDLESS of personal opinion or taste.
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+9
1:12PM on 11/18/2011

i've never seen a twilight movie

I have never seen any of the twilight movies.
That's an accomplishment i'm fairly proud of.
I have never seen any of the twilight movies.
That's an accomplishment i'm fairly proud of.
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12:02PM on 11/20/2011
You consider having not watched a movie or three an accomplishment? Getting a college degree is an accomplishment - climbing a mountain is an accomplishment - goals you set that mean something really, not avoiding watching a movie. Unless of course you have nothing going in your life. If that be the case, YOU GO BOY!
You consider having not watched a movie or three an accomplishment? Getting a college degree is an accomplishment - climbing a mountain is an accomplishment - goals you set that mean something really, not avoiding watching a movie. Unless of course you have nothing going in your life. If that be the case, YOU GO BOY!
12:54PM on 11/18/2011
You know, I think I finally realized there's not that to like in the majority of society. If people will consume bullshit like this and real art goes unnoticed, I have no faith in people as a whole anymore. Then again the populace hasn't appreciated "real" art during their times because it's always ahead of it's time (Picasso etc)

The Twilight series is an indictment on society and culture. But most importantly, humanity.
You know, I think I finally realized there's not that to like in the majority of society. If people will consume bullshit like this and real art goes unnoticed, I have no faith in people as a whole anymore. Then again the populace hasn't appreciated "real" art during their times because it's always ahead of it's time (Picasso etc)

The Twilight series is an indictment on society and culture. But most importantly, humanity.
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12:24PM on 11/18/2011
Whats amusing is the people who say the Twilight crew doesnt get a shot because people either hate it or love it. They had a chance to win over everyone with their movies. They're nothing more than melodramatic bullshit and everyone knows it.

A good example is the Harry Potter movies, I'm sure more people than just me were skeptical when the 1st movie came out. Look what happened they gave us damn good movies and won over kids and adults alike.

Who cares what us haters think anyway
Whats amusing is the people who say the Twilight crew doesnt get a shot because people either hate it or love it. They had a chance to win over everyone with their movies. They're nothing more than melodramatic bullshit and everyone knows it.

A good example is the Harry Potter movies, I'm sure more people than just me were skeptical when the 1st movie came out. Look what happened they gave us damn good movies and won over kids and adults alike.

Who cares what us haters think anyway the fucking movies will make a ton of money without us. Everyone always has something they like to shit all over Twilight is our turd.

Oh its currently at 29% at RT so theirs a whole pile of people that think this movie sucks.
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+2
12:08PM on 11/18/2011
My distaste for this series goes beyond a beating chest masculinity complex. It's their portrayal of vampires that bothers me because as Chris Bumbray put it in his (incredibly biased) review, "the ingredients are there". They get lazy with what seems like a halfway decent concept.
My distaste for this series goes beyond a beating chest masculinity complex. It's their portrayal of vampires that bothers me because as Chris Bumbray put it in his (incredibly biased) review, "the ingredients are there". They get lazy with what seems like a halfway decent concept.
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12:07PM on 11/18/2011

Really. Bad. Movie.

Besides the last fifteen minutes, this movie was awful. There is a scene where the wolves are arguing in there wolf form and it might go down as one of the biggest unintentional laughs ever. HORRIBLE.
Besides the last fifteen minutes, this movie was awful. There is a scene where the wolves are arguing in there wolf form and it might go down as one of the biggest unintentional laughs ever. HORRIBLE.
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12:07PM on 11/18/2011
I love Twilight. I'm not ashamed to admit it. But I also love films like Zodiac and Drive. Its frustrating when everyone didmisses your taste in everything simply because you like Twilight.
I love Twilight. I'm not ashamed to admit it. But I also love films like Zodiac and Drive. Its frustrating when everyone didmisses your taste in everything simply because you like Twilight.
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1:22PM on 11/18/2011
Well just because you like universally good movies like Zodiac or Drive doesn't mean that you have good taste, because obviously your taste is skewed when you admit to liking utter SHIT.
Well just because you like universally good movies like Zodiac or Drive doesn't mean that you have good taste, because obviously your taste is skewed when you admit to liking utter SHIT.
11:30AM on 11/18/2011
The only thing sad here other than the defensive testosterone in the comments section of every Twilight article is that these films can't get a fair review anywhere.

The pro-Twilight camps will make them out to be the greatest things ever and rate them way above their level and the anti-Twiight camps (everyone else) will lambaste them out of pure hatred and make them out to be far worse than they are.

Twilight has gathered a hatred that is far more than the sum of it's parts and has sadly
The only thing sad here other than the defensive testosterone in the comments section of every Twilight article is that these films can't get a fair review anywhere.

The pro-Twilight camps will make them out to be the greatest things ever and rate them way above their level and the anti-Twiight camps (everyone else) will lambaste them out of pure hatred and make them out to be far worse than they are.

Twilight has gathered a hatred that is far more than the sum of it's parts and has sadly been extended to the critics as well who should as a matter of professionalism rise above such things.

Look back Chris, you've rated films that were technically far worse much higher. Unfortunately like most people, you're being affected by Twiphobia, the unreasonable fear and hatred of Twilight films.
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11:12AM on 11/18/2011
I didn't even know another Twilight film came out man...

Nice review, and I'm sorry you had to see this film...but it's nice to hear that someone else likes KStew. I always dug her!
I didn't even know another Twilight film came out man...

Nice review, and I'm sorry you had to see this film...but it's nice to hear that someone else likes KStew. I always dug her!
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10:24AM on 11/18/2011
Quick, Chris, do something manly before it's too late!
Quick, Chris, do something manly before it's too late!
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10:18AM on 11/18/2011
I'm glad I got divorced a couple of weeks before Twilight came out. This will make four bullets dodged (and counting), among other things.
I'm glad I got divorced a couple of weeks before Twilight came out. This will make four bullets dodged (and counting), among other things.
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+4
10:09AM on 11/18/2011

sorry you had to review this but...

Empire just posted pics of Batman and Bane for twin mag covers and they're revealing more as fans vote. Get over there and vote! [link]
Empire just posted pics of Batman and Bane for twin mag covers and they're revealing more as fans vote. Get over there and vote! [link]
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9:29AM on 11/18/2011

Not this time...

I got dragged to a twilight movie last time(Eclipse). And it holds my personal record for the "most yawns during a movie" . Well even if a Kraken should pull me I am not going this time....
I got dragged to a twilight movie last time(Eclipse). And it holds my personal record for the "most yawns during a movie" . Well even if a Kraken should pull me I am not going this time....
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8:47AM on 11/18/2011
A friend of mine told me Twilight Breaking Dawn might be better than The Muppets.......i want to vomit....SERIOUSLY
A friend of mine told me Twilight Breaking Dawn might be better than The Muppets.......i want to vomit....SERIOUSLY
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1:42PM on 11/18/2011
The scary part is that, to a certain extent, that might be true. The original muppeteers like Steve Whitmire (Kermit) and Dave Goelz (Gonzo) were so unhappy with the movie that they wanted their names off the credits. Frank Oz refused to do the voice of Miss Piggy because he hated the script so much.
The scary part is that, to a certain extent, that might be true. The original muppeteers like Steve Whitmire (Kermit) and Dave Goelz (Gonzo) were so unhappy with the movie that they wanted their names off the credits. Frank Oz refused to do the voice of Miss Piggy because he hated the script so much.
8:10AM on 11/18/2011
Yet masterpieces of cinema like ZODIAC or DRIVE and so many others go completely unnoticed by general audiences and make no money. It's fucking disgusting.
Yet masterpieces of cinema like ZODIAC or DRIVE and so many others go completely unnoticed by general audiences and make no money. It's fucking disgusting.
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+36
7:51AM on 11/18/2011
Mr. Bumbray, I'm so sorry that you had to review this movie.
Mr. Bumbray, I'm so sorry that you had to review this movie.
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