Tag Archives: Bill Condon

The Cool Ship Watches: Breaking Dawn: Part 2

The latest and last installment of The Twilight Saga was released on Thursday night, and droves went to see it, waiting in lines, crying, and other such tomfoolery. Several The Cool Ship crew members braved the excitable crowds to see Breaking Dawn: Part 2. (They did it for Part 1, too.) Here’s what we thought (SPOILER ALERT!):

Gabrielle Johnston – The conclusion to The Twilight Saga fell with a decided thud. At least, it did in my theater. But, I know I may have been in a minority…since I respect myself, can do simple mathematics, and recognize that I don’t need a man to complete my soul.

Image courtesy of IMDB.

Breaking Dawn: Part 2 was a contrived piece of tripe that wavered between halfway amusing fake vampire-y antics (Look! Bella can beat the big dude at arm wrestling! Oooo! She sparkles, now!) and soul-crushing boredom in strained conversations. And can we talk about how Renesmee’s creepy CG face moved independently of her head? It was terrible!

The best part of this movie wasn’t even for real! But, for several minutes, I was prepared to sing its praises to the sky; it had redeemed itself by going off-book and throwing fans under the bus by killing Carlisle and Jasper. And it was done with such pizzazz not seen in any combination of  previous Twilights 1-4.

Heads were ripped off! Necks were broken! The freaking Earth was opened to what I have to assume was its very core! AND vampires and werewolves got chucked in to their fiery deaths! YES! It was a healthy dose of comeuppance sorely needed in this fantasy land where actions don’t matter all that much. Frankly, it was refreshing!

But, it was all a hoax (CRAP!), a vision that seer Alice showed head Volturi Aro to dissuade him from a battle that would have been infinitely more interesting than anything else that has ever happened in ANY of these movies.

Sigh!

When Alice’s vision was revealed, I was honestly disappointed. It wasn’t because I hate any of the characters; they each have their own harmless charm, I suppose. It was because we saw what this movie could have been! We saw what director Bill Condon WANTED to make it. But, he couldn’t, so he threw some of us a bone and made the best five minutes of the entire movie series.

I know I’m not the intended audience for this movie or any of the other Twilight movies, but good storytelling holds true across any divides. The fact is that this series, whether you’re talking about the books or the movies, is poorly conceived and written, with questionable themes and unhealthy obsessions. Even its star, Robert Pattinson, had issues with it!

But, I guess I can’t blame the movies totally. After all, they’re based on books. So, the blame is ultimately laid at the feet of Stephanie Meyer, a woman who had a dream about a sparkly hot guy.

John Calhoun – What’s left to say? (These movies are awful; so much so that their poor quality is practically iconic.)

The acting was painfully wooden –an incredible mystery when you consider the generally positive reviews that Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart garner in their other films. The lighting was awful. Everything was too bright and too sunny in a place that’s supposed to lack sun so vampires can hide. I hate that I miss the tinted, blue look of the first film.

Dare to compare.

Smurftastic!

All the stuff people have always hated about these movies is still there, with an extra helping of CGI baby face. In short, this is the same movie we’ve been watching since New Moon.

But, it’s important to highlight the one thing Twilight 4.2 almost got right. I’ve read the books (though I am not a fan), and this movie is so close to achieving greatness in spite of how bad EVERY aspect was.

Gabrielle outlined Alice’s vision in her own section, but it deserves another mention since it’s the only good part of the movie.

After an hour of the standard conversation, conversation, funny remark, conversation formula, the climax of the series was a face off between the Cullen family and the Volturi. At the end of the books, the Cullen clan talk the Volturi out of killing them by pulling together a big group of allies and furnishing evidence that Ed and Bella’s daughter isn’t an immortal child. Both groups walk away without exchanging blows, and the Cullen family lives happily ever after.

So, imagine my surprise when father Cullen gets his head torn off and SET ON FIRE! And then, a huge fight ensues! People are just dying all over the place! I watched a teenager get his werewolf neck snapped and twitch to death.

I can only wonder what it was like for people that hadn’t read the books because the entire movie theatre freaked out. Everyone lost their shit and panicked as protagonist after protagonist got the ax, throwing Stephanie Myer’s final work aside for a more interesting conclusion.

For four beautiful minutes nothing was off the table. Anyone could die, and no one knew how this movie would end! Anything, anywhere was possible. Would Disney announce a reboot of Star Wars episodes 1-6? Would James Bond die in Skyfall? Would the movie industry finally release us from the iron cage of formulaic writing?

I was elated! I was shocked! I was ready to give this movie the best score of any review I’ve ever done!

And then, the realities of an industry’s obsequious politics set in. And yes, I’m ashamed that the movie tricked me. I’d give the movie 1 out of 5 for accomplishing that and nothing else.

Colleen Kiphart (Editor’s Note: Colleen didn’t actually see Breaking Dawn: Part 2, but she thought she could wing it. Let us know how it goes in the comments…)– As the editor has probably noted, I haven’t actually watched this movie. I really don’t see that as a problem. I’ve never let facts stand in the way of a good review!

Aren’t you jealous?

When this movie came out, I was honeymooning slightly to the left of the grid in Jamaica. But, I did watch part of Twilight while getting blitzed on local rum at a place called House of Bluez (Yes, I’m bragging at this point, but I’m back to reality, now.).

So, to the review!

Bella is a now a superhero/glitter bomb/ teen mom/ engaged and underage chimera. She’s deceiving Edward to save her magic vampire baby! How bad-ass! From what I can tell from the previews, she expresses this by wearing black leather, smiling twice (but making her regular “Who farted?” face the rest of the time), and stiffly hugging the preternaturally precocious child actor next to her in the manner of a great ape.

Edward alternately broods and smiles with his mouth permanently screwed like he’s trying to keep in his dentures. Wolfie never locates a shirt, but makes us all want to call Chris Hansen with the way he looks at Reneesemaybethiswasaterriblenameidea.

In conclusion, I will probably never see this movie, but I feel like I have. You’re welcome, Internet.

Rob Allyn – I’m gonna make this short and sweet, because I feel like phoning this one in. I mean, I am literally writing this on my phone, and it takes forever to do. I love and hate technology.

Anyway, unlike Colleen, I have seen this film. I was convinced by my girlfriend to go as a way to celebrate our anniversary since we didn’t get to on an actual date.

As a person who absolutely hates everything Twilight, this is difficult for me to say but… I liked this film. Don’t get me wrong, it did have some awful moments but for the most part, it was the most watchable of the series.

First, the bad: Kristen Stewart; the CGI face of the child throughout the film; the CGI of the vampires running throughout the film; the part where everything turns out to be a vision, and no one dies; and Kristen Stewart sharing the sappy memory montage with Robert Pattinson about how much she loves him.

Now, the good: Lee Pace playing a kick-ass vampire; Michael Sheen’s laugh when hears the little girl’s heart beating; and (the thing that redeemed the whole film) the EPIC final fight scene! Dear lord, that was sweet! Probably one the best I’ve seen in a long time. I was on the edge of my seat through the whole thing. I was even cheering “Die bitch, Die!” when they went after Dakota Fanning’s character.

So freaking good. I’d watch the film again just to see that fight scene.

I still hate all of the others, but this one was pretty good.

And that’s my review.

 

((Featured image courtesy of breakingdawn-themovie.com and can be found at http://www.breakingdawn-themovie.com/.))

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