I’m not really a movie expert. I only know what I like and what I don’t. But, I am somewhat of a book expert, so when some of my favorite books are made into movies, I can’t help comparing the two.
Twilight’s Breaking Dawn Part 1 is the star of this weekend’s box office and it hasn’t even been out 24 hours yet. But how does it compare to the book? First, I must say that out of the four Twilight novels, Breaking Dawn was my favorite. So much happens in that one book, wrapping up all of the loose ends, leaving readers with a satisfied ending. Like most people, I was so pleased when Summit Entertainment announced that they would be making the book into two movies. There was no director on earth who could do that huge, action-packed book justice in a two hour time constraint. Also, whether intentional or not, Stephanie Meyer created a natural stop right in the middle of the book, allowing for the perfect moment to break up the two movies.
So last night, I braved the mobs of twelve-year-olds and long lines to attend the midnight showing. Each movie in the series so far has gotten progressively better (someone needs to petition Summit into having either Chris Weitz or Bill Condon remake the original Twilight), so with an Academy Award winning director, I had high hopes for Breaking Dawn.
I was not disappointed.
First, the movie held mostly true to the book. There was a small scene in the beginning which showed a little of Edward’s back story, which he’d told Bella about in the first book but had never made it in to the first movie. I thought this was a nice addition. Other than that, all of the important stuff was right where it should be.
I’m not going to talk too much about the specifics of certain things, because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone else. Let’s just say the wedding scene was perfect. I’m not sure whether Kristin Stewart was actually acting, or just being her usual twitchy self, but her walk down the aisle was wonderful. She captured that exact feeling of terror and happiness that I had walking down my own aisle. Honestly, she made me tear up, just a little thinking about it. And the audience could feel her complete relaxation once the ceremony part was over.
Actually, I have been very hard on KStew and her awkward acting for years, so this pains me to admit it, but she really is coming into her own now. I was impressed by her portrayal of a stripper/prostitute in Welcome to the Riley’s. Then, in Breaking Dawn, she pulls off the huge emotional rollercoaster that Bella goes through between the joy of the wedding and the horror of the pregnancy which almost kills her. Brava, KStew!
Now, if only we can get Taylor Lautner to stop acting like his underwear is too tight.
No discussion of the Twilight movies is complete without commenting on the special effects. For the most part, I liked the effects and the choices that Bill Condon made. He did away with Edward’s sparkles! Thank god, because it was starting to make Edward cartoonish. Besides, Rob Pattinson is so smoking hot, that he radiates naturally. By now, the audience knows about Edward’s sunlight issues. We don’t need to be reminded of it again and again. My favorite special effects were the ones revolving around Bella and her pregnancy. Unless you are one of the four people on the planet who hasn’t read the book, you know that the pregnancy is killing Bella by bruising her, breaking bones and slowly starving her. This disintegration of Bella’s body is fascinating to watch and incredibly realistic. Loved it!
There is a lot of pack communication telepathically, and this is hard to portray on film. And then there is the whole imprinting thing to deal with. I was cool with how the imprinting was handled, but there was a scene or two when Jacob in wolf form was running and we see and hear from his point of view. That got a little confusing and hard to hear. Now, this might just be the theatre I was sitting in. I will be seeing the movie again tomorrow, and I’ll try to determine if it is any better.
So, fans of the book will be pleased with this movie. Don’t believe me? Just ask the twelve-year-old girls who were going apeshit for two hours sitting behind me. I can’t wait for Part 2!
Overall, I give Breaking Dawn Part 1…
Special Effects – 4 popcorn bags
Cinematography – 5 popcorn bags (Stunning!)
Acting – 4 popcorn bags (Improvement by KStew diminished by Taylor’s stiffness. Rob, as always, was great.)
Soundtrack – 4 ½ popcorn bags (So happy to have Carter Burwell back!)
Have you seen the movie? I'd love to hear your thoughts!