CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT:
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1 (2011)
By Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares
(THE SCENE: A clearing in the forest, richly decorated for a wedding party. As a young bride and groom prepare to exchange vows before their adoring guests, which include family members, vampires and werewolves, a twin-engine plane flies by low overhead. Inside the plane are MICHAEL ARRUDA and L.L. SOARES. )
(MA hurls tomatoes down at the crowd, while LS fires coconuts at them. Amidst the gasps and screams, they spot a film crew and take particular care to pelt the movie makers.)
MA (shrieking): STOP MAKING THESE MOVIES!!
LS (shouting crazily): DIE! YOU SICK BASTARDS! (Bonks the director on the head with a large coconut.)
(DISSOLVE to a tropical island setting. On a beautiful picturesque beach, an elegant beach house awaits the bride and groom. A banner flies overhead which reads “Welcome Vampire Lovers! Werewolves please check your shirts at the door.”)
(The twin engine plane has landed on the beach. LS approaches the beach house alone.)
LS: Hey, Michael! Where the hell are you? One second he’s with me, and the next he’s gone! He sure is acting weird today. I’ve never seen him this upset. I know he didn’t want to review this new TWILIGHT movie, but he better have not chickened out on me. I don’t feel like doing this review alone.
(The door to the beach house is open, and LS enters.)
LS: Michael? You in here?
(A frying pan flies across the room and plunks LS in the head.)
LS: What the—?
MA (looking crazed): You son of a bitch! This is all your fault!
LS: Calm down! (looks at bent frying pan) Now look what you did. You ruined a perfectly good frying pan!
MA: “Let’s review BREAKING DAWN,” you said! “We owe it to our readers,” you said!
LS: It’s true!
MA: I don’t care! I hate these movies and never want to see another one again! You bastard! (Fires a giant spatula at LS, who ducks out of the way.)
LS: Hey! This is good kitchen equipment you’re ruining!
MA: Too bad! I want you to say it!
LS: Say what?
MA: That we’re never seeing another TWILIGHT movie again.
LS: I can’t say that. Besides, there’s only one more. (A ladle flies past LS’s head and crashes through a window.) You know I’m right. You just need to calm down and start thinking with a clear head. (Three giant onions whiz through the air towards LS. He catches one and starts eating it like an apple.) Brings tears to my eyes. Look, the sooner we finish this review, the sooner we don’t have to talk about it anymore. Want me to start? Would that help?
MA: NO! I’m starting. I’m gonna make this as quick as possible. I’m not wasting any more of our time on this crap.
LS: Take a deep breath and settle yourself down. Here, want an onion?
MA: NO, I DON’T WANT AN ONION! (takes a deep breath) As you can see, I’m crying already. (takes another deep breath)
Okay, I can do this. I’m ready.
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1 is—first of all, what a ridiculous title! Who calls a movie a saga? Really, imagine if George Lucas had done the same: THE STAR WARS SAGA: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK – EPISODE 5 PART 1 SEGMENT 2 STARS 4. Idiocy!
Anyway, this latest installment of the TWILIGHT SAGA, as you would expect, picks up where the last one left off. Bella (Kristin Stewart) and vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) are getting married, so the first third of this movie is—the wedding. Now, doesn’t that sound exciting?
LS (snoring and suddenly wakes up): Wha? What? I swear I wasn’t sleeping!
MA: At the very least, jilted werewolf lover Jacob (Taylor Lautner) —who, by the way, wastes no time taking his shirt off, as it is ripped off within the first few seconds of this movie!—could show up to wreak some jealous havoc, but we can’t even have that. No, the ever-so-noble Edward actually arranges for his arrival as a surprise for his sweetheart Bella. Can I vomit now?
LS (vomits into a bucket): Okay, now you can have it (Hands MA the bucket)
Yeah, in the very first scene Jacob runs out of the house, rips off his shirt and turns into a giant lame-ass CGI wolf, running into the woods. Why is he so upset? Because he got an in invitation to Bella’s wedding! He’s lost her forever! Boo hoo! But when he pulls off his shirt, all the tweeners in the audience screamed. Let’s face it; this guy doesn’t have to be able to act. What he does isn’t acting, it’s undressing.
And yeah, you’d think from this first scene that he’s all angry about the wedding, but he still gladly shows up at the wedding reception as Edward’s secret “wedding gift” for Bella. Jacob and Bella even dance together in the woods, as Edward looks on.
How friggin stupid!
MA: After the wedding, as logic dictates, it’s time for the honeymoon, on a tropical island much like this one, so the second third of the movie is—the honeymoon. How’s that for excitement? Still with me folks? I thought I might have lost you since this is such thrilling stuff.
LS (reading a book): What? Are you still doing the review?
MA: Now for the fun part (Not really….The fun part was when I ran out of the theater screaming as soon as the end credits began to roll.) Bella strangely becomes pregnant, and immediately starts “showing”—which, of course, isn’t possible because they just consummated their marriage like a second ago—but it turns out the pregnancy is very “wrong,” as they somehow know that Bella is carrying a strange baby, even though they haven’t taken her to see a doctor.
LS: I have never seen a series that is more anti-sex than the TWILIGHT SAGA. Up until now, Edward refuses to have sex with Bella because he’s afraid he’ll hurt or kill her, because he’s this big strong vampire and she’s a fragile little human. So what happens on the first night of their honeymoon? They have sex. Why couldn’t they have done this before? Edward promises to be as gentle as he can, and the house gets trashed in the process—wow, what a passionate lover! (LS yawns) —yet Bella isn’t harmed or killed. So I guess all of the teasing the series has done up to this point was complete crap.
But there has to be a reason why sex is still bad, so Bella gets suddenly pregnant with a monster baby that is eating up all the nutrients in her body and making her sicker and sicker, and supposedly they barely did it! To have full-on, complete sex, they have to both be vampires. So even a tiny bit of sex is enough to ruin Bella’s life! Maybe she should have really considered becoming a nun!
But they are both soooooo in love!
I have never seen characters like this before. The scariest thing in all of the TWILIGHT movies isn’t vampires or werewolves. It’s sex! These movies seriously need to grow up.
MA: Suddenly, Bella’s life is in danger, and so all of Edward’s vampire family—and Jacob and his werewolf buddies—rush to her aid for the final third of the movie, where Bella is sick in bed while the world waits on her hand and foot.
I think I’ll throw up now.
LS: Again? Please turn your head. These are new shoes.
But you didn’t mention that the werewolves aren’t really there to help or protect Bella (except for Jacob and two of his dopey sidekicks). The rest of the werewolves are hanging around because they’re there to kill Bella and her unborn child. Why?
It’s some kind of violation of the treaty between vampires and werewolves for Bella to have a hybrid baby, or some such garbage.
MA: And that’s why I didn’t mention it. Because I would have had to say the words “vampire/werewolf treaty.”
LS: I never fully understood why they couldn’t just leave her alone. They’re supposed to try to prevent her from having the child—but the Cullen clan and Jacob protect her—and then, once the child is born, they’re supposed to kill it. Why don’t they just go back to playing football without their shirts? I never saw such stupid werewolves in my life. Why do they even care?
MA: This movie is so bad and so stupid I’m really having a difficult time even standing here talking about it, because, really, there’s nothing more to say than it sucks and don’t waste your time or money.
But if you really want to know what’s wrong with it, read on.
There’s not a single character I like in this series. They’re all incredibly shallow and boring. And Edward’s vampire family has got to be the saddest vampire clan in movie history. First off, their make-up is ridiculous. They’re all pale with incredibly bad haircuts, they look like vampires. How is it possible that nobody in the “real world” of this movie knows they’re vampires? Of course, the werewolves have no problem knowing who’s a vampire and who isn’t, meaning the humans in this series must be incredibly stupid.
LS: That goes without saying. All of the human characters (like Bella’s friends and family) are mostly around to act dumb and provide comic relief.
But you’re right—the vampire are so obviously vampires with their incredibly pale skin which just looks like clown make-up. They’re just stupid-looking. Oh yeah, and red contact lenses when they’re angry. Spoooky! Oh, and they carry around big heavy things like they’re superheroes. Wow.
At least I don’t see them “sparkling” in the sunlight anymore. I guess they forgot about that in this installment of the saga.
As far as there not being one single good character in the series, I disagree. I still like Jessica Cullen (Anna Kendrick), only because I think Kendrick is the cutest chick in the movie, and she can actually act (although she isn’t given much chance to do that). I have no desire to talk about any of the other characters, though, because they’re all pretty boring.
MA: Bella, Edward, and Jacob have to be the dullest love triangle in film history. They wouldn’t know passion if it came up and bit them in the ass. I’d believe The Three Tenors had fallen in love before I buy the feelings of these three!
These three characters are about as fleshed out and well-written as three blind mice. The performances don’t help either. Robert Pattinson as Edward is the best of the three, but Edward the vampire is so vanilla-boring he makes Bela Lugosi seem like Hannibal Lector. His “noble character” shtick makes me sick. In a flashback, where we learn more of Edward’s past, we see that he killed and drank blood from murderers only, and even though Bella points out that he probably saved some lives by killing these bad guys, Edward still feels guilty about it. “But they were still human beings!” Hand me another barf bag, please!
LS: All three of these characters are so good and so noble, why don’t they just have a threesome already, since they’re all so loveable? Or better yet, how about some monster hunter finally shows up and puts them out of their misery? God, I hate these characters!
MA: Kristen Stewart, who I believe can act, is just so damn annoying as Bella. Her face seems permanently stuck in a depressed expression. She looks like she needs to spend her days writing brooding accounts in her personal diary. And Taylor Lautner is just plain awful as Jacob the werewolf. As you would expect, the CGI werewolves look just as bad as they have in the previous movies.
LS: Yeah, in this series, werewolves are just giant cartoon wolves. Lamest werewolves ever!
MA: I STILL have no idea why everyone in these movies is so interested in Bella, and frankly, I find it incredibly annoying. This has got to be one of the worst parts of the movie—of the entire series, actually—that there are always hordes of people trying to look out for, or help, Bella. Why? She’s BORING, people! Is she incredibly funny? No. Is she a screw-up who we feel sorry for? No. Is she bold and daring, and a kick-ass heroine who’ll really gives it to someone who’s out to get her? No. What is she then? Someone who needs to be taken care of by the dashing princes in her life (CUE: “Awww.”) She’d be annoying even in real life, but it’s even worse that it’s a movie, since movies are supposed to entertain us.
Bella’s so damn boring.
LS: You’ll get no argument from me. I hate all three of them. Another big problem with this movie is that it has no real villains. No outside characters come in and are clear-cut bad guys. Unless you consider Bella’s monster baby – but even that isn’t a villain, it’s just a vampire baby trying to stay alive in a puny human’s inadequate womb. When it’s born (at this point, I couldn’t care less about spoilers—this movie doesn’t deserve it), it’s so cute and sweet, you wonder why anyone would be afraid of it at all. So all of the “conflicts” here are pretty much meaningless: the werewolves want to kill Bella and her baby for reasons that are completely idiotic and contrived; the vampires and Jacob stand their ground; and any actual fighting is kept to a minimum.
The only real tension revolves around whether Bella should keep the baby or not: Edward wants to get rid of the baby because he knows its birth could kill Bella—who he has finally married and loves so much—while Bella refuses to do anything to harm the baby. This argument is more passionate than anything else in this dull movie.
Frankly, I wish someone would just get rid of the lot of them!
Oh yeah, and the big “shocking” final scene is one anyone could see a mile away. You don’t have to have read the books to figure this one out, especially since there’s a PART 2 still to come out. So much for any semblance of suspense.
MA: So, make sure you thank screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, who’s written the screenplays for all of the TWILIGHT movies, novelist Stephanie Meyer who wrote the books which these movies are based on, and director Bill Condon—give them all a nice big “thank you” by NOT seeing this movie.
Yeah, I know. It’s not going to happen. I’m sure the movie sold out across the nation this weekend. I know the three showings at my local theater the day I went were all sold out, and there wasn’t an empty seat in the theater I was at.
LS: Yeah, I went to see it early in the afternoon and the evening showings were all sold out already. And the showing I saw was packed to the gills. The TWILIGHT movies will be a money-making juggernaut til the very end. And I still have no clue why anyone can eat this stuff up without getting food poisoning.
MA: Because they’re hardcore fans of the series.
For the rest of us, stay away from this bland nonsense! I give THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1— ZERO KNIVES and rank it as one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year.
LS: I keep seeing these movies and think “This can’t get any worse.” But I swear—each movie is worse than the one before it—and this one is the worst one yet. It pretty much has no story to it. It’s just a wedding, a honeymoon, and a (difficult) birth, involving characters I can’t stand. I had to force myself to stay awake at times, because it’s also too long. I wish there were more ways to explain just how horrible this movie is. But words fail me.
So I give THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 a rating of negative 1 knife. Yes, NEGATIVE. As in, they owe me a knife for sitting through this sludge. I can only imagine how much more horrible PART 2 will be.
MA: I’ll save you the trouble. It’s going to suck. So, why don’t we just agree now to skip it?
LS: That would be unfair to our readers who enjoy what we have to say about these films. (to audience) I have to admit the real reason we see these films is the joy I get knowing Michael has to sit through them. But then again, so do I!
(To MA): We better get out of here before the “vampire lovers” arrive. Let’s just go to a bar and wash the memory of it from our minds.
MA: That’s the best thing you’ve said all day.
LS: I thought “Die! You sick bastards!” was pretty good.
See you next time folks. Anything we review next week has to look terrific after this pile of dung.
© Copyright 2011 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares
Michael Arruda gives THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 ~ zero knives!
LL Soares gives THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1 ~ negative 1 knife!