Holy crap am i really doing this?! So, the first obstruction of ‘5 Obstructions Blogathon‘ by myfilmviews.com is to write a positive review of a film you hate or write a negative review of a film you love. After pondering about it for a while, i found it unsettling that it is easier to find faults and nitpick on little things even on movies i love, it bothers me so much that i refuse to criticize in fear of loosing my love towards said movies. I just feel it made me bitter and so negative. That being said, I opt for the first option instead, giving a positive review of a movie that i hate.
This seems like an impossible task, especially given the film i choose for this obstruction. Ladies and gentlemen, i present to you a positive take on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. (God have mercy on my poor, abused soul). When i watch Twilight, I fell asleep out of boredom in the theater, the second one (New Moon) i became the kind of people i hate (the one who mocks openly in movie theatre, laugh-snorts-obnoxiously loud etc on the what supposed to be an d’aw-how-dramatic-is-that scenes), so after that i no longer watch it voluntarily, especially when i have to pay for it (actually not even when my friends offered to buy the ticket so i accompanied them. I just don’t get the appeal of the franchise, sue me! Anyway, i ended up watching the finale (Breaking Dawn part deux) just because of Lee Pace! He’s the hottest thing in it, i still despise everything but him. So here’s my second take, and hopefully positive, take on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn part II
The movie started with this a gorgeous red and white opening sequence, a simple type against variety of backdrops from vast landscape stretches to macro shoots (of textures, water, plants, frost) along with the name of the casts and select crews. The macro shots are beautiful, some are breath taking, especially this one shot of ice frosts forming on a red rose. Each names initially are done in red san-serif types that sort of bleed out (or frost?) into a white serifs typography. (i created the gif to show you my point).
We met Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), the newlywed vampire couple. Freshly converted into vampire, she become this different persona, she dress slightly better, she brush her hair, and get a new closetful of clothes and accessories, I guess that’s one of the perks of being a vampire huh? Anyway, shortly before she was converted she gave birth too a baby girl, she named her Renesmee. Jacob, Bella’s old flame and fluffy werewolf, is very attached to the kid, claiming they are bonded. Which piss the mother, naturally. But that’s not even the big problem. As Renesmee was conceived when she was still human, it made her the target of Volturi’s wrath, which further strained the already suffering bonds between the vampires. Can Bella and Edward protect their only child and avoid the war among vampires?
The first part of the movie actually highlight the transformation of Bella from her human form. Aside from the style changes, she runs faster, possess greater physical strength, and obtain a supernatural gifts. When Edward teaches her to quench her thirst (for blood) we can see how different her senses become, everything was become more magnified and pronounced. She can sense the littlest movement around her. Captured beautifully by the art and craft of Guillermo Navarro, who is a renowned cinematographer and frequent collaborator of Guillermo del Toro (and won the Academy Awards for his work in Pan’s Labyrinth). By capturing things in macro details, Navarro help to translate the sensitivity of Bella’s senses to the audience. Smell, sight, sounds, even touches… I think this magnified sense that Bella obtained also inspired the opening title sequence as well. It was riveting to see, along with the wholesome clean, vivid look of the entire film.
The volturi is this obsolete group of italian vampire with unfortunate hairline and wears the dated, démodé black robes interspersed with old military look (you’d think they would update their look as McQueen did reinvent the whole military theme in 2011 since i think Jeremy Scott’s military take would be to urban and hip). So apparently not all vampires are granted with better sense of style. Wait did i just stereotyped vampires?! But learning from several vampire related movies that i’ve seen, usually they have a certain allure and they adapt to their era. Well maybe the volturi are just traditionalists. Which explains why they hate sexy vampire like Garret (Lee Pace), sorry for the obviously biassed comment. It is interesting, as the Cullens try to protect Renesmee by gathering vampires from across the globe, all of them, I mean ALL of them looks good in whatever they are wearing, even the amazonian tribe vampire looks edgy in their native clothing.
The battle scene between volturi and Cullens (featuring International vampires) took place in a vast snowy clearing right in the middle of all white, wintry landscape. Head does roll, literally, as the two party turn against each other. The Cullens clearly outnumbered by the volturi received assistance from Jacob and his werewolves pack. The pack of wolves is one of the best CGI werewolves i ever seen in movies. They look so pretty, all fluffy furs made from what must-have been hundreds of hours of rendering to achieve that soft-to-the-touch textures. They came in various colors and features, allowing the viewers to tell the difference between each character (e.g Jacob) to the others
So yeah, the costuming for this film is definitely top notch. There are no stood out, highly elaborated costume, since most of the vampires wear layers of winter clothes. But as you can see, each piece was layered to perfection: buttery leather, soft fur stole and vests (hopefully not wolves’ fur), woolen layers of cardigans and cashmere turtlenecks. Along with make up and impressively styled hair-do (it remains beautiful even after running across snowy field against the wind for crying out loud!), the casts of twilight does look good. The only improvement is if all the male roles is given to Abercombie & Fitch models instead of actors.
Okay i have been focusing on technicalities here, let’s go back to the story. I guess, as the collective international vampire reunites to aid the Cullens, we can see that Twilight manage to promote the message of unity. With Renesmee in their minds, they stood together against the prejudice from the volturi. The contribution from the werewolves also promote this message, as i remember that Werewolves and Vampires were natural enemies (or something along that line was mentioned in the earlier movies), yet, for the sake of the greater good, the two enemies united against the tyranny from The Volturi. So there you have action sequence in the battle against the volturi, Bella and Edward romance (you can count Jacob & Renesmee as well if you like, but i won’t go there to avoid ugly turns in what supposed to be a positive review), values (of family, friendships, cooperation, even cross cultural understanding!) in this movie alone. The movie does have a lot of one-liner that can be quite amusing, such as:
“Nessie? You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness MONSTER?”
Bella Swan, upon learning Jacob’s nick name for her daughter
Not coming from the fandom my view of the Twilight franchise are limited and purely from a movie enthusiast point of view. With more than $800 million box office world wide, this twilight finale bring a closure to the franchise with its highest record. With a total franchise earning tallied up to $3,345 million in box office, definitely pleasing (studio execs) and everyone in its fandom hemisphere. Twilight is on the 9th position of highest grossing franchise (Harry Potter is still number 1, yeah!). It brought the lead actor and actress, into a new height of fame. I can relate to a certain display of loyalty, usually shown by fans, I am a self proclaimed Potterhead after all, who defends Harry Potter universe and JK Rowling greatness almost with an outrageous bias.
The vividly beautiful film, ended in montage of moments of what has passed and perhaps what to come, serenaded by Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years, brought a bittersweet end that will make the fans of the franchise bawls and ugly cry. For those like me who were just there for the show, i suggest you to relax and enjoy what you can, even if its just macro shots of a dandelion or an unexpected laughter from a one-liner.
BEST SCENE (Sorry for the lack of proper gifs, cant find one on tumblr so i made a quickie one instead):
JACOB PRETENDING TO BE CUTE AND ALL THAT!
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2 (2012)
GENRE Romance, Fantasy
DIRECTOR Bill Condon | PRODUCER Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt, Stephenie Meyer | WRITER Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer | MUSIC Carter Burwell | CINEMATOGRAPHER Guillermo Navarro | EDITOR Virginia Katz, Ian Slater | STUDIO Summit Entertainment, Temple Hill, Sunswept Entertainment | DISTRIBUTOR Lionsgate COUNTRY United States | BUDGET $120 million | RUNNING TIME 115 minutes | RATING PG-13 for sequences of violence including disturbing images, some sensuality and partial nudity | RELEASE November 16, 2012
STARRING Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Mackenzie Foy, Lee Pace, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Maggie Grace, Michael Sheen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Dakota Fanning, Christopher Heyerdahl, Billy Burke
Stills are partially from IMDb, the rest are screencaps and animated gif by yours trully.
I am not a fan of the movie franchise or the book: the hyper-romanticized story are too saccharine for my taste and Kristen Stewart’s acting as Bella is just so painfully dull to watch. I’m not even Joking. While the review are highlighting the movie plus side, my rating reflects my actual judgement toward the film. If you are still wondering, this meme actually sums up my feelings quiet accurately (and holy frick! how come this post turned out TL;DR! Sorry!).