the end of the Twilight Saga (4;5): Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2

Part 1

Part 1 of Breaking Dawn was a let-down after Eclipse -- where Eclipse had a smooth, satisfying build in intensity up to a crescendo and a calm, pleasant dip towards a happy ending, Breaking Dawn part 1 was... er, lumpy.  That's the best way I can put it.  The points of drama were disorganized and incoherent, and most of the time Edward and Bella talked to each other, it seemed like they couldn't get on the same page about whether they were doing a fairy tale thing like usual or whether this was real-life-now-but-seriously.

The imprinting thing was a little less creepy than I was expecting, but it was still really, really creepy.

Up to this point, my top 4 Twilight movies were Eclipse, Twilight, New Moon, and this one.  New Moon edged this one out because it had more Michael Sheen.

Seriously, though,

Part 2

I'm putting this chunk below the fold, because it contains spoilers and it literally came out a couple hours ago.

I just want to start by saying that the thing at the end where basically everyone dies was NOT. MOTHER. FRACKING. OKAY.  I was sad when Carlisle got killed.  But when my partner, sitting next to me, sobbed, "This isn't what happens!" I became suddenly very open to the possibility that the writers had decided to end the movie version of the series with everybody dying.  Yeah, we got trolled hard on that one.

Bella's development as a vampire was pretty cool, and I really enjoyed the gathering of all the different vampires from around the world.  My favorites were the one who hates European rock, the one who lived in the attic, and the Russians.

They managed to scrape most of the creep off the imprinting thing across the bulk of the movie, but then they dumped it all back on when Jacob asked Edward if he should call him "Dad."  Seriously.  So creepy.  So, so creepy.

Final thoughts on the whole thing

This was the first, and will probably have been the last, time I ever saw the Twilight movies.  That said, they aren't horrible.  They're not cinematic masterpieces, but few movies are, and it wasn't painful to spend a whole day watching them -- especially having gone in with expectations as low as mine were.  A lot of the characters were likable, even if the main trio weren't super-engaging, and they were very pretty.  And the action was good.  These movies have great fights.

They're also still really problematic, and promote a really unhealthy set of relationship styles and expectations.  I'm not thrilled about the idea of teenagers getting their ideas about love from this movie.  I remember a lot of mistakes I made figuring out how relationships worked, and how many of them were inspired by the bad impressions media gave me -- for a lot of those kids, it will probably only mean a little more unnecessary pain, and for some of them, it could mean backing themselves into some really bad corners.  That whole part is no fun to think about.

Now, I want to sleep.  I've been in a movie theater for thirteen hours.

End of the Twilight Saga (3): Eclipse

This has been the best one so far, and not just because it's had the best violence.  Though, the action scenes were great.  It seems like a good middle movie, with everything right up to the edge of drama -- Bella finally, properly chooses, they beat the girl trying to kill her, they achieve something resembling an understanding with the Voltari (or whatever they're called) and they set a date for the wedding! Same complaints as usual: the writing was often bad, the camera moves were often nauseating, the relationships are all unhealthy and it reinforces some creepy values.  Nothing that hasn't been said before.

Bella's belonging speech at the end, though, made me feel some feels.  That's the speech I recognize from every brilliantly moving series that made me feel less alone in the world when I was a kid, the speech that helps the nerdy kids who spend their free time reading feel like there are people who understand.  Like Harry Potter's "You're a wizard, Harry!" and something in like every third episode of Doctor Who.

This wasn’t a choice between you and Jacob—it was a choice between who I should be and who I am. I’ve always felt out of step—like, literally stumbling through my life—I’ve never felt normal, because I’m not normal. I don’t want to be. I’ve had to face death, and loss, and pain in your world but I’ve also never felt stronger—like, more real; more myself—because it’s my world, too. It’s where I belong.


I mean, there's stuff to find fault in in that speech as much as there is in any part of the Twilight series.  But it's the closest I've got to a real fan experience so far today.

the end of the Twilight Saga (1)

So, I've never seen a Twilight movie before today.  I've seen tiny clips of the first one, and the commercials, and loads of animated gifs of Robert Pattinson just not giving a crap.

“Millions of Twilight fans out there just cannot wait to see this. It’s almost heartbreaking because they don’t want it to be over. It’s a little bittersweet, isn’t it?”


And today, I am spending 11am to Midnight in a movie theater watching a marathon of the entire series.  Thank John O'Sullivan for WiFi. [1. After some quick googling, he was the closest I could find to "Who invented WiFi?", which, it turns out, seems like one of those complicated questions with no easy answer.]

That said, so far, it's not as horrible as I expected.  I mean, the movies are bad.  That much is virtually self-evident. All the really famous lines -- "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb,"  "Hang on, spidermonkey," etc., are incredibly forced and have no narrative buildup.

And there are all the creepy, stalkerish and unhealthy aspects of Edward and Bella's relationship.  Those aren't easy to ignore.

A++, would hire again for role of Person Who Can No Longer Bear the Vapidity That Surrounds Him.


But no matter how much crap the movies have going on, they're a collaborative project between a huge number of talented people, and it comes through.  So, having expected to find nothing at all redeeming about the series, I've been pleasantly surprised by the first movie.

Maybe it's all downhill from here, and I will update again as the evening goes on.  But so far, it looks like I'm going to have a pretty good day.