Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Ghoul Versus The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Previously on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse...

The people who helped this film earn almost $700 million dollars set the human race back at least three decades, but I'm going to say five for good measure. No, you want a summary? Alright here it is: remember at the end of New Moon when Bella chose Edward over Jacob? Well, she didn't SUPERCHOOSE Edward because she spent the entirety of Eclipse doing it again. The end. They mixed in a whole bunch of boring nonsense about Bella marrying Edward so he'll make her a zzzZZZzzz... I fell asleep just thinking about it.

To their credit, they DID resolve the epic Victoria saga that was a whopping THREE FILMS IN THE MAKING. Oh you remember the legendary Victoria saga, don't you? Who can forget her memorable debut in the first movie where she was on screen for about five minutes and said I think three lines? How about the second movie, where she ran from some werewolves for a quick music video? This was so worth the well crafted payoff of the last movie, where she put in nearly TEN MINUTES of screen time before getting her head torn off. Hmm... doesn't sound as compelling when you actually type it all out.

Summit Entertainment knew they were going to need someone of an A-level talent to direct Breaking Dawn, due to the fact was considered “unfilmable” by many AND because it was going to have to be split into two movies. They ended up choosing Rob Condon, who has done a lot of very smart movies I've never seen. As well as the sequel to Candyman, starring the patron saint of “A Ghoul Versus...”, Mr. Tony Todd!  It's all come to this: Breaking Dawn, a story SO full of rampant lunacy that it had to be split into two movies to contain the crazy. Sit down and BUCKLE THE HELL UP, this is going to get fucking WEIRD. I give you A Ghoul Versus The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1!

(Note: this review will be for the Extended Version of the film, which exists because this story IS SO LAYERED they couldn't tell all of it in five hours!)

The movie starts off with my main man Aro, making this INSTANTLY the best opening of any of these films so far. He's gotten an invitation to Edward and Bella's wedding, which just delights him to no end. Wait, why is the camera pulling away? No! Don't leave me Aro!  Well dammit. And look, there's Bella is narrating a bunch of nonsense. No one cares... preparations are underway for the wedding... no one cares... Edward reveals to Bella he was the Dexter of the early 20th Century: a killer who only preyed other killers. Just like Rosalie's Vampire Bride story from Eclipse, we only get a brief glimpse of this via flashbacks and sadly not the full two hour movie like it should have been.

We are now forced to sit through an ETERNITY of wedding stuff designed to be as tear jerking and manipulative as possible. I'm not sure I've taken my finger off the fast-forward button for at least a minute at this point. Oh hai again Stephenie Meyer! This wedding crap is so boring I start wondering if she had a cameo in all of the movies, but that would require researching them and I don't EVER want to be reminded of their existence.

They get married and SHOCKINGLY they don't do the “if anyone objects to this marriage” scene with Jacob bursting in to profess his love for Bella, so I have to actually give the movie points for that one. After the wedding things get a bit interesting as we meet Irina, a vampire who was Laurent's girlfriend played by a glaringly out of place Maggie Grace. She doesn't buy the story that Laurent was trying to kill Bella and leaves in a huff, but it's more likely she spotted some Albanian kidnappers out of the corner of her eye and wanted to GTFO.

Jacob does show up though, doing his best to be civil but that all goes out the window when he learns Bella plans to have sex with Edward on her honeymoon while she's still human. He throws one of his patented hissy fits, the rest of the Shirtless showing up to drag him away.  Edward and Bella head off for said honeymoon, which is on “Isle Esme” off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The honeymoon also goes on FOREVER and I am really regretting my decision to watch the Extended Edition because I'm sure it would have cut some of this short. Ha hah, just kidding! All the wedding/honeymoon torture is full intact in the theatrical cut! No, they thought it'd be a good idea to cut the opening scene because Aro is TOO AWESOME FOR TWILIGHT!

So they have sex and Bella sadly doesn't get ripped in half. The next morning is a hilarious scene though where Bella is examining all the bruises on her body as Edward walks up to her. He says “Bella, I can't tell you how sorry I am.” and then he just WALKS OFF! “LOL” as the kids like to say, that is something straight out of Airplane or the Naked Gun.  There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER this had to be two movies. We are almost fifty minutes in and virtually everything that's happened could have been cut. I know, I know they have to show this because it's the payoff for the LARGER THAN LIFE epic love story of Bella and Edward... but I think I've already covered why that's not really a thing.

Even getting past how they have never had a single reason to love each other besides lust, the past two movies most of their time together has been spent in circular arguments about Bella becoming a vampire or marrying Edward. We've never seen them DO anything together, they have no mutual interests besides staring into each others' eyes and uh... err... ahh... did I mention staring into each others' eyes?  But now the REAL fun begins as one morning Bella announces she wants to... deep breath here... HOLD OFF ON BECOMING A VAMPIRE BECAUSE SHE'S HAVING SO MUCH FUN HAVING SEX.

NO. No no no no no. You do NOT get to do that to me movie. You did NOT just waste FOUR HOURS OF MY TIME with the previous two movies, two of the most inane and pointless stories of all time, two movies that literally amounted to Bella begging and bitching and whining to become a vampire; to do THIS to me.  FUCK MY LIFE, they're committing to this. Edward just kind of looks at Bella, and I am PRAYING he rips her throat out for the hell she's put all of us through the last two movies. He doesn't, despite me SCREAMING at the television screen to kill her.

“Look, I can't understand you at all.”
“Look, I did not know how good being human could be.”

Stephenie Meyer is either A) the worst author of the past few decades or B) trolling the human race with the most elaborate hoax outside of the Joaquin Phoenix becoming a rapper. I like to believe after seeing positive fan reaction to the bullshit in her first books, she wrote the rest of the series as a joke just to see what kind of idiots would like it.

This has to be a parody of an 18 year old woman starting to realize that maybe high school isn't the entire world. This is even set up in the last film when Rosalie basically tells Bella she's a stupid child who's too young to know what she'll want out of life in the future. Ahh Rosalie, I really wish you were in these movies more. Unfortunately she's not, and I have to keep on going. Oh hey, Bella just realized she's pregnant.  The next few scenes are PURE padding to stretch this into two movies as we get GRIPPING SCENES of Bella letting it sink into her empty skull that she just got KNOCKED UP BY A VAMPIRE.  We get:

Bella standing around her bedroom with her mouth open.
Bella sitting in the car with her mouth open while Edward has their things loaded onto the plane.

There's been a minor subplot brewing about Jacob planning to kill Edward when he gets back from his honeymoon, as he assumes he'll have turned Bella into a vampire. When he gets word they've returned, he storms into the Cullen house with murder on his mind but finds only a severely pregnant Bella.  Through a series of quick arguments, it's quickly established everyone except for Bella and Rosalie want to terminate the fetus. This also marks the death of Rosalie being the best character in Twilight (which is probably the equivalent of having the LEAST amount of brain tumors in the cancer ward), as she is now reduced to Bella's sidekick in order to protect the baby. This is almost a bit of clever writing because in the last film she talked about the loss of her humanity meant no longer being able to have children, but this is Stephenie Meyer we're talking about here so FUCK THAT.

Edward asks Jacob to try to change Bella's mind, as he has a “connection with her that he'll never understand”. What's not to get Edward? Jacob wants to NAIL YOUR WIFE and will say or do anything to achieve that!  Jacob goes to talk to Bella about the baby, but they end up having a debate over who is the worse actor. Seeing they're locked in a brutal stalemate, Jacob stomps out and transforms into a CGI wolf that still looks horrible despite this film having a budget of almost TWICE the last movie. What follows is another Twilight contribution to the “Funniest Scenes of All Time” highlight reel as he gathers all his other wolf buddies for a meeting where they all yell via some of the worst echo-y voice overs I've ever heard. EVER. Like ALL TIME. Picture the worst 1980s cartoon voice cast you can think of. Got one?

Good. This scene makes that sound like freaking Beauty And The Beast. I can't hear a word they're saying over how hard I'm laughing right now, this shit is career destroying. Sam and the wolves plan to kill all the Cullens to end this bullshit once for all, but Jacob really likes his Twilight paychecks so he runs off to warn them. Seth Clearwater, the youngest member of the Shirtless, joins him for reasons the film doesn't care enough to explain.

Oh, Seth's sister Leah joins too so we can have a TOTALLY NOT FILLER scene of her talking with Jacob about her relationship issues. Yeah, WE SO CARE Leah! Good God, Eclipse cut almost all of the Shirtless bullshit because it was boring as all hell, but no, let's put ALL of it back in for the fourth movie. Non-hardcore fans will surely be interested in all these completely unestablished people getting unusual amounts of screen time, right? Right?!?

Would you look at the time? A few minutes have gone by already and since this is a Twilight movie that must mean it's time for another WTF Scene. Esme asks Rosalie to get Jacob some food, so she makes him a hotdog that she puts into a dog food bowl after carving “Fido” into the side. He takes a bite and then throws the bowl at her head, which sends Edward and Emmett into fits of laughter. Rosalie looks at the camera and screeches out “You... Got... FOOD!... In... My... Hair!” with all the passion of an actress who knows she's probably doomed to Direct-To-Video Hell for the rest of her career.

Phew, thank the Lord we had such a funny scene amidst Bella's baby slowly killing her and a pack of werewolves about to break in and kill everyone. That REALLY sets the tone for such a tense situation, I'm SUPER invested now! Later Edward goes on Yahoo- wait, seriously? Yahoo?! Is that still around?  Edward goes on Yahoo (snicker) to do an image search on vampire babies in a scene even funnier than the last one. In fact, it's so funny I'll let Robert Pattinson HIMSELF describe it to you:

They look on Google Images. That was one of the funniest scenes I've ever had to do in my life. It's like... really? We're all 300 year old geniuses and we just go on... it's like “Vampire Baby” on Google Images. Yeah that was our research into it... it's like “I can't find anything!”

Remember kids, Robert Pattinson hates Twilight more than you do. Don't believe me? Check out this next scene. Carlisle tells Bella the baby is killing her and she IS going to die in the attempt of trying to give birth. Edward mumbles out how he can't live without her and turns away and LOOK AT HIS FACE. HE IS SMILING! You know what that means? Robert Pattinson kept cracking up every time he had to say a line so ridiculous, and they were forced to use this take because it was the most toned down one. The movies are almost enjoyable if you look at them from the perspective of Pattinson overacting every single scene just to see if he can get away with- never mind, these movies aren't enjoyable under any circumstances. Bella pleads with Edward to love their baby after she's gone, but he's all “Fuck that noise! That vampire baby is a monster!”. He even YELLS at Bella which made me fall out of my chair with shock. I literally didn't think vampires were capable of any emotion besides monotone.

I will give the movie a point for the next scene, because this whole time Bella's almost been portrayed as a sympathetic character with everyone wanting to kill her baby. They quickly fix that by having her tell Jake “it feels complete when you're here” right in front of Edward, just in case we all forgot what a manipulative and self-centered bitch she is.  Everyone comes to the conclusion the baby is thirsty, so we get a lovely scene of Bella drinking human blood. Can you imagine how future generations are going to judge us for these movies? I wonder what kind of words they'll use to describe us? I bet they'll have to INVENT new ones, like “platypusfuckcrazy”. Even better, Bella starts GETTING OFF ON IT. Fast forwarding NOW.

We can't have Edward and Bella being at odds though because a conflict would create some sort of movie, so Edward begins to sense the thoughts of the baby and switches sides to Team Vampire Baby. This spurs Jake to make some kind of deal with the Shirtless that he'll kill the baby or something, I don't really know or care. It's probably all some kind of clever double cross, but Taylor Lautner's acting is SO bad in this movie I can't concentrate on anything he says.

It's immediately revealed to be a double cross, as he just met with the Shirtless to distract them so the Cullens could go get some more blood for Bella. Wasn't that anticlimactic as shit. Jacobs heads back to the house so Bella can share the names she's picked out for her demon spawn with him. Edward Jacob if it's a boy, Renesmee if it's a girl. If you EVER meet a person with either of those names, PLEASE don't make fun of them. Just think of the suffering they'll have to endure for the rest of their lives with the kind of parents they must have.

Things go to hell as Bella begins going into labour pains, and OH MY GOD do things get fucked up. The baby kicks and breaks her spine, so they have to perform a C-Section to get the baby out. However scalpels don't work on her vampire womb so Edward FUCKING CHEWS IT OPEN WITH HIS FANGS. He rips the baby out of her, Bella getting to briefly hold her newborn daughter before she succumbs to her severe injuries AND FREAKING DIES! FUCK YEAH!

Please Cue the credits, cue the credits- dammit it's still going. Edward grabs a syringe full of his “venom” and injects it directly into Bella's heart. I'm no doctor or anything, but wouldn't CHEWING THROUGH HER FUCKING WOMB qualify as biting her? Edward starts giving her CPR to no avail, so he starts just RANDOMLY BITING ALL OVER HER CORPSE! Jesus Mary and Joseph what am I watching?!?

Jacob doesn't kill Edward, saying he deserves to live with this pain forever. He DOES decide to go kill Renesmee because after what we just saw even murdering a baby doesn't seem that bad. It's worth noting they didn't use a real baby for this, but instead a dummy with a SATANIC CGI FACE that will haunt your dreams til the day you die.  Unfortunately, this IS Twilight and killing a baby in cold blood isn't good enough for this franchise so as Jacob lays eyes on Satan he FUCKING IMPRINTS ON HER.

Yes, you absolutely and unequivocally read that right. Jacob Black instantly falls head over heels in love with a BABY. I don't... I can't... I... You can't even call this wrong as much as you're forced to question your sanity that you actually just saw that happen. Millions of people love these stories though, maybe it's just me though? Am I the asshole here? Hold on, I'm not the one who just wrote a scene with a guy falling in love with a baby.

Edward senses the wolves coming, so he leaves Bella's side to go deal with them. On the way outside he catches Jacobs thoughts that he wants to FUCK HIS INFANT DAUGHTER so he breaks his arm and kicks the shit out of him.  Edward, Alice, and Jasper walk outside to face the wolfpack and an incomprehensible shaky cam battle with crap lighting breaks out. The rest of the Cullens show up to even the odds, aided by Seth and Leah. Maybe. I guess. I can't tell who is hitting who, did Michael Bay direct this?

Jacob runs out to smooth everything over as we learn whoever a wolf imprints on can't be harmed, as it's their “most absolute law”. That was a nice little eleventh hour ass pull there, Mrs. Meyer! That's almost a happy ending however, so they have to go and fuck it up by having Bella come back to, well not life, but whatever the hell vampires are in the Twilight universe.  Her eyes pop open as the credits begin to roll, The Joy Formidable's “Endtapesplaying us out.

VAMPIRE BABY. I mean whatever, vampires being able to have sex has long since been established in much better works than this so I'm not arguing about that.  But vampires being able to knock up humans? That is so- oh for fuck's sake, there's a stinger in this movie too? We're back in Italy WITH ARO so I totally forgive the fact this movie still isn't over yet. The Volturi get a letter from Carlisle informing them he has added a new member to his coven, which the other two declare finally ends their beef with him. Aro disagrees, as he declares they still has something he wants.

Cue the credits FOR REAL, set to Bruno Mars's “It Will Rain.

I'm not very good at the maths, but I'm fairly certain someone with a keen mind could actually devise a mathematical formula to prove how everyone of these movies has gotten at least TWICE as worst as the last one. If they keep this up pretty soon they're going to create some kind of antimatter equation that will end all life in this dimension.

This is a movie I felt ashamed to watch, as if I'd read the diary of a horribly disturbed mental patient and learned more than I ever wanted to know. Did you know Twilight was inspired by a dream Stephenie Meyer had where a girl met a really hot guy who turned out to be a vampire? Did you know there was no back story for the first book until she was nearly finished writing it? Did you know she'd never written a thing in her life before writing Twilight?

Better yet, did you know in the Breaking Dawn book Bella vomited up a “fountain of blood”? I feel robbed we didn't get to see that, because I think a fountain of blood would have really been the icing on the cake that is this travesty.  This... this was interesting. As always, good stuff first. With the exception of the CGI wolves still looking like shit, this is the first Twilight film to actually LOOK LIKE a movie. The first three movies were as flashy as a soap opera, but this one did have a cinematic feel to it. There was nothing going on in cinematic fashion, but if it had at least it would have had a good backdrop to do it in.

This also has the honour of being the least offensive Twilight movie, well until Jacob fell in love with a FREAKING BABY. I know, imprinting means he's not sexually attracted to her until she's older but still... WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. The horrifying implications of all of this notwithstanding, I DEFY YOU to find a bigger cop out in all of fiction than this.

Two movies (and the opening of this one) were dedicated to the most painful love triangle ever caught on film outside of bondage porn. Despite Bella constantly telling Jacob she chose Edward... even though she kept giving Jacob hope and made out with him AFTER getting engaged... stay on task Ghoul, stay on task! Despite Bella constantly telling Jacob she chose Edward, teen wolf never gave up and kept pressing on to win her over.

Stephenie Meyer painted herself into a corner because she couldn't have poor Jacob end up alone... even though in the books she spent a lot of time setting it up for Jacob and Leah to hook up. But this was all a swerve so we could be totally blindsided by the imprinting, which did work but who out there was really expecting a man to fall in love with a BABY?  Brushing THAT aside, this was actually very tame for a Twilight movie. It probably helps the first hour is dedicated to Edward and Bella getting married with very little dialogue, minimizing any chances for any horrible sexism, codependency, or pro-sexual assault messages.

That's really all there is to say, Taylor Lautner REALLY highlights how the acting in these movies continues to devolve, there is almost no plot to speak of, and this was SOOOOOO boring because it's almost all padding. Since it's a split movie it's virtually all setup for the second half, which I'm SURE will be awesome and TOTALLY justify the existence of this movie.

Spoilers: it doesn't.