I’m one of those rare people who thinks a bad movie can be just as enjoyable as a good one.  Even if you acknowledge what you’re watching it absolute shit and shouldn’t be screened near an open flame, you can still have a good time watching it.  Really, I think the worst sin a movie can commit is being boring and unmemorable.  An awful movie can at least be memorable in its awfulness.  A mediocre movie can’t.  This is why I find anything Matthew McConaughey does to be far worse than “Troll 2”.

Perfect example: believe it or not, I’ve never made it through M. Night Shyamalan’s “Lady in the Water”.  Nothing happens in that movie.  After getting about halfway through I forgot I was watching a movie, shut it off, and probably wandered off to make a sandwich.  However, his follow-up “The Happening” opens with construction workers flinging themselves off skyscrapers and Marky Mark rambling about the bees.  And it only gets better when you see people trying to run away from wind and see old ladies talking about “lemon drink”.  It’s nowhere near a good movie (oh heaven’s no), but I’ve seen it half a dozen times and I consider it one of the great unintentional comedies of our time.


As of last night, I have sat through all four “Twilight” films, and this is my primary problem with the series: It’s BORING!!!

Yes, not the sparkly vampires, not the shirtless werewolves, not the shirtless werewolves falling in love with baby of a sparkly vampire, not the casual sexism, not the bullshit abstinence message.  My problem is that “Twilight” is boring boring boring.  Oh my God it is so damned boring!

What’s worse, the series seems to go out of its way to be boring!  It seems to relish in the fact that nothing happens!  It’ll flirt for a moment with having something exciting or interesting happen, but then the movie goes “Whew!  That was close!  Let’s get back to long, drawn out scenes of sullen teenagers mumbling at each other!  That’s really what our audience has come to see!”  People were tittering about the vampire baby birth scene in “Breaking Dawn”, wondering or hoping it would be as disgusting as it was in the book.  I knew it wouldn’t because, aside from not risking their precious PG-13 rating so all the naive teenage girls could see this dreck, nothing interesting has happened in this series so far!  So why start now?

I’m not going to lie; I had to psyche myself up for a long time to sit through “Breaking Dawn”.  While the previous film, “Eclipse”, was hailed by critics as the “best” of the series thus far and they were probably right (through really we’re judging on a very steep curve here), it was probably the one that made the angriest with the way the characters were acting and the way the action (what little there was) was presented.  The epic battle between vampires and werewolves amounted to, at best, five minutes of judo throws in the woods.  Bryce Dallas Howard’s role at the main villain, who at best has had five minutes of screen time in the previous two movies up until this point, had a total of ten minutes in this one and maybe half a dozen lines before getting taken out in the most anti-climactic way possible.  I remember my partner-in-crime Stefanie bashing her head against my shoulder in the theater during Edward’s proposal to Bella, which basically when like this:

“I’m sorry Bella, I can’t make love to you unless we were married…oh by the way, will you marry me?”

Has there been a more hateful character in the last fifty years of fiction than Bella Swan?  The girl is a borderline supervillain.  All she wants is for Edward to turn her into a vampire, and nothing will dissuade her from that goal.  While normally a character going for something they want so bad would be a positive trait, she pursues it so ruthlessly and with such little regard for the people around her that it makes her come across as incredibly selfish.

BELLA SWAN: Destroyer of Worlds

Now, I’m a huge fan of the “Harry Potter” series, and it’s amazing how Bella is the opposite of Harry in almost every way.  Harry is constantly offered fame and power, but rejects it at every turn because all he wants is a normal life with his loved ones.  Bella tosses aside her friends and a chance at a normal life without a second thought in her pursuit to be changed into a vampire by Edward, which will make her young, beautiful, and powerful forever.

Also, despite what people say about Harry, there’s plenty you can say about him as a character.  He likes Quidditch.  His best subject is Defense Against the Dark Arts.  His least favorite subject is Divination.  His favorite desert is Treacle tart.  Can you say anything of the same things about Bella?  And more than that, do either her or Edward talk about anything other than their devotion to each other?  Don’t they talk about a movie or a book they recently saw?  About what the weather is going to be like tomorrow?  How boring must is be to be around these people on a day-to-day basis?  They deserve eternity together, if for no other reason than they’re both so insufferable.

And above all else, Edward Cullen is not a character; he’s a plot device.  He’s a MacGuffin.  He’s a symbol of how beautiful and wonderful Bella’s life (or afterlife) would be if she became a vampire.  Their discussions of when they’ll get married?  When they’ll have sex?  When he’ll turn her into a vampire?  It’s all just bargaining (or pestering) over her own character development, which isn’t terribly interesting to watch.  This is why “Twilight”‘s rep as a good example of abstinence ultimately doesn’t work.  Edward and Bella clearly want to have sex right from the beginning.  Everything after that is just a negotiation as to what bizarre and apparently acceptable circumstances that sex will take place under.  Maybe they waited until they were married, but they got married at the age of seventeen.  Like that’s much better?

But I’m nothing if not a masochist, so Elanor and I got together and popped “Breaking Dawn” into my DVD player.  Yes, copious amounts of whiskey was involved.  Like you even need to ask?

Edward's one step away from having flowing blonde hair and an open shirt billowing in the wind in this shot.

Edward’s one step away from having flowing blonde hair and an open shirt billowing in the wind in this shot.

First 30 seconds of the movie feature Taylor Lautner as Jacob ripping off his shirt, running into the woods, and turning into a wolf.  “Eclipse” opened with Edward and Bella snuggling in that goddamn meadow in the daylight, meaning Edward’s sparkling his ass off.  These movies waste no time in pissing off guys like me, don’t they?  Actually, after this point we don’t see much of the werewolf men with their shirts off.  And we don’t see the vampires sparkling once, even though they’re out in the daylight for most of the movie.  During the ceremony at the beginning, where the wedding party is perhaps 50% vampires, Elanor noticed “It’s an outdoor wedding!  Shouldn’t they be sparkling right now?”  The vampire make-up isn’t as intense either, to the point where you possibly wouldn’t even know the Cullens were vampires unless somebody told you.

You’d think this would make me happy, since the sparkly vampires and shirtless werewolves are easily the stupidest parts of these movies, but it kind of didn’t.  Once you drop a grenade like vampires that sparkle, you kind of have to stick with it, don’t you?  You can’t act like it didn’t happen.  At least see your extremely shitty horse to the finish line, guys.

So Edward and Bella are getting married and they plan to turn her into a vampire shortly thereafter.  They do a token scene where Edward talks about how horrible it is to drink blood, flashing back to him killing someone during a showing of “Bride of Frankenstein”, but of course it doesn’t deter Bella in the slightest.  During the flashback Robert Pattinson has this look on his face that seems to say “I could have been in a horror movie like this but noooo…”

Don’t remind me of what I could be watching instead.

Strap yourself in for the wedding, because it takes up easily a quarter of the movie.  Of all the “Twilight” films, “Breaking Dawn” lives up to the “porn for women” mantra the most of all.  The way Michael Bay will lovingly film a sports car or a super model, director Bill Condon films Bella Swan’s wedding dress or the wedding decorations.  The scenes in the Brazilian mansion for their honeymoon are framed and filmed like commercials for vacation homes.  I half expected the Macy’s logo to pop up in the corner of the screen.

Everyone’s joy over Edward and Bella’s union is perhaps the creepiest thing in the film.  All the women have this unsettling Stepford smile, especially the actress playing Bella’s mother.  It feels like they come from bizarre alternate dimension where teenage weddings don’t end in disaster and heartbreak.  Only Bella’s dad Charlie and Anna Kendrick’s character seem to realize how bizarre and stupid all this.  I swear, Charlie and Anna Kendrick are my only bright spots in these movies.  Very often Charlie’s weariness and exhaustion over Bella’s decisions eeriely mirror my own.  And I’ve never understood why all the male characters fawn over Bella when gorgeous, talented, Oscar-nominated Anna Kendrick is standing but a few feet away.

Nah, I’m gonna go for the pale, mumbly, mousy-haired girl who constantly puts herself in danger. That’s more my style!

Then we get to the reception where they apparently set up an open mike for toasts.  I’ve been to plenty of weddings that have done this, and its always death.  “Breaking Dawn” fares no better.  But then Edward gets up and says “Bella, no measure of time with you will be long enough…but let’s start with forever.”  Ugh, every other line makes me want to vomit.  Go back to the awkward toasts!

"I don't understand how time works."

“I don’t understand how time works.”

So Edward fucks off with Bella to an island his family owns in Brazil for their honeymoon.  An island that, as the original book says, is on the West coast of Brazil.  The West coast.  I’ll give all of you a moment to Google a map of South America and then hang your head in disappointment.

"My editors don't own a globe!"

“My editors don’t own a globe!”

Bella prepares for her wedding night like she’s heading for an execution.  For Pete’s sake, just take your clothes off and let him stick in it!  This isn’t rocket surgery!  While I admit I’ve never wanted to see a sex scene less, I was still infuriated that they cut away just as they were about to properly do it.  We’ve been building up this deflowering for three damn movies!  Don’t fade to black just as it happens, you bastards!

She wakes up the next morning with the bed destroyed and bruises all over her body, but insists the night was wonderful.  Do the producers of these films realize how intense and traumatic it is sometimes for girls (or Hell, even boys) when they lose their virginity?  It’s already intense enough for women because of the pain factor.  A man is literally entering you and stretching out muscles that haven’t been stretched until now.  It fucking hurts!  Factor in the bruises and destruction of property, anyone else would be rightly terrified of having sex again.  But then again, this is “Twilight” and Bella is clearly a crazy person, so fine she liked it.

Edward refuses to have sex with her again until she’s a vampire and can take the abuse.  Well, dude, let her be on top?  Give each other oral?  Tap him on the shoulder when he’s getting too rough?  Have a safety word?  Get creative here people!  Communicate with your sexual partner!  How unimaginative must Mormon sex be?

I can scarcely describe how self-indulgent both the honeymoon scenes and the wedding scenes are in this movie.  We’re basically watching two fabulously wealthy young people cavorting about on their own private island, which has a mansion, private beach, and even a waterfall.  Forgive me if I couldn’t give two fucks about watching such things.  Literally all we watch them do after these scenes is eat, sleep, swim, and play chess.  Yes, after refusing to have sex with her, there are two or three scenes of them playing chess in order to curb their desires.  This $200 million production does nothing but show its main characters playing chess instead of showing vampires and werewolves fighting each other.  Such a great investment of money and time.



But of course they can’t hold it in, keep doing it and Bella gets pregnant, which apparently shocks everyone.  A girl got pregnant by having lots of unprotected sex with her husband?  Wonder of wonders!  Hey, since Edward is technically undead, how does he still produce active sperm?  How does he pump enough blood to get an erection?  Why am I still watching this?

Apparently Bella getting pregnant is bad, because the Portuguese housekeeper comes along and screams “El Diablo!”  Way to keep casual racism alive guys.  Edward and Bella fuck off back to Washington where Carlisle tells her the vampire baby is growing at an accelerated rate, is feeding off Bella’s life force, and will probably kill her when its born.  They tell her to abort the fetus, but Bella has no survival instinct so she demands to keep it.

This brings up perhaps the most offensive part of this film: the abortion overtones.  Doug Walker put it much better in his review of this film, and I’m going to paraphrase it a bit here.  Whatever you feel about abortion, whether you’re for or against it, you need to have calm, civil, and honest discussions about it and its effects.  You don’t talk about it in the fucking sparkly vampire movie!!!

Also, Edward’s father Carlisle is a doctor who’s hundreds of years old and has lived with The Volturi for a time, basically the leaders of vampires in this universe.  Doesn’t he have ancient tomes or scriptures describing previous incidents with vampires having sex with and impregnating human women?  I find it very hard to believe that this has never happened before and they have no frame of reference what so ever.

There’s even a scene where Carlisle just straight up Googles information on immortal children.  This dude is a doctor, hundreds of years old, and a millionaire to boot and uses the same research methods a schmuck like me uses.  Also, the random images he googles are pieces of classic art that depict torture and nightmares, not anything related to vampires or demon children.  I had to pause the DVD when I spotted Francisco Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son” amongst the images.  I’ve attended enough art classes to recognize it on sight.  The lazy bastards literally just threw a bunch of creepy looking paintings in a blender and hit the mix button!

Well “Twilight” fans clearly don’t know anything about literature, so what would they know about art? Throw it in!

I should mention that after the point where Bella gets pregnant, Kristen Stewart becomes even more of a non-presence than usual.  It’s amazing how many characters there are in this film that stand around and do nothing.  In fact, I think three quarters of the movie takes place at the Cullens’ mansion in the woods.  This movie and it’s second part had a combined budget of $200 million, and almost nothing happens!  How much are the producers skimming off the top?  The joke is officially on us.

The producers of the “Twilight” films hard at work.

Jacob abandons his werewolf tribe to protect Bella, because even though she’s with Edward he still wants her safe (i.e. he’s an idiot).  God the lead actors are awful.  Taylor Lautner’s whole acting technique seems to consist of pouting and glaring intensely.  Kristen Stewart still mumbles and stutters through every sentence, and Robert Pattinson stares like he’s stoned out of his gourde.  Where’s Michael Sheen to ham it up when you need him?

Bella starts to waste away and looks skinnier and paler than usual.  Jacob gets the bright idea that, since she’s pregnant with a vampire baby, they feed her blood.  So they literally squirt blood into a sippy cup and have her drink it like an infant.  It kind of takes away from the drama or squick when you have your main character drink blood out of something you could get at Five Guys.

Then the baby snaps Bella’s spine and she goes into labor.  Hoo boy, here we go.  I feel so bad for the filmmakers.  They get saddled with a story where they have a vampire baby bursting out of a girl and then having a werewolf fall in love with said baby, and they have to make sure it has a PG-13 rating so they won’t lose their crucial teen girl fanbase?  I personally would have loved something worthy of David Cronenberg like most other guys, but that didn’t happen here.

The baby is born and they give it that stupid, stupid name of Renesmee.  I swear, the scene where they bring up that name?  The male actors had the exact same reaction I did.  In fact, the actors had a lot of scenes where they lampshade how stupid all of this is.  I can only imagine the self-loathing on these sets.  Jacob sees Renesmee and “imprints” on her, or whatever bullshit thing they came up with to justify him falling in love with a goddamn baby.  A creepy, obviously fake CGI baby to boot.

It has no eyes, but it still sees me!

Edward injects Bella with his vampire venom and waits for her to revive.  I felt like Mike and the bots at the end of “Space Mutiny” screaming “And her eyes open!  Her eyes open!  We all know it’s going to happen, her eyes open!  Open!  OPEN!”  And sure enough, her eyes open.  She’s a vampire.  Roll credits.

See you in the next movie, suckers!

I think I’ve seen more nothing in this film than in any other film.  The first half of “Birdemic” had more happening than this!  Elanor and I couldn’t even effectively mock it, we felt so drained and violated as it went on.  There was no damn reason for this to be split into two films.  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” being split into two parts no doubt was a box office boon to the producers, but in fairness tons of shit is going on in “Harry Potter”.  Plus they had just made eight high-grossing movies in less than a decade.  They were kind of entitled to a victory lap by that point.

But “Twilight”?  There’s no excuse.  They’re nakedly trying to milk as much box office dollars as they can from the rapid teen fan base that inexplicably likes this dreck.  How can a film series featuring vampires fighting werewolves and babies breaking their mother’s spines be so goddamn dull?

I’ve actually had some say “Oh it’s just a cheesy romance and it’s not supposed to be good.”  I have one thing to say to these people: you have too low standards for your entertainment and need to demand better.  If you don’t, you’re just going to get more offensively stupid crap like this.

But oddly?  I can’t wait for the last film.  I think it’ll be my favorite of the series.  Know why?

It’ll be the last one!