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Gavin Grades The Movies

Breaking Dawn part 1

When you're talking about one of the Twilight films and discussing whether or not it's good or bad, you need to grade it on a curve.  See, all the Twilight movies are bad; it's just a matter as to what degree.  

Breaking Dawn is the first part of the last book and they took a page from the Harry Potter playbook and split it into two.  Make no mistake that moves like that are only to make massive gobs of money and not to superserve the fans of the books.  Comparing the splitting of a book to how it was handled in Harry Potter, I have to admit that the makers of Breaking Dawn did it better.  

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, hurdles when splitting a book is establishing a climax in a movie that is essentially only half-a-story.  Harry Potter failed at that and we ended up with a movie that was all build up and no pay off.  Breaking Dawn has a climax and it builds and pays off in the same film with still more to come.  It ends on a great cliffhanger and actually excited me a bit for what's to come next (I have to admit, part of that anticipation is simply looking forward to it ending).  

The problem with splitting Breaking Dawn into two movies is that there's no need at all for it.  Harry Potter is littered with massive plot twists, exciting action and crucial, intricate details but the first half of Breaking Dawn consists of a wedding, a honeymoon, a baby and that's it.  Everything in Breaking Dawn part 1 could be condensed into an hour without missing anything.  The result is a rather boring, uneventful movie.  

The one thing I love to hate about the Twilight series is that it's turned into a competition for bad acting.  Kristen Stewart has improved from unwatchable to annoying but everyone else seems to have gotten worse.  Robert Pattinson does another statue-esque performance that really makes you wonder how he gets other acting gigs.  But the winners of the bad acting award in Breaking Dawn, however, goes to the members of Jacob's, played by Taylor Lautner, wolf pack.  I know that Native Americans are hard to come by, but good God you'd think they'd be able to find better actors than this lot.  

This brings me to a scene that must be talked about.  Now, I'm not one for spoiler alerts and I don't believe that this is, but for anyone who hasn't read the books...you must be warned about this scene.  It involves a fight between the werewolves where they are having a conversation telepathically.  This scene is handled so poorly that it's utterly laughable.  Yes, there are lots and lots of parts in the movie that are silly, melodramatic to the point of parody and pathetic, but it's possible to control your reactions to those.  This wolf scene challenges you to not laugh and I failed (as did many others in the theater).  Keep in mind this scene is not meant to be funny in any way.  

Okay, it seems like I'm dumping on this film.  That's not entirely fair.  It's still better than the first two films.  Director Bill Condon (Chicago, Gods and Monsters) is a skilled director.  He is clearly the best at directing an enstallment of the series and I'm glad he's doing the last one too.  I'm sure he felt frustration having to use the cast and cheesy gimicks established by the first film since they are still the weak parts of the movie.  

But as hard as he tried, this is a franchise that has been set on autopilot.  It's lazy in every aspect minus the direction.  It stinks of a movie that knows it will make box office bank and do so without lifting a finger.  No one in the movie is trying.  No one writing the script cares.  It's executed with the exertion of a daytime Soap Opera and that's downright insulting for a major Hollywood movie.  

I'm not going to say that this movie is complete garbage, although many will.  Twi-Hards need to understand that their extreme reaction is what causes an extreme reaction on the other side of the spectrum.  I don't understand the Twi-Hards though.  See, if I was as passionate about a book as you audibly are, I would be furious that the living visual representations of those books were done so piss poorly.  Your standards were lowered and you justify it.  I loved the books The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, but the movies sucked.  You have to be able to say that or really you're not a true fan.  Of course if the Twilight films are your definition of top quality and meet your standards for what you love so much, then we just have very different ideas of what makes a great film and we'll never see eye to eye.
Breaking Dawn part 1  (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: C- 

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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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Locations : Chicago
People : Bill CondonGavin GradeKristen StewartRobert PattinsonTaylor Lautner


11/17/2011 5:04PM
Breaking Dawn part 1
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11/17/2011 5:27PM
Breaking Dawn review
I have to admit that the books are way better and always will be but I also have to say that each movie keeps getting better and better about following the book. To me, the first Twilight movie was just a complete waste of time to make because they didn't follow the book whatsoever. But the next movies kept getting better and better, I'm really excited to see the Breaking Dawn movie tomorrow and hope to see if I agree with you :)
11/18/2011 9:14AM
I'm a huge fan but I wish I would've read your review before I wasted 2 hours of time that I could've been sleeping. I was laughing the WHOLE time, not just when the wolves were snarling/telepathically communicating/autotuning their voice thing. I ran out of the movie theater at the end because I was so embarrassed about how HORRIBLE the movie was. Honestly, I'm afraid to even see the last one. You can't compare these movies to Harry Potter! They just look pathetic in comparison.
11/18/2011 2:34PM
thanks gavin for the review. i will be laughing when i get dragged in to watch the movie in a few days.
11/18/2011 3:19PM
You are mistaken.
Gavin, I understand some people choose Harry Potter over Twilight- but thats such a bias because you are coming to watch the movie with a "this is going to tbe terrible" mindset. This alters your opinion completley. If you had just came with a "this is going to be good" paradigm of viewing things, then your perspective might be different. Sure, I agree that some actors were cheesy and on the line of pathetic, i would definitey not rate the movie a C-. At the least, B- and thats if you came a Harry Potter fan. The story is that matters. Twilight is mixed with action, mystery, a few scenes of comedy in this one, and romance. Although Harry Potter includes those characterisitcs, this is completley different then Harry potter, so the two should not be compared. Overall, this story was definitley not deserving a deep negative review. I would rate it an A-. :) -Nora
11/18/2011 3:55PM
your the best
gavin, your awesome ~a regular reader
11/21/2011 7:45PM
Breaking Dawn is probably one of the best movies I have seen in my lifetime. The only reason you're laughing at the movie is because you're thinking of one of your mediocre comedy jokes about the actors. Us Twilight Saga fans take the movies seriously and for someone to spend 100 million on a movie and for you to laugh at it is ridiculous. Everyone acting in the movie is trying their best. I don't think you have seen them act in person because you can't judge a book by it's cover. If I was a critic, I'd give your careless and cheap movie reviews a C- and not the movie.
12/13/2011 8:03PM
i can totally see YOU saying that you hate everything. i thought it deservied a B at least and you really shouldnt say anything because you havnt read the books.
10/03/2012 1:50AM
So true.
I knew there was going to be a tween who posted that you are biased because you like HP. It's because, child, even if you don't like wizards or vampires, for that matter, it comes down to great writing...or here: great screenplay. Learn about it. Stephanie Meyer is mediocre at best and took her twelve year old fat girl fantasies and wrote a book about "Prince Charming" rescuing "Miss Insecurity", excuted very poorly. The acting in "Cinderella" was more interesting.
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