SO SAD ...
After four books and five record-breaking movies, it has come to an end.
For some this means rejoicing. For others like myself it leaves more of a bittersweet feeling. "Breaking Dawn-- Part 2" concludes "The Twilight Saga" by Stephanie Meyer, the series that has had women of all ages drooling for the past five years while dragging men alongside them to the theater.
When the first "Twilight" movie came out, I couldn't wait to see it. I was only 12 at the time and so I wasn't allowed to go to the midnight showing. Instead I had a "Twilight" party the Friday that the movie came out where we all made sweats and T-shirts to sport our "Twilight" pride. But throughout the series, my enthusiasm to see the movies slowly faded and with each one, I was less and less excited.
So while I wasn't very excited to see "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," I think a small part -- or rather a big part of me -- didn't want to see it simply because I didn't want the series to end. Even though the new film brought in a whopping $141 million opening weekend, it did not beat the record of the second movie, "New Moon," which brought in $142.8 million when it debuted. But regardless of how much money this finale brought in, it failed to disappoint.
When the first "Twilight" film came out in 2008, every little detail was scrutinized in comparison to Meyer's books. "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" hasn't been compared to the books as much as the other movies were. Perhaps this is because it's been so long since I read "Breaking Dawn" that I simply can't remember enough in order to compare it to the books.
However, I do remember enough about the books that when the fight against the Volturi began I knew that there were surprises in store. These elements of surprise added to the movie by keeping you on the edge of your seat, even though it was a story that you had already heard before.
The ending of this film is one that ventured away from that of the ending of the books, however. It is one that takes you on a journey of Edward and Bella and how "the lion fell in love with the lamb." Bella has a surprise for Edward and this surprise is a great way to end the series as it takes us back to the beginning and recaps all of those memories that made us all fall in love with "Twilight" in the first place. It also made me realize how sad I am that it has come to an end.
I cried my eyes out when I finished reading "Breaking Dawn." Now that may have been because it was 4 in the morning and I had been reading nonstop since midnight when the book was released, but either way, I was sad when it ended then and I'm sad that it has ended now.
Now that the "Twilight" series is over there will be no division of Team Edward or Team Jacob because at this point both teams win. Edward has Bella, and Jacob has Renesmee, or "Nessie," as he refers to her -- something I'm still trying to wrap my head around. What will remain are the memories. No one will ever forget the first time they saw Edward sparkle on screen or the many occasions in which Jacob is shirtless.
Yes, "Twilight" will live on. "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" will probably continue to do well in theaters for some time and sell countless DVDs. The movies will continue to be watched and the books will continue to be read. Although other things will come along and threaten these characters' existence, we will all hold on to our many memories of "Twilight" -- whether they were good or they were bad, we will not forget.
Caitlynn Kindall is a senior at Ogden High School. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SO GLAD ...
I did not have high expectations when I walked into the dimly lit theater to see "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," which picks up directly where Part 1 ended.
Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) opens her now creepily vampiric red eyes after giving birth to her vampire hybrid daughter, whose delivery forced her "vegetarian" blood-sucking husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson), to bite Bella in order to save her life.
As an ex-"Twilight" fan, I have a lot of issues with the story and was not expecting to enjoy the final movie. This review is for those of you who are like me: not overly fond of the "Twilight" saga, but who will doubtless be dragged to this final installment by a crazed friend, family member or significant other.
Honestly, "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" was not nearly as awful as I'd expected; several parts were well done and entertaining. Stewart's acting has improved slightly, and she is no longer quite as wooden; I think she actually used facial expressions in a few scenes, and every now and then, the tone of her voice would change a bit.
It was also nice to see Bella finally fight for herself and her loved ones. One of my primary complaints about the character is her dependence on Edward; there are few times when she takes initiative and stands up for herself. Now, however, she finally (kind of) asserts her independence and takes action.
The youngest addition to the Cullen family, Bella and Edward's daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), was delightful, despite her ridiculous name. Although as a baby she appears disturbingly fake, Foy plays the part of a slightly-older Renesmee well and is quite adorable.
The ending of "Breaking Dawn" was also well done. The movie makers found a way to amp up the suspense and action while remaining true to the ending of Stephenie Meyer's book. This modified ending was so suspenseful, in fact, that I lost feeling in my fingers because my "Twilight" fanatic best friend was clutching my hand so tightly. I felt like the ending was a bit of a cop-out, but it definitely made the movie more exciting and was an interesting twist.
Even the credits were a fantastic way to wrap up the series. The images and names of every character in the saga were displayed, including characters not seen in "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2." It was a cool way to pay homage to the actors and tie together all of the movies.
Now, all this is not to say that "Breaking Dawn" did not have its faults, because it certainly did. The first half was fairly boring, very choppy and felt as though it ought to have been attached to Part 1. It didn't stand on its own, and little background information was relayed. Moviegoers who have yet to see the first half, or have forgotten parts of it, may be hopelessly lost.
One of the things that annoyed me the most was the narration: vital knowledge is relayed to the audience through Bella's voice-over narrating. While this style works in a book, it quickly becomes tedious in a movie. A few extra scenes could easily explain what Bella says, showing the audience what is happening and eliminating a number of boring lines.
Other aspects of the film aggravated me as well. A number of scenes cut from one to the next with little transition, seeming very abrupt. At times, the camera angles became irritating as they swerved around, occasionally blurring certain objects for no real reason. The special effects often appeared fake, such as the vampires looking as though they're being lifted by ropes when they jump -- which, really, they are. Parents should also be warned that there's a fairly graphic sex scene, considering how many fans are 11-year-old girls.
Overall, I'd say I enjoyed the three-minute trailer for "The Hobbit" more than any of the 115 minutes of "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2." Yet it was not a horrendous movie -- it was the best of the saga -- and parts were entertaining, even for someone who dislikes the story.
Whether or not you enjoy the movie, there is definitely one thing to celebrate about the conclusion of the "Twilight" saga -- it's over, which means that hopefully the debates about whether Jacob or Edward has hotter abs will finally fade. I can sit through a "Twilight" movie, but if I'm subjected to one more argument over whether or not vampires are better than werewolves, I might be forced to suck somebody's blood.
Kalli Damschen is a senior at Clearfield High School. Email her at email@example.com.