Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1

Reason Associate Editor Peter Suderman reviews the latest installment in the massively popular Twilight series in today's Washington Times:

There I was, thinking I’d never get to see a movie about a psychic, blood-drinking, half-human superbaby. And then I saw “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1.”

Don’t let the “Part 1” confuse you. It’s actually the first half of the fourth installment in the supernaturally popular series based on Stephenie Meyer’s books about a teenage girl involved in a love-triangle with two mythical creatures: impossibly hot teenage boys who also hope to protect her and remain chaste until marriage.

The film’s romance is as flimsy as its fantasy, but that will hardly matter to the target audience. Like all the “Twilight” films, “Breaking Dawn” is aimed squarely at the female demographic — in case there was any doubt going in, it takes less than a minute before one of the male leads rips off his shirt, which may set a new record for time to shirtlessness. The premise, however, has its roots in an old boys’ game: the fantasy fight matchup pitting two famous superbrawlers — say, Superman and Spider-Man — against each other. In this case, the matchup is between vampires and werewolves, but the battle is for a young girl’s heart and hand in marriage.

Whole thing here. 

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  • JoJo Zeke||

    There I was, thinking I’d never get to see a movie about a psychic, blood-drinking, half-human superbaby. And then I saw

    " -- The Lizzie McGuire Movie!"

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    +4 chuckles

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Look Who's Talking IV: The Revenge?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    A Hit 'n Run classic from Valentine's Day:

    John/MNG (mmf)

    MNG touched the clammy skin of John's chest. It was disgusting. MNG moved his hand down John's chest and then touched his small penis and then his small nuts and then his small thighs. MNG was an Down's Syndrome mongoloid and drank urine. rather was urinating and John was not hermaphrodite right now and MNG drank urine. And MNG glittered in the sun so they were in Warty's basement. John had Klinefelter's syndrome. People with Klinefelter's syndrome have small testicles and reduced fertility. MNG is retarded even when he is in his special needs class. rather walked down into Warty's basement and MNG could sense her urine with his enhanced retard senses. rather said "I'm peeing and you are a mongoloid and John is a hermaphrodite." MNG nodded and John nodded. rather then said "You should have naked gay retard and hermaphrodite sex so I can watch and shit myself." It was so not erotic and rather watched until the sun came up and they all went to school and did not tell anyone what happened.

    THE END

  • Scrotie McBoogerballs||

    Well... that beats what I was going to share with the group. [::tears up typewritten manuscript::]

  • ||

    +1 Mulatto

  • DayWalker||

    I will kill them ALL!

  • The Count||

    "One... Two... Three... Four! FOUR crappy movies! AH-ah-ah-ahhhh!"

  • Sparky||

    My daughter read the books and thought they were great. When the first movie came out I asked her if she had any interest in seeing them. She said: "No, they look retarded."

  • ||

    Smart girl.

    Infallible rule of book adaptations: If you liked the book, DO NOT SEE THE MOVIE. It will ruin the book for you. All your fond memories of the book will be completely displaced by you memories of the movie.

  • Come On||

    Not so. They are different media, independent of each other. A classic novel will always stand on its own, and on its own terms.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    True.

    Although American Psycho the novel and American Psycho the film complement one another quite well.

  • SFC B||

    I really liked the recent adaptation of "Count of Monte Cristo" starring Jim Cavieziel.

    Of course I had to read the unabridged version in French for a class so... yeah... fuck that.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    This rule does not apply to the Book of Exodus, the Book of Maccabees, or the Gospel books.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    As much as I'm looking forward to seeing Gibson's movie on the Maccabees (if it ever gets made), I think he could have gotten some awesome lulz out of doing a film on the Israelite conquest of Caanan.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Aren't the LOTR movies exceptions to this otherwise spot-on rule, RC? I've heard good things about the Aubrey/Maturin movie too, though I've not seen it.

    Non-fiction books, I guess, are an exception too, like The Boat/Das Boot.

  • Zuo||

    Yeah came to my mind too. The movies certainly aren't a perfect adaptation of the books plot, but the vibe was nailed, and with more epic scale and visuals than the words in the books might lead the reader to imagine. (Barad-dur being one example, the seiges of Helms Deep and Minas Tirith other examples, and could keep going on.)

    Can't wait for Teh Hobbit.

  • ||

    fair # of exceptions. The Exorcist. Blade Runner imo is better than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

    Godfather I/II

    etc.

  • Charles 3E||

    I liked the Godfather the book, and the movie made it far better.

  • ||

    OK, OK. Maybe its just that I visualize what I read, pretty vividly, and I hate having the movie I made in my head displaced by somebody else's.

  • Jeff P||

    There is no legitimate reason to review this movie. Even ironically. Its existence diminishes us as a species.

  • BakedPenguin||

    +1 Jeff P

  • ||

    +1 BP

  • ||

    +1 me!

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    My older daughter read the books back when they were new, and was obsessed with them. For about 28 minutes.

    It was funny - it was as if she suddenly woke up from hypnosis. One day she absolutely loved the books and was obsessed with the movies, and the next day, she's saying, "I can't believe I liked that - it's so childish."

    She still laughs and rolls her eyes when I mention it.

    I actually did see the first movie. Pretty much an angsty teen movie.

  • ||

    Kristen Stewart doesn't seem to have much acting range (like all the way from A to B). Plus, the script makes her character out to be almost completely inarticulate, unlike the character in the books.
    Of course having teen daughters I have seen the first 3 movies, and will likely see the last two. I still snicker at a line from the first film, where Edward is showing Bella his room and puts Debussy on his sttereo. She says "Claire De Lune is greeaaat....." Does the transformation into a vampire make you dumb?

  • RoboCain||

    Actually, Stewart seems to be a very good actress from everything else she's done. It's just that Bella is such a deliberately flat character.

  • ||

    Agree. Stewart was excellent in the runaways as Joan Jett IMO. Fwiw, iLife all 3 twilight movies. Pure pop , but entertaining

  • Nipplemancer||

    She's twitchy and angsty, that's her range.

  • RoboCain||

    Ever see Adventureland?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091722/

  • T||

    Thoughts on Twilight.

    I especially like the use of the phrase 'sparkle peen'.

  • Kolohe||

    Suderman, you're not an intern anymore; you don't have to subject yourself to this sort of hazing.

  • Fluffy Got Demoted||

    It's not really a battle between vampire and werewolf.

    It's a battle between Emo Stalker Guy and Roid Rage Freakout Guy.

    Emo Stalker Guy wins, which shows you how disconnected it is from reality.

  • Hey!||

    Emo Stalker Guy wins

    No spoiler alert, spoiler?!

  • RoboCain||

    I thought it was choice between necrophilia and bestiality.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    You raise a more-than-valid point, RoboCain.

  • Joe M||

    I saw the second movie as a favor to my wife, and was bored to tears. It's not just that it was bad, it's that there's not even any kind of narrative progression.

  • montani semper liberi||

    I love that when they have sex for the first time she wakes passes out and he keeps going. Then she wakes up bruised and with broken bones the next day, and this somehow shows he loves her. Future abusive boyfriends and husbands must be rejoicing that a generation of young girls think this is normal.

  • ||

    I blame Orson Scott Card. He was the one that made Mormons think they could write.

  • Peter Suderman||

    But Card's early/mid-career stuff was good! I used to like him before he became obsessed with video games and ran out of ideas.
    http://www.thenewatlantis.com/.....cards-game

  • ||

    Even if I liked The Last Starfighter Ender's Game, it wouldn't be worth the existence of Twi-tards.

  • ||

    Ender's Game is a fluke and is only good because of the ending. Without the "actually, he was fighting the aliens the whole time" surprise ending, it's a snooze fest. I tried reading the sequel and was bored to tears.

    Oh sorry, there are some spoilers there.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    God damn it.

  • ||

    If it helps, they weren't really aliens, but stand-ins for the gay people Card hopes we will finally defeat in a real space battle.

  • ||

    GAYS IN SPACE

    Well, really just pigs in space, but I swear Link Hogsthrob was gay.

  • Rachel||

    You seem to have an obsession with gay culture.
    Did you attend Penn State?

  • robc||

    Its a frickin sled.

  • robc||

    BTW, Lucy, this is my standard response when someone complains about spoilers on something more than, oh, 3 years old.

  • T||

    I don't think you can spoil something that's been out for over 25 years. It's already rotten at that point.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    You can spoil, I just can't really complain about it.

    I can, however, be somewhat distressed since I was just discussing the book with Suderman and had intended to read it one day soon.

  • Nipplemancer||

    It's only great if you're a 12 year old boy when you read it the first time. I haven't met a single woman who enjoyed Ender's Game and that includes the weird sci-fi nerdy chicks I know.

  • robc||

    I still have no idea why the brother/sister part of Ender's Game is there.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Peter is the evil that Ender could become, Valentine is the heart and soul that helps keep him grounded.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    My mom loves that book, dude.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Then read it already! It's a quick read. The story is nicely paced and there is plenty of violence including a few child homicides. OSC is a sick sick man.

  • ||

    Soylent Green? It isn't soy.

  • T||

    It's not for Lent, either.

  • ||

    However, it is green.

  • Nipplemancer||

    The sequels were mostly meh, but I did like the ones focusing on the Ender's Jeesh like Ender's Shadow.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    My best friend and his wife, both LDS, call the series "Mormon porn." They absolutely hate the series just because it's so emotionally infantile.

  • Vlad the Chick Impaler||

    Look, mortal vimmen vant it, they ALL vant it...

  • Anonymous Coward||

    ★½ (out of four)

    Suderman, you loon, you actually screened this turd of a film? Well good for you because I would have taken hazing option number 2, staple my non-sparkle peen to a pine board.

  • T||

    I thought the hazing was to hammer a nine inch spike through a board with your erect penis. Or am I misremembering Real Genius?

  • Jeff P.||

    A marathon of Krull, Solarbabies, and Yor, the Hunter From The Future would have been preferable.

    Being forced to lie perfectly still while Minnie Pearl and Carol Channing take turns on you would have been preferable.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    I'm pretty sure the difference between a staple to the dick and spike is one is a funny, the other gets you sent to the Hague (or hired by the government).

  • ||

    "...is aimed squarely at the female demographic — in case there was any doubt going in, it takes less than a minute before one of the male leads rips off his shirt, which may set a new record for time to shirtlessness."

    I am trying to remember exactly how long it was in the film Red Heat before we were treated to a shirtless, and then pantsless, Ahhhnold. Does that make it a chick flick?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Trying to remember that movie. If it's a typical Arnold movie, I would call it a "use shirtlessness to compensate the chicks for being dragged to this flick" flick.

  • Jeff P.||

    Arnold was also in Hercules Goes Bananas. Possibly cinema's finest hour.

  • I, Kahn O'Clast||

    Here are the screen test results:

    http://5secondfilms.com/watch/....._screening

  • Spike||

    People still fall for that Anne Rice routine? What a world!

  • ||

    the first movie had a pretty low budget and the special effects... aren't very special. at all

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