The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), directed by Bill Condon.

Well, I did it. I have now seen all five Twilight movies and, yes, I do feel like I deserve a medal. Because it wasn’t easy, dear readers. That’s about ten hours of Twilight. Ten. That’s one hell of a lot of brooding and gazing longingly.

I watched the first four movies last year when Breaking Dawn – Part 1 came out. In fact, I watched all four in three days, a journey laid out in my review at the time.

Let’s just say I was not a fan.

So with that under my belt, I knew I had to see this last one, only for posterity. I had some very minor hopes for it, considering the series has been (sort of) building to this penultimate fight between the Cullens and the Volturi, with a few poorly-CGI’d werewolves thrown in for good measure.

I hoped that something, anything, might actually happen in this final installment. One of my main problems with the Twilight movies is that none of them really have much of a story arch to them. Stuff just happens. A boy meets a girl. They cuddle in a meadow. Another boy comes along. She might love him, but maybe not. Oh and they’re all vampires and werewolves.

I know the series is targeted for “tweens” but I’ve never thought that means it has to come off as having been written by “tweens.”

“And then this happens and then this happens and then this happens,” rarely makes for a compelling story without some sort of overall conflict that the elements of the plot work to advance.

The first half of Breaking Dawn – Part 2 follows this pattern. Bella goes hunting (the special effects in this segment are so, so awful). And then she meets her baby. And then they get a house. And then they have sex and hint at how vigorous it was.

Because I couldn’t care less about these dreary characters, none of this appeals to me.

And then the Volturi find out about the daughter and a hint of a plot begins. But before that can be properly tackled, the film turns into the worst X-Men movie I have ever seen as vampires from all over the world show up to teach the Cullens about stereotypes and to help them confront the Volturi.

At this point a 13-year-old boy must have got a hold of the script, because they also all have unique powers beyond just being boring old vampires. I’m not sure why Wolverine wasn’t there, maybe Hugh Jackman was busy filming Real Steel 2.

Anyway, after a scene that goes on forever where it seemed like an epic battle isn’t going to happen, it finally, thank the Lord, does.

(By the way, Michael Sheen is the only good thing in this movie and apparently the only actor who understands how ridiculous this all is and how the only way to have any fun with it is to go over-the-top.)

Then, in the horrendous tradition of “have it both ways endings” (also know as “Far-and-Away-ing it”), it turns out the battle never actually happened.

Savages pulled this cheap trick too and it’s honestly never a good idea. It’s lazy and pandering. This way we get to see some actual drama, what with characters dying and everything, AND have a happy ending where everyone is alive and Jacob can continue to court a nine-year-old girl. Everybody wins! Please.

Oh right, spoilers.

Anyway, I could bash Twilight all day. I initially started watching the movies to make sure I wasn’t just one of those people making fun of something I had no actual contact with. I also hoped I might be pleasantly surprised. No luck there, but it’s almost pointless to harp too much on them because they clearly aren’t made for me.

Loads of people, even people I respect, love these movies. I honestly don’t get it, but I also don’t get what people like about Lord of the Rings, and one of those won an Oscar, so there must be something to it. Breaking Dawn – Part 2 won’t be winning any Oscars (never say never I guess…) but it will be one of the highest grossing movies of the year.

I won’t bemoan the death of culture, because it’ll survive, but the snobbish, adult part of me does lament the fact that this is what passes for quality storytelling for our youth. But, you know what? Youth grow up and move on. I’m sure I enjoyed a lot of rubbish in my younger years, and still do.

And even if they don’t move on they hopefully at least come to the understanding that Twilight should be a guilty pleasure. Because, really.

So rock on tweens and Twihards, re-read and re-watch all you want. Enjoy it.

I’m just glad that, for me at least, dawn has finally risen on The Twilight Saga.  As long as I don’t get all sparkly everything will be fine.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 is in cinemas now.


Cosmopolis (2012), directed by David Cronenberg

They said Don DeLillo was unfilmable! They said it couldn’t be done!

The question now is should it be done?

I saw Cosmopolis on a Thursday night, downtown with three other people in the audience. Two of them, a couple, left about 10 minutes into it. Consider that with the fact that Robert Pattinson is one of the biggest movie stars in the world right now, because he plays a mean sparkly vampire. Actually part of me really hoped that a big group of giggly preteens would be in the theatre only knowing that Pattinson was in it. I wanted to see the look of utter confusion on their faces.

Now I’m a fan of Don DeLillo and a huge fan of David Cronenberg, so this seemed like a hell of a combo to me. Granted Cosmopolis is probably my least favourite DeLillo book out of those I’ve read and Cronenberg hasn’t exactly been blowing my mind (or any heads) lately, but still, my curiosity was piqued.

The film is exactly what I should have predicted it would be. Visually it’s lush and interesting, but while the detached, post-modern ramblings of DeLillo’s novels work on the page, they are hard to keep up with and stay interested in up on the screen. The film felt like more of an experiment than anything actually enjoyable or compelling to watch. Cronenberg’s sense of style and tone certainly drew me in and kept me somewhat engaged, as did the performances, but by the end I was glad it was over.

I have really been having trouble with films like this lately. Maybe I’m getting older and softer or something, but when it comes to these post-modern dissertations I end up feeling cold. I get what they’re doing, I studied DeLillo in university, I’m hip to the pm (post-modern, in non-existant slang), but I can’t say I much enjoy it on the screen. Or at least not with a film like this, that takes itself incredibly seriously and is really trying to drive home a POINT. What that POINT is is a little oblique, but damn does it ever want you to think about it.

For one thing, we get it right? When DeLillo wrote his novel it was before the recession and all that, so maybe painting the Wall Street elite as somehow something less than gods shook up the establishment a bit. Now, thanks to global financial meltdown, we all know those guys are a bunch of narcissistic, soulless creeps (warning: generalization). So for me to see the dark corners of a 28-year-old billionaire’s soul didn’t exactly blow my mind. And I know the film is also an indictment of those of us who hate those guys too, as seen with Paul Giamatti’s character, but by that time I had really lost interest.

The problem is that it’s just not that interesting to watch. The film takes place primarily in one location, the back of a limousine. Characters come and go, taking time to engage in abstract, rambling, emotionless conversations with Pattinson’s character. Pattinson himself stares dead eyed for the majority of the film. The whole thing is an exercise is passivity and apathy, an intended discomforting expose on the meaningless of money and technology.

And while I sympathize with all that, it sure is a bore to stare at for nearly two hours.

The film was not a total failure by any means. I enjoyed watching the way Cronenberg handled the material. Some of the supporting actors stuck out, such as Jay Baruchel and Sarah Gadon. I bet you could watch it seven times and notice new elements that you had missed with each watch. You could definitely write a university paper on it (I may have on the book…). There are some interesting ideas being batted around.

But does that really mean you want to watch it? Judging by the “crowd” I saw it with, no.

Cosmospolis is in theatres now.