I am back from Breaking Dawn! It was not as horrible as I expected! (Behold the power of Low Expectations!) And there will be a Very Serious Post in a couple of weeks that reviews the movie in depth! But for now we have Twitter feeds and exclamation points! But first!
Content Warning: Racism, Violence, and also I am going to describe the Very Horrible Pregnancy and the Awful Birth Scene. I will ROT13 that part so you can skip it if you want to. It's probably not as bad as the book, but that doesn't mean it's not bad at all.
This was from the house. I'm glad I did test it, because my twitter client on my phone (Seesmic) took some prodding before it decided to work.
I love my Comics Curmudgeon shirt. It's soft, long-sleeved, totally comfortable, and comes in plus sizes. Later I realized I didn't need to be worried -- Josh has done MST3King with the actual MST3K guys, so I think he'd appreciate my Breaking Dawn experiment. And no one threw soda on me.
The next tweet after that was going to be something to the effect that a kernel nearly broke my tooth and the next tweet after that was going to be that someone needs to mathematically chart the correlation such that as hunger goes down, the likelihood of kernel-stuck-in-teeth goes up, and the whole thing reaches a point where the deliciousness of the popcorn is no longer a big enough draw to continue eating it, but my fingers were too buttery to tweet.
Brin correctly guessed that I got to the theater WAY too early. The whole thing went like this:
Step 1: Ana calls Mom to ask when she should leave because Ana doesn't do Thanksgiving traffic.
Step 2: Mom advises Ana to leave an hour early. Can't be too careful.
Step 3: Ana leaves an hour and ten minutes early. Can't be too careful.
Step 4: Ana arrives 45 minutes before movie starts. You CAN be too careful, apparently.
Step 5: Ana amuses herself with Twitter.
And here we are.
With no offense meant to Robert Pattinson, I had to wonder how awful all the other actors must have been for him to get the part. (Assuming it was actually a merit system, which is probably a big assumption.) I mean, I think he's really grown into the role, but the first movie seems so staring and stuttering and awkward. Did they really intend his performance to go that way? Did Robert finish each scene and cringe as someone said, "That was great, Robert, no really it was, but could you do it again with more awkwardness?"
Apparently he's in Mad Men. Which I haven't seen. So there's that.
Not to read too much into things, but... Oh, who am I kidding? Look, the point is, Disney, if you're going to have a bunch of cute characters swarming all over your cruise ship commercial, and if one of them is going to be in a servitude role, at least have it be the Shiny Happy Version of that character. Not the Dirty Sad Version. Do I have to explain to you why that makes me uncomfortable? I mean, I just finished re-reading "Nickel and Dimed", you can't tell me that you didn't have someone say "Shouldn't Wall-E be happy in his work while he serves towels to the luxuriating woman in the bathtub? Shouldn't he not look like his work is soul-crushing?"
Apparently they're showing Titanic in theaters again. Halfway through the preview, I felt like pointing out that they were showing spoilers. Then I realized that was kind of the point.
I cried. This moved me more than anything else in that theater.
Seriously. It's about energy-ball aliens who come to earth, eat all our electricity, and then eat us. Great premise, but you just know it'll have Twenty Minutes with Jerks. Just once I want a disaster movie where they don't even try to make you learn the characters' names and stereotypical personalities. WE DON'T CARE, HOLLYWOOD.
Ahahaha. I amuse me.
Seriously. Maybe they explain this in the book, or something, but it Just Bugs Me. Rosalie and Emmett throw a wedding every 5-10 years. Presumably Edward and Bella will do the same, at least if they want to. (Ahahahaha, no, seriously, it'll be if ALICE wants to. I have Very Serious Thoughts on that.) So why so much drama around this particular wedding? Will it really make that much of a difference if the log-seats aren't perfectly aligned?
It is, as Brin noted, his first scene. He breezes into Bella's bedroom and basically says, "Are you having cold feet? I mean, I'm not having cold feet. Not really, anyway. Well, a little. But you really SHOULD have cold feet. By the way, I never told you before, but I'm a murderer several times over. Well... goodbye." (Also, is this really a revelation? Because I remember already knowing this, and I thought it was mentioned in Twilight The First Book for goodness sake.)
Emmett and Jasper show up and act adorable. It occurs to me that Edward's appeal lies less in Edward and more in the Perfect Family that comes as part of the package. Also, Jasper continues to be cooler than anyone else in the film, because all his lines are nice, and he only speaks like eight times. Jasper is classy.
There's a very nice dream sequence where Bella sees blood spreading out from the altar, and her white dress and Edward's white tux are blood-stained. It's a really awesome, provocative scene... and it's then ruined by a pan out that shows her and Edward standing on a top of a pile of bodies, some of which are decapitated. OK, first of all, understatement is better. Second of all, the MPAA is full of crap. A naked woman is R because god forbid the children see that, but a pile of decapitated bodies? Thirteen year olds can see that, no problem.
No one was more surprised than I. Apparently it's Kristen Stewart, though. I'll blame Swype.
This. Was. Awesome. Alas, it's not on YouTube yet, but Jessica gets up to give a toast at Bella's wedding and it is hilarious. She basically says, "Bella was just an ordinary girl, totally head-over-heels for Edward like we all were, and then all of the sudden Edward was head-over-heels for her, like with zero transitional stages, and it doesn't even really make that much sense when you think about it." Cheap shot? Yes. Hilarious? You bet your movie seat.
God, you have to feel so sorry for Taylor Lautner. He is NOT ALLOWED to have a sweet scene with Bella, he has to grab her arm or force her to kiss him or yank her around. Because I was just about to tweet that Bella and Jacob have more chemistry than anyone else in the film, so OF COURSE it was very important for him to get very violent, because we can't have that, now can we. And of course it is very, very important that the Dark Skinned Boy be passionately violent and always twisting the girl's arm and forcing her to kiss him, and the Light Skinned Boy is calm and protective and Grown Up, and no there is nothing problematic about that at all OH WAIT THERE IS. *sigh*
This bugged me. As much as my Very Serious Post will be about people having strong opinions on things that are None Of Their Business, it still bugged me that 100% of Renee's presence in this film was w00t teen marriage is awesome. You'd think that if anyone would think that maybe this wasn't a world-beating idea, it might be her.
Billy Burke looks sad and long-suffering in everything he's in. I want a 2-hour movie with Billy Burke just looking sad and long-suffering. That would win Oscars.
Hey, if you're going to write a fantasy novel -- that's little-f fantasy, not big-F Fantasy -- you might as well go whole hog.
We're just going to leave all the doors and windows open constantly despite the fact that you, Bella, are human and you probably didn't have all your shots before you left because the vacation was all secret and stuff.
This is interesting. Bella has this incredibly tense moment when it's time for her to get naked. She even shaves her legs all over again and everything. And there's a part of you going why are you worrying so much, Edward worships every skin cell on your body but it's... realistic. And maybe that's part of Edward's appeal -- he's going to love her no matter what. So I guess that's kind of nice.
Oh, god, the sex scene. OK. They start having sex in the ocean (which is probably not very comfortable, but it's a fantasy so hush up brain) and then they have sex in the bedroom (where Edward breaks the headboard but they sort of laugh it off a little) and then Bella wakes up with a smile on her face. And the room is trashed, but it's trashed in a silly way, like there's no way that Edward had that far of a reach whilst the sex was happening, so it's not really a trigger thing. And then Edward storms in and points out that Bella has a very tiny bruise on her arm that looks like a hand print and another very tiny bruise on her shoulder.
And that's... kind of a problem. Bella does some serious staring and frowning at the bruises. But then she tells him that (a) they knew this would be tricky and (b) she thinks they're doing pretty well. But Edward is completely and totally lost in self-hatred and brooding, and OF COURSE Bella thinks it's because the sex was bad for him, or something. So they have this incredibly awkward conversation, and I am so frustrated with Edward because the whole thing is about how HE feels and what HE thinks, WHICH IS IMPORTANT, but it's not the ONLY important thing. It's 50% of the important, but according to Edward it's 100% of the important.
And then there's a montage of Bella and Edward on the island. And Edward keeps abandoning Bella because if he's near her too long, he'll be seduced, and that would be bad. Best. Honeymoon. Ever.
And now that Jessica has no reason to be in the movie, the job of movie trolling goes to Leah, who is Pure Gold and basically tells Jacob that he is Not Fun To Be Around. Ha.
And it turns out that there are People of Color on the island who are the Cullens' personal housekeepers. This is not problematic at all! And the Woman of Color is shocked to see Bella and worried for her safety because just because you take a job working for a family of blood-sucking vampires and clearly don't worry about your own health and safety doesn't mean you won't be worried for the pretty white girl.
I'm really so tired of "vomiting" and "late period" being Hollywood shorthand for "pregnant". I mean, there's a correlation, but sometimes you puke and have late periods because you've just had a stressful wedding with a stressful honeymoon full of stress because your new husband refuses to communicate with you about your needs. It happens.
Bella is pregnant with a never-before-heard-of vampire demon baby, so OF COURSE they should take her to a town she hates a stone's throw from the father she's hiding from because that's the only way Carlisle can help her! It's not like they have the money to ship Carlisle out to the Caribbean or wherever they are.
Oh my god this scene.
Edward has a phone conversation with Carlisle that is basically WTF VAMPIRE DEMON BABY? so then Edward goes and gets the Woman of Color housekeeper because "her people have legends, maybe she knows about this sort of thing."
OH MY GOD.
Because the Quileute having "legends" about the vampires wasn't enough, we are going to go get the housekeeper and say, "Excuse me, housekeeper, do you know anything about vampire demon babies? I ask because you have melanin in your skin and therefore have a rich background of legends-about-white-people to draw from."
This is the definition of defining people by their skin color: you are dark and therefore you have X cultural background. And your cultural background? It's mostly memorizing facts about white people. And maybe turning into wolves, if you're lucky.
Man, I regretted this tweet later, but yeah, for the moment, Bella's "difficult pregnancy" is largely conveyed by her wearing really heavy eyeshadow.
Forks is cold. And damp. And wet. And full of people who want to hurt Bella. And other people who would want to help Bella but need to know she's not nearby. So OF COURSE this is where she should be right now.
This scene. This scene. This scene.
How do I describe this scene? Jacob and the rest of the pack run all over the forest and swarm all over each other and attack each other and yell at each other and it is VERY VERY PROBLEMATIC. Because we just had a scene with a lot of white vampires calmly discussing their differences of opinion on the Bella-vampire-baby situation and everyone was very tense but civilized. And to counterpoint that, we will have a group of People of Color biting each other and yelling at each other and being incredibly passionate and animalistic and reactionary and violent and totally over-the-top AND NO ONE THOUGHT MAYBE THIS WASN'T THE BEST WAY TO FILM THIS SCENE. No one pointed out that having Very Calm White People Discuss X and then immediately cutting away to Very Violent Dark People Discuss X While Trying To Bite Each Other's Throats Out was a BAD IDEA.
Emmett whines that they haven't hunted in awhile. And they don't have backup blood in a freezer somewhere, natch, because it's not like there was a siege warfare on the Cullen house in the very last movie. You all deserve death for your stupidity and short-sightedness.
Jacob can't insult Bella because she's laid up with a bad case of preggers, so he's going to be INCREDIBLY CRUEL to Leah. For no adequate reason except that she's a girl, because he's pretty dang nice to her Annoying Little Brother.
Edward googles Vampire Demon Baby. Because that scene from Twilight set the world on fire.
Edward makes faces. Jacob makes faces. Bella makes faces. They are sad faces.
Bella phones Charlie to tell him that she's TOTALLY BETTER from being non-specifically sick, but that she can't go home because... uh... she's going to Switzerland! To a clinic! No, a spa! Serious! Billy Burke is sad.
Edward bonds with the child telepathically.
I continue to amuse me.
This bugged me. Like, the whole movie Esme had dark eyes. Does she not get special yellow contacts? Is she starving herself for some canonical reason?
There is a completely nonsensical scene with Esme in danger from werewolves. The vampires barely manage to get away by jumping over a cliff. Can they not climb trees and travel that way? They did in previous movies. It feels like fake suspense.
Ovegu fprar gvzr!
Urer ner gur certanapl gevttref: Oryyn ybbxf vapernfvatyl yvxr n fxryrgba bire gur pbhefr bs gur zbivr orpnhfr gur onol vf fgneivat ure. Naq gurer'f n fprar jvgu ure ybbxvat va gur zveebe ng ure fubhyqref naq fur ybbxf vaperqvoyl znyabhevfurq. Naq fur unf na VI va ure unaq sbe frireny fprarf naq gung uvg zr n yvggyr uneq -- vg'f abg cyrnfnag gb frr ure jnfgvat njnl yvxr gung.
Gura pbire lbhe rlrf nsgre Ebfnyvr gnyxf nobhg Erarrfzrr orvat n fvyyl anzr, orpnhfr gurer'f n PENPX naq Oryyn fbeg bs snyyf sbejneq naq gura jura fur fgnaqf fur'f fgnaqvat shaal naq V ernyvmrq ure fcvar unq pbzcyrgryl oebxra. Fur'f fgnaqvat ng n jrveq natyr naq vg'f abg tbbq ng nyy. Gura fur'f ylvat ba n gnoyr. Lbh frr Ebfnyvr tb va jvgu n fpnycry naq Oryyn fpernzf oybbql zheqre orpnhfr gurer'f ab narfgurgvp. Gura Rqjneq'f urnq obof qbja bhg bs gur pnzren naq gurer'f grnevat abvfrf, naq ur pbzrf hc jvgu n oybbq-fbnxrq onol. Naq rirelbar fzvyrf.
Gura Oryyn qvrf. (JGS RQJNEQ WHFG FGNAQVAT GURER JVGU ONOL JUVYR FUR OYRRQF BHG.) Naq ur gevrf gb erivir ure jvgu n arrqyr va gur urneg naq YBGF bs urneg-purfg-chzcvat. Naq gur jubyr juvyr gurer vf guvf uhtr oybbq-fgnva ba Oryyn'f noqbzra. Naq gura ur ovgrf ure, ohg gung cneg srryf n yvggyr nagv-pyvzngvp nsgre rirelguvat ryfr.
Gur oveguvat fprar gnxrf znlor... 5 zvahgrf? be 10? Vg jnf fvzhygnarbhfyl yrff naq zber onq guna V jnf rkcrpgvat, naq V'z abg fher ubj gb rkcynva gung. Oryyn'f fxryrgba snpvny rkcerffvbaf naq punccrq yvcf obgurerq zr zber guna gur npghny oveguvat qrgnvyf -- gurer jnf n ybg bs cnva penzzrq vagb ure snpr naq gung znqr vg zber erny guna gur oveguvat qrgnvyf V nyernql xarj nobhg va nqinapr. Vg'f bire cerggl snfg, ohg Oryyn qbrfa'g genafsbez vagb n inzcver sbe nabgure 10-20 zvahgrf bs zbivr gvzr. Znlor ybatre -- ure jnxvat nf n inzcver vf gur svany fprar.
And then the werewolves immediately back down from their war because Jacob has imprinted and Edward announces that it's their most absolute law. And he tells it to the Cullens and the viewers because Jacob is in wolf form, but it's frustrating to me that we don't hear the wolves talk about this and instead we must have the white people do the talking for them. And, no, a law that says you can't hurt an imprintee no matter what doesn't make them look totally animalistic all over again.
And then Bella turns into a vampire slowly, which basically means we watch while the camera lovingly airbrushes her away into a white marble statue. Literally, she stops having pores. And she opens her eyes and they're Vampire Red and ROLL CREDITS!
Psych! Actually, it's not over, because we get to see Italian Vampire Mob. And just in case you forgot they were evil, they kill their Human Secretary Woman because she spelled "Carlisle" wrong. Given that she's Italian and "Carlisle" is English, you'd think they'd be a little more understanding, but there's no better way to say EVIL in Hollywood-speak than to gratuitously 'fridge a woman.
And thank you all. This wouldn't have been fun without you.
(And I will totally answer more birthing scene questions if anyone wants clarification on how triggery it is/isn't. Since triggers vary for everyone.)