I'd like to amend two things I wrote in Wednesday's Dude's Guide To" Twilight."
First, I told men who are new to "Twilight" not to expect any blood and gore in "Breaking Dawn." Well, I was wrong. There is enough blood and gore during Bella's birth scene to satisfy any "Saw" fan. Drinking blood out of a Styrofoam cup through a straw? Check. Slicing (and biting) the fetus out of Bella's abdomen? Check. Newborn Renesmee covered in blood like some tiny version of "Carrie"? Check. I saw multiple people around me trying to watch through their fingers.
Second, I also told guys that there wouldn't be any Kristen Stewart nudity. Well ... I may have been wrong. Not to spoil anything for you, but director Bill Condon obviously listened to the thousands of Stephenie Meyer readers who were disappointed by the lack of Bella and Edward's honeymoon-sex description after three long books of waiting. The movie scene is sexy and awkward, and the bed even breaks -- all the things that anyone can hope for during their first time.
Anyway, at one point, I swore I saw Kristen Stewart's side-boob nipple. I know, I know, that seems impossible. When it happened, I looked around me for someone to high-five, more as a confirmation than celebration. However, I was completely surrounded by women I didn't know, and they were all obviously locked in on Robert Pattinson. I haven't so desperately wanted a rewind button since I saw "Monster's Ball" in the theaters (love you, Halle). "Breaking Dawn" is PG-13, and Kristen Stewart didn't even show a quick nip-slip when she played a stripper-prostitute in "Welcome to the Rileys," so I may have been hallucinating. (Please let me know if anyone else spotted a nip in the comments section below.)
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Okay, now that I've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about my general impressions of the film. As everyone already expected, Bella and Edward's wedding and subsequent honeymoon on their private island off the coast of Rio is every woman's dream and Condon did a great job portraying it as such. I especially liked the wedding moments between Bella and her father Charlie, played by Billy Burke. Burke may be the most underrated actor in "The Twilight Saga," possibly owing to Charlie's comical Tom Selleck mustache, and he shines as the proud and concerned father at his 18-year-old daughter's wedding.
The romance lasts about 20 movie minutes before Bella gets pregnant and everything goes to s***. Kudos to Kristen Stewart for allowing the makeup artists to make her look absolutely awful. I bet "Breaking Dawn" will be Krisbians' (Kristen Stewart lesbians) least favorite installment of "The Saga." Bella is being slowly killed by her vampire-human hybrid fetus, and her face looks skeletal. I've seen zombies in "The Walking Dead" more attractive than Stewart looks pregnant. Luckily for Krisbians, Bella is supposed to be more gorgeous than ever before as a vampire, so "Part 2" will redeem the leading lady's looks.
I have to mention Taylor Lautner's acting. Don't worry Team Jacob; I'll do so tenderly. I like Lautner and want him to be the next great action star. However, after I saw his performance in "Abduction," my faith in his abilities wavered. Through most of "Breaking Dawn," Lautner does a fine job. My confidence in him started to return.
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But there is one moment when Jacob is talking to Carlisle and Esme about what must be done to save Bella. The camera goes in close, he delivers a line about family and then turns to gaze meaningfully out the window and says something like, "I know what I must do." It is so bad, it's painful. Note to all future directors who work with Lautner: Never, under any circumstances, give him a dramatic close-up. The same way you'd never give one to Vin Diesel or Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I had wondered how the imprinting scene would be done, especially since Meyer doesn't really go into detail in her books. The whole thing just seems so odd. I won't give anything away, but just know this intentionally dramatic scene was met with audible laughter by the largely Twi-hard audience in the theater. And it's not because of Lautner's acting.
Overall I enjoyed the movie, and I think it's a strong portrayal of the source material they had. It can't be easy to make half of a novel into a complete film, especially when most of it is about a painful pregnancy. The ending doesn't feel like a "To Be Continued," even though we know a sequel is coming. Though if I were forced to rank my favorite "Twilight Saga" installments, I'd put "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" behind "Twilight" and "Eclipse." It's definitely better than the glowering "New Moon."