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THE TWILIGHT SAGA:  BREAKING DAWN Part 2

DVD review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  115 minutes, audio commentary, making-of documentary, six featurettes, music video, digital copy

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 DD

Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish

 

STUDIO: Lionsgate/ Summit Entertainment/ Temple Hill/ Sunswept Entertainment

RELEASE DATE:  3-2-2013

Bella enjoys her new life as a vampire while she fights to balance her hunger for blood.   The biggest problem of Edward and Bella is that their daughter Renesmee is growing super fast and the Volturi think they have made an immortal child.   The Cullens seek to gather witnesses to stop a fight they may not be able to win.

 

BREAKING DAWN Part 2 continues to prove to me that they shouldn’t have spilt the book into two movies.   I wonder how the book is to the movies (I only read TWLIGHT and NEW MOON thus far).  I did really enjoy TWILIGHT and ECLIPSE while I think NEW MOON is OK and yet a little flawed.  

 

BREAKING DAWN Part 1 is a bloated movie that runs on for too long.  Part 2 is also too long while adding a few problems for everything they do right.   The special effects for super vampire speed are really badly done compared to the other TWILIGHT movies in addition to some editing that could have leaned this movie down.  I do think Summit Entertainment should have left BREAKING DAWN as one two and half hour film with a different director instead of two overlong films.   Then you have the inclusion of too many chick flick pop songs as they try too hard to sell this final installment as a chick flick that just happens to have sparkly vampires and smelly wolves.    The first three directors knew how to balance character and story more than Bill Condon does for the TWILIGHT movies, but it may be partly out of his hands due to Summit’s error in judgment in splitting the final book into two movies.  It worked for HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS, but it just doesn’t quite work for this one.

 

However, BREAKING DAWN Part 2 does have some good character moments and some interesting new characters (who hardly have anything to do) while Kristen Stewart does her best performance as Bella out of the entire series.  Michael Sheen camps it as the leader of the Volturi (and it shows he is really enjoying the role) while Dakota Fanning shows the right emotions without saying anything at all.   I do think the search for witnesses’ part does feel too much like a religious experience where people must witness how special the child is.   I love the climatic battle sequence, but the final twist at the end was the final straw and I feel it was a big cheat.   As a result, there are two many things I hate about the final movie compared to what I liked about it.   I think BREAKING DAWN Part 2 was one of the worst movies I saw in 2012 and maybe they could have made a good movie out of BREAKING DAWN as one film and edited at least an hour out of the bloated running time with a different director at the helm.  Upona second viewing, the good parts stand out more and I now tolerate the movie ending up anticlimactic as Arlo learns a lesson like some vampire version of After School Special.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Disc 1 has a Jump To your favorite scene feature in addition to an audio commentary with director Bill Condon.

 

DISC 2-

FOREVER- FILMING THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2- It is an in-depth seven part making-of documentary that runs for 93 minutes.

REBIRTH- focus on Bella as a vampire and how Kristen Stewart loved playing Bella as a vampire

RENESEMEE- All about Renesemee, the actress who plays her, and how they used her face and old photos to incorporate into the look of Renesemee from baby to 10 year old girl and the 18 year old version of her

THE COTTAGE- production design of Bella and Edward’s cottage in the woods which they created the exterior in the woods with the interior on a soundstage

THE GATHERING- focus on the casting of the actors who would play the vampire allies of the Cullen family and the characters they play

THE FIELD- After deciding it wasn’t practical to shoot the battle outside; they created it on a green screen stage in a livestock arena.  A behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of filming on a green screen stage including the cast breaking out in a well rehearsed dance off during one of the takes.

THE BATTLE- a closer look at the various elements that went into creating the battle on the green screen stage and in post-production

FOREVER- cast and crew say farewell to filming the Twilight series

 

TWO MOVIES AT ONCE- a quick featurette that looked at the challenge of filming two movies at once when they knew they didn’t have the extra time to film it as two movies and having to keep track of what scene was in what movie

 

“THE FORGOTTEN” music video by Green Day

 

A digital copy code is included with each version released on Blu-ray and DVD.

 

If you bought BREAKING DAWN PART 2 at Target on DVD or Blu-ray, a bonus disc is included with six additional featurettes:

SPECIAL VAMPIRE POWERS: TINGLES AND CHILLS- a look at the new vampire powers seen in the final TWILIGHT film

CARLISLE’S CONTACTS- focus on the various new vampires that are friends with Carlisle Cullen

JUDGE, JURY, & EXECUTIONER- all about the Volturi and the actors who play them

BEING CHARLIE SWANN- a look at how the relationship between Bella and Charlie evolved over the course of five movies

2012 COMIC CON- a featurette that takes a look at the fans who are excited to see the cast at Comic Con in addition to excerpts from the Comic Con panel

THE WORLD PREMIERE- footage of the premiere with the cast and crew courtesy of Target

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   I tolerated BREAKING DAWN Part 2 better on a second viewing (I saw it once in theaters) instead of hating it like I did on the first viewing, but the making-of documentary is a great look at the making of the film.  Only the most devoted fans will pick up the three disc version on DVD (or the two disc blu-ray) from Target because the extras are mostly stuff you can skip and you will be fine just watching the making-of documentary.

 

This DVD review is (c)3-6-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com