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MOVIE REVIEW - Twilight provides a bloody good time

SHANA SCHWARZ ~ SPECIAL FOR THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS~ 11/30/2011

If you haven’t liked the last 3 Twilight Saga movies, there is no reason to think you would enjoy this one.  Twilight is one of those polarizing phenomena where people either seem to love the books/movies or hate them, without much room for middle ground.  Thus, this review is geared towards fans of the series, as really, that’s who the films are made for and anyone else spending the time and energy to talk about how stupid they think it all seems is just wasting breath: fans don’t care. 
This review is probably unnecessary, as a huge percentage of the people who will see this movie will have done so in the first week.  Thus, instead of telling fans why they should go see it, I’ll just offer my musings on why this is the best film of the series so far, but also why it is the grossest.  First, the good stuff.  Finally, oh finally, someone working on this film watched the first three movies in the series and looked at the makeup jobs on the vampires and said, “Um, why do they look so stupid?”  The vampires of the Twilight series are described in the book as flawlessly beautiful, if maybe a bit pale.  They are supposed to stand out among mortals, but not to the point where anyone could look at them and say, “oh yeah, that’s totally a vampire.”  And if I saw anyone on the street looking how any of the Cullens do in the first three movies, that’s exactly what I’d think.  Plus, they are supposed to be more beautiful than they were when they were human, yet in the flashback sequences, each of the vampires clearly looks way better than they do as vampires, which is totally backwards and frustrating for fans.  In Breaking Dawn: Part 1, however, the makeup team backed off on the inch-thick white powder and let the stars (most of whom are very attractive) shine through.  It was so refreshing.
The improvements in makeup were great and would have made me like this movie more than the others in the series even if this one had been on par in other respects, but the makers didn’t stop there.  Because this book is split into two movies, they were able to give more time and attention to main plot points, and this one really captured so much from the book that I actually had a hard time remembering what they left out or screwed up (normally, I take a tally during the movie of everything that is frustratingly absent or different).  This is a mostly positive thing, until the seriously creepy stuff starts happening.  When I read this book, I remember thinking, “there is no way they would ever show ____ in a movie.”  Without giving away spoilers, I won’t divulge what I’m referring to, but I seriously had to look away for minutes at a time during several scenes towards the end that involved sickening use of blood.  For better or worse, they went for it.  I guess book fans can’t complain for years that key plot points are ignored, and then get miffed when the icky details are presented on the big screen.  And icky it is. One of the most common comments I heard walking out of the screening was, “was that really just PG-13?”  Between intimate scenes between Edward and Bella and the overall ick factor towards the end, the MPAA had to have seriously pushed the limits of what it deems ok for our teens to watch.  Parents be warned, but good luck trying to keep your kids away from such a force of nature.  Young fans are eager to get swept away by the second to last Twilight film, and you’ll be hard pressed to stop them.