Book Review: Breaking Dawn (Stephanie Meyer)

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Book: 91/100

Bella Swan is finally marrying Edward Cullen. They made a deal – she would marry him if he turned her into a vampire himself and that they would sleep together before he turned her so that she can experience it all before becoming undead. He reluctantly agrees, sure that she will die in the throes of passion.

On their wedding day, Jacob Black, her best friend, werewolf and third part of their love triangle, shows up to do his duties and be her best man. He is horrified when he realizes Edward and Bella’s plan to make love before she becomes immortal – even though he doesn’t want that to happen, he knows it is much safer with her being a vampire sleeping with a vampire instead of a frail human. They disagree and Jacob flees to the woods.

Edward and Bella goes to Isle Esme for their honeymoon, a place Bella’s new father in-law, Carlisle got for his wife Esme as a present. They sleep together, but Edward is horrified by the bruises he accidentally left on Bella. She is persistent in getting him to make love with her, and in the end she wins, and he does.

When Bella discovers that she, a human, is pregnant with Edward’s child, they both freak out. When she realizes that Edward plans to have Carlisle abort the baby, she calls Rosalie, and the Cullen that always liked her least stands by her.

When Jacob hears that Bella is back, he heads to the Cullen mansion to go check what is happening. He is sure that by now she is a vampire, which is a direct violation of the treaty the Cullens and the Quilettes made ages ago, but he is shocked when he finally realizes what is going on. The fetus is slowly killing Bella, but not only is she determined to carry it to term, she is determined to survive as well.

Jacob decides that he finally has had enough of Bella’s constant infliction of pain on his heart, and leaves. He turns to wolf form and Sam, his pack leader, hears what has happened. He decides that the baby is a danger to Forks and the entire Cullen clan must be killed. Jacob is horrified, splitting from the pack. He warns the Cullens and knows Sam won’t attack with the Cullens waiting for them. Soon after Seth and Leah joins his new pack and the three of them helps guard the Cullens.

Bella goes into labour, and it looks like she is dying. Rosalie takes the baby from them to keep it safe and Jacob follows, intending to kill it. He imprints on the baby, Renesmee, and is unable to do so. Meanwhile, Edward is refusing to let Bella die. He turns her into a vampire by injecting venom straight into her heart.

Three days later, Bella awakens to her new life. Everything is even better than promised, now that she has her beautiful daughter, a best friend who is no longer in love with her, and some super self-control other new borns don’t have that enables her to not kill humans.

Life continues until Irina, part of the Denali clan, shows up. She wishes to make amends for all the drama with Laurent, the vampire who nearly killed Bella and was ultimately taken down by the werewolves. She sees Renesmee and thinks that it is an immortal child, vampire children who had massacred entire villages years before. They are unable to show her the truth and Alice sees her delivering the news to the Volturi, the leaders of all vampires, who have been waiting for something to take out the successful Cullen pack.

With the Volturi heading for them, will Edward and Bella survive the attack? Will they be able to convince them that Renesmee is able to control herself?

Rating: 8/10

I have to say that I really thought that the last installment of the Twilight saga was really well done. It is incredibly well rounded, addressing all the issues from the previous books and not leaving anything unresolved.

Bella was a much more impressive vampire than she ever was a human, and I enjoyed how well she seemed to develop her spine during the book.

It is a hefty read – well over 800 pages, and I questioned my sanity whether it was advisable reading it so close to the end of the challenge. I am glad I did though. It is always entertaining and actually quite well written.

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Movie Review: Breaking Dawn Part One (2011)

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Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is finally ready to marry Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), her vampire boyfriend. Her marriage to him will mean the final severance of her friendship to werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) who is in love with her and also a mortal enemy to vampires. Bella plans to become a vampire to be with Edward forever, but this means that a war could break out between the Cullens and the Quileute werewolf pack.

On the night of her marriage, Jacob unexpectedly shows up. She lets it slips that she plans to sleep with Edward while she is still human, and he is outraged. His pack restrains him before things get ugly, and he runs off into the woods.

Edward takes Bella to Isle Esme for their honeymoon. They have sex for the first time, and Edward is appalled how he hurt her. With some convincing she gets him to try again, and it goes much better the second time around. Their honeymoon is only marred by a native who suspects that Edward is something supernatural.

Bella wakes up one morning suddenly very sick, and realizes her period is late. She is stunned when she sees a slight bulge in her stomach. They realize that she is pregnant and Edward is furious with himself. They fly back immediately, and Edward promises to save her life – by aborting the unknown thing growing inside of her. She secretly calls Rosalie (Nikki Reed) for help – the vampire who had always secretly wanted a child more than anything. She and Bella are able to convince the rest of the clan to wait and see what happens.

When Jacob hears Bella is back, he races to see her. He is nauseated when he realises what happens, and turns into a werewolf and runs away. His pack makes sense of what is happening, and Sam Uley, the pack leader, decides they must annihilate the creature – and Bella too as it is growing in her. Jacob stands up against Sam, and claiming his heritage as the true leader of the tribe, breaks away. He alerts the Cullens of the wolves’ plan and with them on alert Sam doesn’t dare attack just yet. Jacob is soon joined by Leah (Julia Jones) and Seth Clearwater (Booboo Stewart), turning his pack into three members.

Bella becomes weaker and weaker because her body won’t sustain any food. Jacob is first to notice that the foetus is craving blood. After that, Bella’s health increases slightly. A few days later she goes into labour and gives birth to Renesmee. It seems that she is dead, but Edward refuses to give up. Jacob heads downstairs, fully intending to kill the new-born, but he imprints on her – a powerful love only a werewolf can feel to its true mate.

When the werewolves learn of Bella’s death, they head to the Cullen’s to kill the baby. They stop when they realise that Jacob imprinted – they would never kill his soul mate. While Bella lies on the table, “dead”, Carlisle (Peter Fascinelli) realises that her heart is beating rapidly. She starts to heal as the vampire venom spreads through her veins, and the Cullens clean her up. Bella’s heart finally seizes up, and she awakens as a vampire.

Rating: 7/10

The second last movie of the franchise Twilight was surprisingly good. I know Twilight has a lot of haters out there, but I suspect it has just as many secret fans too. This movie is decidedly gory at times. The birth of Renesmee is disgusting, and Bella’s deterioration during her pregnancy is excellently done. She looks BAD. Kristen Stewart’s acting has developed enough so that she can grimace in pain and look in love (which is not actually acting since she was dating Pattinson at the time. She still mostly looks vacant, but I have to say I spotted improvement.

The rest of the cast pretty much continues to act as the always have done. I don’t know why, but when Kellan Lutz smiles it looks like he is grimacing in pain. Maybe he just forgot his lines. Looks like the type. He should stick to Calvin Klein-ing around (as mentioned before). I think Elizabeth Reaser should have stayed golden haired for the entire series. Her dark hair isn’t true to the books and doesn’t suit. Can vampires even get dye to stick to their hair though?  I still like Nikki Reed as Rosalie. As the character, I am glad she found some happiness by being part at the end with the birth of Renesmee. Rose’s story is perhaps the saddest of all of them, because she just wanted a kid and a husband to grow old with.

The wedding was beautifully done. I loved the dress.  It was as extravagant as in the book, just like Alice planned.

The movie is definitely better than the first three, and it is a decent enough watch.

Movie Review: Eclipse (2010)

What happened previously?

 

After Bella and Edward’s separation, Bella rushed to Italy to save Edward from exposing himself to humanity and ultimately getting himself by the Volturi. In Italy, Bella came face to face with some of the oldest vampires alive – Marcus, Cauis and Aro – the Volturi, a sort of global government for vampires. They wanted to kill Bella because she knew too much of their world, but Alice’s promise to turn her soon made them rescind on their verdict, promising to keep a close watch on the situation. Edward, who is able to read minds, understood that Aro, a collector of sorts, wanted him and Alice with the Volturi. With Edward’s ability and Alice’s power to see the future, Aro fully grasped the power they could give to him and his brothers.

 

When they arrived back in Forks, Jacob Black, a werewolf who is in love with Bella, told Edward that if he turned Bella into a vampire, the truce between the Cullens and the Quileute werewolves would be over. It nearly turned into a fight, but Bella managed to stop them with one of her self-serving righteous phrases (“You can’t hurt each other without hurting me”)

 

Eclipse

Eclipse

Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) discuss his marriage proposal, and her wishes for him to turn her into a vampire. He persists that he will only turn her when she is married to him, but she argues that in the modern world it is only acceptable to be married at eighteen when you are pregnant.

Back at home, her father Charlie (Billy Burke) makes no secret that he mistrusts and despises Edward – with good reason. Bella doesn’t really mind too much, knowing she acted very irresponsibly by leaving the country without even mentioning where she was going beforehand. Charlie surprises her when he tells her that he will lessen her punishment if she uses her time by spending time with her friends as well – meaning Jacob. Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who has been ignoring Bella since her return, is apparently going through a rough time and needs his friend. Bella knows that he was there for her when she desperately needed her, but Edward is appalled by the idea that she even considers spending time with the volatile werewolf pack.

Bella and Edward find Jacob waiting for them at school, and she heads out with Jacob. They have a fight because of her decision to give away her humanity, choosing to become his natural enemy.

Edward and Bella go to Phoenix to visit her mother. Upon her return, she learns that the Cullens and the werewolves nearly got into a fight. She hears it was because both clans were hunting Victoria (Rachel Lefevre) , who is bell bent upon destroying Edward’s reason for living – her. The Cullens and Quileute’s are all dedicated to protecting Bella’s life, and take turns looking after her and Charlie.

Meanwhile, Charlie is very concerned about the murder rate in Seattle. It would seem like a serial killer is on the loose, but Edward tells Bella that it is a new-born vampire army. New-born vampires are difficult to control, which explains the random killings. The vampires are unsure why anyone would create an army in Seattle. They agree that they will soon intervene to prevent the Volturi from arriving and taking care of the situation, and then check up on Bella’s mortality status.

Alice (Ashley Greene) sees a vision of the army heading to Forks, and the Cullens align themselves with the wolves to keep the town safe. Bella realize that it is Victoria leading the hunt, and that Victoria knows enough of Alice’s ability to keep on making decisions randomly to keep them confused.

At the graduation party Alice hosts for Bella, the werewolves and the vampires makes a pact to save the town together. They train each night in the clearing under the guidance of Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), who lived in one of these armies before Alice found him and he changed his lifestyle.

Bella is frustrated by her inability to help. Edward’s family keeps telling her that she will be no help as a new-born, only distracting Edward and endangering both of them. One night she visits with Jacob, and his father Billy (Gil Birmingham) tells them a tale about the Third Wife. The Third Wife was a woman who sacrificed her own life to save the Quielettes from a blood thirsty vampire. Bella gets the idea that she can also do something like that, maybe just less dramatic, but Edward and Jacob both get very annoyed with the idea. They agree to take Bella to a safe location in the mountains while the fight is on, laying a false trail so no vampire can find her. Edward agrees to stay with Bella after she says she is either in the clearing with him, or he is at the campsite with her.

At the campsite, Jacob effectively tricks Bella into kissing him. He leaves afterwards, but Edward isn’t mad at Bella, and even reluctantly impressed with Jacob’s dirty techniques.

As Bella, Edward and Seth (Booboo Stewart), another vampire, stays at the campsite waiting out the storm, Victoria arrives with her sidekick Riley (Xavier Samuel). They are both killed by Edward and Seth. Jacob gets injured in the clearing when he has to protect Leah, a werewolf who was careless in her attack on a vampire. The wolves carry him home when they realise the Volturi are on their way, and knows it is best that no one knows of their truce with the Cullens back in Italy.

Jane (Dakota Fanning), Demitri (Charlie Bewley) and Alex arrive, and they kill Brie (Jadelle Ferland), another vampire who was part of Victoria’s army. The Cullens had offered her protection if she surrendered, but the Volturi point out that the protection was not theirs to offer. Before they kill her, Edward reads her mind and sees that the Volturi might have been indirectly involved with the army – they had hoped if some of the Cullens’ had died, Edward and Alice might have been more willing to join the Volturi. Brie is killed, and Jane reminds them that Aro still waits for Bella to turn immortal.

Bella goes to see Jacob afterwards, and he is in a lot of pain. He tells her that she needs to give him space to deal with her decision to become immortal, and she leaves him. Afterwards, she tells Edward that they need to tell Charlie that they are engaged.

Rating: 6.5/10

The movie and the book had a few differences. Once again, a few fights were included that existed nowhere in the novel. The fight between Jacob and Edward in the tent was selfish and narrow minded of them, as it endangered Bella who was right there in that cramped little space.

The scene where Bella runs away with Jacob on the school grounds were also created, but it worked fine with the movie. The cutting of some scenes was understandable – the movie would have become very lengthy.

I enjoyed that they included both Jasper and Rosalie’s tales. It makes clear why they are like they are. I loved how Rosalie got her revenge on men that had raped her before the end of her mortal life. Jackson Rathbone plays Jasper well. He particularly worked well in the Confederate Army part of his story, and how it showed how horrible the first part of his mortality would become.

The scene where Edward and Victoria finally face off was great. I have to mention that in these books I admire how equally strong the female vampires are compared to the male ones. It is a great source of feminism tucked into a series that has been blasted for being too weak in terms of female power. Victoria is in the end this huge threat, while James and Laurent were but temporary ones. Jane is also this incredibly dangerous little cow, and everyone fears her so much. I thought Dakota Fanning was superb here. It is a completely new direction she takes in her portrayal of Jane – she is usually the sweet, innocent little girl with a cute smile, and here she is a psychotic vampire who loves to torture people, with a cute smile. I loved it.

Movie Review: New Moon (2009)

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Background

This is the second installment in the movie franchise built on Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight book series. In the first movie, Isabella Swan met the vampire Edward Cullen and they fell in love. Edward saved Bella from James, another vampire, inciting the revenge that would bring James’ mate Victoria to try and kill Bella.

New Moon

Bella (Kristen Stewart) dreams that she and her grandmother are in her and Edward’s special meadow. Grandma is acting very strangely, and Edward (Robert Pattinson) doesn’t seem to mind that her grandma will see his diamond encrusted skin. Edward walks to her, and she realises she is her grandmother – an old lady who is loved by the still young Edward.

Bella wakes up and realise it is her birthday. Her dad teases her about aging, quickly realizing that it is not a joke to her. She is depressed that she will officially be a year older than Edward no matter what, even though Edward is technically 109 years old.

No one at school knows about her birthday, except the Cullens. She is ordered to attend a small gathering in her honor at their mansion, and she reluctantly goes. She gives herself a paper cut, and all hell breaks loose. Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), the Cullen vampire who is newest to their vegetarian diet, is immediately ready to attack, and Edward pushes Bella into the piano to protect her, which means more blood all around. They muscle Jasper out, and Carlisle (Peter Fascinelli) fixes Bella up.

It doesn’t take Edward long to dump Bella. He secretly feels Bella is in danger around him, but he tells her he isn’t interested anymore. He and his entire family leave Forks, erasing their entire existence.

Bella’s reaction to her break-up startles everyone. No one truly understands what she went through with him, or that he is truly her soul mate. Her father Charlie (Billy Burke) babysits her for a few months, and tries to calm her down when she has nightmares. When he realizes that she isn’t getting better, he tells her it might be better to move back to her mother. Bella immediately refuses. She can’t leave the only place where she knew Edward. She goes on a girl-date with Jessica Stanley to prove to her dad she is getting better. Bella realizes that when she is in a dangerous situation it brings an illusion of Edward. She gets on a bike with a random guy, terrifying Jessica.

Bella hikes to her and Edward’s special place, the meadow, but finds more danger there. Laurent, one of the vampires that hunted with James, who was killed by Edward, finds her there, and tells her Victoria, James’ mate, is searching for Bella to get her revenge on Edward. He attempts to attack her, but is stopped by the strangest animals – huge wolves.

Bella starts getting close to Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who is Quileute. He is obviously interested, but she tells him that she will never be able to love someone else. He persists, and despite his relationship wishes they manage to remain friends. One day he disappears, and Bella has a suspicion that Sam Uley, a sort of ringleader to a bunch of adrenaline junkies in the reservation, is behind it all. Jacob persists he cannot tell her what has happened, but that she already knows. Armed with this dubious information, Bella tries to remember, but she only finds out when she has a dream, and remembers what he said about his tribe turning into Werewolves when vampires are around.

Bella confronts Jacob and his pack, and after another werewolves’ angry outburst, the wolf is literally out of the bag. Jacob assures her that they only hunt vampires, and Bella tells him that the redhead they are trying to catch is Victoria, and why she wants to get into Forks so much – to kill her.

Jacob and his pack are on full alert now, and Bella barely sees him. Depressed again, she turns to extremes to see Edward’s vision. She goes cliff jumping, and Jacob saves her from death. They head to her home, and Alice is waiting. The return of her presence is marred when Rosalie (Nikki Reed) tells Edward they think Bella has died. The only way to kill a vampire is when the Volturi – the vampire “government” – is willing to kill you. The Volturi is situated in Italy, and Alice and Bella needs to go there before Edward exposes himself. Jacob begs Bella to stay, but she simply needs to save Edward one last time – she is tormented by the fact that he is willing to kill himself out of guilt.

Bella and Alice arrive in Italy just in time. Bella throws herself into Edward’s arms, saving him from stepping out into sunlight. Their reunion is very sweet, until the Volturi arrive. Alice appears, evening the odds. A very sadistic little Vampire shows up, Jane (Dakota Fanning), and everyone meekly follows her to where Aro, Marcus and Caius are waiting. Dimitri, a burly vampire, nearly kills Edward when he tries to protect Bella from dying because she knows too much of their secret world. Bella offers to die, but Aro senses that she will make a fantastic immortal because her mind somehow repels vampiric intrusion. He gives them a choice – turn Bella, and she lives forever, or she dies immediately. Alice promises to turn her herself should Edward refuse. They are allowed to leave intact.

New Moon Alice

Back in Forks, Edward swears to Bella that the only reason he left is because he wanted to keep her safe, and he still loves her. They reunite, but have to deal with both Charlie and Jacob. Charlie is angered because she left for Italy without one thought to what her father might think. Jacob has so much reason to hate – not only does he turn into a monstrous being because Edward is around, but also because Edward has Bella’s love. Jacob warns Edward that a full blown war will commence between the two species should Bella be turned, and the two nearly fight.

Back in their meadow, Edward proposes to Bella, telling her that he will turn her into a vampire if she marries him.

Rating: 6.5/10

New Moon is by far the saddest movie of the entire series. Watching Bella’s grief is like relieving a broken heart. Kristen Stewart is a much more developed actress in this movie than she was in the first. Her portrayal of a girl nearly mad with grief is shockingly real.

Robert Pattinson is once again a good Edward Cullen. Those golden vampire eyes are so beautiful, especially on him. The scene where he nearly steps into the courtyard in Italy made me so sad – that expression made him look like he had lost everything in the world.

Kudos to Taylor Lautner for the impressive physical transformation he made between Twilight and New Moon. In order to keep his role, he went through unbelievable physical changes to be able to look like an overgrown teenage boy. His acting is always a bit dodgy – he still has the same acting abilities he had in Shark Boy vs. Lava Girl.

The movie contained a few unnecessary changes to the storyline – Edward and Dimitri’s fight was so not needed. It probably does add more punch to things, but it seems that whenever Edward fights in the movies, he is always portrayed as the weakling. In Twilight, he had his ass handed back to him by James until his brothers showed up. Here in New Moon, Dimitri is kicking his ass very easily. I get that the Volturi keeps Dimitri around because his strength is his vampiric specialty, but during that fight his opponent a 109 year old immortal, and that has to count for something.

What I love the most about the entire series is that it is about exceptional love finding a way. I am not even ashamed that I love Twilight – so many girls try to hide it to get attention from guys. So sorry guys, I love it, and if you have any sense you will at least watch it, because it is good enough for simple entertainment.

xX N

PS: Read my review on Twilight here

 

Movie Review: Twilight (2008)

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Based on the worldwide success of the Twilight series, written by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight tells the tale of how a human girl fell for a vampire and their journey together.

Bella (Kristen Stewart) moves to the Forks, a place where it rains almost nonstop. Although not excited about leaving sunshine behind, she chooses to go live with her father to give her newly wed and scatter-brained mother space with her new husband.

Bella is instantaneously a hot property in Forks. The guys want to date her; the girls want to be her. Mike Newton (Michael Welsh) is leading the pack of eager boys, making no secret that he would like to date her. It threatens to become awkward when Bella realises her new friend Jessica Stanley (Anna Kendrick) is interested in Mike. Bella manages to dodge a bullet by telling Mike to take Jessica to the dance, because she doesn’t plan to go herself.

Bella notices Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) during lunch on her first day. Edward and his siblings possess an unworldly beauty, and she is struck with their magnificence. Jessica, who notices Bella staring, quickly points out that no one in Forks is good enough for the Cullens, leaving the thought that she would have loved the attention by them. Even though he is far away, Edward smiles as if he heard her.

Later on in Biology, Bella sits next to Edward, but his animosity shocks her. She feels the anger he feels for her, but has no idea what she could have done to evoke it. He rushes from the class immediately when the bell rings, and she finds him requesting to be transferred to another class. She is stung by his open hatred, and when he disappears for a few days she is certain that she is the reason.

Edward returns suddenly to school one day, and seems perfectly polite. They manage to have a few conversations, but he constantly leaves hints he may be dangerous. In the school parking lot Bella nearly dies when Tyler Crowley loses control over his car, but Edward moves at a superhuman speed to save her, and shields her body from the collision with his own, carrying no scars from it. At the hospital, they have a fight when he still refuses to tell her anything.

Bella invites Edward to join her friends on La Push, a beach on the Quileute reservation in Forks. He declines, stating he isn’t welcome there, and Bella thinks it may be because of Mike’s crush on her. While there, Bella talks to an old friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who is part of the Quileute tribe. After a cryptic comment from another Quileute, Sam, Jacob tells Bella the legend about the Quileutes, who turned into wolves to protect their tribe from the cold ones, whom Edward and his family is a part of. Because the Cullens differed from the usual Cold Ones, a pact was made between the groups. Despite the truce, the Cullens are still regarded as a threat by the Quilettes, and they are not allowed on the reservation.

Bella looks up the new information from Jacob on the internet, and find references to the cold ones as well as vampires. She goes with Jessica and Angela (Christian Seratos) to another town under the guise of finding dresses for the two girls who are going to the prom, but so that she can visit a bookshop that has a book about vampires.

After buying the book, Edward saves Bella from being attacked by a group of young men. How he knows where to find her is still a secret, but she is nonetheless thankful. He takes her to dinner there and causes the speculation of Angela and Jessica who was desperately worried.

Back in Forks Bella researches further on vampires, and reach the conclusion that Edward and his family are indeed blood sucking monsters. She confronts him, and he confirms her suspicions. On her question about his diet, he tells her that they live off animal blood, backing Jacob’s statement that their family are different from other vampires. Edward tells Bella that his animosity towards her in the beginning was because her blood smells so potent to him, and he struggled not to attack her. He also confides that some vampires have special gifts, and that he has the ability to read people’s minds – except hers, and that she is the first person ever whose mind is shielded from his abilities.

School

He is especially dangerous to her, and yet they start a relationship. It has more problems that most – they are effectively different species, he is so much stronger than her than the norm, and he desperately yearns for her blood. Their relationship is tentative and sweet and controlled. She meets his family – his “father” Carlisle (Peter Facinelli), whose greatest gift is his compassion, his sweet natured “mother” Esme (Elizabeth Reaser), who is a mother figure to everyone, Alice (Ashley Greene), who sees the future, Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), who has the ability to control emotions, Emmet (Kellan Lutz), a big, brawny vampire who has a funny nature, and the beautiful Rosalie (Nikki Reed) who despises Bella because of the danger she poses to the Cullens.

Bella and Edward

Bella joins the Cullens on her first official outing with them. They use times when there is thunder to play baseball – the only time where it is okay for them to make so much noise. It goes well, until another bunch of vampires appear, who don’t share the vegetarian lifestyle of the Cullen’s. They catch Bella’s scent, and a vampire named James (Cam Gigandet), nearly attacks her.  The Cullens protect her, but Edward has read James’ mind, and knows that Bella will always be hunted while James lives.

They agree to take Bella somewhere safe, her hometown. Alice and Jasper takes her there, because they know James will expect her to stay with Edward, and splitting them up is a good idea. James lures Bella into a trap by making her believe that her mother is in danger. She escapes from her wardens, and heads to a ballet studio where she danced as a child. James bites her, infecting her with vampire blood, and after Edward and his family kills James, Edward saves Bella by sucking out the venom, keeping her human.

In the hospital afterwards, Edward tells Bella that she will be safer with her mother, away from him. She panics, and he promises that he will never leave her as long as it is within her best interests.

At prom, in which Bella was tricked into going by Edward, they reach an impasse. Edward is adamant that Bella should be human, and she wants to turn because that is the only way to be with him forever.

The movie ends showing Victoria, James’ mate, spying on the happy couple.

Rating: 6/10

What I thought about the movie:

Twilight, the first of five installments (the fourth book was split into two movies), doesn’t seem as well produced as all the rest. It is enjoyable, scary and entertaining, and if you have a romantic heart you will enjoy the tale.

Destination Forks

I loved the scenery. It is a beautiful part of Washington. The school and other areas were pretty well reproduced, and all the characters have some of that small town charm.

The Characters

Bella Swan lost her position as the least liked character in the Feminist League only when Anastasia Steele came along. I personally don’t find her all that offensive. She is simply an insecure teenage girl. Kristen Stewart was well made for her portrayal of Ms. Swan. Her acting isn’t bad – it is just in real life where she has zero facial expressions.

Edward Cullen is so much a McDreamy. Robert Pattinson did well there, and if his acting seems forced in Twilight, it improves slightly in the other movies. Funnily enough, it is his facial expressions in some scenes that trouble me – he looks a bit constipated at times. As a character, he seems moody and controlling, but also truly in love and protective.

Taylor Lautner is seriously adorable as Jacob Black. All that long hair gave me such envy. He has a sweet puppy dog disposition in the first movie and novel, which Taylor did really well in.

Kellan Lutz fulfills the bodily requirements of Emmet Cullen, and even some of his charm. But I just want to give the guy a few acting lessons as present for his birthday. He should stick to modelling Calvin Klein underwear – he excels in it.

All in all, the main characters were well cast. Esme’s hair changed a lot between movies (will dye stick to a vampire’s hair?) and that bugged me. She looked exceptionally well with the golden brown. Peter Facinelli was a good Dr. Cullen. He did the vampire doctor to a T. He really does manage to look like a very compassionate man. Ashley Greene as Alice was also, once again, well done. She is certainly petite enough to be Alice Cullen, and she gave the performance the appropriate weirdness that is part of Alice’s charm. Jackson Rathbone is good as Jasper – he looks in pain, as he should. He also has the looks of a glamorous movie star – like in the book.

I think a special mention needs to be given to Nikki Reed. She works hard every time in a movie, and does so well, and I see so little of her in other stuff. Am I being stupid and she is actually frequently cast? As Rosalie, she pulls the bitchface off so well. I love Rosalie’s animosity towards Bella – it would be so silly if all the people in Forks loved her immediately.

How much changed between book and movie?

There were a few changes, especially in the sequence of events, but since it suited the movie, I found I didn’t mind that much.

Conclusion

The movie is as enjoyable as the book. It is sometimes surprisingly eerie, successfully scary and it is really a love story about two people who managed to be together no matter what got in their way.

What happened this weekend, feeling sorry for myself and such matters

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Truly, nothing much happened this weekend. I devoted my entire Sunday to reading. More on that to follow.

Saturday I saw my one uncle. My extended family aren’t close, and I really don’t care much for it, but I arrived to say hi on my grandmother’s request. Which she turned around so it seemed I was dying to see him. Queue extreme irritation.  It was nice to see him, but also very obvious why my mother isn’t interested in staying connected with them. I am content with the family I have, as cold as it sounds. I don’t need people who only deign to show their faces every seven years.

Afterwards, I went to the shops, spent money I shouldn’t have, and got a new book. My little sister found a DVD she has been searching for ages for – Letters to Juliet. We also got Breaking Dawn Part one. That night we watched both. I will be posting reviews sometime during the next couple of weeks.

Books read

Last week I read about four books, and turned towards madness when I read Nora Robert’s the Witness the entire day yesterday, and finished it. 488 pages.

I think I will be giving reading a break, even if it is only for a few days.

PS: it was an amazing read

Feeling sorry for myself

My newly married sister and her husband are returning from Mauritius from their honeymoon, and it means I am back at home. I love home, but it is very crowded at the moment. I will miss my freedom and quiet so much. It is true motivation to get in a place where I can live in my own place.

Diet, exercise and studying

The three things I really need to get done. Like right now.

Starting with exams the first of November, and it is extremely close.

Chemistry, here I come.

5 things Friday – 5 things

This week went by fast – I only started working again on Wednesday, so it wasn’t much of a week. For a quick one it has been quite eventful. Here are Five things that either happened to me or in the world this week.

Independence

While my sister is on her honeymoon, I am taking care of their flat. It is unbelievable how free it makes me feel to be completely on my own. The independence is staggering and very educational. It isn’t so easy to take care of yourself, is it? Funnily enough, I miss my parents. It is natural to want to live alone after a certain age, and I can’t wait to be out on my own, but I still miss them when I don’t see them after a certain period of time.

Friendships

I mentioned last week that I recently got contacted by a person who I banished from my life a few years ago. The banishment was justified, and in the last while I haven’t given it much thought – it is natural for people to go on with their lives. It was all well until the contact happened. I am supposed to see said person tomorrow. I think I will only be certain tomorrow if I will do it.

Then there is another person who is extremely close to getting an earful from me. She has been my friend since we were seven years old, and I really thought we would be friends forever. I am in no way saying that people should put their relationships before friendships, but there has to be a balance. We had arrangements this week to meet up, and once again, she cancelled. Not only did she cancel on me, she cancelled after she told me at the wedding she would certainly be there – I suspect that she knew then she wouldn’t come. There is no way to say this nicely, but her new boyfriend is an ass. He is most definitely behind this as I know he dislikes me. So for once (apart from a slightly childish Facebook post from my side) I walked away. I discussed my feelings with someone I trust, and just left it there. I am not sure what I am doing right now about our friendship, but I have mastered the ability to keep my mouth shut – no small feat.

A quote from my diary at work – very apt.

“Wisdom is divided into two parts: (a) having a great deal to say, and (b) not saying it” – unknown

So, the idea of friends and what it means have been bugging me. My friendship group is big and complicated, full of fights and drama, but also of love and laughter. These two people above are not part of my intimate group of friends, for which I am grateful, but shutting them out permanently will break my heart. I really have no idea what to do with them.

South-Africa blushes – again

SA is known for many things – braaing, beautiful scenery, crime, and corruption, a president without basic education, Oscar Pistorius, crime, corruption, and crime.

After the terrorist attack in Kenya at the Westgate mall, where more than 70 people were killed, it is rumoured that a woman nicknamed the White Widow was one of the masterminds. There is now a red alert issued from Interpol to find her. What does this have to do with South-Africa, you ask? It would seem that this woman lived in SA with an illegal South-African passport for three years, while she was still being searched for by the United Kingdom for suspected terrorist involvement there.

Let’s all just hang our heads in shame, SA. Our country is not only a hotbed of criminal activity, but apparently also a convenient hideout for terrorists.

*I really love South-Africa. This just seems like a bit much.

Branding

Last week Friday my blog broke its record for most views in one day – thank you! It was amazing to see when I logged back on after the weekend. I am so excited about my blog – it is constantly growing. I finally have an outlet for all the opinions I have.

I have been playing with the idea of a second blog, focusing on fashion and beauty. I love both, and would be incredibly happy to start a blog for it. I am still planning and organizing my thoughts, as it would probably triple the amount of work and writing I am currently doing.

Personal branding is very important, especially on the internet today. I want to find a name for my work that will be instantly recognisable – I don’t think my blog’s title is very memorable right now. That said; I am worried if I change the title again, it will confuse my current users. Any comments or suggestions?

Love for RPattz.

I am watching all the Twilight movies again, and I have been reminded how much I liked Robert Pattison. For some reason, I forgot how looky he is. I have been reminded. Thank you, Twilight.

R-P-GQ-HQ-robert-pattinson-5456753-1200-1600

Have a good one!

Book Review: Twilight (Stephanie Meyer)

Twilightbook

Book: 45/100

When Isabella Swan moves to Forks from sunny California to go live with her father, she thoroughly expects it to be a nightmare. Used to sunshine, she is now in a place where it perpetually rains and is always cold. Despite her awkwardness, she is immediately popular at her new school. She makes many friends, including Jessica, Angela and Mike, who quickly develops a crush on her.

The only person who doesn’t immediately like her is the impossibly handsome Edward Cullen. He and his siblings always seem removed from the rest of the student body, content to be on their own. Bella and Edward’s first meeting in biology class is highly awkward, and she can’t help but feel the anger he directs towards her. Hurt and confused, she is bewildered when he disappears the next day, because no matter what her mind tells her, she knows it is because of something she did.

Upon his return, Edward is much more civil to her. Bella is drawn to him, but she senses the danger that lurks beneath his beautiful surface. When he saves her from an impossible accident on a snowy day, she even starts to suspect he may be something more than human. Her persistence to know answers irritates him, and they frequently disagree on it.

Bella and some of her friends head to La Push, a beach in a reservation. Bella reconnects with Jacob Black, who she knew as a kid. He tells her the tale of the Cullens and his own people, and even though he doesn’t believe the legend, she is much more prone to believing it, with what she has seen of Edward’s strength and speed.

Edward saves Bella once again later on when she goes shopping with her friends, and is herded by men who want to harm her. She finally gets him to admit the truth, that he and his family are vampires. He realizes that she accepts him either way, and that even though he will always be a danger to him, she will be with him forever.

After meeting Edward’s family, Bella joins them for a baseball game on a stormy night. Everything goes well until another group of vampires appear – vampires who don’t share the Cullens “vegetarian” lifestyle. A fight nearly breaks out when James, one of the other clan’s vampires tries to attack Bella. Edward reads James mind and realize that his vampire ability is hunting, and that he will never rest until he has Bella.

Bella is taken to safety by Alice and Jasper, while Edward and Carlisle search for James. When he eludes them, and heads to Phoenix, Bella knows that he will eventually find her. He calls her and threatens to kill her mother if she doesn’t show up alone. Will Bella and her mother survive this attack?

twilight-book

Rating: 6/10

The first book in the Twilight phenomenon is truly enjoyable. It is well written, despite all reports. I appreciated the new direction Meyer took on vampires, and how their existence could be possible. The book was a solid baseline for the other books to follow – how Victoria would become so dangerous to them, much more than James ever was.

Bella as a character is somewhat weak, but mostly she depicts what teenage girls truly are – just a little obsessed with social acceptance and boys, and insecure about themselves.

Will we judge her for dropping her friends in favor for her boyfriend? Yes, because she is absolutely the first girl ever to do that.

Edward, despite being overbearing and protective, seemed like a fine romantic lead to me. If you had to wait a hundred years to meet the love of your life, you would also become a bit obsessed, no?

I think most people who love this genre have read this book already, but if you haven’t, and you like vampire romance, you should give it a try!

Weekend 16-18 August 2013

Hello

Who else feels that the weekend went unnaturally fast? Really, they always feel as if they had flown, but it just seems this one really went at break-neck speed.

I have been dieting the entire weekend. I simply realized that weekends where you eat what you want just means that you will gain weight, and I am tired of it. It was the most successful two days I have had in a while. I am not weighing yet, since I think it is a too short amount of time to see results, but I am so focused on it right now. I am NOT gaining any more weight.

On the series front, I am watching The Mentalist Season four as well as Desperate Housewives. Both are really good and entertaining. I need to start on Sons Of Anarchy Season three – there is no way I cannot know what happens to Abel.

I watched two movies this weekend – Bride Wars and The First Time. I’ve seen Bride Wars before, but watched it with my mom as it is mom-friendly. I have to say I am really impressed with The First Time. It is really rare to come across an original, true, heart-warming story.

The First Time

Books:

I haven’t made much progress. I am currently reading Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, which is fantastic, and Stephanie Meyer’s Eclipse (two very different books) Both are good in their own way.

Wedding

There is so much left to do! My sister’s bachelorettes is NEXT WEEKEND. It is way too close for my liking. I feel like I have a million things to do. I will probably turn into a lunatic sometime. That said; some of the wedding party must watch it. Upsetting the Bride, my sister, anymore, will have severe consequences. ‘Nuff said.

How did your weekend go?

Vampires, Sci-Fi, fairy tales and everything in between

Morning!
Here is my second enstallment of Movies of 2012:
Breaking Dawn part two: 
The memory of this movie is still fresh, and I can honestly say that it is the best of the franchise. It proved a lot of things, but mostly that actors can develop from mediocre to good, screenplay can be well executed, and a movie can keep to the book and still be a blockbuster. It was the best end I could have imagined for a saga I believed would bore. It stayed true to its original cast, and chose characters shockingly accurate for new roles. This movie does not deserve an Academy Award, but it does deserve recognition for evolving into a worthy tale. 
Rating: 8.5/10 
The Hunger Games 
It shames me to admit that until I saw the trailer of the Hunger Games, I had never heard of the series or of Susan Collins. I love reading, so the fact that this type of magic went by unnoticed, will leave me appalled for some time. The post-apocalyptic film followed the book to perfection. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth play Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark and Gayle Hawthorne to perfection. I am waiting anxiously for the rest of the series. 
Rating: 8.5/10 
Snow White and the Huntsman: 
When I saw this film was being released, I was excited and sceptical at the same time. Seeing Kristen Stewart in another role as Bella was like imagining Nina Dobrev playing someone other than Elena Gilbert… frightening and confusing. Kristen impressed me with her portrayal of Snow (the different facial expressions mostly) and convinced me of a future for her after Twilight. Chris Hemsworth played the Huntsman, surprising me with the excellence with which he played a more romantic part. He is the poplar standard for playing the ruggedly handsome. Charlize Theron (our home pride) gave the best performance in the film as the wicked queen. I am so proud that she is South-African. 
Rating: 7/10. 
Barnabas Collins: Dark Shadows 
For an actor of Johnny Depp’s calibre, I was rather disappointed with the quality of this movie. He still brought his magic touch to the screen, but not to an extent which I found mesmerising. Barnabas Collins seemed to share too many qualities with his Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 
Rating: 5.5/10 
Men in Black 3: 
I saw this movie in the cinema THREE times (long story). It barely deserves to be seen in the cinema. I can’t honestly say anything about this movie; because I saw it so many times I am quite sick of it. But Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin deserve proper accolades when acting is mentioned, since they are wonderful actors. 
Rating: a biased 6.5/10
Any other suggestions?
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