Breaking Dawn – Part 1, commercially super-successful and critically panned, was the most anticipated of all the installments in the saga, aside form Part 2. But was it really bad? Let’s review it unbiasedly!

The Good:

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s performances:

OK, to be fair, Stewart’s performance was pitch-perfect. She didn’t overact any scene nor did she underplay the character. Every expression, every movement was what you would expect Book-Bella to do if she were real. Bella’s character is awkward and self-conscious, but in Breaking Dawn, especially Part 2, she becomes less awkward and more open which Stewart portrays well. The birth scene should well-silence her haters. (see video below, pitched to avoid removal)

By the end of the film, you truly feel that Bella has transformed emotionally and psychologically from the young woman we’ve seen in Twilight to a full grownup. Pattinson delivered a good performance too, sounding appropriately sincere in the wedding scenes and convincingly frantic in the birth scene. It would be fair to give Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter, applause this time for getting almost all of Bella and Edward’s dialogue right.

The anticipated scenes:

The anticipated scenes were the wedding, the birth and the transformation. Each of them was well-acted, well-written and well-shot. The editing, set design and cinematography were always strong and effective throughout those scenes. The wedding was touching and beautiful as it should be and the bittersweet speeches were good sources of comic relief.

The birth scene was terrifying and unforgettable; I can still remember watching it in the movie theater while sitting on the edge of my seat (until someone sneezed so loudly and the whole theater laughed, ruining the experience). The transformation was better than I expected, but has nothing on the way it’s written in the book. It was bittersweet seeing one of the characters I like and followed throughout all the movies and books broken this way, but apparently all the girls sitting behind me cared about was how good her eye shadow was.

(See clip here)

The production design and the cinematography:

Guillermo Navarro excelled at the cinematography. His imagery was beautiful and full of life, but dark and shocking when necessary. The angles from which he chose to take the close ups on the characters faces were remarkably good. The production design was the best of the Twilight films since Summit decided to finally spend money on the movies. Seeing as most of the film was shot using green screens, the sets were remarkably eye-grabbing and atmospheric, like in the wedding and honeymoon scenes.

The Bad:

Taylor Lautner’s performance:

This was the worst performance in the whole saga. Nothing’s ever been worse. Lautner was fine in New Moon and Eclipse, not perfect, but acceptable, and then he made an awful turn in this film. His acting is full of expressions, he uses the same expressions. He just does faces. He has the happy Jacob face, the sad Jacob face, the bitter Jacob face, etc. If his voice could act on its own accord, it would probably tell him to improve his phrasing and delivery, and give his larynx a good kick in the butt to drop the over-husky and nasal timbre.

The screenplay:

The screenplay has a few, effective problems. It dragged in the first hour, which could’ve been shorter. Some of Lautner’s dialogue had to be erased from the script, if not burnt to the extent that no one can ever get close to figuring out what’s written on the paper. (ex. “I always knew you would kill her” in the birth scene. Leah’s story could’ve been more fleshed out in favor of the downright stupid “This a family scene”. There were many available chances for drama concerning Jacob that were left unseized, like how he leaves the Cullen house, in the book, to try to imprint.

The montages:

Bill Condon’s problem comes here. Not every montage has to sound like a music video. Rock songs placed over dramatic montages isn’t the only effective way of doing an attention-grabbing montage. It worked well for the honeymoon and the sick-looking Bella montages, but then it got repetitive.

The Verdict:

3 out of 5 stars. The film could have been better.

What to expect:

With Breaking Dawn – Part 2 six months away, Condon has a long time to correct the mistakes in Part 1, to be sure to that the film has better pacing, dialogue and score. Personally, I expect a film better than Part 1, with better performances and screenplay.  A different and even more satisfying interpretation of vampire Bella by Stewart.

So, what are you expecting in the Twilight film finale?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

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Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

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The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Favreau tweeted the news Friday evening:

According to a statement from Disney, The Lion King “will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

A release date for the film hasn’t been set. Favreau also helmed the live-action Jungle Book for the studio.

So far casting is off to a great start!