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November 16th, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Billy Burke, Nikki Reed, Mackenzie Foy, Maggie Grace, Christopher Heyerdahl, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, and many more.

Directed by: Bill Condon Screenplay by: Melissa Rosenberg Based on the novel by: Stephenie Meyer Original Music by: Carter Burwell Cinematography by: Guillermo Navarro

Premise: Following her transformation into a vampire, Bella tries to cope with the changes and learn the rules of being one of the undead. Finding it easier than expected, she then gets to meet her daughter Renesmee. All seems to be going well, until a mistake is made by their vampire cousin Irina, who when she sees Renesmee and jumps to an erroneous conclusion, she goes to the Volturi to bring their attention to it. This is the excuse to act Aro has been waiting for. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Thumbs Up: Everyone did well, though with such a large cast, many of the characters got seen, possibly heard, but never really known. The three principals showed the changes in their relationships very well.  Michael Sheen was fun as the greedy and opportunistic Volturi Aro. Dakota Fanning had some great facial expressions during the battle segment. Christopher Heyerdahl's one true line was priceless.

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: Werewolves looked great and were used to good effect. Benjamin's elemental powers were demonstrated beautifully by the special effects department. The water door he makes during his introduction was very cool. They also did good work on the vampires' supernatural speed and Alec's dark power.

The only criticism with the effects was Renesmee. A lot of CGI was used to make her face as a baby and during each growing spurt match characteristics of the hair and face of Mackensey Foy. Unfortunately, they might have been better served just using a real baby's face, because their manipulation of the faces was glaringly obvious and did not look well.

3) Plot/Story - Neutral: Years ago my daughter had read the books the "Twilight" films are based on. She'd been totally captured by the world, and couldn't read them fast enough, until she hit "Breaking Dawn". I'd listened to her complaints at the time, but had decided to reserve judgement. After seeing the treatment of the topic in question in "Breaking Dawn" part 1, I thought it'd been smoothed over in the film and the problems my daughter had raised been rendered minimal. But part 2 destroyed that belief. Jacob's glib explanation of why he thought he'd been interested in Bella and she in him as a friend or more than friends as well as how without it they would have never related in anyway, made me a little unhappy too. But perhaps it won't be a problem for other viewers.

Lots of funny moments were sprinkled throughout the film - when Bella finds out Jacob gave her daughter a nickname, when Bella takes on Emmett in an arm wrestling match, when one of them suggests to Edward to stop Bella's and Jacob's argument and he just smiles, and several others.

Yet I am not sure these lovely moments are enough to make up for the Jacob issue or the trick played on the audience with the combat segment of the film. It also bothered me that though a lot of power was available to Benjamin, it went unused for most of the combat, and when it was used, it was largely self defeating.

4) Stunts - Thumbs Up: I'm putting the combat scenes under stunts, since when CGI is involved, it can be very difficult to tell whether it was a stunt done by actors, stuntmen, computers or a combination of the three. However they were done, they were definitely entertaining. Heads got popped like champagne corks wherever you looked.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The film contained some gorgeous shots. The Summit logo was even interwoven into the landscape in the sedate, yet lovely and themed opening sequence to the film. Panning shots of cliffs, the sea, the woods, and the snow capped mountains set up the mood perfectly for several scenes.

6) Costuming/Makeup - Thumbs Up: The place where the costuming and makeup departments really made a difference were on Bella. Her whole look was changed to fit her new vampiric/adult status, making her seem like a different person in many respects. They kept this going throughout, except for at the very end, were she went back to a more laid back dressing style. That in itself seemed a little awkward.

Conclusion: Overall it was an entertaining film. Fans of the movies and books present during the viewing seemed to really get into the spirit of it, cheering and booing, sometimes gasping, during the big combat scenes as it took its toll. It was a decent end to the movie series.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price To See It Again.)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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