Twilight Saga, The: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 (Blu-ray) (2012)
Audio Commentary-Director Bill Condon
Featurette-Forever: Filming The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn
Featurette-Two Movies At Once
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|Year Of Production||2012|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Bill Condon|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English DTS HD Master Audio 7.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Is there any point, really, in reviewing this, the last of the Twilight movies? After all, the diehard fans (are they still called Twihards?) will have rushed to their nearest DVD store to pick up this last instalment as soon as it hit the shelves. Those who hated the series from the get-go probably greeted the release of the final movie at the cinemas with a derisive shrug and the comment "about time". Perhaps there is a third group - those who started watching the series after reading the books and have struggled to maintain consistent interest in the world of vampires and werewolves but feel that they should buy the film to complete their series.
This review may well be for the third category. Those who bonded with the Twilight novels by Stephanie Meyer and soaked up the love story of Bella Swan through each of the movies will already know that this film provides a satisfying if somewhat loopy end to the series. The haters have already made their mind up and nothing will change it. For that third category it is fair to report that Breaking Dawn Part Two is an important addition to your Twilight Blu-ray collection.
The critics have never been particularly kind to the Twilight series. Literary critics have sneered that the books are little more than Mills and Boon with fangs. The recent film Liberal Arts featured a debate between a young English major who reads the books for the pure enjoyment and her love interest, a seasoned literature expert almost positing a theory that they represent the coming of the Antichrist. When he queries "what's with you girls and vampires?" she can only shrug "it makes me feel good". Even within fantasy circles serious genre fans treat them with disdain suggesting that all should read Game of Thrones not realising that the empty headed politics and mindless sadism of those works is equally open for derision.
It is difficult to imagine how critic pleasing films could be made from the Twilight books. It is fair to say that none has attracted genuine acclaim and all hover around the 50% mark on Metacritic. I reviewed the first film and found it pretty entertaining. It had some great scenes and set pieces - the entry of the Cullens into the school dining hall, the "meet cute" in the chemistry class and the softball game set to Muse - were somewhat iconic. It may not have been high art but it gave the fans exactly what they wanted taping into the zeitgeist with surgical precision.
The later films have had their moments but perhaps reflected the failings of the source in expanding the simple three way love story into a pseudo political thriller. The decision to split the last book into two films (similar to the decision with respect to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) raised the obvious spectre of cashing in on the good grace of the Twilight fans. The genuine fans did not complain. It was perhaps the boyfriends dragged along by their girls to the penultimate film that voiced the loudest criticism having to sit through weddings and births without a great deal of action.
What cannot be denied is the financial success of the series. Made from a combined total of under $400 million the series raked in an amazing $3.3 billion in ticket sales.
So back to the film.
Actually, again, is there any point? Suffice to say that Bella adapts very quickly to being a vampire and being a mother. Jacob is still hanging around wishing he had ended up with the girl. The Volturi are coming to town at high noon to deal with the possibility that Renesmee, the Bella/Edward child, is a dreaded Immortal Child, capable of immense destruction. Meanwhile the Cullen clan gather friends from around the globe to act as witnesses to the showdown.
Any criticism that can be made of the quality of the film cannot be applied to its visuals.
The film appears on Blu-ray in the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. It is sharp as a tack.
There is a lot of work done in post-production including the CGI work and the colour grading bringing the scenery to life and the actors to death!
The colours are strong and vibrant although it must be said that dark tones dominate, set against the bright snow.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired.
The first Twilight movie attracted unwanted attention for presenting a bog standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track on a Blu-ray disc. This one makes no such error. The track is an English DTS-HD Master Audio track with a mighty 7.1 surround.
The extra channels are most welcome.
This is a movie with a lot of surround action and ample opportunity for the sub-woofer to become engaged. Not only are there the obvious pounding action scenes, particularly the end sequence, but also the early scenes with Bella experiencing the World for the first time as a new vampire in all its subtlety.
The score is by Coen Brothers alumni Carter Burwell who provides a pretty moving score to accompany the film. The Twilight series has certainly done a lot to bring indie bands to the masses, something it shares with The Hunger Games. This set includes Passion Pit, Feist, St Vincent, Ellie Goulding and more.
There are no technical problems with the sound. All the dialogue is clear and easy to understand.
|Surround Channel Use|
The director guides us through the process of making this film including the filming of it in tandem with the first part and the creative decisions made throughout. Even non fans will get an insight in the making of big budget cinema.
Divided into 7 parts : Rebirth, Renesmee, The Cottage, The Gathering, The Field, The Battle, Forever this is an extremely comprehensive guide to the making of the film. Every aspect of the film is covered and interviews are presented with the key cast and creatives. A feature that the fans will lap up.
OK, so this one is really for the fans, allowing you to jump to your favourite scenes featuring either Jacob or Edward, depending on your bent. No jump to Alice’s scenes however...
A short look at the challenges of splitting the book and shooting two films back-to-back..
A music video for The Forgotten by Green Day.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region A and B Blu-rays are the same. Buy local.
It's finally here... the end of one of the most successful and mocked franchises in cinema history. The haters can move on to hating something else and the lovers can settle back on the sofa and enjoy those moments of chaste love that came to define the vampire genre as much as True Blood, Blade and The Vampire Diaries.
A top notch Blu-ray with oodles of extra material is the present for the Twilight devotees.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|