Tag Archives: Team Jacob

Movie vs. Book: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I

By Jenelle Tortorella

Finally, we’ve reached the last installment of what could arguably be called the most popular love story of Generation Y:  Twilight.

Breaking Dawn is the final page-turning, vampire-loving, werewolf-fighting book in Stephanie Meyer’s saga that not only flew off the shelves, but has many a person, young and old, male and female, asking themselves one simple question: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

The books-turned-successful-movie franchise have followed heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), her undead love Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and best wolfy friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), as the trio navigates the realms of mythical creates, forbidden love, and, now, a wedding. The producers of the film wisely chose to split the fourth novel into two movies, giving themselves more time to develop plotlines; despite that, if you haven’t read the books or seen the previous films, you’re going to be lost.

Although many people I’ve spoken with disagree, the first part of the movie is my favorite. Maybe it’s because I was tired of the brooding, teenage-angsty mood that so dominated the first three movies, and finally wanted to smile while watching these films. The wedding is light, joyous, and at times funny.  Bella’s father Charlie Swan (Billy Burke) yet again steals any scene he’s in. There’s some minimal drama — a given with any family gathering — but it’s done well, muted, behind the scenes, and not attention grabbing.  I actually prefer the way the opening to Breaking Dawn Part 1 was done in the film more than it was explained in the book; you’re able to get out of Bella’s head and enjoy a truly beautiful wedding.

We then follow our lovebirds to South America as they begin a honeymoon unlike many: we’re unsure if Bella is going to make it past her wedding night alive — one of the many dangers of marrying a vampire. Spoiler: she does, although the headboard of the bed frame doesn’t. While the backdrop of Isle Esme is breathtaking, I felt that the movie lost some of its pacing here. The length of time spent on the honeymoon in the book is understandable because you’re hearing Bella’s thoughts; in the movie it just feels long.

As the film navigates through the problems that arise following the honeymoon, I think this is where this movie outdoes its predecessors. First, the acting feels much more natural, with each character clearly becoming more comfortable in their roles I hardly cringed at any of the lines. Second, the special effects prove how far this franchise has come with my mental pictures vividly coming alive on screen; ‘disturbing’ doesn’t begin to cover it.

Most importantly, the book is not lost in this film. Sure, there are some plot changes, like a completely unnecessary and random fight between the vamps and wolves, but the core of the story is still there. You feel the joy, pain, loss, and hurt at the decisions the characters are making, as it should be.

In all, this movie captures all of the good and bad of the Twilight saga. Drama-packed, it’s a perfect guilty pleasure. Just make sure you stay for the credits.

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Movie vs. Book: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

In a series that not only focuses on the love between a human and a vampire, but also the hatred between vampires and werewolves, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse breaks the rules.

In the third installment of the successful young adult, fantasy series, Eclipse brings the werewolves and vampires together in order protect their common interest: Bella, of course. Bella’s vampire boyfriend Edward and werewolf best friend Jacob must learn to get over the mythical hatred between their two species to save Bella from the vengeful vampire Victoria. Because Edward killed Victoria’s lover in an earlier book, Victoria wants to inflict the same kind of pain on Edward by killing Bella. So Victoria builds an army of young – and difficult to control – vampires to feast on the beautiful human girl.

With Edward and Jacob working together, the love triangle between Bella and her two loves reaches its breaking point. Bella and Jacob finally kiss, as she admits her love for him.

The Eclipse movie stays true to the novel in terms of plot, and the action scenes are gripping. Chalk it up to good cinematography, soundtrack, and effects. But there’s one flaw in Eclipse that holds true for the other Twilight movies as well. Whereas the movie follows the plot correctly, it doesn’t produce the same emotions about the two male love interests.

In regards to the novel, the reader is immediately smitten with Edward. Like Bella, that initial attraction remains strong throughout the series. We understand the inexplicable connection that binds the two and why she is willing to sacrifice a human life for him. When reading the first novel in particular, I was brought back to my high school days, reminiscing about the boy I would have done anything for. Jacob, in turn, becomes a nuisance in Eclipse.

But in the movie, Edward comes across as controlling, intense, and creepy. Jacob repeatedly explains to Bella that Edward can’t offer her the life of normalcy he would be able to give her. And we, the viewers, find ourselves nodding along with him.

I realized this when I discussed the movie with a friend who had not read the books, but had seen the movies. She was Team Jacob, and I was Team Edward. When I watched Eclipse through her eyes, I understood why she disliked Edward. And that’s the problem with the movie; the viewer should love Edward as much as Bella does – just like in the books.

Eclipse is full of bad acting, and therein lies the problem. Robert Pattison is mediocre; Taylor Lautner is good; but Kristin Stewart is awful. If she emoted her character’s feelings better, we would understand them more.

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