twilight Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn   Part 1

(credit: Summit Entertainment)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and the sad news for fans is — it’s only half a movie! “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” is the first portion of the last book in Stephanie Meyer’s uber-successful “Twilight” novel series. Producers felt that the book was so jammed-packed with drama, intrigue, love, romance, action and terror that — hey! — why not make two movies and make twice the money?

At first, Twi-hards were upset. But now, as we are days away from Part 1’s release, they have all silenced their discontent and have focused on the fact they will finally get to see something!

SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading here unless you already know how the story plays out, or don’t mind reading about the details.

If you do not know what happens to the love sick Bella and Edward (and Jacob), then turn away now. But thanks to tons of pre-publicity, most are aware that the couple marry and have an exotic honeymoon. However, before we see that much-discussed wedding dress, I will tell you that within 10 minutes of the film’s start, hunky Jacob (Taylor Lautner) rips off his shirt so that fans can scream at what just might be the last time the actor has to partially disrobe on camera… at least for a while.

Fans do not have to wait long for what they have longed to see since film number one — the nuptials. Bella (Kristen Stewart) looks as beautiful as any bride, and her groom — despite the fact Edward (Robert Pattinson) is an ancient vampire — looks pretty amazing too, albeit that sort of creepy super pale glow the make-up folks have perfected by now in the fourth film.

The wedding goes off without a hitch… and then Jacob shows up. It appears that he is still in love with Bella, of course. Most fans will be happy with the beauty and romance of the wedding scenes, but the honeymoon takes a turn after the loving newlyweds take off for South America. Edward is cautious and worried, but Bella is ready for the commitment they made. The race is on to see what happens just weeks after their honeymoon.

The scenes when Bella realizes that she is pregnant are not always easy to watch. Special effects turn her into a skeletal, sickly, scared young woman, not sure of what her body is creating. Stewart may not be Oscar-worthy as an actor, but she plays pregnant and ill pretty well!

The conflicts continue as Jacob and his wolf pack start prowling around the Cullen home, worried for Bella. Jacob is torn. Edward is terrified. Bella is about to birth the unknown. And then…

I cannot tell you how Part 1 ends, but safe to say there is a horrific birth. Once again, Edward rises to his most honorable self. Jacob becomes a changed man. And that’s all I want to say. Does Bella survive? Can her frail body handle the tremendously bloody and terrifying ordeal? You will have to wait in line with millions of others this weekend to see how it all turns out, but I will tell you to make sure you stay until after the credits. There is a little tease at the very end as to what awaits in Part 2, to be released November 2012.

I can only say that I was totally exhausted when the theater lights finally went up!

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” is rated PG-13 and opens this Friday citywide.

Editor’s Note: CBS 11 News entertainment reporter Sandie Newton will be talking to “Twilight” fans LIVE at a local movie theater during Friday’s 4:00 p.m. newscast, and showing her exclusive interviews with the film’s stars. Be sure to check it out!

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