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New ‘Twilight’ Will Take a Bite of the Boxoffice

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FOX 4 film critics Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons give their popcorn bag reviews of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, Happy Feet 2, Like Crazy and The Skin I Live In.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN - Part 1

RUSS: Twi-hards, you can breathe again. The fourth installment in the “Twilight” series has finally arrived. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” begins with the wedding of mortal Bella and vampire Edward. It ends with…well, if you’re really a Twi-hard, you already know. True fans won’t care that this supernatural soap opera is awkwardly written and anticlimactic. It’s their story and they’re going to love it. The rest of us will have to settle for a mildly entertaining, if fairly bloodless installment in the franchise. Be prepared to hold your breath again, however. Part 2, the series finale, won't arrive in theatres until November 2012.

SHAWN: There is a rhythmic beauty to "Breaking Dawn Part 1." The combination of gorgeous, if not vapid actors, beautiful cinematography and lush pop music tapestries make for one heck of a romantic and stylish cinematic poem. Full of swoon and tension the love triangle intensifies as the adult themes of marriage and pregnancy are addressed with adolescence quid pro through the imagination of Stephanie Meyers' light hearted and somewhat sexy touches adapted from her awkwardly written but well liked fourth novel.
It's all pretty silly but completely engaging as the icy vampires and rabid werewolves continue to battle over a girl and her baby to be. Juicy on a "Gossip Girl" level. Fun if you are a part of the "Real World" generation and truth in advertising if you worship the Kardashians. Through the eyes of most teenage girls and some adult women this is the most epic love story ever. Sure there are a few missed opportunities to take this story to the next level. There are dramatic possibilities galore. But in order to keep it PG-13 the filmmakers overloaded with sugar and not salt. Just bring on "Part 2." Things are beginning to sizzle.

Russ: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
Shawn: 4 out of 5 Popcorn Bags

HAPPY FEET 2

RUSS: Now, everybody thinks dancing penguins are adorable, right? The makers of “Happy Feet 2” certainly hope you think so. This visually striking 3-D computer animated adventure is amiable enough, but simply isn’t as engaging as its predecessor. Still, it has enough family-friendly attributes to please the kids and Brad Pitt and Matt Damon are pretty funny as a couple of wisecracking krill.

SHAWN: Cute. That best describes "Happy Feet 2." Vivid looking animation. Explosively fun songs and all of those heavy handed messages that are just too weighty for young kids to understand. The animation is nice and the 3D is superb. Both kids and adults will enjoy.

Russ: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
Shawn: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags

LIKE CRAZY

RUSS: “Like Crazy” is one of those self-consciously quirky indie flicks that sometimes make a noise at the Sundance Film Festival. Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones play college lovers whose romance is thwarted by immaturity and immigration laws. The appealing actors make this lightweight romance seem better than it actually is.

SHAWN: "Like Crazy" is an unsympathetic love story. It's realistic, somewhat passionate but too unsettling to be fun. Overall "Like Crazy" thrives on its realism but struggles to connect the way "500 Days of Summer" did a couple of years ago or truly sting the way "Blue Valentine" did last year.

Russ: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags
Shawn: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags

THE SKIN I LIVE IN
RUSS: Famed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back. His latest entry is an over-the-top horror flick, “The Skin I Live In.” Antonio Banderas stars as a disturbed plastic surgeon with one very unusual patient whom he keeps as a virtual prisoner in his home. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn how this beautiful woman ended up in his care. All of Almodovar’s colorful melodramatic touches are on display and gay subtext is very apparent. But this campy Frankenstein wannabe is too creepy and too depressing to be completely successful.

Russ: 3 out of 5 Popcorn Bags

Also opening this week, "The Other F Word" is a documentary about punk rock dads.

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