Why ‘Breaking Dawn: Part 2’ is the best ‘Twilight’ Movie


The final installment of ‘The Twilight Saga’ was released on Nov. 16. Photo courtesy of Screenrant.

It all started in 2005 when Little, Brown published Stephenie Meyer’s first book: Twilight. If you want to get technical, I suppose we could go back to 2003 when Meyer had the dream that inspired Twilight. Either way, the first book has been out for less than a decade and it is arguably one of the most popular series of all time. This month, the final film installment to The Twilight Saga premiered in theaters all over the world. So far, Breaking Dawn: Part 2 has made $362.5 million, $200 million of which comes from ticket sales overseas. Breaking Dawn: Part 1 ended its theater run with $712.2 million and Part 2 is expected to break that record.

While The Twilight Saga becomes more successful every year, my love for the series has dwindled into slight resentment. Yes, 15-year-old me loved the Twilight book series. So much so that my stepsister and I bought our own special edition copies of New Moon and read the preview of Eclipse under the car light as our family drove home from the North Fork of Long Island. But somewhere between going to college and the premiere of the Eclipse movie, I became disinterested. I was unimpressed by the movies, the fans, and eventually the books bored me. However, I still watched all the movies with some sense of needing to see this thing through to the end. I’m glad I did because Breaking Dawn Part 2 is easily the best movie in the saga and here is why:

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Boy Bands vs. Growing Up: Review of 1D’s ‘Take Me Home’


Huffington Post called ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached” the best album of the 2000-2009 decade. Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone.

All of us 20-somethings had that phase. You know the one. No matter your favorite—whether they were older: New Kids on the Block, The Jackson 5, Menudo; or huge: ‘N Sync, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men; or slightly less popular: Hanson, 98 Degrees, LFO, O-Town—you probably went through that boy band phase. But you grew out of it right? Maybe it was a gradual shift in music taste, or the day you took down all those posters and magazine rip-outs from you walls, or even a conscious decision to “grow up.” Somewhere along the way you discovered Good Charlotte, Brand New, Bright Eyes, or whatever gateway band to a life after knowing Justin Timberlake’s favorite number. This new life has sophisticated music with more mature themes than “baby, I want you back” and a wider vocabulary to boot.

In recent years, the boy band has made a comeback with the Jonas Brothers leading the charge into the late 2000’s. Then Big Time Rush and The Wanted released albums on either sides of the pond in early 2010. And then there was One Direction. Those UK boys from the X Factor sort of snuck up on all of us. For me, it started with them popping up on my Tumblr dashboard, then in news articles, and then I watched them perform on Saturday Night Live. It was okay to love them ironically, blaming “the suspenders one” and “the blonde one” for being so adorable. But the day came when I realized I knew all their names and I was singing about my life to the tune of their songs. That was when I knew: I was a goner; I had fallen back into my boy band ways.

One Direction’s ‘Take Me Home: Yearbook Edition’ was released on Spotify on Nov. 13. Photo courtesy of Syco Records.

Thankfully, I’m not the only 20-something in my circle of friends to have gone through the same thing. Brennin posted on Tumblr about her slow decent back into boy band fandom, Emily contemplated whether she should hate herself for it or not, and Monica dragged her feet a bit. We all thought the “boy band phase” was over; we were all convinced that we had grown out of it and moved onto better music. But that doesn’t stop me from dancing like an idiot and scream-singing “Live While Your Young” or my heart from melting when I listen to “Little Things” (I have a soft spot for acoustic songs!) So while I spiral down into another boy band black hole, this is my review of One Direction’s sophomore album, Take Me Home: Yearbook Edition, that was released last week. You can also check out my live blog of the album to see what I thought about each song individually.

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Joss Whedon is a Life Ruiner


Whedon’s newest project, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’, the television spinoff of ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’, is rumored to begin filming in January 2013. Photo courtesy of SciFiNow.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by Joss Whedon. He may not be the only writer to have killed off beloved characters—J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin, I’m looking at you—but I can’t think of another person who has done so over this many different television shows and movies. Of course, there are other ways to break a fan’s heart than killing off their favorite character and if there is one thing Joss Whedon is good at, it’s breaking his fans’ hearts. For some reason, we keep coming back though. Maybe we’re all masochists. Or maybe it’s indicative of Whedon’s talent that his shows and movies have such huge followings even though he plays with his viewer’s emotions (it’s probably the latter.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is what converted me into a Whedonite at the young age of 11. Although I love pretty much everything Joss Whedon has done and I think he’s a genius, there are some things for which I will never be able to forgive him. I don’t want to spoil the whole list—although this one is pretty much a given—but one of the big ones comes from the short-lived series, Firefly. In honor of the 10th Anniversary special “Firefly: Browncoats Unite” that aired on Science Channel last night, and since every time something in a Whedon production makes me sad I reference this previously unwritten list, I figured it was about time I sat down and actually compiled the catalogue of things that left me feeling personally victimized by Joss Whedon.

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Why I Watch ‘The X Factor US’ and You Should Too


One Direction formed in 2010 for the seventh series of ‘The X Factor UK’. Photo courtesy of FOX.

Between viewer disappointment in Britney Spears as a judge, Khloe Kardashian Odom as a host, and distaste of the extravagant stage performances, The X Factor US has taken a hit to the ratings this year. The most recent episode that aired on Nov. 1 had 6.24 million viewers, almost half of what the show averaged during its first season. The decline in ratings and disgruntled fans are making FOX executives wary enough that they are beginning to question their decision to renew X Factor for a third season.

This is my first time watching The X Factor US and despite these troubles, I think it’s a fun show to watch. Besides, the executives’ concerns may soon be a thing of the past since popular boyband and X Factor UK alums, One Direction, are scheduled to play the results show tomorrow night. Personally, I hope FOX brings Simon Cowell and the gang back for another year, but until that decision is made, here is why I’m loving this  season of X Factor.

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