Blu-ray Review: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1’ Extended Edition

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Blu-ray Review: ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1’ Extended Edition
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'Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn' - Release Date of Fourth 'Twilight' Movie - Premieres Late Next Year

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" comes out on an extended edition release featuring two cuts of the movie: its theatrical and extended versions. It also provides disc owners with a UV digital copy and an iTunes digital copy. This single-disc Blu-ray package contains several minutes of additional scenes including a new Volturi opening, a balcony conversation between Alice and Jacob, a confrontation between Edward and Jacob near the story's end, and some intimate moments with Edward and Bella in Brazil.

This fourth installment to Stephenie Meyer's best-selling supernatural romance series follows the long-awaited wedding of Bella and Edward, as well as their unlikely honeymoon and even more unlikely expectancy for their first child right after getting married. However, Bella's unborn child acts like a rapidly growing monster eating away at her from the inside. At the same time, this human-vampire hybrid offspring also poses different threats to the Cullens, the Volturi, and even the Quileute.

Visuals

The new scenes in this Blu-ray offering are seamlessly integrated into the rest of the crisp and glossy picture. However, the strong HD presentation tends to pull down the quality of a handful of scenes where the actors' very pale faces look a bit too pasty. But for the most part, the wide range of flesh tones of the many characters appears accurate on screen.

From the misty cool to the warm and inviting tones, from the pure white wedding dress to the green foliage, from the wooden accents to the overcast skies, the excellent blending of practical sets and CG effects delivers such a naturally filmic texture for the picture. The richly saturated palette promotes a beautifully vibrant cinematic appeal with highlights on greens and reds. Free of unwanted artifacts, the razor-sharp transfer shines with spot-on contrast and sophisticated whites. However, the blacks don't always look consistent.

Audio

The disc offers an immersive and crystal-clear seven-channel lossless soundtrack, along with an alternative Spanish five-channel track. The exceptional and expansive soundstage aptly differentiates the movie's many high and low points, which really help bring the story to vivid sonic life. There is never a moment where the audience feels anything less than completely enclosed in the narrative's varying environments.

Both the heavy action and the subtle effects are equally engaging as they effortlessly move around the surround channels. The low-ends are often deep, weighty, and highly responsive. The rich and precisely spaced musical score rightfully looms in the background to support the story's emotional stretches. The speaking lines always sound distinct in the front-center.

Supplements

Unfortunately, this extended edition doesn't have the hearty slate of special features included in the film's former disc release. It only comes with an audio commentary track from director Bill Condon. Subtitle options are available in English SDH and Spanish.

Final Thoughts

This extended edition of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" best suits the franchise's fans who are looking for a highly-impressive audio and video presentation for their extensive collections. This excessively maudlin saga about a star-crossed romance is certainly not a perfect piece, but regardless of its loopholes, it really knows where to tickle its willing viewers. Its first half turns out quite sluggish, while its second half suffers from poorly realized critical scenes. But on the good side, it successfully creates a fan-savvy anticipation for the series' final film.

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