New Moon: “Movie” or Torture Tool???

It’s been almost a year since I watched Twilight.  Or was it Twilight that watched me?  It wasn’t as bad as I expected—it was worse.  Having been privy to a good deal of the series’ mythology and being somewhat familiar with Stephanie Meyer’s writing style beforehand, I expected to be regaled with a shallow romance story replete with what is easily the most watered down and boring take on vampire lore in the history of popular entertainment.   I expected an incredibly bland female protagonist whose entire personality is encapsulated by the word “sulky”.  I knew that her fated “romance” with the world’s most uninteresting vampire would be fraught with weird, stalker-like behavior and completely unhealthy dependencies that are somehow interpreted as romantic by the series’ truly frightening female fanbase.  I’m somewhat convinced that, when all is said and done, this series will set gender relations back at least half a century.  But as I said, I expected all of this.  What I didn’t expect was for all of it to be done with such bullshit self-seriousness and complete lack of style.  Would it have killed the screenwriter to throw in maybe one line of dialogue acknowledging how fucking ridiculous the whole thing is?  Was there even a scene of intentional comic relief?  Oh, yeah, the mother following her second husband to baseball practice.  That was supposed to be funny, right?  Whatever.  I’m getting mad just thinking about the first one.

I sit here holding the New Moon Blu-ray, deciding what to do with it.  I tried burning it, but it refused to melt.  I tried smashing it with a hatchet, but it simply would not break.  I even threw it out of a window before I left the room, but when I returned, it was somehow back where it was previously.  So there’s not much recourse for me here now, is there?  I’d like to think I’ve been holding this case, deciding whether or not I should watch it, but “choice” and “freewill” are concepts that don’t hold here.  This film, this series, chose me.  My fate and the fate of this series are forever entwined.  I shall not find peace until one of us ceases to be.  The only way to move passed this and perhaps earn myself a few months of comfort before the next installment is released is to put in the disc and press play.  Those who are ashamed, please judge me not.  You know nothing of the burden I carry.

NOTE:  I did without the time notation this time around.  It’s bad enough I’m sitting though this.  I refuse to pause to note the time again.

-Bella runs through a crowd of red-hooded people, looks at a clock with a look of UTTER TERROR.  And then she meets the mom from Six Feet Under in a field of flowers.  That’s it.  Aspiring screenwriters, take note.  That’s called “paying off your suspense in a satisfying manner”.

-Christ…I just looked at the runtime.  2 hours and 10 minutes?  Seriously?  Did they even hire an editor for this or did they just make the entire raw film reel the finished product?

-Bella wakes up from a dream.  A copy of Romeo and Juliet is visible in the frame.  That’s provocative, because Romeo and Juliet is a lot like Twilight, except not terrible.

-Why is the father still doing nice things for Bella?  He should have Alec Baldwin’d her voicemail and kicked her stuck up ass out by now.   He gives her a digital camera.  Bella says,  “That’s actually great.  Thanks Dad.”  Now, if you look into this little example of passive aggression by Bella “No Personality” Whateverherlastnameis, you can read her undertones, which say the following:  “That’s actually great, unlike everything else you’ve ever done for me.  Like saved my life and bought me a truck and let me live with you even though I started complaining the second I got to the house.  Unlike all of those terrible things, this is actually great.”  Fuck you, Bella.

…Did Cullen seriously just park his truck HORIZONTALLY across like 4 fucking spots?  So not only is he 200 years old and still goes to high school to keep tabs on his girlfriend.  But he acts like a jaded jock with senioritis who thinks he owns the school.  That’s not pathetic?

-Jacob shows up.  Edward, clearly fighting back the urge to act like every insecure guy who knows he doesn’t deserve his girlfriend, scampers off.  Jacob still hasn’t been told that having the hair of Winnie Cooper isn’t helping him score any poon.

-HAHAHHAHHAHAHHA…Edward didn’t scamper off.  He’s still hanging out just in the background.  Holy shit.  I don’t know why I gave him enough credit to think he’d actually leave the area.

-Jacob is firing on all cylinders, flirting with Bella in Edward’s face.  He’s on some Don Draper shit, almost.   He gives her a bundle of twigs or something.  Bella obviously doesn’t like it because she doesn’t like anything except digital cameras and Edward.  Jacob stares right at Edward while hugging Bella and thrusting his hips.  Awesome.

–  Are we supposed to be impressed when Edward recites verse from Romeo and Juliet?  Because I’m not.  He’s had like 120 years to learn it.

-Edward mumbles more about some vampire council that regulates vampire business.  I wonder if this is going to tie directly into the plot later on.  And then we see some half-naked red headed chick dancing in fire or something.  What the hell was that?  Was that spliced in from Showtime After Dark?  Can the rest of the movie be that?  That would be ballsy.

-Why are each of Bella and Edward’s conversations carried on with their faces practically touching?  I mean, close talking is cool in the right context and all, but doing it consistently every time you talk to someone is weird.  Chill the fuck out.

-Edward Force-blasts Bella into a mirror.  But she doesn’t even seem bothered by it, which isn’t as satisfying.

-At the end of Can’t Hardly Wait, the text blurb says that Mike Dexter loses his football scholarship as well as his job at a car wash.  Is this the same line of continuity or did they reboot the character?

-Bella wants Edward to turn her into a vampire, but he refuses because he’s waiting for her to put on a few pounds, “so them ass and titties look riiiiiight”.  Okay, he didn’t actually say that but that’s what he’s getting at, I think.

-Edward just grunted while making out with Bella.  When Edward does this, Bella says “I love you”.  When I do this, I hear a scream followed by the echo of retreating footsteps.

-Bella prints a picture of herself and Edward and FOLDS HERSELF OUT OF IT.  Usually you have to apply at least some critical thought to realize how fucking weird and toxic this relationship is, but here it is, clear as day.  Millions of impressionable girls see this and go, “Hey, to hell with me as an individual person!  Demented hero worship of boys we like is an acceptable way to develop our personality!”

-Edward earlier in the movie:  “You give me everything just by breathing”.

Edward now:  “You just don’t belong in my world, Bella.”

Edward, she’s your girlfriend now.  You’re only supposed to do the “commit-then-abandon interest” thing during the courting stage, you dunce!

-One of the Indians finds Bella sleeping, takes his shirt off, and carries her back to…a headquarters for a manhunt to find Bella?  What the hell?  Wasn’t she gone for like 20 minutes?

-A passage of time shot, consisting of a 360 degree rotating camera, all without edits.  Each revolution equals a month of time.  Conceptually, not a bad idea.  But it implies that Bella has sat in the same chair without eating, bathing, or pooping during this duration.  Wait, what am I saying?  Girls never poop.

-Bella’s grieving process:  Aside from sitting in a chair, looking outside and not pooping…SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS in bed.

-Bella sends 30 emails to a non-existent account.  What?

-So how did the actor who plays the guy with the motorcycle get placed in casting?  What “type” is he supposed to be playing here?  He’s some weird biker with scene-studs in his ears, but he’s like 40 and looks like a dockworker.

-Can the rest of the movie just follow Bella’s half-normal friend around?

-“I don’t really like music anymore.”  —  Oh, really?  Because you’re like such a blast to hang out with otherwise!

-Jacob makes Bella feel better and more “alive” during Edward’s absence.  That’s a shock, because she’s normally such a strong-willed person with a defined set of personality traits outside of being completely dependent on boys.  Oh, wait.  No.  I’m thinking of Meryl Streep.

-Does Bella’s father stand outside of her bedroom door all night?  He’s always immediately in her room the second she starts screaming.  Which might explain why Edward’s weird, stalker crap tickles her fancy so.

-Bella flips her dirtbike and smashes  her head on a rock.  Highlight of movie.

-“You’re apologizing for bleeding?” – Yeah, because her last relationship was incredibly unhealthy and she doesn’t know — HOLLYYYY COWWW LOOK AT THOSE ABS!!!!! GAGITTY GAGITTY!!!! AHOOOOOOOGAH!!!!

-Three person date ends in hilarity.  White guy gets sick from the violent movie, Jacob gets mad, thinking he’s being cockblocked and threatens White guy with violence.  Bella says “Whoa relax…the movie’s over!”.  Which, a.) No it isn’t.  They left early  and b.) This implies that Bella thinks fighting people during movies is acceptable behavior. c.) Fuck you, Bella.

-Jacob gets a haircut, a tattoo, and joins a group of Indians who share a penchant for short dark hair and watching their abs glisten in the rain.  Did Jacob get ripped to distract us from his acting?  I haven’t seen acting chops like this since Brian Bosworth left the game.

-The Jamaican guy from the last movie shows up and tries to sell Bella weed or something.  I’m not really paying attention anymore.

-The werewolves show up.  Why disgrace one horror subgenre when you can do it to two!??!  They actually don’t look terrible, in fairness.

-Do the werewolves not wear shirts so they don’t rip when they transform?  What about their pants?  Do they not care about the cost of pants?

-“Guess the wolf’s out of the bag!” – If I was never exposed to any sort of entertainment in my life, I’d think this was a great line.

-What better food for a wild, ravenous beast than BLUEBERRY MUFFINS!?

-Usually movies paced this slowly have interesting dialogue, rich characters, and a deep story.  Not here.  You’d be hard pressed to find a valid cinematic excuse for more than half of these scenes being as long as they are aside from, “…b-b-but it was in the book!!!”

-I always wanted to watch a poorly executed vampire vs. werewolf fight in a forest, set to a somber electro-pop song.  Thank you for delivering, New Moon.

-Didn’t the vampires run on trees in the first one?  Did this character put skill points into lockpicking or something?

-Seriously…how do they plan on stretching 2 more movies out of a terrible protagonist and bland central relationship?  It’s like Swiss Family Robinson got into filmmaking and had to stretch  30 minutes of story progression across 8 hours.

-I want to know how many drafts the screenwriter submitted that were sent back with a note saying, “Too lean and efficient.  Need more useless bullshit that was in the books so the fangirls don’t get sad and burn down my house because they’re all irrational and crazy.”

-I can’t even justify the length of this write up because NOTHING HAS HAPPENED FOR THE LAST 40 MINUTES.

-Was the Yellow Porche a rental?

-Bella goes to Italy because Edward wants to kill himself at the Little Red Riding Hood Festival.  I guess this marks the end of the first act, and it’s only an hour and forty minutes in.   I can’t condemn the structure and pacing of this abomination enough.

-Eww…Edward’s abs are sooooo not as good as Jacob’s.  Gross.

Bella and Edward are talking about something that doesn’t sound interesting or compelling.  So I’ll make up dialogue for them for the rest of this scene:

Edward:  Hey what gives, babe?  I was trying to catch some wicked rays!  Why’d you push me into this weird churchy looking place?

Bella:  Because I hate the sun and that means you do too, because we’re one of those super boring couples who have no interests outside of our sad dependence on each other.

Edward:  Oh yeah, about that…Italy’s kind of opened my eyes.  I think I’m gonna hang here for awhile.  I met some chick who looks like Monica Vitti and she doesn’t just lie there when we’re  boning, unlike some people I know.  Aka you.  I was referring to you right there.  Because you’re boring and you suck.  And I hate you.

Bella:  What?  No….you can’t possibly mean that.

Edward:   Fuck you, dyke.

Bella:  I’ll give you 40 bucks if you pretend to like me for the next two movies.

Edward:  Alright, fine.

[they kiss]

-Dakota Fanning?  But…why?  Isn’t she supposed to be talented?

-The director of New Moon’s most common advice to actors:  “Yeah, that wasn’t bad but can you go more mumbly?  Like, you know how some people just speak really quietly when they lack conviction on a matter and you find yourself not wanting to pay attention to them.  Just do that for every one of your lines.”

-Is it too late to change the name of the series to, “True Blood but without any entertainment value”?

-Dakota Fanning can inflict pain by looking at people, which is kind of like the inverse of this movie, which inflicts pain by having people look at it.

-Vampire council guy, “She knows too much.  She’s a liability.”  Yeah, who wouldn’t believe a weird teenager with no friends screaming about how a bunch of Cure fans took her to a castle and hurt her boyfriend by looking at him?  You guys need to deal with this!

-I like how every action sequence is 90% blur-effects.  It’s meant to signify CRAZY SPEED but it looks terrible.

-Is Pee Wee Herman the main vampire council guy?  If it isn’t, why not?

-So…they’re just let go?  Was that nonsense with Edward blurring through the air supposed to be the “climax”?  You gotta be shitting me.  Is there a drug I can take so that I can experience this movie through the eyes of someone who actually finds it legitimately entertaining?

So the storyline of this movie is:

Edward goes to Italy because Bella is killing his buzz.  Bella almost kisses Jacob.  Werewolves kill the lead singer from Sevendust.  Edward thinks Bella is dead because of a really hasty inference based on a 7 second phone conversation.  Edward finds out Bella isn’t dead…he blurs through the air.  And everyone is free to go after that.  That’s it.  This movie has 15 minutes of story and character development and about an hour and 50 minutes of mumbling hate-fucked into it.

-OhhHH! An epilogue!  Jacob, sans shirt, runs in front of a car and he and Edward have a conversation.  I’m sure we’re supposed to anticipate a showdown between them two, but it’s probably going to be a lame series of blurry backflips anyway.

-Edward tries again to delay Bella’s turning until she gets a little thicker.  The movie ends on this cliffhanger.

[Roll list of people responsible.  I take note of every last one.]

Based on Stephanie Meyer’s view towards courting, relationships, how people speak, what “entertainment” is, I wouldn’t be surprised if she never actually had a conversation with another person in her entire life.   I think I lost 10 pounds just watching this.  I actually feel my immune system weaken.  And what harm that I’ve experienced is but a small footnote compared to the damage this saga will do to the human race.  If you know anyone who’s a fan of these books or movies, well, ideally I’d say…you know…kill them.   But seeing as many of you may not be ready to make such a sacrifice to quell an evil that has yet to fully reveal itself, I can only ask that you destroy any and all copies you come across.

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11 Responses to New Moon: “Movie” or Torture Tool???

  1. Sophie says:

    Oh my god, I think I love you.

  2. Judatta says:

    Thank you~my belief in the human race has been restored.

  3. Em says:

    I know there’s a lot of negative hype about the twilight series, so when I stumbled on this I read it all the way through since it was more smart and funny than any other critique I’ve seen. However, what interests me most is that I didn’t think the movies were crap. I’m not a twilight fan, I’m not a preteen girl; basically I’m trying to say I’m not an idiot, but I thought for what the director had to work with (which wasn’t much) that they made a decent movie out of it. Yes, the entire premise of vampires is ridiculous and in my opinion the plot basis (that someone really in love would abandon their partner) is pointless, but I thought the techniques used were good: the rotation around Bella to show how she doesn’t change as time passes, the emails to Alice are the only way she could hope to communicate and kind of turn into a diary, I even (especially) liked the werewolf/vampire montage kind of chase scene, because I thought the music was a better choice than trying to have battle noises–the music turns this “action” scene kind of not into an action scene, but that’s appropriate since this movie isn’t about action, it’s about emotion, and the music is more evocative of that.

    anyway, I didn’t write all this because I have a boner for team Edward of any of that nonsense, just because I liked your opinions and wanted to voice my own for once, since if I ever tried to bring this up with anyone in person all they’d hear is “twilight” and dismiss the possibility of a well-designed (in parts) movie completely.

  4. Erik says:

    I appreciate your defenses, especially since they don’t follow the same fangirl/fanboy dogma that you typically see. But even so, I just can’t agree with them. The concept of building a chase scene on emotion rather than suspense or action is fine. I can live with that. But what’s the emotion we’re supposed to be feeling here? We feel nothing for these characters. The sense of danger is limp. In terms of building up the stakes, it’s just all incredibly cold. Maybe there’s some added context in the books that makes it more riveting emotionally, but the filmmakers didn’t carry it over. And so that leaves me, the bored, uninvolved male viewer hoping to see ANYTHING redeeming in the scene, which is ultimately a few decent stunts and/or gore…because it’s hard to screw that up.

  5. Virgil says:

    Awesome. I especially liked:

    I’m sure we’re supposed to anticipate a showdown between them two, but it’s probably going to be a lame series of blurry backflips anyway.

  6. Sam says:

    Don’t forget the first aid used to help someone who does a 60+ mph faceplant into a boulder is to pad their head with a shirt and say you’re healed

  7. Xenu says:

    The truth is like a wooden stake through the heart of this beast!



  8. Em says:

    lol Erik I think you might have hit the nail on the head right there when you mentioned that people who have read the book have more emotional investments in the characters. I picked up twilight (the book) randomly a few years ago before it had any sequels or hype, and so yeah, I’ve got the backstory. It’ll be interesting for me to watch the next movie after this, since I haven’t read the book for that one at all (I thought the New Moon book was crap and left the literary series at that); maybe I’ll be more in your boat if without having read the book, the next movie leaves me cold. Anyways, congrats on the great article (cracked me up how Edward parks his car across 4 spots, hadn’t noticed it at all til you mentioned it) and thanks for not jumping down my throat–the only thing as bad as a rabid fanboy is a rabid fanboy hater. 😛

  9. Becky Torrey says:

    Nice. My question is: Was Dakota Fanning actually good? She’s really the only pull I have to the series.

    • Erik says:

      She barely did anything to warrant her presence. Kinda like how the guy from Match Point was in Mission Impossible 3. She has a few hokey lines and stares at someone to hurt them. It’s pretty lame.

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