Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon

Genre: HorrorPremise: When Pattinson must leave Kristin Stewart after a paper cut, a band of oversized dogs wreaks havoc on her town.
About: The second book in the Twilight phenomenon.
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg (adapted from the novel by Stephanie Meyer)

In a fit of curiosity, I rented Twilight last year. I don’t remember much but here’s what stuck out. Kristin Stewart is the single worst actress on the planet. The scene where Robert Pattinson first sits by her in class and freaks out is the worst-acted scene in history. I’ve seen better production value in a Michael Moore documentary. As for the story itself, I remember girl meets vampire, vampire can somehow walk around in daylight, vampire comes back to save girl in worst directed action scene ever. So if you’re looking for a Twilight theologian, I’m not your guy. But if you want a snarky subjective look at the screenplay for the second movie, I can help.

New Moon is highly amusing, though not for the reasons it wants to be. I think my favorite part about New Moon is that the filmmakers were so desperate to keep Robert Pattinson in as many scenes as possible (even though he has nothing to do with the movie), that they turn him into Obi-Won Kenobi. Throughout the script he does a lot of remote whispering, using his vampire voice over powers to warn Bella of trouble.

He also appears as an apparition at least a dozen times. The great part about that is every time he showed up, he’d turn a perfectly comprehensible scene into a confusing mess. I’d say with complete confidence that I understood every scene perfectly until Pattinson showed up. We'd be rolling along smoothly, then all of a sudden there's Pattinson, who'd say something like, “Bella, backwards and forwards, we all fall down.” These cryptic messages would apparently mean something to Bella, which she’d act on, and a page or two later the scene would end in a cacophony of confusion. This would always result in me rubbing my temples and wondering if I was retarded.

As for what New Moon is about, well, I guess it’s about these vampires realizing that Bella is starting to look like a ten foot hot dog. So Pattinson’s like, omg, I’m leaving you bitch. But he spins it to sound like he’s protecting her somehow. Bella kinda wants to turn into a vampire (hey, she’s already got the look down pat) so she can be with him but he puts the kibosh on that because playa gotta keep his options open.

So Pattinson jets, leaving behind his annoying semi-invisible emo doppelganger. Bella feels lonely and confused, which pushes her into a friendship with poor townie boy, Jacob. Jacob, as you may have seen from the trailers, seemingly raided Roger Clemens’ closet, as this 17 year old kid somehow has the body of Mike Tyson in his prime. The two start hanging out and Jacob clearly wants a little action from the pale wildebeested one, but she throws the “just friends” tag on him and that ends their friendship real quick (doesn’t it always?).

The script then follows with about 6 million montages, most of them having to do with Bella visiting this field she’s obsessed with. I think she believes she’ll find Pattinson there, but since he’s always around in ghost mode anyway, I never saw the logic behind it. If she wanted to find him, she just had to be really clear about something. This would of course summon him so he could confuse us. That's how I'd do it anyway.

Anyway, Bella goes to apologize to Jacob about the “just friends” tag only to find out that – duh duh duhhhhhhh – he’s actually a werewolf! Now if you’re like me you’re probably saying, “This chick has to be the most unlucky teen in the world. It just so happened that the only two guys she’s ever liked were a vampire and a werewolf.” However, in defense of the script, it’s implied (not very well but I’m pretty sure it’s in there) that the whole reason the werewolves were here was they were looking for and planned to take down Pattinson’s vampire posse.

Concurrent with this plot, is a secondary plot, whereby some vampire bitch (I’m guessing this is Dakota Fanning’s character) is pissed off that Bella killed her boyfriend back in that terrible final scene from the first film, and is coming for revenge. So the Bigfoot boys realize they can use Bella as bait, reel in the tramp, and feast on some tasty vampire meat. Jacob, who seemed like a nice guy, is totally okay with maiming and killing all of a sudden, and in favor of using Bella as bait, which doesn’t exactly instill the foundation for a healthy relationship (of course this is just my opinion).

I’ll be honest, the whole Twilight obsession is creepy to me. When you have 35 year old female hosts on Entertainment Tonight asking the 17 year old kid who plays Jacob, “Can you lift up your shirt so we can see your abs?” I mean…that doesn’t even happen on the female side. You don’t see guy reporters saying, “Hey Miley Cyrus. Can we check out your midriff. Gotta have some masturbation material for later.” It’s way too much for me.

The funny thing is, there were some seeds for a good movie here. I’m guessing this will probably be explored in the sequels, but there’s this great moment early on where Pattinson and Jacob are both pining for Bella’s attention, and you can just sense the most intense multi-layered destructive violent love triangle of all time. However the scene ends and Casper Von Pattinson takes off, never to be seen again (well, depending on how you look at it).

The script was messy and awkward. What more is there to say? I’m outta here.

[ ] What the hell did I just read?
[x] barely kept my interest
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: More like what haven’t I learned. I’m trying to figure out why Twilight became a breakout sensation. There were thousands of vampire books before this one. What did Twilight do differently that worked? Anyone care to educate me?