As Bad As You Thought?: Twilight New Moon
This week I had originally planned on recapping/reviewing another in the superhero or horror flick, but to due the overwhelming response to last week’s edition I will now continue my stay in the middle of no where Washington for the second installment in the Twilight series. My problems with the first film were pretty well laid out here but there have been franchises in the past that have turned around for the better in their second installment; the best example is the Star Trek films, The Wrath of Khan was so good that many have completely forgotten the original film. I do not exactly have high hopes for Twilight: New Moon but I can at least hope that is better than the previous installment of Meyer’s series. So without further ado it’s time to see if New Moon is as bad as I thought.
Much like the previous movie this one opens with Bella’s mopey voice reciting what sounds like bad poetry, that is more at place in a crappy hipster coffee house than a movie. As soon as she finishes we are whisked away to Bella running, first through a crowd of people in red hooded cloaks and then through a field, must be the Renaissance Festival in Middle O’ No Where, Washington. In the field she sees Edward walking towards her and taking her to see an old lady who is apparently her grandmother who is apparently such an important character we have never even heard of her until now. Luckily it’s just a dream and she is awaken by her dad wishing her a happy birthday as like all kids on their birthdays she seems apathetic, or maybe given her emotional range she is ecstatic. She returns to her cult school where she is greeted by her nameless friends but as per usual they are run off when Edward approaches slowly in his brand new 2008 Volvo Blatant Product Placement.I guess like in every relationship as abusive as theirs he does not like her having friends outside of the ones he okays, you know the romantic stuff that the filmmakers here think girls go for in real life. And because I guess they are holding model auditions at the school he approaches her in slow motion, or maybe he’s just taking his time because he dreads staring into her blank expressionless face as much as I do. He tells her a happy birthday, but being the bright ray of sunshine she brings up how much older he is than her, but you know with him being the girliest vampire in filmdom who sparkles like a disco ball at a skating rink, that should really be the least of her worries. Luckily we don’t have too much of what passes for “character development” because her old buddy Jacob the Werewolf walks up to wish her a happy birthday and he is much taller and beefier than he was before. He tells her he’s just filling out continuing to make himself jail bait for the middle aged women who obsess over these movies. He gives her a dream catcher for her birthday because nothing says “let me out of friendzone” like something they sell at overpriced tourist trap shops.
She runs into the rest of the The Brady Bunch of vampires who all tear her throat open pull out their fangs and reveal all of this friendliness was a ruse to gain her trust to make her brunch; or at least that is what I hoped would happy. Instead they continue the town tradition of acting towards Bella as if she were the one Isaac said walked behind the rows, but Bella is a boring deity who they have yet to learn will not smite them in any way, yay verily. Alice Cullen tries to get the Great Bella to honor them with a dinner visit at their art museum/home which she agrees to, I don’t see why it;s such a big deal, I mean they are so annoyingly chipper they would probably offer Dr. Van Helsing tea and coffee if he came over to stake them. In class they are watching Rome and Juliet and the movie once again enters the realm of far fetched fantasy, because the kids are completely enraptured by the flick to the point of tears. I’m sorry in real life they could show, Taxi Driver in a high school class and kids would not care. It seems as though Bella and her nameless friends as well as Edward are the only people there so maybe it’s part of the cult brainwashing they practice in their town. In the back Edward and Bella whisper sweet Shakespearean nothings to each other like typical teenagers but with all the forceful conviction they can hilariously muster; but with dialogue this bad I guess you can’t make it sound any worse than it is. Because the teacher does not believe they were paying attention he asks Edward to recite lines from the movie, which he does with all the forceful emotion of a cupcake with a speech impediment doing a Shatner impersonation. I can’t help but notice that a bunch of kids have materialized out of no where in the class.
Further proving that they do in fact live in an art museum, Edward shows Bell a painting when she comes over to his house for dinner of, the Volturi. An old and powerful vampire family who *gasp* have no respect for human life but respect the arts and culture, because…well I guess because THAT’S WHAT VAMPIRES ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!! Dr. Cullen apparently spent time with them and did not learn a damn thing, from the looks of it. It would be like if our favorite family of Texas cannibals raised Leatherface to be a vegan who read to blind orphans at the hospital in his spare time. But the leader of the Volturi is played by Michael Sheen so that’s a good sign….right? When Bella worries about anyone hurting her poor controlling beau, he tells her nothing can hurt him but her and maybe Buffy Summers. Victoria from the previous movie is brought up as a potential weakness because she is so scary of a threat that she joined the same high school just so she can start her own clique to make fun of Bella I guess; but he assures her she is his ONLY reason to stay unalive which is not creepy in anyway except when he says it, then he sounds like Buffalo Bill trying to sell lotion. Their awkward scene comes to an abrupt end when Alice skips in smiling and going on about how it’s time for Bella’s birthday party, in the previous movie what little she did show up she tended to be reserved so I guess personality transformations are a vampire power too, or the lazy writers decided she needed to be a different character who knows. And because nothing says “Happy Birthday” like pale people with eye infections they excitedly give her gifts which she is very excited and grateful for…I guess or maybe she’s pissed as hell who knows. But she gets a paper cut and one of the Cullens loses control and remembers he’s a vampire for a split second and decides that he wants some Bella flavored topping on his cake and ice cream. Edward saves her and the party is ruined and the family disperses, and Eddie is sent to his room to stare intently at stuff there, and Dr. Cullen goes to stitch up Bella’s wounds. As he patches her up she and the hippy vampire get to talking about vampire ethics and the scene is filmed in a way that one can’t help but think Eddie Boy isn’t the only member of the monster stable she has the hots for; but just wait until later for that.
Edward drives her home in her own truck while she whines about the fact that he’s an immortal emo kid and she isn’t; the fact that he does not drive into oncoming traffic with her is a testament to his willpower. When they get to her house they exchange a passionate stare until she tells him point blank to kiss her, the chemistry between these two can peel wall paper off I tell you. Because he was mean to her and did not change her into a vampire we are treated to a ear hurtingly bad emo indie song as she goes to school the next day, I believe it’s called, Buy the Soundtrack by The Milking This Stupid Franchise For All It’s Worth Band. She and Edward go off into the woods where he reveals that his family is leaving because despite the fact that everybody in the town obsesses over Bella they sometimes notice others around them and they see that the Cullens have not aged in ten years. As he breaks the heart breaking news to her the two can only stare at each other in tragic disbelief or cocaine fueled happiness maybe. Actually she gets her default “sad face” and he goes to his default “staring intently” and any hopes I had about any aspect of this movie being better than the last, die like Bruce Wayne’s parents. I wonder if Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are only following script with their expressions in which case we have a whole new set of problems to contend with. He tells her that he does not want her to do anything reckless and to forget about him which is what normal people do in these situations, but since it’s Bella she cries about it being about the fact that she has a soul. I hope this movies picks up soon because I will say this at least the first movie had fun in it’s badness, this one thus far is taking itself far too seriously.This leads to Kristen Stewart’s Oscar moment as she sits there in the woods and curls up to be sad, I guess the director told her that’s what humans do when depressed and she gave it a shot to see if she could pull it off. I’ll save you the trouble, she doesn’t.
Evidently she had been laying down so long that a search party is formed, in most places 24 hours is the amount of time that needs to pass before people panic and legal action is taken but no in this town, their most treasured citizen is missing; after 2 hours of being gone it is time to call a SWAT team together to scour the woods. I shudder to think of the sadness and misery which would befall this town with the blank stares and bottom lip bitings of the Great Bella; fortunately we never have to see such a scene of horror because she is found and restored to her position of grandeur. To thank those who found and saved her, she stares blankly out her window for several months while the beloved song Seriously Buy The Soundtrack by The Generic Indie Band plays to set the mood. Apparently in the minds of the filmmakers the 80’s are alive and kicking because we are treated to one of my favorite cinema treats, the music montage; but since this is Twilight instead of training for the big sporting event Bella cries and sits by herself and wakes up screaming in pain and sends emails to Edward in vain, Ivan Draco better watch himself after the exhaustive workout she’s getting. Her reasonable father finally has enough of it after two movies and packs her up to ship her off to Florida, I give the man a standing ovation for having the strength that nobody else has. To assure her father that she is in fact a normal person she tells him that she and her
hot friend. After the movie she sees a gang like the one who attacked her in the first movie which brought Edward to her rescue, and because Bella has mental troubles she approaches them in hopes that he will return, I believe it is called Brainmissingitis, a charitable fund must be set up for her. This just further proves that Stephanie Meyers hates women, because without her abusive boyfriend around Bella decides the best thing to do with her free time is have encounters with mildly troublesome looking in dark alleys, I guess it could be worse, they could look like an actual gang but instead the guy she talks to looks like my uncles business partner. The whole time the ghost of Edward warns her to stay away but because he’s just a spiritual entity she gets on the motorcycle with the middle aged man and speeds off for as whole 8 feet!!!!!! Hot friend chastises her for getting on a motorcycle with someone who looks like a dangerous thug, except in he actually looks like a middle aged investment banker so I shudder to think what would happen if a real biker gang showed up in Mayberry. But Bella has become infatuated with seeing the Edward’s ghost when danger is afoot, so she comes to the conclusion that putting herself at risk is the smart thing to do, another symptom of Brainmissingitis, a sickness that for pennies a day we can eliminate, just send all checks and money orders to me and I’ll take care of it. Edward has taken on a new role in the supernatural beings stable and has become a sort of ghostly force who scolds her when she does something he does not approve of, continuing his controlling nature from beyond the grave. If he brings his viciousness that he claimed he had as a vampire to being a ghost then he would probably walk willingly with tears in his eyes to the nearest guy with a proton pack.
Bella goes to Jacob’s house and brings him a motorcycle to repair, and in his further quest to emerge victoriously from the friend zone he is all too eager to help. She comments that he is really buff for his age and he tells her steroids can do wonders and that age is just a number asking her jokingly “what are you 40?” I guess it was a joke but jokes are funny and at the very least make some kind of sense. When she told him that they could work on the motorcycle together everyday, she meant that he would work on the motorcycle while she read the awful lines from the script. Her voiceover composes another e-mail to Edward telling him how happy she is with Jacob; but even he can not fill the Edward shaped void in her life and she continues to wake up screaming in depression, teasing me with the hope that Freddy got her.
One day while driving with Jacob she sees his friends in the distance throwing each other off of a large cliff and she pulls off and runs into the middle of the street with Jacob in tow. He assures her that they it’s safe to jump off a large rocky cliff into shallow water and the two have an emotional conversation….IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD!!! Afterwards they go to a field where the motorcycle is fully functional and Bella takes off, despite the protests of Ghost Edward, who as previously established is mortified when women operate motorized vehicles themselves; but she presses on going moderately fast on the clearly marked path like the thrill seeking rebel that she is while I get the image of Ghost Edward shaking his head in disgust. Ghost Edward has enough and distracts her to the point where she falls off, legally crossing the line from verbal and mental abuse to physical abuse. Jacob rushes to her aid and like a true male character created by Stephanie Meyers bans her from ever riding motorcycles again in a romantic way. Jacob gratuitously removes his shirt and tends to her head wound leading her to remark that he’s beautiful. He takes it as a compliment but in the last movie when she called a guy that he was sparkling like a cheap plastic Christmas decoration.
The next day one of her nameless and unimportant male friends clumsily hits on her and despite him not being a vampire or Frankenstein or mummy and she agrees to see a movie with him but with a group, because he is just a human and not some silly version of a monster. She invites Jacob to go with them and he invites nobody, and she sits between the two of them with incredible discomfort. Luckily for Jacob the nameless friend gets sick during the movie that he was a pansy about seeing in the first place and walks out. The young werewolf seizes his opportunity and attempts to hold her hand which sets off Bella’s storm of complicated emotions which she expresses with all that a blank stare can muster. When the sick friend reemerges Jacob takes him as a threat to his manliness and threatens to put him in the hospital, normal girls are put off by such behavior and conclude the guy has mental troubles of some kind; but our heroine grabs Jacob and discovers that he is literally hot. Get it because when she touched Edward he was unbelievably cold? You see the filmmakers are trying to draw a subtle comparison between the two, except to them subtlety means blatantly pointing it out. Jacob takes off abruptly, I guess to take his meds and does not have any contact with Bella sending her off into another one of her infamous emo spells.
Naturally she picks a rainy day to go to Jacob’s house where she sees that he now has short hair a tattoo
and apparently lost all his money and had to sell his shirt for food leaving himself with nothing but a pair of Daisy Dukes for protection from the rain. When she tries to talk to him he gets angry and tries to tell her to get away and that he has new friends, but given Bella’s attitude towards monster guys who treat her like crap this just makes her want him more; what a jerk preying on her Brainmissingitis like this. He reveals he knows that the Cullens are vampires to her shock and surprise because, I don’t know why because there was bound to be one person who noticed that the entire pasty clan avoided sunlight, had eye infections and never aged. And to my surprise Bella goes into the woods to mope about it but thankfully the Jamaican vampire from the first movie, appears to harass her. But he is missing the rest of the Black Eyed Peas group from the first movie so I guess he’s working on a solo album or something. Ghostly Edward tries to protect her but comes in as useful as the ejector seats for helicopters I invented a few years ago. Because this guy is not a Cullen he decides it’s meal time, but before he can put a bib around his neck, a pack of large dogs chase him off, she says they’re wolves but I’ve seen wolves on nature specials and wolves are intimidating and cool looking; these are most certainly not wolves. But given the reverence Meyers treated vampires with I guess it’s only fair that werewolves lose all their coolness as well.
That night Jacob comes over and shocks her (and not the audience) by telling her he’s a werewolf, she dated a vampire so I don;t see why werewolf might cause her any distress. I can only imagine if she went to a Monster Convention that she would be bouncing around trying to hook up with whoever would have her. Establishing that Bella as heroine is; weak, ineffective, boring, and now a slut for monsters all in all a great role model for the girls who obsess over these stories. Trying to prove that she is in fact a tough character, Bella confronts Jacob’s werewolf buddies who transform into big cuddly dogs in order to intimidate her; Jacob naturally wolfs out to protect her and a boring fight ensues so Bella is taken to the safety of a strangers house, which in this town I guess is safe. She tries to make friendly with the werewolf clan and with her great social finesse she succeeds in being awkward and uncomfortable and everyone loves her anyway. In the first flick, she was welcomed by an overly polite white bread vampire clan and now an overly friendly werewolf clan see subtle comparisons all around. Jacob tells her that werewolves hate and kill vampires and that Victoria from the first movie is public enemy number one. You see vampires and werewolves are like the Montagues and Capulets (you see because they were obsessing over Shakespeare in class, brilliance!) but instead of fighting each other they just talk bad about each other and chase each other around. Sure enough the next day on a town hunting excursion Victoria tries to attack Bella’s dad who is completely oblivious to the giant dog who comes out of no where and fights her, well not so much fights as chases. All the while Bella remembers that Jacob told her jumping off a cliff into shallow water was a good idea and much to everyone’s joy decides to give it a shot despite the protests of Ghost Edward.
She soon learns that it was a bad idea to do this and the drowning commences, but I guess staying true to character, Bella was hoping that the Creature From the Black Lagoon or if she’s very lucky Cthulu would save her; but instead it’s Jacob. What we are supposed to believe is a romance begins to bud when he drops her off at a house that is blatantly a different house than the one she lives in, when she tries to get out and go into the stranger’s house, Jacob freaks because Cullens are at the house, relegating him back into the friendzone. Alice is waiting in the dark kitchen for her, which is not strange (well not when you’re a real vampire) she demands to know why Bella jumped off a cliff, I guess if I were contractually obligated to be in these movies I might try it too. Honestly I’m glad Alice is here, mainly because she is easy on the eyes but mostly because if you thought they were forcing the romantic chemistry between Bella and Edward, you haven’t seen anything until you see Bella and Jacob forced to pretend like they’re falling in love. I get the feeling that stuff will actually start happening in the movie as opposed to Bella spending time with the Werewolf Family. Sensing that he was being cockblocked Jacob bursts in and the racial tension thickens or it would if the kids in this movie had acting talent. Naturally she chooses the company of a vampire over the friend and his zone, to further drive home his return to friend status when the phone rings and interrupts their heated conversation he angrily…answers it and says whoever it was that Bella’s father was not in, I wonder if he offered to take a message as well? But lo and behold it was Edward who believes Bella has died and he might have to find a new girl to belittle and berate in ghost form, and becomes suicidal.
Bella and Alice set off to save Edward who is hankering for suicide and drive to the airport and take a plane to Europe and drive through the European countryside in a sportscar (my god it’s taking this guy forever to do himself in). In undefined Europeam country, Edward appeals to the Volturi who offer to take him in and teach him how to actually be a vampire, but because his testicles are nonexistent he would rather *sniff sob* die than live as a monster without Bella and resolves to walk in the day light to reveal his nature and be killed by the vampire authorities. The problem with this is that he does not burst into flames in the sun he sparkles like a fairy godmother, so instead of people being horrified by the undead in their midst, they’ll just laugh at the drugged out kid covered in glitter paint making a scene. He’s gonna do it during the local Renaissance festival where the costume vendor ran out of all but one color so everybody is wearing red hooded cloaks, apparently they are celebrating the expulsion of vampires from the city; so are vampires common knowledge to people in this universe or not? Bella runs through the crowds to the clock tower as Edward takes off his short and steps out to terrify the masses with his sparkling. I have to say at least Jacob’s physique while shirtless gives Bella a reason to blindly obsess over him. The Volturi come to pick up Edward and Bella and they are led by cute little Dakota Fanning, it’s like conjunctivitis became an epidemic.. I have to admit cute little Dakota Fanning makes for a more menacing vampire than all of the Cullens combined. Fanning guides them through the offices commenting coldly that the humans who are on the staff will either become vampires themselves or food; whoah movie! We’re getting dangerously close to having a real vampire here. The vampire judges or whatever they call themselves grant them an audience where they discover that like Edward Bella is immune to them and their powers. Given that they decide she’s a liability and for their safety they have to have Bella slurpees for lunch. Edward does his thing and tries to fight them off, and it’s like in Dragon Ball Z when someone weak like Krillin would try to fight someone with Vegeta level powers and you just felt sorry for the little guy. The fight ends when Alice
says she saw that in the future Bella becomes a vampire too and we are treated to the image of Bella running through the woods and sparkling with Edward, it’s nauseating really. As they leave a tour group crosses paths with them and the vampires make jokes about eating them, I guess tourists are oblivious to pale people with pink eye talking about such things and are taken to a room where we hear a bunch of screams. I guess nobody is going to notice an entire tour group going missing in a castle. That night Bella wakes up screaming again but this time, Edward is there to comfort her and tell her that leaving her was the hardest thing he;s ever done, harder than being trapped in puberty for a century. And since we are back in her bedroom her dad walks in, and calmly brings up that she disappeared to Europe for three days and that she’s grounded. A harsh disciplinarian if I ever saw one, what happened to the dad who wanted to ship her off to Florida earlier, I miss that guy.
She goes to the Cullen household to see how they feel about her joining their ranks and puts it up to a vote; because diplomacy and democracy rule in vampire households. They decide after graduation she is going to be made a vampire and on the drive home, Edward’s intent staring seems angrier than usual, when Jacob pulls them into the woods to talk, and points out that if any human is bitten by a Cullen the werewolves treaty with them ends. Holy crap, the angst of it all! Bella is trapped and has to choose to follow the will of one controlling guy or the other! Edward and Jacob get ready to throwdown but that might actually be entertaining so Bella gets the middle of the two and Jacob runs off. Edward ends the movie by proposing to her, cue the dramatic music.
So was it as bad as I thought? Remember when I had hopes about it being better than the first one at least; those hopes and dreams were destroyed. The previous film embraced it’s silliness and was at least entertaining to watch; on the other hand, New Moon takes itself far too seriously. As opposed to hippie vegan douche vampires and their misadventures as a wacky sitcom family, this movie is all about a forced relationship between Bella and Jacob which lacks the unintentional hilarity of the relationship in the first flick and just kind of plods along. Aside from that, the problems established in the first film persist; bad acting, horrible script, silly nonthreatening takes on classic monsters. As for Twilight it can be enjoyed on the level of comedy, but this movie does not even have that going for it.