Saturday, November 21, 2009

"The Twilight Saga: New Moon"

Typically when I write about films, I try and do it from the perspective of what can we take that might be personally enriching. In the case of Twilight, this is me writing and having fun. Please excuse my diversion for a moment...

“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is about a 104 year old pedophile who falls for a 17 year old personality-less emo girl. In this fascinating installment, children with supernatural powers turn into wolfs, speak in tongues, and walk around shirtless. They also have super awesome long hair, fix motorcycles, and find even more reasons to not wear shirts. It’s awesome. The reason all of this on screen trickery occurs is because of head scratching codes and a love story for the ages.

Particularly, the ages of 12-15 years old.

To say that I did not resonate with “New Moon” would be the same as saying bananas do not resonate with hot mustard. The movie is two solid hours long and painfully slow. There are about 3 action sequences that divert from the chatter, but that’s about it. It is a very talkative movie that says absolutely nothing at all. One particular scene where Bella (the love interest, played by a wooden Kristen Stewart) and her maybe/possibly lover Jacob (some guy with a fantastic hairdo) talk in her bedroom goes something like this:

“I can’t do this”
“You’re saying no?”
“That’s right…no”
“So…you are saying no. I don’t know”
“But it must be…no”

I am paraphrasing here, but not by much. The line delivery is so stilted and overly serious, I thought George Lucas stepped behind the camera and yelled at the actors by saying “Be serious guys! Let me see serious” just like in the second Star Wars movie where Natalie Portman and Haden Christensen hilariously talk about Natalie’s sandpaper skin. It’s hard to know if it is terrible direction, or terrible acting, which is a bummer because the film is directed by the guy who made “About A Boy,” a personal favorite of mine.

While others around the globe have fallen in love with the story, I don’t get what makes the story so good (at least in this film version). The vampire and werewolf mythologies are tiny footnotes that could otherwise make this fun. The leads are uninteresting in spite of their supernatural hot sauce, and Bella has virtually no likeable qualities.

Logic also has to arrive at the front door of your mind at some point as well – Why is it that a 104 year old remains in high school? He could always maintain his secrecy by going to college if he were really that bored…And why in the hell is he picking up on teenagers? Doesn’t that kind of disturb anybody, at least comically? You know, the fact that the guy is 104 and he is picking up on 17 year olds? And if you have lived on the planet for 104 years and met Bella in all her drama, wouldn’t that be more of a turn off as opposed to a life long romance?

The movie becomes distractingly bad when we observe the cast. 5 years from now, this movie will be irrelevant and it is ripe for SNL and South Park parodies. All of the music and style is so self consciously hip, it grates the pace along. The vampire females all went to the Vidal Sassoon academy for a haircut before they appeared on screen. They wear today’s brilliant fashions and look like they all just jumped out of the latest Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. Sequences of slow motion running are littered throughout the movie. In one particularly scene it is hilarious – it comes at the end where Edward and Bella blissfully run through the woods like they are in a love story parody. Or Shrek. The theater I was in laughed out loud.

While “New Moon” does have a soundtrack filled with today’s indie pop heroes, it sort of shows just how commercialized the music has become. I have long noticed that the lyrics of the so called counter-culture indy bands are whining children sad about girls and relationships, but this movie just highlights it, and painfully at that. The lyrics and dialogue are so loathing and adolescent, it’s as though the script were written as a project in my high school drama class.


I know that I am not the target demographic for this film. I doubt anyone was trying to make a great piece of art that places alongside Bergman, Hitchcock, or Fellini. For those who read the books, I salute thee and hope that you enjoyed the film for bringing the story to visual life. There is nothing wrong with liking what you like. In this case you probably just have bad taste.

But hey, I also used to adore The Monkees TV show as a kid.

In the end, this is what we call a booty cash call. It was not made for any other reason than to make money, which is why it gets the hottest tween actors and actresses, hip music, and shirtless tomfoolery. I know the films intentions, and I don’t fault it for that. But for any other reason, this is a big pile of crap waiting for your money. And with two more installments on the way, you and I know that it will get it over and over again.


  1. Alright alright, bag on the Twilight frenzy, but it hurt to read the bagging on my Indie Bands. You especially shouldn't touch Thom Yorke... you just... can't...


  2. Hey - I love me some Thom Yorke, even Death Cab at times. I was commenting moreso on that indie music has shown as of recent some of the negative effects of commercialization. Some of the positive however would be seeing folks like the Arcade Fire and Karen O contribute imaginative and interesting music to recent scores for movies like Where the Wild Things Are and The Box.

    But c'mon - have you heard some of the lyrics lately to some of the songs?

  3. Hey...I just followed a link here from Chritianity in Context and was dying laughing at the church PSAs...they credited them to your friends. OH MY GA still dying laughing. I loved it! Okay, that's all. Thanks.

  4. The Church You it on youtube, it is genius!