Title: Twilight Saga: New Moon
Watched: Nov 2009 & Nov 15, 2011
Summary: The Moon is made of cheese!
In honor of the upcoming return of everyone’s favorite sparkly vampires, I rewatched the earlier offerings. Oh, where to begin. The cheese is so thick in this series that it might as well be set in a Paris fromagerie. But it does have a certain charm. Hands down the best part of the whole series is Kristen Stewart. I have to admit, I do kind of like her. Here she’s severely hampered by the script, but she still makes the best of it. In better movies, like the brilliant Adventureland, she shines (and I’m not talking the CGI sparkle kind of shine).
One really funny bit is how close the real film is to the trailer for the parody movie, Vampires Suck:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksJvEH-R_ew]
Now, Vampires Suck, really sucks. It’s almost unwatchable and all the good parts are in the trailer. But it does point out some of the hilarious cheese in the real films, particularly New Moon. The original story is structured pretty much entirely around the Bella, Edward, Jacob triangle. There is a certain decency to this core. It’s not mature adult writing, but a sort of codified teen girl fantasy. Bella, the weak normal girl, shy and insecure, is pursued by not one but two hunk hotties. The aloof cool type AND the hot and emotional no-shirt-wearing type. Fermented milkish as this is, it knows its audience. Where the movie totally fails is in paying any decent respect to the traditions of Fantasy and Horror. The dreadlock swirling, furry vested members of the Black Eyed Peas (I mean bad vampires), the zero research Matrix dressed Volturi (although their leader plays the role with a delicious camp), and the sparkles. Although they didn’t film in Volterra, they should have, cool city. But the franchise’s mythological characters, despite their continued insistence on the challenges of their existence, have it easy. Really these vampires and werwolves are just wish fulfillment, stripped of the double edged nature of the original legends that spawned them.
See, those older tales, like most folk stories are cautionary in nature. The focus on the karmic cost of power and pride. In the end, it always brings down the monsters. Twilight isn’t about that. It pretends to be. But this is a giant “tell” where the characters and the story pretend to “tell” us that these powers have costs. It goes to great lengths to pretend so. But in the end it’s just complex machinations to support the central triangle of wish fulfillment.
New Moon is considerably better than Eclipse, but both suffer badly from essentially being diversions. Stephanie Meyer apparently originally plotted the story as two books (what became Twlight and Breaking Dawn). When the first did well she inserted two extra installments in the middle. I can’t fault her that decision, made her tens of millions for sure.