Fiscterly Musings on New MoonBy:
I was an innocent, my mind as pure as the driven snow when I sat in that theater last year at midnight to watch the movie Twilight with all of the other Twilight-obsessive-compulsives. The stories of AngstGoddess003, Gondolier, adorablecullens, and all the other writers were not even a twinkle in my eye. In fact, I was not even aware of their existence, let alone the existence of fan fiction.
Oh what a difference a year makes.
Being simply Twilight-obsessed is so passé. Now that I’ve joined the ranks of the corrupted, yet fashionably fanfic-obsessed, and my mind has taken a turn or two in the gutter thanks to some of our steamier writers, what would I make of the second movie? Would visions of “Beautiful Bastard”, Domward, Tattward, “Rich Kid”, Catholicward and all the other Edward incarnations I’ve read and loved interfere with my enjoyment of canon Edward in the movie?
And what about the bigger questions:
- Would Chris Weitz be able to create a film that satisfied and soothed the screaming hordes of fans? Would it be good enough to enlighten those pesky, quarrelsome Twi-virgins, so they can quit mocking us and finally understand…us: the card-carrying members of a secret yet crazily obsessed fandom?
- Would Melissa Rosenberg capture all the essential elements from the book and include them in a cohesive, understandable script?
- And finally and most importantly, would the emotional roller coaster ride experienced when reading the book be duplicated in the movie theater? Would we get the same bliss, dread, angst, pain and finally, euphoria that we get from re-reading the book, when we view The Twilight Saga: New Moon?
The answer to all of the above bigger questions, in my humble opinion, is a qualified yes.
The movie Chris Weitz made was, not surprisingly, very different from Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight. Stylistically it’s simply breathtaking; it’s also a more polished, elegant movie than the first one. The special effects were mucho, mucho better than Twilight; Mr. Weitz clearly took advantage of the additional funds available to him from the studio.
The writing? Hmmm, what can I say about the screenwriting? That disappointed me the most in Twilight, even more so than the cheap and cheesy special effects. (i.e. the hospital scene? It should have been so much more…although the writer totally redeemed herself with the prom scene. *sigh*) I’m happy to say that Ms. Rosenberg did a much better job with New Moon and with a tougher assignment. The book’s plot was changed very little and it seemed to me what departures there were, were done in order to condense the plot into a usable movie format. Purists will have a hard time complaining about the transfer from book to movie. My only worry is that in an effort to include so much from the book,
When I was sitting in the theater just before midnight, I told myself if the movie didn’t make me cry it would fail the test. This was New Moon, the most depressing book I’ve ever read; the movie should have the audience in tears. I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve tortured myself by reading the damn break-up scene in the book…and I’ve cried…every. freakin. time.
My Kleenex tissues sat unused in my lap when we left at 2:30 am.
But I truly don’t believe that it’s a fault of the movie. It’s like I’ve finally become immune to it. I’ve read it so much, experienced it through Edward’s eyes (in two fantastic fics: “
Dark Side of the Moon” and “
Ithaca is Gorges”) in addition to playing that clip of the movie over and over again, until the most painful lies ever uttered – “I don’t want you anymore Bella. You’re no good for me” - became almost blasé.
(Author’s note: I wrote the majority of this the morning after the midnight showing. When I saw it the second time on Saturday, for some reason, I was much more emotionally involved. My daughter felt it too. It is overall a very dark, sad story with lots of places to get misty-eyed…and we did. Speaking of which, after our second viewing, we also noted the unfortunate absence of Bella’s tears…)
For the most part, the roller coaster ride of emotions was there. The movie showed how blissfully happy they were at the beginning (Thank God! They were actually smiling at each other! I really worried about this…), all the angst and pain was there (the passing months scene was well-done), the Team Edward types in the audience were soundly tortured by watching Bella grow closer and more in love with Jacob (My biggest unfulfilled wish was that they show a little of the hell that Edward was living during those months.) The time in Italy was…wow. Thrilling…sexy…surreal (hello? the elevator ride?)…scary…and agonizing. Yeah, I liked it.
As for fans of Twi-fanfiction, we’ve evolved one step beyond the original canon storyline (which enables us to watch the movie without rose-colored glasses) but at the same time we’re much more involved with the characters. We’ve delved into their pasts and their futures; we know what makes them tick more than your typical Twilight fan. As much as we love the various versions of Edward that exist in the Twi-dom, canon Edward will always hold a special place in our hearts as the vamp that started it all.
Passing thoughts on the movie:
- I asked my daughter what she was looking forward to seeing in the movie. Without skipping a beat she answered, “Lots of half-naked guys.” She’s 19 so I suppose she can be excused for thinking that way. I, on the other hand, being an old fart, worried that there would be too much gratuitous “half-naked guy” scenes which would make it risible to the male half of the population. However, my fears were relieved; I felt a good balance was struck.
- On that note, the lady behind me that kept gasping and moaning every time Taylor Lautner’s bare chest was shown annoyed the hell out of me for two reasons: A. She was old enough to be his grandmother and the kid is under the age of 18. That’s just creepy. B. Her sexually-charged vocals then caused 15 seconds of laughter in reaction from the audience around her, which totally covered up the dialogue. Please ladies! A crowded theater is no place for personal gratification. Wait ‘til you have the DVD in the privacy of your own home before doing…whatever you do while you watch…if you know what I mean…
- For the love of all that’s holy, somebody please fix Jasper’s hair!
- Edward’s last kiss on Bella’s forehead before he disappears was painfully beautiful to watch. You could see Edward’s agony from his “blasphemous lying” to her in that kiss. That was a critically important 3 seconds. Well done.
- Both Edward and Bella appeared much better looking in this movie than in Twilight. I don’t know if it was the clothes, or hair, or make-up, lighting, or camera angles, but yeah, they looked more attractive…except when they needed to look distraught…which is understandable.
- Do the filmmakers honestly believe that men in the future will dress like Barry Manilow from the 70’s? Interesting clothing choice in Alice’s vision….
- I wanted to see more Carlisle: more of his past with the Volturi, more of his conversation with Bella when he is doctoring her arm, and more of his conversation with Edward during the vote. I blame this entirely on two fic writers: Emilie Fauve (“
In My Power”) and giselle-lx (“
Ithaca is Gorges”). You’ve made me a closet Carlisle fan and ahem, I’m sure Peter Facinelli had absolutely nothing to do with this…
- Before the movie started, a guy from the audience stood up at the front of the room and said, “Ok, how many here like Edward?” People cheered and raised their hands. “Now, how many here like Jacob?” he continued. To my chagrin, a few more people cheered. In the silence that followed, my fearless daughter yelled, “Charlie!” to a smattering of laughs. And she was right. Billy Burke as Charlie continues to steal the show.
- Some scenes sort of dragged while others felt rushed. Is this the fault of the editor? The director? Best boy? Composer? Grip? I have no idea. I know nothing about making movies. It’s just something I felt while watching it.
- I don’t know about anyone else, because I haven’t read any other reviews, but I loved, absolutely loved the last line of the movie…and Bella’s little gasp. It gave me the tingles. It was picture perfect.
So that’s what I thought. I give it 3 out of 4 stars. What about you? Do you agree? Did you hate the movie? Or did you love it? Let me know in the comments section! And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to thoroughly annoy my husband by going to the theater to see the movie again, and again, and again. Maybe by the fifth time I’ll actually need to use that Kleenex.
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