Monday, November 23, 2009

FandomFluff: Fiscterly Musings on New Moon


Fiscterly Musings on New Moon

By:
Hoosier Mama

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,
someone who had never read it might find themselves befuddled. Everything after the return from Italy moves extraordinarily fast and the action is extremely condensed. (Newcomers might think, “Weren’t we just with Bella and Edward in her bedroom? Why are we suddenly at the Cullen house?”) I haven’t actually spoken with anyone who saw the movie without reading the book, so that’s just conjecture on my part.

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.

This has been a Fandom Fluffy Moment brought to you by
Hoosier Mama
.

17 comments:

  1. I agree with this mostly, except for the line about Bella's missing tears. I've been at that place where you are so broken tears don't apply. And I think that was done beautifully by Kristen. Yes, you would expect maybe a few moments of tears after the initial leaving of your other half, but sometimes they aren't enough, and unnecessary to convey that pain. So with the exception of that, I agree with you Hoosier Mama. I'm so excited for my 2nd...3rd...ok, 4th viewing =)The time passing scene was beautiful. The music, the unmoving Bella...everything. It was perfect, imo.

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  2. I know what you mean about the crying stuff. I'm somone who, if someone else is crying it will demand tears from my eyes. I think that because Kristen never cried... It wasn't as heart wrenching as it could have been. Though I really loved the month's passing bit, and I did get a little misty eyed.
    Hmm.. I loved the soundtrack. My favourite scene was the mixup between the wolves chasing Victoria, Harry Clearwater dying of a heartattack and Bella cliff diving. The song that went with it was just perfect too.

    Thanks for your thoughts, I loved hearing them. :)

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  3. Excellent review! I was a bit worried how the "canon" B&E will feel to me after the loads of fanfic that I've guiltily devoured lately... But they were just that, the "real", romantic, innocent and oh so familiar Bella and Edward. I have a huge bone to pick with the makeup people who still rely heavily on the stupid red lipstick for EVERYBODY who happens to be not human in the movie. And how in the world do they manage to make Jackson and Nicki so bizarrely unattractive and Alice so drab and unfashionable, is beyond me. Other than that, I loved it. Can't wait to see it again sometime.

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  4. Oh I TOTALLY agree with almost all of your comments!!

    I saw it twice and the movie still did not make me cry (though I'm not typically an "easy crier") BUT I did feel myself doing a little inward "Ahh!/Aww.." each time during the break-up scene. Your heart does break a little during Edward's speech. That scene ended up much better than what I expected, and it did make me feel something. Rob and Kristen's acting was SO much better in New Moon, you could really see their pain and their torture. As you commented, Rob's facial expressions were so good, during both the break-up--final-kiss-on-the-forehead, and also during the kiss by her truck after the birthday party. He really captured the intensity of loving her but knowing he will have to leave.

    I do admit it would have been nice to see Kristen shed some tears, but then again that is a nitpicky thing. This film followed the books SO much better than Twilight that most of my issues are very very minor and "nitpicky" all things considered:

    Like the "some things being condensed too much" – most of the things I missed from the books were things that could have been included and would only have added a second or two to the movie. Like the cut between she and Edward talking on the bed to immediately being in the Cullen house, as you mentioned. Would it have been so wrong to include another sentence or two between Bella and Edward to at least explain WHY she wanted to have the Cullens vote? Or when she shows up to Jacob's house with the motorcycles. Yes they explain she got them in the junkyard but would it have added that much more to maybe just show a quick one frame scene of her seeing them in front of a house with a For Sale sign...and then cut to her pulling up in front of Jacob's house? Again, nitpicky I know.

    I did think the passing months scene was better than expected mostly because of Kristen's facial expression...she really did look numb and "dead." It could have had a wee bit darker tone (maybe no lights on in her bedroom?) but again...nitpicky. :) I LOVED the song that they used for that whole scene. That was the perfect one of all of the soundtrack songs for that scene and it has been playing on repeat in my head ever since.

    I am going again this week with a friend who's not quite as crazy about all of the Twilight stuff as I am. Whenever we've seen a trailer she's made comments about Jacob's body (all PG-13, nothing X-rated, LOL) and each time I'm like, yeah but he's just a young thing, just a baby! LOL I do think Taylor did a great job with his acting though...Movie-Jacob is now a little more likeable to me that Book-Jacob was, and I do feel for him every time Bella rejects him.

    Which reminds me...another nitpicky scene that I think should have been closer to the book--when Bella and Jacob and Mike leave the movie theater– the whole Mike and the popcorn bucket in Jacob's car would have added another laugh to the movie. Plus I thought Jacob's angry/not-feeling well-I have to go moment in the theater was way too rushed and even a little cheesy.

    And speaking of cheese, yes the Vampire Bella and Edward scene running through the forest was cheesy too and didn't need to be that long.

    BUT overall the movie was excellent, considering what it could have been and what Twilight was...it was a HUGE improvement. I would say my love of FF did not really affect my viewing of the movie in anyway, though I have not read a lot of "New Moon" style fics. I think I now may check out a couple of the ones you mentioned though, just to see how others have reinterpreted NM.

    Okay, I'll shut up now. :)

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  5. I'm a cold lizard. I laughed and cringed a lot, but then again, I did the same with the last one...

    I don't buy Rob and Kristin at all--there's none of the levity from the books that makes the movie depiction of their relationship seem real to me. Also, it's sorta like True Blood's Bill and Sookie to me... all this "I'm so in love with you" intensity makes me ancy and bored, and I want to kick them and be all like "bite something."

    I thought the scene with Victoria running (and the raven in slow-mo overhead) and the final action sequence with the Volturi were pretty great. Gorgeous, frankly.

    And the Volturi were really funny.

    Gawd, I sound like such a cold sadist....

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  6. I agree with the 3 out of 4 stars rating. *Much* improved from "Twilight". "New Moon" is my favorite of the books and I like Chris Weitz so I was cautiously optimistic. It was beautifully done and well directed. I felt some of the story was rushed, but then we're already dealing with a 2.5 hour movie so I'm not entirely sure how to fix that without loosing something else.

    Good review. I'd just add that I loved Anna Kendrick in the scene after Jessica and Bella went to the movies. She made me laugh for real (not just laughing at the tweens swooning over Taylor).

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  7. You didn't cry? Seriously, am I such a baby? Lol, I sniffled a lot through the movie. It moved me as much as the book did. Yes, I was missing a few scenes (especially the chapter when she wakes up after Italy and thinks she's dead and the whole conversation after that) and all in all the scenes after Italy were a bit rushed, which was sad 'cause Edward was finally back in those and the rest of the Cullens too, but whatever. Otherwise I totally loved the movie. I thought it was the best book adaptation I've ever seen, seriously. It was so close to the book with only minor changes and cut outs. I'm going again Thursday and I can't wait! Also, I thought the last part was seriously evil. Even though I know what Bella's going to say and how it all continues, it was just so evil! When you're completely into the story and it just ends like that.... Tsk. Anyway, now I can't wait until the 30th of June! 'Cause Eclipse is my favorite of the series and I read somewhere that Ms. Rosenberg added my favorite chapter (Compromise) to the script :)

    Am I the only one that didn't really drool over Taylor Lautner's abs? Okay, he seriously looked good, but honestly; I was way more distracted when we finally got to Italy *smirks* And I have to add: I'm definitely still team Edward, hehe.

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  8. I AM DISTRAUGHT! I HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET!!!! Oh, my stupid, shitty, RL...

    I totally agree with the Jasper's hair thing. What were they thinking?!! They gave him an AFRO! he looks like a demented poodle.

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  9. i think that melissa rosenberg got a bad rap on the first movie. over the weekend, I watched twilight with the commentary enabled and Catherine Hardewick said repeatedly things like, "I wanted something different there so I wrote something new." It felt like half the movie was written on a whim (her whim). I would guess that Chris Weitz, being a director himself, would have a better grasp on how to add/edit if needed and also respect the screenwriters script.

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  10. I think I need to see it again to decide. My first impression was that it was just....ok. Neither great nor shitty but somewhere in between. I'm glad to hear you had a better handle on your thoughts after a second viewing. I'm hoping I like it more after seeing it again.

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  11. Well, I watched Twilight 99999999999 times; NM: 3 (the third minus the wolves) and I'd really rather re-watch Twilight.

    CH made endless mistakes, but she did manage to give us an incredibly rewatchable gothic romance, where you could just feel the angst. CW just didn't.

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  12. mallmouse: I respectively disagree. Twilight (the movie) was slightly chaotic and there was no real storyline that it held onto. Lots of great scenes from the book were mashed together which made them look odd and kind of sudden ('cause seriously, one minute they can barely stand each other and she finds out he's a vampire and they're in love? Come on). Also a lot of things were added that were completely unneccesary and OOC. Have you seen the deleted scenes? That scene where Edward bites her finger? Omg. He would have killed her if something like that would have happened. Catherine Hardwicke didn't really grasp the characters, at least that's how I see it.

    Twilight is a great movie, but you really shouldn't compare it to the book 'cause then it totally sucks... New Moon on the other hand is as close to the book as a movie could be. Yeah, some things were left out that I wanted to see and I was kind of sad that they rushed through everything that happened after the Volturi, but really those are just tiny details. Otherwise I can't really complain about New Moon. I thought it was great :)

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  13. Great review. I did not cry until the next morning, listening to the soundtrack, and remembering the 'passing months' scene, and then the second time I saw the film. Just took a bit to kick in I guess.

    I don't really have any complaints, it was just as I hoped it would be. Just a few small bits, here and there I would have liked to see, (Charlie yelling at Edward, upon return from Italy)bits of dialouge from the book, that would have been nice to hear(when I told you that I didn't want you, it was the very blackest kind of blasphemy")...etc...and yeah a little more of Edward groveling, would have been good, lol.

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  14. Alright I am getting a bit fed up with the ageism going on in this community. One of the things that I loved about Twilight was that it brought back to me those feelings of new love, of discovering a boy liked you, of the sweet torture of UST. And even though I am plucking a grey hair or too, inside me there is still a 16 year old girl who remembers all of that. Even in the heart of the every cane-wielding, rocking chair grandmother is a young girl, and if you don't understand that, then you don't understand the aging process.
    Now I am not one of those regrettable TwiMoms throwing their panties at poor Tay or Rob, but then I wouldn't have done that when I was 16 either.
    But if you are not going to shush the 16, or 26 year old for cooing at a muscular chest, then don't be shushing the 36, 46, 56 or older either, because there is that young girl in all of us and age is only relative. That grandmother in the seat behind you has no more intention of trying to sleep with Taylor than your father, but don't act all grossed out because she has chosen to channel her inner 16 year old, she's there in all of us.

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  15. duskwatcher:
    Actually, I wouldn't have minded her moaning at all if she were making those sounds every time Edward appeared on screen...
    HM

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  16. I agree with your whole post. Although I didn't start my 'journey' until March when the DVD came out. I was bored at Easter and thought I'd take a look (ended up watching it 10 times over the easter break plus commentary plus the extras. In the commentary I heard them mention it was a book so logged onto Amazon and ordered all 4 books. Proceeded to read them in a loop approx 5 times I think. Started to surf the Web for mentions of Rob - came across 'Random Acts of Rob'... RobPorn - hey presto links to various Fan Fics.... Now have nearly 400 FF's in my favourites. (And zero social life). Have seen NM 4 times - it gets better each time as you can focus on different things. (PS. I'm 40 and a perfectly well adjusted female - I was a bit embarassed at first about my obsession but now I brought a lot of my friends over to the dark side;-)

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  17. JED66
    Welcome newcomer! Although I shouldn't talk; my life-altering date was April 15, 2008 just about a year before yours. (The date I broke down and started reading in what eventually became a four-book non-stop loop.) There are plenty of people that have been fans for a lot longer. I still feel like I'm playing catch-up with fanfics. P.S. I'm 47 (but let's keep that a secret between us) and having the time of my life.
    HM

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