Against my better judgement, I saw New Moon. I was afraid that seeing the film would catapult me back to the insanity of last year when I read the damn books over and over again and watched the movie several times a day - much to Mike's chagrin. Remember? I didn't clean my apartment? It was ridiculous and insane? Mike and K-10 wanted to stage an intervention?
Well, I shouldn't have worried so much. It was definitely a better movie than Twilight, and much closer to the book as well. The acting improved immensely, and the wolf-like effects were infinitely better than I expected.
But I think that the moment has passed on my reaction to Twilight-mania, thank the baby Jesus.
If you don't know the story, there isn't much to tell. It's the classic tale of forbidden monster love! Edward, he of the sparkly skin and impossibly fast vampire reflexes, leaves Bella, the clumsiest brunette this side of the Mississippi, even though he's still head over glittery heels in love with her. He's afraid that he'll always put her in danger, you see. Considering the fact that her blood is like crack to him and he is constantly stuck between loving her and snarfing her, I feel like this is a pretty intelligent decision.
But she is a lovesick teenager, and woe is her. So she drops into a deep depression, a state of which I'm sure we all remember since we've all gone through puberty and decided that no one has ever felt the pain that we felt at being dumped at fourteen after nineteen days of dating. We were in LOVE, DAMMIT. It was so EPIC and TRUE. NO ONE UNDERSTANDS!
But lo! The son of her father's friend is quite happy to pick her up off the ground of despair, and while she loves that he's a great friend, Jacob basically just loves her. Ruh roh! Bella is hung up on Edward, and always will be, because as a teenager, the world ends with a breakup! But she has realized that she'll see visions of him if she does reckless things like getting on the back of a motorcycle with a leather-clad rapist, or riding her own motorcycle until it crashes into a stump. Or, like most completely sane people do in Oregon in January, cliff diving. Obviously.
BUT OH NOES, THERE IS A PROBLEM.
Edward finds out that Bella has jumped off a fucking cliff, and thinks that she is dead. So he wants to die because he can't live in a world where she doesn't exist (well, maybe you shouldn't have dumped her clumsy ass, BUTTMUNCH), but he keeps running into such problematic issues like: it's almost impossible to kill a vampire. Well, that's actually pretty much the only issue. But there are vampiric leaders in Italy who lay down the law. They can kill him! Hooray!
Then Bella somehow gets to Italy in a few short hours (Did she take the Concorde? Does she even have a passport? What happened to even minimal amounts of parental supervision? GOD.) and thwarts his attempt at death by sparkling.
It's all fairly ridiculous, I admit, especially seeing the plot laid out there in the open like this, but it was pretty effective both in the book and in the film.
The soundtrack has been getting praise, but after buying each song legally (um, sure!), I discovered that there were very few tracks that I liked. I view this as a downgrade from the first soundtrack, as it really captured the feel of the film (and book). Plus, it featured lead vampire himself, Robert Pattinson, crooning away all emo-like.
For New Moon, it seems like the powers that be chased after every musical hipster in tight black jeans in order to build some kind of "credibility" for their "masterpiece" of a CD. Garden State soundtrack this is not, but there are a few standouts: Radiohead's Thom Yorke supplied a song, and it was excellent, and Death Cab for Cutie's entry was solid. There were a few others that piqued my curiosity (The Editors are always worthy of a listen), but most entries were just wispy and forgettable.
The film works, mostly because it occupies one of the middle bits of a multi-film franchise. It is a space holder, designed to move the plot forward, but is really just a prelude to what fans really want: the headboard-breaking, pillow-biting, scrambled eggs gorging honeymoon of Breaking Dawn.
You know I'm right.