Sunday, October 9, 2011

30 Days of Fright - 08: New Moon

Imagine you were a vampire, with all the advantages of immortality and the intrinsic beauty that comes with being a nasty little goblin of the underworld. With all that power at your disposal, would you spend your days being a miserable bastard in some shitty small town in chilly northern America with a girl who looks like a horse hanging out of you the whole time? Of course not, it wasn't believable in one film so I was curious as to how you'd get another go at the cinema out of this bullshit...

As her eighteenth birthday approaches, New Moon opens with Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) struggling to deal with one of the practicalities of loving a vampire. She dreams of her dear old Granny meeting Edward (Robert Pattinson) in a field one day but she realises that it’s not her Gran but actually herself as an old woman having aged naturally while Eddie stayed his youthful immortal self. With this on her mind, Bella tries to go about the normal business of girls her age which basically consists of going to school and looking moody.

Edward’s family, the Cullen’s (a group of adopted vampire kids looked after by Dr. And Mrs. Cullen) throw a little party for Bella’s birthday at their house and during the giving of the presents Bella gets a paper cut which sets off one of the vampires who isn’t fully house trained. This gets Edward thinking about just how wise it is keeping a human about the place when he and his kind have such murderous instincts. About this time Carlisle Cullen decides that he has to move on as he looks a lot younger than he’s supposed to be and people around him are starting to notice. Edward decides that he’s going to go as well and put some distance between him and Bella as he feels she should have a normal life and not have to worry about the technicalities of going out with a disgusting bloodsucker like himself. Eddie has also been thinking about their situation and he’s come to the conclusion that the only way it could work is to make Bella a vampire and that’s something he can’t do as it would damn her soul.

With Edward out of the picture, Bella gets down to doing some serious moping about and manages to sit in the same chair looking out the window for about four months without ever changing her clothes. When she's not busy being a moody drink of piss, she's flat out screaming her head off in her sleep as she's haunted with terrible nightmares of her lost love. Her days at school are filled with avoiding her friends which only serves to demonstrate just how useless a bunch they are when things get tough. She finally manages to get a grip on herself and slowly tries to deal with her plight by hanging out with Jacob, a local native American boy she knows from when she was much younger. She picks up  two wrecked motorbikes and gets Jacob to restore them while she sits and watches for a few weeks in an example of exploitation of the red man not seen in America since some Europeans purchased the continent for a handful of beads and a dose of smallpox.
Bella begins to experience hallucinations of Edward whenever she might be in danger, like going down the wrong street in a bad part of town or riding a restored motorbike without a crash helmet. Bella puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations in an effort to see more of Edward instead of doing the rational thing of seeing a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to help her with the fact that she's seeing things and hearing voices. Her friend Jacob also turns out to be in need of some medical help as he develops a bad fever one night and disappears for a while, though Bella thinks that Jacob is in fact just avoiding her as she rejected his romantic advances. Bella goes to find Jacob down on the reservation (apparently the only reservation in the US without a casino) and finds that he's a changed man, with his hair cut short, sporting a tattoo, and running with the wrong sort of people all the while not wearing much clothes. After a bit of back and forth it turns out that Jacob is a werewolf and so are his mates and that they've been hunting some vampires (left over from the first film) who've been knocking about with plans to kill Bella.
Off in exile Edward has gotten wind of Bella's daredevil antics and believes that one of her little vision-inducing activities has actually killed her and so he decides to top himself as immortality isn't worth enduring if the girl he dumped, who was probably going to snuff it sometime in the next seventy or eighty years anyway, has died - as long as no-one stops him in the nick of time...
A cinema-goer reacts to the news that they made a few more of these fucking Twilight films!

I shall cut to the inevitable chase; New Moon is an overly long and deeply unoriginal piece of shit film.It's two desperately boring hours of a mopey bitch pining for a creepy girly boy who you know will turn up again before the film is over and very little else. Edward just pisses off as soon as he could at the start of the wretched movie, in fact he ran away so fast I half expected him to have knocked Bella up or something. Edward's departure is too much of a convenience and is only offered up so that Jacob could be properly introduced as a character. Jacob is actually not that bad a character but he seems to unfortunately suffer from the same problem as everyone else in the small town of Forks - he seems to think Bella is the only woman in the entire world worth a damn and that is frankly too unbelievable even for a movie where vampires sparkle and werewolves prowl around whether there's a full moon or not.

Kristen Stewart's Bella is too unattractive and uninteresting a person for it to be realistic that everyone in town to is chasing after her. The Cullen's are fawning over her from the start (though to be fair one of them openly wants to eat her), the kids in school are obsessed with her, and now the werewolves are all into Bella-mania. Love triangles are the staple of manys a fine story but the apex of this one is a droopy faced misery - the lads in Forks must have been really hard up.

Speaking of the love aspect leads me to the real horror of New Moon. The film rips off one major source and that's Mr. William Shakespeare and his tragic play Romeo and Juliet.What makes this crime so heinous is that New Moon flaunts the fact from early on that it's lifting it's central theme from that play, the only twist being that Edward's already dead. What I want to know is,seeing as Romeo and Juliet is a short play, why did it take two long fucking hours to re-tell that story? And why even pretend that the poor teen wolf Jacob was ever in with a chance with a go on Bella?

Just like the fist Twilight film there is very little to redeem New Moon. Sadly, the decent music from the first movie is absent, replaced with a succession of radio-friendly but easily forgotten tunes that no doubt sold well on iTunes, easily forgotten except for the song "Meet Me on the Equinox" by Death Cab For Cutie - I really like that song and it's a shame it only featured on the end credits. The film is slightly better made than its predecessor, the lighting is better, the effects have been given some thought, and the locations are well used. The big redemption for me however was the fact that the Cullen's began to address the whole damnation of the soul thing that bothered me so much about the first Twilight. New Moon doesn't really resolve this problem but it at least admits that it's there.

Doesn't stop New Moon from being shit though.

Two Thumbs Down for New Moon.

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