November 20, 2009

New Moon (Not the Chinese Restaurant)

**Warning. If you're remotely attracted to men, you might have already seen this movie. Every straight, single, painfully awkward woman between 14 and 25 on earth might have been in the theatre with me.**

The words "New Moon" conjure up strange feelings for me-- I think back to the joyful harvest time during my youth, when my father would tell us children to go out and "make cider" out of the several hundred bushels of apples we had collected over the course of the month by running each and every rotted fruit through a loud and dangerous press the size of a 1996 Subaru Forester and just about as safe and reliable. I am also reminded of my girlfriend's period, which is often accompanied by mood swings that would make Mr. Hyde look like Carlyle Cullen and often reduce the otherwise amiable girl into a firebreathing actress diva capable of destroying Tokyo 37 times. In general, my associations aren't good.

And, after having returned from New Moon, the second chapter in The Twilight Saga, these negative associations are firmly intact.

First, I had to buy my tickets in advance. I had to buy tickets *two weeks* in advance. As a movie reviewer who is not habituated to paying for movie tickets whatsoever, this was a big deal to me. The theatre I went to had a midnight showing of New Moon on every one of it's six screens save one, which was showing Twilight as a throwback to the diehard Twifans who had been camping in front of the theatre in their Edward Cullen snuggies and long name-brand pajamas since dawn. It was as if Harry Potter and Anne Rice had a baby directed by Steven Spielberg on crack. This baby had grown in the minds of many young women into some sort of raging monster of misplaced sexual metaphors, capable of taring down even the most basic elements of story structure and plot. What else would you expect from a Stephanie Meyer crack baby?

Nevertheless, it's fair to say that every single drop of estrogen in the city of Portland Oregon was present in the theatre that night. Sorority sisters displaying proud "me too" college sweatshirts giggled in the row behind me. Japanese fangirls bubbled in the seats next to me. Diehard 43-year-old twimoms in makeup heavy enough to make Vincent Price go "Dayyymn, girl" waited with bated breath on every mangled perversion of the english language that came out of Edward Cullen's light-rouge colored mouth. I facepalmed.

And then the movie began.

Or, as I should say, then the music video began. It's unfair to movies to call New Moon anything else-- the not-montage segments of the movie are outnumbered two-to-one by the "fresh from VH1" sections of the movie. The filmmaker decided that the best way to represent the surprising absence of plot was to cover it with light acoustic guitar covers of every song ever composed that featured a lyric about the moon, and then pad the movie by making every other shot in glamourous slow-motion like some sort of pre-teen Sam Peckinpah. Whereas Twilight brought us the wildly misplaced but incredibly good Muse song "Supermassive Black Hole," New Moon brought us a man with a soft beard gently strumming an open-G on his Aston 388 in the back of a local Starbucks. Whee.

The plot introduces Jacob, the will-be werewolf from the first movie, as an unlikely new love interest. In the first Twilight movie Jacob was a lovable and punchable version of Thomas Builds-The Fire. In this movie he has apparently put on enough muscle to qualify as an action figure, considering his neck is now the size of several industrial components illegal in the United States. He is prone to 'roid rage and joins a gang. Not even kidding.

And the plot? You want to know about the plot? LOL. *sobs uncontrollably*

I walked out of the theatre and watched the teaming masses of girls and women pour from the theatre doors and push their way down the up escalators and through the emergency exits to their cars. In my mind, they were fleeing.

And they were running from the werewolf version of this guy:


  1. A superb love story ever. A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire. A densely erotic, twisted take on teen screen romance, Twilight zones out beneath the crushing weight of underage lust intensified and complicated by the excruciating abstention here of unorthodox vampire appetites.

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