Thursday, 3 December 2009

New Moon Review

My second ever review was the eternally dire Twilight, and I felt I had done enough shit raking to last the entire saga but after seeing this I was forced to reap my plants of hatred. In case you haven't heard of either of the films and book series, or remain blissfully ignorant as to it's plot - although this does probably mean you live in Atlantis and run a day care centre for unicorns with your best friend Percy the non-existent Griffin, the Twilight saga is a fantasy love story between a Human and vegetarian Vampire and isn't very good. Continuing the chronicles of the 18 year old necrophiliac Bella Swann, the Robert Pattinson show: Part 2 as it should be known follows the break up between the Human appearing Robot (no not really) Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) - which adds another layer of angst onto the film. Directed this time around by Chris Weitz, the director of the phenomenally confused Golden Compass film and with the screenplay written once again by Melissa Rosenburg.

There is something very wrong with the Twilight saga being more popular than God's wife while he is busy working. Time was the aficionados of vampire culture were the weird gothic type people who everyone else was afraid of and avoided now it’s the other way round. I wouldn't be surprised if the Twilight fans started sacrificing all us filthy heathens to appease Robert Pattinson, and that’s just my sister.

Throughout the first half hour there are a multitude of flashbacks and references to the first film to try and convince us that it actually had a plot instead of being two plus hours of Edward Cullen making young girls swoon. Though as I mentioned in my Twilight review I am still perplexed as to why, he is paler than an albino's arse and pulls faces like he has been forced to undergo a cavity search in a gay bar. You can imagine the female cinema goers closing their eyes and pretending Edward is talking to them.

So Bella and Edward break up when Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) tries to drink Bella’s blood after the world's bloodiest papercut. I found the break up bloody pathetic, yes she is understandably heartbroken at first but several months in she is still having nightmares and depressed though it is quite similar to how she acts when happy if I’m honest. She also plays mind games with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) by exploiting his feelings for her so she has somebody to get her over Edward which leaves him rather unstable. Call me cynical but I seriously doubt at 18 she could have found somebody that she loves so much that without him she would just wither and die. But what would I know, as the only thing that has ever shown affection for me was my cat and even his motivations were questionable.

Jacob joins what has got to arguably be the campest gang ever - five well toned guys running around the woods wearing only jeans. In reality they're members of the Quileute tribe who are in fact werewolves or at least the film claims because despite looking impressive they are evidence that Stephanie Meyer hates folk lore. Yes she has gone and ruined the werewolf tradition as I expected - werewolves in her world can transform at will without ever being around a full moon, so even during the fucking day. The reason being because they are 'shape shifters' a result of a genetic abnormality or rubbish author syndrome as I call it. We discover the Quileute tribe are mortal enemies of the vampire and who they hunt such as the nomad vampire Laurent (Edi Gathegi).

Thankfully Robert Pattinson isn't in this film that much - for about 20 minutes at the beginning, 20 at the end and appearing briefly several times in between. His spirit appears whenever Bella does anything dangerous – which being a bint like Bella is pretty much everything she does. She takes up thrill seeking activities such as cliff-diving which for someone as clumsy as her is like the elephant man getting a job testing pillows. Of course they make the absence of Pattinson up to the swarming masses of goo formerly known as girls by having a shirt removal scene - not that this should come as much of a surprise in this film - yes I'm talking to you Taylor Lautner.

Through a contrived plot twist in which Alice (Ashley Greene) is unable to see Bella’s future because of Jacob's proximity to Bella, Edward believes when Bella jumps off the cliff she kills herself and so travels to Italy to have the Volturi (an ancient and powerful vampire cult) kill him. Bella travels to Italy with Alice to stop him, and this shows just how selfish that woman is. When she is dumped she spends the night in the woods prompting the town to begin a manhunt only for her to return without explanation, also she wants to be a vampire but doesn’t think of how this will affect her family or even Edward. Now she travels to Europe without so much of a text.

The Volturi were actually pretty good, a throwback to old school vampires and expanding on the vampire world showing us more of its history and traditions. Onething I couldn't understand was why they kept making a big deal out of the individual special powers of the vampire race. What, isn't being psychically superior to humans and being immortal enough? Do they sit there and weep 'if only I had telekinesis then I could steal a better script'? It would be like Superman being upset because he can't cook. The head Volturi Michael Sheen, that's his character Aro and not actually Michael Sheen is amazed because he can't read Bella's thoughts but personally that’s because she is that gormless she isn't capable of independent thought without at least one prospective paramour around. This is also the reason why Jane (Dakota Fanning) wasn’t able to use her power of making people feel pain by looking at them.

The Volturi express their desire to kill Bella because she knows too much about the vampire world, but she is spared when Alice has a vision. The vision is of quite possibly the single most embarrassing vampire sequence ever recorded. The scene in question has Edward and a vampirised Bella run gaily through the woodland glistening in the sun dressed like characters out of a fucking Jane Austin novel. This is the essence of why I hate the series not because it tries something different with vampires but rather because it doesn’t have the feel of a vampire movie – more like a teen drama in which the characters have unusual diets.

So that is pretty much New Moon in a nutshell, an improvement over the first one partly because I had low expectations to begin with but for other reasons as well. Firstly because unlike the first one which was as slow as a Benz Patent Motorwagen this film has more action scenes than a pornographic version of Rambo – with several intense fights involving vampires and wolves. The film also focuses on characters other than the Cullens such as Jacob whose character goes through some extensive development psychically as well as emotionally. However judging by my friend's various complaints the film is fairly different to the book in places, I don't know how different because I haven't read the book nor could I be bother to ask her as it has no real bearing to my stance on the film.
The acting like in the first film is passable but there are a few characters who excel such as Kristen Stewart who annoying as she may be portrays a character who is heartbroken and literally is unable to cope with life and Taylor Lautner is good as the love rival dealing with his overwhelming love for Bella and his man-issues. The script once again appears to have been written by the band Lost Prophets on a depressed day. This effortlessly brings me to the soundtrack which is very similar to that featured in the original - very bland. Such as Muse's disappointing effort or the band called Death cab for cutie which frankly is how you might describe a ride in Travis Bickle's taxi.

I generally didn't like this film, sure it had its moments but they were few and far between. It was a definite improvement over the first film but not enough to make me a fan. Here is a little test to see if you’ll like the film: Did you like fantasy romance or use the term R-Patz or enjoy programs such as One Tree Hill? If so you'll enjoy the movie if not then I would stay away because it isn't a traditional vampire movie more of a teen drama and as such doesn't really appeal to vamp fans. But nothing I say about this film will have effect as it made $72.7 million on its first day alone leading to a revenue of over $400 million in total, and you just know that the next film will earn just as much if not more due to the 'cliff-hanger' ending; in which Edward asks Bella to marry him. We all know what the outcome will be - Edward realises he is portrayed by a terrible actor and is forced to go back to making embarrassing underwear adverts...