Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I saw New Moon - and I liked it!!

Wow - what an awesome display of literary to visual storytelling. I think whoever did those Lord of the Rings movies should really sit down, notebook in hand, watch this movie and understand exactly HOW you translate book to screen, because New Moon is just magnificent.

Okay, that's just as much bullshit as I can spew right now.

So on the weekend I screened New Moon online (because I absolutely refuse to watch it in theaters and put any dollars toward these money sucking titles). Despite the fact that the cut I watched had a 40-something mother sitting next to the camera saying things like "I'M SO EXCITED" and "eeeeeeeeh!", that most of it was blurry, and for the first 4 minutes everyone's head was cut off (I think that made it better), I was able to get a good sense of how absolutely shitty this movie is. By the way, this cut was only marginally better than the first one I started to watch called Luna Nueva which was obviously the Spanish version - the acting isn't even good in Spanish, but I think because you can't understand the cheesy dialogue it gives the English version a definite run for its money.

Anyway, New Moon is actually so shitty it's bewildering. If I was actually a fan of these books which I'm obviously not, I would be fairly insulted. There is something to be said about taking a book that is so well loved and turning it into a visual retelling of the magic that readers found on the page. Movies that have done this well: Lord of the Rings, Watchmen, The Godfather, and Jaws to name a few. But New Moon is one of those movies that executives know they can basically have cardboard cut outs with animated lips on screen and people will flock to see it as long as there is still the appropriate amount of slow-mos and eye fucking involved. And man did this movie make money - 140M in the opening weekend? Fuck sakes. You know what that is though? People seeing it 3 times *cough* Jenn *cough* - yea... I know what she's going to say: "But I didn't pay for it!" and I'm going to say right back "Really...if it was free that's even more of an excuse to NOT GO AGAIN!".

Okay enough ranting without examples, lets get into why this was so awful. I have 4 major points:

1) Treating the viewer like they're fucking stupid
2) Retardedly crappy CG effects
3) Equally retardedly crappy acting
4) A lead female character that makes me hate the fact that I have ovaries

There will be lots of spoilers for those who are sensitive about it. But if you're a fan then you probably saw this movie already and otherwise I don't care.

1) Treating the viewer like they're fucking stupid
Okay, the most glaringly obvious point where they treat the viewer like they're retarded is the part of the passing of time when Bella is depressed. So Edward leaves Bella - blah blah blah - curls up in fetal position, goes into depression for exactly 3 months. How do I know its exactly 3 months!? Well...that's because the filmmakers do this lovely passing of time montage. But the montage isn't enough - no no. We must get a camera spin in there, passing of seasons, and because the viewer STILL probably wont get it because by now they have tears so heavy they cant see through them - there are titles on the screen. TITLES ON THE SCREEN.
Dan said it to me best: "Why don't they just show the days of the calendar animating off as the days go by?". Or even better...why isn't someone putting big red crosses though the calendar as the months of loneliness go on - only the red crosses are made from Bella's blood cause shes so emo.

Another example is putting bare chests in for bare chest sake. Now I can appreciate a hot boy - dont get me wrong, but it was as if at one point during the movie making process there was a convo a bit like this:

Chris Weitz: "Fire the wardrobe department!"
AD: "But...what will the actors wear?!"
Chris Weitz: "Clothes? They dont need fucking clothes! We'll make more money if they wear LESS clothes. Now who has the white body makeup for Rob?? Oh for fuck sakes someone shave that guy's chest!! I never had this problem on American Pie."

Here is another example of retarded-shirt-off-ness. After Bella gives up on life in the woods, werewolf Sam rescues her - shirtless. Anyone else bothered by the fact that Bella's Dad thinks its totally cool that a half naked guy that he doesn't really know is carrying his unconcious daughter out of the woods in the middle of the night? Can we all say "rape scene on the cutting room floor"? Methinks so.

2) Retardedly crappy CG effects
I give you exhibit A: Men turning into wolves 3x's their size

Not to even mention that the wolves themselves were subpar. With movies coming out like Avatar that are supposed to be revolutionary for CG - how can New Moon even show face with their $500 budget graphics? Shame.

3) Equally retardedly crappy acting
Where do I even start? Okay, there is one point in the movie where Bella and Edward are canoodling in the back of class and the teacher asks him to recite some Shakespeare to make sure he's paying attention. Well since he's been going to highschool now for like 70 years, of course Romeo and Juliet comes easy to him. But its just SO PAINFUL. Watching him go through the soliliquy made my eyes roll so hard I almost passed out. Acting shouldn't be cringeworthy - and that moment was DEFINITELY cringeworthy.

Ouch my finger! Best part - when Bella gets a papercut and puts this whole Edward leaving her crap into motion. Hmm...now, if you were dating a vampire with a family who obviously struggle with their daily thirst for blood, of which your's is apparently particularily tasty, would you be like: "Ow, paper cut" while staring at it and pinching it enough so that a drop falls onto the carpet? Fuck no! You'd take one look at that cut, stick your finger in your mouth and hide under that fucking grand piano because you know one of them is about to bite your stupid ass.

Then there are the one liners:
Edward: [to Bella] You're my only reason to stay... alive. If that's what I am.

Edward: You just don't belong in my world Bella.
Bella: I belong with you.

Jacob: Do not get me upset. (Jacob smash!)

Uuuuuugh. At points, this movie was just so badly acted that I just had to pause the feed and sigh in disbelief.

BUT - I will say that there was a shiny nickle buried somewhere in this poo called New Moon - Taylor Lautner and Dakota Fanning. They were the only ones that showed any sort of acting skills. Too bad Fanning was in it for all of 4 minutes, and Lautner basically gets bonus points for just being so damn HOT (going to jail...). Seriously - who makes 17 year olds THAT good looking?? The world just isn't fair! That was one person who could take his shirt off 15 more times in this movie and it would suit me just fine. Helloooooo.

4) A lead female character that makes me hate the fact that I have ovaries
Please god someone kill her and put both of us out of our misery. How pathetic is Bella in this movie? Okay okay, we've all been there, the first love breakup - the never feeling like you'll ever FEEL again. Sure. Fine. But there has to be a line between that reality and wondering when your on screen "heroine" is going to slit her wrists. At one point she even curls up in a fetal position until that half naked guy comes along to save her sorry ass. Tell me - what is there to really cry about? Okay so the pasty faced "I'm in so much emotional pain all the time, woe is me" guy leaves you - do you not SEE that hotilicious man giving you the eye fuck like eye fucks are going out of style? And what is with the seeing visions of Edward when she gets adrenaline rushes? That isn't emotional turmoil, its called early onset schizophrenia.

How many times does she have to say "I'm not good enough for you" until a mother turns around to her daughter in the theater and tells her that Bella should have more confidence in herself - that she is good enough for ANY man. Why aren't more feminists protesting this weak character? Please someone give Buffy a walk-on in the next movie just to smack the crap outta this chick.

All in all I can see why the Twilight series is and will continue to be popular - its just a venue to parade bare chested jail-bait around for 2 hours while the girl is taken care of, rescued and fawned over by men who in real life would want nothing to do with her because she's just so pathetic. As much as I was entertained by the amount of Jacob - for me this movie would have been better with all of his scenes strung together, cut out the rest of it and then just end it with Fanning smiling like the evil vampire everyone else should be. But really - if these movies want to stand the test of time and actually start making FANS out of the people who are skeptics, then they really need to start upping their game, because poor CG, slow story telling and atrocious acting just isn't going to cut it.

Okay...now who wants to see 2012 with me? SO EXCITED!


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