Massawyrm drops trou and offers a moon of his own to THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON!!
Published at: Nov. 19, 2009, 8:34 a.m. CST by merrick
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Bella Swan is one of the most detestable, obnoxious, mentally unstable characters in modern American literature. She is a character so over the top that she borders on satire; and were she some sort of Holden Caulfield-like, deliberately unlikable character written with the intent to openly mock the ideals of modern romantic literature, she would be acceptable, if not perfect for the part. But Stephanie Meyer isn’t that self-aware. Instead, she has woven together a cloyingly insufferable romantic saga – a junkfood and cheesecake epic, if you will – centering around a woman who revels in, nay celebrates, how damaged she is. I dated a girl like Bella once. Thank god they make medication for girls like that now.
There is a rule about dating women like this that older generations often have to pass onto the younger: if a woman tells you she is trouble, if she tells you that you want no part in her problems, if she swears that she has too much shit in her life to fall in love, you need to fucking believe her. Because it is all true, every word of it. She is a woman so wrapped up in her own shit that she focuses like a laser beam on them making them the very essence of her personality. You will not save her. You cannot fix her. And she will be an absolute tempest of frustration and bitterness until she finds a way to get over her own shit. Yeah, Bella Swan is textbook; farm raised, corn fed cocktease bemoaning her pathetic lot in life. That women identify with her at all troubles me. That she’s the hero of this story is just plain unbelievable.
That’s not to say that I don’t understand the attraction. TWILIGHT is soap opera; neutered soap opera scrubbed clean of indecency to be sure, but soap opera none the less. In the place of the lurid we simply find the supernatural. And Meyer has found a way to turn the dark, shadowy world of the vampire into the pink frilly lace and teddy bears of a little girl’s room, creating a vampire archetype so bad it will stand for generations as an example of how badly classic monsters can be re-invented.
The review I wrote of the first film almost one year ago to the day still stands, and all of its critiques hold true for me for this mangled mess of a movie. Its attempts at creating a mythology are embarrassing at best, clearly lifting from sources that themselves were not the originators while occasionally creating an idea of its own only original for the sake of being so stupid no one else thought to put it in print. The romance is juvenile, over-sentimentalized and never truly shared with the audience and feels more akin to middle school romance than the concept of courtly love it often pretends to evoke. If you felt that Stewart and Pattinson lacked real chemistry before, just wait until you see how little time they spend together in love in this film. Sure there’s a few moment of canoodling meant to be tender, but there is still absolutely no meat to their relationship, no spark. Making matters worse is that when Pattinson leaves the picture for a while, we are treated to a second act that is merely a rehashing of the second act of the first film with a new love interest, complete with very similar lines of dialog and some of the exact same concepts.
There comes a point when you just have to ask yourself: how many supernatural creatures is this girl going to cocktease and have to endure them regaling her with speeches about how they don’t want to hurt her – and by hurt her mean beat the ever loving shit out of her before eating her. Seeing this tired cliché the first time around was understandable. It’s a classic female fantasy. Just as men desire to be the one man to conquer the ice queen, so too do women pine for being the girl to tame the savage beast. But when Bella loses her vampire and begins leading a werewolf around by the dick, you’ve got to wonder what the fuck is wrong with this girl.
And just as that comes to its inevitable conclusion, with Bella once again being the prized pony in the show, her boyfriend re-enters the film and we’re presented with a classic Casablanca problem. Does Bella run off with the dangerous soulless vampire who she is terrified of growing old with (because, really, if you thought Bella wasn’t shallow enough, adding in nightmares about growing old and unattractive with an unaging boyfriend will seal the fucking deal) or remain with the dependable, barrel-chested, good natured guy who has been looking out for her since minute one. Let’s see, dangerous guy, comfortable guy? Dangerous guy? Comfortable guy?
Yeah. By hour four of this terrible series, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Meyer is going to make the wrong choice, and she does it again here. But not before rolling out a series of relationship clichés and a third act with the stunning lack of a climax. Seriously. Two hours and ten minutes and the movie has NO CLIMAX. It just ends, punctuated by one of the most hysterical final lines in cinema history. People about fell out of their seats, laughing at the last moments - even women digging the film. It was so bad friends of mine couldn’t make eye contact with one another without bursting into tears and doubling over.
As a film it is a gawdawful mess that will be forgiven by most as being diet soda for the masses. But as a startlingly BAD movie however, it is immensely entertaining. The wooden, soap opera-esque, Joey Tribiani “Smell My Fart” acting is in full effect, with the stilted dialog achieving Near-Shatnerlike proportions. The pauses are forced and every emotion is overwrought as if this wasn’t a feature film but a high school play starring the prettiest girl in school (while the most talented one has four lines and is directed to be a buffoon - Yes, I’m looking at you Anna Kendrick). Blame the dialog all you want, try to defend it by saying “That’s what they say in the book,”, but these kids can’t handle it and everyone, I mean everyone, comes off as terrible, terrible, terrible.
Then there are moments that seem to either be director Chris Weitz being tongue in cheek, fully aware of what he is doing or so blatantly unaware that it becomes hilariously appalling. When a werewolf discusses his nature by saying that “it isn’t a lifestyle choice” – that he was born the way he is – it would almost be forgivable if he and his four muscle bound buddies weren’t marching around in jean shorts and nothing else. These guys were a Weather Girls song away from being a parade all their own and it is all you can do not to want to take up a collection to buy them all t-shirts. And these moments are far from being alone. If the glittery vampire stuff wasn’t gay enough for you the first time around, this movie almost feels like it is winking at you with how far they take a few of the jokes and leering menace.
Then of course there are the werewolf fights in which wolves that make you want to raise your fist in the air and shout FALCOR! wrestle around in reskinned digital leftovers from the polar bear fight in Weitz’s THE GOLDEN COMPASS. This is perhaps the one glowing, redeemable part of the movie, if only to serve to remind us how far the effects have come from the first film. And by far I mean to say that they are now simply lacking, not mind boggling in its ineptitude.
But what are you gonna do, right? It’s the new glitter encrusted Myspace page. The new power ballad playing hair band. The new Jelly Shoes. It is that embarrassing trend that women will look back on ten years from now and blush. For the time being we have to endure it and hope that some good comes out of it. Recently I gasped and gnashed my teeth with the rest of fandom as NEAR DARK (a film I actually referenced in my initial TWILIGHT review) was rereleased with very TWILIGHT inspired box art. And I was kind of shocked until I started enjoying the idea of young vampire loving geek girls seeing what a really good vampire movie looked like. If it leaves us with some genre loving nerd girls, I can endure two more potentially shitty movies. But only two. This is pretty god damned ridiculous as is; I can’t imagine how it could get much worse.
If you see this, see it with beer or with promise of sex afterward. Just don’t let her lather up your dong in body glitter. You have to draw the line somewhere.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.