Repeating my sophomore year of high school for 12 straight yearshas pretty well inured me to ever feeling out of place, but once in awhile I still feel like I've stumbled into the wrong theater.
Twilight isn't exactly my cup of tea. The very thought of a17-year-old girl falling helplessly in love with a 109-year-old manfills me with a deep and enduring sense of jealousy. I mean,wrongness. Definitely wrongness.
But I watch tons of things I'm not especially interested in, like myboss complaining to me about roasting suckling pigs under my desk, orthe insides of my eyelids for eight hours a night.
I think it's morethat, whatever I might think of it, The Twilight Saga hasevoked such excitement you can almost feel it in the theater -- and I'mnot a part of that. I'm just some lone, badly-shaved guy who'sconstantly dropping my hands to my lap (I'm taking notes!) during thehotbodied teen vampire event that is The Twilight Saga: NewMoon.
Kristen Stewart's another year older, but vampire boyfriend RobertPattinson and his family haven't aged a day -- and the town's startingto notice. It's time for them to move along, but Pattinson can't takeStewart with him, because she's in danger every moment she spendsaround his blood-tempted family.
Heartbroken, Stewart finds solace in her friendship with TaylorLautner. Lautner's interested in being more than friends, but his darksecret threatens to drive him away from Stewart completely.
Who will Stewart choose? The buff old friend who's good with his handsand just likes spending time with her? Or the brooding, sparkly,suicide-prone headcase who thinks she can't take care of herself,refuses to respect her desires, and leaves her forever because heknows what's best?
Find out all that and more in New Moon, the ongoing story ofparanormal assholes and the women who love them.
As the second installment in the series, it's brisker than theslow-as-a-decaying-sloth Twilight, and features some welcomedevelopment for Stewart, who spent the whole first movie beingdisgracefully worthless. In the months after Pattinson leaves her, shetransforms from a helpless lump of meat into a helpless lump of meatwith terrible, terrible judgment whose only sense of self-worth comesfrom whatever man she's currently attached to.
When she's not passing out lovesick in the forest (she spends moretime in the woods than Smokey the Bear), she's hopping on themotorcycles of drunken quasi-rapists or diving off eighty-foot cliffsinto pounding waves. Perversely, this is all supposed to be swooninglyromantic: see, Stewart gets delusional ghost-visions of Pattinsonwhenever she does something fatally stupid, so if repeatedly riskingher life is the only way she can see that condescending prick, thenrepeatedly risk her life she must.
This is about as healthy as napping in an industrial sausage-grinder,but as the only love I've ever felt, ironically enough, is for mydaily box of Count Chocula, I probably have no room to judge.
New Moon has other problems besides its horrifyingly insaneperspective on romance. Director Chris Weitz does a decent jobspinning the plates of the saga's expanding universe, but it's sojammed with worldbuilding and plot developments its two-hour runtimefeels both too short and too long. New melodrama pops up with regularand jarring abruptness; its biggest scenes are frustratinglycompressed, robbed of tension by the need to cover some 600 pages ofadapted material.
Not only that, but its supposed love triangle also is a cheating cheater,and not in the fun way where one leg of the triangle cries while theother two get naked together. Coincidence prevents Lautner fromkissing Stewart about 12,000 different times. Thank goodnessher oral purity's been preserved! Now she can still wear white at herwedding.
Without facing any real threat to her love for Pattinson, just whatare we supposed to be caught up in? New Moon is a holdingpattern and a shell game. It's an improvement over Twilight,but after two hours spent with jerks being jerks to other jerks, I'mglad I don't have problems like these.