Monday, March 22, 2010

Cinematic Torture: Live-blogging "Twilight: New Moon"

While I've got all this free time during the day (well, to be fair I'm still pretty busy even as a self-employed, loutish writer - but there are a few chunks of nothing-to-do to be had), I figured I'd pick a completely unnecessary project and roll with it for awhile.

On Thursday of this week, I'll be doing an actual live-blog of my first ever viewing of Gore Vidal's 1979 X-rated Roman romp, "Caligula." You can follow along as my brain either melts or I start to get ideas about blood orgies. Could go either way.

To get this Cinematic Torture project going, though, I've decided to start with some even lower hanging fruit. I'm also blogging this on Friday and posting it after the fact on Monday, so it's not really "live" but I'm sure you'll be able to see the progression (or regression?) of my mental state as we go along here. Consider this the test case for the main event.


Twilight: New Moon (2009)

You can follow along via your own copy of the movie (admit it), or get ye to Netflix to stream/rent it. Or you can skip my commentary entirely and check out the sure-to-be-superior Rifftrax version. Also be sure to read the Ultra-Condensed Movies synopsis, which is hilarious.

4:22pm It may be important to note as we start things that I have never read a single sentence of the Twilight books. I did see the first movie, almost by accident, and thought that it was a relatively pretty but soulless piece of filler that misused an otherwise reasonably talented director and cast.

4:25 Hey, that's a full moon, not a new moon. Do some damn research peop...oh I see what you did there.

4:26 Oh snap! Bella's running into the middle of an Eyes Wide Shut style orgy. But then it's all flowers and shit? But hey, Sparkle Vampire's here now. Seriously, what's with the diamond skin business? It's fine to make up your own, unique vampire mythology I guess but this just seems silly.

4:28: I'm distracted by Kristen Stewart's attractiveness. Which in turn makes me feel like an old creep. Which I am, so there's that.

4:30 This bit in the parking lot is pretty high school accurate. I seem to remember lots of dry humping and gross PDAs. And there's the famous dreamcatcher. Jacob's really trying to turn Bella into a lesbian, I guess.

4:34 They're watching "Romeo & Juliet" in class. Subtle. (side note: I remember watching the 1968 version of the movie--which is what I think they're watching here--in class sophomore year, but the teacher insisted on standing in front of the screen when the scene with boobs in it came on. Buzz kill.)

4:37 "Bella, the only thing that can hurt me is you." I think I read that same line in a pamphlet about warning signs of domestic mental abuse. This statement is followed up by a way overkill shove that sends her flying into a table. Well done! That wasn't messed up at all.

4:43 That is a kickin' old truck Bella drives, though.

4:44 And then he jizzed. In. His pants. (Seriously, all that noise from a short kiss? I thought he said he wasn't actually a 17-year-old boy)

4:48 "Bella, I don't want you to come." Again with the mental abuse and control! That's just cruel. But it does explain his refusal to do more than give her a half-assed kiss.

4:54: Someone should be sure to turn Bella every so often if she's just gonna sit in that chair for month's on end. Poor thing's gonna get bed (chair?) sores. She also appears not to be changing clothes. Doesn't her dad at least notice the stench? Oh lord this is so damn emo.

4:57 "Don't be so pleased with your self-reverential cleverness." Hello, movie? Are you listening to yourself?

5:01 This whole "if I do something dangerous I totally see Sparkle Boy" set-up has to be the most convoluted plot line since...well...almost anything in a David Lynch movie. Only Lynch movies are generally, y'know, good.

5:04 I hope Jacob's actually teaching her something about building bikes as they go. This whole process would be incredibly dull for her otherwise.

5:10 Oh man, everyone knows girls can't ride motorcycles. This is a terrible idea. Of course, it might help her concentration if Glitter Pants wasn't manifesting himself every few feet as she goes. Also has no one heard of helmets in this world? Aaaand the shirt comes off. Nicely played, Jacob, nicely played.

5:14 Guns and adrenaline?! That's totally my thing, too! No way. Me and Bella, so much in common. Also can someone actually make a movie called "Face Punch" please? It would pretty much have to be better than this flick. Also also, real subtle with the proffered hands, guys. THIS FILM IS SO SUBTLE I CAN BARELY SEE IT.

5:20 Graham Greene, you're better than this.

5:23 Taylor Lautner is certainly a good looking kid, but I still don't get why they couldn't have cast an actual First Nation's actor in the role (Lautner claims to have something like a thimble-full in his ancestry, but really, it's not like there are a ton of roles for honest-to-goodness Native Americans in major movie projects. Raw deal).

5:27 All right! Finally, what this movie has been missing. Bad CG wolves.

5:33 This bedroom scene is just one extended excuse to have Lautner wander around topless for awhile. I can appreciate that. Honestly if that was the whole movie, no dialog, this might be easier to sit through.

5:39 Wolfmen love muffins (and one of them even has the muffin tops to prove it)! Who knew? Also apparently a flippant "Sorry" is enough to be forgiven for going into a rage, turning into a wolf, and attacking a girl for no very good reason.

5:44 So far the music is the best thing about this movie.

5:46 Yes! Dive into the waves, Bella! The cold, dark, end-of-this-movie waves! Oh who am I kidding, I know there are two more of these damn things to come.

5:50 Man, this really is just one giant "Men are animals but women should lust after the abusive ones anyway" fable, isn't it?

5:59 Why is everyone so concerned about Charlie? I didn't think this was a Vietnam War flick. (sorry, sorry, had to)

6:02 Yay, we're back at the Eyes Wide Shut parade! Apparently these people are idiots, though, all celebrating the expulsion of vampires from their city when apparently the most powerful ruling family of vampires still lives there and shit.

6:05 Stupidest reunion ever. And why does Bella keep staring at everyone's chins? Eye contact, woman! Try it some time.

6:08 Oh hi Dakota Fanning. Later you and Bella are totally going to make out.

6:10 Mind reader fancy vamp thinks him not being able to read Bella is her power, but it could simply be that there's nothing in there. Just sayin'. Now why's everyone always gotta be fighting in slow motion? I thought vampires were all fast and stuff.

6:16 OMG BELLA'S GONNA BE A VAMPIRE. I would have never seen that coming. At least then she can be super mopey and emo in good company. Forever.

6:20 And we're back to the controlling abuser talk. "Can you forgive me? I hope so, because I honestly don't think I can live without you." Textbook, dude. Textbook.

6:25 Edward would like to thank Jacob for carrying the movie with his epic shirtlessness.

6:27 I can see why everyone is so in love with Bella. Indecisive, whiny, pouty, vaguely suicidal. I mean, what's not to love?

OK at this point it's just a lot of Edward begging her not to become a vampire and Bella pretty much not giving him a choice. Pouting. Hair touching. Longing glances. Oh and him saying that he has one condition for turning her, which is that she marry him. To which she gasps. OK I'm officially headed to the bathroom to throw up now.

Man, I felt like I've needed to sit through these movies just so I wouldn't be completely in the dark about one of the biggest cultural zeitgeists of our day - but now I kind of wish I hadn't. I've read/seen some terrible stories in my day and this one is right up there with the very worst. I'm fairly certain teenage me would have felt the same way. But to each their own, I guess. I'll stick with my vampires who actually have sex outside of marriage and female characters that display basic competency, thanks.


Emily said...

My friend Michelle points out this hilarious rewrite of the first movie's script, for your edification.

T.A. Schwarze said...

If you think the movie is terrible, try reading anything Stephanie Meyer has written. You have to wonder if she stopped listening to her composition instructors in high school. If you want to laugh, cry, and partially vomit, read Breaking Dawn. I'd honestly like to see that made into a movie, but only if it follows the book scene for scene.

Emily said...

I've been told that even some of the Twihards have a hard time with "Breaking Dawn," which is saying something.

Rumor has it they're trying to find an Oscar winning or Oscar nominated director to handle that movie, which I take to mean even they realize the book is completely absurd and needs a more interpretive treatment. Which is a shame, because I suspect a faithful adaptation would be pretty wildly entertaining/awful.

Anonymous said...

Just because it's popular or what everyone is talking about doesn't mean you have to subject yourself to it. Unless, you really like it deep down. You don't have to be conversational in it. Really...being a cultural hermit is FUN! Now get off my lawn...

/Hate to this day "Total Eclipse Of The Heart"
//Can still hum it
///Turn around bright eyes

NewMoon Online said...

Was the movie really that bad. Just watch part of it, and so at least you can follow conversation.

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