Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Ghoul Versus The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Part 1)

Previously on The Twilight Saga: Twilight...

Human mannequin Bella Swan falls in lust with psychopathic vampire Edward Cullen. She wants him to make her a vampire so they can be together forever, but he refuses because she's a psycho hose beast that makes HIM look tame by comparison. Also, they kill a rival vampire named James and his girlfriend Victoria vows revenge. Wow, it took them two hours to tell that story.

Like I said in the last review, the first Twilight was a huge smash and the second it was done Summit Entertainment got to work on turning the second book of the series into their next blockbuster film. Director of the first film Catherine Hardwicke had to drop out due to “timing conflicts”, so they brought in Chris Weitz to helm the project. A baffling choice, as Chris Weitz was fresh off the HORRIBLE book adaption of The Golden Compass, something I can never understate how WRONG it was. A review might be forthcoming, but then that'd require having to watch that again so I'm torn.

But it didn't seem to matter as New Moon ended up being an even BIGGER hit than Twilight and nearly DOUBLED its worldwide gross at a jaw-dropping $700 million dollars. That means this one HAS to be good, right? The answer shall be revealed as it's for A Ghoul Versus The Twilight Saga: New Moon!

The film opens with Bella running through a large group of red cloaked figures- no wait, I must have been seeing things. The film REALLY opens with Bella running through a forest as she comes upon a clearing, where she finds her grandmother. Edwards appears out of nowhere, so Bella takes him over to her grandmother to introduce him. Or that's not right either, Bella WAS her grandmother the entire time- you know what? Fuck it, Bella's having a stupid dream about getting old while Edward stays the same age.

Bella wakes up to her 18th birthday, Charlie bringing her presents of a camera and a photo album. Later she goes to school, where she meets up with Edward who has never met a slow motion entrance he didn't like. Sigh... nice to know Weitz is going to continue using all the cliches the previous film abused.  Edward looks like he's in pain almost the entire movie which is VERY apt whenever he's next to Bella.I read an interview where he says the contacts he wore were very uncomfortable so that could be it, but likely he's just doing his trademark trolling of the series.

He wishes her a happy birthday, but she's not at all happy because technically she is now a year older than him. He reminds her he's ACTUALLY 109 years old, which made him 108 and dating a 17 year old girl in the first movie but let's not dwell on that.  Bella quips that maybe she shouldn't be dating such an old man, and that is LITERALLY more personality than she displayed in the entire two hours of the first film, so we're off to a decent start here. Aaaaaaand that goes right out the window as Jacob Black shows up. Upgraded from five minutes in the first film to co-star, everything's coming up Jakey!

He outright flirts with Bella in front of Edward as the hostility between our two male leads has been ramped up already from the first movie. Alice shows up to give Bella her present and invite her to a party, our “heroine” reluctantly agreeing to come. The movie immediately sets it's tone as Bella chastises Jasper for using his mood control powers on her... waitaminute. When was it established that Jasper had mood control powers? Oh right, they forgot to mention that in the first film because they were too busy concentrating on the intricate Bella/Edward romance.

Bella and Edward go to English class, where they discuss Romeo and Juliet. I am ABSOLUTELY and POSITIVELY sure that this movie will in no way try to emulate that classic work, and that this is just a throwaway scene to kill time. Edward tells Bella he is envious that they're able to... commit suicide? Oh... kay, Bella's personality increased, check. Character's behaving a little more like humans and not robots, check. Edward's rampant psychopathic behaviour increased, DOUBLE CHECK.

We learn it's nearly impossible for vampires to die, as Edward discusses his plan of committing suicide if he couldn't save Bella at the end of the last movie. Jesus... this is entertainment for the highly coveted young adult demographic?! He meant to journey to Italy and piss off the Volturi, who are like the Elite Rulers of all vampire kind of something to that effect. They enforce the few laws that govern all of vampirekind, the biggest rule don't out yourself to the humans.

Bella attends her birthday party at the Cullen's later that evening as we learn Rosalie is still a total bitch towards her. But this is still ULTRA justified as Bella cuts her finger opening a present, the scent of her blood setting Jasper off. He runs at her with murder in his eyes, Edward making the SUPERWISE decision to throw Bella into some shelves at full force, breaking a ton of glass and cutting her to expose even more blood.

Carlisle takes Bella to his office to stitch her up, where he discusses his beliefs how all vampires are damned without their souls. Bella makes this all about HER as she realizes this is the reason Edward won't change her, that he doesn't want to take away her soul.  Edward drives Bella home as she continues begging him to turn her. They tell each other how much they love each other with all the emotion of a school cafeteria cook announcing the lunch menu and he leaves.

The next day she comes home from school to find Edward waiting for her, the vampire leading her into the nearby forest. Ooh, maybe he's going to kill her and save me two hours of what almost certainly is going to be boredom? No such luck, he announces the Cullens are leaving Forks. Bella says if this was about the Jasper thing it's no big, but Edward says he doesn't want Bella and that she's bad for him.

Bella, displaying all the intelligence of dirt, starts getting all hurt and upset despite the fact she pulled THE EXACT SAME PLOY ON CHARLIE IN THE LAST MOVIE! Sadly Bella doesn't go berserk and start slashing her wrists, but she just kind of stands their sniffling as he leaves. Before he does though, he warns her not to do anything reckless. He neglects to mention what to do if Victoria, whom they were JUST discussing, shows up for revenge which I think is a sure sign he secretly wants Bella dead. Right on Edward!

She finally decides to try to find him but of course gets lost in the woods because she's TOTES HELPLESS WITHOUT HER BIG STRONG MAN! This realization sinks in so she just curls up on the ground to die like an animal because... why not? If your boyfriend leaves you that means you have NOTHING TO LIVE FOR. Remember that teenage girls of the world. We're not even half an hour in and this movie has already completely fallen apart from stupidity.

Unfortunately she wakes up to a giant shirtless man carrying her, which is probably the worst way in the world to wake up. He brings her to Charlie and his friends, who have been canvassing the woods searching for her.  A title card tells us it's now October as we get a panning shot of Bella staring out the window of her bedroom. The camera spins around her as I check the back of the blu-ray to make SURE Catherine Hardwicke didn't direct this. Damn am I losing the respect for Chris Weitz that I never had in the first place!

When the camera completes one full turn it's now November... to December and Jesus is she just sitting in that chair the entire time?! That room has to smell SO BAD about now! Oh I guess she does other things, like email Alice (who never answers but Bella emails daily anyway) about Edward with classic lines such as: “the absence of him is everywhere I look”. This is going to be a looooooooooooooong movie.

We see she also likes to sit on her couch for hours on end and spend every night screaming at the top of her lungs in her sleep. We see Charlie just putting up with all of this, because he's a movie dad and they're all worthless as SHIT. Like he NEVER once tried to get her psychiatric help?

But it turns out even he has his breaking point, because after THREE MONTHS of this bullshit he announces he's sending her to Jacksonville to live with her mother. She protests, saying she doesn't want to leave her friends. When he points out she never sees her friends, she schedules an impromptu shopping spree with Jessica.  They go out, walking down the street as a bunch of bikers offer them “a ride”. This triggers a flashback in Bella to the gang rapists from the first movie, which then triggers a spectral image of EDWARD who tells her to “Keep walking. This is dangerous.”. Oh good, our heroine is hallucinating now. Did I mention this was going to be a long movie yet?

Edward fades into Jessica, who wants to GTFO. Not Bella though, she starts WALKING towards the bikers cos she's hyper intelligent like that. Edwards appears again to try to stop her, but this just makes her face ALMOST make that thing she's really really bad at... simile? Yeah, I think it's called simile.  She hops on one of the creep's bikes as she talks to her hallucination and can you believe two people wrote this scene twice? Stephenie Meyer the first time and then Melissa Rosenberg the second, and NO ONE stopped them either time. Incredible!

As they ride Bella sees Edward again and this time she freaks out, so the biker takes her back to Jessica. You KNOW you're a hot mess when even a scumbag biker won't have anything to do with you! Jessica calls out Bella for being insane and suicidal, but all Bella can say is “that was such a rush!”. Huh, remember in the last review I talked about the original plan was for Bella to be a flashy hip-hop loving track star? Looks like that idea didn't completely die!

Narrating another failed email to Alice where she's all “Maybe I'm crazy now, but that's totes okay!”, Bella heads to Jacob's house for her next adrenaline rush which will in turn allow her to see Eddie boy again. She's brought him two old bikes she found at the scrap yard, wondering if he'll help her do the mega expensive repairs to get them up and running.

And there we have it, the plot of Twilight: New Moon. Our “heroine” completely uses and abuses the trust of her oldest friend as well as playing with his heart and emotions just so he'll spend all of his time and money to help her build some bikes. She'll in turn use these to risk death just so she can see a HALLUCINATION of a guy she's dangerously obsessed with. That is literally it. This marks the TRUE origin of the Bella Swan we've all come to know and hate.

The film launches into a “fixing” montage that never gets off the ground as Bella turns the radio off. When Jacob asks why she did that she tells him “I don't really like music anymore”, because Bella is incapable of having more than one interest at a time. SHE'S SO DEEP!  They end up doing a montage anyway, as Bella keeps using Jacob into getting those bikes while she narrates that he's helping “heal the Edward sized hole in her chest”. Not all the way though, as she is STILL having the freaking wake up screaming nightmares. GOOD GOD get this girl on some medication already!

Charlie, who probably hasn't had a good night's sleep since Edward left, tries to console her. However things quickly take a turn as he says “Sometimes you gotta learn to love what's good for you”, referring to Jacob. THERE'S a positive message from Stephenie Meyer: LEARN TO SETTLE. There's still three more of these movies?!

The next day Bella and Jacob are driving along, Jacob FINALLY starting to wonder if Bella isn't just using him to get the bikes fixed. Since she's becoming quite the master manipulator already, she quickly assures him she's not and throws in some sweet talk. She notices the shirtless man from earlier, Sam, and three of his other shirtless friends seemingly fighting near a cliff.

Jacob informs her they're not fighting but going cliff diving, which he describes as “Scary as hell, but a total rush”. Bella's ears perk up and a giant cartoon light bulb goes off over her head as she files this information away from later. The film tries to do some of that pesky story stuff as Jacob reveals he doesn't like Sam, comparing him to a cult leader. Just as quickly it gets back to the ULTRA CAPTIVATING bike riding to see Edward plot as Bella keeps paying attention to her hallucinations and ends up crashing into a rock.

WHEW! That was an absolutely epic ending for that plot, cue the cred- oh. She's still alive. However she has a huge gash on her head which she apologizes for, but Jacob doesn't care. OH! He's not concerned when she gets cut open unlike a certain someone else, I get it! They're doing a thing!  Jacob takes off his shirt to reveal his “I Make The Guys From 300 Look Like Fat Slobs” body, using it to staunch the wound on Bella's head. Why bother? It's not like anything got hurt in there!

Back at school Bella sits with her friends during lunch, as she's spent the last three months sitting away in isolation. Mike, who's broken up with Jessica, asks Bella out to a movie right in front of Jessica. They never show a reaction shot of Jessica being pissed over this, but then I guess that'd be too much like three dimensional movie making.

At the movies we find Bella has invited Jacob along as well, much to Mike's extreme displeasure. This is easily the best scene in the entire movie though, as Jacob and Mike have a quite funny back and forth between them. There's also a funny part in the theater where Bella sits between the two, noticing each has their open hand on her armrest hoping she'll put her hand in theirs. They screw it all up by having Jacob confront Bella over his feelings for her, and we get all kinds of boring melodrama. Thankfully though Jacob gets sick during this, breaking out into a fever and rushing off.

Another montage takes us across days as Bella repeatedly calls Jacob to see if he's okay, but he never answers. She finally drives out to see him, and boy has he changed as he now looks like a professional wrestler.

She starts yelling at him for not answering her, but he simply tells her to “go away”. She asks if Sam's gotten a hold of him, but he now defends Sam and say he's trying to help him. He says if she wants someone to blame for what's going on she should blame the “filthy bloodsuckers” the Cullens. This is terrible, by the way. Taylor Lautner is not a very good actor, but before his transformation he was at least cheery and pleasant. Now that he's one of the Shirtless he talks like an angry tough guy, which he cannot pull off AT ALL. Every line he says now makes me want to cringe or laugh... crinugh? Launge?  Actually let's go with “stab icepicks in my ears”. Listen to this shit:

“Look Bella, we can't be friends anymore.”
“Look Jake, I know that I've been... hurting you. It's killing me. It kills me. I just need... maybe give me, like, some time or something-”
“Look, don't. It's not you.”
“It's not you, it's me right? Really?”
“It's true. It is me. I'm not... good. I used to be a good kid. Not anymore.”

Did he get nominated for a Razzie for his acting? Hold on... nominated for “Worst Screen Couple”, I guess that'll have to do. What Jacob doesn't know is he just said all the RIGHT things to Bella, who ADORES her psychos who warn her they're bad and to stay away from them. She channels her own inner psycho, telling Jacob that he CAN'T break up with her in the same terrifying voice she used at the end of the first movie.

Click here for Part 2!