"Violent delights have violent ends": a pictorial primer on The Twilight Saga: New Moon

See the Volvo XC60 SUV.
It appears prominently in The Twilight Saga: New Moon,
because Edward Cullen drives it to his high school.
According to the ad, "There's more to life than a Volvo,
that's why you drive one," especially if you are a vampire.

This is Bella Swan.
Bella has a hard time in New Moon,
because her two boyfriends dump her repeatedly
due to their various monster agendas.
This makes Bella sad.
Sad, sad, sad,
and so she mopes,
mopes, mopes, mopes
through much of the movie.

See Jacob Black.
Jacob likes Bella, but he finds it hard
to compete with Edward,
so he works out
and fixes motorcycles to pass the time
as Bella mopes.

It's not that Kristen Stewart can't act.
It's that she's
constantly emoting,
constantly obsessing
over Edward,
Edward, Edward, Edward,
as the opportunistic bands
play mope rock on the soundtrack.
She has no life
beyond her fixation on him,
another pitiful human
always harping on her desire
to transform herself into a vampire.

Jacob doesn't have much of a character
that I could see (I guess I'm not on team Jacob),
so he makes up for it by looking buff
and turning into a wolf when needed.

Not this kind of wolf.
An ordinary wolf would not be exceptional enough,
but that becomes the problem with New Moon.
Bella increasingly gets surrounded
with the exceptional and the special.
After awhile, the exceptional becomes banal.

See Jacob transformed into big, mean
computer-generated werewolf.
See the werewolf snarl.
Snarl, snarl, snarl.
Instead of carrying maidens off
or rampaging around on their own time,
as werewolves used to do,
these werewolves have a mission
to protect the little people
of Forks, Washington.
That makes Jacob noble, but also dull,
even with his shirt off.

After much teenage angst,
Angst, angst, angst,
(spoiler alert)
Edward attempts suicide
by walking all sparkle motion
into the sunlight in Italy
where humans can see him.
Why does he attempt suicide?
Because he thinks Bella is dead?
Why would he think so?
Because he wants to make an allusion
to Romeo and Juliet?
Or because he too wants to look like
an Abercrombie and Fitch model?
I would probably know
if I had read the novel by Stephanie Meyer.

Anyway, we get to meet
the Volturi gang of head honcho vampires
which mostly consists of Michael Sheen
bulging his eyes
and Dakota Fanning
appealing to the tween market
in a neoclassical room
with some classy Latin phrases
carved in the stone walls.

Ultimately, Edward had no
real good reason to leave Bella after all,
saying "I couldn't live in a world
in which you didn't exist."
Fortunately, Bella does exist!
I kept expecting him to say,
"I'm a fat-headed guy full of pain.
It tore me up not having you."
But that was Cary Grant's character
who said that in Hitchcock's Notorious.

With Bella and Edward reunited on the screen,
all of the millions of Twilight fans are happy.

And Bella and Edward can run through the woods.
Run, run, run,
without the grunge flannel,
without the Abercrombie and Fitch shirtless torso look,
and without the dull mope rock of opportunistic bands.
Now they can run and smile
in their Banana Republic clothes.


Richard Bellamy said…
This is hilarious. I love your pictorial primers. Yes, indeed, the fans were happy that they got together again but, of course, they knew that because they've read the books zillions of times. When Bella runs to save Ed from exposing himself, the girl next to me squealed tensely, "Run, Bella, run. Oh, God, run." I nudged her and said, "But you KNOW what happens!"

I was given a free ticket to see it at 12:01 on the AM OF 11/20 (new moon in the sky, did you see it?) and I ended up seeing it then with a group of 9th grade fans. It was the movie experience of the year.
And I was SO in the in-crowd next day at school.
Richard Bellamy said…
I mean, THAT day at school. Yawn!
Thanks, Hokahey. I went to see the movie on a Saturday morning, and noticed that, instead of the usual one or two patrons, the large theater was packed with females. It seemed like a scene of mass hypnosis.
Craig said…
Thanks for this; it saves me the burden of having to see it. That final image of Stewart and Whatshisface frolicking through the woods looks like a Victorian period piece if directed by Jane Campion. (Oh, wait....) Or a Jane Austen foray into the horror genre: Vamp & Vampibility.
Yes, my jaw dropped when that scene (from the future) appeared late in the movie. All of the grunge fashion left me thinking of Cher in Clueless saying "So, the flannel shirt deal . . . is that a nod to the crispy Seattle weather or are you just trying to stay warm in front of the refrigerator?" But when Bella and Ed start cavorting in the woods in lighter-hued preppy duds, it was almost too much.
Sam Juliano said…
You are one creative guy Film Dr. This piece deserves to be seen by all film lovers, especiallythose like me who are still crying in their soup that they wasted over two hours witnessing this drivel. But I better not let my 13 year-old daughter Melanie, who loves Rob Pattinson to see me writing this. In fact both of my girls loved it along with my wife) while the boys were bored.
Thanks, Sam. I'm still brooding about the poor fashion choices and musical selections of the movie. Cut-off jean shorts and running shoes? Jacob and his gang looked like a bunch of mini-me Incredible Hulks. Director Chris Weitz seemed to throw in indie songs randomly. I did like the way he lifted the circling-camera-to-show-time- passing device from Scorsese's The Age of Innocence. When Bella gets sad, the camera tends to twirl.