I have a dirty little secret. I am 32 years old, and I have read the Twilight book series (all of them) and watched the movies. Now, I have a semi-excuse. I am a young adult librarian and service to teens is my first priority. This means I am supposed to know what teens enjoy so that I can use that knowledge to develop programs for them at the library. However, while this explains why I might have read a couple of the books, it doesn't explain why I chose to go see the New Moon movie at midnight this morning.
It was a last minute decision. I didn't have to work today so I thought, why not? Usually the big midnight releases are on Tuesday nights and I have to work in the morning. Plus I happen to live right down the street from a really cool community movie theater. It is quieter than the big cineplexes. I had no trouble getting a ticket at the last minute or finding a seat. They serve freshly popped popcorn, which yes, is a anomaly in the movie theater business.
So here's my reaction to the movie, and I'll attempt to do this without spoilers. Of course, it's pretty hard to spoil this movie when everyone knows the story for the most part.
The Good: The best parts of this movie are when Bella is alone or with Jacob. Their chemistry is real. And why wouldn't it be? Have you seen those abs? Little Jacob looks GOOD in this movie. The man-boy has a temperature of 140 degrees, and I am always cold. And when Bella is Edward-less, Kristen Stewart gives a fragile and sincere performance. I felt the wall she built around herself, and I felt it tumble as Jacob's warmth melts it away. I am on Team Jacob, but no one can deny that Bella and Jacob had a better connection in this movie. Maybe it's because Edward hardly shows up, but it's pretty obvious.
Okay, yes, there are some very cheesy parts in Taylor Lautner's Jacob performance. Couldn't they get him a better wig? But he did what this part required, he looked good (I read today that he had given up ice cream, poor guy) and he had a good combination of anger and brokenness to pull Jacob off. And he loses the wig halfway through.
I also have to say the soundtrack is outstanding. Some great songs, and maybe without the songs I wouldn't have enjoyed the movie so much. The right song can cover up many flaws in a film. I found links to the songs on youtube that were especially good. Hearing Damage by Thom Yorke played over a chase scene, and gave the moment an ethereal quality. The next one was Possibility by Lykke Li, which plays during a rather sad moment in the film. This singer reminds me so much of Julee Cruise (turn this one up, it has a great dance to it, too) who sang many of the tracks off of the Twin Peaks TV series soundtrack. Maybe not the exact sound or timbre, but just the feeling of despair you feel when listening to the songs.
The Bad: The vampires all look TERRIBLE in this movie. At the beginning scenes, Edward looks all right. But the vampires do not look good. I think in general, they have done a horrible job making these vampires look good. Most of the actors are attractive, but the makeup is so bad. They are all pale and frigid looking. The vampires are supposed to be alluring, but it didn't work out that way. When we first see Edward after a long absence, we are comparing him in our minds with the muscular, tan, warm person of Jacob. And Edward and Bella together have no chemistry. They had some in the first movie, but it's gone. Bella doesn't even seem to like Edward's company. And Edward looks constipated the whole time.
Go Team Jacob!
I would say if you are a fan of these books and this concept, you should see the movie. If you have no interest in this series, the movies are not for you. What I want to know is, will it get better or worse? As a Jacob fan, I know I am going to hate the last movie, but the third one could be the best.