20 November 2009

New Moon: if you're Beth and Katharine you shouldn't read this until Tuesday!

This might have spoilers so you're forewarned.

My interest in the Twilight books and movie adaptations has diminished over time but I do have a friend or two (*cough* Jackie and Michelle *cough*) who LOVE the series...so I went to the midnight premiere of New Moon (at the loathed Marcus Theatres, as if I have any choice in venue).  They started seating at around 10:30 which made it less of a crazy mess unlike The Dark Knight release where they seated late and delayed for over half an hour while people went to the concession stand.  Aside from the insane squeakings of tweeners/teens in the audience it was pretty low key.

But the movie...I really can't get excited about it and I'm pretty "meh" about it overall.  There are vast improvements over Twilight.  The make-up was 10,000 times better because Carlisle (Peter Facinelli) no longer looks like Data from Star Trek:The Next Generation (thank you, because it was laughable during close-ups in Twilight) and all the make-up effects in general looked far better.  Ditto on the special effects (see what happens when you actually SPEND MONEY on them?).  The cinematography also improved with some beautiful tracking shots including a spinning camera effect that really does mirror Bella's sense of helplessness (bravo to the DP); it's also very 3-Desque so if you're prone to motion-sickness the shot gives a sense of vertigo but it looks great.

On the other hand, the acting is verging on the deplorable.  Graham Greene, a wonderful actor, is given absolutely NOTHING to do except stand around with a hang-dog expression - he's almost relegated to side-kick status and I didn't get that feeling for his character (Harry Clearwater) in the book.  Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, for all their hype, convey emotion by looking down to the right and squinting - is that anger? love? pain? what?  Kristen Stewart doesn't do much for me...I don't feel her character has presence on the screen.  The four high school kids are really two-dimensional (especially Jessica) and, in the case of Mike, look older than me (and I couldn't pass for high school).  The real actors finally made an appearance in Volterra (thank God, because I was reduced to Tweeting how bored I was).  Michael Sheen plays what is essentially a stock villain but he does Aro so well and Dakota Fanning, well, her ability to play creepy children really pays off in the role of Jane.  Out of all the characters and elements, the Volturi are the ones who I most look forward to seeing in the last two movies; that doesn't speak well for the rest of the bunch.

I would be less a curmudgeon about the Twilight adaptations if I didn't have to sit in a theatre with tweeners who experience orgasm when Taylor Lautner takes off his shirt (which is a lot).  It's almost like the director is trying to distract from a thin script and mediocre actors with some skin...which is a lot like porn.  Scary.  Any which way I cut it, I have two movies left in the series to endure with screaming tweens; I am actually looking forward to Eclipse* and I expect quite a lot out of the battle sequence with the baby vampires and werewolves but I'm probably going to have issues with Breaking Dawn since there were plot elements in that one I thought were garbage.

And now for some previews!
1.  It's Complicated - kinda cute-looking Nancy Meyers film starring Meryl Streep (drool) and Alec Baldwin (used to like him) as a divorced couple who start having an affair with each other
2.  Dear John - adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name *puke* with Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried; I will not see this
3.  Sherlock Holmes - gotta tell ya, I was pretty on the fence about this one (particularly Robert Downey, Jr., as my favorite Victorian detective), but this is the third and longest preview I've seen....they got me,  I will watch this
4.  Letters to Juliet - romantic comedy (?comedy) about a lost love-letter starring Vanessa Redgrave and Amanda Seyfried; this looks like a good box-of-tissues movie

And then we saw a stupid Dt Pepsi commercial that isn't funny on TV (because I've seen it a million times) but all the tweens laughed; the adults didn't.

*New Moon was actually my least favorite of the four Twilight books as far as storyline, being very much a bridging book

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