Last night I pulled on my t-shirt emblazoned with the Cullen family crest, snapped on my Team Edward pin and prepared my stomach for an onslaught of Skittles, Twizzlers and popcorn. The evening had finally arrived – I was one of the hoards of screaming fangirls at the midnight showing of New Moon </girl squeel>. And in case you have limited time and need to stop reading here – it was totally worth it. All those Rotten Tomatoes folks are probably just a bunch of dudes who have been emotionally abandoned because of Edward of something…
Before getting too far into the awesomeness that is the second movie installment in the Twilight Saga, I want to explain that I love THE STORY (period). Even Stephenie Meyer herself admits that the writing and the story arcs in her series could use some work. But the story itself – borrowing from such classics as Wuthering Heights, Romeo and Juliet and paying homage to Jane Austen throughout and giving them all a fantasy/emo twist – has really gripped me and hasn’t let me go. The simplicity (hey it *is* Y.A.) makes it a quick read, and the parts that really bother me are easy enough to gloss over, so I have read all of the books at least twice – something I have only ever done before (outside of required revisits of classics for college courses) with The Great Gatsby, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
While I loved the first Twilight movie (who wouldn’t love seeing their fictional vampire boyfriend brought to life?), until the movie gets past the meadow scene I find myself uncomfortably laughing and cringing in my seat. The first movie was truly a case where the director and screenwriter were obviously torn – they tried to stay “true to the book” at the expense of the movie and it ended up almost killing the thing – plus the special effects blew, and Edward’s turmoil came across less as emotional and more as gastrointestinal inner conflict. But seeing vampires fighting and seeing Edward relax and become charming – I could watch those parts of the movie over and over (and most certainly have).
Now onto New Moon… Of all four books this one was my least favorite. I sped through it dying to know when Edward would come back – I mean, he had to, right? I wasn’t too keen on Jacob – he went from being child-like to just plain mean in my opinion – and werewolves in general have zero in the way of sex appeal, even less when pitted against vampires. I could never understand all those Team Jacob-ites, but last night changed all of that for me. Movie Jacob was much, much better than Book Jacob for a million reasons, but I think the fact that his character really is someone you would want to have as your best friend (and in the movie, even after the were-transformation) is probably key for me. I left the theater all smiles and totally making peace with all the Team Jacob chics of the world, and, like Bella, maybe over time I would have become one if Edward hadn’t come back. But the fictional fact of the matter is Edward did come back, and boy did he apologize (again, better than the book)!
Having watched an evolution of the CGI with the wolfpack via trailers I can say they definitely worked to improve the effects, but they still leave something to be desired. And there are definitely a few places where someone should have called makeup in for Edward. But aside from that, New Moon is a vast improvement over the first installment both in terms of cinematography/special effects and the acting/directing – and that comes across almost immediately. The story was also adapted much better. But if you are going to compare it to other stories hitting the big screen right now, putting a trailer for the upcoming film Avatar kinda makes you realize what you are missing. Then again we are talking James Cameron and 20th Century Fox versus Chris Weitz and Summit Entertainment, so I don’t know how fair that is.
After waiting for a year, and in the meantime clinging to every snippet of information about the movie that I could find, you would think it would be really hard for my expectations to be met, right? While I probably would have loved it anyway – I am just that big of a Twerd – but New Moon truly did exceed my expectations. So, after walking out of the theater at 2:20am this morning sighing “Oh My Edward,” I can’t wait to go see it again tonight at 7pm, and probably a few more times before it leaves the big screen.
Melody is the Managing Editor and resident Gadget Geek for Girls Guide. She is a freelance writer for blogs and such, and her primary focus is Girls Guide. You can email her at melody [at] girlsguidetothegalaxy [dot] com, and you can follow her on Twitter– @cosmosgirl.