Twilight: New Moon (2009)
Back in the day, I foolishly made a descent into a Twilight marathon/alcoholism by watching all of the accursed films in a row while under the influence. This was the first time I had ever seen the films, so I was not aware of the extent to which these movies sucked. But a commitment is a commitment, and I stuck with them. And here I am, watching them again, because I love you.
In the second installment of Stephanie Meyer’s bestselling franchise, Bella and Edward do their regular teenage vampire romance stuff, though Edward still refuses to have sex with Bella, because again, as one spectator so delicately put it, “he’d fuck her to death”. Bella continues to want to live out her fantasy of being a real live vampire so that she can run through the forest in slow motion (I’m not joking, she literally imagines this). On Bella’s birthday, the entire Cullen family gets together to celebrate, though when Bella pricks her finger, the recently-turned Jasper loses self-control and tries to attack her. Edward, convinced that he is a danger to Bella, decides to leave. If I was Edward, I would be equally excited for such a perfect excuse to get away from the world’s clingiest teenager. It almost makes me wish I had a bloodthirsty brother for just such a reason, but alas, I don’t. I will pay someone $100 dollars a week to pose as one, though. Any takers?
Anyway, the werewolf Jacob sees this as his chance to get some hot Bella action, as well as initiate the cycles of every woman in the auditorium. Is that even possible? This is getting gross. Long story short, the number of calories per sip of Bud Light suddenly got more interesting than what was going on here.
In a really messed up way, I kind of love this movie. I will not waste time trying to figure out if any of the bombast is authentic or intentionally goofy, but man, is it funny. It’s outrageously over the top and everyone overacts to an astonishing degree. Michael Sheen turns out an absolutely amazing performance as Aro, the leader of the villainous Volturi vampire order. Sheen is in prime form here, cackling and scheming, clapping his hands in fiendish delight all the way. There’s also a rather amusing scene where Bella goes to see a movie called Face Punch, and threats, gunshots, and a well-placed Wilhelm Scream can be heard offscreen. I would watch the shit out of a movie called Face Punch. It’s like my favorite thing happening to my third favorite thing.
Oh my God, THE BROODING! THE EMOTION!! There’s so much of it! Bella is every crazy girlfriend and codependence complex wrapped into one soulless package. Of course, Kristen Stewart manages all of this without breaking away from her stock robot face. STEWART VER 1.04 continues to not emote through scenes, reciting lines of dialogue like the machine that she is. Jacob gets the lion’s share (or is it wolf’s sh—NO I WON’T MAKE THAT JOKE) of brooding in Edward’s absence—when he’s not trying to get laid, he gets antagonistic towards anyone in his way, which includes his body getting hot (like a real animal! SCIENCE).
Jacob’s a total douche in this movie. Wait, what am I saying? Why do I care?
Actually, the real reason this beer should be awarded is for the outrageous number of times Jacob pops his shirt off, and, similarly, the amount of time spent trying to focus on how muscular Taylor Lautner has gotten since 2008. It’s almost as if parts of the script were actually focused on “hey, how else can we get Taylor to take his shirt off?” The creativity involved here, though admirable, is nothing compared to what happens in Eclipse, but here it’s still pretty ridiculous.
Remember those family films from the early 2000s, and how they had those annoying licensed soundtracks? Well, this film marks the return of that trend, and licensed songs play almost constantly. I’m not going to bother looking up whether director Chris Weitz got his start as a music video director, but it wouldn’t surprise me . Every time a licensed song kicks in, the editing gets kicked up a notch. While almost no one will argue that the soundtrack is the best part of any given film in this series, it still isn’t really great. The songs themselves are fine; it’s just the fact that the movie feels the need to switch to music video mode every time a song kicks in is really irritating.
The movie recycles some of the abysmal effects from the first film, most egregiously the slow-motion blur, which for some reason uses two converse effects simultaneously to establish the speed of the vampires. It looks like hell. Chris Weitz employs twisting angles, more panning, and a multitude of the same nonsense that Catherine Hardwicke used to such extremes in the original. I’m not sure why the directors of this franchise feel such a frothing desire to employ excessively abstract filmmaking styles, but they don’t work. Although as I was typing that last sentence, it occurred to me how awesome it would be if Werner Herzog directed a Twilight film. Mr. Herzog, here is a check with my name on it. Write in any amount and I will pay it to fund your version of a Twilight movie. Chris Weitz is not Werner Herzog. You cannot have this check, Chris.
As with the first film, I have to award this final beer to another completely horrible and hysterically funny scene/montage. The first part of this glorious trash is almost immediately after Edward leaves Bella. It is composed of one long time lapse with the camera spinning around Bella as she sits miserably in her chair, staring out the window. Each time the camera makes a rotation, the scene outside changes to reflect the season. So basically, Bella sits in her chair for a solid three months. This is followed by a montage of Bella frequently waking up the in the middle of the night, screaming in pain and anguish. I feel really awful that I laugh at that. Wait, no I don’t. It’s hilarious.
New Moon is the quintessential post-90s drinking game movie. Don’t get me wrong, it totally sucks ass, and I have it on good authority that even fans of the series wish to disown this second installment as a very poor narrative, and the worst of the series. Luckily, it makes for a hilariously inept cheesefest with an entertainment value that has a positive correlation with your blood-alcohol ratio. This comes with the stipulation of experiencing severe depression at the realization that literally hundreds of millions of females of all ages are enamored with these so-called narratives to the point that they…never mind, I won’t go there. Gross. The rest of us watch it for another reason (see below), and if you see it at all, pack plenty of liquid courage.
Take a Drink: every time you see Jacob without his shirt.
Take a Drink: every time Bella monologues about how much her life sucks.
Do a Shot: whenever slow motion kicks in.
Chug your Beer: if you made it through the entire movie without laughing.