Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Moon?

I believe New Moon is the first movie I've seen in theatres three times, and I'm still planning on seeing it a couple more times. Does that mean I like it then? Well, yes, but it isn't so simple as that. When I walked out of the theatre after that first time (which just happened to be the midnight showing -- a couple people invited me last minute), I was split. There were some things I loved, some I was in complete denial of. But the second time, I understood what the filmmakers were getting across.

Because even after that first time, I had to admit, the movie fit pretty well into my list:

1. Not a problem at all. Everything happens so differently that it wasn't an issue.

2. I think it worked. I loved (if that's the proper word) the way Kristen Stewart screamed for Bella's nightmares. A tortured, strangled sound, definitely.

3. This one's questionable. But how can you force an audience to give up hope? I think the characters' hopelessness is clear, and that's what matters most.

4. Definitely have a physical change in Jacob. And Taylor Lautner handled the emotional change, as well.

5. Oh, yes, the Volturi were creepy. In fact, Aro was one of the best parts of the movie for me. He's such a crazy character, I knew a competent actor would have to play him to do him justice. I don't even know how Michael Sheen does it, but he's an amazing Aro. I wish we had seen more of Jane; Dakota Fanning seemed to be doing a good job with her, as well. Of course, the improved red contacts helped the overall creepy factor.

6. There's a love triangle in New Moon the movie, even when I don't see much of one in the book. I guess that was inevitable, though, wasn't it? It's handled well, but I do wish we saw that Bella still thinks of Jacob as only a friend at this point.

7. The proposal was a little different, but I think the tone was mostly kept intact. I just really missed out on seeing Bella's reaction (she's not pleased?! what's wrong with her?!); maybe we'll see it in Eclipse?

And my three minor hopes:

1. Yeah, the wolves were big. Big and powerful-looking.

2. I wasn't expecting satisfaction on this one. I was pleasantly surprised; everybody in the theatre jumped when we see her right there in the shadows. And she's upset, Alice who we've never seen upset before. I like that, though I do think it jumped too quickly to the comfy moment talking in the living room.

3. Another inevitable one. Of course there's more action in the movie than the book. It really bothered me at first, but not so much anymore.

You see, the reason it bothered me so much in the beginning was because I felt the whole tone of the movie was skewed. It didn't feel right. But it wasn't because they added action or couldn't spend more time on Bella's zombie days. When you first read New Moon, it isn't right, either. The story and characters you thought you knew go places you don't expect. It takes a while to reconcile yourself to that fact and realize why everything happens as it does.

That's just how the movie is. I see now how everything in it keeps that sorrow, that sheltering of the mind Bella forces onto herself. Even at Bella's party, the Cullens are warm and friendly, but there's a difference between them and Bella. You can feel that something is off, something has to change; it can't work like this. The score that I thought bland at first reinforces the pain that sits under the surface of every event. (I do really like the soundtrack, though. It's a great selection of songs that I'm enjoying listening to.)

I could really go on and on about this forever. Let me just mention the things I really liked, then I'll be done.

1. The sequence where the wolves chase Victoria and Bella heads to the cliffs. "Hearing Damage" provides the right emotional tone, and Victoria looks amazing. The way she moves, her unyielding expression, her outfit.

2. I already mentioned Aro. Also loved the way the painting came to life in the beginning of the movie.

3. Bella's cliff-diving. That is, once she's in the water. The look on her face, that joy, before she sees the danger she's in. The way the waves really bash her about (thanks for putting up with that, Kristen.) And how it looks like she has died and exists in a perfect moment with Edward. Again, "Slow Life" was the perfect song.

Those are all the big things, I think. I'm not even going into what I don't like; the overall effect was good, and that's most important. Chris Weitz did it. New Moon is a sorrowfest of a book, but he still managed to put it onto the screen well.