Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon Part 1

This is it, Twihards. Here is the moment you’ve been aching for since sparkly vampire Edward Cullen first laid eyes on Bella Swan, the one person on earth paler than him. Following a 3-movie courtship in which the 106-year-old immortal demonbeast seduced the shy 17-year-old in a totally legal way since Edward looks young for his age, it’s time for them to marry and get it on.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 wastes no time in setting up the rendezvous you’ve read about on the blogs. Well, it does waste a little time – maybe 20 minutes – to show necessary things such as Bella (Kristen Stewart) getting dressed for her wedding, Bella thinking about the wedding, Edward (Robert Pattinson) trying to talk Bella out of the wedding, Bella’s nightmare about the wedding and finally, the wedding. But after that, director Bill Condon gets right down to the good stuff.

There they are, these two fangs-crossed lovers, staring into one another’s lack-of-souls on an exotic beach, when finally the moment arrives.


Yep, they play chess. All night long, like animals. You should see the way Edward uses his rook. Long, strong, and down to get the friction on. Tireless and full of board game lust, Bella and Edward play chess again. And then again. The third time – get ready for an aww, cute alert – Edward lets Bella win!

Oh, yeah, and they also have sex in between. Or at least it looks like they’re about to have sex before it fades out and Bella’s lying there with that same look she’s always got on her face whether she’s being chased by a werewolf or served lunch in the school cafeteria. Pillow feathers are everywhere, the headboard is broken and Bella’s all bruised up in ways she assures a guilty Edward hurt so good. Guess she loves the way he lies. It must have been quite an event, but just as in the pages of Stephenie Meyer’s tome, the play-by-play is left mostly to our imaginations.

That’s right, people. Vampire sex is so intense that it makes the movie camera black out and cut to the next scene. And it also gets girls pregnant with Miracle-Gro babies that pop out within weeks, rendering the mom-to-be bedridden with broken ribs and a longing to slurp down Big Gulps of deli blood to keep the fetus happy.

The only guy who’s less satisfied by the viewer by this presentation is Bella’s doormat, werewolf-man transformatron Jacob (Taylor Lautner), whose pre-wedding pep talk includes an attempt to shake the Edward-obsession out of Bella. The guy thinks it’s not cool that a vampire demon behbeh is tearing up his unrequited love from the inside out, but he still stands guard on the off-chance that she’ll pop out a behbeh that will fall in love with him.

Since this movie has no villains – a post-credits scene shows that the bad guys are being saved for next year’s Part 2 (subtitle: Bella and Edward Play Parcheesi) – Jacob bickers with his wolfpack, who are convinced the behbeh will be a danger to their tribe and want to kill it. Or kill Edward. And/or maybe kill Bella. But really, just kill time.

What sets up to be an entertaining, UFC-style vampire-werewolf battle stops short of just that, ending up being just a bunch of growling and fang-baring for naught.

That’s just the way things go in this film, which is really a half-film, and the boring half at that. Such is the nature of things dubbed “Part 1.” It’s a film about things that will inevitably happen, but don’t until the next, more important part. If it were all the same to the studio, I’d rather it have just given us the full movie rather than stretch it out t h i s  m u c h. But it’s not all the same to the studio, because Meyer is fresh out of Twilight novels, and making a Part 1 adds an extra payday. It’s too bad that fans require the patience of a 106-year-old vampire to sit through it.

Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Written by Melissa Rosenberg, based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer. Directed by Bill Condon. 119 minutes. Rated PG-13.

My novel, Stormin' Mormon, is available as a Kindle book for $1.

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