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New Moon, same demographic
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New Moon, same demographic

by Scott Rice - SGN Contributing Writer

The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Opening November 20


Bella Swan (the long-suffering Kristen Stewart) is a total dumbass. I mean, I've heard of difficult love triangles, but this girl gets herself caught between a vampire and a werewolf. I know the pickings can be slim in a small town, but please, a vampire and a werewolf? This doesn't seem, uh, wise.

But cute chicks always dig the bad boys. The Twilight Saga: New Moon simply takes that notion to its extreme. As improbable as it may seem, this tweener dream flick tells the story of Bella Swan, Forks High School senior and pickup-driving gal who's way to cool for small town USA, and who can't stop falling for monsters.

In fact, this isn't improbable at all - hyperbolic, maybe, but not improbable.

Cheers to all the straight nice guys out there that won't get the girl of his dreams because some whim of nature turns women into puddles of hormones when they get a whiff of those bad boy pheromones. Bad boys are sexy.

New Moon is all about the young men. Okay, it's all about 14-year-old girls who will pay to see handsome young men shirtless over and over and buy pencils and lip gloss with pictures and logos. Director Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass and About a Boy) doesn't let them down.

In classic example of objectification worthy of a beer commercial, Edward (Robert Pattinson) makes a stunning, and sort of silly, entrance. Edward steps out of his Volvo SUV (his sweet little C30 has been replaced by a behemoth) and walks toward the camera in slow-mo with fan-induced wind blowing across his pasty face. I'm sure there was music involved, but I wouldn't know as the theater erupted with shrill shrieks of adolescent girls.

Jacob's (Taylor are-you-really-only-17 Lautner) first entrance is considerably less contrived. However, when his pecs make their debut a bit later, the director's meddling bubbles up again and the crowd melts down on cue. You see, Bella bumps her head, so how else is a starry-eyed wolf-boy supposed to staunch the bleeding? Off with the shirt!

The young men are handsome. The movie folks in Hollywood know how to cast a flick aimed squarely at the tweener girls. Pattinson is all rangy poetic beauty, lithe and pale. Lautner, who I had to keep reminding myself wasn't even born when Steve and I started dating, is all animal intensity and buffed-out mega male.

What about Stewart as the none-too-savvy center of the ghoulish triangle? She's lovely, and she can act. I just can't get past seeing interviews where she looks bored while lamenting the pitfalls of fame. I have to go with Chelsea Handler on this one, and here's my message to Stewart: Not being famous is easy. Quit being in movies, dumbass. Believe me, every sweating, shrieking, Twilight-addled little girl in that theater would trade places with you in a minute. Don't take your fans for granted, even if they wear candy necklaces and write the names of boys on their tennis shoes. You're a hero to them, so don't be a jerk.

This movie is made for 14-year-old girls, and they won't find lines like "You're my only reason to stay alive - if that's what I am" and "Sometimes I feel like I'm going to disappear" and "I've gotta go; I have vampire to kill" as insipidly cliché as I do, but they haven't heard them as many times as I have. I also won't go home and write my boyfriend's name on my notebook over and over tonight while listening to the Jonas Brothers. I suppose we're even.

That's why nothing I have to say matters. This movie will make a bazillion dollars and everything will be fine. And there were some things I enjoyed about New Moon.

The young cast members are excellent actors. They get away with almost all the aforementioned insipidly cliché dialogue - no easy feat.

The hero, Bella, is a fearless female character that likes motorcycles and cliff diving and old pickups. She also stands up to monsters over and over. You wouldn't have seen this character in a movie this big 20 years ago.

New Moon has a sense of humor that was painfully lacking in the first film. The humor doesn't always work, but at least you get the idea the filmmakers aren't taking themselves so seriously this time around.

Perhaps the best part of seeing New Moon happened before the movie even started. I sat there reading my December issue of Harper's, when who should take a seat on my right but Michael Medved. It was sublime. I couldn't decide whether to hit on him in a subtle way so he wouldn't be sure that's what happened until he was driving home, or to tell him how much his book, Whatever Happened to the Class of 65, affected me when I was 12 years old and I stole it from my older sister. I also considered asking what made him turn to the dark side, but I decided I'd just look that up later on Wikipedia.

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