I thought I might break the Christmasfast by commenting on movies, which I'm not seeing at the moment, as I'm hanging around my mother's house, watching old British comedy Christmas specials and crime shows. In fact, any of the movies I comment on probably will have been on release for at least three months.
A couple of weeks back, I made mention on FB that I was about to see a teenage Mormon vampire flick (no prizes for guessing the title) and I did indeed see it. I didn't mind this gehn-rah flick, tho I was half-hoping to like New Moon, rather than finding enough fodder to bag it mercilessly outright. I thought it was much better than a lot of other B-grade schmaltz I've seen (and there's a lot of it in the Springs), especially The Time Traveller's Wife, tho I didn't like it as much as Let the Right One In, that kooky little Scandinavian art-house flick with strange overtones of p**doph*lia at the end. (Not that I'm into anything like that.)
What I really liked about New Moon was its sense of subcultures and seeing an America you don't usually see in teenflix (tho I probably don't see enough of them to make that comparison). I was quite intrigued by the location (Washington state, I was told), and the borderline white trash and native American subcultures living alongside each other. If you haven't seen the film, there's a group of native American boys who become werewolves in their teen years and a more sinister middle-class clan of vampires, the Cullens. The latter seem to be living in a futuristic version of the Brady Bunch mansion: they're 'soul-less monsters', somehow associated with upward mobility.
Bella, the heroine, is caught between both classes, and a little like myself in that she's always hanging round on the edge of obscure subcultures. She has to choose between Jacob, the nice, decent poor boy werewolf, and Edward, the classier, but more narcissistic vampire frat boy-type. The tension erupts when Edward declares he's not hanging out with Bella any longer because she's 'not good for him'. Of course, it's the old story -- forbidden fruit is tastier, and nice boys always lose out to bad boys, especially where teenage girl are involved.
I have to say, I was rooting for Jacob throughout the film, as not only is more my type (darker, solider as well as being one of the few men who look ok with long hair), but he's just the more decent person. I'm not so sure about Robert Pattinson as a s*x symbol -- very nice carved bone structure but spades of deadening make-up (natch -- Ed). His body is a little too creepily fey for my tastes, and he has an odd nipple.
There are some nice touches in this film, and the occasional clever and more adult popcultural reference. I particularly liked some of the scenes in the development of Bella's romance with Jacob, where she brings him some old motorcycle parts and they build a bike together, and she sees how he's different to Edward (not just because it's about bikes, but it's a more subtle story about bonding than the average romantic flick). The film is, of course, barely suppressed teenage desire. Bella writhes around on her sheets, plagued by thoughts of vampires, tho no one gets much further than 'first base'. There's a lot of talk about the moment at which Bella will become a vampire (i.e. s*x8al adult). At very end, Bella says she wants Edward to 'be the one to do it' but not until after 'her grad'. Edward turns round and says he'll only do it on one condition: that they get married (tho of course, they wouldn't want any vampiretttes out of warlock, ha ha). So there's the kicker -- Mormon dating 101.
If I have one major complaint, it's that the overall feel of the film is a little episodic ...traipsing from one minor eruption to the next, a 'the story thus far' feel. I'm all for filmic sagas, but I'd prefer it if the individual episodes were made as stand-alone films (I think most of the Star Wars films managed this).
Anyway, I was semi-intrigued. I can see myself watching more in the series . A Very Young Friend of My Acquaintance (as in, a 25 yo) tells me that Eclipse should be the best, as it is in the book series. I'm yet to negotiate one of the Twilight books, btw -- I have #6, in my ABC swag of books, but I haven't gotten further than the second chapter, which is not a good sign. Doesn't look like I'm going to become one of those middle-age Robert Pattinson fans, anyway.