Friday, November 20, 2009

Part two of New Moon opening night recap: The wait is over

During the break between Twilight and New Moon AMC Peter was back for further audience hassling; he asked if the ending of Twilight was the same or if it had changed since the last time we watched it. Hilarious stuff! He also wanted to see who had more support, Team Edward or Team Jacob. After a short screaming match Team Edward was deemed the winner in our theater, but it sounded like a tie to my ears.

Once midnight hit the waiting still was not over, as we had to sit through trailers (seven total). The trailer for Remember Me (starring Robert Pattinson) ignited freak-outs in a majority of the audience. The audience clapped and then screamed once the trailers ended. When the Summit logo appeared people started to shush each other.

New Moon focuses on Bella's (Kristen Stewart) relationship with her newly-buff friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who turns into a werewolf when he gets angry or hunts vampires. In much of the movie Bella is in a depressed state because her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) broke up with her. When Bella spends time with Jacob she feels better and isn't so down about everything. He cares deeply for her, but Bella only likes Jacob as a friend. Bella still cannot let go of Edward. She realizes that when she behaves recklessly she is able to see and hear Edward, so she rides motorcycles and participates in other dangerous activities. When she cliff dives she sets off a chain of events that leads Edward to believe Bella is dead. He then goes to Italy to offer himself to the Volturi, a group of vampires that uphold vampire laws.

Similar to the first Twilight film, Bella's dad Charlie (Billy Burke) and her friends from Forks High School provide some nice comedic moments. In one highlight Bella sits between Mike Newton (Michael Welch) and Jacob at the movies, and each guy has his hand upturned on the armrest while she keeps her hands to herself. In another, Jessica (Anna Kendrick) explains why she does not like zombie movies. Paul, Sam, Jared, and Embry of The Wolf Pack also get some comedic jabs in, although their personalities aren't as clearly defined as those of the Cullen vampire family. I wanted to see more done with the Quileute tribe and the members who turn into werewolves (aka "The Wolf Pack"). And not because they're shirtless most of the time! The movie only briefly touches on their abilities, one of which is how they are able to read each other's minds.

There's no question who got the most screams: Jacob. His first New Moon appearance prompts Bella to say, "Hello, biceps." During the scene where Bella confronts Jacob in the rain someone in the theater even took a picture. Jokes about his bulked-up physique aside, I think Lauter gives a fantastic performance in New Moon. He is such a sweetheart to Bella; audience members went, "Aww" whenever she rejected any of his advances. I admit it: I am switching to Team Jacob after seeing Lautner's performance.

New Moon tallies*:
The number of times...
... the audience screamed: 8
... the audience clapped: 12
... Edward appears shirtless: 3
... Jacob appears shirtless: 5 or 6*
... a member of the wolf pack appears shirtless: 17
... Edward appears to be in pain: 27
... Edward smiles and/or laughs: 10
... Bella mopes and/or has nightmares: 13
... Bella is rescued: 5
... Jasper has a hilarious look on his face: 10
... Edward's image appears before Bella when she is being reckless or in danger: 15

* At certain points my pen was running out of ink and I had to go back and forth over the paper several times. Looking at my tallies now it's hard to tell where I was trying to darken one tally mark or add an additional one (it was pretty dark in the theater, okay?). Can anyone fill in the gaps to these numbers? If not, I guess I'll just have to see New Moon a second time.

The third installment in the series, Eclipse, comes to theaters June 2010!
  • The Twilight Saga: New Moon is now playing at theaters everywhere
  • 2 hours and 10 minutes; rated PG-13