Monday, November 23, 2009

Because They Sparkle

Bella and Edward, New Moon kissImage by GeekMom Heather via Flickr

New Moon, the Twilight sequel, eclipsed the record for a single-day opening at the North American box office, and has also achieved one of the biggest weekends ever in terms of overall ticket sales.

New Moon continues the dangerous romance between high school student Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and 108-year old vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Making being pale desirable, intense intimate moments with the couple barely able to kiss without consequence and with the accident prone Bella there's never a dull moment in the Cullen residence.

The story starts with Bella concerned about her age, at 18-years old she's definitely pushing retirement. I'm not going to reveal too much but after she's nearly eaten at her birthday party at the Cullen house, Bella is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, who decides that being with him isn't the best lifestyle choice. After falling apart, her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties evaluated.

Film analysts and the blogosphere have been particularly critical about the underlying message from the movie. A professor of gender studies even views New Moon as an anti-feminist film that reinforces gender stereotypes to a "scary" extent. I enjoyed the following perspective from Skepchick which highlights the areas in a great context -
The messages behind Twilight? Be weak, let your man protect you. Be careful, don’t get him angry. If he hurts you, it’s your fault. Abuse is part of life. Accept it. If he really loves you, he’ll try not to hurt you but don’t be surprised if he does. You probably deserve it. You are nobody without your man, so don’t bother trying. (Skepchick)
Overall I really enjoyed the movie, which has a decent soundtrack as well. This may be a film full of gender stereotypes—testosterone-driven male aggression, females who pine away over lost loves, boys who fix motorcycles and the girls who watch them but it's werewolves against vampires and it's fun! New Moon has actually made me want to read the other books in the series. I want to learn more about the wolfpack, hunt the woods in tight-fitting denim shorts and get ripped from eating giant muffins!

Werewolves appear to be a popular choice at the box office recently; XMen Origins presented the Wolverine story and the trailer for The Wolfman looked impressive. I'm full of anticipation for Eclipse and if anymore villains are introduced we may see the Mystery Machine and Scooby-Doo make an appearance! Let me know your views in the comments..

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