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Vail Daily review: ‘Twilight Saga’ is super Hollywood

SHAUNA FARNELL
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado –If only every “Twilight Saga” audi-ence could enjoy the movie on open-ing weekend when every impending kiss or appearance of a shirtless were-wolf is met with a chorus of teenage squeals.

That crowd, presumably avid to bor-derline- obsessive fans of the “Twilight” book series, seriously made the movie experience. But for the unversed view-er who has not read the book, “New Moon” probably comes off as little more than a slightly melodramatic (if not outright campy) vampire love story … Hollywood style, of course.

For those of us who have read and liked the books (though not to the point that we will ever squeal when we see how scenes play out on the big screen), “New Moon” does not disap-point, though it could probably stand to be about 40 minutes shorter and a whole lot less dolled up. There are beautiful actors with beautiful (inter-changing) yellow and red contact lenses who stare longingly into each other’s eyes and a thundering score that rolls in right when someone is about to get hurt or lock lips. There’s a whole crew of teenage werewolves who, in their human form, look just like the hottest new American boy band and who amble around with their shirts off and their Hanes waist-bands showing like Marky Mark.

” The Twilight Saga: New Moon” begins with Bella Swan dreaming that she is an old woman, looking into a mirror with her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen standing by her side, perfectly pale and perpetually 17.

It is Bella’s 18th birthday and Edward’s family – all ancient vampires residing in the small northwestern town of Forks under the secret guise of normal people, teenagers and “par-ents” (the town doctor and his wife) who look about six months older than their “children” – throw her a party.

While opening presents, Bella acci-dentally cuts her hand and one of Edward’s “brothers” becomes raven-ous and bloodthirsty. Edward, after fending him off, suddenly finds him-self so terrified at the danger that his vampire lifestyle poses to his vulnera-ble human girlfriend that he breaks up with her.

Thus, Bella’s brooding no longer revolves so much around the reality of aging while her boyfriend remains an immortal teenager but now takes her into a state of utter desolation, heartache and loneliness.

After a few months of staring forlorn-ly into space, Bella’s emptiness is filled to an extent by Jacob, her childhood friend who lives a few miles down the road. Jacob has had a lifelong crush on Bella and is thrilled to have her sud-denly hanging out all the time, asking him to rebuild motorcycles so she can begin to turn a new leaf of adrenaline-fueled recklessness to distract her from her void and to spite Edward.

As it turns out, Jacob is not as safe and comforting as he seems, since he, too, has a secret identity (beyond just Marky Mark’s American Indian counterpart).

Also, benign vampires aren’t the only ones in this story and those that are more like traditional vampires – possessed by their blood-sucking instincts – are after Bella.

The action sequences are cool – kind of like ” The Matrix” meets ” The Neverending Story” – full of people sprinting with inhuman speed, giant wolves wrestling and lovely vampires glistening in the sun.

Those of you who hold a special place in your hearts for vampire sto-ries will probably find that this one holds its own. But parts of “New Moon” are so replete with overextend-ed longing gazes, professing whispers of love, chiseled torsos and dramatic scores that it feels more like a shiny, romantic vampire video game than a film. But hey … the kids are into that.


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