November 21, 2009

Capsule reviews of New Moon

From the Rexburg Standard Journal (11/20/09):

'New Moon':  Perfect for the fans, annoying for the non-fans[F]or those of us who don't swoon at high school romances with vampires and don't care to listen to incessant, endless whining, getting through this film might be a bit of a chore. But then again, so was Meyer's second novel, which this film was based on.Indians?The Native American tribe of werewolves...From Bloomberg (11/21/09):

‘Twilight’ Heroine Woos WerewolfBella has recurring nightmares during “New Moon.” So did I, mostly over the wretched dialogue (“It’s not about your soul. You’re just not good for me”), endless shots of a shirtless Lautner and an unintentionally comical scene where Edward faces an ancient vampire tribunal led by Aro (Michael Sheen), whose scary voice was modeled on the music-hating Blue Meanies in “Yellow Submarine.”Indians?A ferocious werewolf tribe...From (11/20/09):

The Twilight Saga: New Moon[N]ew director Chris Weitz does not have Catherine Hardwicke's feel for the rhythms of teenage interactions and the intensity of teen romance. And he does not have her ability to tell the story through the settings; we miss the lush natural world of the first chapter. Weitz and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg also have to grapple with a transitional story that translates less well to screen than the first one.Indians?A tribe of wolf-people...Comment:  To be fair, a few reviews have identified the tribe more neutrally: as an "American Indian tribe" or the "Quileute Indian tribe" without claiming it's a tribe of were-beasts. But almost no one is talking about the Indian characters, much less raving about how they're the heroes while the vampires are the villains. So much for the noble part of "noble savages."

And of course no one is learning anything about the genuine Quileute people and culture. About all they're learning is the same thing they learn from most contemporary movies featuring Indians. Namely, that Indians are mystical, otherworldly, and not quite human. That they're associated with shamanism, spellcasters, shapeshifters, ghosts and spirits, burial grounds, curses, and other scary and spooky things.

For more on the subject, see Quileute Werewolves in Twilight.

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