Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 9
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

‘New Moon’: Students opt to ‘see it anyway’

Twilight fans wait for New Moon's midnight release.

As mass hysteria swept the world following the release of “New Moon,” the second film in the Twilight franchise, even Whitman’s legendary bubble was caught up in the wave of excitement.

A survey asking Whitman students about the film showed that 41 percent had decided to see it, 44 percent had decided to skip it and 15 percent were unresolved. Some respondents were decidedly more enthusiastic in their responses than others.

Senior Jocelyn Richard, via e-mail, answered with an emphatic, “YES. Are you seeing it midnight Thursday like a true fan? I’m getting my Jasper ensemble together.”

Junior Christine Simbolon, currently participating in a domestic off-campus studies program in Philadelphia, also responded.

“I’m ‘abroad’ in Philly and bought my tickets yesterday for the midnight showing. In fact,  I’m going with five others from the program. And the group even includes two guys! It’s not just an obsession for the girls,” said Simbolon. “Granted, the movie has bad acting and the books don’t have the best writing, but it’s still fun and enjoyable and, well, addicting.”

Others were less than enchanted. Putting those gender studies and Core classes to good use, senior Becca Levy offered a different analysis of the film and book series.

“I’m not against vampires,” Levy said. “When I was in middle school I was all over Anne Rice. I’m not going to denigrate it as a genre, but I feel like [Twilight, specifically,] advocates unhealthy relationships and weak female characters. But I’m probably going to end up watching [New Moon] at some point just to laugh at it.”

Sophomore Abbey McGrath explained some of the problems with the previous film.

“In the book there’s so much that happens in Bella’s head,” said McGrath. “The director didn’t think about it enough to convey it in film. She just put in all these emo silences, and the audience is going, what the heck, what’s supposed to be happening? It may not be excellent literature, but it definitely wasn’t translated into film very well. But I’m still going to see the movie. I have my 15-year-old sister that I can use as an excuse.”

Outside of the jaded world of college audiences, others were unabashedly enthused. On the night of the “New Moon” world release, a crowd of fans huddled faithfully on the sidewalks of Walla Walla’s local cinema, passing the hours before the midnight showing. Cheyenne Duncan, 14, and her friends from Central Middle School in Milton-Freewater were the first on the pavement.

“I got here at like 5:30 [p.m.],” Duncan said.

Duncan discussed her personal favorite among the film’s characters, the enigmatic vampire Edward Cullen, portrayed by Robert Pattinson.

“I think he does a good job of it,” she said, smiling. “I think everyone has their own Edward in their head, so I don’t think there can be a perfect Edward. But I think [Pattinson] does a good job of doing his research on how the character would act.”

At least, a good enough job to melt the hearts of fans, incense the film’s detractors and generate more domestic income in an opening day than any other film in history, including “The Dark Knight.”

Well done, RPattz.

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  • B

    Bécquer Medak-SeguínDec 3, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Becca Levy’s comments are spot on, but even a close look at a more superficial level would reveal how woefully incapable these films are of injecting this group of vampires with any importance. Lots of critics point out the extent to which this film is replete with anti-feminist ideology (which is wholeheartedly true), but few point out straightforwardly how bad these movies really are. Not only are the books bad literature (oops, I meant reading material), but the movies are bad cinema. The movie (pathetically) tries to reveal life and death situations among these vampires, but fails miserably to conjure any real sense of fear, doom, betrayal, etc. The film also radically alienates its audience: you can’t imagine yourself living among these vampires. Unlike last year’s brilliant Swedish vampire film, “Let the Right One In,” the Twilight series systematically prevents you from empathizing with its characters, following its ridiculously roundabout plot, and caring about its pro- or antagonists, including Bella, Edward, and those wannabe stoic/enigmatic Volturi. The only good part about this series is that, once every film, it will provide a beautiful panoramic of the Cascades. That’s it.

    • C

      CaitlinDec 3, 2009 at 1:24 pm

      You’re completely right, but it’s more of a verbal poll and summary of students’ opinions, than film critique. Feel free to write an actual review of the movie, I think that would be great to read.