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Twilight New Moon Review: Flesh, Blood & Tears With A Side Of Fangs

By Amy E. Tucker

I've never been much of a trend setter. I've always marched to a different drummer and don't even know who the Joneses are. I'm not much better, when it comes to movies. I saw "Star Wars IV" at the Scotia Cinema for $3 nearly a year after its theatrical release.

So, for me to see a film during opening weekend is a big deal.

I stumbled upon the "Twilight Saga" quite by accident, really. I was at the Crossgates Mall Thursday night meeting a date. He was late, so we missed the movie I had wanted to see. In fact, we missed just about every movie that was showing-except for a 9 p.m. showing of Twilight. He had already seen it, but since our options were limited, we purchased two tickets. As an avid "Vampire Wars" player on FaceBook, I figured it would catch me up on the Saga in case I decided to see "New Moon" at a later date.

I was amazed to see dozens of tweens milling about taking pictures of themselves with their camera-phones next to the "New Moon" one-sheet. Still others sat in line, corralled behind the satin rope like a herd of cattle awaiting a trek to the slaughter. They chewed their cud and shuffled among themselves, oblivious to the wait or the cold, hard floor beneath them.

It was 8:30 p.m. The movie didn't open until 12:01 a.m. I was stunned.

It wasn't so much that I denied them their obsession. But, it was a school night. And, where were their parents? Who allows their children-many of whom were younger than the PG-13 rating would condone-to see a midnight movie on a school night?!?!?! And, if that momentary lapse of responsible parenthood escaped them, what parent in their right mind would come back out at 2 a.m. to pick their children up!?!?!?!

I supposed I would understand after seeing the movie-which scored the third-biggest opening weekend of all time raking in $141M and surpassing "The Dark Knight's" hold on best opening day in cinema history.

I didn't. These films are horrendous! The special FX are cheesy at best, the acting is atrocious and the plot is nothing but a gothic romance novel with a few hard-bodied, shirtless men as icing.

I was also somewhat disturbed by the ending of the first movie when Bella was pleading with Edward to "never leave her." This concern deepened when I read online that in "New Moon," Bella and Edward part ways and she only sees him when she's in danger. Bella, being the well-adjusted co-dependent that she is, decides to taunt him out of hiding to rescue her from reckless motorcycle joyrides, cliff diving adventures and leisurely strolls through vampire-laden woods.

If so many parents weren't taking responsibility with their children regarding their viewing habits, who would be there to ensure that their impressionable, young daughters didn't start to view love as the be-all-end-all worth risking their lives over? And, what about the teen boys? Were they at risk of succumbing to peer pressure and the gang mentality modeled through the vampire and werewolf clans?

Filled with apprehension and dread, I purchased my ticket to the 10 p.m. showing of "New Moon" on Saturday. I had planned to catch the 7 p.m. showing, but both screens were sold out at Clifton Park Center Mall's Regal Cinemas. So, I watched "Blind Side"-a movie parents should be taking their children to-during the interim. I settled into the same seat for another two hours-this time with my coveted bag of buttered popcorn-and began chatting up my neighbor. Yeah, I'm annoying that way. That's just the way I roll.

Jim Radcliff, of Clifton Park, hadn't read the "Twilight" books but explained that his 16-year-old daughter was caught up in the fray and saw "New Moon" on Friday night. Happily, he informed me that she had wanted to see it opening night, but he wouldn't let her stay out that late on a school night.

Encouraged, I approached a young couple for their story. Will, 18, and Nicole, 17, drove in from Cambridge because it was sold out everywhere closer to home. Nicole confessed that she wasn't going to read any of the books, but picked them up when all of her friends started reading them. "I like the love story and the action looked good," she explained. Will was just along-for-the-ride and conceded he would rather sit through "Brokeback Mountain" than see another vampire flick.

Jessica, 19, saw the film Friday night, but returned with her three 13-year-old friends (Becky, Katelyn and Alysia) as their "unofficial escort." All four hailed from Cohoes and admitted to doing stupid things to get or keep a guy. Jessica said a movie would never sway her to do something that stupid (e.g., jump off of a cliff), but acknowledged that she was older than her friends and perhaps less impressionable.

I settled into the movie with mixed feelings... I somehow doubted that such a silly film could influence young teens, yet Nicole was sold on what she perceived was a "love story" being depicted. I was still more disturbed by the lack of parenting I witnessed on Thursday evening...

As "New Moon" changed phases, I was pleasantly reassured.

Bella made her way moodily through consecutive irresponsible choices as the largely-teeny-bopper audience laughed. It appeared the girls much preferred drooling over Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner than identifying with Kristen Stewart's character.

I doubt any of the nearly 1.4 million people who saw the film this weekend noticed, but Bella's father Charlie did step-up into a parenting role for a brief moment when he uttered, "Sometimes you gotta learn to love what's good for ya."

That's a sentiment that men and women of all ages would be wise to heed.

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Amy E. Tucker has spent nearly three decades spreading her thoughts through the written word and has been published in local, regional and international publications. She currently resides in Clifton Park and is a frequent contributer to CliftonPark.com. You may reach her at [email protected]