The Imaginary Heroine

searching for the plot

New Moon Ending Gripes March 20, 2010

Filed under: Books,Movies — imaginaryheroine @ 12:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

[Spoilers for New Moon the movie]

Is anyone else bummed out that Edward got the last line in New Moon?

I think they were going for something like this:

Edward/RPatz: Marry me, Bella.
Bella/KStew: *tiniest gasp imaginable*
*Blackness*
Audience: ZOMG!!!AAAAHHHH!!*lustsplode*

Which is what happened in the theater my mom and I went to. There weren’t too many people there, as we saw it over a week after the release and early in the afternoon of a rainy Sunday. There was a giggly group of middle aged women sitting behind us and a few teens in the seats below who seemed to really enjoy it.

I wish when they panned to Bella that she hadn’t just gasped. Why doesn’t she get to say anything? It should have gone like this:

Edward/RPatz: Marry me, Bella.
Bella/KStew: You have got to be kidding me.

or

Edward/RPatz: Marry me, Bella.
Bella/KStew: Oh shit.

or

Edward/RPatz: Marry me, Bella.
Bella/KStew: Seriously?

Just…something. Something from Bella!

I feel like this would have been more fitting in a lot of ways.

For one, Bella is not into his proposal at all. I guess we’ll see that in the Eclipse movie, but I wish Bella had gotten the chance to let it be known in this movie. Here’s how it went down in New Moon the book:

His eyes were cautious – he spoke slowly. “Marry me first.”

I stared at him, waiting…. “Okay. What’s the punch line?”

He sighed. “You’re wounding my ego, Bella. I just proposed to you, and you think it’s a joke.”

“Edward, please be serious.”

“I am one hundred percent serious.” He gazed at me with no hint of humor in his face.

“Oh, c’mon,” I said, an edge of hysteria in my voice.

– New Moon p540

See what I mean? Bella’s having none of this nonsense.

Also, this story is supposed to be Bella’s story. It’s kind of hard to translate first person book narratives on screen, but I think both installments of the Twilight Saga on the silver screen have done a pretty good job. Bella has narrated the intro to both Twilight and New Moon. With a few notable exceptions, most of the action takes place within Bella’s frame of reference. I would say the films are fairly true to a Bella first person narrative. So, why didn’t we get her reaction?

I’ll probably be coming up with more New Moon discussion as time goes on, but this was my biggest beef with the film. There were some other big and small flaws here and there, but I was actually pretty happy with it over all.

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What a Marshmallow!

Filed under: Current Events,Movies — imaginaryheroine @ 11:21 am
Tags: , , ,

Went and got my New Moon DVD (the Target version) early this morning. And when I say early, I mean I left the house at about 8:30… Yeah, I guess I’ve lost my youthful enthusiasm.

Hopefully the movie will be over before 7abibi gets home from soccer. I’ve got to say I’m team human for New Moon. Charlie, Jessica, Eric, Harry Clearwater – the humans get all the great lines:

Charlie: Alright… girl’s night… shopping… I like it. Go…buy some… stuff…

[The genius of Billy Burke is undeniable. If there’s some sort of casting fiasco like the one with Rachelle Lefevre, I may have to just…something. Something bad!]

***

Jessica: I don’t know why you want to sit through all those zombies eating people and no hot guys kissing anyone.  It’s gross. Why are there that many zombie movies anyway? Is it supposed to draw a parallel to leprosy? My cousin had leprosy – It’s not funny, y’know. Is it supposed to be a metaphor for consumerism?  ‘Cause don’t be so pleased with your self-referential cleverness…

[Ditto for Anna Kendrick…]

***

Bella Swan: We should get a bunch of people… You guys wanna go see Face Punch?
Eric: Yeah! Hey, Mike, remember we were suppose to watch that? The trailer’s all like “*Pew!Pew!* Punch his face in!”

[SMeyer has said she’s not particularly happy with the whole Face Punch thing. I thought it was one of the best parts of the movie. But I’m kind of crazy like that, I guess.]

***

Harry Clearwater: Don’t worry about the bears, Bella. My Kung Fu is strong.

***

I have to give the best quote of all to Jacob, though.

by ~Taylor-LautnerLover on DeviantART

 

27.3% of America Feels “Up in the Air” January 30, 2010

(SPOILERS: Contains discussion of major plot points from the movie)

Last night 7abibi and I managed to catch Up in the Air before it left theaters. Despite the presence of the lovely and talented Anna Kendrick of Jessica-in-Twilight-and-New Moon fame I was kind of left feeling meh by the trailer. Guy. Planes. Whatevs. I’m so glad he talked me into it, because I thought it was smart, funny, and full of timely philosophical questions.

Up in the Air

Ryan Bingham (Clooney) is a corporate downsizer for hire, rolling around the country slashing jobs and dreaming of reaching 10 million frequent flier miles. A new hire at his firm, Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick), drops in a to rain on his parade with her idea to revolutionize the industry by nixing expensive travel and firing people via videoconference. Through the marvel of modern technology, downsizers like Bingham can now fire anyone anywhere from the comfort of their home office, no travel costs incurred.

Bingham fights for his jet setting lifestyle and the “dignity” of his profession only to have his boss recommend he take Natalie on the road for a quick tutorial in the art of letting people go. The film examines Bingham’s emotional detachment and isolation as well as Natalie’s naive expectations about what life looks like after the comforting structure of college is stripped away.

The most interesting portions for me were those that dealt with the emotional toll of unemployment. In a society when the first thing people ask is “What do you do?,” it is absolutely gut-wrenching to have to work around the issue of underemployment or unemployment. If the latest job stats are any indication, there are a lot of wrenched guts out there.

According to the latest press release from the US Labor Department, unemployment is still hovering around 10% in the US.  According to NPR, this number doesn’t include another 17.3% of Americans who are underemployed, working part time instead of full time or working below their education and experience level to stay afloat financially.

Although Up in the Air does touch upon the financial troubles faced by fired employees, its true accomplishment is the poignant portrayal of the identity crisis people go through when they lose their jobs. What do you do when you have no answer to “what do you do”? Who are you in our society when you are not a contractor or administrative assistant or farmer or any other do-er?

At one point in the movie, Bingham says, “When we stop moving, we die.” Taken another way, this could be read as when we stop doing, we die. An unemployed person is drastically de-verbed. They are no longer a do-er. It’s not hard to see how many people can feel a piece of themselves has died when they lose their job. You weren’t let go. You were terminated.

Though I am lucky enough to not be unemployed, I can speak to the awful feelings of underemployment – something felt by zillions of recent grads.

I busted my ass in college. So did a lot of people. I didn’t graduate high school, so I may have endowed graduation with a little more epic significance than is strictly the norm, but on campus people act as though that little piece of paper will be your ticket to the good life. Invest, they tell you. You have to invest your time and effort and (especially) money into your future.

After graduation, I filled out over 200 applications for any and every job I could find. Despite my fairly substantial work experience, near-perfect GPA, and glowing references, I only got called in for one interview. With a temp agency. They didn’t hire me. I got a decent contract position through a friend of a friend of a friend, doing approximately the same thing that I did 5 years ago as a freshman in college. It took me over a year to pick up my diploma.

To quote Tyler Durden in Fight Club:

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

The difference between my generation and the Fight Club generation is that we aren’t living in a world of corporate plenty and we aren’t “working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.” Many of us are working precarious and dead end jobs and still can’t buy shit we actually do need. Many of us are working no job and find that not only can’t we afford shit, we can’t participate in the world of American personhood.

“What do you do?”

“I do nothing.” The subtext being, “I am no one.”

It doesn’t matter how many times we’re told “a lot of people are going through this too” or “it’s not you, it’s just the recession” or “something will come up – jobs are a lagging indicator”. It feels like it’s you. Just you. You are a failure and you are alone and the life you were promised would be there if you just worked hard enough is gone forever. And you are very, very pissed off.

The corporate downsizers in Up in the Air are full of cloying doublespeak to soothe the newly terminated. “We’re here to talk about your future” and “it’s important to look at this as an opportunity” and even “if not for you, do it for your family.” Clips of the terminated employees are spliced in, depicting fear, grief, anger, and confusion. According to Imdb, these are real people expressing how they felt after they were fired from their real jobs. The juxtaposition of actors playing terminators spouting insincere corporate blather and the honest feelings of the terminated straight from the source is a truly masterful touch.

It is these same people who provide a light at the end of the tunnel – and the movie. Though still struggling to get by, their tone is more hopeful as they talk about how their families and friends rallied around them after they were fired. While the “do it for your family” line has a hollow ring rolling off of Bingham’s silver tongue, family becomes the cornerstone of these real people’s salvation. You take each day one at a time, using your loved ones to stay on course. We are not just our jobs. We are not alone.

So… I guess this is a really long way of saying thanks, 7abibi, for taking me to see Up in the Air.