The Imaginary Heroine

searching for the plot

New Moon Ending Gripes March 20, 2010

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

 

Sorry in Advance March 12, 2010

Filed under: Movies,Rants — imaginaryheroine @ 6:30 am
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The Quileute Wolf Pack Tattoo from New Moon

I understand that movies based on novels require a certain amount of sacrifices to artistic license and format.

I think the insertion of the wolf pack tattoo in the New Moon movie was mainly there to serve as an indicator of association, since the effects and shots needed to make the pack look bigger, buffer, and taller than everyone else would have been time consuming and costly.

At first I kind of liked the tattoo. I even briefly considered getting a t-shirt with the tattoo screen print. It seemed like a low key way to display my Twitardation. It also feels like something of a tradition, as I used to have a t-shirt with an Angelus tattoo on the back in honor of my beloved Angel from BtvS.

Unfortunately, the more I looked at the design, the more I realized it looked less like a wolf and more like…something else. Something that can euphemistically be referred to as “lady bits” or “vajayjay.” Scroll up and look again. I’m not crazy. It totally does.

So now, all I see when I see the wolf tattoo is bunch of dudes with lady bits on their arm. I said sorry in advance, but I’m going to say sorry again.

EDIT! 3/12/10 9:26

Now that I think about it, the wolf/vajayjay tattoo reminds me of a paradox of lycanthropy that’s been bugging me for a while. Werewolves as monsters are generally gendered male, because they’re hairy, muscular, angry, out of control, and dominant. But they’re controlled by the moon (not the Quileute pack, obviously, but SMeyer says they’re shifters, not werewolves). Moon cycles are kind of a girl thing, no? It’s weird that a “male” monster phase could basically be thought of as the worst PMS ever.

Just a bit of something to think about…

 

Guilty Pleasures and Guiltless Double Chocolate Scones January 29, 2010

Guilty pleasures first. After admitting my supreme dorkdom in the previous post, it’s amazing that I still have some qualms about admitting this….but… I am a Twilight fan. Actually, I prefer Twitard, in honor of one of the most hysterical blogs on the net Twitarded.

I didn’t want to read the Twilight Saga. I was tricked into  it by one of my professors. Once I started reading it, I didn’t want to like it. I started out with a pencil, circling questionable vocabulary decisions (‘verbose’? Seriously? I think she meant ‘loquacious’). But despite its doubtful literary merit and dubious moral undertones, it nearly ruined the last week of finals in my undergrad career. I started Twilight on stop day and went out and bought the other three books and devoured them one after the other. I simply had to know what happened.

I thank you Stephenie Meyer for all the joy you've brought me, but WTF, mate?

Even after the fiasco that was Breaking Dawn, I was still addicted to the books, audiobooks, soundtracks, movies, and various cosmetic and wardrobe products affiliated with the movie. I have the Aerie ruffled roll over sweats that Bella wore in that scene in New Moon where Jacob jumps into her window. I am that lame. 7abibi (“ha-bee-bee” which means my male beloved in Arabic and refers to my boyfriend, with whom I share an apartment and an annoying yet adorable cat) has born it all with puzzled equanimity, poor man.

I thought I had plumbed the depths with those sweat pants, but I was wrong.

After a few rotations of books 1 – 3 and even a stab and trying to like Breaking Dawn, it was obvious that I had to find more. I had to dip into the torrid, Mary Sue laden world of fan fiction. Don’t misunderstand – I have a few friends who read and also write fanfic. It only took a few peeks into Harry Potter fanfic during the long cold nights between books before I was totally turned off. Totally. Malfoy/Ron X-rated slash fic is just not for me. Sorry.

But after hearing the buzz on not one, but several sites about the fanfic Wide Awake by angstgoddess003, I had to go check it out. I was in pain. I needed more Twilight!

Dare I say it, but even devoid of vampires, magic, and other fantastical elements, Wide Awake is absolutely phenomenal. It’s full of delicious teen angst, drama, and romance woven together with a perfect stripe of tart humor by light and skillful hand. I stayed up two nights in a row and snuck peeks between calls at work. I was truly a woman possessed.

**Disclaimer: Wide Awake is rated M for mature. It has lots of filthy language, some graphic sexual content, and disturbing imagery that may trigger, offend, or disturb some readers. This is not your tween or prudish Twimom’s Twilight**

I want to examine some of the themes in a later blog post, because it’s a really beautiful text with many points of interest, but right now I just want to talk about cookies. You’ll notice that the chapter titles are named after cookies. These cookies provide a quick snapshot of Bella’s state of mind in a particular chapter. She relates to others through her baking.

This is something I can really relate to, as I both enjoy baking and eating baked goods. My greatest joy is always seeing other people eating and enjoying food I’ve made for them. It gives me a way to connect with people I may not know how to approach. Food helps me tell people that I care for them. For me, a gift of food is meant to encompass nutritional sustenance, sensual pleasure, and personal affection.

This recipe is based on one for a healthier cookie that was originally published in SELF magazine circa 2000. I was trying to counteract the guilty reading pleasures with a bit of virtuous eating (I seriously am trying to follow a Clean Eating diet, but my life simply can’t go on without baked goods). Unfortunately, my first batch turned out to be seriously lacking in tastiness. Who cares if food is healthy if no one wants to eat it? However, with a bit more leavening and some other tweaks, the recipe turned out to yield a pretty darn good (and quasi-healthy) scone.

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Scones

Yield: Makes 2 -3 dozen depending on drop size

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (regular whole wheat works too, but white whole wheat tastes lighter)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup ground flax seeds or flax meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup drained great Northern, Cannellini, Garbanzo or any white beans, liquid reserved
2 tbsp coco butter at room temperature
1/2 – 3/4 cup agave nectar
2 large eggs (can be replaced with 3 egg whites and 1 yolk, but all whites can result in crumbly, hard scones)
1/4 cup skim milk or unsweetened soy milk
1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
8 oz chocolate chips with at least 60% cacao content
Optional mix-ins: these are great with walnut pieces, dried cherries and/or cranberries
Optional topping: 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt and 2 teaspoons raw sugar

Equipment:
1 medium mixing bowl
1 large mixing bowl

Stick blender/immersion blender
Coffee grinder
OR
Food processor

Flexible silicone spatula
2 metal teaspoons
Silicone baking mats
Cookie sheets
Nylon rigid spatula (or other cookie de-panning device)
Cooling racks

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using coffee grinder OR food processor, process oats until finely ground but not powdery. If you’re using the coffee grinder, this will have to be done in batches. Combine with flour, cocoa powder, ground flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium mixing bowl. This is your dry goods bowl.

Using stick blender, purée beans and 2 tbsp reserved bean liquid until smooth in a large bowl. Add coco butter, Agave nectar, eggs, vanilla and mix with immersion blender until combined. Alternatively, purée beans and liquid in clean bowl of food processor, and then add coco butter, agave nectar, eggs, vanilla and pulse until combined. Then transfer contents to large mixing bowl. This is your wet goods bowl and soon to be your final mixing bowl.

Add dry goods to wet goods bowl in batches, stirring slowly with silicone spatula to avoid puffs of dry goods. Stir in chocolate chips (and other mix-ins like nuts and dried fruit). Batter will be thick and wet with heterogeneous bits of mix-ins and bits of oatmeal and flax. If batter is dry, drizzle in milk 1 tbsp at a time and mix until it becomes wet. If batter is too runny, add in whole wheat flour 1/4 cup at a time and mix until it becomes thicker.

Using metal teaspoons (in my experience, the batter is too sticky for a disher or scoop) drop about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter on cookie sheets with silicone baking mats. The concern while baking these scones is upward lift, instead of outward spread. They can be made about 1.5 inches apart from each other, but be sure to spread the batter out to about 1/4 inch thickness. It will puff up quite a bit as it bakes.

Once the scones are dished onto the baking surface, now would be the time to add the topping if you so chose. Mix together salt and raw sugar and sprinkle a small amount onto the tops of the scones.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes until centers are firm. Use nylon spatula to transfer to wire rack to cool.

***

This recipe is very forgiving and versatile. Wet batter can be remedied with a bit more flour, while dry batter can be fixed with a bit more milk. There are also lots of other flavor combinations you can introduce to the batter with great results. Here are a few off the top of my head:

  • For a mocha scone add enough instant coffee mix for 2 or 3 cups of coffee to the wet goods before mixing in the dry goods
  • Try black beans instead of white – the dark, smoky flavor goes well with chocolate
  • Omit cocoa powder and chocolate chips and use mixed dried fruit and substitute lemon extract for half of the vanilla extract for a light, fruity scone
  • Omit cocoa powder and chocolate chips and substitute almond extract for half of the vanilla extract. Mix in sliced almonds for a toasty almond scone
  • Omit cocoa powder and chocolate chips and add 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3 teaspoons ginger, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and use molasses in place of agave nectar to make a spicy gingerbread scone (omit pepper for milder gingerbread flavor)
  • Substitute maple syrup for agave nectar, nix all or part of the vanilla extract, and add in bits of cooked turkey bacon for a sweet and savory scone
  • Omit agave nectar, vanilla, cocoa powder and chocolate chips and swap 2 tablespoons olive oil for the coco butter, then try savory mix-ins like 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shreds and 1 cup broccoli pieces and 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning. Or use black beans as suggested above and add in diced bell pepper, cumin, paprika, and cilantro and serve them with salsa for southwestern scones.
  • I’m not particularly well-versed in the use of alternative flours (yet), but I feel like you could experiment with omitting the wheat flour in this recipe for gluten-free alternatives like rice flour and chickpea flour. You could also try partial substitutions of soy flour to lower the carb count, but I think a full substitution could result in hockey pucks instead of scones.