Up until this point, the Wonder Twins have avoided the Twilight craze. Sure, they see the plethora of Twilight propaganda in every store and hear friends and co-workers talk about the books as if they've just joined the cult of the "Born Again Bloodsuckers." But it wasn't until the soundtrack for New Moon, the franchise's second film, was released that the Wonder Twins were intrigued. An indie rock treasure trove featuring Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver and Sea Wolf, for a movie about a pale guy who sparkles in the sun and drives pre-teens and moms wild with goth-like desire? OK, they'll bite ...
Laura: It's probably important to let people know that we went to see New Moon with no preconceived notions. As in, we've never read the books and we never even saw the first movie.
D'Anne: True — but this actually gives us an advantage. As in, we can judge New Moon on its own merits without being beholden to things like "backstory" and "enthusiasm."
Laura: Some people might confuse this lack of any previous knowledge as ignorance, but we like to think of it as objectivity.
D'Anne: It's not often a soundtrack convinces me to see a movie, but the New Moon soundtrack includes some pretty cool indie rock acts.
Laura: Unlike the first soundtrack which has, like, Collective Soul and Linkin Park on it. But both soundtracks do include Muse — a band that Stephenie Meyer was apparently all obsessed with during the writing of the Twilight series. If anything can take your band from "hip" to "totally not hip anymore" it's when a Mormon lady starts listening to you incessantly as she writes books.
D'Anne: Yeah, but you don't like Muse. And you don't like Mormons. Even though you're kind of ... right.
Laura: Plus the irony of the band Muse being her, you know, muse. That's gross.
D'Anne: She probably just Googled "muse" to find some inspiration and next thing you know, she's rocking out to bland British rock on YouTube.
Laura: Well, this explains why Muse is now on every mom's iPod.
D'Anne: Speaking of moms, there sure are a lot of Twilight cougars out there.
Laura: Oh, no doubt. It's been a long time since moms and their daughters were both wearing T-shirts with the same guy's face on it.
D'Anne: That guy being the infamous Edward.
Laura: That pale, sparkly, brooding hunk of vampire love.
D'Anne: Yeah, what was up with the sparkly face? It was like the sun triggered his pores to ooze Bath and Body Works Sparkling Shimmer Lotion. That's not a vampire trait I'd ever heard of before.
Laura: True. But it's not like Edward's the only Twilight guy catching female attention. That Jacob fella is all "wet T-shirt contest" on the new Rolling Stone.
D'Anne: There are two camps of Twilight fans: Those who pee their pants for Edward, and those who pee their pants for Jacob.
Laura: I have to say, I find it highly ironic that a book series written by a Mormon — a religious group outwardly hostile to gays — is perfectly content with little girls daydreaming about whom they're more in love with: a dead man or a dog.
D'Anne: Judging from the movie alone, it's hard for me to understand why women are so crazy about Edward. From the very get-go he seems sullen and boring.
Laura: If I didn't know he was a vampire, I would've guessed he was suffering from some pretty severe nutritional deficiencies. Like Bella should've put as much energy into forcing him to eat some fruits and vegetables as she did pining away for him.
D'Anne: He did seem pretty listless and ill. But then again, he is dead. Which is, you know, terminal.
Laura: The movie starts out with it being Bella's birthday — and she seems really unenthusiastic about the fact.
D'Anne: This is true. And she's unappreciative about gifts. I don't think she actually says "thank you" to a single person!
Laura: But don't you see? It's because she's all sullen and agonizing over her own mortality. You know, just like any 17-year-old does. How can she think about being appreciative and enjoying positive attention when she's only got, on average, about 64 years left to live?
D'Anne: I guess so. But it's gotta be tough loving a 100-year-old man who will never look a day over 18. It's a lot of pressure.
Laura: A man who, when you get a paper cut at the boring vampire birthday party, throws you across the room into a table for your own safety so one of the other vampire guests doesn't devour you.
D'Anne: A move that leaves her bleeding way more than the little paper cut! Who is this guy? The vampire version of Chris Brown?
Laura: Well, nothing says "I love you" and "happy birthday" quite like an across-the-room toss.
D'Anne: Speaking of love, how about that chemistry between Edward and Bella?
Laura: What chemistry? I felt like they both had mono. So much mono.
D'Anne: All the mono. I recognize that I may be missing some key pieces here, but the movie didn't really do a great job of conveying this amazing passion I'd heard about.
Laura: And then he suddenly up and leaves and is like, "No, Bella, I don't want you in my world anymore. I'm totally serious and not at all just making shit up for no reason."
D'Anne: Which gives her a chance to try to mend her broken heart by cock-teasing Jacob along to fix motorcycles.
Laura: But not until she sits in the same chair wearing the same clothes and listening to the same Lykke Li song for three months straight!
D'Anne: I couldn't help but worry she might be getting bedsores on her ass.
Laura: When she finally decides to move and stuff, her dad is all, "You're going to live with your mother. Between the night terrors and the bedsores, you're scaring the shit out of me."
D'Anne: But then she says, "But I have a play-date to go shopping!" And he's all, "Oh, things are fine then; you can stay." But instead of shopping, she takes her friend to a zombie movie. Her friend Jessica is the best part of the movie.
Laura: She's super funny. And the only person in the film that seems to act like a real teenager. Jacob comes close to seeming pretty normal too — aside from that whole teen wolf thing. And the half-ponytail.
D'Anne: Speaking of Jacob, I liked how at one point he says to Bella, about his wolf orientation, "This is not a lifestyle choice — I was born like this." And she says, "I don't hate who you are. I hate what you do." It's a very "love the sinner, hate the sin" kind of response.
Laura: And one that many a gay person has probably heard upon coming out to somebody.
D'Anne: True. Of course, what does one do when lovelorn and depressed? Why, jump off a cliff into a lake, just like James Blunt in the "Beautiful" video.
Laura: At least he had the good sense to take off most of his clothes first, unlike Bella.
D'Anne: But the point is, it worked! Because now he thinks she is dead! And so he wants to be dead. Top that, Shakespeare!
Laura: But Bella hops on a cross-Atlantic Virgin Air flight with Edward's psychic sister, Alice, then steals a yellow Porsche and drives to the "red cloak anti-vampire festival" in some European city ... just in the nick of time!
D'Anne: Bella gets there right before Edward takes off his pants in public so the vampire-hating crowd can cut off his sparkle motion wand and rip him limb from limb.
Laura: Then she's all, "I am not dead, idiot! Alice needs to get a tune-up on her psychic powers!"
D'Anne: And Edward says, "Oh, awesome. Because despite flaking out on you and breaking up and disappearing, it was all a super psych-out and I want you to be mine forever."
Laura: And Bella's all, "Oh, good. Is there anybody here who is not going to be happy about this turn of events? If so, take me to their lair so I can watch you get beat up."
D'Anne: Yeah. "Of course, come with me. Maybe they'll want to kill you too!"
Laura: But they don't get killed. For some reason. It's all very romantic.
D'Anne: I hope we haven't revealed too much here.
Laura: Oh, yeah. "Spoiler alert!" Forgot ...
D'Anne: The next one in the series is Eclipse. An eclipse being an astronomical event I was always afraid to look at as a child, for fear I would go blind. I think I will just use this same rule of thumb for the next Twilight movie.
Laura: Fair enough. I'll wait to reserve judgment until I see who's on the next soundtrack.D'Anne and Laura Witkowski are music critics for the Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org