Date Night: Sushi + Twilight: New Moon

April called for a date night this weekend, so last night I planned out an elaborate evening of surprises to wow and astound her.

Actually, dinner wasn’t a surprise because Haruno is our go-to place for fancy exciting dining. While I like Haruno and their delicious, delicious sushi, there’s one oddity that stands out every time we visit. Haruno is dubbed “Sushi Bar and Grill,” but every time we go and order sushi, the wait staff looks at us like we’re freaking crazy.

I get that sushi is an appetizer, but I’m not going to pay $14 for some chicken fingers and a sauce I just happen to not have at home (katsu). Sashimi’s cool, but spending $19 for something labeled an entree that isn’t filling just isn’t going to work.

We love sushi, so we order four rolls and enjoy ourselves heartily. Meanwhile the waiters look at us with surprise and we can see a group huddled in the distance, staring at us, talking.

After dinner, though, I pulled into a Blockbuster and surprised April by picking up New Moon, which I had called ahead to reserve. I must clarify: we didn’t actually want to watch New Moon. No, we wanted to make fun of it. Not the most hilarious Rifftrax ever, but it was still pretty friggin’ good and I enjoyed the many references they tied in. It was totally worth it, so if you have to suffer through New Moon, throw Rifftrax on and laugh instead of crying.

(Wanted to interject here before I move on to discussing Twilight–after dinner and Blockbuster we went for a stroll through Nathaniel Greene Park, which was my last surprise. A++ WOULD STROLL AGAIN)

My dreams last night were tinted by Twilight, but were significantly more awesome. I was a vampire with the speedy ability like in the fight scenes (gotta say, the fight scenes in New Moon were actually pretty awesome). Except I was fighting zombies, who were super strong and nigh indestructible. Throwing them around like that would be a great video game.

This morning as I thought about it, I became puzzled about the entire Twilight franchise. New Moon is in many ways a worse movie than Twilight, if you can believe that, though the action scenes helped it a great deal (it was just about the any time a character emoted). But it didn’t have to be. I haven’t read the books, but after seeing the second movie I wonder why the whole thing isn’t better.

Edward’s brooding is often mocked as being ridiculous and over-the-top, but in New Moon we start to get a glimpse into the darker side of all this. In the first movie, it’s like, “Why wouldn’t you turn someone into a vampire? You’re not killed by a stake to the heart, you can still go out in the sun, you live forever, you’re super strong/fast, yadda yadda yadda.” In New Moon, we hear something about eternal damnation, something about the soul, and there being a vampire royalty that controls everything.

And one of the Cullens, the blond woman, says that it’s not a life she would have chosen for herself. From an outsider’s perspective, like Bella’s and the audience’s, their life looks freaking awesome. Why wouldn’t you want that?

Maybe there’s a reason, but the movies don’t make it clear, and that’s part of what ruins them. I can buy into Edward’s shitty character if he has a reason, but we’re never given one.

I don’t even have a problem with the focus being on romance and the doomed relationship of human and vampire. Buffy the Vampire Slayer did that really well–it’s a solid plot device. The writing here just doesn’t support it or move it forward.

If you bullet out the plot points, it’s not half bad:

  • Human in love with a vampire
  • Vampire has lost soul and lives in eternal agony
  • Vampire is damned to hell and knows it
  • Human wants vampire to turn her
  • If vampire does, a war with the lycanthropes will erupt, likely resulting in the death of the vampire’s family and a number of humans as collateral damage
  • A war of this sort would bring down the wrath of the vampire royalty, who would want to purge them all
  • Vampire turns girl anyways, deals with consequences, awesome action scenes with explosions

Wonder if I could just rewrite the whole thing and make millions. It’s not like the story is terribly original to begin with, but if you took that plot and coupled it with good writing, it’d be pretty cool.

What do you think? Is Twilight reasonable except for bad writing and, on the part of the movies, bad acting? Or is the whole thing a wash?

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