Werewolves, vampires, and hunks, ooooooh my! The second film from the Twilight saga has stomped into theatres, and from a consensus I gathered by reading mass-Twitter for a few seconds, has been breaking hearts everywhere – in a good way. How would it fare with our critics? In this corner, we have Morrow McLaughlin, who has read all of the books, and her review can be read HERE. Opposing her is myself, a disappointed pedestrian of the first film, but an open-arms viewer of all types of cheese. Read on as we duke it out, PG-13 style, in this latest addition of “He Said – She Said.”
Here’s the plot for The Twilight Saga: New Moon for those living in complete darkness: Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) are happily entrenched in human/vampire coupledom, when near tragedy forces Edward to leave Bella behind. In this installation, Bella’s friendship and attraction to the werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is the main focus.
Complete coverage of The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Take away the vampires and werewolves from New Moon, and you’ve got high school melodrama more likely to cause business on The CW than the big screen. With the inclusion of Jacob (Taylor Lautner) the craziness of Becca’s relationship with the opposite sex becomes even more frustrating for her. She could barely get first boyfriend Edward to lighten up, (not literally, of course, he had no problem doing that), and now she’s caught between that dude and a new dude, this one with more muscles and a different kind of bad boy edge to him. Still, the poor girl can’t go on a date like any normal person, which is not a fault against the film, but it just sucks. However, that being said, New Moon is a movie that seems to really wander around with the new relationship with Jacob, while again trying to warn her that this guy is also bad news. Sigh. If it’s possible to be said, I believe that Twilight had more of a focus, and it’s story seemed like a better balance between vampires/werewolves and sucky relationship quandries that keep us busy in high school when we’re not doing homework. First off, did you like it? Did you like the first one? Did this one keep your attention?
A million tweens just gasped in horror…it’s BELLA, Nick. Sigh. Now onto the meat o’ the matter:
I read the books and I enjoyed them in the same way that people hide in the back of porno theaters and hate themselves for it. So I actually know the characters and the story line and I can tell you straight out that the first Twilight BUTCHERED the story. The actors were perfect, the setting was perfect; the script was sh*t and the director was over her head in amateurish shlock. And I thought, series ruined. You mess up the first one and it’s just a matter of time before the crap starts piling up.
They dumped the original director and paid closer attention to the actual books with New Moon. Once the money started rolling in, everyone took the storyline a little more seriously and the second installment is far more faithful to the book. I honestly thought it was an excellent representation of the series. The characters were more fleshed out, there was more dialogue and fewer lazy montages and way, WAY less cheese.
That being said…dude? You’re a dude. These movies aren’t made for dudes, they’re made for starry-eyed young girls and unhappy, disenchanted older women. They are brimming with so much estrogen and female fantasy, I’m surprised you didn’t spontaneously sprout breasts and start lactating.
At the same time, the action was much better and you had to enjoy that aspect of it. Plus, the werewolves weren’t totally intolerable as far as CGI is concerned. The werewolves didn’t suck! The werewolves almost always suck in these types of movies.
Was there any part you genuinely liked?
Yes, two things – the concept of Bella’s risky business, and the soundtrack. The idea that she would put herself into risky situations just to see Edward was a bit touching, if not somewhat original. It was also very true to how people sometimes seek extreme distractions after recent heartbreak. It was also one of the more believable aspect’s of single Bella’s life. I know that loss of love is pain, but do people really write emails to addresses that don’t work, or constantly wake up screaming in the night? I was also amused by the “double date” she had with that goober and Jacob – the shot of both of those boys leaving their free hands on display on the armrest couldn’t be any more legitimate.
I also really liked the soundtrack, which I read before seeing New Moon was quite good. It was certainly interesting to hear a bunch of bands from the Pitchfork.com demographic playing indie-pop songs for the young girl crowd, but I suppose times have changed, and Death Cab for Cutie hasn’t been “indie” for years. The overall catchiness of the songs played help add to the experience, and certain scenes were made a bit more bearable – such as the random run in with vampire Victoria.
I have seen the first Twilight but I don’t remember her very well, and along with the dreadlocked guy in the woods, I don’t think New Moon bothered to make things clear about who they were. For this reason, and also for the almost record-breaking amount of shirtless dudes, it felt less like this movie was speaking to “starry-eyed young girls” and more just “fans only.” My attempts to like New Moon even for what it was became even more difficult.
It’s interesting that you say this movie had way less cheese. I don’t agree with that, especially considering the numerous Livejournal one-liners Edward spewed out in the first act. Not to mention the fact that he seemed forever locked in slow motion.
Anything significant missing from the movie that should’ve been included?
The movie was very faithful to the book. There wasn’t anything obvious omits that jumped out at me, which is always a plus when you’re a fan of the original story. I wish I could come up with some stellar example, but all I can say is they did a good job. And I hate to be the one to admit this to you but…well…we vimmin…upon occasion…might, during periods of extreme duress write obsessively to an email that isn’t working because it’s our last feeble connection to that which was just wrought from our lives like our hearts were ripped from our chests still beating away and then stepped on and dumped in a mud puddle because maybe, just maybe, that email address will actually really work or maybe the higher spirit of oneness will finally kick the hell in and the douche bag that just left us will sense how desperate we are to find him/her/it/they and then we can be together again and all that bad painful yuck will just evaporate and we can pretend none of this ever happened and not think of it or speak of it ever again….INHALE!
In college, I knew a girl who tried peeing on some guy’s lawn because she thought it would have some sort of ultra magical effect, so don’t put it past us. Now, I know you’re probably ready to get all judgy and make some sort of wild, sweeping generalization about how all women are insane and that’s because we really are. Insane. Uber unrealistic romances can actually cause brain damage. I’m relatively balanced, and the obsessive emailing and screaming dramatically in the night didn’t even register with me. In fact, I have just now, decided to start stalking you. If you need me, I’ll be out in the bushes.
Victoria is the main baddy in the later books. Reflecting back on it, you’re absolutely right–the movie didn’t do enough to reintroduce crucial characters from the first movie. Everyone just assumes you live and breathe Twilight, so why bother being redundant.
Don’t be alarmed by the dark figure through your back window piddling on the shrubbery. That’s just me putting a love spell on you, nothing to worry about.
I knew that New Moon was going to be a bit cheesy, and I knew going into it that it was not going to be my ordinary cup of tea. BUT, but, but, but, I was more than willing to like this movie, and more than willing to be able to enjoy its high school drama. In fact, for some of Bella’s mopey period, I rather enjoyed watching her the things that you are saying are more than real. But there are so many corny lines and moments that it pushed New Moon beyond the redeemable point for me, (those lines can be found in my review). I was aware that there was going to be a lot of shirtless dudes, but I never thought the amount would make Megan Fox running in slow motion look like beginner’s work. I really did feel like this was a very “Fans Only” sequel. I talked to Jeff Bayer about New Moon and he had a good point – this may be one of the most closed sequels ever made. What do you think? Any final words to wrap this up?
I think closed is the perfect term for this sequel, but it didn’t bother me at the time, because I’m part of that exclusivity. It didn’t even occur to me at the time that non-fans wouldn’t have a singular clue who Laurent was (the dreadlocked werewolf snack), which is an obvious downside. I know the rule of thumb is that sequels should be sufficient unto themselves and New Moon neglected that aspect. Still, I forgive it, because it spent all its energy capturing the spirit of the book and because of all the hunky, shirtless dudes. Stop being snarky about the shirtless dudes or they might go away. I’d miss them terribly. Yummmmm….