The Twilight Saga: New Moon

new_moon_poster_--_officialThe Twilight Saga: New Moon

Directed by: Chris Weitz
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen
Running Time: 2 hrs 30 min
Rating: PG-13
Release Date: November 20, 2009

PLOT: Bella (Stewart) and Edward (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 (Lautner) is the main focus.

WHO’S IT FOR? Fans of the book and twitterpated young girls everywhere.

EXPECTATIONS: I thought it would blow. I loved the books and the first movie was an embarrassment. I know what you’re thinking, all you semi-psychotic Twilight fans! You’re thinking: “We need something to burn in angry, hateful effigy.” Well, hold that thought and read on!

SCORECARD (0-10)

ACTORS:
Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan: Kristen Stewart bugs the hell out of me, but she’s a fantastic actress and she’s the ideal incarnation of Bella. With her gorgeous hair and doe-eyes, she does vulnerability without the camp and she’s tremendous to watch. If only she’d stop whining about being so darned famous, already. I’m sure it’s a pain in the ass, but the constant complaining gets old. Actually, she should just reemerge every few years as Bella and then go back into hiding.
Score: 9

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen: Pattinson is so beautiful, he’s spooky, which is perfect for the otherworldly Edward Cullen…except, it’s unnatural. I’m not complaining, nor am I accusing him of having plastic surgery…it’s just that I feel like he’s this Renaissance painting come to life or he’s an actual angel wandering among us. He’s wonderful, but I need him to do more than just brood. Stewart encompasses the role of Bella, but Pattinson is more magnificent looking than faithful to the original character. Still, he’s a great fit. I can’t grade him as high as Stewart, so…
Score: 8

Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black: According to rumor, Lautner almost lost the role of Jacob, until he buffed the heck right out. And that is one muscular dude. He strides around without his shirt for two-thirds of the movie and looks like he’s been carved out of marble. Unlike Stewart and Pattinson, however, he’s not as sophisticated when it comes to subtlety.
Score: 6

TALKING: The script pays a lot closer attention to the book. I can’t say this enough, but the first movie is so chock full of stupid montages, it was like watching a sub-par summary. In New Moon, the characters are much more interesting and if you’ve read the books, you’ll recognize all sorts of original dialogue from the story. Well done.
Score: 8

SIGHTS: Remember all the hubbub about the stupid special effects from the first movie? Remember the vampires hissing at each other without any hissing noises? I sure do. So know that I went into this already rolling my eyes. That being said, the special effects are super cool. There is more action, and that action is much better choreographed. Plus, the werewolves didn’t completely stink up the screen, and I’ve yet to see really good werewolf CGI.
Score: 9

SOUNDS: The soundtrack to The Twilight Saga: New Moon is really cool. In fact, I could see myself buying it. I noticed it and appreciated it as it’s own separate entity and I usually just note whether or not the music irritated me or just sat quietly in the background and did nothing. The filmmakers put a lot more effort into the soundtrack this time around.
Score: 9

PLOT SPOILERS

BEST SCENE:
The scene where the pack of werewolves are chasing that gorgeous, red-haired evil vixen, Victoria, through the wilderness in slow-mo…man, oh, man, to die for. The music was perfect and that splash of shocking red against all that soft green and gray was beautiful. I wanted to hit rewind.

ENDING: I don’t exactly live and die for romances, but even I felt a giggly little twinge of happiness.

QUESTIONS: What happened to Team Edward? All the twittering and oohs and ahs in the crowd were for Jacob. Barely anyone reacted when Edward finally finds an excuse to take his shirt off.

REWATCHABILITY: I could watch this one again, and trust me, I have no desire to see Twilight again. New Moon is a big, painful reminder of what they could have done with the first one if they’d tried a bit harder.

OVERALL

Women like sexy, sappy danger. It’s a strange contradiction in terms. Sure, long walks on the beach are okay, but a tad dull. We’d prefer some handsome bad boy with a heart of gold and the assurance that no matter what the peril, it will all be nice and swoony in the end. And along came Twilight and that was the end of that story.

I was prepared to dislike this movie, because I’d given up the saga for lost; but The Twilight Saga: New Moon delivers the product it promised and it isn’t just empty packaging. At its heart, it’s still a silly teenage romance, but so is Romeo and Juliet. Whoa there lit majors! Am I drawing some hackneyed correlation between Twilight and Shakespeare? No, I am not, so put down your angry metaphors. Here’s my point: silly teenage romances have been around forever and now it’s just the issue of an interesting way to retell the same story. Yes, it’s a silly teenage romance, but it’s fun and it’s fast and I can’t wait for the third one. From here on in it’s just up, up, up!

FINAL SCORE: 8/10

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