Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (***)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon. 130 mins. PG-13. Directed by Chris Weitz. Written by Melissa Rosenberg. Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, and Dakota Fanning.

Face it folks. It's a Twilight world - we're just living in it. At some point during Thursday midnight showing of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, my critical side gave up trying to nitpick all the inadequacies of this movie and just relinquished control to the mob of swooning girls around me, all clearly enraptured by the vampire-girl-werewolf love triangle unfolding on screen. Whether or not New Moon is any good (it's not really) is almost beside the point now. For better or worse, the franchise is a pop culture phenomenon that's not going anywhere anytime soon. And who am I to begrudge all the female fans who are swept up in it? There are worse things out there. Heck, I'd rather watch New Moon than have to suffer through Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen again. Like its predecessor, Twilight, New Moon is a moody teen soap opera with some fantastical elements. In Twilight, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) fell for a vampire who thought he was too dangerous to be with her. In New Moon, it's the same exact story, only this time, it's a werewolf. I haven't read the third book in the series, Eclipse, but if Bella falls for some sort of Swamp Thing in that, I'm done. Robert Pattinson (as vampire Edward Cullen) has a much smaller role this time, and it's actually helped improve his performance. He's a little looser, more confident, and it makes the Edward-Jacob rivalry a tad easier to call. Stewart is perfectly cast as Bella, though her performance tics tend to annoy at times. Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Twilight, did not stick around for this second installment, and has been replaced by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass). You'll never notice the difference though. And when the end cliffhanger hit, I found myself, despite many issues with New Moon, still wanting to see the next movie. But enough critical analysis already - two questions beg answers: First, Team Edward or Team Jacob? Tough call. If we're basing it on performance alone, it's Team Edward all the way. Otherwise, you gotta go Team Jacob. Cool CGI werewolf beats sparkle vamp every time. Second, is it better than Twilight? Slightly, yes. The special effects are much better, and, importantly, there are no vampires playing baseball in New Moon. One further note: if you're already a Twihard, this review certainly isn't going to change your mind about the movie - go ahead and add a star. If you're not, subtract a star.

- John


At 3:50 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

So, yo. I've now done the "go-see-Twilight-movie-at-midnight-on-opening day" twice (my kids' babysitter is a total Twihard, and I took her and her friends to see the flicks; probably will again when Eclipse comes out).

Last year, I couldn't WAIT for the movie to end. As underwhelmed as I'd been with the book (and I was), I was far more so with the movie. For me, the best part was giggling at the reactions of the hyperventilating teens around me.

With New Moon, though, I felt differently. Was it a GREAT movie? No. Was it fun? Absolutely. I thought they did a much better job not taking the story so seriously. Lots more tongue-in-cheek moments & a little less brooding made for a better experience for me.

Oh, and while I'm still trying to scrub off any "dirty old lady" feelings, there was that whole 6-pack-abs thing, which wasn't altogether unpleasant, either. :)


Post a Comment

<< Home