Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Though it’s better than the first movie, New Moon’s fatalistic, emotionally retarded, “I can’t live without you because I have no identity on my own” tale is only saved by some great action scenes and kickass special effects.  There’s only so much turning off your brain you can do.

Director Chris Weitz, who wrote and directed the great About a Boy, brings a film filled with beautiful scenery (yay B.C.…oh and Italy) and characters so. overcome. by. emotion. they. could. just. die.  When I started this blog, I knew there would be a few movies that I wouldn’t necessarily have seen on my own.  This was certainly one of them.  So thankfully a friend of mine (female to make me not look creepy) agreed to see this tween fantasy. So, I put my best incognito outfit on, slipped on my Clark Kent glasses, tipped the brim of my hat reeeeeeeeeeeally low and dug in for the next 2+ hours of teen angst.  oooooooooooooooooh the angst.

THE SETUP: Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has some issues. She’s infatuated with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), her dreamy vampire boyfriend, to a level that’s not healthy but her problem is she’s worried her being human will ruin their love (she’s gonna get old and wrinkly you know….eewwww).  After a bloodlust moment over a Cullen family dinner party, Edward decides it would be best if they never saw each other again.  Well, Bella just wants to…like…die.  Enter the topless Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), a werewolf with some love of his own to give/share/lord over Bella.  The movie turns up the emotional turmoil to eleven as Bella deals with her growing “let’s be just friends” love of Jacob and her desire to get back to Edward.  The climax takes place in Italy where we meet the Volitari, vampire royalty and makers of rules…all leading us to the next instalment of Twilight, Eclipse in June, 2010.

THE THOUGHTS: I could never be confused for a feminist.  I like a strong, independent woman with a mind of her own but I’m not starting any women’s studies or burning bras anytime soon.  Having said that, this movie is one of the biggest slaps in the face disguised as a teen romance I’ve ever seen (yes, I’ve seen a few).  The character of Bella is painful to watch.  She spends half the movie having nightmares and shutting down because her vampboy don’t want her no more  (double negative on purpose).  The only time where she feels almost ok is when she’s either c&%k-teasing the local werewolf or trying to kill herself to get Edward’s attention.  The tween (it’s latin for too young to know better) argument is that “this is true love, I just wouldn’t understand.”  I call BS on that one.  I like Kristen Stewart.  She’s a damn good actress (see Adventureland and my recommendation below) but her Bella is the most incomplete, whiny, co-dependent character.  There’s angst, and then there’s, my god shut up already.

The actors don’t have that much to work with.  The main three of Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner play the characters as I’m sure they’re written. We get a bit of star power with the Volitari in the form of Dakota Fanning and Michael Sheen.  They don’t do much but gosh, they look so awesome with creepy eyes and pale skin.  I would have liked to see more of the Italian royalty but by the time we get to them, there’s not much movie left.

There is one scene I want to highlight for the sheer shock value.  We learn that one of werewolves’ fiance was facially disfigured because the wolf got mad and he just feels terrible about it now.  The Jacob character goes on to tell Bella that if she ever got him mad, he might snap and hurt her too.  And we don’t want that.  I actually had to lean over to my fellow audience member and ask, “did they just justify domestic violence?”  And what worries me is not a member for that young audience picked up on it at all.

I had been asked if I was Team Edward or Team Jacob.  Take this: I would rather pick the emo, pseodo homosexual, tortured Edward over the “acting is taking off your shirt,” wife beater Jacob anyday.

As you can probably tell, I wasn’t a big fan but I will say the threat of Victoria, the action sequences both in Italy and as the werewolves hunted vampires, as well as the werewolf effects were fantastic.  Unfortunately they didn’t happen enough to make up for everything else.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON Rating:
1 ticket – not worth your time. If any movie deserved this rating, it’s New Moon.  This definitely plays to the romantic fantasy crowd and I was fully comfortable accepting that, but I could only “go with it” for so long.  Go for the special effects but make sure your eyes AND ears are open to the inappropriate messages this movie is giving.

Coming Attractions:
The Wolfman (release date: February 10, 2010) – Director Joe Johnston already has a pretty good track record – Jurassic Park 3, Jumanji and the really underrated Hidalgo.  And the wolfman is due for a comeback…stupid vampires and zombies.  Looks great and it boasts Benicio “Traffic” Del Toro, Emily “Devil Wears Prada” Blunt, and Anthony “HELLO! – SILENCE OF THE MOTHER F’ING LAMBS” Hopkins.

Randomly Recommended
Into the Wild (2007) – Kristen Stewart isn’t in this long, but she is memorable.  This is the real life story of Chris McCandless, a young, successful student with the world in front of him…so he decides to live there.  Only his world is the Alaska wilderness.  Amazing story of a guy that is driven to do what he wants, regardless of how unreasonable or crazy it seems to everyone else…including the audience.  Great acting from Emile Hirsch and a stand out performance from Hal Holbrook.

Wolf (1994) – Werewolves are the new vampires.  Less emo, more manly.  And with Wolf, it’s Jack Nicholson as a werewolf.  COME ON!  Hairy, selfish, charming, acts on instinct, walking libido, and could snap at the drop of a hat.  Isn’t Jack already one?  With Michelle Pfeiffer, a skinny James Spader and directed by Mike Nichols (he did the Graduate and Working Girl), you’ve got yourself a movie.

Like this post? Please leave a comment or subscribe to the RSS feed for posts delivered right to you.

Related posts:

Comments

  1. I am saddened by the comments made about New Moon and completely disagree with the criticism (although I have not seen the movie yet). Can’t wait to write a real comment tomorrow.

  2. So I do have to admit that the movie was a caricature of itself… but I don’t care, I loved it. I heart Jacob… even though he’s a tad young for me.

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge