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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The second movie in the Twilight series released in 2009.

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No Sex ... I Mean, No Biting Until After Graduation

  • Jun 29, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
I spent much of my review for "Twilight" pointing out how the story was a Mormon abstinence parable masked as a teen vampire romance. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is essentially the same thing, but this time around, I was more bothered by its unbearable pacing, its emotionless performances, and its confusing subplots, none of which will make much sense unless you're intimately familiar with both the first film and all of Stephenie Meyer's books. Already then, a sizeable audience has been alienated, and if there's one thing I generally can't stand, it's a film that puts the fans' needs ahead of everyone else's entertainment. Someone like me should be able to walk into this movie cold and still be able to get something out of it. If not, the only achievement has been sealing the story within a closed universe.

The story, which begins a year after the events of "Twilight," finds Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), abruptly ending their relationship, Edward believing that he and the rest of his clan are a threat to Bella's existence. The clan leaves Fork, Washington. Bella is heartbroken. After a few months of depressive moping, she discovers a strange thing about herself: She can see wispy visions of Edward when her adrenaline levels rise. This prompts her to do reckless things, such as riding motorcycles and jumping off cliffs into turbulent waters. When faced with scenes like this, you can't help but wonder about her father, Charlie (Billy Burke), who's readily available to snap her out of nightmares yet conveniently absent and unaware of her thrill-seeking behavior. Isn't he supposed to be the Chief of Police?

In Edward's absence, Bella befriends - and possibly develops feelings for - Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), a young Native American who quickly exhibits very odd behavior. To say more would give too much away, although if you're a devoted fan who just happens to be reading this, you already know what I'm getting at. What I can say is that Jacob is very much into Bella, and he doesn't like the fact that she's not as much into him as she is into Edward, despite the fact that he left her behind. I can also say that Jacob and a group of mysterious boys roam through the forest without shirts, which should send shivers of delight through its predominantly young female audience. Oh, they're attractive alright, but isn't it funny how an extended metaphor for chastity can still work so hard at being ... not erotic, but maddeningly desirable?

I will now skip a number of tedious details and get to Bella and her vampire friend, Alice (Ashley Greene), arriving in Italy in time to rescue Edward, minus the logistics of timing, the location of both airports, the purchasing of tickets, and who had the money to make that purchase. The best we get is a single shot of a Virgin Atlantic jet soaring above the clouds. Why does Edward need rescuing? Let it suffice to say it involves an ancient vampire coven led by the usually dependable Michael Sheen; in this movie, he speaks in such annoyingly breathless tones that he always seems to be on the verge of fainting. We also have a brief encounter with Dakota Fanning, who I feel is far too established to be reduced to a few throwaway lines of dialogue. And those burning red eyes don't help matters much.

Part of the problem is that the chemistry between Stewart and Pattinson is hindered by their complete lack of emotional range. At the start, we have scene after scene of them staring at each other longingly, almost painfully, and yet they deliver their lines in excruciating monotone whispers, and their expressions never seem to change. How can we believe Bella and Edward's psychological torment when their faces exhibit permafrost neutrality? Honestly, looking at these two is like looking at talking statues. Adding insult to injury is the fact that far too much time is spent on moments like that; the pacing of this film is so unbearably slow that, by the time something exciting does happen, we may find ourselves too sapped of energy to even care. As for Lautner, he at least is allowed to show anger, but even then, it's an uncharismatic one-note performance.

All issues of pandering to the fans aside, the real problem is the tepidness of the story, having plenty in the way of visual style but little in the way of substance - save for its veiled message of keeping yourself pure and virtuous, which becomes more and more prominent until at last the film's final line practically beats it into our heads. As a general rule, I don't turn to vampire romances if I want to be preached at. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" will undoubtedly please fans of the first film and the book series, although I suspect it has less to do with its content and more to do with the seductive nature of the characters, who on the big screen have the added advantage of being physically attractive. The girls are so likely to swoon that smelling salts should be a viewing requirement.

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January 15, 2011
This was just painful to watch. I haven't seen "Eclipse" yet....
 
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More The Twilight Saga: New Moon reviews
review by . November 20, 2009
Me and Edward Cullen
If you've read the books, there's no spoiler here....      Before entering the theater, I definitely paused at the table selling Team Edward and Team Jacob T-shirts. It caused a moment of self-reflection: Which team AM I? Team Edward or Team Jacob? The cold vampiric Edward Cullen or the warm werewolf Jacob? Which group of teen girls would I "Woo hoo!" with when my leading man came on screen? It's the question that engages the female audience …
review by . April 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This Film is SUCKAGE...But it Doesn't Even Suck Blood!
   Let’s get one thing out the way; I am not this film’s target audience and I am not at all familiar with Stephanie Meyer’s books. So why the heck would I even bother to see the sequel to “Twilight” when I didn’t like it at all? Well, my friend @Sean_Rhodes had created a list of “Twilight” promotional products that were quite frankly a little freaky and I do work with someone who is a closet fan, so I said why the heck not? “The Twilight …
review by . March 25, 2011
Twihards went out in full force and filled midnight screenings all over Manhattan. The same time late year I attended the midnight screening of Twilight on 34th st, but choose to catch the second installment at a theater in queens, and the thing I noticed is that those who attended the screening all seemed to be much older then the fans that attended the first film. Was it the area? Is it just the the fans have grown up that much in the past year? Or is the Twilight series beginning to become so …
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
  I was so disgusted with the first Twilight movie that i didn't even want to go see this one. But after much prompting from my friends i went to see it and was surprisingly....not disappointed. The plot followed the book so well it was painfully obvious that it was a different director, one who clued in to the fact that Twilight fans don't want to pay $10 to see their favorite books mangled and massacred accross the screen. To say that the acting greatly improved would be an …
review by . November 25, 2009
While New Moon personally isn't the best of the Twilight series of the books, its now turned out to be the better of the films that have come out thus far.  New Moon's new film direction makes it very understandable why Catherine Hardwicke got kicked out of the directors chair for the sequel.  New director Chris Weitz, who was responsible for directing The Golden Compass, gave New Moon a more serious feel while attempting to take as much cheese out of the film as possible.  While …
review by . November 23, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
When it comes to the Twilight Saga, there's no denying the unusual popularity (no matter how strange it may be).  I read all four books and while I'm not big fan of Twilight, I actually will admit that when it came to New Moon, I rather liked that story.  Probably because Edward was hardly in it, but also because it's the only story which introduces us to Jacob.  The only reason I like Jacob?  He's the only character Meyer ever created that seemed to have actual dimension.  …
review by . June 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
New Moon
WOW...That is the word that everyone should be saying to this movie. What this movie brings is something that no one expects. In the first we find out about Edward and his family are Vampires, but now in New Moon we have Jacob and his family transform into wolves that is just something you dont expect when watching Twilight.      When You first watch a vampire movie or show you first think its going to be gory...But these showed a whole different side to the vampire story. Meaning …
review by . September 12, 2010
   Team Jacob, Team Edward? I must say I'm in neutral territory on this one. After seeing Twilight and then attempting to read the book I'm giving all that I've absorbed a thumb's up for storytelling and creativity, and a thumb's down for over-the-top drama.      However, even though I will not join either team Edward or Jacob at this point in time, the story lines of nebulous good vs. evil, love vs. obsession and immortality are fascinating.   …
review by . September 11, 2010
Team Jacob, Team Edward? I must say I'm in neutral territory on this one. After seeing Twilight and then attempting to read the book I'm giving all that I've absorbed a thumb's up for storytelling and creativity, and a thumb's down for over-the-top drama.    However, even though I will not join either team Edward or Jacob at this point in time, the story lines of nebulous good vs. evil, love vs. obsession and immortality are fascinating.    I had a little …
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in The Twilight Saga
the best movie thus far in the saga...but i think if they do it right the breaking dawn duo could probably change my opinion on that!
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Chris Pandolfi ()
Ranked #5
Growing up a shy kid in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles, Chris Pandolfi knows all about the imagination. Pretend games were always the most fun for him, especially on the school playground; he and his … more
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About this movie

Wiki

The second movie in Stephenie Meyer's vampire saga finds Bella shortly after her 18th birthday, Edward and his family leave the town of Forks, Washington in an attempt to save Bella from the dangers of "their world". Depressed and heartbroken, Bella meanders aimlessly through her senior year. However, when she's in danger, the image of Edward comes to her. Through her deepening desire to be with him, she puts herself in greater danger and takes more risks.

A childhood friend, Jacob helps her build a motorbike to carry her on her travels and suddenly her once cold heart starts to warm with the budding relationship with Jacob, a member of a secret tribe with a supernatural secret all his own.

When Bella comes face to face with her arch nemesis, a group of supernatural wolves come to her rescue and it becomes clear that she is still in grave danger. She finds out Jacob's tribe's secret and the real reason Edward left. She ends up in a potentially deadly reunion with Edward which was far from what she had expected.

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Details

Director: Chris Weitz
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2010
Runtime: 130 minutes
Studio: Summit Entertainment
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