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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The second movie in the Twilight series released in 2009.

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It's a Full Moon

  • Nov 23, 2009
Rating:
+2
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.  Didn't stop the book from being overdramatic and soap operaish (and Bella only became more annoying as the series went on), but it at least made New Moon tolerable.  It's not a great book but it's still the best of the entire Twilight Saga.  Suck it Team Edward... Jacob is just that much better and cooler, and it has everything to do with him not being much of a fantasy.

Unfortunately while the book was better than Twiight (borderline good, even... but then Edward shows up again and it goes to hades) the movie suffers, strangely enough, from some of the exact same problems.  Although not quite to the same disturbing degree.  On the other hand, as a result the movie isn't quite as funny bad.  And there are even moments when the movie isn't so bad at all... but dammit it's just hard to get over some of the problems.  So when I say it's a full moon... I mean it's a full moon.

The story begins with Bella (Kristen Stewart) realizing she's getting old because it's her birthday and she's turning 18.  I wish that was a joke, but its not.  Bella is turning 18 and she's panicked because it means she'll be older than Edward because he's eternally stuck at 17.  Woe is Bella!  When Edward (Robert Pattinson) kindly reminds Bella that he's around 109 I was disappointed that Chris Hanson didnt show up and ask him to have a seat right over there.  Nevertheless Bella is bummed out because, as everyone knows, once you turn 18 you're old and your life is pretty much over.  There's only one solution, and that's for Edward to turn Bella into a vampire.  That's what Bella wants, not Edward.

Nevertheless, Edward decides to have Bella over at his house for her birthday.  At which point she gets a papercut... in a house full of vampires.  As a result Edward's brother Jasper loses control.  In order to save her Edward pushes Bella across the room in which she hits a wall and falls to the floor... bleeding more.  No, I don't know why Edward thought THAT would be better (that abusive asshole!) but he did.  After this, Edward sees Bella later and decides they can't be together as a result of the family always wanting to eat her.  So he goes away and we realize at this point that Bella didn't turn 18... she turned 8.  Bella sulks.  A lot.  In one of the movies cheesiest moments we see as the camera rotates around her showing the months change from October... to November... to December.  Apparently Bella never moved from that chair for three months... never did a thing with a friends and didn't really change clothes either.  When she finally goes on a girls night with her friend Jessica (a girl who says "like" so much you think someone on MTV must've written the awful dialog), and Bella discovers that if she starts doing reckless things she'll see Edward.  She demonstrates this (and her stupidity) by getting on the back of a bike with a total stranger who must be in 40's or something (but is still younger and better for her than Edward).  Turns out it works, though.  After that little rush her friend Jessica decides that Bella must be crazy... effectively making Jessica the smartest person in this entire movie.

On the other hand, that rush makes her enjoy bikes.  God only knows why.  So she gets two bikes and begins to hang around with Jacob.  And this is, surprisingly, where the movie begins to get sort of good.  If only because of all the actors here... Taylor Lautner is the only one who actually seems to show any emotion.  Kirsten Stewart walks around with the same stone cold expression while Robert Pattinson looks quite constipated through out the entire ordeal (I WISH that was a joke!).  If the two are actually supposed to be in love in any way, shape or form I missed it.  Every moment those two spends together seems forced.  And their inability to smile or anything is also very annoying.

Anyway, now that they've been spending time together, it only makes sense that Jacob would become attracted to Bella.  And while things seem strange at first, their friendship does blossom.  Of course, Bella only wants Edward and ends up treating Jacob like... well... a dog (see what I did there?  The irony? Laugh all you want but it's still clever than 99% of the dialog in this movie!).  After a night to the movies with a kid named Mike (who's a goof but still better looking and better for Bella than Edward) Jacob gets pretty sick.  Except it isn't a fever.  The next time Bella sees Jacob he's completely shirtless, with short hair and apparently has a little secret of his own.  Soon Bella discovers he is a Werewolf... and he's much hotter than Edward... because he's not Robert Pattinson.

If you don't know the rest of the story there's no use telling it to you, so we'll stop there.  The important thing is that Jacob is a Werewolf.  Yes, Bella still pines for Edward (despite everyone she meets being better for her) and yes she still has the worst dad in the world.  Admittedly enough, the special effects for the wolves don't look half bad.  But also, the Werewolf aspect doesn't work so badly at all.... probably because they don't sparkle ever.  Therefore we can say the wolves here are badasses because no one wants to kick the shit out of them for posing as homosexuals by sparkling.  Damn homophobic vampires.

Everyone talks a lot about how cinema objectifies women.  I only mention this because if there was ANY example of how Hollywood also objectifies men... New Moon would be it.  Edward abandons Bella... but meets a packs of wolves who, in human form, run around shirtless... all five of them.  And all of them have six packs.  So... Edward is gone... but there are five half naked hot guys and Bella is disappointed?  We could make a million homoerotic jokes here but the point is, when people talk about how they've really driven up the testostrone level for the ladies... they're not fooling.  In fact, the only guys who aren't hot looking are Bella and Jake's parents... and Robert Pattinson.  Actually, all of the vampires still look like emo kids (and Jasper STILL looks like he should've been casted in a Tim Burton movie instead). 

The acting is by no means all that great.  No one is more annoying than the two lead actors.  If only because the two are just... well... emotionless.  The two Twilight films would actually be better if the Bella and Edward were portrayed by better actors.  And if they didn't sparkle.  I can't get over that.  The fact that Edward's ability to be a walking disco ball is a huge part of the plot is actually very annoying.  On the other hand, as I said, Taylor Laurent, who plays Jacob, actually doesn't do such a bad job.  Neither does some of the other supporting cast of characters.  There are also a couple of other actors who show up and actually do a good job.  Michael Sheen has a small part and he does remarkably well with it.  So does Dakota Fanning.  They're not important characters by any means but they make their particular scenes with them interesting.  Especially Dakota Fanning who actually seems like a threatening vampire.

I'll also give a bit of credit to the film's soundtrack as it's actually not half bad either.  On the other han it's hard to ignore most of the bad writing and tacky camera tricks.  The dialog is awful.  Bella describes Jasper losing it as nothing, which Edward says, "You're right... it is nothing... nothing compared to what could've happened."  And each delivery of these lines from our two lead actors is delivered in a monotnous tone.  In fact, the moment when Kristen Stewart actually does show emotion is one of those moments you jump from your seat because you just didn't know she was capable of such.

And what of tacky camera tricks?  I talked about the camera rotating around Bella after Edward leaves that makes the scene where the three months are passing a little odd, but there are also absurd amounts of slowdown and zome in shots that just aren't necessary.  In one of the films pathetic "West Side Story" like battles it keeps moving in slow motion.  It was enough to make me think Zack Snyder started directing for a few minutes.  Nevertheless some of these little things happen that mainly seem to be for the sake of making the movie seem more intense and serious than it actually is.  The problem is that some of them are done so horribly that some of the moments come off as downright hilarious when it is pretty clear they're not supposed to be in the slightest.  The first Twilight movie has far more of these ridiculous moments (and it's therefore more unintentionally funny) but when New Moon has these moments happen to them... they're pretty darn bad.  

Is New Moon better than the first film?  By loads.  Partially because of Jacob and partially because we actually get a break from Bella oogling and swooning over Edward throughout the whole movie.  At the very least, however, you might get a good laugh from it.  Whether it's intended for you to laugh at certain parts or not is entirely up to you.  But I'll go as far as to say that it was because of being able to pick at New Moon and laugh at some of the absurdity of it that I rather enjoyed.  I'm not saying New Moon is so bad it's good... only that it's bad enough you can have fun with it if you turn your brain off.  And when you're in a theater where the rest of the audience isn't taking it seriously either... it can be quite enjoyable.  So much like the first one... if you're expecting any sort of good acting or anything like that you're definitely not going to get it.  At all.  The wolves are actually kind of cool (and if you're a girl who enjoys oogling hot guys the same way guys enjoy oogling hot girls on screen... uh... there's PLENTY to look at... trust me).  

It's a little absurd and over the top.  And it also tries a little too hard... especially when you consider that none of the actors do at all.  The movie begs to be taken seriously but it's just impossible to do so because so much of it is executed so poorly.

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November 23, 2009
I knew this review was coming LOL! I skipped this and we let our lady friends go w/out the guys to see this...we played poker instead! Your review may be the best one in this site currently. I just didn't like the fact that Meyers portray native Americans with a curse that makes them werewolves. Dumb ass writer didn't do her research in inventing her own formulas; Native Americans have the skinwalker legend and they are not werewolves but shapeshifters! (often mistaken to be but not so). I'll probably rent this movie when the dvd drops just to rip the stupid movie apart. What's funny is that the movie isn't even making that much money in Asia, whie it became a phenomenon here.

Great review, Sean, you probably put more thought in this review than Meyer and company did with their movies...
November 23, 2009
You want to know what's ironic? ALL the girls in our group actually DIDN'T want to see this while all the guys DID. Admittedly because we wanted to laugh at it. In fact, we had four guys in our group and one girl... and she only came because her boyfriend was going.

"God!" she said, "I'M not supposed to be the one being dragged off to a chick flick!"  

To which her boyfriend replied, "Oh, come on, we can make fun of it later.  We have to watch a bad movie every now and then!"

Then I finally had this plan.  We walked into the theater and I started a mock fight with my friend.  I decided I was "Team Jacob" while he could be "Team Edward."  It was the most awesomely pathetic fight EVER!  
November 23, 2009
Yes, a crowd did gather... and the word "slut" was thrown around a lot and there was a lot of sissy bitch slapping going on but it was very very hard to keep a straight face doing it.  At the very least, we got to make a lot of people laugh and thankfully no one decided to kick us out of the theater.
November 25, 2009
you should've posted that joke in youtube LOL
 
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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 …
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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 . June 25, 2010
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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 . June 29, 2010
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, …
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
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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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
First to Review

"New Moon with Old Tricks"
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