Movie Review – The Twilight Saga: New Moon (C+)

twilightnewmoonThe tidal wave of New Moon hysteria hit early this morning as thousands of women of all ages, along with 25 guys, streamed into screenings starting at midnight, all hoping the second film in The Twilight Saga would be as tasty or better than last year’s Twilight. Judging by the squeals and the oohs and the ahhs, I’d say 99 percent of the audience was satiated with enough gooey Edward and Bella romance to last until June 2010 when The Twilight Saga: Eclipse hits theaters. Me? I pulled my hood over my head and wept bitter tears for the unrequited love young Jacob must endure at the hands of that charlatan, Miss Swan.

Of course, I kid about hiding my face in my hood, but don’t be mistaken. While the New Moon tsunami has landed and will leave with its pockets full of cash, there is another fierce storm blowing across the web, this one in the form of severe hatred of all things Twilight, specifically the fans and the newest film. This is nothing new, I suppose, whereas Stephanie Meyer has been called a hack from coast-to-coast, the most notable being Stephen King’s lambasting of Meyer’s skills last February in USA Weekend. King said, “”Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people… the real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephanie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

I know, I know – love it or hate it, everyone has the right to their opinion, but I can’t help but feel many of these critics and pundits are hating just so they can hold hands and sing an angry Kumbaya with the loud majority screaming about how Meyer’s Twilight universe is senseless, boring drivel. The noise is especially loud regarding The Twilight Saga: New Moon, directed by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass). Amongst my Utah Film Critic’s Association brethren the film was pretty much blasted, most giving it a failing or average mark. As of this writing, on, the movie is earning a 30 percent fresh rating, with 40 fresh reviews and 93 rotten. Again, I’m not saying people should love the movie when it deserves to be punched in the crotch; all I’m saying is why the predisposition to levy spiteful anger at the franchise? (Check out Dan’s article below on the Twilight hatered.)

At any rate, that’s enough of that – you get my point. As for the story and plot of New Moon, do you really need me to delve too deeply? If you’re a Twilight fan, you know what happens, if you’re not, you’re going to get a high school soap opera that dances between the worlds of humans, werewolves and pasty-skinned vampires. Frankly, as someone who has never turned a single page in a Stephanie Meyer novel, the movie is harmless, lighthearted and nothing more than a vehicle to narrate the central theme of Meyer’s story – love and romance, specifically told from the perspective of starry-eyed teenagers.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon isn’t a great movie, but it’s not bad. I can’t really recommend it, but I wasn’t bored or drowning in cinematic hogwash. Like the Harry Potter quintology of films, it’s a feature built for fans (and a massive fan base at that), but the one advantage Potter has over Twilight is I don’t feel I have to read the books to fully enjoy what’s placed before me on the big screen. With Twilight, I feel I’m missing something that everyone else wearing a bra and makeup understands with extreme passion. Bottom line: If you’re a fan, it’s everything you probably want; if you’re not a fan, I’d go see The Blind Side.

14 comments On Movie Review – The Twilight Saga: New Moon (C+)

  • 95 percent of the audience here is men. Guess this movie appeals to another demographic outside Utah :)

  • It was brilliant, i love it. The whole audience love it going awww, woo !
    Fantastic and the ending was good, really cliff hanger!
    cant wait for eclispe!!!!

  • Thanks for being honest. Most men don’t get it. What’s really sad is they either are adamant about not getting or just don’t even know they don’t get it. That is incredibly sad since it appears fifty percent of the population hasn’t much of a clue about the other half. My issue with that is most men don’t even care to find out. It’s easier to cast aspersions at a book series and movies than to examine ones own lack of understanding. At least you admit you don’t get it. Oh, the books and movies are “entertainment”. Can something of import be gain. I can stand on my soap box and shout, YES. They have had a significant positive impact on my marriage. Will the story do that for everyone, uh, no. Should one group denigrate the other because they find a connection, I don’t think so. SO if you get it, you understand and sympathize those others, pity them. If you don’t get what Twilight is about, you pull your hood over your head, take stock of your testosterone (non-gender specific) and take a nap.

  • the movie was really funny but the end was really retarded. i mean really if she wants to turn into a vampire let her. and then the movie ends without an answer… thats really retarded

  • Yknow Shawn..ya might want to think about throwing up a spoiler alert before spewing out the ending.

    Some of us folks havent seen it yet..

  • I was so disappointed in this movie really they need to bring Catherine back to direct Breaking Dawn she made the movie real the way you see it when reading the books Chris did no justice to the New Moon book, don’t even want to see Eclipse now and thats sad cause I loved reading all the Twilight books.

  • What specifically disappointed you, Catherine? Just curious.

  • Overall I really enjoyed new moon and it won’t keep me from seeing the next one. But I was a little disappointed. I think my expectations may have been too high. But I was just hoping that Weitz would improve upon some things in the book. He did great with the special effects. Some parts were a little cheesy. And to someone who hasn’t read the books the characters may seem to lack depth. It is a good basic storyline, but I was hoping the Volturi scene would have been longer. There was also not much build up to that last scene. When you read the book its drawn out more so that its more suspenseful. Now I am just hoping Slade will do well with the (spoiler alert!) vampire battle in eclipse.

  • It was pretty obvious that they had a much bigger budget for New Moon than the original Twilight, which made a big difference in a lot of the action / special effects scenes.

  • I think I’m in love, Don. Andy, Dan – thank you so much for this site and your reviews. I agree with every word and loved that a bunch of men “got it.” I am one of those 30-somethings who fell in love with this story and really think (thought?) it could be the next Titanic, the next Shakespeare in Love… you know, the kind of gouge-your-eyes-out-sappy-romance that makes most men cringe while their wives gush with stars in their weepy eyes. Catherine Hardwicke really set the bar too low. Granted, she did a decent job with what she had, but I think she could’ve done better. Chris Weitz brought it up a notch and at least captured the angst well (if not the love story). I cried like a big ole crybaby when the “months” scene went round and round to Lykke Li’s “Possibility”… AH… exquisitely painful. But I’m still waiting for a director to show us why Bella and Edward love each other against all the dictates of nature and time. Where do we learn that he adores her for her selflessness, her courage, her humility? And where do we learn that she loves him for his chivalry, his tender strength, his self-effacing soul-deep beauty? *sigh* Well… regardless, I expect to watch this movie approximately 9 more times in the coming months (if Twilight is any gauge) while I wait impatiently for David Slade’s best efforts. *fingers and toes crossed* :)

  • Thanks Tonia– appreciate your compliments and insightful perspective!

  • Beofore this, I typed an entire review talking about what the movie lacked. Let me just say though, that I do not hate the beheemoth that is Twilight.As someone who has read all the books, the movie was useful. I say useful, because it highlighted all that was lacking from Meyer’s novels in the first place. I mean, how exactly can one make ‘Bella you are my world’ sound authentic the 27th time on film? For those that cried their eyes out, good for you, I say this with no hint of sarcasm. For the others, that like me, felt completely silly for having ever felt anything more than indifference towards Edward Cullen’s perfection, doing something very practical usually helps to take the ‘icky’ feeling away.

  • I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the awesome work Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the awesome work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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