The 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 RottenTomatoes.com, 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.