New Moon (2009)

Posted by Maria Mills | Posted on 7:07 PM | Posted in

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Movie Review written by: Born Movie Reviews
RT Critics Rating: 2.8/10

Born Movie Reviews' Rating: 2/10

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (2009) - Chris Weitz

The most important thing to a movie trailer is to give the audience a sense of what the movie is about. The oohs and ahs come second. Always. This has been the way movies were marketed and promoted. Give the world a little teaser of what they are going to get in a few months. For the Twilight saga, apparently, this little teaser has no connection to the story whatsoever. Remember Jacob Black from the first movie? Bring him back. Take his shirt off. Show his six-pack. End the trailer. Show the movie title: New Moon. Most illogical.

After viewing Twilight, I knew that the film's success will bring about the entire book series to be adapted onto the big screen. In my thoughts, the first film was more of an experimentation, where the filmmakers see what worked and what did not work -- call it a little "trial and error," if you will. The movie left many holes that can be filled in, and gave the franchise a chance to truly stand up. However, the direction New Moon took was the very direction that I feared it would take, and the teaser trailer itself already exposed its grand imminent demise.

New Moon begins with the Cullen family celebrating Bella's (Kristen Stewart) 18th birthday. During the party, she gets a paper cut, which triggers Edward's younger brother, Jasper, to attack her. Realizing that he and his family still pose as dangerous to Bella, Edward (Robert Pattinson) decides to end their relationship and leaves the town with the rest of the Cullens. As Bella gets more and more depressed, she slowly connects with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who is later revealed to be a werewolf from a werewolf clan. Yes, the movie begins to lean into a love triangle, the three being a human, a vampire, and a werewolf. I cannot help but ask this question: Can Bella ever fall in love with a normal human being for once?

For all the Robert Pattinson fans, New Moon trailed away from him a bit and focused more on Lautner this time around, so if you are expecting anything significant from the vampire, not much will please you. This time, it's Team Jacob.

Unlike the sparkling vampire, the werewolf boy appeals better on screen, however his acting once again is unable to coat appearances. In the predecessor, Edward Cullen defines the word "awkward" when delivering lines. However, in a certain way, it is forgiven because he is a vampire. He bears a gothic tone. Maybe he's supposed to be weird like this. Here, for a werewolf, there is no reason to be awkward. Here, Lautner's performance does nothing but tell the audience that he has not worked on his acting as much as his body. Despite the film having impressive visual effects for the werewolves, New Moon poorly defines the very meaning of the word. In Harry Potter, there is a difference between a werewolf (Lupin) and an animagus (Sirius). In New Moon, Lautner is purely acting out as an animagus, yet he calls himself a werewolf. Well, if vampires sparkle under the sun, then I guess werewolves do not look humanoid.

In Twilight, the relationship between Bella and Edward is undoubtedly rushed. In New Moon, the relationship is rushed once again, but this time between Bella and Jacob. This is Twilight: The Werewolf Version. However, the film takes a turn for the worse when it comes to characterization.

As much as Ashley Greene's portrayal of Alice still lifts the screen, Kristen Stewart's monotonous performance drags the film down once again. I mentioned before that she looked like she had the mother of all migraines. Here, with dialogue that has not improved but possibly went worse, the one who had the migraine was me. Nothing romantic nor emotional exists in this movie. It is just a string of scenes that go from one to the next, with barely any legit transitions nor a core that holds the narrative together. Worse, it is not just scene to scene. It is awkward moment to awkward moment, and for a running time over two hours, the film feels even longer. The slow pacing of the narrative, the vacant atmosphere, the lack of substance and life -- All of these elements prove that New Moon has nothing to shine.

However, New Moon took the worst path of all, a decision that threw the entire franchise down a muddy pit. Looking back at Twilight, in spite of its acting and script being lukewarm, it was at least an attempt at making a movie with a wide target audience. The problem was that society slowly began to view Twilight for the sole purpose of the actors' attractiveness. The importance of the story? Forgotten. The attempt at making an actual movie? Dumped. In other words, New Moon was made to aim itself at one target audience: the hardcore fans who liked the franchise for the wrong reason. It takes that direction, and what you are left with is a barren movie with a tedious story, colorless acting, and dreary life. To quote Roger Ebert, the film "[took] the tepid achievement of Twilight, [gutted] it, and [left] it for undead."

In conclusion, New Moon was a chance horribly missed. It had great potential to fill in the gaps left by its predecessor, which I do not fully blame. Twilight came as an experimental film, trying out things that worked and did not work. Now that the filmmakers knew how to make it better, New Moon was a chance to take the franchise to the right direction, to faithfully adapt the novels not just visually but also internally. Instead, it failed, went the opposite direction, and ignited its own undoing. With the movie's sluggish pacing, lack of action, and awkward scenes that wreak with bizarreness, you might find yourself slowly becoming a vampire, that is, slowly dying inside.

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