Film Review: THE TWILIGHT SAGA - NEW MOON (2009)
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"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" Movie Review. 3/10.
By Todd Murphy. ALL ABOUT MOVIES.NET. Share
Directed by Chris Weitz
Starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Boring, long-winded, lifeless and corny, “New Moon” takes an otherwise good idea and creates a far below average film experience, with a love story that is excruciating to watch in its self-absorbed and clunky melodrama.
“New Moon” starts with a strong and unique concept for a vampire film, thanks to the book upon which it is based. In this sequel, Bella (Kristen Stewart) is torn between her love for vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), while delving in to their worlds and the factors in which they are opposed. The film builds on its predecessor by expanding the love story and the world, and this is helped somewhat by the better technical execution of the images and editing; “New Moon” looks and feels more like a film than Twilight, with some clever filmmaking techniques such as the 360 degree camera move on Bella as she transitions through months of depression after Edward leaves her. If nothing else, “New Moon” is technically more accomplished than its predecessor.
The bad points for this film are almost too many to compress in to this review. Structurally, the film is something of a mess; it would seem the spine of it is the love triangle between Edward, Jacob and Bella but the film moves between this and other subplots with jarring transitions. Edward and Bella are doing great in the beginning, and then we are brought to one scene where he breaks up with her, without much warning except for a couple of perfunctory and arbitrary lines of dialogue explaining Edward’s actions. We then spend an inordinate amount of time on the developing relationship between Bella and Jacob, with both eventually spouting their words of love in some of the most long-winded and corny sequences in cinematic history, with dialogue worse than a soap opera, and blatant “look-at-me” shots of poor Taylor Lautner walking around without his shirt on. It then gets worse when the vampires return, again an arbitrary transition in story, and Bella finds she has to save Edward from a rather nasty death at the hands of the vampire elite in Rome. Again, more long winded sequences, culminating in Edward spouting how Bella is the best and only thing in his world, yada-yada-yada… Both Edward and Jacob are clearly suffering in their passion for Bella, but unfortunately this is completely unbelievable because Bella, as played by Kirsten Stewart, is one of the most boring and lifeless heroines committed to film. It is hard to imagine why any one would be that passionate over someone so average. Stewart’s performance is so lifeless that all of her character’s motivations seem stupid, particularly her ‘junkie’ tricks of doing dangerous things to keep Edward near her in spirit. The story being told in this film relies on performances to carry it dramatically, and the actors here have either been given no direction, not much to work with, or they checked their skills at the door when production started. All of this combined makes for a film that can be at times excruciating to watch in its corny silliness. If the film had thirty minutes cut from the running time it may have worked better, but not much. What is astonishing above all of this is that no one on the production of this film ever noticed how bad a product they were making. There is no excuse for this, given the resources behind the film and the seemingly good story implied in the plot. Or maybe they did not care; after all, the fans have spoken and the film is a huge hit.
Click here for the original review at All About Movies.net.
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Todd Murphy is a film analyst and staff writer/reviewer for the film and DVD review web site, ALL ABOUT MOVIES.NET.