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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.35%
Worth A Look: 17.65%
Average: 20.59%
Pretty Bad: 1.47%
Total Crap52.94%

3 reviews, 50 user ratings

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Twilight Saga, The: New Moon
[] Buy posters from this movie
by brianorndorf

"No Hardwicke Means Better Movie"
3 stars

It was only a year ago when “Twilight” entered my life. I had no history with the book, held immense reservations with the cast and crew, and found the hysteria surrounding the release obnoxiously manufactured by a desperate studio. And then I watched the film, finding every last one of my fears confirmed. “Twilight” was a dreadful picture on multiple levels, but most pointedly it was a shoddily produced affair entirely dependent on forgiving teen enthusiasm to provide colossal box office returns. Here we are again one year later with “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” and there have been a few changes to the franchise. Changes for the better.

Engorged with love for her vampire honey Edward (Robert Pattinson), Bella (Kristen Stewart) is facing the end of high school, eager to start her life with her bothered boyfriend. When a birthday party paper cut triggers the reality of life amongst the vampires, Edward and the rest of the Cullen family skip town, leaving Bella in an unrelenting fog of depression. Comforting her is Jacob (Taylor Lautner), newly buffed and ready to make his move on Bella. As the two grow closer, Jacob also turns away from Bella right at the moment of romantic satisfaction. Forced to meet his destiny as a monster werewolf, Jacob is put to the test when his animal instincts collide with his human desire, once again forcing Bella into a life of peril. With Jacob feeling out his protective impulses and Edward facing trial with vampire elders The Volturi (led by Michael Sheen), Bella is torn between two lovers, caught in a war she’s only just beginning to understand.

Gone is director Catherine Hardwicke. That sound you hear is me doing a happy dance. A clumsy, graceless filmmaker, Hardwicke’s fingerprints have been thoroughly rubbed off the “Twilight” franchise, replaced by Chris Weitz, last seen managing the stillborn blockbuster, “The Golden Compass.” The leap from Hardwicke to Weitz isn’t exactly leaping from Wood to Spielberg, but “New Moon” benefits from the fresh creative blood behind the camera. A man who has some sense of widescreen elegance and timing, the “Twilight” under Weitz’s watch is a considerably more persuasive distraction.

Whereas “Twilight” held next to no redeeming qualities, “New Moon” shows some effort carefully shaping author Stephenie Meyer’s world to the big screen. Weitz is a stronger conductor, finding pockets of mystery and mood to exploit while Bella figures out which monster she wants to tame. There’s one genuinely terrific scene in “New Moon” -- a hunting sequence where Jacob and the werewolves defend their turf from ginger vamp Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre, thankfully refused the gift of dialogue). It’s a superb blend of moony monsterdom, shameless soundtrack shilling, and inventive wire-fu. Hey, when all else fails the feature, at least Weitz nails one first-class scene. Hardwicke never got her film off the ground.

While promising in spurts, “New Moon” is still a stilted drag when concentrating on the triangle of lovers. Weitz is careful not to interfere with the formula that made “Twilight” such a smash, which means even more time with two lead actors incapable of providing a legitimate emotion. It’s tough to blame Weitz, since Orson Welles himself couldn’t pull anything resembling acting from Stewart, who once again tics and stutters he way through an excruciating performance. Bella’s 18 years of age now, but she still acts like an infant, and her scenes of loss when Edward shimmies out of her life are hysterically overcooked -- Bella convulses and screams like she misplaced a prized lottery ticket, not a creepy boyfriend, who incidentally enjoys rummaging through her personal effects when she’s not around. What a dreamboat.

Pattinson sort of mumbles his way through the film, though Edward is not the star of the show in “New Moon.” The tousled one leaves the movie for long stretches, mostly appearing in a ghostly Obi-Wan role, urging Bella to avoid becoming an adrenaline junkie to purge vampire love out of her system. Pattinson and Stewart’s scenes are a slow death, making it impossible to understand what type of connection they so vehemently share. The script requires burning and swooning, but these cold fish just indicate their way to total disaster. This leaves Lautner an open shot to steal the film, and the actor gets halfway there. Revealing a personality (Stewart and Pattinson’s kryptonite it seems) and a spunky attitude, Lautner overcomes his limited range and atrocious dialogue to add some spark (and obscene muscles) to an overwhelmingly dreary picture.

Also of interest is Michael Sheen as the David Coverdale figure of the Voltari gang, who camps his way through his brief shot of screentime, though in the best way imaginable. Also rocking fangs and a ‘tude is Dakota Fanning, accomplishing nothing as a Voltari enforcer, which isn’t surprising. Why she’s here is the film’s biggest mystery.

“New Moon” is incredibly somber and artificially elongated, robbing the cynical viewer out of prime giggle fits that should rightfully accompany these declarations of love, hasty exits, and sabotaged make-out sessions. And I would love to know what the werewolves spend monthly on jean shorts. They seem to burn through them pretty quick.

“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is just as crushingly goofy as “Twilight,” but Weitz’s effort to solidify the material is noticeable and appreciated. With “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” due in theaters in a mere eight months (“New Moon” ends with a cliffhanger), there’s some hope that the series will improve over time, effectively righting every last Hardwicke wrong. This is not a quality film by any means, but it’s a step up, and that’s a relief.

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originally posted: 11/21/09 06:41:34
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User Comments

2/14/15 jason gracio terrible film like nolan batman 1 stars
7/27/12 Venita New Moon blew me away, it was better than I thought it would be. Have the DVD. :) 5 stars
7/29/11 Chris. Synopsis: I'm a teen and I have AAAAAAAANGST 1 stars
5/25/11 cbiebs ah-mazing! even tho edward wasn't in it (WHICH HE SHUD HAVE BEEN) it wuz still good 4 stars
12/14/10 sandra dee a good sequel even if i don"t see lot of edward. 4 stars
11/29/10 hunt a decent follow up with cool effects especially the werewolves, but slow at times. 3 stars
11/29/10 car a good follow up , more action than romance and werewolf effects were cool. 4 stars
4/06/10 Wearedoomed If this movie had been at least been five minutes longer, I would've had myself commited. 1 stars
3/25/10 othree deadpan dialog, half baked acting, wolves were cool though! 3 stars
1/31/10 Kimmy Makes Twilight look like a masterpiece 2 stars
1/21/10 Stanley Thai Although not better than the first, this sequel improves on the technical side. 3 stars
1/16/10 Timmayy Some good differences from the first one. Intro to the volutri was the best part. 3 stars
12/24/09 Chloe Just like the book- mindnumbingly dull with one dimensional depressing characters. Blahhhhh 1 stars
12/23/09 Ashley G Tedious. Mindless chatter. Awful acting. Dreary and definitely not worth the wait. Bleh. 1 stars
12/21/09 Summer One of the worst movies EVER - and I loved the books -so disappointed 1 stars
12/21/09 amy Went with me sister. She liked the movie. I just thought it was "okay". 3 stars
12/20/09 SirGent This more like "New Cure For Insomnia", pointless. 1 stars
12/11/09 EILEEN Nice:D 5 stars
12/11/09 Leeann a fair enough film, but way too long. 90 mins would have been enough. 3 stars
12/09/09 Tamara Woleston 1 stars
12/09/09 Dan This film didn't need an editor... it's so emo it cut itself. 1 stars
12/08/09 Jonathan Holmes Hollwood has done the impossible: they've released a movie that's worse than Transformers 2 1 stars
12/07/09 Anna How teenage girls can look up to this tripe as the pinnacle of romance is beyond me. 1 stars
12/06/09 Jess Absolute garbage. So bad it was funny! You'd have to be a complete moron to enjoy this. 1 stars
12/06/09 Mike Proof why misogyny and virgins exist. Transformers 2 is Godfather compared to this. 1 stars
12/06/09 Scott I lost brain cells watching this trash.... 1 stars
12/04/09 Stacey This was a fair and sensitive review. Its a romantic movie and well-done at that. 4 stars
12/04/09 Ashley I love the Twilight Saga and this movie was amazing! 5 stars
12/02/09 Will If you want to see a worthwhile vampire film, see "Let the Right One In" or "Thirst." 1 stars
12/02/09 nic cage one of the worst films ever made 1 stars
12/02/09 Paul Baker "Terrible, terrible" does it for me. 1 stars
12/01/09 Dude People who hate it simply don't know how to open their eyes, and I'm an Asian. 4 stars
11/30/09 Cody Terrible film and actually worse then Transformers 2. This film is laughably bad and boring 1 stars
11/30/09 Madame Masque I actually walked out halfway through. God bless the little 14 year old girls who find this 1 stars
11/30/09 Storm So bad it was funny. The worst movie of the year based off of the worst book series 1 stars
11/29/09 D entry level fantasy, for those incapable of reading at even a 2nd grade level 1 stars
11/29/09 potterhead was heaving and sighing midway through the movie because of boredom, thinking "ENOUGH!" 1 stars
11/29/09 MovieFan I loved New Moon. Your review was mean-spirited and totally off the mark. 5 stars
11/29/09 Jon S If it's just like Transoformers 2, then do we at least get to see Devestator's balls? 1 stars
11/29/09 Marie Astonishingly, hand-wringingly, eye-rollingly, teeth-clenchingly bad. 1 stars
11/26/09 Ming This is the borest movie of the disappointment for me...not much interesting 1 stars
11/25/09 Cougar Twihard It made "Twilight" look like an Ingmar Bergman film. 1 stars
11/24/09 Sharon N. I loved It and I am not a teen! Closely followed the book. 5 stars
11/23/09 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Took my teen cousin to see this, she thought it was dreadful. 1 stars
11/21/09 Darkstar I had to watch this godawful pile of crap. Proof that todays teens are fucking braindead. 1 stars
11/21/09 JAR JAR The director was terrable, people just liked it because of the plot. Was NOT as good as #1. 3 stars
11/20/09 kaz good but not great 4 stars
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  20-Nov-2009 (PG-13)
  DVD: 20-Mar-2010


  DVD: 20-Mar-2010

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