TWILIGHT: NEW MOON :: FANTASY :: 022

The second film installment of Stephenie Meyer’s grotesquely popular vampire series has certainly raised the bar from it’s previous and highly-mediocre (many say “dreadful”) first film.  Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown, The Nativity Story) is out of the director’s chair for this one, and is replaced by the slightly-more-polished, Chris Weitz (About A Boy, The Golden Compass)… why?… supposedly because of “time constraints”, but my inner opinion poll says otherwise.  Critics and vampire fanatics are, again, having a field day with the emergence of New Moon.

A money machine – New Moon placed third on the all-time domestic chart, bested only by Spider-Man 3 ($151.1 million in 2007) and The Dark Knight ($158.4 million in 2008).  It’s amazing that, with the amount of money that Twilight is pulling in [$69.6 million in the opening weekend (Twilight) compared to $142.8 for New Moon], the studios couldn’t find a more seasoned director, however, the studio’s choice in Chris Weitz turns out to be a wise one.

After being briefed the story by my girlfriend (who has read the Twilight Series) I had the gut feeling that I’d hold this particular film in higher esteem.  I consider myself wildly romantic and have no problem sitting down and watching a well-done love story (i.e. The Notebook, Sleepless in Seattle).  I had, however, become quite tiresome of the Edward and Bella’s “You’re my life… You are my soul” talk.  Then they attempt at a kiss… sometimes convulsing with pleasure and, per example (in the New Moon), performing what I call “The makes-me-giggle kiss of whimpering-ecstasy.” (giggles continue just thinking about it)

New Moon limits the amount of quasi-kanoodling and vomitous lubby-love-talk by Edward (Robert Pattinson) proclaiming to Bella (Kristen Stewart) that they “Can never see each other again.”  Ex-squeeze me? Baking Powder?  Bella then drops into a mad, heroin-junkie-like depression, that is, until she finds out that she can can connect with Edward by walking towards the dark edge of death (i.e. motorcycles, ocean-side cliffs, etc.).  And then comes the fangirl moment, when native american-werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) strips off his shirt in stripper-fashion to blot Bella’s motorcycle injury (let’s not go even go there!).  It’s all doggy-style from then on, until a misunderstanding leads Edward to think that Bella is dead.  And the rest… you’ll have to see for yourself.

The acting is much improved and has the added stardom of Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) as Aro of the Volturi and Dakota Fanning (Man on Fire, Push) as Jane, the sadistic and tele-destructive dark vampress.  With Chris Weitz at the helm, the film is expertly paced with the script, and this enables his actors to take control by acting (not by drowning the performances with unneeded, swirling camera shots).  The CGI of the werewolves still leaves the techno-realist in me wanting more wolf, less animation, but perhaps, we are just not there yet.  How can they make a 40-ton King Kong that would make Diane Fossey pee in her pants, but we can’t do the same for wolves?  Maybe they just hooked up with the people that did the Coca-Cola polar bear/penquin commercials and said “They will be fine.”  Still enjoyable, but if you are wanting me to believe in werewolves, you’ve got to do better than that.

There are two shots that I particularly liked – the first being an encircling shot of heartbroken Bella as she sits in her chair, each rotation giving rise to a change of season.  And two (where the CGI shines), on observing a painting of the Volturi (the vampire equivalent of high priest councel-ruling class) the facet and crosshatch lines of the paint smooth as the camera lens zooms, becoming as a real-time window into the Volturi life.

The truth of the matter is that New Moon didn’t need to do much to outdo its predecessor.  I think we all realized that.  Critics will undoubtedly scream that the story is diving away from its source; that being the relationship between Edward and Bella.  But even the critics must not take these events, characters and dialogue too seriously….  For it seems that, some of the its flaws, are designed to help keep it as authentically real as possible.  Because only a character like Bella can say:

(Bella to Jacob) : You’re so warm! You’re like your own sun.

We forgive her every oddity and we should, because despite some pretty wack lines, Stewart carries the movie on her shoulders.  And with a red-headed and revenge-driven vampire still on her tracks, and my girlfriend’s assurance of “more Dakota Fanning to come”… I’m sure to be another warm body in the theater seat for film number trois.

Please give your thoughts on New Moon below!  I’m eagerly awaiting my feeding… of fresh comments.  Cheers.

For those wanting to see the review for Twilight, click here.

* IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog post has been, undeniably, my most popular one.  This is, obviously, no thanks to my writing talents but to the huge popularity of the movie itself.  Because this review is generating soooo much traffic, I’d like to use this time (while I still have you) to direct you to our Facebook Fan Page.  Get instant updates and be a part of our discussion forums. [CLICK HERE]   We’d love to have you!

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19 Responses to “TWILIGHT: NEW MOON :: FANTASY :: 022”

  1. I think that this is a movie for the fans. I am not sure if they want to win a bigger audience. But I think that the millions they hauled proves that many wanted to see it. There really must be lotsa twihards. I am one of em

  2. new moonnn!!!!!

  3. I concur 100%.

    Twilight left me wanting to vomit both physically and emotionally level. I can’t believe I stayed awake through it. It was like someone turned the Emo dial up to 200%. In fact thinking about that day I sat through that drivel a year ago still makes me cringe… and not in a good way.

    New Moon, on the other hand, is a totally different beast (pun intended.) I was glad that Pattenson was vacant from the majority of this film (albeit the hair is less visually offensive this time around.) Stewart actually does a little acting this time around (despite the occasional lame dialogue (although nothing could top Hayden Christianson in the Star Wars prequel with the all time worst line ever, “I hate sand. It gets everywhere.”)) Given she acts pretty Emo, but I’m told that’s in these days. She is at least believable as a person now. Without giving away anything, I’ll say that the crux of the action of the film (Bella attempting to stop a certain something) winds up feeling disembodied from the rest of the film. I know it’s book-ended somewhat from the opening, but it just feels… outside of the scope of the rest of the film and, frankly, a bit rushed.

    Oh! I almost to turn my focus towards Jacob! May I say thank god for scissors! Yes, he’s got a great body, but he just looks… well… wrong to me. Given I personally don’t swing that way, and yes, looks aren’t everything. However, I just can’t help but feel like Bella could do better. Yes, Jacob seems uber sweet in the first part of the film, but his actions in the 2nd half more than counter any warm fuzzies engendered initially.

    I have to give my props to Jasper the best line in the film, “It would be nice not to want to kill you all the time!” Amen! That’s exactly how I feel! Keep it real Jasper!

    • joycereview Says:

      great connection made- Hayden and Kristin actually seem like they’d make a great couple, don’t they? I had forgotten about Hayden (easily done, I know)! But that was a whopper of a quote (“sand”). But I think his observation humor was a tad more clever than Stewart’s “you’re like your own sun.”

      Jasper did a a great line… you’re right. And Jacob… well, he’s pretty interesting but they aren’t utilizing his talents (yet). If you haven’t seen his athletic abilities with a bow-staff and acrobatic kicks, watch his SNL monologue on YouTube. It’s very impressive.

      Hold the vomit… at least until the summer (for Part Three).

  4. Twilight was good. New Moon was better. I only wonder how good the next Twilight movie will be… I mean can it be worse. According to this quiz, it’s supposed to be terrible http://twilight-quiz.blogspot.com

  5. charlotte Says:

    Twilight amazing. New moon very saucey, i like a bit of romance! Eclipse is going to be fantastic, i can tell. Its probally going to be like a romance film! I want eclipse to be in cinemas now!

  6. new moon was awesome but it wasn’t like the book

    • joycereview Says:

      Oh really? I haven’t read any of the books, but from some of my sources, they say that they did a pretty good job in bringing the book to cinematic terms. What was so different (without giving away too much to our readers)?

  7. jesse Says:

    The ending was really different from the book.

  8. $0u[ja girl Says:

    OMG!!!!? Bella choose a man already their both hot i mean CHOOSE ONE HAHA LOL

  9. HEY BELLA CHOOSE A MAN ALREAY LOL JK

  10. Hello~! I enjoyed reading about your twilight new moon reviews post!~ please do come visit me sometime as well~!
    Twilight4eva~**
    Xoxo
    Mandy.l

  11. wow….. Great!!!

    NIka

  12. I love this topic!
    Oh,NEW MOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. I hadn’t read any of the books when I watched twilight. I loved it (until I read the book and saw new moon) now, in comparison, twilight was TERRIBLE. I just wish they had made the movie as good as the book was. I’ve now read the series twice and seen New Moon so many times I have lost count! They did a better job with New Moon so I’m excited (and so very anxious) to see Eclipse

  14. i think that twylight is kool but new moon is the best i have already watched i five times. xxx

  15. jordan Says:

    i sooooooooooo luv new moon i think jacob is soooooo sexy im glad bella said no but if i was her i would have said yes!lol i cant wait for eclipse.i luved it wen jacob said “hey”right after he jumped in threw bellas window and he looked so hot wen he was in the rain

  16. Ha Ha striper Jack black i think he should do that more and leave Edward’s Bella alone
    i have read the book and it is much better than the movie can ever be

    i did not like any of the twilight movies
    i mean nor are vampires beautiful and jacob black piece of meat nothing else

  17. I think new moon was really good but when you see the new movie of eclipse is really good and i seen it 5 times and it is wired that my name bella is same thing at bella from the movie so peace out lov ya ttyl xoxo

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