Twilight Saga: New Moon, The (2009)

The Twilight Saga: New MoonReviewed by Nomad

Starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene

Directed by Chris Weitz

It’s that time again! All the little girls of the world are jumping around like they have to take a bathroom break, bursting with anticipation for the day when their dear Edward slow walks across the big screen again, all slack-jawed and lazy-eyed like the vampire equivalent of Garfield. Surely, The Twilight Saga: New Moon will destroy at the box office this weekend with advance ticket sales alone, but beyond all the sparkle, there is a dark side. I feel that after this movie is released, we will have to hold a telethon for those poor boys (and girls for that matter) talked into taking a friend to this film. They leave, shambling like zombies, eyes vacant, scratching their head in disbelief, and, if I’m not mistaken, looking a bit older … beaten by life. As you have already calculated, this is not a review. It’s a cautionary tale.

Bella (Stewart) loves Edward (Pattinson) with the passion only a slip of a teenage girl with very few facial expressions can muster. Edward loves Bella so deeply he feels their souls are intertwined. Unfortunately, Edward is a vampire (in a fashion), and part of his desire for Bella is tainted by his monstrous urge to taste her blood between his lips. Nevertheless, Edward has vowed he will always keep her safe and waits for her wherever she goes, standing a short distance away in a stylish sport coat and slacks, looking off into the woods for no apparent reason. Theirs is a love so tragic that when their lips meet, it causes them to groan in agony … quite literally. THEIRS is a love SO POWERFUL that Edward must move half a world away in the hopes Bella can have a normal life, but he still remains spiritually tethered to her when danger is near.

The Twilight Saga: New MoonWhen Edward takes off for parts unknown, Bella is torn apart, staring longingly out her window as the months fade away (just like the book, kids!!), each night spent screaming into her pillow as if she’d just been told she can’t go to Jackie’s make-out party. Her dreams torment her, and distancing herself from the few friends she has just makes matters worse. In walks Jacob Black (Lautner), a boy who, we are constantly reminded, is younger than Bella but cares for her as best he can, though it’s obvious he has a seething hatred for Edward and his kind. Jacob and Bella become closer as he agrees to repair some motorcycles for her, the damage coming as a result of her attempt to taste death and feel Edward close to her, if for only a fleeting moment. When it seems Jacob might make the pain of loss fade away, the boy chops off his hair and joins a gang of wayward youths who loiter around the woods with no shirts on. TRAGIC!!! Of course, we already know Jacob and his shirtless company are werewolves (again, in a fashion), and … umm … do you really want to hear the rest of this? It’s all in the trailer. Wolf boys go grrrrr. Jacob doesn’t want to hurt Bella. Bella looks cross-eyed a lot. And Victoria and Laurent have returned for revenge.

The original Twilight gang is back with the emotional weight of a poorly rehearsed high school production. Stewart painfully forces her anguish, unrelentingly, on the audience as she struggles to make it all work. Whether it is successful in the eyes of the pre-teen girls it is meant for remains to be seen, but I can attest that the book-loving/older teen audience in attendance with me were writhing in their seats. Never have two hours felt like six in such a way before. Those hoping for brief relief via battle scenes and/or vamp/wolfie action will find themselves floundering in a sea of low grade love story muck as the drama drags on. Stewart delivers a great deal of her lines into Lautner’s buff chest as he masters his stern “pout and sigh” maneuver before running off into the night. Pattinson and Stewart seem to recoil in pain when they get too close to each other. You’d think someone would have asked them to bring down the intensity just a little bit! Somewhere there’s a soap opera cast going, “WOW … overact much?”

The Twilight Saga: New MoonThankfully, New Moon’s supporting actors seem to know they are in a movie that will be watched, begrudgingly, by millions and bring their skills to the table. Bella’s little circle of friends allows for some dorky teen moments in-between the melodrama, but the scenes they follow almost beg for them to make fun. Instead of taking jabs at Bella’s albino boyfriend, the script attempts to insert some light comedy with disastrous results. Thank the lord for Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen, who brightens up every scene with FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND EMOTION and is so likable, I’d willingly go to see a spin-off movie with her as the main attraction. Hell, even Jackson Rathbone’s Jasper has become a point of unintentional comedy with his look of immortal indigestion, a most welcome distraction amid the doldrums of this infinitely one-note film.

The look of New Moon has not strayed far from the original film, though we are spared the continual sweeps across the forest canopy. With a larger pool of characters, the film shows a more expansive landscape from the cliffs at the edge of the treeline to winding cobblestone streets of some Italian town. New Moon seems to want to attain “epic” status, but the story just isn’t there to support it. A brief trip across the water does not an epic make. Pattinson sports the same, all too pale makeup that doesn’t seem to continue fluidly down his neck with rosy red lips shining brightly. The look is so comical that when it’s coupled with the shimmering diamond effect we are treated to whenever Edward hits the sun, you can’t help but laugh. This, alongside the overly dramatic mannerisms of anyone outside of the Cullen family, makes it hard for us to muster even the slightest creeps from what should be a horrific bunch. Imagine if the monster Muppets from Sesame Street suddenly attacked. They could be chewing on you, and you’d still go, “Ha! Look at his waggly arms!!” Twilight’s vampires fail in the same way. It’s all just too distracting. Meanwhile, in the forests of Forks run a tribe of scantly clad male models who transform into MEGA WOLVES!!! I say it like that because the look of the massive wolves they almost instantly transform into is definitely up there with the Syfy Channel’s greatest moments of sub-par CGI. (However, half a point is given for the cloud of ripped clothing left behind them, unlike the mystically disappearing garments of Blood and Chocolate.) I can’t help thinking the spoof of this movie should contain the boys giving the full monty in all their scenes with everyone else averting their eyes save Bella, whose gaze is eternally transfixed.

The Twilight Saga: New MoonAmid two hours of emotional torment (for both the on-screen characters and us, the viewing audience), you can count on one ALMOST killer vampire battle at the Volturi stronghold, filmed almost entirely in slow motion naturally. The Volturi scenes are made more tolerable with the presence of Dakota Fanning as Jane, who is the only vamp in the film you might be a little wary of. Of course there’s Victoria as well, but it’s hard to feel menace from someone who runs through an entire movie.

Honestly, I REALLY tried to like this movie. My willingness to see it even after an extreme dislike for the first chapter should speak of my intent! The sad fact is this: The Twilight Saga: New Moon is even less of a horror movie than the first film. You couldn’t even call it a thriller. New Moon is a juvenile, overly dramatic love story that takes the Romeo and Juliet theme, duct tapes it around a giant, cartoonish hammer, and slams it into your head for 130 minutes to the point where you expect zombie Shakespeare to burst into the back of the theater screaming, “ENOUGH ALREADY!!” This movie is pain. Save yourself, if you can.

1 1/2 out of 5

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  • Daymare

    Enjoyable review but I didn’t like the whole “it’s not a horror movie” angle it ended with. New Moon doesn’t suck because it’s not a horror movie (which I’m pretty sure nobody in his right mind would even assume it is – especially your readers!), it sucks as a movie. It’s just not a good film. Complaining over the fact it’s not a horror film kind of misses the point.

  • Jon Condit

    Checked it out myself.

    Pretty flat movie. Once again I think it missed the mark. Im all for sappy romance if it’s done well. This just didn’t have any resonance to it. If I was a fan of the books I would probably be upset that the sequel did an even worse job capturing the book than the first film.

    Devoid of any real credible moments much of the film came of corny and the packed audience of Twihards were laughing at many of the “serious” moments right along with me.

    Again not the worst thing I have ever seen, just kind of forgettable sadly becasue to be honest the concept could be pretty powerful if it were realized properly.

  • Rorschach

    This movie is critic proof. I mean, they could come out tomorrow and say that watching it will give you syphillis, and ten thousand screaming fangirls would still line up to see it.

    The words, they matter not. Those of us with brains and taste already KNEW this would be shit. Nomad, thank you for taking the bullet on this one. If I ever see you I’ll buy you a drink of your choice.

  • Didn’t See It Coming

    I think it’s hilarious that people judge these movies as horror movies. Yes, it has horror creatures in it but it’s not meant to be scary or disturbing in the least. What they are are movies for teens. Let them enjoy them. I’d rather have Twilight than Rob Zombie movies any day of the week.

    • Nomad

      It’s an angle we have to acknowledge, seeing as that’s what we do all day. Wouldn’t we have all been surprised if they’d dismembered another vamp and shot it dead on this time around!

  • Floydian Trip

    That’s a good idea Heather. 10 better horror movies or books to get into after you realize Twilight is a POS editorial or something like that.

  • Barfneck

    Why is this garbage even being covered on this site?

    • Terminal

      It apparently brings in readers, I’d assume. Shit they covered The Incredible Hulk.

      • Uncle Creepy

        We covered the Hulk because just like Blade it’s a fringey genre movie. A superhero take on Jekyll and Hyde.

        Twilight is fringey too. Yes, it pulls in readers, but it’s a phenomenon. One that features werewolves and vampires (despite their representation). While it may not be everyone’s bag it does appeal to a portion of the horror fanbase and we try to cover all aspects for everyone. Whether we like it or not, is not for us to judge.

        We only hope that some of the readers Twilight pulls in will find other hopefully better things written about here within the genre that they will like better. Turn ’em to the darkside so-to-speak.

        • Heather Buckley

          I agree with Thee Creepy:

          This focus on the genre, regardless of how soft, has a potential to help us, but I also think it could be the gateway for girls to find real horror.

          As I stated in other posts, this is sort of like the Beauty and the Beast phenomenon back in the 80’s. Are there suggestions if someone likes TWILIGHT what could be their possible next steps?

          Now I don’t think they will jump at NEAR DARK just yet (which the new DVD covers suggest), but we could pull them into Buffy or True Blood? Do they move to Anne Rice to Poppy Z. Brite?

          In the end I think we should cultivate genre interest, but expand an audience’s tastes and exposure and map out future steps.

          • AngryChairr

            I disagree. There’s no focus on horror in these stories or movies. It’s a trashy romance novel that uses vampires and werewolves as a backdrop because they’re “sexy,” not because there’s any interest in the horror behind it. It doesn’t send a viewer/reader down the rabbit hole, so to speak. It just fills a void they were looking for in their desire to be frustrated by a writer stringing along a romance. It’s like someone market-tested what women found sexy in fictional characters, and could only decipher vampire from the words, “dark, brooding, and tragic.”

          • LifeMi

            Still, it’s a vampire and werewolf movie. That means it’s a horror movie to some degree.

          • AngryChairr

            No, it doesn’t. The presence of something doesn’t dictate the genre. Teen Wolf is not a horror movie just because it has a werewolf in it, just as Twilight isn’t a horror movie just because it has vampires and werewolves in it. The movies don’t even bother with the pretense of horror. The vampirism is a macguffin, and a lazy one at that. It’s only purpose to force the brooding, pale guy to avoid the woman he loves when we all know the characters will eventually end up with each other. The point isn’t to draw fear that he might attack her, it’s to draw sympathy for him because he’s some retarded tragic figure that supposedly can never have what he wants even though we know he will.

  • Mr. Dark

    Because it makes sense to embargo a review of a movie that’s going to break box office records no matter what the reviews say.

    Gotta love studio publicity wisdom.

  • Rottenjesus

    What Nomad really wanted to write:

  • nonserviam03


  • theGoldenSimatar

    Blast, I saw it was there and didn’t read it as I was busy with bouncing work from Pro Tools.

  • Floydian Trip

    Excellent review. Very enjoyable read.