A unbiased Man’s look at The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Let me preface this by saying I am just reviewing this movie based souly on the two movies alone. I am leaving out all the hype and books, it’s a movie it should be able to stand on its own outside of fandom and whatever it is based on. With that said, lets us begin….
There is one nagging thing that I kept thinking about in the whole time I was watching this movie that all reviewers failed to mention. There is a stupid fake movie that the pre-adult teens go see in Twilight 2: New Moon called Face Punch, and that movie sounds amazing. I hope someone goes on to make that movie.
Another big thing I was surprised to see no one mention before was Anna Kendrick’s rant about how terrible Zombie movies are. Where most reviews felt the need to get all mad about how the Vampires glisten and how that’s not how vampires work, no one is going to call this scene out? Either that or everyone heard what she said an agreed with her? It was kind of like a big F-U to haters which was funny.
The movie as a whole was actually very satisfying to me, I had no interest in seeing this movie, but my wife did and I’ve dragged her to enough dreck that I owed her one. I saw the first one of VHS and it was terrible at best, cheesy and not well put together, I’m not a big fan of Catherine Hardwicke’s other movies though. Twilight 2 has its moments of cheese but they are usually just a line or a quick scene, nothing like the god awful Baseball montage set to Muse from the first one.
Chris Weitz on the other hand is a half decent director up until his last movie The Polar Compass, where he came out and quit the movie for awhile because he could not handle the special effects in the movie. Low and behold he get’s an Oscar for best visual effects for using outdated Coke Cola commercial technology. This is a much better movie then that mess, the movie is a mess but I do not think that was his fault.
At the end of the movie I left having had a good time, I was never bored and while feeling a bit emasculated by the whole thing I actually would not mind seeing the third one. See the thing is, this is a chick flick through and through but something happened before the movie to show me why this is on the higher end of chick flicks, I saw the trailers for Dear John, Letters to Juliet and Remember Me, which all look like awful chick bait about longing for love. Two of those star Amanda Seyfried and are about letters, Mama Mia was about letters, Jennifer’s Body was about letters (whatever I didn’t see it, neither did you so who really knows what it was about) so its good to see Amanda Seyfried does not believe in e-mail, while Twilight 2: New Moon has a big section involving e-mail. Those movies while maybe ending up to be great love stories just looked SO boring and lame and aiming to be the next Notebook it was sad.
Also there are a couple of action scenes in Twilight 2 that were quite a bit of fun. There is a Werewolf fight that was just as much fun as the Polar Bear fight in Polar Compass, and a Werewolf/Vampire chase through the woods that was actually really good and interestingly shot in combination with the music. A fight between Edward and some guy who looks like Chris Klein on roids that was like no other fight I’d seen before, it was like how the final fight in Wolverine should have been. Something those other movies surely will not offer.
The basic story of the movie is Edward the Vampire leaves Bella after an incident (you know the one with the paper cut, which is another cool scene) so he thinks he is doing right by leaving, but she goes into withdrawal once he leaves. Now these scenes were intentionally/unintentionally funny, she screams at night like she’s a junkie with heroine withdrawal. Her dad pops in time to time to wonder what the hell is up, at one point says he’s too lazy to deal with his daughter and tries to pawn her off on her mom, but Bella does not want to leave in fear of Edward not finding her. So in trying to move on in her life along comes young Jacob. They point out how old Bella is getting compared to the handsome gentlemen around her which was stupid. She and Jacob become close friends when UH OH he’s a monster too, who does not know how to deal with his relationship with Bella.
Only problem is that he’s a monster to late in her life. Then there is an incident and Edward (being the new age Romeo he is) threatens to get himself killed and Bella races to Italy to save him. They are back together in the end and Jacob is the jilted guy who got put into the friend zone by Bella, except this time he isn’t some pansy Duckie loser, he could possibly kick Edwards ass, which I guess we find out in the third movie.
There is a funny scene where her “human” friends think that she’s finally gotten over Edward and wants to join the human race again and the dweeb that liked her in the first move tries to makes his move, only to be thwarted by Jacob at the movies (this is where we hear about the most awesome FACE PUNCH!, it was almost like they knew Ninja Assassin was coming out right around the same time as Twilight).
Sure you can read into all the subtext of OHHH this Mormon propaganda this, this teaches girls to be in controlling relationship, it builds the precedent in teen girl’s mind that they need to date these superheroes blah blah blah. I’m not a teen girl but I can see why they like this so much, though it kind of makes you feel like a teen girl. Also to think those things about teen girls shows little faith in women, it’s just a bit of escapist fluff. Sure some girls will go overboard with it, but most of them will find it a flight of fancy and just enjoy it for what it is. While I can’t say that it’s a better movie then Ironman or The Incredible Hulk I had more fun watching this movie then those two, and I read comic books. Also it’s got a pretty good score outside of the hipster tracks that I actually remembered all the way to my car (more then I can say for 90% of all other new movies).
There are a lot of laugh out loud moments which makes me wonder if Chris Weitz is really that smart, or just lucky. At one point Jacob ask Bella if she remembered a story he told her (in the first movie) about Werewolves and Vampires, and I KNEW I KNEW! she would not remember the part about Werewolves. I remembered, and I knew my wife wouldn’t have remembered either and she didn’t till I told her. Bella however remembered the part about “the cold ones”. Which just goes to show how girls remember what they want when they are in lust. I was laughing pretty hard at this, by myself. Dakota Fanning was stupid. Someone tell Parker Posey that Ashley Greene will now be getting your roles from here on in. Finally for all the talk about the Werewolves running around shirtless and how OVER the TOP this is, again just more sensationalism. Sure it’s stupid, but no dumber then Hulk wearing pants, they at least try to explain it by saying that as a Werewolf they are hot all the time.
There is an inherit cheesiness to the movie that just made it fun, some people actually do a good job of acting in the movie Edi Gathegi’s small part was well done, Taylor Lautner was very likeable, Michael Sheen was fun even if he was wearing Taylor’s long hair wig and finally Kristen Stewart is actually learning how to act outside of running her hands threw her hair. They play her up like she is some “The One” with a high midichlorian count, who the Vampires just do not know how to deal with, which is interesting and I wonder how it plays out.
The big mistake the movie makes to me was the Dad. He’s got a thankless role, he’s sort of nothing as a character, even though people try to use him against Bella to get her to do things, but Bella acts like she does not give a shit about him. They should have made him more of a drunk or a moron, pretty much redo Randy Quaid’s role from Not Another Teen Movie. Whenever they show the Cullen family together they look like they are getting ready for a Gap ad photo shoot, I found this a lot dumber then the shirtless Werewolves. Also the first shot of the movie is of an actual new moon, luckily the movie rebounded from that stupidity but it sets the tone that this is not going to be a thinker.
In conclusion, this is the Empire Strikes Back of the Twilight Saga. Where David Slade takes it from here will probably just be nutty. It even has a cliffhanger ending, while very stupid made sense. If you want to hate the movie then fine hate it, don’t see it. If you care about Vampires and get all in a tizzy about them glistening in the sunlight, then you take Vampires too seriously….Vampires aren’t real, its like getting upset about running Zombies. If you are dragged to it by your better half then be happy because there is a lot worse stuff they could drag you to
Note: In the movie theater scene in the lobby (where no one works?) they showed posters for two fake movies, Face Punch and Evol is Love Spelled backwards (some lame romantic movie that Bella does not care for) and Pontypool? That’s some obscure Canadian movie, I wonder if some of the crew members worked on that movie or something. Also there was some nicely placed Burger King trash hanging around.