Twilight Saga: New Moon

It was tough to psych myself up to sit through the next film in The Twilight Saga, especially after the first one (TWILIGHT) was almost painful to watch. However, I took pleasure in that I would not have to suffer another two hours of Pattinson and Stewart staring deep into each other’s eyes. Thankfully, Edward Cullen doesn’t have a big part in this film.

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At the beginning of NEW MOON, there is an incident involving Bella and the Cullen’s that makes Edward realize that maybe a human dating a vampire could lead to some bad situations. So he decides to leave Bella for her own good and the rest of the movie is spent watching her brood over her loss and then try to move on with the help of her best friend Jacob Black. As Bella recovers from Edward leaving, she discovers that her world is still full of monsters because her best friend happens to be a werewolf.

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I’ve heard many complaints that New Moon was the weakest book in the Twilight Saga but it was actually my favorite. The story of Bella and Edward gets really old after awhile and having a character like Jacob Black was refreshing because he is just so warm and likeable. Taylor Lautner was by far and away the most impressive part of this film. He seemed to be the most natural actor of the bunch, not to mention that him and his wolf buddies were nice to look at. He had such a tough role to fill because he’s an underdog in the book, and with all the hype surrounding Robert Pattison it would have been really easy for him to get overlooked. Surprisingly he stood out and his performance made me scrutinize his surrounding cast, specifically Kristen Stewart.

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This film made me realize that Ms. Stewart is really a poor actress. Her lines are delivered terribly with so many pauses that you can’t tell if she even memorized lines. Throughout the entire movie she has this weird look on her face with her mouth open. The look may have meant she was in deep thought or in pain but it was so distracting that it eventually became very irritating. I know some fans love her, but I think the films would be better without her. No amount of directing is going to make her any better in this role.

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Speaking of directing, Chris Weitz did a much better job than his predecessor Catherine Hardwicke. The first film was so ridiculously over the top it was hard to concentrate on the story but Weitz turned that around. The scenes were well shot, the lighting was good and the CGI was done very well. Weitz just seemed to keep everything in check. It would have been easy for him to capitalize on the obsession surrounding Pattinson and give us more Edward via flashbacks or something, but he stuck to the story and it was a much better film because of it.

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New Moon is not a great film but it is significantly better than TWILIGHT and I actually enjoyed myself (despite the theater full of giggly, annoying teens). The story is still cheesy and the dialogue is cringe-worthy at times, but Weitz did such a decent job directing that I won’t ban the next two movies like I was originally planning to.


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