The Twilight Saga: New Moon Review

The Twilight Saga: New Moon Review
Okay, I absolutely do not see the appeal of this film. The first movie received an okay review from me for reasons such as cinematography (which were beautiful.) Again, the cinematography is quite interesting in some scenes of this first sequel, but not interesting enough to sustain a film. The problems way outweigh any mild pluses.

I found myself wondering while watching this film what exactly was director Chris Weitz thinking, as we go from scene to scene to scene with very little or absolutely nothing happening. Based on the novels by American Stephanie Meyer, with the screenplay written by Melissa Rosenberg; you have to wonder what anyone involved was thinking – beyond the obvious cash bonus. Stephanie Meyer has taken very interesting characters, such as Vampires and Werewolves and managed to make them incredibly dull. Which is no easy task, though she does it seamlessly, I’ll give her that.

The film follows Bella Swan's fall into a deep depression (she brought me down with her ) until she develops a friendship with werewolf Jacob Black. Jacob and his tribe must protect Bella from Victoria, a vampire seeking to avenge the death of her mate by killing Bella (come on Victoria – get her!) A misunderstanding occurs, and Edward Cullen believes Bella is dead. Edward decides to commit suicide in Volterra, Italy; but he is stopped by Bella, who is accompanied by Edward's sister, Alice. They meet with the Volturi, a powerful coven of vampires, and are released on the condition that Bella be turned into a vampire in the near future. Bella and Edward are reunited, and she and the Cullen’s return to Forks. That’s it. Literally. Summed up in one boring paragraph. It seems just as the movie should be starting, it stops.

The film was released theatrically starting on November 20, 2009, and set numerous records. It is currently the biggest advance-ticket seller on Fandango and held the biggest midnight opening in domestic (United States and Canada) box office history, grossing an estimated $26.3 million. Why? I’d love to know. Perhaps American’s Christian faith is as strong as Stephanie Meyer’s.

I have a few friends that love these movies, and just don’t get it - at all. Firstly, we have the main character in the sad state of Bella played by the forever lackluster, Kristen Stewart. Off the top of my head, I can name four other actresses who star in the film that hold more charisma in their small scenes than Stewart does in its entirety. Nikki Reed as Rosalie Hale, Ashley Greene as Alice Cullen and Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria all show more on camera presence in their small scenes, and possess another thing Bella doesn’t - characterization. Dakota Fanning steals the entire movie with just a few minutes of film as Jane. Stewart sucks. Perhaps the reason Stewart is out shadowed, overlooked and completely outdone is because she is a dreadful actress. Whoever chose this girl to play such an important and vital role must have rocks in their head. In one word, she’s boring.

Then we move onto Robert Pattinson who is squeezed into meaningless scenes just to get him into the movie more. He plays Edward Cullen, a vampire completely in love with Bella, and vice versa, but this isn’t conveyed once throughout the entire movie. His acting is barely better than Stewarts, but that isn’t exactly difficult. Their so called passion is never conveyed, it never even trickles over to the audience, but lays stagnant like Stewart’s miserable face.

One person that can do his job is Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black. Lautner can actually act and brings energy and emotion to his scenes, but yet again, Stewart delivers nothing back and so their scenes fall flat due to her appalling performance. Lautner plays a werewolf and yet another guy in love with Bella; who must give off amazing pheromones or be doing love spells on the quiet, because that’s the only thing that would get all these guys falling in love with her. Or perhaps that’s it – girls watching this movie think, well if Bella can get them, so can I.

The storyline is basically non-existent and I had to watch the movie in two sittings as I started to fall asleep on the first. Lautner tries to spice things up and, even steam things up, but every time he does, Stewart brings us crashing back to reality with her dreadful acting and screen performance. Not even when she’s fighting for the love of her life does she even manage to convey any believability whatsoever. Her lines are delivered stale, and when she does appear to be trying she manages to overact.

The film drags, with scenes of Bella sitting in her room staring out the window, as a camera rotates around her and night turns to day, and months pass. It’s the best analogy for what sitting through this movie is like. The CGI werewolves are good, but yet again the wolves look pretty and not scary or menacing. These are meant to be werewolves, not cuddly toys. The films could have been a lot better with a different actress in the lead role.

Stephenie Meyer is one very lucky woman. She’s taken from every other single vampire story, borrowed ideas, and still managed to bore. Her ‘Twilight’ books were started in 2002, after other much better written vampire adaptations such as ‘True Blood’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ etc. etc. She has taken the one thing all of these series’ have in common though, girl falls in love with vampire and has made it PG13 - safe for all ages. This fools the audience that they’re watching horror material but delivers none. Horror ideas, dealing with Vampires and Werewolves will always become boring and mundane to the horror fan, when they are written “safely.” ‘The Vampire Diaries’ as I said, was written years before and are also teen novels, yet talented writer L.J Smith manages to create more interest and imagination in one of her books than Meyer has in any of her books or film adaptations put together.

So why the appeal? The only thing I can think of is ironically, safety, security, shelter. After reading these books or watching these films – a viewer wont be afraid to turn out the light, and yet the romanticism has been achieved (in the books at least.) The movies and books promise the allure of horror, of naughty, but they’re actually tedious and uninteresting but perfectly safe for even small children. Though, I think most children would even get bored watching these films. Then the second part of the appeal is the stolen love story, the tragic, Romeo and Juliet of boy can’t be with girl and star-crossed lovers.

These films do get ever so slightly more interesting as they move along, but until someone actually rips Bella’s boring face off, Stakes Edward and leaves his glittery, vegetarian body out to burn – these movies are pure child’s play. Boring!

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