The Twilight Saga: New Moon

26 11 2009

New Moon, the second installment of the Twilight movies.  Where to begin?

I would like to preface this review with a few things.  First off, I have read all four of the Twilight books.  Secondly: although I think that Stephanie Meyers technically can’t write for shit, I think that her ideas in Twilight have the potential for something that could be both hugely entertaining and actually a good story.  Thirdly, I think that the directors responsible for the reincarnation of her story into these movies could take advantage of said potential and make Twilight great.  Lastly, any movie that can do as well as New Moon did in the box office while not aiming for the preteen/teenage boy demographic (the largest in Hollywood) is quite alright by me.

The movie New Moon is worlds better than the first Twilight film but therefore does not maintain some of that b-movie quality that I learned to love about the first installment.  That being said, here are the reasons why I think it is better than the first movie:  visually it is cleaner and more convincing.  The makeup for the vampires is more believable and the CG for the werewolves is actually quite good.  Whereas the first movie followed the book faithfully and stuck to one shittily filmed action sequence, New Moon upped the number of action sequences (most of which did not go down in the book) and made them actually look good.  The increased budget as a result of the first movie’s success is the reason behind both these things, and also (I think) a more critical eye from the director (Chris Weitz).  Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, New Moon has an excellent soundtrack made up of such artists as Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver, and St. Vincent.  Its music had a lot to do with the quality of the movie, especially during a certain werewolf/vampire chase sequence.  Finally, the acting.  Despite the fact that in the broad scheme of things the acting in New Moon is by far not great, to me the most important comparison to make is to the first movie (because let’s face it, if you couldn’t sit through the first one you’re not going to sit through the second one).  Compared to the first movie,  New Moon should be in the Oscars: in that case, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner both deserve lead acting awards, and Robert Pattinson and Anna Kendrick should win for supporting roles.

Beyond all of the technical aspects there is a love/hate relationship that I have with Twilight and simply can’t escape, which absolutely has everything to do with its content that I find myself simultaneously tickled by and filled with loathing for.  With filming for the third movie already completed and its release just around the corner, I am very excited and I believe that my enthusiasm will last through the fourth and final movie.  I’m guilty of being invested in these movies, and I’m sure that if you gave it a chance you would be too. 

My rating: 5/10*

*This rating fluxuates.  On my good days it shoots to 8 and on my bad days drops to 2.