The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

[Here’re my reviews of the books and the first movie. OMFG. I just re-read my review of Twilight (book)… bloody hell, I must have been braindead at the time of writing that.]

New Moon is the second movie of the Twilight Saga based on Stephenie Meyer‘s books. It was directed by Chris Weitz and stars Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Billy Burke.

Plot:
Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) birthday is coming up and she’s worried because she’s going to be 18, but her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) will be an eternal 17-year old. When, during her birthday party, she cuts her finger and makes co-vampire Jasper (Jackson Rathbone shares this role with the most ridiculous wig ever) almost eat her. So Edward decides that he is too dangerous to be around and leaves Bella (taking his whole family with him). Bella sinks in a deep hole of despair that can only be kinda filled by Jacob (Taylor Lautner), best friend cum werewolf. And then things get really bad.

You thought Twilight was craptastic? New Moon is worse. So much worse. All the actors seemed unable, or at least unwilling, to act (except for Billy Burke and Taylor Lautner). Chris Weitz sucks so much. And yet, it isn’t a bad adaptation of the book, though it could have been better.

[SPOILERS]

I honestly believed that Catherine Hardwick was a bad director, but compared to Chris Weitz she’s genius. Pure, unadulterated genius. This man manages to have one scene in the whole movie that is a little above average (though not much) – the scene where they chase Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre) through the woods. Everything else is either absolutely aweful or a commercial that is absolutely aweful (like the FlashForward where Vampire!Bella and Edward go frollicking through the forest).

The script by Melissa Rosenberg… yes, it sticks closely to the book but I think that Melissa Rosenberg is secretly subverting these movies by focussing on the most ridiculous plot points. One could have made the movie a little less bad. But Rosenberg seems to enjoy pointing out the bad things.

Bella: Now I’m older than you!
Edward: No, I’m 109 years old.
Bella: Well, maybe I shouldn’t date somebody that old.
Me: HELL YES! OF COURSE YOU SHOULDN’T!

As in the first movie, the best thing about the whole film is the interaction between Bella and her dad (Billy Burke). Though not in the way Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Rosenberg seem to have intended. Charlie should come off as this overbearing parent who just doesn’t understand the pain his daughter is going through. But, people, Charlie is as sweet as can be and worries rightly about his daughter who isn’t able to exist without a man around her. It’s Bella who’s a complete brat.

Charlie: [comes into room bearing gifts] Happy birthday, Bella! 
Bella: I thought we agreed, no presents? 
Charlie: The one from me isn’t wrapped, so it doesn’t count. [hands over camera (pink, of course)]
Bella: Thanks, dad! That’s actually really great.
Me: As opposed to all the other sucky presents you’ve given me so far in my life, you fucker.

The other person who is even mildly interesting – because he happens to have a character – is Jacob. And Taylor Lautner does a good job acting. And the five minutes (combined) Bella’s human friends spend on screen are awesome as well.

Mike: So listen… Now that you’re talking again… And eating… You know, you gotta get that protein in there. You know I was just wondering if you wanted to go see a movie with me.
Bella Swan: Yeah… Sure. Yeah I do.
Mike: Okay… We could check out “Love spelled backwards is love” You know, it’s a dumb title, but, um, it’s a romantic comedy, it’s suppose to be…
Bella: No. No romance. Uh, well, how about “Face Punch” You heard of that?
Mike: Well, it’s an action movie.
Bella: Yeah, it’s perfect. With guns… adrenaline… it’s my thing.
Mike: Okay…
Bella: We should get a bunch of people… You guys wanna go see “Face Punch” ?
Eric: Yeah! Hey, Mike, remember we were suppose to watch that? The trailer’s all like “* Pew, pew!* Punch his face in”
Jessica: Movie night with Bellllllaaaaaaa [Rolls eyes]

Of course, Jessica (Anna Kendrick) then dares to talk sense and is not allowed to say another word throughout the entire movie.

Michael Sheen, whatever made him join the cast is not a mystery we’ll be able to unravel here, decided to do the social thing and not act, so that we’ll not notice so badly when the rest of the cast doesn’t either. As does Dakota Fanning. But since they couldn’t have saved the movie no matter what, I think that they made the right choice.

Well… to say anything about the plot would be redundant – there hardly is one. And most of it doesn’t make much sense anyway. And to look at the movie from a feminist point of view will probably give me the same nightmares Bella has in this film.

So let’s talk about the audience. We were lucky not to have any squealing fan girls in the screening. But directly behind us (us = abstrakt, deadra, * and me) sat a group of (mostly?) young guys and they were not bad with the commentary. Of course, they couldn’t beat me and deadra (I’m a little sorry for * who got caught between us), but then who can? ;)

I don’t think I will be able to tell you about everything that was said during the movie, but let me give you the highlights:

  • Jacob whips of his shirt to dab at Bella’s self-inflicted head wound and to show off his abs. The whole theatre erupts in laughter. Guy behind us: “What? I don’t get it.”
  • Jacob comes – without his shirt, of course – to Bella’s house and asks to come in through her window. He CGI-parcour-jumps his way up. Me: “Oh! He’s a WEREMONKEY!”
  • Jacob is in Bella’s room and Bella continuously stares at his abs and finally puts her hand against them. Deadra: “2, 4, 6…”
  • Edward returns and thanks Jacob for taking care of Bella – who is standing right there, btw.
    Edward: “Thanks for keeping her alive.”
    Me: “Because she clearly isn’t able to do so by herself.”
  • Bella gets on the bike and Ghost!Edward appears first to her left, then to her right, then to her left again. Me: “No wonder she crashes. Couldn’t she have fantasised him straight ahead?”
  • The movie ends. Guy behind us: “I honestly have to say: This movie sucked.”

I couldn’t have put it better, Guy behind us, couldn’t have put it better.

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11 thoughts on “The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)

  1. I don’t think I’ve laughed that much in a movie theatre since the first film.

    Do you know the only thing that could have possibly made that night even better? Some Tropic Thunder-esque embedded trailers for “Love Spelled Backwards Is Love” and “Face Punch”.

    I also agree with Genevieve Valentine…instead of this trainwreck, they chould have done a movie with the human kids helping Charlie solve crimes. That could have been an epic, Fargo/Knickerbocker Kids crossover-ish bit of goodness…

    • Oh yes, I was laughing my ass off as well.

      And I _so_ want to see the trailers for Face Punch and Love Spelled Backwards Is Love. That would be completely awesome.
      “Their love was bigger than the National Spelling Bee Competition…”

      Maybe when Twilight is done and all those actors are looking for a job, they will do that…
      “In the town of Forks, the vampires have left… but the mysteries only just arrived.”

  2. Movie Ticket for New Moon: 8,80.
    Having this guy right behind you: Priceless.
    You forgot to mention his utterly disbelieving “What?!” into the silence after Edward eplained that he lied to Bella when he left her. That reminded me how absolutely ridiculous the storyline is. I mean, when you’ve read the book, you just expect it to happen, and don’t think about it anymore, so it’s good to be reminded of the awfulness (rather than just taking it for granted).

    “to say anything about the plot would be redundant” – Well, yes, I’d say the film team didn’t have much of a chance to make it any better, did they? At least, not if they wanted it to be recognised as New Moon, the Stephenie Meyer book.

    Btw, one of your links led me to other links, and so I discovered the New Moon Merchandise at hottopic. T-Shirts, Pillows, Lunchboxes, ok, that’s what you expect. But then, why do they make Men’s Hoodies with “Team Jacob” or “Team Edward” on them?? The Makeup-Box, the Edward Vintage Carrying Case (don’t ask, I don’t know what that’s supposed to be, either), the Umbrella, Bella’s Cullen Crest Ring (it’s claimed that she wore it in the movie, but I can’t remember having seen this hideous thing on her hand, just that silly pearl ring she wore on her index finger), the Wolf Pack Tattoo Packing Tape, and the Musical Jewelry Box (of course playing Bella’s Lullaby) are a little more creative. But the best marketing gag are probably the Adhesive Bandages (it’s so obvious that they don’t even bother to advertise them like, e.g. “for girls as clumsy as Bella”, “tend your papercuts in a classy way, so your boyfriend won’t have to throw you into walls”).

    Oh, and also following one of the links, I read that they’ll replace the Victoria-actress for Eclipse. Why? It’s never a good idea to change cast in the middle of a series. I mean, there was just one more movie left with that character anyway. Not that the change will make the movie any worse, but still, it’s unnecessary.

    • Oh right, the awesome scene of “Bella, I lied to you. Why did you believe me? You should never believe me. I love you!” O_o

      Regarding the plot: Well, they could have done what they did in the first movie and tweaked it a little bit. A little less moping, and maybe a little more Victoria a little earlier in the movie? Just to give it the semblance of having an overarching story.

      Of course, it would have helped if some of the action was allowed to happen on-screen. You know, like the wolves chasing and killing Laurent and stuff.

      I think my favourite merchandising article is still the sparkling put-it-in-your-freezer-so-it’s-cold-like-Edward’s dildo. Nothing will ever beat that.

      [Oh shit. Did I just challenge the universe? Please, I didn’t mean to!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!]

      I don’t know why they’ll replace Victoria but I found it pretty weird, too.

  3. surprisingly (not) your review is very close to my own opinion of the movie! excuse me, why does kristen stewart, of whom we see most in the movie, not act?? i think the worst moment was when she went to the clearing again and you could actually see the script running through her head: *must kneel down – now! – pause – must touch sacred ground – now! – pause – must dramatically touch my belly (!hole in chest-reference!) – now! – pause*

    other than that, yeah i thought taylor lautner actually did a good job. i mean with acting. with bodybuilding, he *definitely* did a good job! :)
    i liked michael sheen! i think he acted well (considering the circumstances…)

    i also thought the victoria-chasing-scene was pretty cool, in large part owing to the soundtrack (which is generally really good! also the one from twilight. i am seriously wondering how they manage to get such decent actors and musicians on board for those movies. blackmail?).
    i also liked the scenes with mike and the werewolf one when embry (?) comes in and says sorry to bella for almost lacerating her.

    talking about werewolves: i mean, sure the cgi was impressive, with jacob exploding into a ball of fur in midair and all, but i can’t help myself, sometimes those werewolves looked too unreal for a 2009 movie, didn’t they? the scene when sam comes out of the forest when laurent is about to kill bella in the clearing really reminded me of that scene in neverending story, and that was what, like 1984?!

    anyways, sorry for spamming your blog with my
    unending comments. just two more things:
    1. why didn’t they shave robert’s chest for the shirtless scenes? (i know, kalafudra, we always disagree on this issue, but IT SAYS SO IN THE BOOK!! marble! there’s no hairy marble. period. also, next to jacob = fail)
    2. couldn’t they have bleached jacob’s teeth less?

    oh, and one more thing. there was a guy sitting next to me when i saw the movie, too, just one, among about 40 girls left, right and centre, at the end of the movie, edward utters his epitome of a cliffhanger-line: “marry me, bella”, guy makes retching sounds.
    (the girl next to him reprimanded him in a rather harsh tone, and so that the entire cinema could hear, with the words: “you fucking idiot!!!”)
    i think after your experience and mine we’re forced to concede that the guys just hit the nail on the head about the movie. :P

    • lol @ Kristen Stewart.

      Taylor Lautner did good. But Michael Sheen? He got out all the acting tricks of a school production and stuck with them. Evil folded hands. Overuse of eyebrows. The underlying “look, I’m here for the fun of it, leave me alon. Also, it pays well” attitude. The only thing what was missing was the manical laughter.

      The soundtrack of New Moon was far from being as good as the soundtrack of Twilight. And they used the best song in the Victoria-chasing scene.

      I didn’t think that the werewolves and the CGI was impressive. Makes one wonder where they blew their huge budget?

      Oh, and in this case I agree with the not-shaving-Robert’s-chest part. a) it says so in the book and b) his chest hair is laughable.
      also lol @ Jacob’s teeth.

      The guys definitely got it right. :D

  4. We agree with you that New moon was weaker than Twilight. Hardwicke’s direction did not bother us nearly as much as Weitz.

    Yes, Bella is a whiny unappreciative brat. Charlie is a nice guy who has to deal with this girl who at times seems to not even value her own soul!

    The expectations left by the first movie were not realized in New Moon. While we wanted to like it, there was not enough of anything there. 60 minutes of entertainment crammed into 2 hours and 10 minutes.

    Here is our take with lots of pics and a little wit if you are interested:

    http://fortresstakes.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/twilight-saga-new-moon-2009/

  5. Pingback: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) « Stuff

  6. Pingback: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012) « Stuff

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