Twilight Saga: New Moon [2009]

We call them like we see them in the Fortress. We went into the original Twilight with low expectations, and got better than we expected with a moody and subdued piece that had interesting moments. However Twilight’s success was not necessarily a good thing for New Moon which suffered from higher expectations. Now the one sentence synopsis:

"'Not a good thing'? I was hoping to really bring a lot more out of my character."  Sorry Charlie, you have about 6 lines and your part is as thick as cardboard.

“What do you mean, ‘not necessarily a good thing’?  I was hoping to expand my character a little in this one.”  Sorry Charlie, you have about 6 lines and scenes that repeat the same old emotions.

“What about me mon, and my outrageous Jamican accent? Remember I was a vampire clan leader in the first film.” You also have about 6 lines, and one scene which sadly or thankfully depending on your perspective ends your Twilight career.

In a world filled with vampires and werewolves, starcrossed lovers  Bella and the vampire Edward try to breakup but neither takes it well as Bella turns into an even more monotone adrenaline junkie and Edward travels to another continent in order to kill himself at the hands of the ruling hierarchy of vampire royalty even as Bella falls in love with a childhood friend (who happens to be a werewolf bound in a treaty with Edward’s family) and along the way alienates her family, friends -and movie goers.

Edward, who in the last film was portrayed as a strong and noble vampire, this time came across as weak and pathetic. “I’d rather die than live without Bella…”  Dude, it’s a breakup. GET OVER IT!

“Okay sure, I’m the new love interest. But it ain’t worth it. I’ve spent 6 months in the gym preparing for this role. I’m hungry. I gotta eat something!”

With little exception this movie did not advance the cast of characters. Edward was exactly the same, just more pathetic because he could not get over a breakup. Bella is actually a character attribute black hole. Character traits get sucked into her never to be seen again on screen. She had one-and-a-half thoughts the entire movie to match her one one-and-a-half facial expressions. The thoughts were:

  1. I miss Edward.
  2. I want to do something dangerous because I miss Edward.

The director mistakenly asked Kristen Stewart to “smile like Bella might”. This disastrous result did not completely escape editing.

‘Friends in a Box’. That is about the size of their parts, personalities, and contribution to the film.

Wolf boy, the returning rival for Bella’s affections did fill out his character – and his muscles. Edward’s sister Alice showed a lot of possibilities in the first movie (and she was cute). It was nice to see she had more than a bit part in this sequel, but her potential remains unrealized.

This is the strong yet flighty Alice we remember from the first film.  See the wings in her hair?  She only has them in this scene really, the rest of the time her locks are as limp and dull as the plot.

“Okay seriously, who drank my Slim Fast?  Ugh… I can’t take it anymore. Does anybody have a hamburger? I’m beggin’ ya!”

The person who came across most nobly was Carlisle, the leader of Edward’s vampire family.  He was one of the few supporting characters in this film to have more than six lines.

This picture has been strategically placed here to ease the minds of the few people out there that take vampires too seriously.

New Moon felt very much like a book.  Now while that was also the case in Twilight, New Moon suffers from a lack of “movie action”.  The first book made the most of pseudo action scenes like the tree climbing.  That and some other scenes were at least made to feel like activity.

Here was some much desired action carefully avoided. Are you guys actually fighting over that self-absorbed sad sack?

This was some real action. The producers just told Jackson Rathbone, the actor portraying Jasper, how much screen time he has in New Moon.

This second book in the series lacked the action “beats” that keep a narrative moving along. The pseudo-climax was not very… climactic, and the ending seemed more appropriate for — well, a daytime soap opera. Sorry.  If not for “monsters”, this film could come to the small screen on the (dreaded) We channel.  (We were going to suggest the Lifetime channel, but no abusive husbands/vampires get pushed down stairways.)

“We are the ‘Volturi’, the snobby Euro-effete vampire ruling class. We have only one rule. Do not be open or ostentatious about our kind…”

Afterward, we see an entire tour group filled with men, women and children led to be killed in a horrid blood orgy. Nice job brainiac Volturi. You do not think THAT qualifies as noticeable or ostentatious?

The New Moon formula?

  • 1 (half) part skinny big haired vampire
  • 3 parts boys who like to live in the gym
  • A pinch of action
  • Mix in liberal amounts of whining, weak behavior (you know it’s true)
  • Leave in pot uncooked for 2 hours and 10 minutes

“What do you mean one ‘half’ part? What’s that? Oh I am an apparition in this scene?  And the next four!?  Am I even in this book?”

“At least you had a line. I’m Victoria, the supposed big baddie and I didn’t say a word!”  Cut!  That’s a wrap.  Okay Rachelle, you can take off the wig.  By the way, your agent’s on the phone.  Something about how you don’t need this Victoria role anymore.

Whether you liked New Moon or not, one indisputable fact was that it suffered from a film disease called, “montage-itis”.  That is the frequent overuse of montages.  Symptoms often include long introspective shots of motionless characters, a story which tries to convey too many passages of time, and a predilection for nausea inducing 360 degree camera movements.

Kristen Stewart was spot on in portraying Bella’s WIDE range of emotions. See for yourself how far the character was pushed in these random screen caps from very different scenes.

Not having read the books, and just considering the first film, we were a little surprised at the numbers of powers vampires seem to have.  They are turning into the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants or something.  (And not a one has turned into a bat!)

X-Men from left to right: Archangel, Kitty Pryde, Colossus, Psylocke, Pyro, and Jean Grey.

Aww, isn’t that cute? Child actress Dakota Fanning is all grown up and playing a mind ripping blood drinker. That’s Hollywood.

We were not sure what to expect from the werewolves. What we got were just oversized wolves. All ‘wolf’ and no ‘were’.

We wanted to enjoy New Moon.  Like Twilight they set out to make a moody piece -and succeeded.  Unfortunately this time it was a bad mood.

When you consider the combined IQ of all Bella’s friends, it is little wonder they never suspected Edward was a vampire. I mean he does not look like one… er, much.

“Coming soon to a theatre near you: Robert Pattinson as ‘ZEUS!'”

________________________________

The Twilight Saga:

Twilight 2008

New Moon 2009

Eclipse 2010

Breaking Dawn – part 1 – 2011

Breaking Dawn – part 2 – 2012

————————————————————————————-

For a little humor, check out this funny parody:

New Moon in a Minute


23 thoughts on “Twilight Saga: New Moon [2009]

  1. hahahaha. Great review. I especially liked your screen cap about the X-men. You’re totally right! They really robbed a few visual cues from X-Men here. Apparently New Moon even worse than I expected.

  2. Awesome way of seeing it. Every word you said was so very true. I guess the only reason I even like the movie was the love between Edward and Bella. On a funny note, what did you think about the overacting by Jacob? :O)

    • We appreciate your candor!

      About Jacob, you know his acting did not bother us too much. Maybe because he was so consistent with his acting level that we never saw what it could be. Or perhaps next to Stewart’s “incredibly wide range” (at least as called upon in the script) we found him at least to be a good guy.

      With that mindset it seems we are more willing to give someone a break. Plus, you have to pity him all those hours in the gym -and the thousands of carrot-only meals!

  3. It’s nice to be accused of being kind! I am so into “Twilight” I may have lost some critical judgement. But I still think it’s gorgeous. Too much yearning is just fine with me. I do accept that some of the key characters in the first “Twilight” film are left hanging, with too little input. Let’s see what they do in the third movie before we condemn, no?

    • Well said, and we compliment you for having a sense of humor and introspection. Very mature.

      You must have a higher “yearning threshold” then us up here. Yearning does not get you too much in the Fortress of ice and crystal. 😉

  4. Oh, how you made me laugh and giggle! Thank you for that. But ice and crystal can be melted, no? And, sometimes, that’s a good thing? Aren’t fortresses designed to be tested?

  5. Hi Fortress Guy. Fortress Takes outdid themselves on this particular take. It was a very fun and entertaining read.

    There was a lot of hype regarding this sequel and I couldn’t agree more that my expectations were also too high going into the movie. The plot was extremely plodding, the characters lacking (or shunned), the ratio of pointless staring/music montages to action (or any movement at all) was skyscraper high, and then we have Bella, and she herself is a disappointment. It really came down to the lack of plot action, which was caused by a lack of compelling plot. Even pseudo-decent Hollywood plots will compel the audience to anticipate the next scene and the next, and finally a resolution. “New Moon” steps on the notions of what makes a good movie format and for some reason or another thought several scenes panning over Bella’s vapid expression(s?) was compelling. Well, it does compel me…to do what, well, it’s not safe to say. Ha.

    The most dreaded scene was the 360 degree spin around Bella’s shattered little world as she lept further into depression, all the while finding no worth in herself or her life or the family and friends around her. All because of a guy she’s known for a year, or less? NOT a good message to send to developing minds, and especially not for moody people who want to further justify their own depressing dispositions. Other than that nauseating thought, the camera rotation was a terrible choice in general. It’s never a good idea to make your audience dizzy, especially when they are already reeling from the terrible directing choices.

    Ahh, Alice. Yes, I also could have used more of her role in the movie. She would have been compelling at the least. Some flair, some drama, some mystical aurora. Her hair was pretty awesome. 😉 Sadly, she was hardly seen, except in cases to help move Bella’s character to the next level of annoyance.

    Having the werewolf element was decent, and I actually prefer them as large wolves instead of the half man/half beast creatures. For me the latter is cliche, and I think wolves themselves are more beautiful. While I’m not sure the director allowed enough explanation of the wolf culture, I ended up favoring Jacob and his pack over the pretentious vampire clan, with the exception of Carlyle. I’d rather hang with the ones who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Heh. The actor who plays Jacob (shh, better not say his name lest the fan girls come running) did a good job I thought. ESPECially in the scenes where his character could have been sucked into the depressing vaccuum known as Bella–but didn’t. And even though she made every attempt to belittle him because of his age, he still came out appearing more intelligent, mature, and strong, in every good sense of those characteristics. Jacob, stop wasting your time on her. (Not too shabby acting either I thought.)

    Overall, the movie did nothing to keep my attention. Literally. I started multi-tasking about 1/3 the way through. After all, I had a 90% chance of looking up and catching Stewart in one of her Academy Award-winning acting moments. Besides the directing flaws, Bella’s character herself was bringing down the movie. She herself is whiny and emotionless, or at other times stupidly reckless and thoughtless. An anti-heroine. One I would never be willing to relate to or defend. We need strong female leads, not whimpering sad-sacks.

    But after reading this particular take, and finding so many shared thoughts to my own, I suppose all was not lost. I enjoyed reading the witty captions, all of them very telling of the flaws of the movie. Even though you took a “stab” at the movie, your common sense wit is sure to win over even the most die-hard fans. There’s a lot of truth in your 599-or-less words.

    “Does anybody have a hamburger? I’m beggin’ ya!” — “Beggin’ ya”– and he’s a canine. I like puns way too much. xD

    I also busted out laughing at the Jasper moment you improvised regarding his screen time. Ha! Real acting. More ha. Not to forget the various Bella expressions you detailed so nicely. I bet you could have randomly scanned and stopped at any point in the movie and found the same expression each time. Now that’s depressing.

    The best screen cap is the New Teen X-Men lineup! You really matched the names to the faces. Kitty Pryde and Bella. Help us all. Now we’re just missing Nightcrawler. What, no demons in this movie? At this point it could probably use one.

    Who knows how long this comment (essay) is, sheesh! And I didn’t hit on everything I could have said either. Just know I was entertained and delighted in viewing this take. Reading anything else would have been a pain in the neck. (You knew it was coming!)

    • True about Bella. A girl so wrapped up in a relationship that she cannot function otherwise. A girl that does not even value her own soul, much less those around her that (for some strange reason) still care about her. It is NOT a good message for girls indeed. Everyone should find their own worth and NOT tie it to the whims of another.

      That 360* camera pan: Artsy? Check. Nauseating? Check. One montage too many? Check.

      We agree that the Jacob character was very kind to Bella, despite her belittling. He liked her romantically, true. But was willing to put up with a lot to let it build slowly. A noble quality. However, we cannot understand his taste in women. The good news is he was finally able to eat for a couple months before shooting on Eclipse started.

      We are gratified you enjoyed this take. We hope it won back some of the lost time and life blood sucked out of your life watching the film. Your 822 word comment is hefty, but filled with detail we surmise will entertain others as well. Thanks as always for the intelligent analysis of the film, and the take.

  6. One more thing: I bet that parody you inserted at the bottom had about the same budget as the real movie. Ah ha ha…

  7. hi! i must say that you are very observant. You know what’s likable or not

    most of the time when i watch, i just watch for the sake of entertainment, then if i find something odd – cool, stupid, and stunning i just mention it.

    back to NM -of all, i feel estrange when Dakota accepted her role in new moon. anyway, that’s her decision so be it. hehehe

    • Thank you. And we understand about Dakota. You know Hollywood. She was probably heavily pressured to take grown up roles to establish herself as “an adult”. Like her role in that recent rock film. Yeech. Natalie Portman seemingly did that kind of thing after Star Wars too.

      You make a good point about just enjoying something. That is a good way to be. We try not to be too critical here in the Fortress. There are a number of things we watch that are probably not the best, but we enjoy them. When we do a take on something we think is not so good, we try to to lighten it up with (hopefully) witty humor.

      Keep on stoppin’ by.

  8. yeah i will! i like watching films given the time and resources. and sometimes i consult movie reviews and other bloggers in choosing what’s good to pick.

    i’ll add you in my blogroll (i hope you also add me.hehehe)

    thanks!

  9. I love your take on it. Many truth’s. But for the die hard twilight fan, this was just a hurdle book/movie. Most of it’s reader’s skipped through the pages until they seen his name again. Even Stephanie didn’t include the werewolves the first time she wrote the book. As a true, Twi-mom, I watched this movie as a intermission to my favorite book/movie, ECLIPSE!

    • That is an interesting way of looking at it, and one that works for heavy duty Twilight fans. But for the rest of us who enjoyed the first one and just wanted to be entertained, it was a long, tough slog. We have not read the books and so could not get through it on future anticipation.

      Why cannot all the entries be good? Star Wars A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi all were entertaining in their own way. Of course if we used the Star Trek movies as a reference, you would say, “See, they had trouble too.” Sad but true. 😉

      We hope for their sake they pull off a broad-audience, well rounded entertaining movie with Eclipse (not too unlike Twilight). We think less will give it a shot after New Moon. Thanks for the intelligent weigh-in.

  10. A place to live should not be melted. I think the “Three Little Pigs” solved this conundrum by opting for brick as a building material. Perhaps you could consider that, as a more stable mnaterial in this time of global warming? I shall still reserve judgement on Bella et al until the third movie comes out. I adored your comments. You improved the neighbourhood by dropping in and bringing your intelligence to visit.

  11. I did not watch that movie and I’m passionately looking for people like me, who after seeing a first twilight poster immedately felt sick. Anyway, I agree all along, especially the best things are the pictures, great job again! I know that I have no right to talk bad about this, since I didn’t watch it BUT i’ve seen youtube clip called ‘all Kirsten Steward in twilight does is bite her lip’ (if she insists on showing bellas emotion that way, she could bite it off- gross, but adds a little action) Also i’ve seen someone older and wiser put together a list response to all those *cough* fans of twilight who said: twilight is the new harry potter.
    Total nonsense: Harry Potter has some non-repetitive plot lines, twilight, i see, doesn’t.

    Here’s the link, as it really worth reading: http://firebolt-kid.deviantart.com/art/Twilight-vs-Harry-Potter-107958437

    I loved the review 😉

    • We do throw in a lot of pics with a humorous bit or two; part of the Fortress style. We are gratified you enjoyed them as an anti-Twilight fan. If Twilight fans are “Twi-hards”, are anti-fans “Twi-softs”?

      That list said a lot regarding Twilight versus Harry Potter (some were decent observations, but others just unprovable opinion). The latter films and books are not without flaw, but we think the person who said “Twilight is the new Harry Potter” was stretching credulity to the point of breaking. When they open “Twilight World” in Orlando, Florida next to Harry Potter World, then they can make an argument.

  12. Interesting take on the film.
    I do in some ways agree with how annoying and crap Bella was, but I think you were a little over critical with the other characters?
    New Moon was probably the worst book to read in the saga (no offence to Stephenie Meyer because other than that, I am a huge fan) so it was probably going to be one of the worst films in the saga aswell.
    But most of it was fairly good, except for stuff previously pointed out on this blog and my own.

    • We understand where you are coming from. We were hoping for more than “fairly good” after the first film. Perhaps you knew what to expect because you read the book. We did not, and judging from the marketing campaign we half expected World Werewolf Vampire War III. It was not.

      We know fans will continue to watch, but how many more casual viewers were turned off? Non readers of the books? We think this film entry sank the reputation of the movie series.

      We agree with you that Bella was weak and annoying. The other characters had little screen time to balance it out, however we think they weighed in. Well, we are glad it is not going to get worse from here, but sadly we think the rift between Twi-hards and regular movie goers is growing.

  13. so Team Edward or Team Jacob?
    – TEAM VICTORIA! Well actually no because I don’t like the new actor.
    I loved the stuff u said about ppl having to few lines. as for Edward & Bella being weak and pathetic. Bella. Yes. Edward……….I don’t know. I still like Edward more than Jacob. Een if Taylor is cool. Jacob is so selfish even if he is there for Bella I don’t like guys who only think about what they want and I think that’s what Jacob does. Even if on some levels he is good for Bella. I NTW love the gym / hamburger comments you guys have GREAT sense of humor. I gotta admit I didn’t love New moon as much Twilight . The hole depressing gets boring. Loved the Volturi thing just like I did in book.
    Helina

    • Thanks for commenting again.

      We did not see the problem with the first Victoria actress. Also, like you we thought the first movie held together as a whole piece better and was more entertaining. Certainly it was less slow, morbid, and depressing.

      Glad you appreciate the humor. Being ripped is nice and all, but real long lasting attraction come from what is within.

      We think the Volturi had potential, but perhaps that potential was not shown in the movie. Additionally, not having read the books we were surprised by all the new vampire powers. Still, a ruling elite is an interesting idea I am sure the later books explore further.

      We hope the next film is more like the first, or at least less like the second. 😉

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