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:
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.
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:
- I miss Edward.
- I want to do something dangerous because I miss Edward.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
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.
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!)
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.
The Twilight Saga:
For a little humor, check out this funny parody:
New Moon in a Minute