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New Moon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I tried to give “New Moon” a chance. I tried to forget that it was based on a series of terrible books. I tried to forget the legions of annoying fangirls. I tried to understand why it's a cultural phenomenon. Most of all, I tried to like it. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, it didn't matter. Even with low expectations, “New Moon” still falls just a bit short.

“New Moon” continues the story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and her sparkly vampire boyfriend, Edward (Robert Pattinson), characters whose most noteworthy feature is their utter lack of personality.

At the start, an accident at Bella's birthday party tears the lovers apart. As a result, the Cullens decide to leave Forks and Edward breaks up with Bella. She responds, as any healthy person would, by spending the next three months in a catatonic state. Thankfully good buddy Jacob is there to help her deal. But just like every man in her life, he has a deep, dark secret ….

I have to give the film credit. It takes the meager material from the book and tries to keep the audience engaged. There's a genuine style to Chris Weitz's direction, and occasionally he manages to put together scenes that dazzle. His skillfully directed action sequences add some much-needed energy, and his ability to avoid taking it all too seriously saves the movie.

The costume and set designs are gorgeous and make the film a visual feast. Add some decent special effects and it's easy to see that “New Moon” is doing everything it can to rise above the constraints of its source material. Unfortunately that's where the whole thing hits a snag.

It doesn't matter how much you pretty it up, a mess is still a mess. And the book really is the problem here, no matter how many copies it sells or how many teenaged girls it ­intrigues. Stephenie Meyer's stories are bland, cliché-ridden nonsense. The problems that riddle the books are only ­exacerbated in the movie. ­Supposedly mysterious plot points prove to be predictable and emotional scenes fall flat, thanks to dialogue drenched in enough cheese to drive the state of Wisconsin out of business. To her credit, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg makes a valiant effort to clean up the mess, but there's just no salvaging a film where the climax revolves around preventing a character from sparkling too brightly in the midday sun.

The poor script isn't exactly helped by the actors. Stewart continues her habit of staring blankly at the screen, while Pattinson seems to be incapable of doing anything other than taking his shirt off and acting like he's in a Gap ad. Taylor Lautner does his best to make Jacob likable, but he isn't given much to do. The only highlights are Ashley Greene's portrayal of Alice, and Dakota Fanning's perfectly evil Jane, who might have been able to save this film on the weight of her own creepiness if she'd had more than five lines.

In the end, the real heartbreak of “New Moon” has nothing to do with its lead couple. It has everything to do with the film's potential. It's easy to appreciate what this film could have been. The same can't be said for what it is.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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KaplunkyMonkey said...
May 3, 2010 at 7:16 pm

"but there's just no salvaging a film where the climax revolves around preventing a character from sparkling too brightly in the midday sun."

 

funniest thing I've read all day.

 
Charlotte C. said...
Jan. 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm
I have to admit I am a fan of the books (not obsessive at all) although I do agree they are poorly written, I am a sucker for mushy love stories but I agree this movie was not what I expected. The good thing I have to say about was that it was far better than the first movie which was just awful!!! They failed to explain the books and made it seem cheesy and stupid and extremely awkward. The actors in this movie are terrible. Expecially Kristen S. Bella comes off as a needy girlfriend (which sh... (more »)
 
sabbielove said...
Jan. 11, 2010 at 4:24 pm
OMG finally SOMEONE BESIDES ME noticed...Like whats that about? KRisten is the king of dumb actors, and yeah i said king, he's a man, she DOES stare blankly in the sscreen, she's getting all this credit for playing BELLA (who is stupid in her own terms as well, but that's another story) not for being a good actor. She SUCKS, and so does Rob, those two ruined the entire series for me, the best part is only alice (ashley g.) and JAcob (Taylor sexylicious Lautner), everyone else SUCK... (more »)
 
SportyZo77 said...
Jan. 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm
i love when people have their own opinions but I think that in some of your opinions you blocked out the magic of the story. To think that Stephenie Meyer wrote these books off of one dream and made them so magical is amazing. I do have to admit that the movie was a let down, but just because a movie is bad doesn't mean you should say put downs to a book series and author lke that. Of course that's my oppinion
 
Sydney said...
Jan. 6, 2010 at 7:54 pm
okay, i am a fan of twilight. But what i am not, is the chick that will stand in the freezing rain and sleet to see the premeir or get the first book sold ever. i am, a vampire fan. New Moon was a good movie and book but not the best vampire tale i have read. like rosaliehale i went a lot for jacob, and was very pleased with that. but i think that your dislike kept you from truely seeing the movie. Stephanie Myers wrote four stories off of one dream, and managed to capture many hearts along the ... (more »)
 
rosaliehale said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm
okay im all for opinons and honestly yours is good. im a total twilighter and i didnt like the movie as much as the book
. and i will also be the first to admit that i only went to see it for taylor lautner!
 
RazeTora said...
Dec. 31, 2009 at 11:18 am
I just want to let you know that when I got this issue in the mail today and read it, I nearly exploded from the happiness of knowing that I'm not alone in my thoughts on Twilight.
 
Venom said...
Dec. 30, 2009 at 6:37 pm
Wow...this is what ends up getting into the magazine.
Well, at least you bashed the film. That is your one saving grace.
 
remym This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm
Thank God! More sane people in the world! Read mine?
 
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