The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

New Moon

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Twilight Saga - New Moon – Shines a Bit Brighter than the First

By Judy Thorburn
The Flick Chick

New Moon is the second installment in the movie franchise adapted from Stephenie Meyer's enormously popular "Twilight Saga" novels which are adored by millions of teenage girls worldwide.

Obsessed fans won’t agree with me, but I did not like the first movie,which  set up the star crossed romance between the two lead characters. Based on all the pre release hype, I was looking forward to the screening but was terribly disappointed after having sat through what seemed like an eternity.  Twilight moved at a snails pace and was totally boring with lots of talk and very little action. There wasn’t anything that drew me into the story and couldn’t quite get what all the fuss was about.

For the sequel, Chris Weitz (About a Boy, The Golden Compass) took over the helm from Twilight director Catherine Harwicke, and does a better job.  This film also starts slow, but it eventually picks up speed and becomes a bit more interesting with more action and some injected humor.

In the continuing saga, human Bella (Kristen Stewart) becomes entwined in a love triangle with her 109 year old vampire boyfriend, the ever brooding and soft spoken Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and her friend, Native American muscle bound hunk, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who has the nasty habit of transforming into a ferocious, huge werewolf.  Jacob was around in the first movie. We knew he had a thing for Bella, but at the time his beastly powers weren’t yet revealed. That plot device was obviously saved for this sequel.

New Moon opens with Bella turning 17. During a birthday celebration with his extended vampire family, Edward comes to the conclusion that he is dangerous and no good for the woman he loves and must put an end to their romance. When an accidental finger cut brings out his siblings almost uncontrollable thirst for blood, Edward realizes in order to protect Bella from his own kind and keep her safe and away from danger he must dump her and go as far away as possible. So, depressed and in a suicidal funk, Edward leaves the dark and dreary town of Fork, Washington and heads to Italy to meet his maker at the hands of a band of powerful vampires called the Volturis, lead by scene stealer, Michael Sheen (The Queen, Frost/Nixon).

Meanwhile, an emotionally tortured Bella can’t sleep without having nightmares.  She turns to her best friend, Jacob for support, unaware of that he, too has a deadly secret about his genetic makeup and it soon becomes apparent that he belongs to a gang of fellow werewolves.

The unfolding story entails Jacob trying to keep his secret hidden while coming to the aid of the girl he loves which means saving her from some self destructive acts and beastly creatures on the prowl.  Unfortunately, Bella has trouble reciprocating the same feelings Jacob has for her because she is so in love with Edward.

In this teen soap opera/fantasy tale, the plot also includes a revenge scenario by female vampire Victoria, and an attempt to correlate Bella and Edward’s romance with that of Romeo and Juliet.

All the plot devices are secondary to the fact that the target audience of teenage girls are primarily interested in the male eye candy that they get from an occasionally bare chested Lautner and a perpetually brooding Pattinson.  At my screening there was constant swooning and screams of joy from young females whenever the camera was on the young men.

I personally would have liked to see more of a grown up and stunning Dakota Fanning who is wasted in a cameo role. All that’s required was for her to look menacing and give ferocious, glaring stares. I’m not sure, but I think her character is supposed to be some sort of vampire in training.

As a whole, I found New Moon a notch better than the first chapter due to a forward moving storyline that somewhat perked my interest and kept me from dozing off.  However, I still don’t think Stewart (she, with ever parted lips) and Pattinson (who I personally think has a strange air about him) have much chemistry or charisma.

Left with an unanswered question, this saga of teen angst continues in the next installment.  Now, if you swap Bella and Edward with Ms. Fanning and Mr. Sheen and create some hot stirrings, it would add some life into this chaste, sex starved movie involving humans and the undead.  That is just a thought.
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