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New Moon Review – Disappointment

by Marilena on November 20, 2009

I should have known that when Chris Weitz, whose directorial debut was American Pie, was announced to direct the second installment of the Twilight Saga, I would be thoroughly dissatisfied.  And I have to sadly report that all of the anticipation led up to something I already knew would happen – utter disappointment.
After avidly reading all 4 books well within the first month of my 11-year-old sister revealing to me the abnormal phenomenon that became the Twilight sensation, I became hooked.  I must agree, Twilight is most definitely agreed to be a tween uproar.  But I know plenty of 20 somethings who have found a sincere fascination with the series, and the only thing I can argue for all females of any age is this: we have found a protagonist who is less than perfect.  Bella is a klutz, a shut out, rejected from her own school.  This, in many repeated patterns of literate history, is something everyone can relate to – being the cast out.  Not only does Bella become an overnight sensation at her new school, but she, in a totally unplanned way, finds the key to the high school hunk’s heart.  They, of course, fall in love, but it takes a total of 4 books, each gaining close to 100 pages per volume, and don’t reach the adulterated actions until the very last book, which, at least for me, kept me hanging on in total sexual frustration, having me dripping wet (tear) drops until the bitter sweet end.  And I know Stephenie Meyer, the beloved author of Twilight who sat down one morning after a vivid dream to make this story come true, is a known Mormon, and this has very much a part to play in the story line.  But come on, who would keep reading if Bella and Edward had sex in the last chapter of Twilight?  No one, that’s for sure.
Anyway, I know that the first film, directed by Thirteen’s Catherine Hardwicke, had
many constraints.  Scrambling to get the script written in time before the WGA strike,
Hardwicke and Dexter’s Melissa Rosenberg sat down in a weekend and hammered
through the first Twilight draft, which inevitably was the draft used.  Pressed for time and having a  very limited budget, Twilight was filmed in 6 weeks, with a cast hardly recognizable to the
Blockbuster audience in the US.  Somehow, Twilight became an overnight, cult
sensation, and Summit jumped on the chance to make a quick dollar from it.  Evident in
this sequel, we can now see why Hardwicke turned down “the most money [she’s] ever
seen in [her] life” for artistic integrity.  In plain English, New Moon did not deliver.  At
least Twilight had an excuse for what is was lacking.  New Moon, however, does not.
So, while I was sitting in the theater, it was upon first glance of the Summit logo that my knees started twitching.  I was excited and thrilled, especially after spending $60 in the Arclight bar to curb my vapid enthusiasm.  Being 25 years old, I tend to have to hide my fondness for such a wonder from friends and family alike.  At this point I was totally in my element, looking around to all of the fat girls and blatant homosexuals sporting “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” homemade shirts.  A quickly forming moon appeared on screen, obviously, and faded as the words of the movie slowly showed themselves backward on screen: New Moon.  It was here my heart stopped palpitating.  It was here I knew it would be something I wasn’t quite sure of.  Something I could be disappointed in.
Informed beforehand that the movie would run 2:20 minutes, I impatiently waited for its end.
The movie ran its course, of course.  I found subtle errors, and decided I should point them out to my clueless partner, who was dragged along in the free ticket ride.  If I recall correctly, New Moon was repeatedly hammered in our brains for almost a year, promised to be made on a true fans’ account.  By the book, that is.  And no, that’s not just a maxim.
Quickly I discovered the movie was strictly made for money.  I saw no correlation to the original story line.  I found myself huffing and puffing at the awkwardness that lay on the screen.  I laughed, and I cried.  But not because of remarkable character development or serious hardships they faced, but because the script was seriously lacking.  When I asked my friend afterward of his thoughts, he sorely replied “there was no continuity whatsoever.”  I replied, “ I even KNEW what was supposed to take place, and it still didn’t even make sense.”
Point?  It lacked.  In so many more ways than one.  Why Carter Burwell (an often recurrence of Coen Brothers films) was canned, I can never tell you why.  The soundtrack and score was disconcerting, reminding us that money was meant to be spent and then earned back; not that film can be a great and meaningful art, including all aspects of it (yes I really did get that from the score, especially since the insurgence of muse and paramore after its appearance on the first soundtrack).
Mind you I found the CGI to be astronomically deficient.  I commented to a fellow Twifan that George Lucas’ first episode of Star Wars provided better effects than the lousy CGI procured on the big screen for all of us to see (and somehow believe) in the great technological age of 2009.  I gasped at how wasted any effort to create a lifelike fantasy in the whole saga was blatantly obvious.
So, I was fuming at the end of the film.  I really was.  And the only thing that keeps me hoping for a better Twilight Saga future is the up and coming director David Slade.  His only two films, Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night scream amazing auteur ability, and his dedication and absolute artistic ability in everything that is visual (see his twitter page for amazing candid still photos) secure a place for him in film history…and hopefully Twilight fans around the globe.
So my final thoughts remain that any true twilight fan that expresses a likeness toward New Moon is only savoring what has been handed to them, and not what really could have been.

I should have known that when Chris Weitz, whose directorial debut was American Pie, was announced to direct the second installment of the Twilight Saga, I would be thoroughly dissatisfied.  And I have to sadly report that all of the anticipation led up to something I already knew would happen – utter disappointment.

After avidly reading all 4 books well within the first month of my 11-year-old sister revealing to me the abnormal phenomenon that became the Twilight sensation, I became hooked.  I must agree, Twilight is most definitely agreed to be a tween uproar.  But I know plenty of 20 somethings who have found a sincere fascination with the series, and the only thing I can argue for all females of any age is this: we have found a protagonist who is less than perfect.  Bella is a klutz, a shut out, rejected from her own school.  This, in many repeated patterns of literate history, is something everyone can relate to – being the cast out.  Not only does Bella become an overnight sensation at her new school, but she, in a totally unplanned way, finds the key to the high school hunk’s heart.  They, of course, fall in love, but it takes a total of 4 books, each gaining close to 100 pages per volume, and don’t reach the adulterated actions until the very last book, which, at least for me, kept me hanging on in total sexual frustration, having me dripping wet (tear) drops until the bitter sweet end.  And I know Stephenie Meyer, the beloved author of Twilight who sat down one morning after a vivid dream to make this story come true, is a known Mormon, and this has very much a part to play in the story line.  But come on, who would keep reading if Bella and Edward had sex in the last chapter of Twilight?  No one, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I know that the first film, directed by Thirteen’s Catherine Hardwicke, had many constraints.  Scrambling to get the script written in time before the WGA strike, Hardwicke and Dexter’s Melissa Rosenberg sat down in a weekend and hammered through the first Twilight draft, which inevitably was the draft used.  Pressed for time and having a  very limited budget, Twilight was filmed in 6 weeks, with a cast hardly recognizable to the Blockbuster audience in the US.  Somehow, Twilight became an overnight, cult sensation, and Summit jumped on the chance to make a quick dollar from it.  Evident in this sequel, we can now see why Hardwicke turned down “the most money [she’s] ever seen in [her] life” for artistic integrity.  In plain English, New Moon did not deliver.  At least Twilight had an excuse for what is was lacking.  New Moon, however, does not.

So, while I was sitting in the theater, it was upon first glance of the Summit logo that my knees started twitching.  I was excited and thrilled, especially after spending $60 in the Arclight bar to curb my vapid enthusiasm.  Being 25 years old, I tend to have to hide my fondness for such a wonder from friends and family alike.  At this point I was totally in my element, looking around to all of the fat girls and blatant homosexuals sporting “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” homemade shirts.  A quickly forming moon appeared on screen, obviously, and faded as the words of the movie slowly showed themselves backward on screen: New Moon.  It was here my heart stopped palpitating.  It was here I knew it would be something I wasn’t quite sure of.  Something I could be disappointed in.

Informed beforehand that the movie would run 2:20 minutes, I impatiently waited for its end.

The movie ran its course, of course.  I found subtle errors, and decided I should point them out to my clueless partner, who was dragged along in the free ticket ride.  If I recall correctly, New Moon was repeatedly hammered in our brains for almost a year, promised to be made on a true fans’ account.  By the book, that is.  And no, that’s not just a maxim.

Quickly I discovered the movie was strictly made for money.  I saw no correlation to the original story line.  I found myself huffing and puffing at the awkwardness that lay on the screen.  I laughed, and I cried.  But not because of remarkable character development or serious hardships they faced, but because the script was seriously lacking.  When I asked my friend afterward of his thoughts, he sorely replied “there was no continuity whatsoever.”  I replied, “I even KNEW what was supposed to take place, and it still didn’t even make sense.”

Point?  It lacked.  In so many more ways than one.  Why Carter Burwell (an often recurrence of Coen Brothers films) was canned, I can never tell you why.  The soundtrack and score was disconcerting, reminding us that money was meant to be spent and then earned back; not that film can be a great and meaningful art, including all aspects of it (yes I really did get that from the score, especially since the insurgence of muse and paramore after its appearance on the first soundtrack).

Mind you I found the CGI to be astronomically deficient.  I commented to a fellow Twifan that George Lucas’ first episode of Star Wars provided better effects than the lousy CGI procured on the big screen for all of us to see (and somehow believe) in the great technological age of 2009.  I gasped at how wasted any effort to create a lifelike fantasy in the whole saga was blatantly obvious.

So, I was fuming at the end of the film.  I really was.  And the only thing that keeps me hoping for a better Twilight Saga future is the up and coming director David Slade.  His only two films, Hard Candy and 30 Days of Night scream amazing auteur ability, and his dedication and absolute artistic ability in everything that is visual (see his twitter page for amazing candid still photos) secure a place for him in film history…and hopefully Twilight fans around the globe.

So my final thoughts remain that any true twilight fan that expresses a likeness toward New Moon is only savoring what has been handed to them, and not what really could have been.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate Morris November 20, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Gonna have to disagree with respect. I walked into this movie hoping for it to be better than the last. I didn’t like all the adaptations in the last one, or the characters. I’ve grown used to the characters, save Rosalie. So I walked in with a low bar. Movies based on my favorite books are rarely what I want them to be. “The Notebook”? I can’t watch the movie, it’s horrible.

But I actually liked most of the changes they made to the story, minus a few “wth are they doing” moments that were very minor. I think they kept to the story line very well and the movie was visually beautiful.

So to each their own I guess. But I was more than pleased with the way this movie turned out.

alexis November 20, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I agree with you a hundred percent. last night i waited six hours sitting in the cold and when there was only two minutes left, I felt uncontrollable excitement. ten minutes into the movie i was so dissapointed, not only at the movie, but at the fact that i was upset with the movie already. In comparison, the movie that catherine hardwick made was a million times better than new moon, ad its not because of personal preference of a certain book in the series. At least she could capture the essence of the fact that these are vampires, majestic, exotic, immortal, strong, intelligent, vampires. If it werent for the bright gold contacts and pale skin, you wouldn’t know they were vampires. And by the way the soundtrack for twilight was great, new moon? Eh..I believe there was ,like your friend said, no continuity at all. I also agree with you on the fact, that even i , after reading the book a couple times, was having a difficult time keeping up. Big productions and there large amounts of money, in my opinion, totally and completely, ruined this movie that trully did have so much potential. Twilight is a perfect example of not needing all this money to actually make something great. I believe it was a mixture of the directing, the money and the bad acting ( i was very dissapointed in kristens acting, you could have cast a brick wall as bella and it would have gave off more emotion than kristen. and i know bella’s character is quiet and thoughtfull and more so because of the circumstance she under in new moon. But kristen displays the same emotion throughout the WHOLE movie, she could try harder. shaking your head back in forth and sputtering on every other word while raising your eye brow is not an emotion, and its all she does! she couldnt even get out a couple of tears through this whole movie? what is the viewer supposed to feel when she cant even feel herself? And on the fact of rob…… he stooped down to kristens level too. He has the same emotion the WHOLE movie, he speaks in a subdued whisper the whole movie, even Edward has some emotions. Taylor Lautner did an excellent job and so did Nikki Reed and ashley greene. They actually had character, and displayed thier character greatly, they werent lifeless. The wolf pack was excellent also they could display emotion when acting, and make us laugh too. Maybe someone could rub off thier actong skills to kristen and rob)
in the end i was completely and utterly in dissapointment, you could tell this was just a cash cow of a movie, and somebody-anybody- needs to go crawling and begging on thier knees to catherine hardwicks front door. this movie desprately needed her.

Twi-hards go see this movie, you might-and thats a big might- be able to see over the fakeness of this movie.

ERic November 20, 2009 at 9:17 pm

WOOOOOW Definatley gonna have to disagree CH def. could not have dorected this one it would have sucked i like Twilight for what it was which wasnt much and New Moon Really was a great adaption of the book all great feelings were felt…… forget the money used the actors abilities outshines everything that could b bad with it… if u think that DS has a better chance at getting the story right im sure you will b dissapointed again in june… too each his own… i Loved NEW MOON:)

Kristin November 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more. I really think that if given an improved score, the movie would have had a much more powerful effect. Music can truly make or break a film and given the already questionable screenplay, it is absolutely imperative in a movie such as New Moon. And one more note, I was expecting the same pain an horror that I felt when I read the break up scene in the book…Not one tear, Kristen? Really? Honestly, even your ordinary, average, teenage puppy love crush ends in some water works, and she was supposed to be “unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him”?

jessica November 21, 2009 at 9:50 am

Couldn’t agree more i am a 24yr old twilight nut read the books several time and was going crazy with excitment waiting for this movie. I even had to beg my step dad to go with me to the 12.01 showing cause nobody else would go with me. MAJOR disappointment i couldn’t believe kristen’s acting! When reading the book i cried so much when edward left bella and in the movie i was angry, angry that kristen can’t pull off anything of bella’s why can’t they open there eyes and see that she can NOT act. Now watching the movie was like reading the book in fast forward with tons of pages ripped out. I couldn’t keep up it was all so squished in. Oh and the end made me sick and even more angry how do they start the next movie with that ending? I mean how do they keep it in track with the next book? All in all very disappointed

Eileen November 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I to was disapointed with the movie. I am a stay at home mom on low income…who loves the books and have been saving up grocery change to be able to see it. what a waste of $15. I mean bella getting on the back of a motorcycle with the guy from the bar totally uncalled for and rediculous. When Edward broke up with bella it was awful she didn’t even look sad it looked so fake she didn’t look hurt at all. I do think taylor did a fabulous job as jacob!! even tho i don’t even like him. Victoria and Alice did a good job too. oh and Rob oh Rob what was with those kissing moments? i know your supposed to be struggling but pfft so lame all the moaning between you guys not good not good at all. These producers are taking total advantage of us putting out crap like this just because they know we will go see it because of our love for the books.

Seriously disappointed Twilight fan November 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Let me begin by saying BRING BACK CATHERINE HARDWICKE!!!!

After all the talk of fear of losing, the fundetmentally important emtions that are KEY to the entire twilight saga, with the departure of Catherine Hardwicke, Chris Weitz STILL failed to deliver!

In place of the true pain, angst and heartbreaking love we have seen in Twilight, the first movie and throughout the 4 books, we are being handy cheesy lines, unconvincing deliveries of emotion….and for what? A pack to truely crappy looking CGI wolves? I am truely disappointed!

Where were the months of heartbreaking desolation? And the reawakening of Bella, brought on by another powerful relationship fraught with complication?

Instead we get to see silly, cheesy visions on Bella as a vampire, skipping merrily along the yellow brick road, Edward in toe, as they happily hunt together in they floaty light outfits……?????? Where is the darkness, pain and complication there? And as if Stephanie Meyers Bella would volutarily don a float pastel green frock. Bring back Catherine you money vultures and respect the piece of art Stephanie Meyer has created!

Lynn November 23, 2009 at 5:40 am

The movie did not live up to the hype. At all.
The acting was subpar, with few exceptions. The emotionalism was strained and forced, none of it was natural. I know the cast is mostly made up of twenty somethings, but come on people! Put some effort into it! It was all beef cake and no brians. It all seemed slapped together and rushed. And the one-liners were killing me, not with gut busting laughter but with, “Can anyone help me find the script writters so I can beat them with it?”
I actually liked the New Moon CGI wolves, better than the UnderWorld: Rise of the Lycans werewolves. If you watched it you know what I’m talking about.
I know how much time it takes to create images like the ones in New Moon. So, I have artistic respect in that sense.

I think Taylor is getting better at acting but he’s still akward to watch at times.
Rob just didn’t seem interested in putting on a good show.
Kristen was…Yeah I’m not even going to get started… All I’ll say is I’ve never been fond of the Bella character, and now I’m even less so.
The movie was ridding on their performances…
Good thing for them teenage girls will pay through the nose to see crapy movies as long as some beef cake takes their shirt off. And if my count is right there were at least seven men flashing their
pectorals at me evertime I looked at the screen… So, I guess it wasn’t all bad. lol
I just hope they do better on the next one.
I give it a 7/10.

Koolong November 23, 2009 at 10:23 am

So first of all, I watched this movie twice and still feel the same. The first movie left you wanting more. It left you thinking about this impossible love story and took you away from reality at least for awhile. I guess I expected more of the original tones and sounds from the first film which hooked me to begin with. I’m curious how the movie would have turned out being directed by Katherine Hardwicke.

Liz November 23, 2009 at 10:31 am

Same here, totally disappointed. Some of the best scenes from the book wilted on the screen. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting. Kind of surprised this is Chris Weitz’s best interpretation–I expected more from him.

Huge Disappointment November 24, 2009 at 8:46 am

After months of excitement i can’t stress how completely GUTTED i was after watching this movie. I know film versions will never live up to your favorite books but i never imagined that a story that has gripped so many people could be completely massacred in this way. Bella’s acting was quite frankly flatter than a witches tit for the majority of the movie, the Cullens were garishly made up to look so freaky they didn’t even come across as the same characters and what was that scene where aro sees alices vision of edward and bella running through the woods in what looks like her grans nighty! Mercy!! Have to say though i was pleased that taylor lautner did so well playing jacob i wasn’t totally convinced he’d be able to pull it off but he really suprised me, i thought that the few times edward was on screen his parts were either seriously over-acted (like the weird kissing moans) or completely half hearted. All in all a big waste of time and money think i’ll skip the next two movies and hold out for midnight sun.

Agnita November 30, 2009 at 11:52 am

New Moon was so disappointing. The special effects were great but Edward and Bella’s love was just shown so badly. From this movie, one would think why does Bella even like Edward. Bella just looks right with Jacob. They didnt justify it in any way. Edward looks so bad I stopped liking him because of his bad makeup. The white face looks like a joker. Edward’s character in the book is so deep and he’s so in love with her, nothing showed in the movie. Chris Weitz needs to do a better job. Make up in general for all vampires was just bad.

Roy November 30, 2009 at 11:59 am

I cannot believe how bad this movie turned out … Twilight was great and artistic, you could feel the chemistry between the actors and the story was believable .. New Moon was not .. it was very disjointed and hard to follow at times. The CGI was so bad .. I really hope they figure this out before they ruin the entire series on screen

Aubrey November 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm

TOTALLY agree accept for the whole CGI part I thought it looked pretty good – i mean it’s hard to make something impossible look real right? So I dragged my boyfriend to see it on the friday night it came out and I guess because mom’s wanted to see it they take their effing 5 and 6 year old kids to see it which I must say is REALLY ANNOYING. If you have kids that young leave them with a babysitter – when the movie started i was SO excited but was quickly disappointed with the acting. I DIDN’T SEE ONE TEAR from kristen stewart it was like ZERO emotion in her face even when it was supposed to look like that. It was just awful and the whole Edwards head floating around – completely (not to be politically incorrect) but RETARDED. It was stupid the whole thing didn’t give you any chance to get into the plot or into the movie at all it was just jumping from one scene i guess to squeeze everything they barely could into the movie. It was just awful that’s all i can say and I felt NO chemistry in the movie. ugh i cant get over how bad it sucked. Thank GOD for eclipse this next director i have seriously high hopes for – hard candy and 30 days of night were awesome – so excited. hope it’s not to be let down again

Aubrey November 30, 2009 at 9:27 pm

oh and the new eyes they had!? WOW that’s not OBVIOUS or anything LOL

A 30-something fan December 4, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I have to completely agree. The script was crap. The relationships were flat. I was thoroughly disappointed. Please, Eclipse, be better…but with the same writer, I’m a little worried. Thanks for the review!

ceirra johnson December 26, 2009 at 5:01 am

here’s how you know that the movie was bad:
1) when – after this whole time edward was gone and bella is trying to hold on to the memory of him and his family -desperately… fighting against the notion that he doesn’t exist- alice all of the sudden shows up after months without a single word- in the movie bella’s eyes get watery and she hugs her… thats it. thats not how it happened in the book and its not how something like that would go… think of someone you know and love who you haven’t heard from and never expected to hear from again and all of the sudden you see them again- no one would react that way… and it definitely isn’t grabbing any heart strings when you see bella’s reaction to alice…
2) jasper, emmet, rosalie and esme have about two lines in the entire movie… did they even get paid?
3)the passion between edward and bella fizzled out to nothing- but everyone fell in love with jacob because jacob did a better job and showed passion for bella edward didn’t really show any passion… he basically wasn’t in the movie… edwards strong pull towards bella – and bellas toward edward had almost completely gone away in the movie- their reunion was short and passionless- like think of all the other movies with reunions which is part of why we like them new moon falls short compared to say anything, and the notebook, the modern romeo and juliet… but the sad thing is that it had the potential to be up there just as good…
3) some times edward would make “steven segul face” when bella almost gets killed on her birthday he just stairs at her squinting like steven segul… it was weird…
4) maybe the higher contrast from twilight made their pale skin look more like marble but in new moon they looked like they were wearing white Halloween make up you get a walmart over there fallible aging faces… twilight did better.. the make up was bad…
i don’t freaking know- i’m just so irritated that this movie sucked… i was looking forward to it… like pride and prejudice… good book AND good movie… the love hate thing between mr. darcy and elizabeth was entertaining/thrilling basically had what a girl is looking for in a romance story… and i happen to be a twilight fan and this was a major let down… of course i’m going to go see eclipse… but whatever.. i hope it doesn’t suck like this one… i had no idea that the director of new moon started out with american pie… it all makes sense now.

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