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Twilight: New Moon

November 21, 2009

I’ve read a lot of bad reviews for Twilight: New Moon and had the lowest expectations possible when I went to see a free screening of it a few nights ago. After repeatedly hearing even my Twi-hard friends admit how terrible the first film was, my only excitement for seeing it was the prospect of laughing at and ripping on every scene and possibly understanding the Robert Pattinson craze. Well I didn’t get to laugh at how bad it was nor do I comprehend the R-Patz thing. But I have to admit Twilight: New Moon wasn’t as bad as critics and anti-fans want it to be. It was actually pretty decent.

Now this is coming from someone who is not into the Twilight hysteria in the least. I’ve never read the books so I don’t know how much the movie left out or kept in. Actually the only thing I really know about the books is that author Stephanie Meyers completely ripped off The Southern Vampire Mysteries… but that’s an argument for a different day. New Moon however is pure and simple just good entertainment and director Chris Weitz is to thank for that. His style of directing gives the film leverage and some impressively intense scenes. Although it’s unnecessarily two-hours long, Weitz’s directing and Peter Lambert’s editing makes the images flow nicely together as nearly every scene seems to start in long shots just for an excuse to slowly zoom and track into a close up. But that style works well to capture the angsty and moody feeling that the plot revolves around. One of the more impressively shot scenes being a hunting excursion in which humans and creatures are chasing/being hunted by some other people, who they were all became a blur to me except for one villain. Backed by a beautiful Tom Yorke track, the camera fluidly moves around the woods following the actions of various characters and slowing down certain movements to emphasize the powers that only characters in the world of Twilight have.

If the previews haven’t told enough of the plot, Bella comes up on her 18th birthday now suffering from nightmares of an awkward future with her forever young boyfriend Edward. After a paper cut from opening a present results in her near death, Edward decides to leave her for the sake of her safety. Bella teeters between months of depression and suicidal attempts in order to “see” Edward. She regains a bit of sanity after spending time with her overly-buff-for-his-age friend Jacob who also begins to distance himself from her when he’s forced to withhold a secret from her (shh he’s a werewolf). Some villains come and get killed or chased off and later Edward is led to believe Bella has killed herself causing him to confront the powerful Volturi to provoke them to kill him in a very Romeo & Juliet-esque decision.

I honestly feel that the low ratings and mule beating of Twilight: New Moon comes from its own fate. It has a built-in and at times ridiculously annoying fan base of preteens, over-hyped and media saturated stars, and a current over-killed undeserved hysteria, so I see why it’s automatically hated. But it’s not a bad movie and has a terrific performance from Michael Sheen as the chillingly humorous head vampire Nero. Sure it’s an insult to the vampire world that Twilight vampires “sparkle” in the sun. Yes Bella and Edward (cough*Sookie and Bill*cough) are the moodiest and most boring couple ever. And big deal that nearly every other scene is filled with shirtless men—about time the female body isn’t the only one exploited. But the same way we accept that Spiderman got super strength from a spider and there’s a school in London filled with tween witches, is the same way Twilight should be approached. Just turn off all preconceived notions and get sucked into the Degrassi meets True Blood filled drama.

It’s a TOSS UP. If you’re not a fan of the franchise it’s entertaining but may not be enough to hold attention. Flip a coin if you’re debating it.

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