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Review – The Twilight Saga: New Moon

November 20, 2009 2 comments

As an outsider to the cult of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, I confess to not understanding the draw of Bella Swan and her pasty vampiric paramour. Having not read the novels and seen only the uneven, frustratingly bland and often risible (search your heart, you know it to be true) first installment, I was less than eager to catch New Moon. After watching it, less-than-eager seemed far too naive a stance to have taken. Significantly more stilted, cloying and nodescript than its predecessor, Moon stares full-on into the flat, gray abyss of teenage gothic longing and sexual repression. I now understand the draw, but am baffled by the lack of taste with which the series handles its themes.

If anyone here hasn’t seen the first Twilight film, then you really needn’t read any further if you plan on seeing this movie. If you aren’t a hardcore vamp groupie, and are on the fence, I’ll save you some time. Skip this one completely and wander at random into any other theater at the cineplex and you will have a better time than I had. For the rest of you, I’m skipping all but the most basic synopsis, because you probably have it written into your daydreams. Last time, wobbly, vacant-eyed teen Bella got all goo-goo over even more vacant-eyed and self-absorbed (though the series want to sell it as self-posessed) Ed Cullen, part of a local vampire clan. Their chaste courtship in the first movie was the stuff that narcolepsy is made of. I’m at a loss to think of a film with less lively lovers at its center, and yes, I’m counting that scene of the snails mating to classical music in Microcosmos.

Stewart and Pattinson, both fine in smaller supporting roles in other movies, simply don’t have the dramatic energy or vitality to deliver the heat or conviction necessary to make anyone–save for the most easily swayed–want to follow them. Some claim that the innocence of their relationship as written is what many object too. Nope, not at all. See Kiera Knightley and Matthew McFayden in Pride and Prejudice or Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw in the recent Bright Star to see burning passion and commitment without carnal action.

In fact, the relationship with Bella and Ed doesn’t come off to me as innocent, but more than a little creepy. First time through, Ed says “You are like my heroin” and Bella, little more than a blank slate, fawns over him for it. He’s creepy, controlling, and even his selflessness, exemplified in this movie by sending her away from him forever because she makes his family crazy(all that warm white girl blood I guess), could be interpreted as shifty indecision. We know he will be back, and that Bella will probably be waiting.

Ed wants her out of danger. Even though they are parted, whenever she finds herself in some, he appears to her as an Obi Wan-esque ghostly image. When she figures out what triggers these supernatural Skype moments, she starts seeking out danger and adrenaline rush so she can dial up her brooding, surly beau. Seriously, Bella, he dumped you. Stop trying to get his attention with idiocy.

Left alone, it isn’t long before she’s attacked by some of the vampires from the first movie and then rescued by her American Indian bud, Jake Black, who has clearly spent the summer on the 300 diet before being reunited with Bella. I suppose its a spoiler of sorts if you live in a cave, but Jake, and the rest of his ‘clan’, are werewolves; he’s just recently discovered that special time in a boy’s life when he starts changing at will into a large CGI Alsatian. Jake takes his shirt off, Bella stares at him, and thinks “It’s been awhile since I’ve pined for a grumpy, emotionally-inacessible monster”. Yea, thats pretty much it. Plenty of ‘will they/won’t they’ moments, but not anything that made me care eitherway.

For a movie with vampires and werewolves based on a fantasy series that is overwhelmingly popular, you would expect much more to actually happen here. Even Chris Weitz’ heavily truncated last adaptation, The Golden Compass, had more going on in its passages than this tepid loaf of half-narratives and paper cut-out characters. I didn’t miss Edward, but his absence makes this film even more arbitrary than the last one. Moon doesn’t work very hard to make us think Jake and Bella have a chance, and Bella can’t be bothered to understand his lycanthropy in the same we she accepts Ed’s vampirism. She may like washboard abs, but not as much as men the same color as the washboard. As for Edward, he goes to meet a coven of elder vampires headed up by Dakota Fanning and Michael Sheen. Eventually, the whole movie has changed setting and the characters are all racing around Italy looking desperately for a plot that matters.

As I’ve said before, I’m no Twilight fan, but I take no pleasure slagging on the series simply because it is popular or it happens to be the kind of story that usually sits best with 13 year old girls. The truth of it is that Moon isn’t very interesting and a lack of actual reprecussions or consequences for the character’s actions, as well as a very simplistic and silly view of teenage obsession, renders it almost negligent as entertainment for the younger crowd. As a heroine (not the kind Ed likes) Bella is pathetic, her taste and approach to men eerily echoing the same kind of behavior that lands real world women in abusive relationships. Wietz, nor anyone else working on the film seems to see this, preferring instead to assume it is just a lightweight fantasy. The truth is that New Moon is far, far less than that; it’s training wheels for brooding angst.

Source: Cinematropolis

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon Premiers Tonight 12:00 am

November 19, 2009 3 comments

Plot Summary:
Last time we see saw Bella Swan she was narrowly escaping the clutches of the evil vampire James while finding love with ”vegetarian” vampire Edward Cullen. Bella and Edward’s lives have been full of nothing but love and bliss however, it all changes one fateful day. On Bella’s birthday, her new found friend and sister of Edward, Alice, decides to throw her lavish party, complete with balloons, ribbons and cake that could feed an army. All is well until Bella accidentally cuts her finger whilst opening a present. The result is that Jasper Hale, the newest addition to the Cullen clan, succumbs to his blood lust and attacks Bella. Edward decides that while he and his family are around, Bella’s life will always be at risk. So he decides to leave her for her own good. Bella feels her life is over. Enter Jacob Black, a member of the Quilite tribe who manages to bring some joy and meaning back into Bella’s life. However as the two become closer, Bella discovers Jacob has a secret of his own- he’s a werewolf. As if that wasn’t bad enough Bella can’t seem to get the love of her life, Edward out of her mind. With new dangers, new friends and new enemies, Bella finds herself choosing between holding on to the past or accepting a new future. But what and more importantly who will she choose?
Written by LadyN1

“The Cast of New Moon”

“New castmembers include the legendary Volturi, a venerable coven of vampires who weigh and impose the laws of the vampire world, as well as two new members of the Quileute Indian Nation,” reads the press release posted Wednesday (April 15) on the Summit Entertainment site. “The Volturi include Charlie Bewley as Demetri, Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius, Daniel Cudmore as Felix, Christopher Heyerdahl as Marcus, all Volturi enforcers. Dakota Fanning plays Jane, a high-ranking and powerful Volturi member, and Cameron Bright is Alec, her brother. Noot Seear plays Volturi member Heidi. Michael Sheen plays Aro, the Volturi leader. Graham Greene appears as Harry Clearwater, Quileute tribal leader and old friend of Bella’s father Charlie. Tinsel Korey is Emily, the fiancée of Sam Uley.”

The announcement also confirms the return of several beloved castmembers from last year’s hit film. “Rejoining the movie are Ashley Greene as Alice, Peter Facinelli as Carlisle, Elizabeth Reaser as Esme, Kellan Lutz as Emmett, Nikki Reed as Rosalie, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper , Edi Gathegi as Laurent and Rachelle Lafevre as Victoria.”

Finally, the studio gives Twilighters a new synopsis of the eagerly anticipated flick: “In ‘New Moon,’ Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love Edward (Robert Pattinson). But her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Suddenly, she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and she finds her loyalties tested.”

The announcement comes as big news for Twilighters, even if the casting of Noot Seear, Jamie Campbell BowerMichael Sheen and Dakota Fanning was already common knowledge among the fanbase. Other names like Graham Greene (“Transamerica,” “Die Hard With a Vengeance”) and Cameron Bright (“Birth,” “X-Men: The Last Stand”) are a bit more unexpected.
Source: MTV

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“Interviews with the Cast”

“New Moon Set Footage”

Entertainment Tonight took their cameras onto the closed set of The Twilight Saga: New Moonfor fresh interviews with Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Kristen Stewart. Basically, we get confirmation that Edward (Pattinson) will be in the film more than you’d expect having read the book, and that Lautner (Jacob) has, in fact, put on 30 pounds of muscle. Even if you’re not a Twilight fan, you’ll want to hear Mary Hart say “Woof!” (The woman is not wrong. Okay, kindawrong. Lautner’s only 17.) Check out the two clips after the jump.
Source: PopWatch