It’s been impossible not to know that New Moon was going to be released last Friday. As well as the usual ads on the TV and on the sides of buses, we also had themed magazine editions with free pull out posters, re-released tie-in versions of the books and other shameless promotions that I can’t remember at this moment.
Since the Harry Potter franchise is coming to an end, it’s lucky for us all that another series of novels has captured the hearts (and purses) of numerous young girls (and plenty of women too).
I’ve read Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, and will probably read the fourth one out of curiosity at some point. I saw the Twilight movie last year and didn’t think much of it, but it was basically watchable. I decided to see New Moon because I was curious about whether they could turn that depressing book into a halfway decent film.
My local cinema had 2 screenings of the movie at 4pm in different screens, and luckily most of the girls who’d come straight from school in their uniform seemed to have been allocated to the other screen. My screen seemed to have a good mixture of teens, guys in their late teens/early 20s, a few mums with their daughters, and couples on dates…
On balance, I’d probably say that New Moon was slightly better than Twilight, but only because there was less Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and more shirtless, meaty Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Plus if you manage to stay awake until the end, you’ll be treated to a delightful yet all-too-brief scene featuring Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning.
I don’t want to spoil the plot too much (if that’s possible), but it stayed quite close to the novel. After a troubling incident, Edward dumps Bella. She falls into a deep depression for months and months, until she starts to spend time with Jacob. She also starts a disturbing habit of engaging in risky behaviour (riding motorbikes, jumping off cliffs) after she experiences hallucinations of Edward warning her not to risk her life during those stupid moments.
Then we discover that Jacob has become a werewolf, which sucks for Bella since his entire focus is not on her any more. Luckily, these werewolves only kill vampires, and they wear magic shorts which don’t require disrobing before the metamorphosis. But who cares about magic shorts when we can focus on Taylor Lautner’s torso?
Even though the guy must be at least 10 years younger than me, I still couldn’t stop myself grinning everytime I saw him
shortless shirtless, and it was clear that plenty of girls watching alongside me were loving the view too. It was a great distraction from the dodgy plot, dialogue and pacing.
The only problem with all that meatiness on show, was that when Edward appeared again at the end of the movie, he seemed especially pale, gaunt and lifeless in comparison.
There were several cheesy moments in the movie, but the cheesiest for me was when we saw Alice’s vision of Bella as a vampire in the future. I couldn’t help giggling as I watched her running in slow-mo through a forest in a floral dress alongside Edward.
However, I enjoyed the musical background, which complimented the emotional scenes. I also liked those high wide shots, which gave a sense of scale to the forests in which much of the movie was set. Though the wolves looked quite unrealistic to me, I did like the scene where they were chasing Victoria, a redhead vampire who wanted Bella dead, through the forests. I also liked Charlie, Bella’s dad, who always comes across in a believable way. The fight scenes weren’t too bad either.
Overall though, my advice would be to give this one a miss.
Urban Recluse Rating:
For a much snarkier review of New Moon, check out Dustin’s hilarious review on Pajiba.
Also check out SamuraiFrog’s weekly summaries of Twilight (the first novel).