Flattering sides to "New Moon"

Nov. 23, 2009, midnight | By Colin Wiencek | 12 years, 6 months ago

Action scenes overshadow most flaws

There is something endearing about a world where vampires, werewolves and over-the-top teenage libidos mix to create a fusion of magic and intense sexual tension. "New Moon" is a perfect breed of drama, suspense and, let's face it, teen romance. But surprisingly enough, the movie has something for all preferences - it isn't your typical "chick flick," and in fact contains darker undertones and action scenes that will keep even the "Transformers" crowd entertained.

"New Moon" opens with a peculiar scene that focuses on Bella's (Kristen Stewart) fear of growing old while her lover, vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), stays youthful. Like many teenage girls, she worries that Edward will no longer love her once she has grown old. This turns out to be a recurring idea throughout the saga that drives Bella to ask Edward to "turn her," or transform her into a vampire. On Bella's 18th birthday Jasper, Edward's vampire brother, attacks Bella, and the Cullen family leaves town in hopes of protecting Bella from further danger. While Bella is stricken with depression and anxiety, she finds comfort in an old friend, Jacob Black, who turns out to be a werewolf. The dark history she discovers between the werewolves and vampires soon becomes a struggle that will ultimately affect the lives of nearly everyone in their small-town community.

As far as acting performances go, "New Moon" is much like its predecessor, "Twilight." Excessive romance scenes accompanied by painfully clichéd expressions suffocate the film. When Bella kisses Edward, it seems to consume her in an almost risqué manner and when Jacob admits his love for Bella, the scene is so melodramatic that it turns comedic.

Sexual tension is also a driving factor throughout the movie. This is no doubt part of what attracted people to the book series, and it was amplified in the movies to keep the interest of men dragged to the movie by their girlfriends. Most of the scenes are largely forced and awkward, due in part to the sub-par acting which ended up quite laughable.

Even with all the unintentional funny moments, "New Moon" is all-around entertaining. Even for those who have read the book, the movie leaves the viewer lured in by the snarl of Jacob or the fierce nature of Edward. Although Pattinson and Stewart could revamp their love scenes, their expressions of fear, danger and sadness sufficiently enhance the overall darkness of the movie.

Visual effects give another dimension to "New Moon." The giant werewolves of the Quileute tribe have silky-smooth hair that flows beautifully as they run. Fight scenes are equally appealing, though they are shown in slow motion so that mere mortals can watch them without just seeing a blur (vampires and werewolves move many times faster than humans can see). This only adds to the cinematic glory. Those who disliked the static-like shining of the vampires featured in "Twilight" will be glad to see that particular element altered, though still not comparable to the depictions in the book.

Like "Twilight," "New Moon" is not just a trashy teenage romance but will satisfy a diverse audience. Stunning visual effects and bold plot leaves very little to be desired. If Director Chris Weitz continues to stay true to the books, he will find loyal fans with every installment of the "Twilight Saga."

"New Moon" (130 minutes) is rated PG-13 for some violence and action. Now playing in theaters everywhere.

Tags: Review

Colin Wiencek. I am an avid cyclist who participates in many long haul charity rides. Most recently I participated in Bike to the Beach in July of 2009. <br /><br /> I am an avid photographer and am into video. You can watch my video reel and … More »

Show comments


No comments.

Please ensure that all comments are mature and responsible; they will go through moderation.