New Moon (2009)

I'm going to be upfront: I'm not a huge fan of the Twilight series of books. I find them over-written, watered down (see below), and generally, gak-worthy; however, I am not a huge hater. I have read the series. I like the basic premise (I was raised on Buffy afterall) and there are some genuinely good ideas in there, but this review is not of the books: it's about the film.
So I've tried to keep them as separate as possible...if that's possible.
Super quick run-down:  Edward leaves Bella in an attempt to protect her. Heart-broken, she turns to best friend, Jacob, to fill the void and partakes in increasingly reckless behaviour to feel 'closer' to Edward. As Bella spends more time with Jake and his friends on the mission, she learns that there's more than vampires in the town of Forks.

I enjoyed the movie far more than the book. It's hard to reflect that level of despair and recklessness on the page successfully and the film was far more evocative of Bella’s emotions during that period than Stephanie Meyer’s words.
The revelation of the shapeshifters was nothing short of refreshing. The humour and comraderie between the boys is a nice change from the sullenness and pared back emotion of the Cullens...henceforth, called the Cullenness. One aspect of the book that I think they may struggle with later in the series was the 'imprinting' of the wolf-boys. It will be interesting to see how that's handled in the next film. (yes, I will be seeing the next one, so shuddup).

Overall, not so bad. A few gratuitous teenage boys without shirts on shots, but I did laugh and did get engrossed.

Still, not so good. A lot of the faults stem directly from flaws in the source material (mutilation of vampire lore and representation of women) but as a film, the acting was rubbish (bar nice comedic work from Anna Kendrick and Michael Welsh), the dialogue was all sorts of terrible, and the finale…I can’t find the words. Oh, Michael Sheen, what are you doing?

I most struggled with this subversion of lore. Vampires are monsters. Period. They’re creatures from hell. This is not a cool thing. In fact, from what I understand, it’s quite the opposite. They seduce you to eat you. They do not get all sparkly – they burn. And unless they have a pesky gypsy curse on them, they are quintessentially evil (refer to afore mentioned creatures from hell comment).
In short, vampires are getting turned into ‘fluffy puppies with bad teeth’. To this, I say a resounding NO! I like my evil, well, evil. The only true vampires in the whole thing were the Volturi. A great addition, still poorly handled, but far more appealing than the sap that is the Cullens.

Verdict: New Moon is the Black-&-Gold labelled, OHS approved vampire film for teens. Too much pretty, not enough evil.

Side note: check out this lovely review by Chester A. Bum.

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