Sunday, November 22, 2009

Twilight Saga: New Moon

"So your saying there's a chance."

In fear that he's dangerous for her, Edward vows to leave Bella forever. In her grief she turns to anything she can find, including Jacob who offers a simpler life. But as Jacob's secrets come to light, and with Victoria still craving revenge , simplicity is the last thing she finds.

As someone with no familiarity with the book series, and who hated the '08's Twilight with a vengeance, I have to say I was in no rush to see this newest installment. But, because of the fan of the preternatural that lives in me (and Watcher X and I's blatant curiosity), I knew I would be going to see it eventually. And now that I have, I have to say it wasn't all bad.
But it still has it's fair share. The worst of which being the acting. Maybe it's the age of the main players in the cast, but every once in a while things tend to turn rigid. This can be very distracting, and takes away from the few opposing moments when you really feel some chemistry on screen. Overall you get grey performances- which are somehow enough to move the movie along.
A welcome addition to the Roster of leads this time around is the character Jacob, played by 17 year-old actor Taylor Lautner. Lautner has the body of an olympian, and the face of a 14 year-old- which causes mental conundrum I like to call the "A.C. Slater" complex. On screen, Lautner is obviously the youngest cast member as his performance seems to waiver the most. I will say when he's on he is truly on, unfortunately when he's off he seems very forced. Either way, it's nice to see a Native American lead that's not wearing a head-dress.
Though New Moon seems to stutter and stumble at times it does have it's merits, and it's strongest attributes come through in it's quietest moments. There are some truly beautiful moments of cinematography when the teenage melodrama manages to get out of its way, and I think future ventures would do well to remember that.

Watcher X says: Team Jacob for sure!

So now let's go through the Isit list, a new tool for reviewing movies that belong to a series.

Is it better than the first one?
Almost without exception, though that's not very hard. Call it a new director, call it a cast that's another year older, call it blind luck, but a lot of the most annoyingly "teen" aspects have been removed- a lot but not all. Gone is Kristen Stewart's tendency to deliver every other line as though mid-climax. And The main lover's romance is a bit more down to earth this time around... well for a vampire romance at least.
There seems to have been a bit more subtlety added when dealing with the preternatural characters (no more soaring through the trees sequences!) which I consider a lynch pin in movies like this. Unfortunately the sparkling remains, but I guess it's not fair to expect that to go anywhere.

Is it a good sequel?
Yes. While in the end I felt as though we hadn't gotten very far from where we left off, New Moon does a lot of expanding on characters, and does it in a way that keeps you from getting bored.

Is it worth a third movie?
This one's hard to say from here. New Moon is a strong sequel but still only a decent movie. Decent, however, is a huge step up from god awful- which is exactly what the first movie was. I will say this: if the third movie improves on the second as much as the second improved on the first, then I might actually find myself looking forward to the fourth. As apposed to the pure curiosity that brought me to this one. I suppose time will tell.

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