Saturday, March 27, 2010
Book to Movie Review: New Moon
If you remember my review on the Twilight saga's second installment, New Moon, then you may expect how I felt before seeing this movie. I expected a disaster, of course, but some small part of me actually hoped that it was either Robert Pattinson or Catherine Hardwicke, who added much needed depth to the first movie adaptation, would save this one.
Unfortunately, Robbie is gone for the majority of the movie, and the movie itself is directed by probably my most loathed director, Chris Weitz. Mr. Weitz is responsible for his adaptation of Philip Pullman's epic book Northern Lights (aka The Golden Compass in America), the result of which was a complete travesty. Here, he manages to not only disregard the fact that the paper thin story of New Moon could be improved greatly on screen, but he completely runs the film into the ground.
As for the (non-existent) plot: Edward is no longer the cool, smart vamp-boy he was in the first installment - rather, he is an immature wuss. After he leaves Bella with a ridiculous excuse (and after we see she is stupid enough to buy it), Bella gets friendly with the young, steroid-popping Native American. His name is Jacob and he is a werewolf. He also supplies Bella with means of getting into situations of mortal danger, 'cause that's when visions of Edward start happening. Nothing much happens for a really long time, until Bella finally goes to Italy (?!), gets to meet a far superior actress in the form of Dakota Fanning and kinda save Edward's life (what happened there is still a bit unclear to me). That's it, folks.
Let's get done with the good points already, so I can keep on trashing this film as much as it deserves. Robert Pattinson really is a good actor. Ashley Greene (who plays Alice) is really kinda cool. OK, I'm done.
When it comes to the bad stuff, special effects are really substandard. It's hard to believe that New Moon came out in 2009. The visions Bella has of Edward are best described as holograms and the werewolves are probably the worst CGI creatures I have seen lately. After finally getting an appropriate idea of what a werewolf should look like in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, it's sad to see we're back at the start.
I am sure people who loved the book will love this film, but seriously, it might be damaging to one's IQ. Hardwicke's version of Twilight was all about subtlety, sneaking up on the viewer and tapping into his long-forgotten ideas of innocence and romance. Here, no reference is uttered less than three times, so the silly audience can get it (Romeo & Juliet, anyone?). Unlike Twilight, New Moon taps into a viewer's love for cineplexes. I'm actually surprised it's not in 3D.