If you are a fan, you will love this movie. For the rest of us (ergo: me) it was somewhat of a romp into odd moments. Still better than the first, but not doing a whole lot for me here.
Don't get me wrong, this does have its moments. They just happen to be very far apart from one another. But since I'm not a fan of the books nor the film franchise thus far, I'm going to start with the things I did enjoy about "New Moon". First and foremost, I still really dig Billy Burke as Bella's father, Charlie. I have no idea why I love his character and his portrayal so much, but he steals every scene for me. And in a movie where acting comes in limited quantities and usually in random bursts, its nice to have one person on staff that gives a consistent performance. Secondly I like the idea of the Italian vampire court, the Volturi. The actors did a solid job there (although as much hype for Dakota Fanning as there was - she was not in it hardly at all) and the concept and performances work for me. And that's about it for things that I liked in "New Moon". Now for the juicy part of my review!
Here's my issues. Firstly, Kristen Stewart. Now I know some people are in love with this girl and her acting abilities. But I'm not. In fact, I found her to be unbelievably frustrating through out this film. I didn't feel anything for her character (some of this is due to odd dialogue) but I just felt awkward watching her bite her lip and do weird night terror screams. Same goes essentially for Robert Pattinson. Now some of my issues have to do with the writing (pacing in particular is hit and miss with "New Moon"), but I still have trouble believing that a vampire over 100 years old would still act as immature as a 17 year old male. It's just hard for me to swallow. Then we get to our new hype man of the decade, Taylor Lautner and his chiseled portrayal of Jacob, our Forks resident new Werewolf. Honestly, of the three main people he puts on the best performance, but his lack of solid dialogue and sudden jumps of character development don't do him a lot of good. Not to mention he is shirtless 85% of the time (similar to Danzig on Aqua Teen Hunger Force - it made me feel a bit uneasy) for the fans. I mean, if the wolf pack was so concerned about tearing their clothes in transformations, then why wear shorts? Why not just go in underwear or nude? Not like anyone seems to really care to begin with. Just alas, "New Moon" isn't concerned with Werewolf logistics when there are 300 girls squealing in the theater for his physique.
So "New Moon" scores a solid 2 on my rating for its awkward acting, shoddy script work, lackadaisical pacing, and hit or miss directing. It does succeed with some of the supporting cast and some of its concept work (go team Volturi!). I'm not a fan of moping all that much and this film has a lot of it. Supposedly, "Eclipse" will have less of that and more action which I am down for. Considering I will be seeing the next one with my wife (she's a big fan) then I am only looking to see improvement.
PS: Was it just me or were they really trying to shove those soundtrack songs down our throat? Yeesh.
Written By Matt Reifschneider