Sunday, 28 August 2016

NEW MOON (film) was bland and boring in every way

Cast: Kristen Stewart; Robert Pattinson; Taylor Lautner; Billy Burke; Micheal Sheen; Dakota Fanning. 
Year: 2009. 
Source: Bought. 
Director: Chris Weitz. 
Content Rating: PG 13 for some violence and action. 


Edward leaves Bella after an attack that nearly claimed her life, and in her depression she falls into yet another paranormal relationship - this time with werewolf Jacob Black.

I've watched this about two times now, I think. 
And to be honest, I still don’t know quite what to think. It improves upon Twilight in some areas, but then fails in others. Overall, though, I think it needs help, although it’s not worthy of too much hate.

The cinematography is bland. Despite some nice surrounding scenery, most of the angles are boring and dull and add nothing to what should be a haunted, Gothic atmosphere. Still, there are some nice shots of the gorgeous ocean and luxurious forest, and those are breaths of fresh air in a rainy, rather stilted town. Any sightings of the bright red-haired Victoria leaping from tree to tree are also very welcome; there’s just something about red hair sweeping among green forest, I don’t know.

But the film drags a lot with poor and messy pacing, and while there is more action than Twilight, it’s annoyingly short-lived.
Also, the soundtrack is awful. Seriously, if they want pop songs they could at least choose good ones.

Kristen Stewart CAN act; her recent films prove that. Yes, she relies too much on sighing and blinking to show emotion where she really could be crying or sobbing, and is frustratingly wooden when saying her lines...BUT… with the proper direction and perhaps more interest, concentration and involvement in her character (which even a better actress like Jennifer Lawrence could make something out of) she would be comfortably good. Having said that, Stewart fails to hold eye contact with her costars and keep up consistency.
Apart from being too much of a damsel-in-distress, Bella isn’t a boring or stupid character, and Stewart could’ve expanded on Bella’s positive traits and given her more feeling and depth. She needed to feel her lines and feel her character; not to mention vary her facial expressions that otherwise never change.

Robert Pattinson is good, but like Stewart he lacks the intensity and feeling when saying his lines. Far too often, his expressions are bland and cold, and there are moments when he certainly does not seem to love Bella and just can’t wait to leave her. Not very convincing when they’re supposed to be millions of girls’ OTP……. or were, at least.

Pattinson and Stewart have chemistry, I firmly believe – after all, they did win MTV’s Best Kiss for four freakin’ years in a row - but with poor directing and lack of involvement in their lines, even that suffers. And although I’m definitely Team Edward, I actually found myself relaxing and rather enjoying the scenes between Bella and Jacob -the other end of the triangle, btw - simply because they were more relaxed around each other and Jacob at least smiles (Oh well, maybe it’s a wolf thing. Or as Bella would say “A Jacob thing”).

Oh, and Taylor Lautner as Jacob.
Well to be honest, he’s not as awful an actor as I expected. I’m not a fan of him and never will be, but I have to admit he doesn’t act badly. Still, it is obvious he’s been told to brood as hard as he possibly can, and with a huge female audience watching, is delighted to tear his shirt off at any possible opportunity. Which he does…... very often. Very often. He did workout especially for the role, and I guess the producers thought a body like that can’t stay hidden. Or at least for the sake of the Saga’s success.

New Moon, despite it’s big flaws, has highlights too. Bella’s human friends, led brilliantly by Anna Kendrick, supply much needed comic relief, sarcasm, warmth, and smiles. Kendrick is perfect and enthusiastic in her role, and adds light-hearted, typical teenager-ness – for want of a better word - that I never thought I’d actually long for. A stark contrast to Bella, she is bright and lovable whenever she’s on screen, and fits the character to a T.

Thankfully, New Moon is also blessed with some brilliant performances from mature, experienced, solid actors and actresses. Billy Burke reprises his role as Bella’s father and is just brilliant; with uncomfortable facial expressions that could only come from an inexperienced father with a teenage daughter, his presence is a relief. He’s lovable, in a rugged way, and fits the character perfectly.
Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning portray vampires, and with superior acting skills make the Cullens look bland, boring, and overrated. It is a great pity that Sheen and Fanning didn’t get more screen time; both of them giving more feeling and character to their roles in about three minutes than Stewart, Lautner and Pattinson do in all of their scenes. Well, almost….. they are certainly better actors than Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner, anyhow.

I give it: 2 flowers! 

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