The critics weigh in: Did New Moon suck or not?

*Spoilers all throughout, again. And seriously if you’re reading LTT but haven’t seen the movie yet you better have a GOOD reason. Swine Flu? Rob knocked on your door and said he’d be with you but only if you promised never to see one of his films? So if you haven’t seen the movie, best you skip on by. If you have, pull up your pencil & notepad, it’s time for a major New Moon-losophy:

EdwardNewMoon

I'm about to dissappear so that Chris Hansen can keep his career busy for the next few months

Dear LTTers,

Okay- Be honest, how many more times did you see New Moon? So far the record I know of at LTT is @Brookelockart who saw it three times. I’ve only seen it once, and I’m pretty miserable about it. But I promised my best friends I’d see it with them on Tuesday, so I guess I can wait until then.  In the meantime I’ve been thinking about New Moon a lot. I’d think that was weird except by now I know to just say “That’s Normal.” So at brunch today after I talked my husband’s ear off about what a great job I thought Taylor did and how I didn’t miss Rob at all but then loved him when he returned, I took the “I’m only listening to you now so that I don’t have to hear about it later, plus I know the more accepting I am of this the more guilty you’ll feel that we spent the whole time talking about you therefore you’ll be more giving in the bedroom” gaze on his face as totally normal, as well.

Since I finished re-reading New Moon on my plane ride home from Los Angeles and I can’t see the movie until Tuesday, I’ve been doing a bit of reading online to pass the time and get my New Moon fill. First I started with fan reviews.  They were basically the same- filled with “OH MY GAWD Taylor’s abs” and “I think I might switch teams” and “I’m most DEFINITELY not leaving Team Edward but dayyyummmmm can I stare at Jacob’s abs one more time?” Not to forget “Cathy Hardi you suck” and “MARRY  ME CHRIS WEITZ” sprinkled with a little “Kristen now that Nikki is out of the picture can WE be fake lesbians” and “THE ENDING.. AHHH” and “I can’t wait for JUNE!” (Does that basically sum up all the feelings?) But the critic reviews were a different story.

I stayed away from critic reviews before I saw the movie. I wasn’t going to, but then I remembered how I read a review last year before seeing Twilight that suggested that Cathy Hardi’s close up shots of Rob & Kristen’s faces were because they couldn’t portray the connection Edward & Bella were supposed to have well enough. I could never get that out of my head, and I think about it every time I see the movie (and tend to agree). So this time I stayed away from the reviews so I could form my own opinions. Obviously, I loved the movie and I’m looking forward to seeing what my 2nd-10th viewings show me (My husband said if I see it more than 10 times he’ll put me in an institution)

Read all about the reviews after the jump

JacobNewMoon

This is the one time I had my shirt on in the movie

So… the reviews are a bit… harsh, to say the least. I think this section from the San Fransisco Gate sums up what most of the critics are trying to say:

So expect this film to satisfy its fans. Everybody else, get ready for a bizarre soap opera/pageant, consisting of a succession of static scenes with characters loping into the frame to announce exactly what they’re thinking. Then they spell out their personalities for us. Here is an emotionally tortured vampire. Here is a perky, friendly vampire. And don’t forget the vampire who is a dedicated physician.

Meanwhile, every so often – but never more than two or three times per minute – one of the characters makes a point of telling the perfectly nice, perfectly average teenage protagonist (Kristen Stewart) that she is the greatest thing on Earth. Sometimes it’s Dad who tells her. Sometimes it’s an enemy, who still recognizes our heroine’s amazing power. Most of the time, it’s some ridiculously handsome teenage boy. … And each time that happens, 500 girls in the audience scream.

Some themes emerge from all the reviews I read (I probably read 20 from the largest media outlets in the US)

  • Chris Weitz doesn’t do much for the action of the movie:

Director Chris Weitz proves that “The Golden Compass” was no fluke: He really is a non-master of action. His CGI werewolves, who look like they were designed by the animatronics crew at Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree, go at it in about three semi-OK bouts. (NY Post)

  • Kristen can’t act, followed by Rob and Taylor (who sometimes can). But Michael Sheen & Dakota Fanning can:

I can’t comment on the acting because I didn’t catch Pattinson, Stewart and Lautner doing any. They basically primp and pose through the same humdrum motions they did before.

Late in the film, a real actor, Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon), shows up as the mind-reading Aro, of the Italian Volturi vampires, and sparks things up. You can almost hear the young cast thinking, “Is that acting? It looks hard.” (Rolling Stone)

In “New Moon,’’ she’s playing a spurned and devastated woman, and Stewart just doesn’t have the skill set to do much more than stare woodenly into the middle distance.
When he’s onscreen, Pattinson’s Edward is all emo posturing under a trembling bouffant – the actor suddenly seems to be embarrassed to be here. Lautner’s performance, by contrast, has the warmth of an actual human. (And, yes, when he takes off his shirt to aide the wounded Bella, the crowd goes nuts.)
Better yet, there’s Dakota Fanning, God bless her, showing Stewart how it’s done in one nifty scene as a vampirette with sadistic mental powers and old-school movie presence. (Boston Globe)
  • The movie will be LOVED by fans and will turn off outsiders with it’s slowness:

The Twilight Saga‘s second installment may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length. (Rotten Tomatoes)

BellaNewMOon

I ruled it in this movie, even though I look like I'm feeling myself up here...

You know that Moon & I started LTT because we wanted an outlet to be HONEST about the Twilight world we love so much. We aren’t afraid to say what we think (and maybe hurt some feelings and step on some toes along the way) and aren’t about to stick up for everything that happens in the Twi-world and call it good when it’s NOT good. I need to see the movie a few more times before I can write a real review I’m happy with, and I know I love New Moon more than Twilight. Yet, I can already see some of the points these critics are making.

Fans WILL love this movie, I’m sure of it, because it’s like seeing the book acted on on screen! (Minus the photos & CD under the floorboard! I miss that part!) And I can’t see anyone who hasn’t read New Moon liking this movie. I didn’t think the movie was slow AT ALL. Then again, I’m a super-fan (ew. but also kinda true. sigh) And Kristen won me over with her portrayal of Bella in New Moon. It was a gazillion times better than in Twilight. I’m not sure she blinked or stuttered ONCE. However, that being said, I can see where some of the critics are coming from. She is, at times, one dimensional. Happy Bella doesn’t always seem too far off from sad Bella (minus the painful orgasms or sore back from the wrong sleep number) And don’t get me started on how I feel about Chris Weitz. Some of the reviewers honestly sound like they wrote their reviews after Cathy Hardi took them out for an all-you-can drink Happy hour special at the Venice Beach TGIFridays with their comparisons of her work in Twilight versus Chris in New Moon. Are they smoking the tree along with her? Chris wins over Catherine. Hands down.

All in all, Rotten Tomatoes gave New Moon a 29%! Yikes! Did these people SEE Twilight? Do they KNOW what a step up New Moon was? I really hope Chris & Kristen, especially, don’t read the reviews. If they do, they’re going to be writing to Moon & I BEGGING for us to make fun of Chris’ yellow pants more often and write a letter with explicit details on why Kristen is bad for Rob because it feels so much better than what people like Roger Ebert have to say (Ps: that dude is WAY too old to be writing reviews on love films for girls. How anyone in their right mind would think he could “get” New Moon? I have no idea…)

All I know is this: Despite New Moon rocking her box office numbers by DOUBLE (That’s right- 140.7 mil this weekend!), Cathy Hardi is printing out these reviews, making 100 copies of each, laminating them, posting them around her neighborhood and then handing them out on Venice Beach (with the help of Nikki Reed) along with free reefers telling everyone to “celebrate” with her!
Ignore the critics, Kristen, Chris, Rob & Taylor! All you need is us!
Love,
UnintendedChoice

What did you think? Just a movie to be loved by the “fans?” Too slow? Are they right about Chris? Did Kristen suck as badly as they said? What about Taylor & Rob? Talk it out!

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All photos courtesy of Summit Entertainment

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  • Pattilicious

    hahahaha…apparently Cathy the cougar is using her pen name “Tina” to comment on this post…C’mon Cathy, you don’t need to hide…we “love” you too…
    JK…Tina, I RESPECT your oppinion,I just don’t share it…nothing personal!

    • Pattilicious

      Once again..I meant OPINION….

  • http://None? Olivia C.

    AHH! I totally love this movie so much. I’m not the average twilighter though. I personally don’t like Edward or Jacob. Aro is my cup of tea. ( sighs) and he can act.

  • marie-andrée

    Bad direction with the actor…..miss Catherine so much

  • Gail

    VERY DISAPPOINTED….. glad to see it of course, I was super excited… but what was up with all the CHEEZE??
    The music was dry basically all the time, It evoked no feelings in me. The relationship with Bella and Jacob was rushed… & I ended up cracking up laughing more than feeling heartbroken… the last straw for me was when Edward and bella appear in Alice’s vision… frolliking through the forest… what was up with it was super Cheeze…
    Even the gazillion fake flowers in the meadow… why???
    Yes the Movie has done so well because of High expectations… not because it was good.
    The only saving part of the movie was when Bella ran through the square to save edward from revealing himself… and the dialogue between her and Edward was so intense, and a good adaption on the book. I was happy with this change!
    Please no more male directors! I know Eclipse is basically done, but please no more CHEEZE.
    Bring back Catherine Hardwick PLEASE.

  • Lisa

    New Moon was alright. I was so pumped to see the movie and felt bummed after seeing it. It just felt too rushed. There was no feeling. Where’s CH when you need to direct a sequel.

  • Nonie

    I disagree that Roger Ebert, or any critic’s, age automatically means they are somehow unqualified for reviewing a teenage love story. Roger Ebert makes no qualms about expressing his like of films that he is not necessarily the demographic for. I think what he looks for is joy. I think what he saw lacking in New Moon is joy, abandon, color, etc.

    Another reason I don’t like people saying “but he’s so old, why should he get it” is because there are some critics that enjoyed New Moon who are established, middle aged men. I’m thinking of the guys from At The Movies, one of whom is A,O. Scott.

    I of course loved the movie, but I can see how some people would dislike the pacing. The truth is that this is what the books gave us, and there is nothing to be done about it short of adding scenes that are not canonical. It’s just that many of the people reviewing this movie have not read the books, and are not superfans, and to review these movies from the point of a total outsider and solely as a movie, I’d probably be highly critical of certain aspects.

  • Pam

    O-M-G! WHAT A FIASCO! First of all, I’m not a big fan of any movie that glamorizes suicide in the name of unrequited love. Especially one that targets young impressionable teens. The whole “I don’t want to go on living in a world where you don’t exist.” plot was long, tedious, drawn out and boring. Edward quoting Shakespear to Bella? GAG! Also, what was with all the valley girl impressions for the other female characters? After about the first 30 minutes I wanted to barf! The only saving grace of this entire film was totally hot Taylor Lautner. I liked the first Twilight movie, but the second one blows in a BIG way. Oh yeah, one more thing. GET RID OF KRISTEN STEWART. She cannot act. She spends the entire time acting like she’s about to either throw up while saying her lines or looking stoned. Lay off the pipe for a while, hon. Who knows maybe your acting will improve.

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