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:
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
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)
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…)
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!
All photos courtesy of Summit Entertainment
Tags: , bad reviews, Catherine Hardwicke, Chris Weitz, Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart, michael sheen, New Moon, New Moon critics, New Moon movie, New Moon reviews, New Moon-losophy, Robert Pattinson, Roger Ebert, Taylor Lautner, the twilight saga, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Twilight, Twilosophy