Lord Krunk Reviews #14: New Moon

Oh god, here goes...

My mother and sister are fans of Twilight, bless their souls. Of course, even with the internet's seemingly unquenchable hate for the now infamous series by Stephanie Meyer, I decided to give the books ago myself. And wouldn't you know it, I hated the first, and didn't have the willpower to continue the rest of the series. The movie didn't do it much justice either, although it was better at giving the plot and characters a bit of likeability. So of course, when New Moon comes into theatres, you can expect the ladies' excitement, and my own groan of disgust. But I went with them anyway, if only to laugh at the giggling fangirls that swarmed the cinema at the Aussie premiere. But even with my line of thinking as I entered the cinema, I was surprised that day.

It was actually good.

Lord Krunk Reviews #14: New Moon

Following the events of Twilight, New Moon begins with Isabella Swan reflecting on her new life (complete with vampires) and its repercussions. But after a drop of her blood causes Jasper Cullen to go insane, Edward begins to realise just how much danger she's in by being around him. To protect her, he dumps Bella and heads abroad. In her attempts to get him back, she starts taking life-threatening risks which ultimately brings her closer to Jacob Black, a native American local with a sharp tongue and a skill for mechanics. But as she soon discovers, Jacob has a secret of his own...

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And now, for some obligatory FANSERVICE!

This is a bit of a dilemma for me, as my usual spot for the second paragraph in my review is taken up for all the good points of the reviewee. And knowing that I need to tread cautiously to avoid flame, I'll instead just dive into it with a stick of dynamite in one hand and a BFG in the other.
Let me start by saying that I actually like the concept of vampires used in the Twilight saga, and that the sparkling actually makes sense. The point of Vamps in this series are that they use fancy powers as a method of attracting their prey, kind of like an angler fish. It's also well known that humans love shiny things (ergo, why gold is so valuable). So yeah, pretty sparkles on deadly creatures is actually a solid supernatural theme. My only qualm is that, rather than stick to the appearance and nature of the vicious and stylish Dracula, Meyer made it all American and lovey-dovey. But hey, it's a chick flick.
I was also impressed by the direction of the movie as well. The camerawork was well done, they managed to make a movie-of-the-book coherent (something you don't see everyday), and just to top it all off, they made a bad book a good movie. The special effects were also quite nice, thankfully deviating from the hilariously god-awful crap they got in the prequel. And humour was an added bonus (this time intentional), especially when Bella's peers voice the thoughts of every fan and hater beyond the fourth wall. The music is also an improvement, focusing on more orchestral motifs rather than tracks by emo bands (of which a certain baseball scene is guilty of), which is for a music student like me a nice breath of fresh air. It also added a bit of atmosphere. The acting was also good, with plenty of stars to go round. In particular, a trade off of a Nightmare Fuellishly pale Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) - who, while I don't mind his acting, plays the worst character in the series - for more Alice Cullen (the smoking hot Ashley Greene) and Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) was a significant improvement. Hey, and getting the two to have a vampire/werewolf stand-off was an added bonus too.

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Okay, take one vampire. Give it a Geass and polish it to a mirror sheen. Wait a few weeks and Hey Presto! You have a Twilight vampire.

But of course, being Twilight, written by Stephanie Mormon Meyer, this movie is not without its problems. And how.
Firstly, let me start by mentioning that the villains, a.k.a. The Volturi, were not really villains. And while they are the closest thing to real vampires (with black hair and a taste for human blood, no doubt) that this series can muster, Aro, their leader, did not really pull it off. To me, he just came off as an otaku with a 'Gotta Catch 'Em All' way of thinking with regards to vampires' powers and a recent desire to collect Bella's, which is roughly to superpowers as tofu is to food. And while I respect his attitude to these kinds of things, I would much rather that he do something much more villainous with his time. Like take over the world. Seriously, when you're ruling a race of immortal entities that can convert and control whoever they please, why wouldn't you?
Another issue was that, while I mentioned earlier the intentional humour, there is still some unintentional humour to go round. For example, here's some charming dialogue from the start of the movie:

EDWARD: I'm leaving.
BELLA: Then I'll come with you.
EDWARD: You can't come.
BELLA: But I have to come too!
EDWARD: I don't want you to come!

I am not kidding. The amount of hysterical giggling in the cinema during this scene was thunderous, and trust me, I was joining in. Thankfully, there aren't as many instances as Twilight, but they're still there and evident.
My biggest qualm though not necessarily a fault of the movie, lies with the series' creator, Stephanie Meyer, and her bad writing. Throughout both movies and the first book, I kept on thinking of the true (untapped) potential of the series and what could have been. For example, Meyer places the focus on Bella and Edward and their relationship. Bella comes off as a cold-hearted bitch which doesn't help when applied to 1st-person storytelling, and Edward is just too perfect to care about.
Here's just one of some better ideas I came up with for the universe, a theme brought up in the series but never properly explored:

ALICE CULLEN:
A girl wakes up one day with no memory of her previous life, strange and horrific premonitions of the future and an unquenchable thirst for human blood. After a long and bitter search for her true identity, she meets a family of kind-hearted vampires that assist in her search while masquerading as humans. But who is she? Where did she get her powers? And how did she become a vampire?

There's just so much I feel like I'm missing in favour of generic romance. Oh well, you can't win everything.

Overall, New Moon is a genuinely good movie, marred by the flaws of its source material. I would recommend anyone with a girlfriend to watch the movie (hell, you might even enjoy it too), and anyone without to at least give it a rental sometime. Seriously, for a Twilight movie, I was expecting a hell of a lot worse.

This wasn't a bad movie, it was a bad book and as a result the movie fails. Walking out of the cinema I kept thinking to myself 'damn this would have been better if it wasn't based on New Moon'. It's redeeming features are good cinematography and some pretty interesting werewolves, werewolves make anything good.

But the biggest problem, and this comes purely from the book it was based on, was the gapping plot holes and the vapid two dimensional characters, in particular Bella. God I hate Bella. She is the most manipulative, stupid, weak, selfish, bitchy, pathetic and all around disgusting character I have ever seen or read. She is completely dependent on Edward and without his presence completely falls apart. At the loss of Edward she falls apart, goes mute and completely ignores all of her friends and family for months on end. She risks her own life constantly just so that she can see Edward for like, what, a second, without ever considering the fact that she will probably die and leave her family and friends heart broken, but that doesn't matter as long as she gets to see pretty vampire boy once. When Edward leaves her in the forest she walks/runs for fucking hours before she eventually collapses and when she returns to her father who thought she was dead she's just "OH Edward dumped me wahhh". As the main character we're supposed to relate to her or at least like her, but she is just so... pathetic. Hell, she wants to start an interspecies war, get her friends/boyfriends to kill each other just so that she doesn't get old and fat. She doesn't care for anyone but herself (except Edward), is a complete and utter moron and without her man falls apart into a wimpering, screaming in her sleep, mess. Is this what girls my age and younger are supposed to be looking up to as a role model? I bloody hope not, she is the perfect example of how not to behave.

Edward isn't much better, what with his lack of ability to live without Bella anyway while surely in his 107 years of life he has fallen in love more than once and as a result had those people die. Sure, he has the body of a 17 year old, but he would have matured in his mind surely? He also completely lacks foresight and leaves Bella at the mercy of the Vampires who want to kill her. Also, his first acto of protecting her is to throw her into a fucking glass table or whatever that is. That scene actually made me laugh "I'll protect you" *Punches Bella into the wall*

The only character I found interesting was Jacob. He felt kind of fleshed out, had some motivation, was likable and in a way felt human. He had realistic weaknesses and realistic strength and you kind of cared about what happened to him. Every other character was either so minor you didn't get to know them or so damn stupid that you hated them.

I don't think that anyone could have turned this into a good movie, but still I did find myself enjoying. I suppose it might just be the movie experience, but I didn't feel like I wasted my time or money. This might just be from the CGI wolves, the same director did The Golden Compass so I think he might have something for CGI fighting.

There is no way that I can consider this a good movie but it did have certain things that I enjoyed in it.

Fire Daemon:
There is no way that I can consider this a good movie but it did have certain things that I enjoyed in it.

Fair enough, and I agree with your points. I avoided the whole concept of Bella being a retarded bitch, mainly because the movie averted this particularly in the middle quarters of the movie (and, subsequently, the best bits).

But yeah, it's as good as a Twilight movie is ever going to get. It's a real shame to think of how Mormon Meyer is going to fuck up Jacob's character in the later movies.

How does a sterile vampire get his girlfriend pregnant?

Yes, I have not read the books but heard enough about them to know where the plot holes are.

Revelo:
How does a sterile vampire get his girlfriend pregnant?

Yes, I have not read the books but heard enough about them to know where the plot holes are.

Remember that I'm not reviewing Breaking Dawn.

Thank you Krunk for this review. I'm glad to see that somebody else other than myself is willing to review something and look at the good and the bad and present an unbiased view from an objective standpoint. I heartily agree with your review and it's pretty well written :) Although I liked the Movie Bob one a few days ago, I noticed he seemed pretty biased and resignd to simply bashing the series, not something I want to see in a serious review of something. So, well done :D.

Lord Krunk:

Revelo:
How does a sterile vampire get his girlfriend pregnant?

Yes, I have not read the books but heard enough about them to know where the plot holes are.

Remember that I'm not reviewing Breaking Dawn.

Yeah, I know. Have to wait two years for someone to explain that wall banager to me =P

Trivun:
Thank you Krunk for this review. I'm glad to see that somebody else other than myself is willing to review something and look at the good and the bad and present an unbiased view from an objective standpoint. I heartily agree with your review and it's pretty well written :) Although I liked the Movie Bob one a few days ago, I noticed he seemed pretty biased and resignd to simply bashing the series, not something I want to see in a serious review of something. So, well done :D.

Thanks. I did agree with all of his points, but he sort of waved away all the good points in favour of bashing the franchise. Which he has the right to do, and is rather entertaining, but not necessarily a review I can actually develop a full-fledged opinion from.

A guy saying it wasn't the worst thing ever made? Huhwha....? How very interesting.

I've heard a lot of mixed stuff about this movie. I don't really think I want to pay $10 to see it, but maaaaybe I'll rent it.

I also have to give you kudos for actually trying the series for yourself instead of mindlessly bashing it, not many others have done that.

Revelo:
How does a sterile vampire get his girlfriend pregnant?

Yes, I have not read the books but heard enough about them to know where the plot holes are.

I believe that he is not sterile, but that the girl vampire's body rejects the embryo/fetus if she gets pregnant. I don't remember why (and I'm not going to reread them to find out for you, once was enough).

twistedshadows:

I believe that he is not sterile, but that the girl vampire's body rejects the embryo/fetus if she gets pregnant. I don't remember why (and I'm not going to reread them to find out for you, once was enough).

I wouldn't expect anyone to reread them just to explain stuff to me. I won't touch the books or the films so I won't get anyone else too.

Actually, I am tempted to read Twilight, just so I can note down every single thing thats wrong with it and make a fan-fic to fix EVERYTHING In that book.

First of all, "By biggest qualm"

Only spelling error, but it really stuck out to me.

Second of all, Good review.

Mrsnugglesworth:
First of all, "By biggest qualm"

Only spelling error, but it really stuck out to me.

Aww, good spot.

Fixed.

And bumped.

 

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