Monday, November 23, 2009

New Moon turns new page

     Before I even begin my review of the second movie in the Twilight saga, I'd like to admit outright that I expected this movie to suck.  Here's why.  I read all four books, and while I enjoyed the story, I believe that Stephanie Meyer is a terrible writer.  Her writing style is uneven, and many of the characters are two-dimensional.  I feel like that series is a great idea, but would have been handled better by another writer.  Thus I was excited to see the first film, hoping someone had fixed her mistakes.  Sadly, I was disappointed.  The entire thing felt poorly executed, capturing the book exactly.  Add to that, even fans of the series have trouble getting through that overly depressing second book (until Edward comes back), and I almost didn't even make the trip to the theater this weekend.

     Boy am I glad that I did.  New Moon was fantastic!  Kristen Stewart proved her acting chops, making me regret doubting her as Bella.  Taylor Lautner similarly delivered as Jacob, showing that he did not need a recast.  A slightly expanded role for the wonderful Billy Burke as Charlie was welcome, and I delighted when Ashley Greene's Alice returned near the end.  I wish there were more of the vampires, especially Rachelle Lefevre and Elizabeth Reaser, who proved themselves to be quite capable in What About Brian? and Grey's Anatomy, respectively.  The action was great, the effects flowed seamlessly, and the story didn't drag like the book did.  Bella's moping was done artistically, instead of torturing the viewer.

     I did, however, figure out what was wrong with the first movie, and this is going to be a very unpopular revelation.  It's Robert Pattinson as Edward.  He was wooden and lacked chemistry with any of the other actors during his thankfully abbreviated screen time.  I now realize it was his fault the first movie was so bad, as Kristen can act when taken away from his talent-sucking pout.  I am strongly against recasting movies, but I beg the producers to reconsider in this case, although I know they won't.  Perhaps Robert could enroll in some acting classes?  Or simply be tutored by a few of his costars, each one a worthy teacher?  New Moon was a great piece of cinema, but I worry about the upcoming sequels if Edward remains unchanged.  I know that's the point of his character, but come on!  Learn from your success.

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