It’s painful to admit it. And I know it’s unpopular. But I have chosen to confess publicly that I did not enjoy the big screen version of The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Like, I thought the special effects guys should get a raise and the director should have to sit in time-out and “think about what he did wrong.”
SPOILER ALERT: If you have not read the book(s), please lift that rock above your head and read no further. Because I’m going to delve into plot points.
DOUBLE SPOILER: Also, if you haven’t seen the movie, plan to do so, and don’t want me to ruin it with my critical opinions, stop here.
Okay, so let me first say that I love the Twilight book franchise. I’ve read them all more than once, and I even own the DVD of the Twilight movie.
Now given that, I had some problems with the first movie, namely the special effects–like, I honestly laughed when Edward jumped from his bedroom to that tree and they looked like they were suspended with the Peter Pan wire from your community’s last theater production. I also thought the love story was rushed in Twilight and could have used a few extra scenes to better show the evolution of their relationship from strangers to soul mates.
However, comparatively speaking, I have now come to appreciate Catherine Hardwicke’s vision. She was creative, she was edgy, and she went off script (or off book). She gave you fun relevant scenes that weren’t in the novel. Like the vampires killing that guy in the fishing boat. Like the opening with the deer in the woods. Like the “Say it, out loud. Vampire,” scene. And her montages during Bella’s lullaby and the ballet studio, all gave viewers peeks into moments we didn’t get to experience as readers.
Chris Weitz, however, showed the creativity a tree stump. If Stephenie didn’t write it, we didn’t see it (with the exception of one brief fight scene with Felix in the Volturi chamber).
When the movie opened with Bella’s dream of her grandmother, my heart sank with disappointment. It was so boring compared to the deer in the woods. Or even the glimpse of Bella in Arizona. Those “extra” scenes in Twilight made me excited for the rest of the movie.
The dream was dull. I would have much rather have had a montage of Bella and Edward all happy and in love during the summer, something readers never got to enjoy. Show us the honeymoon period, so the impending loss would be more dramatic. My DH didn’t even realize that New Moon was supposed to be set in a new school year, he thought it was the day after the end of Twilight.
And Bella’s depression? I can’t believe they just had her sit in a chair and flash the names of the months. It was a great technique in the book, but for a movie, I would have rather seen Renee show up and try to pack her things, the doctor call her comotose, her dad frustrated by her pain. Something blurry and warped through the lens of her depression.
And don’t even get me started on the quickie rush through the Volturi. After the millions of trailers, I thought (hoped) half the film would be in Italy. And it should have been. Michael Sheen as Aro rocked to the point he should get a spin-off prequel: “Twilight: The Rise of the Volturi.” But no, we were in and out of there.
Overall, halfway through, the DH turned to me and said “this movie sucks.” And I have to agree. It was just too literal. I know as a reader and an author, I should appreciate a movie being so closely tied to the novel. But I felt it was just missing that “movieness,” that little something extra that captures the essence of the book without boring you with a page-by-page Cliff’s Notes synopsis.
So props to the special effects guys—those wolves were awesome! And props to the make up people because all of the actors looked unbelievably better—the Cullens no longer look like the Adam’s family. And props to the actors for doing the best with what they had (this includes Taylor’s abs).
But thumbs down to the director for giving us a film with no more artistic vision than a play-by-play on SportsCenter. Let’s hope the director of Eclipse, David Slade, has a bit more spunk. I want some advanced glimpses of that newborn vampire army, and a heck of a montage of the vampire wars in the South.
But nevermind me, what about you guys? Did you love New Moon? What grabbed you or what didn’t? And what would you like from the next film?