It’s Friday morning and the hotly anticipated movie “New Moon” has finally hit multiplexes across the nation. That means that all the media hype surrounding the release of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” has finally begun to evaporate and it’s time for the nation’s movies critics to weigh in with their “New Moon” reviews.
First, let’s take a look at what Rotten Tomatoes, a popular website devoted to aggregating film reviews, has to say about “New Moon.” As of this writing, the Tomatometer (which tabulates the percentage of positive reviews gathered by the site), stands at 29%. And the consensus reads as follows: ” ‘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.”
Here’s what my three favorite – and most trusted – movie critics have to say about “New Moon.”
Kenneth Turan, head film critic for the Los Angeles Times, feels that “New Moon” should have given more screen time to Bella and Edward as a romantic unit:
“Constrained by the plot of the novel, the film keeps the two lovers apart for quite a spell, robbing the project of the crazy-in-love energy that made “Twilight,” the first entry in the series, such a guilty pleasure.”
Roger Ebert attacks “New Moon” for lacking vitality and being tedious:
“Edward and the other members of the Cullen vampire clan stand around a lot with glowering skulks. Long pauses interrupt longer ones. Listen up, lads! You may be immortal, but we’ve got a train to catch.”
James Berardinelli (my all time favorite movie critic) argues that “New Moon” is too faithful to the book:
“Director Chris Weitz seems unwilling to cut things that would make for a tighter, faster-paced movie for fear of aggravating fans who want every moment from the book to be included.”
Of course, for Twilighters, the above-noted unfavorable reviews are utterly irrelevant. “New Moon” is the second film in the “Twilight” series, and like the first film, “New Moon” will undoubtedly be a huge hit at the box office – just as the third installment, Eclipse (which arrives next June) is destined to be.
To say that the “Twilight” saga has become an obsession among its devotees is a huge understatement (Stephanie Meyer, author of the series, has sold 45 million books in the U.S. alone.) The first film in the franchise, “Twilight,” made an eye-popping $350 million.
To be sure, “Twilight” is a Global Juggernaut, a Megabrand in the truest sense of the word, and thus it is utterly immune to bad reviews.
Roger Ebert’s Review of “New Moon”, rogerebert.suntimes.com
James Berardinelli’s Review of “New Moon”, www.reelviews.net
Kenneth Turan’s Review of “New Moon”, The Los Angeles Times