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Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009 01:11 am

Leaden pace leaves New Moon lifeless

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What is one to make of the Twilight phenomenon? As I write this, it has been reported that the second film in the series, New Moon, has taken in more than $140 million during its first three days of release, the third biggest opening in film history. This, for an adolescent love story that recasts forbidden bad boys and the gangs they run with as clans of werewolves and vampires. Obviously, the success of the films and Stephanie Meyer’s novels which they are based on is the result of an overdue excuse for mother-daughter bonding these stories provide.

It surely isn’t the quality of the filmmaking or writing that’s the secret to their success, though the “Twi-hards” could care less about such things. While Moon is a better directed film by veteran Chris Weitz, it suffers from a tepid pace and a tone that takes this nonsense that finds the heroine Bella (Kristen Stewart) torn between her love for the vampire Edward (Robert Pattison) and her attraction to Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who happens to be a werewolf, far too seriously.

Longing glances and pregnant pauses add a good 20 minutes to the film’s bloated running time, while Pattinson and Stewart generate as much heat as a wet rag being rubbed against a block of ice. The film would be unbearable if it weren’t for Lautner, who acts rings around his co-stars, which doesn’t take much. All he needs to do is show he has a pulse and that’s enough to get me to join Team Jacob. Overwrought, derivative (Romeo and Juliet anyone?) and juvenile, New Moon left me feeling as dead as its lead character as it sucked from me my will to live during its seemingly interminable duration.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.
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