Quick Flics: New Moon
By Elaine Teng '12 and Ethan Gates '12, Editor-in-Chief and A&L Section Editor
Team New Moon:

Let me start off by saying, I am not a fan of “Twilight.” Though I have, at a younger, more impressionable time in my life, read the books, I am not the devotee my co-reviewer makes me out to be. I would never defend “Twilight” as a work of great literature or cinema, but in this second installment, we have undeniably, a great piece of entertainment.

Though most girls hated “New Moon” because Edward Cullen, our chiseled, tortured teen idol who also happens to be a “vegetarian” vampire, leaves a mere half hour into the film and does not return until the end, it is this disappearance that renders “New Moon” far more enjoyable than its predecessor. Ignoring Taylor Lautner’s good looks and ridiculous body (I don’t believe a 17-year-old can actually look like that), which, for some, might be more than enough reason to see the film, he is a far better actor than both his romantic rival and the girl they’re both in love with. While Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart pout and scowl away, Lautner is actually convincing as a normal, lovelorn teenage boy (despite the fact he randomly turns into a wolf). The interactions between him and Stewart are far more natural and authentic (two people who can say “I love you” without looking constipated? Not possible!) and actually turn the film into a rather enjoyable romance.

Even if you really don’t care who Bella ends up with, the fast-paced nature of the film sweeps you up so that you end up caught in the suspense and cannot tear yourself away without knowing the ending. Though I personally grimaced when Edward returned, the climactic showdown with the Volturi, the royalty of the vampire world, which features respected actor Michael Sheen (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) and a grown-up Dakota Fanning, is a visual treat and a relief from the bad acting that mars the rest of the film.

While I am just as sick of “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” and all the other ridiculous “Twilight”-isms that just don’t seem to die (can you believe there are still three more films to go?), “New Moon” is highly entertaining. Whether you merely want to appreciate the aesthetic value of Lautner and/or Pattinson, lose yourself in the ridiculous, yet suspenseful plot or relieve your stress by laughing at how bad it all is, “New Moon” is definitely worth considering in your weekend plans.

Team This Sucks:

Full disclosure: I have never seen “New Moon.” I have never seen “Twilight.” I have plugged my ears and closed my eyes to avoid seeing the trailers for either film in theaters, though my cursed slow reaction time has still left me with 0.001 seconds of some computer-generated were-rabbit or something burned into my brain. I have never read a single word of the books and didn’t understand any of the particulars of the plot of the series until my co-reviewer filled me in on some of the details freshman year (I still believe her possession of the books violated Residential Life’s substance-free housing policies). I’m not even sure why they’ve asked me to write this Flics preview, but here goes.

After standing around in the woods and pouting a lot because she discovered her boyfriend Sparkles McNoChest (Cedric Diggory) is a vampire in the first film, Ms. Bella Pouts-a-Lot (that girl with like five minutes in “Into the Wild”) returns to stand around in the woods and pout some more. Apparently Sparkles won’t have sex with her because she’s a vegan. Or he’s a vegan or something. Or maybe he’ll suddenly turn into a giant green, purple-pants-sporting behemoth. No, wait, that’s a different franchise. Anyway, he leaves. She ends up getting molested by an underage werewolf (the Artist Formerly Known as Mr. Taylor Swift). Looking to get over her traumatic experience, Bella seeks spiritual counseling from the Pope. In Rome, she discovers Sparkles is preparing to sacrifice himself to the vegan god Fudu. A fight breaks out over the appropriate vintage of blood to drink with a vegan sacrifice, which is only resolved when executives from Summit Entertainment arrive and throw obscene amounts of cash at everyone involved.

If you are already addicted to the form of crack cocaine commonly known as “Twilight,” you’ll probably want to head to Flics this weekend to take away the shakes for a couple days. If you were blessed enough to avoid “New Moon” the first time it came around to theaters, your time would probably be best spent elsewhere. Here’s a couple possibilities: 1) Call your mother and thank her for teaching you to just say no; 2) Watch “Casablanca” instead. Or “The Godfather.” Hell, I’ll take “Zoolander;” 3) Pray that pre-adolescent girls are not the only driving force in American pop culture.

Issue 17, Submitted 2010-03-03 03:10:25