Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

The Twilight Saga: New Moon November 20, 2009
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Rating: PG-13 for some violence and action.

I go into this review knowing that no matter what I say, fans of author Stephanie Meyer's series are going to see "New Moon" and for the most part they will probably love it.

That's okay. I can live with that. But it's still my job to give you an idea of what you're getting into.

"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" continues the adventures of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). She's still hopelessly in love with the vampire hunk named Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson).

But early in the film, Edward decides life with him is just too dangerous for Bella, so the entire Cullen clan leaves the little town of Forks, Washington.

That sends Bella into a funk, which her friend Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) tries to help her climb out of. But Jacob has a secret of his own.

Yep. Jacob and his buddies are werewolves. Now Bella has two supernatural love objects. But while she's fond of Jacob, Edward is her true soul mate.

Absent for much of the story, Edward eventually tries to make contact with Bella. However, thanks to a misunderstanding, the vampire thinks his love is dead and decides he can't live without her. So Edward he goes to the ruling vampire clan, the Volturi, to have them end his undead life.

Bella gets word of this plan from the vampire Alice and together they rush to Europe to try to save him. That sets up a confrontation with the Volturi that none of them may survive.

"New Moon" certainly has some pretty good moments. The werewolves and the Volturi are among them.

But the film has a big problem, and it is the leading lady. Bella is pretty unlikeable here. She's selfish and self-centered, abandoning her friends after Edward leaves and using Jacob for her own means. The same Jacob who's been carrying a torch for Bella for years and is her protector for most of this story.

I'm not going to harp on the performances here. Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner spend a lot of time gazing longingly at each other with droopy eyes and trembling lips. It gets a little tedious. There are also pacing problems that the story struggles to overcome. Bursts of action and plot are separated by long stretches of not a whole lot of stuff going on.

On the plus side, the special effects are greatly improved over the first movie and many members of the supporting cast do justice by their character. They just aren't given very much to do.

I did like the hints of menace the movie serves up at various spots, especially from the Volturi near the end of the film. I'm hopeful we get more of that type of scene in the next chapter.

On my rating scale, "New Moon" earns a DOUBLE.

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