If Twilight New Moon – The Next Chapter Begins were a novel, it would be painfully too long and a murderer of trees, annoyingly pseudo-moody, and more times than I have fingers and toes and appendages just not that interesting. Less is more, I hear my inner voice whispering out loud. Less is more. Yet hardcore fans and netherworld aficionados will no doubt be enthralled with what-happens-next-glee as the story picks up with main character Bella, aka deadpan Stewart (Kristen Stewart) recovering from the vampire attack that almost killed her, but not quite, on the eve of her birthday. But you’re not here for yet another synopsis of the movie and if you are one of the minions of the franchise, most if not all of what I’m writing will affect you like sunlight on the Cullen clan. What amazes me in a two-for-one, 64 ounce two-pack of pickles at Costco kind of way, is the sheer volume of people who are not affected by the flimsy plot or take tissue with such thin characters who spend too much time in concentrated angst. Where New Moon strikes me like dead, stiffening weight and is perhaps the most unforgivable is with such undeniably bad performances. Where was the director while all of this was burning holes in our retinas? I know, I get it, the target audience is composed of hormone enraged 14-year-old girls poised on the precipice between childhood and adolescence, concerned as much with makeup and fashion as photoshopped magazine covers of their favorite boy gods. And were it not for this realization and perhaps in despite of it, I might be more apt to forgive the producers, forgo hostility toward novelist Stephanie Meyer and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, even applaud Chris Weitz for churning out such a profitable mess. Sure, I’d like a fat check from the franchise coffers but I probably wouldn’t admit to anyone I had been involved with it. But in the end I stand apart, a shadow at sunset, a curmudgeon with a sharp stick at the ready to poke myself if no one else, to send these blood suckers from whence they came and out of my memory altogether.
What I can say about the franchise will no more detour you from watching as suggest popularity is a trustworthy barometer for what constitutes a good film. As Hollywood is first and foremost a business, Twilight New Moon is a success and success dictates the franchise will go on with or without us stalwart critics. It matters less and less that films are allowed dreadful plots that meander too long, that characters die a thousand deaths at the helm of unremarkable actors, and that teen melodrama is best described as lifeless cardboard blowing in the wind. But when you’re young and pretty, oh and immortal, frozen good looks and stale conversations are meant to last for centuries too long.