The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Young women are eating this stuff up, and disgruntled boyfriends are being unwillingly dragged into the cinema. The Twilight saga, beginning as a series of books, and now being adapted into successful blockbuster movies, has risen as one of the central preoccupations of our culture. Is this phenomenon founded, or is it a collective misstep by a society seeking popcorn-escape by any means necessary?

Cook on Vampire Mythology

From Bram Stoker to Anne Rice to Joss Whedon, vampirism in fiction has been an interesting way of exploring our deepest and darkest desires. Representing our sexual temptations and animalistic qualities, it has captivated readers and viewers for years. Within the universe of Twilight, Stephanie Meyer has stripped down the mythos until there is damn near nothing left. I’m all for changing the rules, and playing with the traditions in order to serve an artistic purpose, but Twilight makes no effort to do so. Instead of making the female heroine of the series someone in dire conflict with the threat of giving in to becoming a vampire, the fantastical elements are artless and irrelevant. What we are left with is a whining teenage girl with no real thoughts or feelings. I respect young women too much to think that this is an adequate articulation of their issues. I also respect the other work within the genre too much to think Twilight merits the use of vampirism as a device. Best to watch True Blood, or better yet, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, both of which act as antidotes to this trite excuse for entertainment.

Walker on Narrative

Nothing really happens in New Moon. The narrative is structured as an exploration of the static qualities of emotion, which tends to match the minds of its characters, and yet, director Chris Weitz finds a way to turn negative aspects as an entry point for his audience. When he does make an attempt at narrative, it tends to recall Michael Bay’s Post-War masterpiece, Pearl Harbor. Yet Weitz can take his characters and audience through an experience more cathartic than his intellectual colleague, Mr. Bay, through a narrative that is stunningly relevant. Instead of CGI-Fighter jets, we get CGI-Wolves employed with no purpose other than fulfilling required action beats. At times these Wolves provide a more complex and nuanced performance than that of their human counterparts.

Cook on The Cast

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison have become big stars with the success of this mega franchise. Both, however, are utterly uninteresting within New Moon. Kristen Stewart spends the duration of the film looking bored and even distracted. This is primarily the fault of the screenplay and director, who give her nothing to work with. Stewart has proven herself as a considerable talent with her work in Into the Wild and Adventureland. It is a shame that she is now stuck within the confines of Hollywood, but I’ll holdout in hope of a bright career. Through interviews, Pattison has conveyed that he may be more than just another heartthrob, but he plays Edward as a one-note character, that mostly just seems confused and dim. What happened to vampires being frightening? Apparently now they are just harmless emo crybabies. Don’t get me started on Taylor Lautner, who most likely nailed the part when he entered the audition room shirtless, never having to prove he could deliver lines with any semblance of authenticity. Which he can’t.

Walker on Mise en scène

New Moon reverberates with a sense of big budget, Hollywood sincerity. Despite Weitz’s implications that New Moon is not a passion project, the direction is effortless. He perfectly summarizes modern day emotional obstructions with his teenage subjects, whom perform under circumstances of nothingness. These performances assist the atmosphere to becoming a kind of poetic stasis that serves as the trajectory for the audience’s experience. The Vanity Fair-esque beauty, which is littered through the film, never once expires until the most transcendental moment of the film, which appears in the form of the end credits, which are typed in a bold and crisp font, which match the livelihood of the film’s subjects.


Twilight is an indictment of our culture. Studios have realized that they’ve clicked into a demographic that has no interest in quality or sincerity. They’ve come to a point where their attempt at quality and impressive special effects has been compromised simply due to the success the Twilight franchise is guaranteed. Even the audience’s receptions of the two films have been condescending and generous. Yet, In spite of the audience’s awareness of being cheated, they persist. Next year we can expect another entry into this anthology of cinematic narcissism, and once again audiences will line up, proving to be as vapid as the film itself.

Cook’s Rating 0.5/5

Walker’s Rating 0.5/5

//Adam Cook and Curt Walker

Enjoy it? Share this on Facebook


© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: