In defense of ‘New Moon’

twilight It grossed more on its Thursday opening than both “Harry Potter” and “The Dark Knight,” and everyone has been ragging on the movie, but let me make an apparently earth-shattering statement:

“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” is really not that bad.

It’s no worse than the various dude-bro films that make tons of money and have huge budgets and people who know film acknowledge are bad but many laypeople like just fine. “Transformers” comes to mind.

Yes, “New Moon” sucks. Trust me, we all know. You can stop saying it.

What bothers me is that the people who are pummeling “New Moon” about its terrible-itude (which is fairly substantial) are not, at all, the people for whom the movie is made. I’m reminded of a review I once read for a Winnie the Pooh movie. The critic’s various reasons for not liking the movie included that it was “childish.”

Really? A children’s movie included simple, easy-to-understand concepts that were too low to engage an adult viewer? You don’t say.

Meanwhile, everyone is lining up to take a jab at “New Moon.” And what’s really irritating is that they’re all sitting around, giggling at how clever they are as they pan the film.

Roger Ebert, being a leader in his field, had this to say about the movie:

“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” takes the tepid achievement of “Twilight” (2008), guts it, and leaves it for undead.

Most of the rest of the reviews I’ve read, from local and national outlets alike, have pretty much the same things to say about it: bad acting, bad dialogue, boring movie. Yes, all are true.

As hilarious as it is for critics to make fun of “Twilight,” why not just go around punting wounded puppies? Puppies flying through uprights are just as funny and they’re wounded, so they’re just as vulnerable.

But Ebert also says this:

Long opening stretches of this film make utterly no sense unless you walk in knowing the first film, and hopefully both Stephanie Meyer novels, by heart.


If a movie makes no sense to you, maybe you’re not the target audience. The people who are showing up for this movie in droves do, in large part, know it and the novels by heart. Trust me, I feel for these guys who had to sit through this movie because it’s their job – except stop whining, it’s your job to watch movies. I used to do it too. It’s a sweet gig.

We’re not talking about a movie that ludicrously sucks, such as“Resident Evil: Apocalypse,” which I myself ravaged in a review. I feel there’s a key difference. I’m a fan of the “Resident Evil” franchise, and the movie is god awful. Not just from a technical standpoint, or an acting standpoint, but from a standpoint that the movie fails even its built-in audience of people who like horror, like action, like zombies, like monsters, and like “Resident Evil.”

That movie is hard to watch for all involved. No one leaves “Resident Evil” happy.

“Twilight” might suck for critics, parents, boyfriends and the male gender as a whole, but it does one thing: It makes those 10- to 17-year-old girls who do know it by heart and who do like it extremely happy.

The movie is true to its source. It’s true to its fans. It doesn’t break any ground and it doesn’t work extra hard to appease critics, or even males.

It is “Twilight.” It is exactly what it is supposed to be, for exactly the people who want it to be that.

And the people who want it are happy. So happy that they outspent “Batman” and “Harry Potter” fans. They also blew away nerds of all sorts on releases reaching back years that include “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

Because there is no “Episode I” debacle when it comes to “Twilight.” “Twilight” is perfectly “Twilight.”

Sorry that you’re not in the “it” group. Neither am I. But do we really need to pick on the Special Olympics of film here? It’s not for us. We don’t belong. Let’s just let those who like the thing like it, and all be on our way. It’s not that clever or funny anymore.

Published by Phil

He's like, you know, the guy.

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