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Friday, 27 November 2009

Review: New Moon

Eyewear saw New Moon and, while it was not swoon-inducing, thought it very good. The director lost his Pullman franchise when America balked at the Dark Materials atheism. So, he got a new film franchise to work on (though only one). Curiously, he opted not to keep Carter Burwell's brilliant, witty score, and went with something more traditionally romantic. The new film's key moments are a rotating camera over a quick montage sequence that sums up three months of despair in a teen's lovelife as autumn turns to winter; and a scene where a young werewolf pulls his t-shirt off to reveal Grade A beefcake - every girl and many boys in my cinema howled with lusty delight. New Moon is sweet tender romance. It reminded me of a James Dean film. But with less angst or terror. For a horror film, it is is lightweight. The main struggle is for the heart, not the heart's needle, or blood. I like this tenderness. It is a welcome break from torture and gore. When a main plot twist can be a hand being held, or a promise between young lovers broken, that's Romeo plus Juliet territory. The books are talky and so is the film. Michael Sheen is always going to be Tony Blair for me. Still, it's good to see this doing so well. One curious absence, given the author's Mormon faith: God. Abstinence and damnation are present (the undead may not have souls) but religion - for small town America - is airbrushed out. Given the True Blood season currently on British telly, it is telling to note that in the US (and in UK too), everything can be shown - sex, murder, monsters - more easily than a pursuit of faith.
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