Welcome to the JOE-DOWN, a back-and-forth movie review blog by two snarky newspapermen named Joe from Minnesota, Joe Froemming and Joe Brown. We will take turns selecting a movie — any movie we want — and review it here. For this installment, I picked “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”
The Movie: “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Director: Chris Weitz
Plot Summary: (From IMDB) Edward leaves Bella after an attack that nearly claimed her life, and in her depression she falls into yet another paranormal relationship – this time with werewolf Jacob Black.
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 28 percent
Froemming: After last week’s adventure with the 4chan-approved version of “Fury Road” that is “Hell Comes to Frogtown,” I decided Brown and I needed to head back to a franchise we covered once before.
I decided we should head back to Forks, Wash., where the vampires glitter, the werewolves are jacked and our heroine gets dumped and drags another guy along with her until the guy she likes better comes back.
Seriously, (REDACTED) you Bella Swan, you mouth-breathing yokel.
I picked “Twilight: New Moon,” a film that is almost completely filler and I have no idea why all this couldn’t have been a 20-minute prologue to the next installment.
Now as I deadlift old motorcycles, Brown how are you feeling about our return to Forks?
Brown: This is how I feel about you making me return to Forks.
Also, after seeing this movie, I’m 100 percent Team Jacob.
This movie… look, we’ve watched some real crap here on the JOE-DOWN, but at least there’s some charm in the movies we partake in. This movie has as much charm as a yellow onion.
Plus, I still think Bella Swan has a sinus infection that would finally go away if she left the pollen-infested, dense nature of Washington.
*Sigh* Let’s just start this so we can end it.
Froemming: So we start of with a dream sequence, which immediately made me feel like Dennis from “It’s Always Sunny” here.
Look, dream sequences can be well done, like how David Lynch does them, or they can be like “Twilight” in which I want to immediately shut off my TV and call Brown to say “maybe I can take a mulligan here?”
But alas, I trudged through this nonsense, which makes 18-year-old Bella fear growing old because her *looks it up* 109 YEAR-OLD-BOYFRIEND might lose interest in her when she gets all old and wrinkled, which is a part of life.
Again, the character people fawned over in 2009 was more than 100 years old and is macking on an underage high-school girl.
Brown: Not for nothing, but this relationship is as vapid as Princess Amidala and Anakin Skywalker in the “Star Wars” prequels. I’m sure we were mere minutes away from Bella telling Edward how much she loves the water.
And because this movie is as subtle as a train hitting a semi truck, Bella wakes up from her dream and has “Romeo and Juliet” sitting next to her.
Gee, I wonder if one of these characters will do something recklessly stupid to confess their love to the other one!
There’s also a line here at the beginning where Edward and Bella and being goth-y teenagers and Edward says that she gives him everything “by breathing.” Yeah, she does that a lot out of her mouth. Like, a distracting amount of her breathing comes via mouth. Go to an ear, nose and throat specialist, Bella. I have concerns.
Froemming: Look, I think it is well established here at the JOE-DOWN that we are totally against mouth breathing. Breathe through your nose like a normal person, Bella.
Brown: Yeah, Bella. I fixed my snoring with a CPAP. The least you can do is use your nostrils.
Froemming: OK, we are coming in hot here, let’s get back to the film.
So it is Bella’s 18th birthday, which creepy Edward probably had a countdown for like the pervert he is. And EVERYONE in Forks seems to wish her a happy birthday. I live is a somewhat smaller town, and nobody remembers anyone’s birthday unless we get the notification on Facebook.
And even then we tend to ignore it.
Now, I too am #TeamJacob because here is this nice guy who happens to be a werewolf, but at least he isn’t a distant prick like Edward, who looks like he is on heroin all the time. He gives Bella a dreamcatcher for her birthday, which she received with a blank face breathing through her mouth…MY GOD I CAN’T LET THIS MOUTH BREATHING BUSINESS GO!
Brown: The birthday presents — that Bella is indifferent, at best, about — don’t end there. She’s invited to the Cullens’ house by Edward’s sister Alice. And while opening one of the presents, Bella gets a paper cut, which arouses Jasper’s thirst for blood. Yeah, remember that this movie has vampires? Because there will be zero blood sucking in this movie…
Froemming: To be clear, I wished it was this Jasper.
Brown: Also, Edward is to protect Bella. And how does he do that? By hurling her against a wall and causing even MORE blood.
Now, with his ability to protect Bella in jeopardy because his family is, well, blood suckers, Edward tries to end the relationship with Bella. It’s too dangerous for her.
Edward actually tells Bella that he doesn’t think she understands his feelings. Hey guy, NO ONE understands the feelings of ANYONE in this world. Two movies we’ve watched in this franchise, and the only emoting I’ve seen was when Anna Kendrick thinking her boobs looked weird in a prom dress in the first movie.
Froemming: I am surprised you remembered anything from the first one. I sure didn’t and was wondering what the hell was going on the first half of this film.
Brown: I remember that, because Anna Kendrick. I also vaguely remember forest baseball.
But I must say: Something as minor as a paper cut causes your bae’s family members to want to devour you. You couldn’t find a bigger red flag if you put it on a flagpole in front of a Perkins, Bella. End this relationship amicably.
Froemming: Which none of this makes sense with what we learn later: If Jasper had bitten Bella, the Cullens would have been devoured by werewolves because it goes against the treaty. But it wouldn’t be the first time a bunch of old white people broke a treaty, I guess.
Brown: Know what I like in a movie with vampires and werewolves fighting? Diplomacy!
Anyways, Bella doesn’t take the breakup very well and wonders the woods aimlessly, muttering “Edward” the entire time. Michael Scott had a better chance of surviving in the woods when he tried to imitate “Survivor Man.” Being in the woods of Washington state, I was hoping either Bella would be mauled by a bear or a Sasquatch.
Instead, she’s rescued by a shirtless man just rummaging through the woods in the middle of the night?
*Sigh* (REDACTED) you, movie.
Froemming: With Edward gone, Bella begins an email campaign to Alice describing her boring-ass life and how sad she is, which when Alice shows up later I was hoping she would tell Bella to please respect the boundaries of their friendship. Bella, there is only so much sad-sack people can take, even immortal vampires.
We then see months go by as Bella sits in her room in the same clothes, making me guess she doesn’t change or shower for months on end, which would make sense as to why she now eats alone in the cafeteria at school.
Brown: So you have a kid seemingly sitting in a chair for months on end. We see the (REDACTED) seasons changing before our eyes. … You, you don’t suggest your daughter go to counseling or get on medication, Dad? (REDACTED), she’s having night terrors!
Froemming: Her mouth is always open anyway, just toss a pill in.
Brown: I’m now imagining Charlie trying to throw Prozac into Bella’s mouth like it’s a cheese puff.
Once Charlie threatens Bella with sending her back to Jacksonville (truly the lamest town in the Union), Bella claims that she and Jessica (Kendrick) are going to have a girls’ night.
And in perhaps the most bothersome scene in the movie, Jessica just blows off Bella’s depression like a true asshole, just making her seem weird.
As someone who deals with depression, that’s about the worst thing you can do. (REDACTED) you, Jessica.
Froemming: As someone who also suffers from depression, but has also gotten tired of people being all moody around me all the time, I get Jessica’s annoyance. Not great, but damn that can really bring other people down.
Bella sees a gang of bikers I guess tried to assault her in the first movie (I don’t remember, but we get a flashback) and here is when the funniest thing of the movie, to me, happens.
Edward appears as a Force Ghost or something whenever Bella is about to make a dumb decision. He literally has to tell her “hey, maybe walking up to a gang of bikers might not be the best decision.” He is literally there to give her basic safety advice. So on top of mouth-breathing, Bella is also bad-situation-blind as well.
Brown: Those visions of Edward are (REDACTED) anyways. Why? Because they stem from him asking Bella not to do anything reckless. He says “You promised me, nothing reckless.”
Umm, no she didn’t. You said that, but she didn’t agree to be compliant with a guy who’s trying to break up with her. Bella does literally everything you asked her not to do because she’s the dream girl everyone wants to be with for reasons and you still want a microbe of control over her? YOU dumped HER, Edward. You don’t get to make rules about her future choices.
(REDACTED) you, Edward Cullen.
Froemming: I think advising her to maybe stay away from creepy bikers isn’t a bad thing.
Anyway, Bella gets on one of these guys’ bikes and they go riding. Then Edward appears again, and this is where I agree with you Brown: He is get up in her business after dumping her. Hey man, you warned her, she didn’t listen, time to move on.
So now Bella finds she has visions of Edward whenever she is about to kill herself.
So step one: Buy a bunch of broken motorcycles, and have Jacob rebuild them with her while she manipulates his emotions for her.
(REDACTED) you, Bella Swan.
Brown: Look, some people believe in the friend zone, some don’t. I definitely believe in the friend zone. And MY GOD, Jacob is so deep in the friend zone he could see angler fish in their natural habitat.
A handful of times I wrote in my notes “How can Bella Swan, a woman incapable of showing or having ANY emotions be that emotionally manipulative?” It’s completely insane. She knows he likes her, she grows a fondness for him, she literally cannot make eye contact with him because his abs could be used to alert drivers of an upcoming stop sign. Hell, several times Bella is within millimeters of making out with Jacob. But no. Doesn’t happen.
Froemming: She fondles his muscles and makes references to how hot he is (literally because he is a wolf and figuratively because he is not hard on the eyes). Jacob is getting her out of her funk and she is now more socialbe. Hell, I think she even eventually showered because they let her back to the lunch table at school.
Brown: But, they have a random falling out. While going to a movie with Jacob and this beta male Mike, who tells Bella she should eat more and mansplains to her that the movie Bella wants to see is an action movie. Mike actually gets physically ill from an action movie that is clearly PG-13 because they use the word “Friggin’” in the dialogue.
After dude pukes his guts out, Mike and Jacob have this tense moment where Jacob’s rage seems to be boiling over. So he goes home and Bella assumes he has mono or something.
My hope was that Jacob thought “Man, I can do so much better.” If I may take a dialogue from my favorite Sam Kinison bit (NSFW), Jacob doesn’t need to be Bella’s emotional tampon, where she uses him a couple times a month when no one wants to deal with her BS.
Froemming: Oh yea, and to nail home how abusive she is emotionally, SHE CALLS HIM EVERYDAY. Like Alice, I am sure Jacob hopes the connection will die. I’m not one to advocate ghosting, but damnit, I get it with Alice and Jacob in this situation. Hell, the whole Cullen family fled Forks. I know they “said” it was they didn’t want to get found out, but I am sure it was to get away from this hot mess of a human.
Bella is a toxic person. Folks, do not be like Bella.
It gets to the point where Bella, ignoring the fact Jacob is ignoring her, storms into his house and finds he has cut his hair and has a tattoo now. He is literally changing how he looks so she probably won’t recognize him in public.
Brown: Thank God Jacob got rid of that terrible long hair. It was comically bad like Fabio.
Anyways, Bella speeds off to Jacob’s house and sees him outside, and he proceeds to tell her to stay away to join this pack of friends, led by Sam.
The best way I can describe this gang is they look like a pack of fun runners who refuse to put a shirt on. It comes to a point where when Jacob talks to Bella at her house, he just jogs into the woods, looking like he’s preparing for next week’s half-marathon like they’re Chris Traeger from “Parks and Rec.”
Froemming: I liked how he hopped up to her bedroom like Cricket escaping manhunters Dennis and Mac from “Sunny.”
Bella is sad again, not realizing she is the problem here, so she wanders toward the old Cullen place, where we meet Laurent (maybe he was in the last movie?) a vampire who is on the hunt for her at the command of some woman named Victoria.
Look, I am sure this was all in the last movie. I just don’t recall.
Anyway, Laurent is pretty much going to up and kill her when suddenly these giant wolves come out of nowhere and chase him off. And we know one of them is Jacob because if you don’t catch that moment, you’re not that observant.
Though when we do see later when the wolves tear this vampire apart, I guess that was kinda cool.
Brown: No. No it’s not cool. This movie had vampires and werewolves battling against each other and made it (REDACTED) lame. This movie was given a slam dunk, and it missed the rim and swan-dived onto the floor.
If that wolf’s lack of subtlety wasn’t enough, we see Bella get into a shouting match with the gang and slaps one of them, which causes him to rage and become a wolf. And here comes Jacob, who turns into a wolf and they have a battle akin to National Geographic.
Froemming: The CGI of the wolves is soooo bad. Like, this was a huge movie, I remember it being a big thing, and these wolves looks almost as bad as the crap in “Phantom Menace.”
Brown: For real, what’s more baffling to you: That this movie was made on a $50 million budget or that it made $709.7 million at the box office? I lean towards the former.
Froemming: I am more upset at the latter.
So the wolves fight and the gang takes Bella off to Emily’s place. She is the girlfriend of Sam, the head honcho of this group. Sam apparently ate half her face during an argument.
This movie is so full of terrible, toxic relationships.
Also, for a secret group of town protectors, they literally spill the beans on everything to Bella. Maybe it is the lack of emotion on her face that causes them to try to say shocking things to see if she can emote anything.
Brown: After seeing the Edward-heavy first movie, I will say I think Taylor Lautner is a marginally better actor than Robert Pattinson. Then again, I feel like no one got ANY direction in these movies and their line reads are literally the first time the actors are reciting the script.
Froemming: I am just glad Pattinson was barely in this one. There is only so much brooding I can take.
Brown: So throughout this movie, there’s been reports of hikers getting killed in the woods. The report says bears, but after seeing the wolves for the first time, Bella tells her dad and the search is on.
Turns out, it’s Victoria and her cronies killing the hikers and the wolves are there to hunt the vampires. Sounds like a badass concept on paper, right? In execution, we get Victoria with a terrible speed effect getting chased by bad CGI wolves to (REDACTED) terrible alt rock.
THIS MOVIE SCREWED UP WEREWOLVES VS. VAMPIRES. That is its greatest travesty.
Froemming: As they are chasing Victoria, Bella decides to jump off a cliff, which is the best decision I have seen her make thus far. And so she does.
And this causes the Cullens to think she is dead. How? The (REDACTED) I know, it was established they can’t read her mind or anything, so how the hell did they see this? I thought Edward appearing was just Bella’s psychosis coming to light.
She survives the jump, but the waves bash her around and she conks her head. Well, Jacob comes and saves her, defying the survival of the fittest in nature, I guess.
Brown: This movie could be redeemed slightly if this played while Bella almost died.
Froemming: That would have been a great ending to a terrible movie.
Also, old man Harry gets killed by Victoria. Blood drained? Nope, she gives him a heart attack.
Why are there even vampires in this (REDACTED) movie?
Well, after being rescued, Bella and Jake are out driving around when Jake smells a vampire. Guess what? It’s Alice, probably there to tell Bella to quit emailing her all the time. It’s over Bella, move on for crying out loud.
Turns out Alice is there because she thinks Bella is dead. She traveled all that way to look into it? If a teenage girl tragically died, there would at least been an obit on the town’s newspaper’s website. This is a pretty easy thing to figure out from afar, Alice.
Brown: To be fair, she was there the same night. The obit would be in the paper the next day.
So Alice walks out and Jacob and Bella are about to kiss in the kitchen when the phone rings, making me angry that Good Guy Jacob is again left hanging. Also, when has a ringing phone ever stopped teens from making out?
Jacob answers it rather aggressively and it turns out, it was Edward calling from (REDACTED) Italy. Dude literally killed Jacob’s moment from another continent!
Once Bella knows it’s Edward, she books it immediately for Italy. Now, isn’t there issues with passports and international travel to deal with. This is a post-9/11 world. As far as letting Charlie know she’s leaving, Bella left a note. I imagined it said “BRB Dad, flying to Europe to find the boy who dumped me back in the fall lol #YOLO.”
There is not one likable thing about this film franchise.
Froemming: How do immortal vampires even get passports?
Yeah, they fly to Italy because Edward is going to go against Volturi (basically the government of vampires) and expose himself to the world because they won’t kill him.
- Nothing, NOTHING will ever make Michael Sheen scary. All I could think of here was him as Liz Lemon’s boyfriend Wesley Snipes from “30 Rock.”
- Alice just drives through a crowd of people whom are celebrating the end of vampires or something to get Bella to Edward. Look, the mafia has taught me that perhaps Italy has lax laws when it comes to crime, but this is ridiculous.
So Bella stops Edward from walking into the sun and showing off his glittery skin, which is just upsetting to me. Vampires die in the sun, not turn into the disco ball from Studio 54.
Brown: Yeah, Edward is lamenting about death earlier in the movie and yet this movie removes sunlight as a vampire killer. I supposed a stake to the heart would be just a flesh wound, too.
Also, I did ask myself why none of these vampires spray tan so they won’t be so easy to identify as vampires. Or at least weirdos.
So our lovers are reunited and their toxic relationship can begin anew… except that they both now have to meet with the US Senate… I mean, the Volturi for reasons.
After some BS about reading minds and Bella apparently being impervious to vampire powers for reasons, the Volturi determines that either Bella must be killed or be turned into a vampire.
I swear, this book/movie script was written by Fry when he tried making the giant brains leave Earth in “Futurama.”
Froemming: Alice tells Goth Michael Sheen that she saw Bella turned in the future and we get this ridiculous flash of Bella and Edward frolicking in a field with glittery skin and I swear I wanted to throw my TV out the damn window at that moment. What kind of vampire movie is this?
Brown: This is a dramatization of this moment for Froemming.
Froemming: Anyway, this proves that Bella is destined to become a vampire so they let everyone leave.
This is what I wanted to do to this franchise at this moment.
As they head out, we see vampires luring tourists to slaughter to the Volturi, which would have been much more entertaining than this whole movie.
Brown: Also there was a vampire vs. vampire fight… and it had awful effects because this movie cannot hit a slow-pitch softball. I’m not asking for “Blade,” but I’d expect better CGI than “The Matrix” had 10 years earlier.
Clearly, my expectations are too high.
So now, Edward and Bella are back, but not before Jacob demands a meeting.
Jacob reminds Edward that if a Cullen turns a human into a vampire, their treaty is broken and there will be a (presumably lame) war between the two factions.
Jacob turns into a wolf, but not after Bella told him “Don’t make me choose between you two. Because (Edward) will always win.” Jacob is too good a guy to give into his wolf instincts and rip her throat out.
Froemming: You been FRIEND ZONED!
Brown: And because reasons, Edward says the only way he’ll turn Bella into a vampire is if she marries him.
And the movie fades to black.
Froemming: This movie HAS NO POINT! Nothing really happens. It is almost completely filler. I have no idea why this movie exists. Say what you will about the first one, it had a beginning, middle and end. This is all middle.
Brown: *Sigh* (REDACTED) this movie.
I don’t want to have a witty sign-off. Let’s just end this.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND?
Froemming: No. As I said above, this movie has no real objective. It is all transition to another story it feels like. We’ll have to see when we return with “Twilight: Eclipse.”
Brown: Nope. I’m done wasting time here.