The movie is slow overall, but so was Twilight, and it really works well for both of them. New Moon has pretty convincing special effects, including a scene of a bird in suspended animation as Victoria flees from the wolves beneath. I found myself drawn to the visual nature of the film. The use of several bright colors such as the red in Bella's truck was very appealing in contrast to the overcast setting of Forks (except for a scene with artificial looking flowers). Overall, New Moon is far less sensual than Twilight, which I consider good given the age of the core audience. I enjoyed the experience, and am looking forward to the next installment (I am still not going to read the series at this point). I give the movie two thumbs up, only because I do not have three.
This is the part where I will be giving away details (SPOILER ALERT!). The movie begins with Bella's 18th birthday. She does not want to age, and fears growing too old (and ugly) for Edward. She has a dream where she is in a meadow with her grandma. Every move she makes is mimicked by her grandma (keying in on Bella's fear of aging). Then the camera pans to Bella who now looks exactly like her grandma (obviously she is seeing a reflection of herself). At this point the movie insults our intelligence by panning back to the grandma, who is now encased in a mirror (in the middle of a field). I hate when movies lead me by the hand. I mean come on--we get it!
Then Bella bleeds, Jasper attacks, and the Cullens must move. The only problem is that Edward is really callous about it. It is not like she could follow him anyway (he is way too fast). He treats her like the boy in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, when he shoos his new pet ant away (because it is for the ant's own good). I'm not complaining about this scene, it is merely an observation. After that, she goes through depression. This is before realizing that she can see and hear Edward's over protective image every time she does anything risky. Motorcycles help with the rush, so she gets two from a junkyard, and goes to Jacob for help with repairs. She begins to fall for Jacob, as do the 12 year old girls swooning in front of me at the theater. He is very likable in this movie, and I find myself rooting for him as the underdog (no pun intended) of Bella's crazy monster movie love triangle.
Jacob changes into a werewolf, and he skips out on Bella too. He returns when danger strikes in the form of Laurent and Victoria. When I saw Twilight, I was led to believe that these two had parted company, yet now they are working together. I am told that the book bridges this incompatibility, but movie sequels should not be written with any prerequisite, except for the prior movie.
Bella jumps off a cliff for another Edward sighting, and is seen by Alice Cullen (who sees the future). Edward thinks she is dead, and goes before the Valtori (ruling vampires) with a death wish. Bella shows up, and there is a fight. They decide to kill Edward and Bella. Alice assures the Valtori of a vision--that Bella too will become a vampire--and they are set free. They head back to Forks where Edward says that he must come in the window because her dad will not let him in the door (again we are given information from the books that is not explained in the movie). Bella turns Jacob down, and is asked by Edward to marry her. She never responds, and the credits roll.