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Celebrating the Life

[Longhorn Review] A Breakdown of Roger Ebert's Review of the Movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Material Type: All, Books — Posted on November 30, 2010, 3:42 pm

By: Caroline Guerriere

Roger Ebert, the author of this movie review for The Twilight Saga: New Moon,
inserts his opinion that the second movie in the Twilight series is incredibly slow
and not worth seeing. He says, “You know you’re in trouble with a sequel when the
word of mouth advises you to see the first movie twice instead” (para 2). Here he is
not stating that the first move in the series was great, as he notes Twilight’s
“tepid achievement”, although he is saying that Twilight was indeed better than New
Moon (para 2).

Again and again throughout the review, Ebert notes how long the movie
dragged on and indicates that it was extremely boring. In the opening lines of the
essay Ebert says, “the characters in this movie should be arrested for loitering
with intent to moan” (para 1). The author is arguing that it is beyond ridiculous
how often the characters in New Moon just stand around and “moan” that it should be
a crime. Speaking of standing around, Ebert goes on to compare the characters’ charm
to the charisma of wax sculptures contained in the Madam Tussaud wax museum in
London. Ebert notes that there is one long pause after another and then states,
“Listen up, lads! You may be immortal, but we’ve got a train to catch” (para 5). At
the close of the review, Ebert argues that sitting through The Twilight Saga: New
Moon “is like driving a tractor in low gear through a sullen sea of Brylcreem” (para
12). Ebert is clearly reinforcing his view that watching New Moon was a painful
experience for him since he compares the experience to slowly driving a tractor
through Brylcreem, which is a hair gel product for men.

Ebert also points out how
New Moon contains clichés, also noting confusion in the plot, especially if one was
not previously familiar with the Twilight series. The author points out that the
tragic love story genre, extremely similar to “Romeo and Juliet”, is hit upon
perfectly by New Moon, making it cliché in it’s obvious similarities to the classic
by William Shakespeare. Also, the author notes that characters are stereotypical,
quoting Bella’s friend Jacob in the movie as “that nice American Indian boy” (para
7). As far as plot confusion goes, Ebert states, “long opening stretches of this
film make utterly no sense unless you walk in knowing the first film, and hopefully
both Stephenie Meyer novels, by heart” (para 2). Also, Ebert points out that Bella’s
father in the movie is always grounding her, yet Bella is able to “jump from cliffs,
haunt menacing forests, and fly to Italy” all at the same time, which makes no sense
at all, serving to further confuse viewers altogether (para 3).

The target audience for New Moon is clearly teens, argued by Ebert, as he seems to have his own opinions
about this audience and the message that is being sent out to them. First of all,
Ebert makes the assumption that pretty much all but 5% of the teenage target
audience already knows the entire story, including the fact that Jacob is a
werewolf, making for a very predictable movie. Ebert then goes on to say that “The
Twilight Saga is an extended metaphor for teen chastity…” (para 11). In this
metaphor, the author is arguing that the entire “Twilight” series is based off the
idea that teens should remain celibate.

Throughout the entirety of his review of The
Twilight Saga: New Moon, although contrary to the views of many teenage girls around
the globe, Roger Ebert’s overall opinion of the movie seems to be a very negative
one, induced by feelings that the movie was too long, boring, cliché, and sometimes
confusing.

Works Cited:

Ebert, Roger. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon." Rev. of The
Twilight Saga: New Moon, by Chris Weitz. RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun Times, 18 Nov.
2009. Web. 16 Nov. 2010. article?AID=/20091118/REVIEWS/911199998>.

Reviewer: Caroline Guerriere

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