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By Destiny Jackson, 16, Mayfair HS (Lakewood)
New Moon was exactly what I hoped for and more!
The movie starts off with Bella in the meadow staring at an older vision of herself. Edward walks in and at that moment Bella realizes she can’t grow older while her immortal vampire love, Edward, stays young. The conflict begins.
Twilight wasn’t as good as New Moon because of Kristen Stewart’s (Bella) horrible acting. They also cut major scenes out of the book and I didn’t feel an emotional connection to the characters. I’m glad Catherine Hardwicke, who directed Twilight, didn’t direct New Moon. New Moon was dramatic and heartbreaking, especially the scenes involving the heartbroken werewolf Jacob Black. It’s funny too. When Bella is celebrating her 18th birthday at Edward’s house, his brother Emmett Cullen turns to Edward and says, “Dating an older woman, hot.” The humor balanced out the film and Stewart’s acting was much better than her mumbling in Twilight.
Not long into the movie came the break-up scene between Edward and Bella that I had been dreading (after all I am Team Edward). A little piece of me died with every line Edward said, especially, “You aren’t good enough for me, Bella.” During Bella’s depression she starts to hang out with Jacob and they become friends.
Whenever Bella does something dangerous a vision of Edward appears telling her to stop doing whatever is going to harm her. Bella thinks that in order to keep Edward with her forever she has to do harmful stunts. So she enlists the help of Jacob to repair two motorcycles she had found. One thing leads to another and as most things play out, the girl leads the boy on. Jacob finds himself in love with Bella, and Bella is in a situation where she has lost the love of her life and Jacob is trying to fill the void. As the story progresses Bella decided to do the ultimate dangerous stunt—cliff diving—hoping this will bring her vampire lover back.
Meanwhile, you find out that Edward has been in Italy, thinking of ways to kill himself since he thinks Bella is dead because of the cliff diving incident. It is every much Romeo and Juliet at this point as Bella goes to Italy to convince Edward that she hadn’t killed herself.
I was wondering how Dakota Fanning would portray the evil and power vampire, Jane. She did excellent, despite her two-line performance.
Even though I knew what was going to happen, the ending was a bit shocking—but in a good way. I recommend this to vampire and werewolf fans alike or anyone who likes movies with shirtless men. It’s a movie worth seeing.

By Serli Polatoglu, 16, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School (Canoga Park)

As a die-hard Twilight fan, I have very high standards for the Twilight movies. I expect each installment to bring the novels to life, and make me feel like I’m in Forks, Washington, a place where vampires and werewolves exist. I’m glad to say that New Moon didn’t stray too far from the book. Though I wish screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg kept in a bit more dialogue from the book, I think Stephanie Meyer would be proud.

At the beginning of the movie, the audience catches up with human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). The two are so in love that it seems nothing can go wrong. Unfortunately, Jasper, Edward’s vampire brother, attacks Bella after she gets a small paper cut. Edward feels that his evil nature puts Bella in too much danger and he leaves, telling her that he’s fallen out of love. As Bella spirals into a depression, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) steps in as the lovable, comforting best friend, who just happens to be a werewolf. But friendship isn’t enough to satisfy Jacob, and a love triangle of supernatural proportions ensues.

Stewart did an amazing job. She managed to deliver every cheesy line with an artistic edge. She was Bella to the core. Her portrayal of Bella’s screaming nightmares gave me chills; it was raw, honest and better than I could have ever imagined.

I wish the movie had spent a little more time focusing on the burning love between Edward and Bella in the beginning. If it had, Bella’s deep depression wouldn’t have seemed overly dramatic. Without adequate exploration of the true love between Edward and Bella, I can see why fans were easily able to side with ‘Team Jacob.’

Lautner bulked up for the role of Jacob, but his acting was lackluster. His cheesy delivery of lines had me rolling my eyes throughout the entire film. However, in retrospect, his character in the book was annoying as well, so I suppose he did the book justice. His constant need to take off his shirt may have been eye-candy for some, but seemed unnecessary after a while.

I give this movie a thumbs-up. The special effects and look of the film were definitely an upgrade from Twilight, but the big-budget feel took away some of the charm of the independent movie Twilight was. The cliffhanger New Moon ends with will have audiences panting for Eclipse, due out June 30, 2010

By Patricia Chavarria, 18, Cesar Chavez Continuation HS (Compton)

The months of waiting for New Moon (the second book/movie of the Twilight saga) to be released, were worth the wait.

The first movie was a failure because it had parts that were not in the book and the acting was overdramatic. It also looked low budget because the special effects were horrible and unrealistic, especially the scenes in which Edward jumps on trees. But the effects in New Moon looked amazing and the action was great—like when Jacob and Paul transform into werewolves and try to rip each others’ heads off. It might have been computer generated but it looked so real. The movie also has funny parts, like when Jacob and Alice insult one another by calling each other names. The acting seemed more believable as well. Kristen Stewart played Bella like a normal teenage girl in love would act. In the first movie she complained too much. Taylor Lautner (Jacob) played his part perfect. He definitely resembled the character from the book—tall and muscular and only 17.

Like the first movie, New Moon focuses on the love between a human (Bella) and a vampire (Edward). But now Edward (Robert Pattinson) realizes that he puts Bella at risk when they’re together—like when one of his family members tries to attack Bella after she gets a paper cut and starts to bleed. He decides to leave Bella to keep her safe. It takes her a while to heal her broken heart.

She begins to hang out with Jacob Black (a werewolf) and tries to forget Edward. Jacob falls for Bella and so the love triangle begins. She tells Jacob that she likes him but only as a friend and her feelings for Edward are still strong. She soon discovers that when she is at risk, Edward appears in a vision. So, she begins to do risky things such as cliff diving (which soon backfires). The word that Bella supposedly died reaches Edward who then goes to Italy to talk to the Volturi (a vampire coven) to ask them if they can kill him because he would rather die than not be with Bella. Bella tries to reach Edward in time because she too can’t live without Edward.

New Moon was exactly what I expected it to be. I was clapping from excitement throughout the movie, especially at the end. This movie is definitely worth your time whether you’re a twifan or not.