Can it really be just a year since, in my previous Hater’s Guide, I compared the then just-released Twilight to “the lamest episode of 90210 ever made combining forces with the second-lamest episode of 90210 ever made”? So much has changed! For one thing, there is the alarming number of my previously sane female acquaintances who this year fell under the sway of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire books and the first film adaptation. One minute they’re all, “I agree, Clark, this all sounds like a bunch of crap.” The next, it’s, “Ooh, Robert Pattinson is so dreamy,” and “Go, Team Jacob!,” and “Dude, you’re sleeping on the couch.”

So what do those few remaining Twilight-haters who want to remain within the cultural loop need to know about the second cinematic offering about the supposedly tragic romance between Pattinson’s pasty immortal Edward and Kristen Stewart’s sulky human Bella? Well, New Moon is really no better than Twilight. It certainly seems much longer, though.

I’ll spare you the not-gory-at-all details: doubtless you’ll hear a full regurgitation of its plot from some yammering band of tweens next time you take public transportation. The big news is that Taylor Lautner’s Jacob, who developed a “thing” for Bella in the first movie, is really great at repairing motorcycles. Oh, also? He’s a werewolf. But the bike repair thing seems more interesting, as it turns out being a werewolf largely involves running around wearing a pair of cut-off jeans like some post-Hulk-ing Bill Bixby. You wouldn’t like it when he’s furry! Actually you might. Jacob and his fellow were-folk are far more cuddly than carnivorous, as tends to be the way in this un-monstrous monster franchise.

The other major development is the introduction of a vampiric upper class called the Volturi who rule their fellow immortals with an iron fist and a wardrobe borrowed from “Notorious”-era Duran Duran. We can thank the Volturi for by far the best thing about this movie, which is the always great Michael Sheen’s bloodsucker-overlord Aro — a character who serves as a reminder that vampires are actually supposed to be kind of scary.

Okay, let the hate come back at me, if you must. But I know there are plenty of folks out there who will back me up on this. Speak now or forever hold your peace, fellow Twi-Haters!

New Moon
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