(In theatres, December 2009) Given the runaway success of the Twilight series, it’s useless to review this second entry in the “saga”: Fans of Stephenie Meyer’s books don’t care, anti-fans don’t care in a different fashion, and practically no one will pick up this film at the video store going “I wonder what this is about?” The dumb indulgences have been turned into holy writ, the film is slave to the book and the result is aimed squarely at a particular demographic segment, those who actually know what “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” means and actually have an opinion about it. (Me, I’m “Team Victoria” all the way.) Still, there are still a few things to say about this film. Plot-wise, I was pleased to see that the universality of the first film’s essence (you know, “as a teen girl, you will be seduced by a dangerous creature that has the power to change you forever”) doesn’t completely goes away in New Moon: Poor featureless Bella gets stuck moping around and teasing a much-better boy who nonetheless turns out to be a manipulating control-freak by the last reel of the film. Surely that rings a few bells among the target audience. But what’s significantly improved this time around is the budget and the direction: Chris Weitz lets a bit more color flow into the film, and seems marginally more comfortable with the demands imposed by the special effects. The film feels fresher and better by the change of approach –although I miss some of the first film’s musical choices. While the film is still aimed at a specific fannish audience, still annoying in many ways (who just wants to hit Edward over the head with a shovel?), still in love with its own quirks and angst, it’s a passable movie-watching experience, far less painful than you’d expect, even though much of the humour may work at the film’s detriment (“So, Bella, your friend would rather hang out shirtless in the forest with four of his ripped buddies? There’s nothing gay with that at all.”) But, as I’ve said before, Twilight is not made for you, fellow cynical hipster cinephile: let the kids have their fun and don’t begrudge them a bit of honest passion.