New Moon

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is in way over her head. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattison), the pretty mopey boy she fell for, decides to break up with her the day after her birthday because he's an awesome boyfriend.

Bella, being an 18-year-old, decides that the break up is the end of the world so she wails like a banshee in her sleep. Her father (Billy Burke) now forever loathes Edward for giving his daughter what sounds like post-traumatic whooping cough.

Bella starts hanging out with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner); local Native American, Vidal Sassoon poster boy, and Edward's arch nemesis. They have an awkward and sad relationship, as Bella uses him so she doesn't feel alone. She rebuffs his advances, so he cuts his hair and joins a gang whose sole focus appears to be showing off their rippling abdominal muscles. They have an exchange that goes something like this:

JACOB: I ARE TEH KILLAR MONSTER! (*ab flex*)

BELLA: I'm sorry I used you.

JACOB: RAWR!! (*ab flex*)

BELLA: I miss Edward! She is so beautiful!

JACOB: (*pout* *ab flex*)

Business as usual in Forks, Wash!

Jacob and his new gang of underage underwear models spend most of their time killing the vampires that stray onto their land, one is being the former girlfriend of the guy who tried kill Bella in the previous film. She is unhappy. So much so that she kills veteran character actor Graham Greene while Thom York's "Hearing Damage" drains the tension out of all the action.

Edward's hot goth sister, Alice (Ashely Green),  shows up to tell Bella that Edward believes Bella to be dead; so he's off to Italy to ask Vampire Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) to kill him, as he can't go on without Bella. Ain't love grand?

The Vampire c Council is the best part of the movie. It barely lasts 20 minutes, but Vampire Tony Blair is a sight to behold. He's unctuous as all get out, speaking Italian and leering at Bella like she was as if she were a pert, firm teenager. . . as everyone else has been doing, really. Dakota Fanning is also here, playing one of those really young-looking vampires. Also present is professional Creepy Kid Cameron Bright , all grown up!  Vampire Tony Blair wants to kill Bella unless the Cullen family agrees to turn her into a vampire. They all shake on it, and then the group gets back in their mystery machine and head heads back to Forks.

Edward swears to never leave Bella again, so he and Jacob have a final face off, but nothing comes of it; they just glower at each other. Edward then asks Bella to marry him. The end! No really, Bella gasps and then they roll credits.

I must praise this movie, however, for having excellent internal continuity. New Moon definitely continues the story started in the first film. Sadly, that story is as a tortuously slow tale of teenagers falling hopelessly in and out of love, which is boring, even when they're not creatures of the night.

New Moon, like its predecessor, feels completely unnecessary. The film doesn't stand on its own, as everything that happens was set up in the first film, making it a true sequel like Lethal Weapon 2 ...only lame.

Ultraviolet

I didn't heed the warnings. I didn’t see the writing on the wall.

I. Watched. Ultra. Violet.

A movie is a balancing act, and a good one can have a few bad elements. Ultraviolet, on the other hand, is nothing but bad elements. The opening sequence sets the stage, with stills of comic book covers featuring a character that we don’t actually care about yet, and never will. balance

Kurt Wimmer, the mastermind behind the totally great 1984-with-ninjas-concept movie Equilibrium, got a little big for his britches and made what is likely the worst action movie of the decade. The film features Milla Jovavich as Violet, and Milla Jovavich’s abdominal muscles . Seriously, they should get second billing. They’re in almost every scene, because some tool-shed costume designer didn’t put his foot down and say “An invincible-super-ninja-vampire would not wear a mid-riff baring shirt.”

The movie starts out with a terrorist faction of government-made vampires being launched via some sort of ball-bearing delivery system into an office building. So far, so good. The ball-bearing-ninjas get owned by the local security after chopping up (with no blood spatter) some scientist. Then we introduce our heroin, and little too late for anyone to care.

She narrates the amazingly stupid plot for a little while, and to her credit, she tries really hard to sound serious. It almost works except for phrases like “and so began the blood wars.” We meet the world’s germaphobic ruler Vice Cardinal Ferdinand Daxus (Nick Chinlund), who is so scared of germs he even keeps his personal sidearm hermetically sealed, and begins the movie-long of trend of characters not actually talking like people. That wouldn’t be so bad if it was well written, but it’s not. Daxus actually says “A courier is retrieving to bring here to the arch ministry as we speak.” That’s verbatim, I swear. Hurts, doesn’t it?

The movie is pretty much one long action sequence that demonstrates the Inverse Ninja Law. One ninja is unstoppable, but two or more might as well be Dodge Ball champions facing off against a battle-mech. The five Ball-Bearing Ninjas get owned by corporate security, while a lone warrior ninja kills everyone and everything that stands in her way.

Violet nabs a dimension-bending Macguffin that’s actually full of that Creepy Kid who always plays a Creepy Kid in everything he's in (Cameron Bright ), and who may or may not hold the key to killing all the vampires. Or he's the key to killing all the humans.Or the he's key to really great lobster bisque. I really have no clue. What I do know, is that the main character uses “flat space technology” so she can wear skin-tight clothing at all times and whip out a goddamned arsenal without it having to make sense.

More action ensues as Violet attempts to bring an end to the reign of the Grand-High Germaphobe. Some crappy gun-kata rip-off happens, and the credits roll. This movie is like a bad relationship, you feel like a bad person because you tolerated it for so long.

That being said: CAVALCADE THE HELL out of this picture.  It deserves everything you can throw at it. Mock it, make lewd shadow puppets on screen, it has it coming. Pair it up with Fist of the North Star for a Dystopian Double-Up.

Most importantly, AVENGE ME!