While it certainly wasn't a "great" movie, New Moon is light years ahead of Twilight. Considering the movies share a screenwriter and most of the same cast, it seems reasonable that most of the blame for the crapfest that was Twilight can be laid on director, Catherine Hardwick. Where Twilight's absence of a score under much of the movie was distracting and made the film feel unfinished, New Moon featured a depth of sound including birds and crickets in the forest, that brought each scene to life. New Moon also lacked the abundance of dizzying 360 degree shots that were a prominent feature of Twilight. Unfortunately, they were replaced with a plethora of slow motion shots that quickly lost their impact.
The acting was better too. After watching the commentary on the Twilight DVD I'm not sure if the actors were embarrassed with their performances in Twilight, that Hardwick made horrible choices and there were better takes, or some combination of the two, but there were far fewer cringe-worthy moments.
My biggest beef with New Moon, and it's a continuation of a beef from Twilight I didn't even know I had until seeing New Moon, is the added fight scenes in both movies. Without getting too spoilery, let's just say that Edward doesn't come out so well in them, yet those of us who have read Eclipse know that he's pretty bad ass in his fight scene there. I wish they hadn't gone out of their way to make him wussy in these two movies, it will distract me in the future.
Bottom Line: If you saw Twilight and hated it but love the series, give New Moon a try. If you're new to the series, read Twilight but skip the movie and then start watching the movies with New Moon (but keep reading the books too!)
3 days ago