The Twilight Saga: New Moon
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TWILIGHT is an action-packed, modern day love story between a vampire and a human. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has always been a little bit different, never caring about fitting in with the trendy girls at her Phoenix high school. When her mother remarries and sends Bella to live with her father in the rainy little town of Forks, Washington, she doesn't expect much of anything to change. Then she meets the mysterious and dazzlingly beautiful Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a boy unlike any she's ever met. Intelligent and witty, he sees straight into her soul. Soon, Bella and Edward are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance. Edward can run faster than a mountain lion, he can stop a moving car with his bare hands and he hasn't aged since 1918. Like all vampires, he's immortal. But he doesn't have fangs, and he doesn't drink human blood; Edward and his family are unique among vampires in their lifestyle choice. To Edward, Bella is that thing he has waited 90 years for a soul mate. But the closer they get, the more Edward must struggle to resist the primal pull of her scent, which could send him into an uncontrollable frenzy. But what will Edward & Bella do when James (Cam Gigandet), Laurent (Edi Gathegi) and Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), the Cullens' mortal vampire enemies, come to town, looking for her?
New Moon, the second in Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster teen-fiction saga adapted for film, is stronger than its predecessor, Twilight. Director Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass), taking the helm from Catherine Hardwicke, brings a lighter, more assured touch to the sequel, which continues the star-crossed love story of mortal Bella (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson). Incidentally, Edward is absent for most of the film; after an accident on Bella's birthday reminds Edward that her life is always at risk when he's around, he chooses to abandon her, sending her into a deep depression. The only person who helps her heal her broken heart is her friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner), a member of the Quileute tribe who, as he grows taller, beefier, and more aggressive (with less clothing), comes to realize he's not entirely human either. But even his love for Bella doesn't prevent her from throwing herself in the path of danger, because that's the only time she can see visions of Edward. One such fateful misunderstanding sends Edward into the coven of the Volturi (a sort of vampire Mafia, if you will), where the most dangerous vampires hold both Edward and Bella's fate in their cold, dark hands. Much of New Moon rests on the shoulders of Lautner, so scrawny in Twilight, who famously packed on the muscle to avoid getting recast. He's very nearly successful in carrying the load, but the cheese-tastic beefcake scenes disservice him, and Jacob and Bella's complicated friendship stumbles on its way to any kind of love triangle. Some of that blame lies with Stewart, who understandably holds her emotions close to her chest but reveals much too little (c'mon, even an angsty girl has to be a little joyful in the arms of two different hunks). As is with the book, the film is just a bridge between sagas, so the plot drags and not a lot happens. Fortunately, while Twilight was trapped in its own self-consciousness, the wobbly-legged cast seems to have found stronger footing in New Moon; the jokes come faster, the writing (by Melissa Rosenberg, who also scribed Twilight) is a hair wittier. (Even Pattinson seems more comfortable in Edward's skin.) The Volturi, highlighted by Michael Sheen's Aro and Dakota Fanning's Jane, also make an all-too-brief impression, but at least there's more to look forward to when Eclipse, the third installment, is released. --Ellen A. Kim
Stills from The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Click for larger image)
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For me, "New Moon" really needed to redeem all that was wrong with the "Twilight" movie. After watching "Twilight" last year, I was SO disappointed. Catherine Hardwicke had just taken our beloved series and turned it into a made-for-TV movie. I laughed at all of the wrong places. How Bella and Edward fell in love was completely rushed. I could go on. Melissa Rosenberg butchered the book and everything that made me obsessed with it. Sure, "Twilight" was fun to watch because it was "Twilight", but the portrayal was so, so, so wrong on so many levels. My favorite book had been reduced to lines like "spider monkey."
WELL, "NEW MOON" JUST MADE UP FOR EVERY CATHERINE-HARDWICKE WRONG! FANS OF THE BOOK WILL ADORE THIS MOVIE. Edward actually smiles! The acting was SO much better, the visuals were stunning, and the dialogue was much, much improved over "Twilight". I honestly didn't want it to end. It stayed so true to the book we all love, and the little additions were perfect. I really felt like I was watching Bella on screen--Kristen Stewart was spot on. Every expression, every sad word was perfect. AND THEY SAID, "I LOVE YOU," something that was blaringly absent in "Twilight". Chris Weitz has made a stunning, gorgeous film that lovers of the book will adore! **I secretly wish he could remake "Twilight". This is what "Twilight" should have been!** This closet Twilighter was pleased beyond belief.
It seems like most of the critics' negative reviews have problems with the plot, the story, etc. Well, if you like the book and, therefore, like the plot and the story, you will love the film because Chris Weitz is true to the book beyond what I could have imagined or hoped for. This movie felt like it was made for the fans, so I can understand that if you're not a fan of the series how it may feel like a laboured effort to watch "New Moon". But if you love Bella and Edward **and even Jacob--Taylor Lautner was FANTASTIC in this!**, you will leave wanting more!
Chris Weitz for "Breaking Dawn"!
On Amazon you have just the standard discs with a limited number of extras.
If you buy your version at Target, you get an extra disc with Deleted Scenes, Interview with the Volturi, Fandimonium, The Beat Goes On: The Music of Twilight, and Frame by Frame: Storyboards to Screen.
If you buy at Borders, you get extras including Extended Scenes.
And if you buy at Walmart, you get a Sneak Peek at Eclipse (which includes an Eclipse scene), Team Edward v. Team Jacob, Becoming Jacob, Introducing the Wolfpack, Jacob Fast Forward, Edward Fast Forward, and Shooting in Italy.
Summit's hoping you buy THREE copies so that you can get to see all the special features they divided up. Don't give them the satisfaction! Buy one and call it a day!
There are no special touches this time around. No cool blue lighting. No beautiful music. No Bella's lullaby, or flightless bird. No Robert Pattinson singing or playing the piano. No Stephanie Meyer making an appearance. No romantic, peaceful dreamy feeling. Also, there will not be any commentary from Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson on the DVD.
So if you loved the look, the sound, and the feel of Twilight as I did, then you might be disappointed in New Moon. I know I was.