Nov 2009 20

newmoonTHE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON is the second movie in the film series, derived from the popular novels by Stephenie Meyer. This time around, the audience is introduced to more action than the first film – and fans of the series are given more of the love story that they have been waiting for all year.

The main conflict of the film centers around age, and Bella’s insecurity as she gets older. Meanwhile, Edward is over 100 years old and looks a year younger than her. The movie starts out with Bella having a nightmare about introducing Edward to her grandmother. When they meet, Bella realizes that it is actually her as an old lady – and Edward still looks exactly the same. This leads into the day of her Birthday, where she tries to forget about getting older and is basically depressed during the entire day. Even though she tries to tell everyone, including the Cullens, not to get her gifts – they do anyway.

The evening of Bella’s birthday, her and Edward go to his house and are met with an unexpected party that his family decided to throw for her. She reluctantly celebrates with the clan, opening presents and, against her will, starting to have a good time. Until one of her packages gives her a paper cut upon opening it, and cutting her finger. A single drop of blood falls to the ground, and a room full of vampires are immediately stricken with grief. Jasper, lacking the self control of the others due to his short time away from human blood, immediately starts sprinting towards Bella. Here we see time slow down, and Edward’s lighting quick reaction as he pushed Bella out of the way and sends Jasper flying across the room with a single blow. Edward returns to check on his wounded companion, only to find that she has cut her arm pretty badly. The rest of the Cullens have to leave the room – as the temptation is too great. Only he and Carlisle, father of the clan and town physician, stay in the room. Carlisle tells Edward to find Jasper, while he attends to Bella’s wounds.

Bella and Carlisle’s conversation, along with the occurrences that evening, are what set the rest of the movie into motion. Bella asks the doctor how he can control himself around human blood and fight the temptation. He explains to her that he has had a lot of practice, and that it is not easy at first. As he repairs Bella’s wounds, she asks him why Edward will not turn her into one of their kind. She wants to know why he will not help her avoid encounters like the one she just suffered from, and let them live together while never aging. Carlisle explains that they are living without souls, and that he is surely Damned to Hell. The last thing that Edward wants to do is to take that from her. He finishes wrapping her cuts, and Edward drives her back home. In an emotional confrontation, you can sense that Edward is devastated about what has happened, and Bella becomes only more angry about why Edward will not change her. She tells him that he can have her soul, and they she only wants him. The tension between the two of them grows, and Edward walks off into the night.

The film gets off to a slow start. It is most likely something that only fans of the series can appreciate, as it follows the book closely. But as the move progresses, it gets more and more interesting. It is intriguing to watch the interactions between Edward and Bella, as they both struggle with their emotions. Bella fears getting older, and knows that they can never grow old together unless she becomes a vampire. Edward on the other hand truly loves Bella, and does not care if she gets older or not. He knows that he will never leave Bella, no matter how old she gets; something that Bella can not convince herself of. The on-screen chemistry between the two is better this time around, but still lacks a certain something that would make it seem completely natural. But there is a lot of conflict throughout, and you do feel the tension.

The actors have surely grown since the first film, and the film actually becomes easier to watch. Kristen Stewart has had more acting experience over the last year, and seems to have no problem pulling off the tormented and depressed role that she has to portray in NEW MOON. Robert Pattinson has more of a glossed over look during the film, as Edward tries to stay strong and do what he thinks is best for Bella’s well being. We do not see much emotion from his character, but he pulls off the role that we expect him to be able to. The actor that really portrays the widest range of emotions in the film is Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob. Jacob is there for Bella when Edward is not, and the two become best friends. When Bella is tormented by her nightmares, being with Jacob puts her at ease. Both Jacob and Lautner have grown since the first film, both maturing as a young adult and actor respectively. We see Jacob struggle between his friendship with Bella and the feelings that he has for her. We also see his struggle with becoming a part of something that isn’t natural for his character. He probably stands out as one of the most prominent characters on screen. The rest of the actors do a fine job, with a couple of standout performances. Peter Facinelli as Dr. Carlisle Cullen does a great job in the role. Michael Sheen also adds another style of acting the the film, as Aro – the leader of the Voturi vampires.

Overall, the second film in the second film in the TWILIGHT SAGA delivers exactly what you would expect it to, and will not leave fans disappointed. The story drags at times, but moves much faster than it’s predecessor. There is more action this time for the guys, and more of Jacob for the ladies. If you are a fan of the genre, the movie should be entertaining if nothing else.


Another take from Zac:

The Twilight Saga returns with a new director, a new set of monsters, and a New Moon, but the film feels rather rehashed and far to similar to previous film instead this time it is girl meets wolf; compare to girl meets vampire.

Everything starts off alright, in fact it was making me feel quite positive about everything unfolding. Chris Weitz’s direction is far stronger and more confident than Twilight’s Hardwicke, with the camera doing far more interesting things. The focus seems to be solely on Bella, her father, and Edward and the Cullen’s as it should be and pushing all the unnecessary characters to the background. The actors seem to be doing better; everything seems to be going in the right direction and then the Cullen’s leave. The most, and almost only, interesting thing about these films is taken away for the majority of the film and only return in the final few scenes to save the film from being a fairly bad experience.

The story mirrors Bella’s path in the first film with a weird killer in the woods, a budding romance with a boy with a secret, and a secret group of creatures living secretly right under her town’s nose. The new boy is Jacob, Bella’s old friend from her childhood who lives on the local reservation as he is a Native American. A bit younger than Bella, he has always kind of had a thing for Bella, and now with Edward out of the picture, he makes his move. Bella and Jacob slowly bond, but her desire for Edward can’t fade as they become closer friends and his secret is revealed. While the two have chemistry, we have seen this song and dance before in the previous film. Plus, all of the things Bella does to cut her adrenaline going to “see” Edward gets a bit ridiculous and never lets us really buy into the whole love triangle as Bella really shows no signs of leaving Team Edward.

Besides the romance not really working and Bella’s bitching getting a bit to much to bare, the effects work was a real disappointment. The few set pieces in the film were pretty well crafted, it’s just the effects work was only adequate and not awesome A+ stuff. These films make so much money there is no excuse for a shotty effect shot or blue screen work in this picture and there are a number of nasty takes. The wolves look good, could look better though, but I guess the target audience of this film isn’t that worried about that; though every shot of the cliff was border line horrendous. The film also jumps around quite randomly at times and feels like we are missing huge plot points or they get glossed over with a sentence. The first film had this issue as well and as in the first film as well it stays away till the final act which all of a sudden rushes forward and seems a bit too convenient.

But, there were some things that worked in the film. Everything with Edward, vampires, and the Cullen’s was very good and the best part of the film. The dynamic of Bella and Edward arguing over turning her is also a nice little thread, but the most promising element of this film is the introduction of the Volturi family in Italy who are the sort of deciders of the Vampire race. Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning will provide some solid actors for their future plots and they are as interesting and engaging as Edward, Alice, and Carlisle Cullen. Looking forward to more of them and the high point of the series so far is the encounter with the Volturi.

In the end, New Moon is sadly neither a step up or down for the series but continues to serve as a sampling of intriguing ideas and characters that they can’t flesh out into a fully engaging story. I don’t know how the wolf/vampire dynamic will play out in the last two films, as the wolves seem to be almost useless now even with the half assed attempt to keep the threat alive in the final scene. Though, if they can keep the dynamic alive, lets hope they make it interesting and compelling and same for the rest of the story, focus on the Cullen’s and Volturi and this series good eventually become a good franchise instead of an average one.

Twilight Saga: New Moon is a C+



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