Twilight – New Moon: Howl or scowl?
I loved the books when they first came out and no one knew about them. They were great! But now there is a whole franchise so I have my hesitance.
After the experience I had to watch the first installment in the Twilight series I was reluctant to see the second… but it managed to surprise me recently.
You can either pick up the Blu-Ray Edition with special features including Audio commentary with director Chris Weitz and Editor Peter Lambert, a riveting six-part documentary that takes you behind the scenes, exclusive band rehearsal footage with Muse, and music videos from Death Cab for Cutie, Anya Marina, and Mute Math.
Since I started on the path of watching the Twilight series, I felt obligated to continue and sat down to watch New Moon. Knowing I would be once again caught in Kristen Stewart’s bad acting web I was dreading every moment and got lucky with a pleasant surprise. As it turns out, New Moon learned a few things from its predecessor and managed to improve in many ways. Sadly, Kristen Stewart did not magically become an amazing actress, but I had a feeling that would be asking for far too much and I was right. As you watch you will still see her horrible eye twitching, panting, dead stare, guppy-mouthed performance. There is really no way to fix what has been done here since she will remain Bella Swan for the remaining two films so I will just end my tirade there.
First off I applaud Taylor Lautner on his performance as Jacob in the film. He was consistently genuine and had a natural way about him that never felt forced. I would love to see him in future films to come as I believe he has a bright acting future ahead of himself. Lautner also portrayed a young man coming into a new existence as a werewolf quite well showing a good mixture of fear and confusion, with appropriate facial expressions to match too! Speaking of werewolves, I thoroughly enjoyed the secret society feel within the reservation community and the back story that Meyer cooked up being related to Native American roots. I can also see that they put some of the millions grossed by the first film into better special effects for New Moon, and thank goodness because the wolves would have been a complete failure otherwise. As it stands the effects of the CG wolves were great. The lack of the traditional half man-half wolf form was refreshing and the transitions between man and wolf were very smooth.
Although she had a small role in the film, I am already in love with Dakota Fanning as Jane. Dakota Fanning has been one of my favorite child actresses for years and she is oozing talent out of every pore. I have seen most of her films and watched her grow into a promising young actress onscreen and she never fails to impress me. Seeing the normally bubbly young girl portray a cold-as-ice vampire with the mental ability to inflict massive pain was invigorating. Once again, Fanning proves that she is capable of putting on many faces (much like her depiction of a sassy independent punkish girl in Push). I am poised with anticipation to see more of Jane in the upcoming release of Eclipse.
My biggest pet peeve of the film series is of course still present… the vamps still sparkle ugh. On a good note, the sparkle effect is much better done this time around being just glitter on the skin and not an all-out crystal prism effect. Sadly, they left the idiotic sound effect intact and the vampires come complete with a bling soundtrack to follow them about when the sun should touch their skin. I just want to smack someone for that; seriously, light refraction has no audible sound people! The only good thing I can say about some retard thinking that light refraction has an audible quality is that the volume level of that sound has been muted and thus isn’t quite as annoying.
Another thing that has improved is the makeup… I hope they fired the first artist in charge of face painting because they really failed at it. This time around the makeup was pale, yet not deathly (nearly comically) so. In New Moon, I could actually believe the vampires manage to fit in amongst normal human society because they don’t set off the zombie alarms anymore. The eyes were still darkened, but they let up on the eyeliner and brow pencils on the blondes this time around. Overall, the makeup was much more understated and natural… well, as natural as supernatural beings get I suppose. While it isn’t makeup, I have to add that the color correction team was better this time around as well. The first film had a very washed-out feel to it while New Moon has a vibrant yet wintery feel to it.
The writing was much improved. I found myself laughing more at the witty one-liners sprinkled throughout the film and enjoyed the quality of the lines as well. They may have been one-liners, but they were not pick-up lines or corny, they were actually funny. The non-speaking parts were a bit funnier as well, body language can say a lot, and they did a good job of getting that in there. Also, with the improved writing came less staring! Hallelujah! It was SO wonderful to not have to sit through endless staring filler nearly as much as the first go-round. While there is still the signature staring involved, it has been toned down immensely. Pacing in New Moon was also well done; it did not have the strange rushed feel of the first film. Throughout the movie, I never had the bored feeling I had previously and I found myself wondering what would come next. Normally middle movies in series give you that dragging feeling as they are meant to set up the back story for future events, but this was different and kept me entertained.
My only story complaint would be that it was far too dramatized, it felt a bit like a soap opera at times and made it difficult for me to take it seriously. Also, the men in Bella’s life keep promising her that they will never leave or hurt her, and then turn around and break that promise five minutes later. This ritual promise shattering happens about a dozen times and just got old. Every time I heard Edward or Jacob say it I felt the kick of the dead horse and wished they would just stop trying to make promises at all. Finally, there is quite possibly the worst twist known to man at the end. I couldn’t believe it even happened, and this is not one of those cliffhanger twists that make you want to see more. No, this was a facepalm twist that really made me wonder what Bella is thinking sometimes in wanting to be with Edward. I won’t say more because if you have yet to see the film I would ruin it for you, but you might agree with me once you do see it.
Dare I say, I enjoyed the story and it made me quite interested in watching Eclipse the next. (Here are the other fantasy movie series I am rewatching these days.)
I feel that New Moon is actually worth owning as it was entertaining and if you haven’t yet seen it, I suggest seeing it.
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