Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama,Romance The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The funny thing about a blockbuster movie is that it doesn’t have to be very good to be popular and have a large audience.  The Twilight Saga: New Moon happens to be a massive film that made hundreds of millions of dollars, but it just wasn’t a very good film.

The second film based on the Twilight novels by Stephenie Meyer was a disappointment.  As a fan of the books, I can say that I expected more.  New Moon takes place within months after Twilight ended and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is unhappy to be celebrating another birthday while the love of her life, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) never ages.  As Edward’s family throws her a birthday party, Bella and Edward are reminded of the stark differences between them that will never go away as long as he is in her life.

Edward and the Cullens leave town, thinking that it is best for Bella and her safety, which results in Bella breaking down and becoming a recluse.  Her entire being left when Edward did and she can’t seem to find the breath in her life again.  That’s when long time family friend, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) comes in and resuscitates Bella.  His friendship is like a life raft to her and she slowly starts to come out of her despair.

Bella soon learns that Edward isn’t the only one in town who has secrets and she has to decide whether she can accept Jacob for who he truly is.  Then just as Bella and Jacob seem to be on the verge of taking their relationship to the next level, Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) arrives at Bella’s home.  She is under the assumption that Bella has tried to take her own life and she had to come see for herself.  Upon seeing that Bella is very much alive, Alice sees that Edward has learned about Bella’s so-called death and has gone to take his own life as well.

Bella and Alice must race against the clock to save Edward from himself and show him that Bella is in fact still breathing.  If Bella is able to make it to him in time, she will also be forced to see Edward and relive all the devastation she has been trying to hide for the last few months.

Edward does not play a large presence in the book for New Moon, so it was understandable that he wouldn’t be in very much of the film version.  That left a gaping hole though in the feel of the story.  I felt a chemistry between Bella and Jacob at the very beginning of their friendship, when she goes to him with a couple of dirt bikes to fix up.  As the movie continued, that chemistry fell away quickly and I found myself wishing Edward would show up again. 

Stewart is a great actress and she was able to save this movie.  I know that this book/film is the most depressing of them all, but there needed to be a few more pleasant moments.  Stewart, as good as she is, scowled throughout 90% of the film and it got old very fast.  Even when Edward comes back into Bella’s life, the film was missing the romantic connection that was there in the book.  Everything just happened too quickly and there wasn’t a chance to see Bella and Edward really bond again.  I thought Lautner did a really good job.  I was actually surprised that I found him to be kind of pleasant to watch.

I had some issues with how the look of this film came across.   After watching director Catherine Hardwicke’s version of Twilight, I was quite thrown off by New Moon director, Chris Weitz’s vision.  These two films were shot in different locations, so the houses and structures of the first film were either redone or replaced in the second.  I noticed immediately that the Swan house looked different from the outside, as did the inside of it.  The school didn’t feel the same and from a consistency standpoint, I was kind of annoyed.  I actually liked the production design from the first film and was left a bit cold after seeing how it changed in this film.

I found myself missing more of the Bella narration that was so prominent in the first film.  In New Moon, many of Bella’s thoughts are voiced as she narrated various emails to Alice.  I think  part of what makes Bella’s narration so important is that it gives a closer connection to the feeling you had when you read the book.

I love the music from the Twilight films; I think the music is a huge part of making this franchise successful.  The first soundtrack is still my favorite, but New Moon’s is like an indie dream list.  I think it reflects the tone of the movie quite well.

Like I said earlier, this movie didn’t need to be great for it to be a winner.  Fans of Meyer’s books, and now the films, will race to see anything that has to do with this series.  From a fan standpoint, I hope that the next few films have more romance and are more true to the books.

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