The Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD review

At this stage, if you are unaware of The Twilight Saga, at least on some level, then you have either been living under a rock for the last two years or a studiously ignoring the franchise.

Just in case you are one of those people, The Twilight Saga: New Moon is the sequel to Twilight and the second film in the series. The saga is based on the phenomenally successful books of the same name by Stephanie Meyer.

New Moon is a love triangle between Bella Swan, her vampire love Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black. The problem is that Jacob loves Bella in a way that she could never love him and the werewolves are the sworn enemies of the vampires. Complicated much?

Bella and Edward get together in the first film. Bella accepts her boyfriend’s strange dietary requirements because he and his family do not feed from humans. In this film Edward leaves Bella after an incident involving a paper cut and some hungry vampires puts her life in danger. Bella does not deal with the break up well and spends many months just hiding out in her room and writing emails to Edward’s sister Alice, all of which bounce back, undelivered. It is only when her father threatens to send her to live with her mother in Florida that Bella makes an effort to reconnect with the outside world.

Bella and Jacob become friends while they are fixing up some decrepit motorbikes. Bella has discovered that if she behaves in a way that Edward would feel is reckless, that he appears to her. These apparitions, and Jacob’s friendship, help to get Bella back to (almost) normal.

Of course this can’t last, and when Jacob disappears from her life, Bella finds out some complicated truths about him.

In some ways, New Moon is an improvement on Twilight; the overall look of the film is brightened up, the woods seem greener and the sky clearer. The trip to Italy makes for a refreshing change of scenery and the introduction of the Volturi make for an interesting insight into the nature of vampires and their history. However, the film lacks the feeling of discovery and the action of Twilight. The world of the film has been established, and although the werewolves are a new addition to the narrative, Bella (and by extension the audience) are not as surprised by this as we were about the revelation that vampires are real.

Fans of Robert Pattinson are going to be disappointed though. This film is firmly the Jacob show, and there is very little Pattinson on screen. In fact there is a long section of the film in which Edward is not seen at all. Presumably this is why Edward is topless, when he is actually seen on screen.

The friendship that develops between Bella and Jacob is an interesting one. Sometimes it feels as though Bella is leading Jacob on – there are some scenes where she is very close to him and then appears to wonder why he tries to kiss her. The film sets out a real love triangle with Bella at the centre of it, although from her devotion to Edward in the first film it seems pointless to wonder if she and Jacob will ever get together.

A nice touch in the film is the narrative similarities with Romeo and Juliet. Edward is sent into exile and when he believes that Bella is dead, intends to kill himself. To some of the audience members who are not in their teens, this could seem a little over dramatic, but it is in keeping with the events in the book, and isn’t that what made them so popular in the first place?

There are a substantial number of special features on the DVD. Many fans would be happy with just a vanilla disc of the film, but it is the less hardcore fans that need to be drawn into buying the DVD. There are some interesting little features like the Edward and Jacob fast forward features that allow you to watch the best bits from both boys without having to skip through the movie. Edward’s Romeo speech! Jacob, topless, jumping in through Bella’s window! Swoon! There are also loads of cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes footage and making of clips as well as a featurette about the music of the film, and the craziness of the Twilight fans.

The movie is slightly too slow and overlong, and definitely lacks the action and pace of Twilight, so it gets a 2.5 out of 5. The special features are filled with the kind of interviews and sneak peeks that fans will love. The fast forward features are a nice touch for the fans of the leading men so the extras get a solid 4 out of 5

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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One comment

  1. We agree. The pacing was slow and the action lacking when compared to Twilight. It is good to see common sense out here in these interwebs.

    The expectations left by the first movie were not realized in New Moon. While we wanted to like it, there was not enough of anything there. 60 minutes of entertainment crammed into 2 hours and 10 minutes.

    Here is our take with lots of pics and a little wit if you are interested:

    http://fortresstakes.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/twilight-saga-new-moon-2009/

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