Saturday, 21 November 2009

Film Review: The Twilight Saga - New Moon

First of all, the film was brilliant! However I strongly feel that the film would come across extremely different depending on whether you have read the Twilight Saga or not... and I believe that those who have read the Saga would have a much better viewing. In my review for Twilight, I was frustrated at the amount of important scenes in the book, that was left out in the film... but with New Moon, I didn't notice this. This might be because the books are not as fresh in my head as they were when I watched Twilight last year, but I truly believe that New Moon had done a good job with following the book.

The story for New Moon starts with Bella cutting her finger while opening her birthday present while at the Cullen's which provokes Jackson to kill her. Edward, being the mind reader, obviously knows what is about to happen and saves Bella in time. Nevertheless, Edward feels that Bella will always be in danger if she is with him, so him and his family leave Forks. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were extremely good with this scene, it was very much as I had pictured it and I'm sure I could hear the odd sniffle from some audience members. Bella then becomes depressed and reckless, when she realises that she can see and hear Edward whenever she is in danger, so she embarks on riding motorbikes and cliff jumping! There are many revelations throughout the film which gives the viewer enough reason to follow the rest of the Saga.
One scene that I found quite memorable is when Bella goes to the cinema with Mike and Jacob. Both vying for her affections and wanting to hold her hand... to which she entertainingly ignores! I found Mike (Bella's high school friend) very irritating in Twilight although I think he's supposed to be anyway. In New Moon, his character started to grow on me and I started to feel that the interpretation of Mike from the book was well done.

Another important part of the second book was that it was more about Bella and Jacob, rather than Bella and Edward, who is only prominent in the beginning and end of the book... and due to high female adoration of the character based on the first film, I was worried that the second film might force the presence of Edward for public appeal... but it did not!

Kristen Stewart still had that awkwardness which I had always found endearing and suited the character of Bella very well... Overall, I felt that everyone was actually very consistent with their acting. Despite the higher budget for New Moon, I could still see Kristen Stewart's contacts! I know it is such a small detail, but surely there is good enough technology around to eliminate this! I also noticed that she was 'prettier'. I'd always found her beautiful, but she was even more so in this second installment.In fact, everyone just generally looked better, and so much more in tune with the story. When comparing the promotional photo for the Cullen Family for Twilight (which was truly terribly), to the one for New Moon, the difference is striking. While on the subject of looks, Jacob Black's hair was supposed to be 'crooked', as he cuts it himself... but after it was cut short (when he realises he is a werewolf), it looked more like the work of a professional hairdresser!... obviously this was to appeal to the female fans which was slightly annoying! I just hope that the next couple of films will be a bit more gritty! There is also a scene where Bella falls off her motorbike and cuts her head... Jacob Black then (unnecessarily) takes off his shirt to dab the wound, which stirred up a lot of noise from the females in the audience!... What happened to just ripping a bit of fabric from the sleeve? Anyway, I can't remember what exactly had happened in the book, so I can't criticise it too much!

The werewolves were represented quite well and the way each person transformed into them was exactly how Stephenie Meyer described it in her book. Although my friend asked me why they were always topless (when human) - because their clothes would rip when they transformed and they would usually tie their trousers to their legs to put on afterwards - but of course she didn't know this, so maybe this should have been addressed in the film. Again, an example of why it would be better to read the Twilight Saga beforehand.

When time is passing in films, they usually black the screen out and have the date shown at the bottom, or they state how much time has passed, i.e. 3 years later etc... so, I was quite impressed at how 'time passing' was done in New Moon when Edward leaves Bella and she sinks into a depression. It simply showed Bella looking through her bedroom window, and the camera going around her...each time it reached the back of her head which enabled the viewer to also see out the window, it would show the month, which was visual in both text and season... I really liked this!!During the run up of New Moon, I didn't really pay attention to new cast, so when I saw Michael Sheen on a promotional poster for New Moon on a bus, I knew he would play his part well! Michael Sheen's presence in New Moon suddenly gave the film panache and the authenticity that other cult, vampire films sometimes lack. However, I am probably being completely biased as he was in one of my most favourite vampire films, Underworld. Casting Michael Sheen as Aro in New Moon has to be one of the best decisions for that film!!! Nevertheless, I hated the casting of the other Volturi members who looked like boys from High School Musical with red contacts... they didn't speak or do much, so I can worry about them in the next film.The casting of Dakota Fanning as Jane was surprisingly good! She was better than I thought as I had always found her characters annoying and could not imagine her as a devious vampire...but she did a good job.I really disliked the actress who played Victoria in Twilight, and I still did in New Moon. She is nothing like the Victoria I imagine in the book and quite frankly, I can’t wait until she is killed off in Eclipse. She can't act at all, even if she's just standing there not having to say anything! However, on a better note, at least she was actually a redhead this time (like she was always supposed to be) and not a strawberry blonde with brown roots in Twilight.
So just to finish off my extremely long blog entry, New Moon was wonderful and was worth having to queue for a very long time and watching a 22:30 performance because the earlier times were fully booked! I don't remember having so much trouble for Twilight! I am sure the next one, Eclipse, will be even better with a lot more action, which is what the film is slightly lacking. It is just a bit too soppy at the moment! Those who don't know what happens next will definitely be in for a surprise, and I look very forward to how they are going to achieve the look of the next, extremely important character that will be introduced in Eclipse.
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