As a string of mysterious killings grips Seattle, Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob.
After Bella recovers from the vampire attack that almost claimed her life, she looks to celebrate her birthday with Edward and his family. However, a minor accident during the festivities results in Bella's blood being shed, a sight that proves too intense for the Cullens, who decide to leave the town of Forks, Washington for Bella and Edward's sake. Initially heartbroken, Bella finds a form of comfort in reckless living, as well as an even-closer friendship with Jacob Black. Danger in different forms awaits. Written by
Ahh, what a fickle bunch Twilight fans are. I remember the release of the first film last year, and the incredible backlash from fans of the series--can't even remember the number of comments saying "Stick to the book!" Incredible liberties were taken with the plot (or did we all forget the butchering of the much-beloved meadow scene in the first movie?), and too much of Hardwicke's own film-making style was imposed upon a story that was not hers to fiddle with.
Then New Moon comes out. Obviously, the screenwriter and director went to great lengths to painstakingly recreate the second book in film form, undoubtedly due to the response to Twilight. I am hard-pressed to think of any really pivotal plot points that were excluded from this film (and, no, the flights to and from Italy don't qualify as "pivotal"). But suddenly fans come out in droves to complain on the Internet that the dialogue is cheesy? Hello, have you READ the books? Any actor is going to choke on the ridiculous dialogue that Stephenie Meyer came up with (I doubt even Robert De Niro could sell that tripe). Her dialogue only sounds remotely reasonable on the page. At least this movie didn't include such horrendous lines as "I hated you for making me want you so much"). And people saying it's slow? Again, take a look at the book--the vast majority of the story is devoted to Bella moping over the imaginary hole in her chest. It wasn't exactly an action-packed thrill ride.
I for one thought this movie was a vast improvement over the first, primarily because it stayed so true to the book. And Weitz, unlike Hardwicke, wasn't itching to impose his own style on the story by using crazy camera angles and other weird stylistic elements that were nowhere suggested in the pages of Twilight. New Moon was fittingly glossy and stylistically neutral, appealing to a wider range of tastes. It was filmed beautifully and, to my great relief, had a much wider color palette than the first film.
As for the acting--let's face it, Kristen's never going to be an impressive performer until she realizes that scoffing doesn't qualify as "emoting." And Rob just seems flat-out wrong for this role, but I think he did tap into Edward's inner turmoil better than in Twilight. I thought the performances were, overall, a huge improvement over the first film, especially from Taylor, who fits the sunshiney role of Jacob to a T. The Cullens were, yes, sadly underutilized, but making the movie longer just to give them more screen time isn't going to appease complaints about it being boring and slow as it is.
Hopefully this film will get the credit it deserves after the initial tsunami of unreasonable outrage. It's obvious that the filmmakers are trying incredibly hard to please the fans of the book by staying closer to the text. Here's hoping they don't throw up their hands in frustration upon discovering that loyalty to the book is apparently not good enough either.
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