Twilight Saga: New Moon, The (Blu-ray Review)12 Mar, 2010 By: John Latchem
Box Office $296.3 million
$32.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some violence and action.
Stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Anna Kendrick, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz.
Visually more interesting, and imbued with a better sense of humor, New Moon shows a bit more signs of life than its predecessor.
Non-believers still will likely find the slow-moving proceedings barely more tolerable than a CW soap opera. This is, after all, a supernatural version of Romeo and Juliet that isn’t as actiony as the “Underworld” films.
Kristen Stewart’s Bella spends the movie pouting over emo vampire loverboy Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), who leaves to avoid the pressure of turning her into a vampire rather than watching her grow old and die. As Edward deals with the leadership of the vampire political structure, his absence opens the door for the shape-shifting Jacob (Taylor Lautner) to comfort Bella, backed by his army of shirtless wolfboys.
Movies based on cult-status novels don’t need to be perfect to cause a stir, they just need to be close enough to cause a recognition high. And the “Twilight” films seem to fit the bill.
The movie has some trouble generating its own emotional context. If characters die, I suspect it’s more impactful to those who read the books, where the audience can develop an intimate relationship to the characters. It’s by no means as distracting as the “books-on-film” feeling of the early “Harry Potter” movies, but something is missing. Maybe it’s a set of actors chosen for their looks rather than their skills (a lesson George Lucas should have learned).
As a vampire mythology, “Twilight” hardly lives up to the legacy of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (“True Blood” is much more fitting as a spiritual successor to Joss Whedon’s classic franchise.)
But, given the subject matter and rabid fan base of hearts-a-flutter females, it’s really no surprise the “Twilight” saga has been such a mega-success. (This is, after all, the same demographic that lofted Titanic to a 12-year reign atop the box office charts.)
A few decent extras come with the disc. First is an interesting commentary in which director Chris Weitz and editor Peter Lambert discuss the technical aspects of the movie. Weitz often interrupts the flow of his discussion to explain filmmaking jargon that any average movie fan would be familiar with, but is bound to be fresh information to the teenage girl demographic tuning in. Still, fans will be disappointed that the stars didn’t participate.
There’s also an hour-long, six-part making-of documentary that is pretty standard for a visual-effects-heavy blockbuster but still offers some good insights. Four music videos of songs from the soundtrack round out the extras.
The most frustrating thing about the disc is what’s not on it because several retailers will have their own exclusive editions of the movie. The Wal-Mart exclusive has a preview of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, but fans may want to pick up the Target version that has deleted scenes, additional featurettes and a collectible film cel.
Fans also can pick up Summit’s companion piece Twilight in Forks (DVD $19.99), an interesting documentary about the real town in Washington state that serves as the setting for the “Twilight” stories (though the movies are filmed elsewhere). It also touches on the insane fandom that surrounds the franchise.