Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Twilight: New Moon Review

It was my birthday yesterday and as a treat for myself I went to the cinema to see New Moon, the second in the Twilight series based on the hugely successful books by Stephenie Meyer. I reviewed Twilight, the first film in the series quite a few months ago. It is hard to escape the phenomenon that surrounds this series. In one way, I like it, as vampires and werewolves are now officially "cool" and a whole new audience is being introduced to the genre. On the other hand, what I dislike about this series is that it ignores the horror of being a vampire or a werewolf for a soppy love story firmly aimed at teenage girls. In no way can these books or films be called horror stories.
THE PLOT. The film opens with Bella Swann celebrating her 18th birthday. She wants a quiet affair at home with her vampire lover, Edward Cullen, but Edward's family of vampires have other ideas and so Bella is invited to a party held in her honour at the Cullen household. Things go badly wrong when Bella suffers a paper cut when opening one of her presents causing Jasper, the least experienced vampire to freak out and attack her. It is a pivotal point in the Bella/Edward relationship as it forces Edward to break up with Bella. He and his family depart, leaving Bella heartbroken. She finds solace and a new love with Jacob Black, a friendly neighbour. Bella sure knows how to pick them. It turns out that Jacob is a werewolf and his clan have a long lasting feud with all vampires. Bella catches glimpses of Edward, but only in times of great stress or danger. This causes her to become more and more rash as she becomes almost addicted to thrill rushes, putting her life in peril. One stunt, where she dives from atop a steep cliff almost ends in her drowning but for a timely rescue from Jacob. Alice Cullen, the vampire who can see the future, had a premonition of Bella dying because of the cliff jumping. She rushes back to find out the truth. Due to a misunderstanding Edward believes that Bella really is dead and decides to end his life by revealing himself to be a vampire in an Italian town ruled by the elite of the vampiric society, the Volturi. Cue Bella and Alice in a race to save him.
THE FILM. The cast of the first film all reprise their roles, with the leads played by Kristen Stewart (Bella), Robert Pattinson (Edward), Taylor Lautner (Jacob) and Ashley Greene (Alice). Michael Sheen plays Aro, the leader of the Volturi, who are the vampiric leaders and enforcers of their laws, of which there is only really one - keep the existance of vampires secret from humanity. Catherine Hardwicke passed the directing duties over to Chris Weitz and he does an admirable job with the material. With a running time of 130 minutes, this was quite a long film but never boring.
THE REVIEW. Whatever I say about this film won't alter the fact that it is going to do outstanding business at the box office. Twilight was a huge succes and this looks like it will be an even bigger hit. So my views amount to little but for what it's worth I liked the film in parts but found it lacking as well.
The good points include the introduction of the werewolves to the saga. They look suitably impressive when in wolf form. These critters are are about the size of a grizzly bear and even more lethal in a fight! Apparently, Jacob is the only werewolf who can transform in mid-leap, a very impressive feat. Alice continues to be my favourite character. I just wish she had more screen time. The Volturi were also a welcome addition and you do not want to mess with them, which probably explained why Edward wanted to fulfil his death wish on their home territory. The scenes with the Volturi at the end of the film gave a palpable taste of their true power.
The bad points are that not much really happens. When I saw Twilight for the first time, I hadn't read any of the books so I didn't know what to expect from the film. Now though, I've read the complete saga and in my opinion, New Moon is the weakest out of the four books. As a consequence, I did not have high hopes for the film. Bella and Edward continue to be annoying adolescents. Edward may be over 100 years but my God, he still acts like a pouty teenager. At times I just wanted to bash the pair of them together to knock some sense into their brains. The film sags after Edward departs but picks up when the werewolf clan take out Laurent, one of the three vampire rogues from the first film. This is the first time that Bella sees a werewolf pack but she runs away before witnessing Laurent's demise.
I'll certainly buy the DVD when it comes out and I'll go see the next installment, Eclipse when it is released next year. I rate New Moon 6 out of 10.

Team Edward
Team Jacob


  1. Happy B-day Vamp!
    I had a great day today with our first game of ATZ. I did a mini Batrep and posted it to my blog. Thanks for being partially responsible for my intro to this great game and genre.
    Even my wife played today and she had a blast and I think I hooked her. The kids were nuts about it and I don't even have very much stuff yet. Here's the link if you want to check it out.

  2. Thanks, Veloci. I've just had a look at your battle report on your blog and I recommend any other zombie fans to check it out. I've only ever played ATZ solo. However, as you've shown, it works just as well with a group of gamers. Best of all, you all had fun. In my opinion, having fun is way more important than winning. Sure, it's nice to win but to find a game that everyone enjoys playing really is the icing on the cake. I'm so glad that your first ATZ experience was such a positive one. Your scenery looks very nice indeed - you can't go wrong with WWG! You'll know how I feel about Cold War's range of zombies from my recent reviews. They are an excellent choice for anyone's first steps into the genre. I hope you post more ATZ battle reports. I always like to see how other people play out their own zombie apocalypse.

  3. You are dead on about the game everyone enjoys. We are fanatical gamers and the kids always have friends over gaming but it is rare indeed when you find a game that Mom and all of the girls will play. My smallest daughter is a Warrior Heroes nut, and she likes ATZ but she doesn't really care to play anything else. The boys will play anything but they all seem to really like sci-fi and horror best. Which reminds me, ATH is out; I think and I better have a look!

  4. ATH has only just been released. I've ordered the paper version and I'll post a review of it on my blog once I receive it and read it. It normally takes about two weeks for parcels to arrive from America so all I can say is, watch this space!
    You are so lucky to have found a game that your whole family enjoys. That must be a great feeling. Man, I envy you!

  5. Sometimes the kids can drive you nuts but overall it is really great. What really makes me feel good is to see the garage full of kids gaming, talking, laughing, and fighting instead of sitting in front of a video game.
    We definitely have some Werewolf and Vampire fans here so ATH should be a great addition to the works.