After one year, I have ventured again to the big screen and watched my first ever premiere. I am not a big fan of the movie theatre, preferring DVDs over big screen movies anytime, but there was just something in me that compelled myself to go to SM Cinema and watched the premiere of New Moon. So I hurried up finishing my articles for the day and rushed to the cinema to catch the last full show.
And this is my objective take on the movie – by objective, I hope to point out the good points as well as the bad.
When I watched Twilight, I got goosebumps when the Summit logo came up and the initial scenes started. I guess it was an after effect of my temporary fanaticism over the book. When the Summit logo, came up for New Moon, I was just really focusing on the effects and was already feeling kind of objective to the film. So unlike my Twilight experience. (Short background: the movie I last watched on the big screen was Twilight.)
The effect for the movie title was cool. They showed a full moon slowly phasing to become a new moon and eventually revealing the film’s title. I find the full moon rather symbolic. In the film, the werewolves were introduced. Although in the Twilight saga, the wolves transform at will or when provoked, in normal legend, werewolves transform when there is a full moon.
The movie opens with Bella’s dream. In it, you see her running towards something. Gosh. She looks so haggard and stressed out. I thought movies were supposed to make stars look pretty most of the time but it was the complete opposite. She looked stressed and unpretty. But I liked how they portrayed her dream.
For those who have no idea about the New Moon storyline, it simply tells of how Edward broke up with Bella because he realized the danger he is putting her into by exposing her to vampires without wanting to turn her into one. Bella then goes on to mope his absence, realizing that only by exposing herself to reckless situations is she able to see some vision of Edward. She then bonds with Jacob, who she sees as a bestfriend but who later on professes love for her. As it turns out, Jacob is one of the werewolves, commisioned to protect the Quilette land from vampires. Wolves and vampires are mortal enemies. When Bella jumps off the cliff, Edward thought she had died and decided to kill himself by provoking the Volturi, the sort of police of the vampire world. But Bella didn’t really die since Jacob saved her. Unfortunately, Alice can’t see Jacob in her visions so Edward believed the worst. Bella then set out to prevent Edward from getting killed by the Volturi. In the end, the Volturi mandated that either Bella should be killed or be turned into a vampire because she knows all their secrets. Of course Bella loved the decision but Edward and Jacob didn’t.
That is really a very short and candid way of putting the plot together. I apologize for all the details I left out but to me, New Moon is the most boring book in the entire saga. Chapters were devoted to Bella’s moping (the book is narrated by Bella) and it really made me want to stop reading it. But the New Moon director, Chris Weitz and the screenplay writer Melissa Rosenberg did a good job of portraying those moping months without making the viewer gag.
Other plus points of the movie were Taylor Lautner’s acting, not to mention, looks. He really came a long way from the Jacob I knew in Twilight. His short hair is also way sexier than his long one and it is evident he spent a lot of time working out to get his body in shape. His acting is also quite natural and you can really feel the depth of his emotion. I can feel Jacob’s anguish at forever being a bestfriend, never a lover, to the girl he loves. Then again, I still can’t help but feel that there is a missing component. Lautner’s portrayal of Jacob still seems to fall a bit short of the utterly funny Jacob I’ve known from the books. Then again, maybe I ought to reread the entire saga.
The rest of the wolves didn’t capture my attention as much as what the trailers promised. There were a lot of hype about who would play the wolves and how hot they would look. But so little air time was given to them that their characters really weren’t that developed in the film. I think only those who read the books would really recognize the wolves for who they are. But the CGI were really wonderful. It all felt natural – as if such large wolves really existed. The sound effects when the wolves entered were also superb. It did jolt those who were sleeping already. But I think somone mistook the wolves for bears. I heard a small child in the audience said that they were teddy bears. (what was she thinking?) Also, Tyson Houseman has a very, very, very short airtime. I look forward to more acting roles in Eclipse, not just for Tyson but for all of the wolves.
Moving on to the vampires. First the Volturi. Michael Sheen gave a convincing and superb portrayal of Aro but I had imagined him to look a bit older. Though I am inclined to agree with the director’s interpretation anytime. The other two – Cauis (Jamie Campbell Bower from Sweeney Todd fame) and Marcus (Christopher Heyerdahl) did not have much speaking part and regretably just sat through their short screentime. Other Volturi members, especially Heidi (Noot Seear) had underdeveloped characters as well. I just hope that in Breaking Dawn they will be given more attention. Regretably, Eclipse has no mention of the Volturi that would merit airtime.
The Cullens also changed to some extent. Peter Facinelli gave more credit to his role of Carlisle by looking more incredibly handsome, not to mention more human. I still think Rachelle Lefevre who plays Victoria would suit the role of Rosalie Hale played by Nikki Reed simply because she is more pretty. Though I have no complaints with her portrayal of Victoria, she was simply the perfect villain. She had no speaking lines yet her facial expression showed how dangerous she could get. You get chills whenever she appears close to her prey. Of course, I can say this because I have prior knowledge from the book but I think she really did a great job. Jasper, played by Jackson Rathbone, constantly looks as if he is constipated although he employs that look to signify that he is forever controlling himself from eating Bella (a misnomer if you read the books). Ashley Greene remains perfect as Alice and so does Kellan Lutz as Emmett. Though I think they could have chosen a better Esme played by Elizabeth Reaser. Again, just because I have imagined Esme to look more like a Morticia Adams of sort – homely yet elegant. Reaser, for me, is simply homely trying to be elegant.
Now for the main vampire protagonist – Edward Cullen played by no other than Robert Pattinson. I must say I am gravely disappointed. Because he portrayed Edward in Twilight, and I loved his portrayal, my imagination of Edward is forever Rob Pattinson. But in New Moon, he looked ghastly most of the time. I even joked to my sister how his make-up seemed to have been done by a funeral make-up artist. There are scenes wherein he tries to look cute but achieves the opposite. Then I am gravely disappointed by his body. In the book, Bella described him as an Adonis (if my memory serves me right). She describes Edward as something like a statue. To me that means smooth skin and close to perfect features. How I wish Rob had work out some weights before baring his chest just like that. In the big screen, it was hard to look at. His was not a sculpted body as I had imagined. Lautner had a more sculpted body than he does. But I guess Edward changed a lot as a character from Twilight to New Moon. In Twilight, he was still the lovable, easy-going guy but in New Moon he was in constant turmoil because of Bella. I guess the “un-handsomely” portrayal of Rob was because of that. But I still cannot get over the body. Hmph.
Kristen Stewart as Bella was just, well, average. She is able to portray the Bella I have come to know in the book – pathetic, helpless, utterly stupid at times. Wow. What negative words. I just don’t like New Moon in general. But since Kristen was able to portray the Bella I know, then she gets a thumbs up. Ironic? But I always wonder why she seems to be stammering all the time. It seems that everytime she talks, she can’t say something straight except when angry. The rest of her lines are delivered as if she is always unsure. Even her facial expression. Well, that’s Bella for you.
I also cannot comprehend how everytime Bella and Edward has to kiss, they’re panting. I mean I have watched other kissing scenes, and Bella and Jacob also have near kissing scenes in the movie, but it is only when Edward and Bella kiss that they pant – as if they’re having sex or something. Well I guess that is the portrayal of that intense emotion that they cannot afford to give themselves to – lest Edward hurts Bella with his more than human strength.
The rest of the cast gave outstanding performances. Anna Kendrick was fantastic as Jessica – entirely capturing the Jessica portrayed in the book. Michael Welch was also superb as Mike Newton. He was marvelous all the way through. These two actors, even in Twilight, did a really good job of bringing their characters to life. Billy Burke also rose to the occasion as Charlie Swan. He gave more depth to the character of Charlie and now when I read about Charlie in the book, I will always picture him as it.
Overall, the movie is still a must watch. The soundtrack is still undoubtedly great even if it didn’t have the same impressive list of artists as before. Commendation must also be given to the screenplay writer Melissa Rosenberg for how she was able to turn critical moments of the book to unforgettable screen moments like the time when Bella was passing the months after Edward broke up with her. To me that made New Moon worthwhile to watch. I was really curious how they will portray that part. It is integral to the story as annoying as it may be. Then again, the movie stuck to the book as much as it can and deviated only when strictly necessary. Also, it was wonderful to see that there could be so much action packed in the New Moon movie. I’ve never really considered it an action packed book when compared to Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.
This has been a long review. For more accurate and credible reviews, you can check this links out:
Personally, New Moon is a must watch movie. For fans, nothing would really deter them from watching it. For non-fans, I think you should watch it too and enjoy it for the movie that it is. Though, I think reading the book prior hand would really make you appreciate the movie more.
For the record, I am now Team Jacob. Balimbing I know, since I’ve always supported Edward throughout the book – arguing how utterly considerate he is, understanding, etc. and how he is the ultimate perfect guy. But because of Lautner’s performance, I am willing to give Jacob another chance. 😀