Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon review

by Shauna Leigh Kemp

The Twilight Saga continues onscreen with New Moon as it opened on November 20, 2009.  The original essence of Twilight is for the most part replaced by the new nature of New Moon.  Each book in the four book series has a different theme creating a specific mood as set by Stephenie Meyer.  The movie, New Moon, is no different, in its new spin on the original Twilight.  Each scene is done beautifully with a new color pallet.  The original Twilight movie, based on Stephenie Meyer’s first book, had an enticing and surreal feel to the vampire world with green and blue overtones throughout the film.  Those tones set the scene perfectly for the love story that happens when Bella Swan meets vampire Edward Cullen and they are both instantly drawn to each other.  The love story continues in New Moon, the second book and movie in the Twilight Saga.  New Moon has a warmer and gentler feel to it as the werewolves are introduced and Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, finds out her friend Jacob is one of them.  The werewolf colors and scenes become warmer shades of brown, orange and yellow, an obvious contrast from the original Twilight.  The original tones are only added intermittently throughout the New Moon movie.  The change in color schemes adds a new theme element onscreen that fits perfectly with the progression of the storyline in New Moon.  Along with a new look comes new music.  The edgier romantic sound in Twilight is contrasted in New Moon with a softer and warmer musical soundtrack and score yet with an underlying twisty darkness set throughout the saga.

Most know by now from all the trailers and promotion of the movie that Edward leaves Bella just a few scenes into the movie.  When Edward leaves Bella he takes a part of her with him and those original tones and feel of the original movie with him.  Bella turns to Jacob Black, her easy going, cheerful friend.  Jake helps to calm Bella’s otherwise despair over Edward and inadvertently aids Bella in becoming more reckless and a hint of the original colors of the vampire world in Forks seeps back into the film as Bella tries to keep memories of Edward alive. 

New Moon shows a warmer side with Jacob onscreen who is a new werewolf and falls for Bella.  She turns to him when Edward leaves in the beginning of the film after her dad Charlie, played by Billy Burke, threatens to send her back to her mother in Jacksonville.  Bella was so distraught by Edward leaving that she had nightmares keeping them both up at night.  She stopped most contact with the living world at home and school.  To stay in Forks she decides to mix back in with her school mates and seeks out her friendship with Jacob.  Jacob falls harder for Bella and hopes for more as she continues to assure him of their friendship. 

Those original colors and moods are only shown in New Moon as she remembers Edward and the vampire world he has taken with him and left her alone.  Jacob and his new werewolf pack add a new element to Bella’s story.  When the vampire coven is gone the werewolf pack becomes known by Bella and the yellow brown shades are significantly more dominant.  As Bella and Jake continue to grow closer he makes his feelings known and she admits she selfishly wants him, but not for the same reasons, and that she was unfixable. 

New Moon allows Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner, to really break through as a major character in the saga.  Jacob is more lighthearted, jovial and adventurous compared to Edward’s conservative yet sultry demeanor and protection over Bella.  However, there is also a strength and confidence in Jacob that was not seen in Twilight. Jacob fans will be pleased with the amount of onscreen time that Jacob has including his 30lb growth in muscle alone since Twilight.  Jimmy Fallon jokes with both Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, on his show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, about an entire scene of Jacob’s abs.  Taylor has also been quoted that he not only bulked up, but really studied the books and the emotions that Jacob was dealing with in New Moon.  He is definitely a star!

The movie beautifully portrays the essence of Jacob, the werewolves and how Bella fits in with them even though they call her the vampire girl.  They also do a great job of showing the relationship between Bella and Jacob and the adventurous side of Jacob and Bella’s haphazard recreational activities she takes on to see and hear Edward.  These live and faded visions of Edward warn her to stop her reckless behavior which ultimately takes her to dangerous limits and consequences for both Bella and Edward, and in the end Jacob too.  Leading them to new heights and dangers shown in vivid scenes of a ruling clan of vampires called the Volturi in Volterra, Italy, in the latter part of the movie.  The Volturi cast alone will draw in many new viewers with popular stars such as Dakota Fanning as Jane, Cameron Bright  as Alec,  Charlie Bewley as Demetri, Jamie Campbell Bower as Caius, Daniel Cudmore as Felix, and Christopher Heyerdahl as Marcus.

Fans of Edward, played by Robert Pattinson, will also be pleased by the amount of onscreen time he has considering he is gone for the better part of the story in New Moon.  The movie does a great job of showing viewers, who maybe haven’t read the books, scenes portraying why she is acting so uncharacteristic recklessness. 

While the movies are just glimpses into the saga, New Moon portrays closely the details of the book that are essential to the story and add a warm vision that Twilight did not.  The essence of Twilight is explained best in the first book and movie it will always have its own novelty and standard that cannot be reproduced.  However, New Moon sheds a new light that is of equal importance and enjoyment to the second book and movie of the series.  Chris Weitz creates a standalone movie in the series that fans and new viewers alike can appreciate.  While Twilight was created mostly for Saga fans, New Moon is an adventurous continuation and adaptation of that love story that is visually stimulating in color, sound and cast that is inviting for everyone, Twi-lovers or not.  There is also enough substance that remains true to the story line for hard core twilight fans.  New Moon is well worth the wait in line!


Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy] said...

I loved it too. I really hope the director for Eclipse does as good a job.

Anna Dougherty said...

I've been waiting for my 11 year old niece's comments on this movie. My kids are too little for it but my niece is a total Twi-hard. I'm interested in what the younger generation of fans have to say.

Shauna said...

Yes, I'm interested in opinions from all ages. I'm kind of in-between; not a teen, but not a twi-mom either. :) I think the books, and movies, mean different things to different groups and ages of people. What still baffles me is the strong anti-Twilight resistance when many of them haven't read the books or seen the movies. I guess it is the old "don't judge a book by its cover" that is upsetting. Vampires rule!!! :)