The New Moon Theater Experience!
Wow, what an experience it is too. So, book your tickets, drive to the theater, rush in about two minutes after the previews have started, sit waaaay up in the front, --but check the seat for gum, spit, and anything that resembles chocolate first, because you're wearing your favorite pair of jeans, --and oh oh, be quiet! The chattery kids behind you are squealing when Robert Pattinson shows up in the previews for another movie. The previews I sat through were; When In Rome (8.2), The Lovely Bones (9.4!) based on the book by Alice Sebold if you're like me and you need to know NOW, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (7.5 --points off the ridiculously long title), Sherlock Holmes (9.5 --I love me some Robert Downey Jr. even if he is a felon), and Remember Me, which is the Robert Pattinson film mentioned above. Doesn't look that great at all.
Okay now it's time for the movie to start, the theater is dark, and I know I'm really going to have trouble taking notes because I can barely see the pen, let alone my trusty black hardcover Royale notebook. So the film starts, and wow, Bella is a bit more risqué, --I mean, she's not quite as mousey, it looks like someone on the production/director team said, "All right, we've got the green light to make her -sort of- hot this time! But don't go overboard!" And if you think Bella is looking a little more sexy, than good god almighty, Jacob is completely, and totally, effing gorgeous. The werewolf boy is just ... oh my. Don't bring anyone with a Pacemaker to the film, they'll be dropping like flies across the country. And his hair! Anyway, I know, we're supposed to think of the vampires.
Remember how, in the first film, Jasper looked completely insane? Well, he still looks completely insane. Like utterly rigid, and goofy. The sad thing is, the guy playing Jasper is too cute to be such a spaz. Then during the scene where Bella get a paper-cut, he sort of breaks out of his zombie-like pose for a moment to go after Bella, who ends up with a lot more than a paper-cut, because she gets flung across the room. She's rescued by Carlisle, the pretty daddy-figure in the film, and later, he stitches her. I think something went a bit weird with the directing of this particular scene, because it ends up looking a lot more romantic than it should. Carlisle is stitching up Bella's arm, she has an arm on his waist, and it's like... "so are they going to kiss?" The angles were all wrong here, and seeing them together that way struck a weird note for me.
Also, I noticed right away that they cosmetic contacts seemed a bit too over-the-top this time, --the eyes were a shade too orange, and though they were definitely striking, and pretty, it came off as screamingly obvious and abnormal. Another random note I've got in my book says "$20 says they bring back the 80's blazer thing." I think the way the Cullens are represented in perpetual formal wear might also be another too obvious, too over-the-top move. These people are supposed to be blending. How about the occasional pair of jeans, or t-shirt?
When Edward leaves, it's all very sad, and Bella is miserable, and though I didn't have a problem with this in books, the whole "why did no one take Bella in for a Prozac prescription?" question jumped out at me during the confrontation between Bella and her father, over her depression. It didn't seem as believable in the film, as it did in the novel, that no one would have hauled her ass to the local county mental health center, and gotten her some treatment. Part of the problem was that Billy Burke, in the role of Charlie Swan, Bella's father, really delivers in his acting: he does the concerned father thing incredibly. So while the acting is phenomenal, he's also making it hard for us to believe that a character this sincere wouldn't get his daughter some help, thus throwing off a lot of the tangibility of the situation, and making it just a bit more unbelievable.
Michael Welch has no business in this film, --sorry sweety, you're cute, you're great, but you're playing the role of Mike Newton into the ground, and turning him into a completely irredeemable pussy. There, I said it. The kid playing Mike Newton is a total pansy, and we need to replace him, because it is, once again, dragging down the Believable Factor of the film. The first fight scene, between Jacob and his friend, --a wise-ass werewolf who got slapped by Bella (cannot remember his name), --as werewolves was amazing, but brief. A lot of the scenes with werewolves were brief, but the werewolf action in the next film will probably make up for it, since this is only their introduction really. One of the werewolf scenes that had real length to it, was a chase through the forest. The pack chases Victoria, the freckled, red hair vampire bent on destroying Bella as revenge for Edward destroying her mate, James, in the previous volume.
It's amazing to me because the scene is showing the vampire running, the wolves chasing, in slow motion, and gradually increases the speed to show how fast this is all taking place. Victoria seems an unlikely villain in this film; they've choreographed her running scene into a symphony that sets off just how remarkably beautiful Victoria is, thanks to actress Rachelle Lefevre, she also looks innocent, --hence the "unlikely" bit. Shortly after this scene is Bella's dramatic near-drowning experience, --the blue lip paint on her mouth is clumping, adding to the list of theatrical faux pas scene in the film, thus detracting a bit of the poignancy in Kristin Stewart's close up shot with Taylor Lautner. I'll happily accept a longer production time in the next film if they'll just slow down and pay more attention to details.
The Volturi were absolutely fantastic, if a bit over-dramatic. The three seem to represent different stages of age and mental illness; Jamie Campbell Bower is Caius, the gorgeous young "let's just kill everyone!" psychopath, Christopher Heyerdahl is Marcus, who seems as though he's boredly experiencing the early, whimsical stages of Alzheimer's, and of course, the pinnacle of mental instability is Aro, played by Michael Sheen. Aro is expertly portrayed by the actor as a cold, calculating monster obsessed with power, with a twisted sense of fun. I was a little disappointed to see Dakota Fanning as Jane, --isn't she getting a little too old to be a child actor these days? Besides, the role didn't call for all that somber monotone, somber stuff. Too bad; Kirsten Dunst could have done it in her Claudia days, --now there's a child vampire that could have been a perfect Jane. I bet Dunst knows it too, and if Fanning doesn't, she should.
All in all, the film was pretty good; the extra action was definitely a big improvement on the sedate, shambling predecessor in my opinion. If the first film in the Twilight saga didn't do it for you, then try New Moon. There's a lot more going on, and it's not as boring, or hard to sit through. I got the feeling that more time was spent on this film as well, that there was time taken in perfecting everything before just throwing it out there.