(Courtesy of Summit Entertainment)
Sure, it was still ridiculously campy, but so were the horror movies of the '80s we all loved, weren't they? I mean really, how many times can you bring a killer back from the grave and make it somewhat believable? Not too many.
The thing with 'New Moon' that really hooked me from the first trailer was the fact that it looked all grown up. It didn't seem so much of a harlequin romance movie as the first one was and it looked like it would have just enough action to pull in a male audience. It worked on both accounts.
For those one or two of you who didn't see the film, it is the continuing saga of Bella (Kristen Stewart), Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner), a trio of misfits that can't seem to get the whole lovey dovey thing right. Jacob loves Bella, Bella loves Edward and Edward obviously loves his hair -- and Bella. It's as twisted as any modern day soap opera.
In "New Moon", Edward leaves his love Bella to give her a chance at a normal life. As she falls deeper into depression, her relationship with friend Jacob begins to heat up. And you guess it; he has a little hairy secret that pulls him away from Bella and leaves her vulnerable to an approaching evil that wants her dead.
During the course of events, Edward comes to believe that Bella had died, and decides he can't go on without her, makes his way to Italy and the famed Volturi in an attempt to end his immortal life.
The best part of the film is the tension at the end between the two male leads over Bella. It doesn't have a lot of them, but this is one of the few true moments of the film.
Again I go back to my original review and note the fact the film benefits from the separation of its lead actors. You get enough of the syrupy sweet dialogue early in the movie, so being able to go the majority of the film without it was wonderful.
I'm slowly beginning to come around to Pattinson. While I think he still fell short of what he could do with the character, it might just be what the character is. You have to play the cards you're dealt.
Lautner is still the one I think makes the film work for me. I like his easy-going demeanor and his ability to breeze through a scene. The fact that he barely wears a shirt in the movie is a little disconcerting, but hey, I guess if you've got it, flaunt it.
The DVD has a nice one-hour, six-part behind the scenes series that explores some nice elements that made up the film. You get to see a cast that's having a blast, a director who's at ease and learn that on the day they filmed Bella's birthday at school, it was actually Stewart's birthday as well. Nothing major, but some nice behind the scenes moments.
I would have liked to have seen more extra goodies such as deleted or alternate scenes, but the behind the scenes featurettes and audio commentary will have to suffice until the next deluxe version of the DVD hits shelves.
Final Cut: "New Moon" is by far a better movie that its predecessor. Its trio of lead actors anchors a movie that blends nice action, a good story and some pretty decent special effects.
Movie: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Director: Chris Weitz
Writer: Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay), Stephenie Meyer (novel)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some violence and action