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  Publicity Stills of
"The Twilight Saga: New Moon"
(Courtesy of Shaw)

Genre: Fantasy/Romance/Thriller
Director: Chris Weitz
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Kellan Lutz, Edi Gathegi, Chaske Spencer
RunTime: 2 hrs 10 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Official Website:

Soundtrack: Review of the official "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" Movie Soundtrack

Opening Day: 3 December 2009


The second installment of Stephenie Meyers phenomenally successful TWILIGHT series, the romance between mortafeefl and vampire soars to a new level as BELLA SWAN (Kristen Stewart) delves deeper into the mysteries of the supernatural world she yearns to become part of only to find herself in greater peril than ever before.

Following Bella's ill-fated 18th birthday party, EDWARD CULLEN (Robert Pattinson) and his family abandon the town of Forks, Washington, in an effort to protect her from the dangers inherent in their world. As the heartbroken Bella sleepwalks through her senior year of high school, numb and alone, she discovers Edwards image comes to her whenever she puts herself in jeopardy. Her desire to be with him at any cost leads her to take greater and greater risks.

With the help of her childhood friend JACOB BLACK (Taylor Lautner), Bella refurbishes an old motorbike to carry her on her adventures. Bellas frozen heart is gradually thawed by her budding relationship with Jacob, a member of the mysterious Quileute tribe, who has a supernatural secret of his own.

When a chance encounter brings Bella face to face with a former nemesis, only the intervention of a pack of supernaturally large wolves saves her from a grisly fate, and the encounter makes it frighteningly clear that Bella is still in grave danger. In a race against the clock, Bella learns the secret of the Quileutes and Edwards true motivation for leaving her. She also faces the prospect of a potentially deadly reunion with her beloved that is a far cry from the one she'd hoped for..

Movie Review:

If "Twilight" was about courtship, then "New Moon" is about the relationship after- and boy does it get complicated. Gone are the days of soaring above the treetops whispering sweet nothings, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan now have to face the reality of their vampire-human relationship.

The opening scene sets the stage for the rest of the movie perfectly. Bella is in a beautiful open field dotted with purple violets when she sees an old woman she thinks is her grandma a distance away. Her hand in Edward, she approaches the old woman, only to realize she is looking at herself- old and wrinkled, while Edward is still young and youthful as ever.

Fans can rest easy- just as how it opens, the movie follows the sequence in the book very closely, faithfully or slavishly, depending on how you look on it. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg knows better than to mess with the immense fanbase that has since made the movie easily one of the biggest, if not the biggest, success stories of the year. (If you haven’t already heard, "New Moon’s" opening day gross ranks as the highest ever and its three-day weekend tally is just shy of "The Dark Knight" and "Spiderman 3".)

So one paper cut and some vampire frenzy later, Edward would come to reason that Bella is better off without him, leaving her all alone with just her sadness, her loneliness and one Jacob Black, a member of a Quileute tribe of werewolves whose age-old enemies happen to be vampires. Bella calls Jacob her best friend, but he who would quickly rip off his shirt to staunch Bella’s bleeding forehead after a freak motorcycle accident naturally develops deeper feelings for Bella.

Thus begins a love triangle among Edward, Bella and Jacob- the raison d’etre of the whole "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" business. Taking over the reins from Catherine Hardwicke, director Chris Weitz finds a creative way of keeping Robert Pattinson (aka Edward) in the movie despite his character’s absence. Here Edward most often appears as a voice of caution to Bella through a waif-like form every time she attempts something reckless.

But Weitz doesn’t possess the same level of raw emotionality that Hardwicke as a filmmaker had- so the romance between Bella and Jacob in "New Moon" hardly comes across as heartfelt or passionate as that between Edward and Bella in "Twilight". Neither does Bella’s intense pining for Edward achieve the kind of resonance one would expect, most certainly to leave the uninitiated quite puzzled over what exactly Bella is so desperately yearning for.

One suspects that Weitz was chosen for his ability to blend special effects with live action (see his earlier "The Golden Compass"), and this he does not disappoint. "New Moon" boasts many more action scenes compared to "Twilight" and each of them are definitely more exciting than that anticlimactic climax at the end of "Twilight". Jacob’s transformation from hunk to werewolf is nothing short of thrilling- so too Jacob’s struggle with one other temperamental werewolf and Edward’s fight with the Volturi, a band of ancient vampires who rule over the kingdom.

Though Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson share the same great chemistry that made "Twilight" such an endearing watch, it is the Volturi stars and new additions to the franchise- Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning- that will truly leave you wanting more. Sheen brings a gleeful menace his role as Aro, the head of the Volturi, while Fanning is delightfully diabolical as Jane, a reminder of the reason why Jacob and his tribe of werewolves are still very much needed. (Certainly, girls will argue that Taylor Lautner and his to-die-for abs is another equally important reason.)

So here’s how likely you will enjoy "New Moon"- if you are a fan of the book, then "New Moon" subservience to its source material will most probably please you. If not, ask yourself how much you’d like to see two hours of romantic longings, unrequited love and sentimental reunions- more than anything, that’s really what "New Moon" is about. Still, compared to the headiness of "Twilight", "New Moon" stays a little too safe and snug to portray the raw and sometimes uncontrollable urges of love, and by that count, falls short of being truly stirring.

Movie Rating:

(This "New Moon" rises with a soft howl)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)

. Twilight (2008)

. The Golden Compass (2007)

. The Invisible DVD (2007)

. Twilight DVD (2008)

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