Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) - Special Edition [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Drama / Fantasy / Horror / Romance
Summit || PG13 - 130 minutes - $34.99 || March 20, 2010
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2010-03-12


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Chris Weitz
Writer(s): Stephenie Meyer (novel); Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning


Theatrical Release Date: November 20, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Documentary
  • Music Videos
  • BD-Live


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

Are we ready for round two? Well, once again, I love Twilight and my passion continues on with New Moon. I've read all the books, listened to the audio versions, and own a 'Team Jacob' shirt (just kidding...). Not only did I see New Moon the weekend it hit theaters, but plan to again with Eclipse. So, there is my bias. I like the books, I like the films, and if you don't, you probably shouldn't even be reading this review.

New Moon opens with Bella (Stewart) turning 18. Finally, she can leave when she wants and not have to worry about her over protecting father (Burke) punishing her. Not only is she still dating everyone's favorite blood sucker Edward (Pattinson), but the entire Cullen clan have warmed up to her (with the exception of Rosalie).

While at a surprise birthday party, Bella cuts her finger, and when the smell of blood hits the air, 'new' to their ways vampire Jasper goes bonkers and rushes at Bella. After a small fight, Bella is thankfully unharmed and taken home.

The next day, Edward shows up and tells Bella that he is leaving and never coming back. He simply can't offer her a real life when she will be in constant danger of harm, and feels it’s best to just leave. As millions of young girls might say, 'Edward, nooooooooooooo...'. After being dumped, Bella goes into a deep depression and stops hanging out with her usual (and very, very annoying) group of friends. She eventually snaps out of it when she figures out that the more danger she gets into, Edward will appear (via Obi Wan Kenobi ghost spirits). This sets her into a tizzy and gets her to buy a few beat up old motorcycles in hopes of getting them fixed so she can see her beloved Edward again. Since she knows very little about anything mechanical, she sets out to recruit her friend Jacob (Lautner), a Quilite who lives on the local Reservation. There, the two bond as they fix up the bikes and soon Jacob falls madly in love with Bella.

Trouble soon erupts when Jacob starts 'changing' and acting weird, which Bella finally discovers that means he's a werewolf. Yes, I said it, a Werewolf. Thanks to Victoria lurking around trying to snatch up our precious Bella, it made all the Quilite boys turn into Werewolf's. So not kidding.

If you've read the book, you know what happens next. I won't ruin it, but it leaves the film on a nice cliff hanger for the debut of Eclipse in only a few short months.

How does New Moon stack up to Twilight? It's better in every single category. The romance has been toned down a bit (thankfully), and gone is the over acting from Stewart and Pattinson. Stewart is not as annoying this time around, but still shows signs of smoking a little reefer before filming a scene. Pattinson is essentially gone for 3/4's of the movie, so the male lead falls on Lautner’s shoulders which he handles with ease. It's easy to see why Hollywood is eating the kid up - he's a damn good actor and committed to the role.

Chris Weitz knows what he's doing here. While Hardwicke brought the Universe to life, Weitz changes things around a bit and makes them appeal to all audiences. The werewolf's look badass, the Vampires move (instead of ice skating), and the action is turned up a notch. Who'd thunk a chick book could be so entertaining? A terrific scene is when the wolves are chasing after Victoria and 'Hearing Damage' by Thom Yorke is playing in the background. It really shows what Weisz can do to make a scene progress. Just like what he did for Jacob and Bella while fixing up the motorcycles. In the book, it took 50 pages, but in the movie, he transformed it into a 2 minute montage. The only laughable part is when we first see Edward and he parts his Volvo in 3 spots and slowly walks to Bella. Talk about pure on cheese.

Alright, so I dug the film. Not only was it better than Twilight, it has me biting my nails for Eclipse. If you didn't care for Twilight, give New Moon a shot. If you don't care to see either, it's probably because you are wearing C3PO pajamas.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The normal retail release includes a slip cover. Please keep in mind nearly every retail store has some sort of exclusive so the normal release is fairly barebones. It also says 'Disc 1' on the disc, because so many 'other' sets have multiple discs.

Audio Commentary with Director Chris Weitz and Editor Peter Lamber

The Journey Continues: A 6-part making-of documentary (1 Hour and 6 Minutes; HD):

+ Life after Twilight – How the cast feels being back on the set to film New Moon and how they are a 'family'
+ Chris Weitz Takes the Helm – "Chris is [insert a nice word for him]." Yeah, it's expected. It’s a discussion on how he dresses, his hair, and how the cast generally feels about him being the new Director.
+ The Subtle Details – Very interesting look into costume choices for the characters as well as scouting out locations to make it seem real to the book.
+ Time to Shine – Behind the scenes footage for several scenes.
+ Tricks of the trade – Even more behind the scenes footage which showcases some of the more elaborate stunts/CGI implored in the film.
+ Ready for the World – Some more behind the scenes/rehearsal/CGI talk, this time dealing more with the wolves.

Music Videos
- Death Cab for Cutie: Meet me on the Equinox - Anya Marina: Satellite Heart - Muse: I Belong to You behind the scenes rehearsal footage - Mutemath: Spotlight

Last is a BD-Live portal.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

New Moon is presented in 2.40:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. Phew. Any issues one might have had with Twilight are not gone. Makeup is improved (no doubt thanks to the success of Twilight and a much bigger budget), and the affects are like night and day. While this is not a HighDef masterpiece, fans will enjoy the presentation which still holds a very cold look to the colors.

Summit has included an English 5.1 DTS MA track. Yet another improvement brought on no doubt by the bigger budget, the 5.1 score actually feels really nice this time around. Dialog is front and center and rears are used throughout the film. The score is far more haunting and everything just sounds so much better. Good job, Summit! Subtitles in English SDH and Spanish.



.::OVERALL::.

New Moon is a better film than Twilight in every single way and the Blu-ray shows Summit knows what they're doing. The only downfall is the lack of extras, mainly to appease retailers who want to earn business by offering up store exclusives.