Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Moon***

Starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning.

Rated PG-13

Directed by Chris Weitz

Screenplay written by Melissa Rosenberg (based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer)

* * *

Bravo to the film crew of New Moon for once again sticking very close to the storyline of Stephenie Meyer's novel New Moon, the second installment in the Twilight series.

Despite having fewer lines than in the first film, Robert Pattinson still pulls ahead of the pack as the premiere acting talent. There is a sort of beautiful, old-school aura that surrounds him. He has palpable talent and fits seamlessly into his role as Edward Cullen.

Kristen Stewart earns some kudos for a slight development in her acting skills since the first film, although she still comes aross as stiff and unfeeling while running most of her lines. Even though Bella Swan is meant to be emotionless and empty, there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of depth to Stewart as an actor at any point in the film. Somehow though it works, since arguably, there isn't a whole lot of depth to the character Bella anyway. It would be a challenge for any actor to wail away laboriously, portraying the misery Bella experiences in the film. Stewart's moans and screams are akin to fingernails scratching across a blackboard: unnecessary, strained, and uncomfortable. Billy Burke,who plays Charlie Swan, Bella's dad, provides the only real comic relief in the film.

Taylor Lautner is the brightest star of New Moon (or maybe it's just his rock-hard abs!) His sweet, unassuming character and honest, straight-forward acting are incredibly endearing. Lautner had to fight to keep his role as Jacob Black in New Moon, packing on 30 pounds of pure muscle. He flawlessly steps up to the plate and slams the ball out of the park. Twilight fans won't be disappointed in his portrayal of Jacob Black. He is equal competition for vampire Edward Cullen, brown and warm to Edward's pale and cold.

The CGI wolves in the film are impressibly life-like and the Volturi are delightfully terrifying with the help of Michael Sheen as the cunning Aro and Dakota Fanning as tiny but deadly Jane. The cast and crew came together with great respect for Meyer's storyline and work to make the best adaption of the book they can. It's a movie that is pleasing to the eye, the mind and the heart all together. The wrath and all-consuming power of the Twilight series is only just beginning.

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