New on DVD: New Moon

New on DVD: New Moon

New Moon is the second of four movies based on Stephanie Meyer’s vampire series, but it boils the teenage angst to a crude effect and few key moments. After Bella (Kristen Stewart) recovers from the vampire attack that nearly claimed her life, she looks to celebrate her birthday with Edward (Robert Pattinson) and his family. […]

New Moon is the second of four movies based on Stephanie Meyer’s vampire series, but it boils the teenage angst to a crude effect and few key moments.

After Bella (Kristen Stewart) recovers from the vampire attack that nearly claimed her life, she looks to celebrate her birthday with Edward (Robert Pattinson) and his family. However, a minor accident during the festivities results in Edward taking drastic measures to ensure Bella’s safety. The Cullens decide to leave Forks, Washington for both Bella and Edward’s sake. Initially heartbroken, Bella finds a form of comfort in reckless living, as well as an even closer friendship with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).

It’s always difficult to adapt books that are more than a couple hundred pages and in this case there was a lot of material to cover. Moreover, much of the narrative is propelled by Bella’s emotions, which is inadequately portrayed on screen. Even if one hadn’t read the book, the story feels glossed over with significant transitions and character development points having been overlooked.

This film brings the Edward vs. Jacob battle to the forefront as their instinctual dislike for each other is rises to the surface and the only thing preventing a throw down is their mutual love for Bella. Nonetheless, some very intense scenes appear almost dull, such as a near death and Bella’s introduction to the Italian vampires.

Carrying the same cast forward from Twilight means little change as far as representation. However, with the Cullen clan’s early exit, the film relies strongly on Stewart and Lautner and they adequately rise to the occasion. The biggest improvement in this episode is Lautner’s physical transformation to fulfill the growing werewolf role.

Special features include: commentary with director Chris Weitz and editor Peter Lambert; a six-part documentary that takes viewers behind the scenes; exclusive band rehearsal footage with Muse; and music videos from Death Cab for Cutie, Anya Marina and Mutemath.