Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Video review: "New Moon"

"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is soft-core romantic fantasy for tweens: An unremarkable girl is pursued by two intense, dreamy guys with super powers and a penchant for doffing their shirts, but who are content with holding hands and smooching.

I vividly remember at the screening for this movie, I was surrounded by hundreds of teen girls and their middle-aged mothers cooing appreciatively whenever 17-year-old Taylor Lautner's frequently shirtless, chiseled torso appeared onscreen. I kept wanting to ask the moms how they'd feel if I started slobbering over their semi-nude, underage daughters.


In a sequel to the hit vampire romance, high school senior Bella (Kristen Stewart) is abandoned by her blood-sucking boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson), who departs with his family from the tiny, cloistered town of Forks out of fear they'll be discovered. Local boy Jacob Black (Lautner) fills in the amore gap, despite dealing with the mother of all adolescent transformations -- in his case, into a huge, snarling wolf.

"New Moon" is actually a bit of an improvement over the first "Twilight," but it's still often draggy and much too long.

New director Chris Weitz (taking over for Catherine Hardwicke) has a better flair for the action scenes, which are more frequent, too. At least the fighting scenes have a little bite to them -- that's certainly more than you can say for these glum, dull teen protagonists.

To build the video release into an "event," "New Moon" is debuting this Saturday (March 20) instead of the usual Tuesday.

Video extras are the same for both Blu-ray and DVD versions.

Weitz and editor Peter Lambert team up for a feature-length commentary track. A making-of documentary is split into six parts, each concentrating on a different aspect of the filmmaking process.

There is also music videos from soundtrack bands Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, Mute Math and Anya Marina.

Movie: 2 stars
Extras: 3 stars

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