Posts Tagged ‘Kellan Lutz’

A scene from ImmortalsGreek mythology, and the television shows and movies it’s spawned, are filled with tales of clashes amongst the gods and gods walking the Earth, sometimes in disguise, and interacting with mortals. Immortals is a combination of these stories in the captivating style of the gladiator picture 300. (more…)

This week’s releases include: a modern-day gladiator; an old school horror movie; a family torn apart; a cheery musical; a revenge fantasy come true; a set of tragic stories; a period drama; a comedic hunt for evil; an existential look at life; a sinister abuse of the Internet; and a talking animals picture. (more…)

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.


It is nearly impossible for a movie based on a book with such a loyal (and sometimes obsessed) following to live up to expectations, unless they’re kept low. If you wisely did this, then the film fairs as an adequate adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s book.

Bella Swan’s (Kristen Stewart) mom recently remarried; so to give the newlyweds some alone time, she grudgingly decides to trade the warm, sunny climate of Phoenix for the cloudy, rainy surroundings of Forks, Washington to live with her father (Billy Burke). With such a small population, everyone quickly takes notice of the new girl and Bella instantly has a group of new friends – everyone except the Cullens. The Cullens mostly keep to themselves but Bella finds herself drawn to Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) despite the strange way he acts around her. He soon reveals a similar attraction, only his desires are more dangerous than she expected. Bella is eventually welcomed into their vampire family but there are other vampires not as willing to tolerate the unprecedented relationship.

Even at two hours, Bella and Edward’s courtship is incredibly short. Several of the scenes are combined and they fast track to an intensely reciprocal relationship so the danger presented by the nomad vampires is substantiated. Of course, these adjustments (however unwelcome) were expected and the feelings between the characters are still expressed well enough. On the other hand, the change in tone of two very meaningful moments in the novel is more than irritating.

The casting of the already loved and imagined characters is acceptable. Stewart conveys the vulnerability of Bella, as well as her powerful and unforeseen attraction to Edward. Pattinson is both good-looking and comes across slightly dangerous; although the pain caused by his uncontrollable draw to Bella is not always convincingly portrayed. Conversely, his smile is fittingly breathtaking. Luckily, their on-screen chemistry is tangible. The rest of the Cullens are also represented well, especially Alice (Ashley Greene). And Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has a sweet, adorable face as expected. On the other side of the vampire divide, Cam Gigandet provides a very menacing take on James and Rachelle Lefevre is a more subtly deadly Victoria.

Unfortunately, few of the effects really work. Filmmakers used a lot of wirework to communicate the vampires’ special abilities but the Crouching Tiger-look does not really work for this story.

The two-disc special edition has quite a few bonus features. The first disc includes music videos from Muse, Paramore and Linkin Park with introductions by director Catherine Hardwicke. The five extended scenes also include introductions from Hardwicke; for some of them, that bit of extra in the scene would have been great additions to the film. The audio commentary by Hardwicke, Stewart and Pattinson reveals a lot of personal anecdotes but is not as noteworthy as one would have hoped.

The second disc contains five deleted scenes, each with an introduction by Hardwicke; these omissions are more interesting and some are even scenes straight out of the book. A nearly hour-long documentary details the shooting of most of the significant scenes in the film, interviewing various members of the cast and crew throughout; it also shows how the special effects were achieved in the baseball and final fight sequences. The cast’s appearance at Comic-Con is also included, and the teaser they showed there is in the trailers section – does Stewart always look so uncomfortable during public appearances?

It was obviously going to be difficult to transfer this story to the big screen. And even though the film doesn’t hold a candle to the source material, it’s an adequate adaptation.

Bella Swan’s (Kristen Stewart) mom recently remarried so to give the newlyweds some alone time, she grudgingly decides to trade the warm, sunny climate of Phoenix for the cloudy, rainy surroundings of Forks, Washington to live with her father (Billy Burke). With such a small population, everyone quickly takes notice of the new girl and Bella instantly has a group of new friends – everyone except the Cullens. The Cullens keep to themselves mostly but Bella finds herself drawn to Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) despite the strange way he acts around her. He soon reveals a similar attraction, only his desires are more dangerous than she expected. Bella is eventually welcomed into their vampire family but there are other vampires not as willing to tolerate the unprecedented relationship.

Even at two hours, the first thing fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight will notice is Bella and Edward’s courtship is highly abbreviated. Several of the scenes are combined and they fast track to an intensely reciprocal relationship so the danger presented by the nomad vampires is substantial. Of course, these adjustments were expected and the feelings between the characters are still expressed well enough. On the other hand, the change in tone of two very meaningful moments in the novel is more than irritating.

The casting of the already loved and imagined characters is fairly satisfying. Stewart conveys the vulnerability of Bella, as well as her powerful and unforeseen attraction to Edward. Pattinson is both good-looking and comes across slightly dangerous; although the pain caused by his uncontrollable draw to Bella is not always portrayed convincingly. Conversely, his smile is fittingly breathtaking. Luckily, their on-screen chemistry is tangible. The rest of the Cullens are also represented well, especially Alice (Ashley Greene). And Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has a sweet, adorable face as expected. On the other side of the vampire divide, Cam Gigandet provides a very menacing take on James and Rachelle Lefevre is a more subtly deadly Victoria.

Practically, few of the effects really work. Filmmakers used a lot of wirework to communicate the vampires’ special abilities but the Crouching Tiger-look does not really work for this story.

In the end, this film is not as likely to bring new readers to the series as it fails to truly illustrate the force of Bella and Edward’s love. Moreover, they are likely to miss the subtleties of some of the characters’ actions because they’re unfamiliar with the story. Alternatively, fans will not walk away disgruntled as the film is loyal to the story they know – just very different.