Review of The Twilight Saga: New Moon

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New Moon is the second installment in the Twilight series. After an attack that nearly claimed her life, Bella is abandoned by Edward. In her depression she falls into yet another paranormal relationship, this time with werewolf Jacob Black.
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Movie Review: "The Twilight Saga: New Moon"

-- Rating: PG-13 (strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image)
Length: 130 minutes
Release date: Nov. 20, 2009
Directed by: Chris Weitz
Genre: Adventure, Drama, and Fantasy

When movie fans watched "Twilight," many of them thought it was the best romantic fantasy film ever. Then the sequel "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" was released, and fans' expectations were exceeded. The "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is a dramatic fantasy movie released by Summit Entertainment.

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has a disturbing dream on her eighteenth birthday. She dreams of her grandmother, only to realize that the old woman is actually herself as an elderly lady. This dream represents her dislike of growing older; her vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), stopped aging at seventeen. At her birthday party, organized against her will by Edwards's adoptive family, Bella gets a paper cut, causing Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone) to try to kill her. This revelation of her danger from the vampires causes Edward to break up with her, and the Cullens move away from Forks, Washington.

Edward's departure is devastating to Bella and her father attempts to send her to live with her mother in Florida. Bella refuses to go, but decides to stop mourning and start living again. She picks up a friendship with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), only for the latter to start avoiding her too. This, she later learns, is because Black (a werewolf) is trying to protect her from a vampire longing to cause her harm.

Due to a series of blunders and miscommunications, Edward comes to believe that Bella has committed suicide. In despair, he travels to Italy where he hopes to die at the hands of the Volturi, a powerful vampire clan. He is, however, stopped by his sister Alice (Ashley Greene) and Bella. Things deteriorate when the vampire clan realizes that Bella is aware of their existence. Their resolve to kill her is stopped by an agreement they make with the Cullens that Bella is to be turned into a vampire. In the end, Edward agrees to turn Bella into one of them only if she agrees to marry him first.

Overall, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" received lukewarm reviews from the critics. All the same, this movie is fascinating to the young adult segment of moviegoers. Some people have compared Bella and Edward's immature love as akin to the tale of Romeo and Juliet. A few critics argued that Pattinson had nothing going for him except his good looks and brooding demeanor.

This film is not entirely about romance. Director Chris Weitz shows off his talent by incorporating several convincing special effects, especially in the animal scenes. The action scenes are well shot and the result is a well packaged story that remains true to the nature of the first film in the series. In fact, viewers claim that it is an improvement on "Twilight." There is a sensible balance between the moody scenery of the Pacific Northwest and the lighter romantic angle of the film, effectively preventing it from being one-sided.

Stewart has acted in several movies, but she is best known for her role as Bella in "The Twilight Saga" movie series. She won the Rising Star category at the BAFTA Awards for her performance. Her other films include "Panic Room," "The Runaways," and "Adventureland." Pattinson, an English actor, is also a model, producer and musician. His first acting role was that of Cedric Diggory in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," but like Stewart, he also shot to international fame with his role in "The Twilight Saga" film series. He won a number of awards for his performance in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," including those from the National Movie Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, and the Teen Choice Awards.

Most of the cast members of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" were relatively unknown before the film was produced. They gave their all in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," helping to make the movie one of the most successful in recent years.

Rating: 3 out of 5