Though I loved it overall, there were certainly pros and cons to the Twilight saga’s New Moon. Since the pros are pretty obvious I'll start with the cons.
Edward’s hair was not poofy enough. I missed the Goku-esque hair from the original and don’t understand why anyone would decide not to recreate that, though I must confess to being an anime fan so perhaps others thought it looked silly. But those people are uncool.
Second, I miss the original director Catherine Hardwicke. I liked her approach to the film, including the decision to film in cool colors with experimental cinematography (like that stereotypical vampire movie-scene that she threw into the film for no reason), so I don’t understand the decision to replace a director who delivered a very popular movie that was actually good, and not just a crowd-pleaser. And why would they replace her with Chris Weitz? The Golden Compass was boring and American Pie? What are they trying to do, make Twilight appeal to heterosexual guys? Seems unlikely, and possibly a waste of time, since every guy I’ve talked to so far admitted to preferring the original Twilight, but they wouldn’t love a vampire romance even if Michael Bay directed it! Why pander to an unwilling audience while making your target audience less pleased? And Catherine Hardwicke had movies like Thirteen under her belt. No wonder she was so good at laying on the angst that these books call for. Though maybe Weitz only got the gig because he’s had some experience with CGI….
I also miss the original soundtrack. Though I did not expect the entire score to be reprised in the sequel, I, at least, expected some of the song that they played almost too repetitively in the first movie which did an excellent job of setting that angsty mood. I also would’ve liked to hear the song Edward wrote for Bella, which could’ve been appropriate near the end of the film.
Alice also seemed off to me. Not bad (please don’t freak Ashley Green fans), just off. Her voice seemed different and she seemed less tomboyish and whacked-out which were the very things I liked about her in the original film. And why did she feel compelled to dress like a grandma to drive a sports car? In the first movie, where I often thought of her as stealing the scene, in this one I found myself even wondering if she were the same actress. Not sure what happened there though I hear she may have been wearing a wig. I respond very strongly to hair changes. See above Goku comment.
I see why they did this, but it was unnecessary to have Edward appear to Bella in visions. Totally corny and in the book she only heard his voice which would’ve been much less silly on screen. Though obviously, they did this to keep the teenie boppers’ heads from exploding, since he’s only in the beginning and the end of the book. Plus when he appeared as a sparkling, golden, dusty, swirly, mora I couldn’t help thinking it reminded me of something. What was it? The dust from The Golden Compass? Pillaging old special effects for an urge they should’ve resisted?
Jacob’s (Taylor Lautner) character, acting, and physique were absolutely perfect in this film. I’m glad they did not make the mistake of replacing this actor because he seemed too young. He’s supposed to seem young! He’s almost irresistible jail bait. And good for him for earning back his part with muscles. Well done. But many people have commented that it’s completely unnecessary for the werewolves to walk around shirtless while human for the majority of the movie. I do not have a problem with this.
The CGI wolves also looked fairly realistic. When I originally saw the trailers I was a little worried it would look like Who Framed Star Wars? But I thought the effects worked well. Also, despite my preference for the cool blues, all the earth tones and browns were a good idea for a movie that was primarily going to deal with hot-blooded werewolves.
The Volturi and their home of Volterra, Italy were executed perfectly. The scene in Volterra was exactly what I imagined while reading the book, the Volturi were all well-cast, and Dakota Fanning as Jane is just too much fun when you remember her in previous movies like Charlotte’s Web.
This Twilight movie, like the first installment, also followed the book very closely which both impressed and confused me since Hollywood seems to insist that adequate adaptations of any book are impossible. Well the Twilight franchise certainly makes it look easy, and I’m thrilled that they’re tapping that Indie-vibe again by selecting David Slade to direct Eclipse. Hard Candy is one of my favorite movies.