THE TWILIGHT SAGA:
2-Disc Special Edition DVD
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Film Length: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.40:1)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Release Date: March 20, 2010
New Moon is the film adaptation of the second book of the same title in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight book series. Mortal teenager Bella Swan(Kristen Stewart) is in a romance with classmate Edward Cullen(Robert Pattinson), a 109 year old vampire who still resembles a teenage boy. When Edward seemingly abandons Bella, she finds herself drawn to Jacob (Taylor Lautner), another classmate with his own unique set of issues that rival Edward’s problems.
New Moon is directed by Chris Weitz(The Golden Compass), and his experience in directing CGI action scenes serves the film well. New Moon is a faster moving film than Twilight(2008), even though it is a longer film. There are several action set pieces that help to move the film along through the prevailing theme of lost love.
New Moon is one of a handful of film sequels that surpasses the original film. I found this film to be consistently more engaging and stimulating than its predecessor. The story makes little pretense of drawing from the same well as Romeo and Juliet, since the film version of Shakespeare’s play even appears briefly; however, this is not intended as a criticism. In fact, New Moon succeeds better than most romantic films in capturing the essence of love lost and the agonizing passage of time when missing a loved one. In less capable hands, this theme could drag the film down into a morass in which watching the film is an experience as painful as Bella’s personal anguish. Thankfully, New Moon succeeds to entertain without being an emotional drain on the viewer, which is no mean feat, and for which the producers deserve credit.
The movie is displayed in an anamorphic 2.40:1 aspect ratio consistent with its theatrical presentation. This appears to be an excellent transfer with excellent shadow detail and minimal black crush. Fine detail is also excellent in the darkness and foliage of the Pacific Northwest setting. Colors are deliberately muted as an artistic decision consistent with the presentation of the first film. Grain is minimal but appears consistent with the original theatrical presentation with no apparent DNR or edge enhancement.
The English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks are best employed during the musical sequences, of which there are many. The music soundtrack was obviously selected carefully to create mood within the film. Directional audio is employed well during the action scenes, particularly with some pans of the camera, and dynamic range is excellent without compromising intelligibility of dialogue during the action sequences.
The special features are spread out over 2 discs. Disc 1 has the feature film and the following special features:
Film Commentary: Director Chris Weitz and editor Peter Lambert contribute a feature length commentary on the film.
Trailers (11:15): Film trailers for Remember Me, Letters to Juliet, Bandslam, Astro Boy, and Twilight In Forks. Twilight In Forks is available as a separate DVD on sale with New Moon, and is a documentary regarding the effect of the Twilight films on the town of Forks, Washington, where the Twilight stories are set.
The special features on Disc 2 include the following:
The Journey Continues: A 6 Part Documentary On The Making of The Twilight Saga: New Moon (1:05:20): This feature length documentary is broken down into the following 6 parts, which can be viewed continuously or selected individually from the menu options:
1) Life After Twilight
2) Chris Weitz Takes The Helm
3) The Subtle Details
4) A Look At Production
5) It’s Not Magic
6) Ready For The World
Music Videos: The following music videos, with scenes from the film, are included:
"Meet Me On The Equinox" (3:50): Music video by Death Cab For Cutie.
"Satellite Heart" (3:47): Music video by Anya Marina.
Behind the Scenes Rehearsal of "I Belong To You"(1:35) by Muse.
"Spotlight" (3:43): Music video by Mutemath.
Prospective viewers have a very good idea before they have seen New Moon whether they will enjoy this film. You either like this type of film or you do not. I have never read the books and I do not consider myself a Twi-hard, but I found New Moon to be entertaining and well-executed. If you enjoyed the first film, you will probably enjoy New Moon. The video and audio presentation on this 2-Disc special edition are consistently excellent, and this set contains a wealth of special features. If you did not like Twilight(2008), then New Moon may not win you over, even if it is that rare sequel that surpasses the original.