Blu-Ray Review: The Twilight Saga: New Moon
From Summit Entertainment
The Twilight Saga: New Moon - Blu-Ray Special Edition
As Twilighters know, this is the film that sets up the love triangle. Whichever "team" you are on, this movie is a must-watch since it really complicates the future for heroine Bella Swan. It's the movie in which we discover that Taylor Lautner isn't that little kid from "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" anymore! He's a buff, formidable rival for Bella's hand.
Special Features: Okay, we got the one-disc Blu-Ray to review. Be aware that we learned that there are multiple versions out there for uber-Twi-a-holics! We've seen: One at Wal-mart with about an hour of extra stuff and a clip from Eclipse. At Target you get two discs that include some outtakes that aren't in this edition and some kind of film cell. At Barnes and Noble, there is an edition that is packaged with an Indian "dreamcatcher" and at Borders you can get more bonus features and a medallion thingie. Best Buy has a fancy edition in a steel case. Decisions, decisions!
We did watch the "companion" DVD we were sent called Twilight in Forks which is kind of a hoot as local yokels from the real town talk about how the Twilight Saga saved the tiny logging town from going under. If you ever want to go to Bella's stomping ground, this DVD gives you the lowdown on Twilight-themed shops and tours of Twilight landmarks in the visually-stunning Pacific Northwest area. You can have your picture taken next to Bella's red truck (well, one that looks like it). A few fans interviewed seem a little overboard but hey, you may feel the same.
Back to the features on this one disc Blu-Ray. The "Audio Commentary" with Director Chris Weitz and Editor Peter Lambert is pretty thorough. The guys chat about their location shoots around Portland and troubles with various weather conditions.. a few funny moments etc. Worth a listen.
You also get a quite comprehensive "Making-Of" "6-Part Documentary" that includes everything from dedicated fans with signs, Comic Con and the entire Cast introducing scenes and talking about their characters. On-set footage is included. Director Chris Weitz talks to the camera while on set explaining the troubles he is having with the scene. Actors describe Weitz as wearing his sox over his pants and looking dorky and being very dedicated to getting the story right.
You see Volturi talking about their red eyes, behind-the scenes stuff from Italy, very detailed close-ups of costumes and sets with descriptions from the Costume Designer and Production Designer. You get details and see the stuntwork, for both Rob and Taylor especially, in the U.S. and Italy. The cast is heavily involved in talking about all of this so fans should be very pleased.
Kristin and Rob talk about their forest break-up scene shot between planes landing at the near-by airport and attacks from swarms of mosquitoes! Funny.
Kristen near-drowns in a tank filming the jump in the ocean scenes and talks about her motorcycle..dragged behind a car stunt. Taylor is freezing in the fake rain when he is supposed to be Jacob-hot!
The Blu-Ray contains special effects info on the wolves and transformation shots and an hilarious section showing the cast trying to react to on-set Styrofoam wolf "dummies" and paper wolf heads on sticks! Kristen says "Those plastic wolves were very generous actors". Cute stuff fans will love. You get post production info on making Rob "sparkly". The 6-part doc ends with info on editing the film, music and sound.
There are several "Music Videos" from Death Cab for Cutie, Anya Marina and Mutemath and rehearsal footage with Muse.
Downside? No outtakes and actor boo-boos (love those) and no Deleted Scenes.
Wrapping Up: Whether you like Bella's smoky Edward visions in New Moon or think they are lame, you've got to admit that this is an interesting book in the saga and this film is quite true to it; setting things up for more Edward vs. Jacob angst to follow in Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.
If you want to run around your town checking out the various editions of the film out on DVD and Blu-Ray (or look them up on the net) before purchasing; up to you. We were happy with the crisp picture and great sound in this one-disc Blu-Ray. We also really enjoyed the 6-Part "Making Of" offering.
Let's face it, if you like the Twilight books and the films, you've gotta have this in your collection. Whichever set you end up with, I recommend Blu-Ray for a better visual experience. You don't want to miss Rob's every little sparkle and Taylor's rock-hard abs in detail!