I have seen the promised land known as New Moon. I bought tickets to see it opening night but the gods smiled upon me and saw fit to give me screening passes to see it a full night early. Those same gods were clearly shining on me when I got the chance to grab a seat in the theater before the masses were let up (lesson: it's good to know people). I plopped myself in the middle of lower row, ensconsing my self in ooey gooey vamp wolf goodness. Now, if you've read the books, you clearly know the premise of the movie and any spoilers going in and after the media onslaught, who DOESN'T know Jacob turns into a wolf? There's a good reason for that though. Now, having seen New Moon, the movie can really be summed up in three words: Oh hai Jacob!
New Moon is Jacob's story and the movie is Taylor Lautner's to run away with and he does just that. I admit the first few passes through the book I hated Jacob. I thought he was whiny, annoying and just plain in the way of my beloved Edward and Bella. Twilight, the movie, started to change that. I reread the books with more sympathy for Jacob. If there were any lingering hard feelings, New Moon dispels them. Taylor Lautner's Jacob is extremely likable and funny. The entire movie had more funny moments than I expected, but more on that later. The first time Jacob appears on screen (fully clothed), the reaction was audible and far stronger than I expected. And then there is the rest of Jacob. The physically changed Jacob. Yes, it's awkward to think about Taylor Lautner only being 17 but...DAMN. I'll leave it at that but there were a whole lot of slackjawed women (and a few men, let's be honest) in the audience. Jacob and Bella's interactions are the best part of this movie. Yes, Edward and Bella up the steamy kiss level a few notches, but Bella and Jacob are easy together. It makes it that much easier to feel Jacob's frustration. To the point where a woman in front of me yelled "WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM" at Bella during one scene. All in all, I can't imagine anyone BUT Taylor Lautner as Jacob.
The special effects also surprised me in that they were better than I expected. The scenes with the wolves actually made me jump several times. Although it could also be my standards were lowered so far by Twilight and actors being yanked around on strings that I am not seeing things clearly but I think they were actually good. Maybe. Let's say yes.
The secondary characters like Charlie, Jessica and Mike are featured far less in New Moon, but they get some of the better lines in the movie. Their characters act as a further mood lightener for what could have been one heck of an emo-fest. The Volturi also bring something new to the Twi-table. Made up of arguably the best actors of the bunch, the Volturi manage to convey more by saying less. Michael Sheen and Dakota Fanning are deliciously evil.
All the Team Edward TwiHards don't have to worry, this isn't Edward's movie but even though his absence is the key to this story, you get enough RPattz magic sprinkled in to keep you satisfied. You're might also want to bring a cool beverage for a few of the kissing scenes, because they do not disappoint. Whew! The lack of a reaction to Edward's emergence from the clocktower surprised me though. Jacob got a bigger audience cheer by far. I'm curious to see if that changes tonight.
Then there is the end. Oh, the end. I will not spoil anything but I'll say they make it impossible to NOT want to see Eclipse immediately. Cinematic blue balls. That's all I'll say. Some folks hated it, I LOVED it and can't wait to watch everyone else watch it tonight.
Speaking of hate...I have heard from a few people that were disappointed in the movie. Everyone seems to have a scene or line they wish had made it but to those that want the book translated word for word, scene for scene, you've got to let it go. A 600+ page book just can not be made into a 2 hour movie, they've got to keep it moving. Edward and Bella staring at each other over a table might equal fantastic tension in the book but watching them stare at each other for 20 minutes real time would make even the TwiHardiest crack. If I want to watch people stare at each other, I'll watch The Hills.
There you go, just my thoughts on the matter. I can't wait to see it again tonight...and maybe I'll see you there. Don't throw things at me.