I attended the midnight screening. Wow, wow, and wow there are some crazy fans. My friends may be one of them. It may have been that this film is so hyped up, or it may have been that i was with a bunch of excited people whose mood got to me, or it even may be that deep down i like the whole series, but man did i like this movie.
The movie starts off where the first one left off, Bella Swan and her immaculately perfect boyfriends Edward Cullen, who (everyone should know by now) is a vampire, are in love. It's Bella's 18th birthday and she is very forlorn about the whole thing. However, the Cullen family loves her and gives her a birthday gathering that goes bloody wrong. This almost death of Bella makes Edward leave her in a break-up that is very well done. The movie then follows Bella and her moping attitude for a long time until she decided to hang out with Jacob Black, a Native American with a secret. Their relationship gets built to an almost intimate level, but being Bella she soon gets avoided by him and learns reckless behavior is the only way to see her love Edward. Then the secrets get revealed.
First thing first, this is better than its predecessor Twilight. The new director, Chris Weitz (About A Boy), brings up the dreary light and fixes up the story to where it works really well. I had true fears for this movie because the story is nothing more than a sequel building up to the fourth book. I read all four books and found this one to have no real plot or story, so I was skeptic about the movie. There are many improvements and good things about this movie, but there is also some bad.
The good things/improvements in the movie shine as bright as Edward's skin in the sun, which by the way was fixed up and looks a lot better than the glittery body in Twilight. From the opening of the movie, we see a full moon slowly fading into a new moon as it reveals the title from right to left. Anticipation was all over the crowd as each letter was unfolded, and i have to admit i was smiling. This title reveal showed how big this movie series really is. While it is a bit sad that this is what everyone is into, i can't help but have some fun with it as well. The biggest improvement is the acting. Holy hell did Kristen Stewart do a better job now that she learned heavy, repeated blinking and unfinished sentences don't work when you have to be depressed. She actually emotes in some scenes, finally. Edward, to me, was the same as he was in the first movie until the final scene. The Cullen family, aside from Edward of course, are barely given dialog, but when they are it is very average and used. The side characters like Charlie, Jessica, and Mike are some of the real highlights of the movie. Jessica (Anna Kendrick) stole a scene that should've been Bella's and made it her evidence that she'll do a good job acting aside George Clooney in "Up in the Air." The Volturi clan are given nothing to do but be creepy and eerie looking, and are an obvious enemy that will be seen again. Jacob Black, played pretty well by new teen-god Taylor Lautner, is kind of a flat character until his secret is truly revealed. The effects were improved as well, but not so much to where they're anywhere near the level of Harry Potter (or even He-Man). The direction was well done, and so was the cinematography. The even better thing about this movie is the ending cliffhanger that left the 400 seat theater freaking out even though they all know what happens.
The bad things in the movie stand out, however. The dialog is terrible in some parts, very stilted, and is sometimes equivocated with no inflection at all. The effects still need some heavy work, but that could be due to the low 50 million dollar budget. The acting, at points, is very soap opera but is then redeemed in many scenes. The movie is very slow and not happy, but so was the book. The added action kept it up, but also caused the slow parts to move even slower. The male eye candy was the most annoying part to this movie. There are so many shirtless men in that movie that made me completely ashamed at my body (just kidding). I still found it kind of interfering, but the girls and gays ate it up and had orgasmic screams throughout the shirtless periods.
All in all the movie is a vast improvement upon Twilight. I do like this one better, but am very interested to see what David Slade (30 Days of Night) will do to the third installment, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The actors are getting better, so hopefully they will be improving throughout the other 2 movies. I'm seeing this again, but not for my enjoyment. However, i will watch this movie a lot more and love the parts i love and just ignore the bad. Like i said, it might've been the audience or the hype or my secret love for the series, but it's not so bad.
-If you're a Twi-hard fan ----- FULL PRICE!!!
-For everyone else ----- MATINÉE!
It's really not that bad.