‘New Moon’ rises

new moon cover pg

In director Chris Weintz’s "New Moon," the wolves come out to play. And even though all the fanatics mourn, mope and cry for the return of Edward Cullen in the second installment of the "Twilight" saga, his absence pushes the film forward and allows its best part to take center stage: Jacob Black.

Based on Stephanie Meyers’ four-book series, "New Moon" is commonly named the weak link in the chain for the love series, because of Cullen’s prolonged disappearance. However, the consolation prize is Jacob Black, Bella Swan’s long-lost Quileute friend who is smitten for Bella’s affection.

The movie follows the chapter style of the novel and changes scenery through Swan’s distress. Kristen Stewart successfully portrays Swan’s nightmares; her curdling scream is commendable. However, the chemistry between Stewart and Robert Pattinson still stutters right up until the moment he leaves. Weintz formulated with different mechanisms to make Edward a "vision" throughout the film, one that Bella feeds on to maintain their connection. In the end, Weintz successfully made the dream Edward look realistic, and Stewart made the message clear that Bella could only visualize him when she put herself in danger. However, her attempts to put herself in real danger and create serious scenes that push viewers into tension fail miserably.

Then the gears switch and Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner, steps into the picture. Lautner and Stewart actually provide real chemistry, and Bella genuinely tries to ward Jacob off, holding out because Edward is her true love. It’s hard to make sense of this when Jacob is dragging her out of her melancholy. Looking at the two, you have cold, bloodless Edward on one side and warm, relaxing Jacob on the other, and you start to wonder if Bella is losing her mind for not succumbing to Jacob’s advances.

The plot also reveals that the Cullen clan is not the only family that has a secret. It is discovered that members of the Quileute tribe have an animalistic side, becoming wolves when a vampire enters their territory. When the wolves show up, that’s when the movie comes to life.

Addicts of the series will claim this is a film to be remembered, and Weintz made the movie come to life with the extra money to improve the scenery, with scenes filmed in Montepulciano. And thanks to Lautner’s attractive physique and successful on-screen chemistry with Stewart, some fans may have transitioned from Team Edward to Team Jacob.