Hi there J-14ers!
It's crazy that after an excruciating year-long wait since its predecessor, in the fastest 130 minutes ever, it was all over.
There was the debate over whether Taylor Lautner would be recast, there were the surprise big-name casting announcements (Dakota Fanning!), and there was the endless speculation about whether on-screen sparks between Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart had lead to a real-life relationship.
But strip away the controversies and hype around The Twilight Saga: New Moon (opening tomorrow), and what you have is simple story anyone can relate to: a young girl with a "hole" in her heart after losing her first love.
Sure, with its sleeker makeup (less campy, more vamp-y) and high-tech special effects (sparkles worth "ooh"-ing for), New Moon is more of a slick "Hollywood" film than the gritty indy feel of the first Twilight. But at the core, it retains what has turned it into an international phenomenon -- the irresistible eternal love story between Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, this century's Romeo and Juliet.
And then, of course, there's the werewolf factor -- which heats up this movie (literally!). With Rob Pattinson as the clear central character of the first film, skeptics doubted whether 17-year-old Taylor Lautner could step into the role of a physically more powerful character, Jacob Black.
From the first millisecond he appears on screen, there's no doubt that this guy was born to play this role. His age is barely a factor, as he steps it up big time, taking charge -- both flirting with and protecting Bella. Taylor shows he's got the chops to take what was a three-scene role in the first movie into leading-man territory.
Oh, and did I mention yet that this serious heart-wrenching vampire-werewolf movie is actually funny?! The theater erupted in laughter constantly -- from the wisecracks of Bella's high school friends to the endearing one-liners from Bella's dad, Charlie (dare we suggest Team Charlie?!).
But whether you're Team Jacob or Team Edward (which I clearly remain after this movie!), New Moon is really all about Team Bella. Kristen Stewart is the true star of the film -- capturing the realness of the confusing times of heartache, heartbreak, and ultimately true love.
And I promise you no spoilers, but I'll guarantee you one thing -- the very last line will leave you screaming... and wishing you could borrow Hermione's time-turner from Rob's other movie franchise, Harry Potter, to fast-forward to June 30, when The Twilight Saga: Eclipse hits theaters!
Let the countdown to Eclipse begin!
As soon as you see New Moon, let us know what you think!
Can't wait to hear all your thoughts!
Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment