New Moon appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not a stunning transfer, the film usually looked very good.
My only minor complaints related to sharpness, as occasional wide shots seemed a bit soft. Otherwise, the movie appeared clear and accurate, with positive delineation the vast majority of the time. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes remained minor. Source flaws were absent.
No one expects a vampire movie to boast a vibrant palette, and when that flick comes set in the gloomy, rainy Pacific Northwest, the potential for colorful material takes an even greater dip. The palette differed from Twilight in that it preferred an earthy brown to the first movie’s bluish tone, but both remained pretty monochromatic. Within those parameters, the hues looked appropriate. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed good clarity. Other than the mild softness and haloes, this was a very positive presentation.
As with Twilight, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of New Moon seemed positive, though not incredibly ambitious. Only a smattering of action sequences opened up the piece in a moderate way. Werewolf attacks became the most dynamic, and a few other fights added some pizzazz. These were exceptions to the rule, though, as most of the movie stayed with atmospheric elements. Music showed solid stereo imaging, though, and provided good reinforcement from the rear speakers.
Audio quality always satisfied. Music was lively and full, with good dimensionality. Effects came across as accurate and tight; they boasted nice punch when appropriate. Speech also appeared crisp and well-defined. No edginess or other issues marred the presentation. While I didn’t think there was enough razzle-dazzle on display to merit a grade above a “B”, I couldn’t complain about the results.
How did the picture and sound of the Blu-ray compare to those of the movie’s DVD edition? For the most part, the audio was similar. I thought the DTS mix had a little more punch and power, but the differences weren’t significant.
Visuals showed bigger improvements. For a standard DVD, that version actually looked pretty good, but the format’s limitations meant the Blu-ray came across with substantially stronger definition and clarity.
The Blu-ray repeats all the extras from the two-DVD set. We open with an audio commentary from director Chris Weitz and editor Peter Lambert. . Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story and adaptation issues, cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, effects and stunts, camerawork and music, editing, and other production tidbits.
Though I think Weitz made a dull movie, he provides a lively commentary. Though separated by an ocean, he and Lambert interact well, and they keep the action moving well most of the time. Weitz doesn’t take the whole process too seriously, so he’s willing to keep the tone light. That makes this a satisfying and informative piece.
Next comes The Journey Continues. The documentary lasts one hour, five minutes, 20 seconds and provides notes from Weitz, Lambert, author Stephanie Meyer, costume designer Tish Monaghan, production designer David Brisbin, stunt doubles Laura Lee Connelly and Crystal Dalman, stunt rigger Dustin Brooks, stunt coordinator JJ Makaro, Tippet Studio VFX Matt Jacobs, assistant director Iris Torres, producer Wyck Godfrey, special effects best boy David Benediktsen, visual effects supervisor Susan MacLeod, compositor Sigurjon Gardarsson, 3D animator Jeff Tetzlaff, art director Nate Fredenburg, visual effects supervisor Phil Tippett, animation supervisor Paul Gibbons, character supervisor Stephen Uterfranz, composer Alexandre Desplat, and actors Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson, Michael Sheen, Jamie Campbell Bower, Rachelle Lefevre, Bronson Pelletier, Edi Gathegi, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Justin Chon, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Heyerdall, and Michael Welch.
“Continues” looks at the success of the first film and the reunion of the major players. From there we go into Weitz’s impact on the production, costumes and set design, stunts and action, location and performance topics, various effects, editing, score and audio. The first two chapters of “Continues” offer fluffy nothingness, but the documentary improves when we get to costume and production design. After that, we get a better focus on the production and connected elements, so we get a fair amount of good info. The tone remains rather overblown and hyperbolic, but “Continues” still delivers a reasonably informative program.
The disc also includes four music videos. We find clips for “Meet Me on the Equinox” by Death Cab for Cutie, “Satellite Heart” by Anya Marina, and “Spotlight” by Mutemath. We also see rehearsal footage “I Belong to You” by Muse. “Equinox” and “Heart” are dull videos that follow the usual “artist lipsynch/movie clip” format. The former is a decent song, but Marina is whiny and cloying.
Technically “Spotlight” is just band lip-synch footage, but the video presents the performance in an unusual way. The band rides around in a van and plays at super-speed via time-lapse photography. This gives the old format a nice twist. The Muse footage is brief – only 90 seconds – and dull, as it just shows a basic runthrough.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Remember Me, Letters to Juliet, and Astro Boy. No trailer for New Moon shows up here.
I liked Twilight and figured New Moon would continue the story in a positive way. Unfortunately, it seems too long and too slow, as it never becomes engaging or dramatic. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio along with a few tasty supplements. Though I don’t think much of the movie, the Blu-ray presents it in a satisfying manner. I’m sure Twihards will be happy to ogle Taylor Lautner’s abs in high-def.
To rate this film visit the Special Edition review of THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON