New 'Twilight' Movie DVD Reviews & Unexpected Director for Upcoming Entry?

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner - The Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD

New 'Twilight' movie DVD blockbuster: 'New Moon' beating original 'Twilight'

Say what you will about the box office performances of Remember Me or The Runaways, but Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart surely have their millions of enthusiastic fans.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD, criticized by some for its lack of quality special features, sold 4 million copies on Saturday and Sunday. Last year, Twilight sold 3.8 million units on its first two days.

According to the Los Angeles Times, those figures include only discs sold directly to consumers – not rentals, digital downloads or video-on-demand.

In theaters, New Moon outgrossed Twilight by more than $100 million. In fact, the vampire-human-werewolf romantic saga (or soap, if you will) is still adding some change at more than 100 North American screens.

But if the 200,000 DVD difference doesn't sound all that impressive, then consider that Summit will in all likelihood be releasing a “special” edition with more and better features in the not-too-distant future. (Much like what 20th Century Fox is doing with James Cameron's Avatar.) Many twihards may be waiting for that future release. (But then again, if you're a real twihard, you'd buy both DVD editions.)

And don't forget that DVD sales in the United States fell 13 percent last year. In other words, a 200,000-unit increase is nothing to be sniffed at.

Last year, Twilight topped DVD charts, with 9.2 million units sold. We'll see if New Moon will be able to go above that.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner star in the 2-disc DVD release and one-disc Blu-Ray of The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

Despite its 2 discs, the “general release” of Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD offers a mere three special features: a commentary track featuring director Chris Weitz and editor Peter Lambert, four music videos, and an hour-long documentary/infomercial focusing on the film's stars, director, and visual effects.

At some stores like Target, Borders, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart, you'll be able to find a couple of deleted scenes or perhaps a Twilight Saga: Eclipse preview on the Blu-Ray edition. It all depends on where you buy the disc.

But those looking for a commentary featuring Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner discussing Edward and Bella and Jacob, and more on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn will be out of luck. They'll probably have to wait for a “The Twilight Saga: New Moon Special Edition” to come out in a few months.

And don't forget that The Twilight Saga: New Moon is still playing at 145 screens in North America after being out for 124 days.

Below are a snippets from a few reviews of the New Moon DVD:

“We've seen: One at Wal-mart with about an hour of extra stuff and a clip from Eclipse. At Target you get two discs that include some outtakes that aren't in this edition and some kind of film cell. At Barnes and Noble, there is an edition that is packaged with an Indian “dreamcatcher” and at Borders you can get more bonus features and a medallion thingie. Best Buy has a fancy edition in a steel case.” Lynn Barker at Teen Hollywood.

“Most Twihards will already be watching this release by now, which is a testament to Twilight's popularity and appeal. It is difficult to review this film as a critic, as it's really not that great of a movie. But it is completely faithful to the book, and the books are definitely not the best written books in the world. New Moon makes no apologies that it is for the fans. If you're not already a fan, stay away.” Jenny Rushing at Inside Pulse.

“In Ed's absence moping Bella hooks up with Jake (Taylor Lautner), who happens to be a werewolf and seems incapable of keeping his shirt on; not that any, you know, SEX happens here. No[,] this adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's bestseller is like an episode of Dawson's Creek, only more chaste and with any hint of humour sucked out. A creepy opening sequence, but a dire sequel.” Ben Walsh in The Independent.

Photo: The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment)

March 25

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner are the stars of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which sold four million copies on its first two days out. Last year, Twilight went on to sell more than nine million units.

Below are a few more reviews and commentaries about the Twilight Saga: New Moon DVD release, which comes in different versions – depending on where you buy it.

“The non-ending, calculated to make young female fans gasp, plays more like a season-capping TV episode than a movie; it's a shameless cliffhanger for the third film … The second disc is a burn; the six self-congratulatory vignettes – really just infocommercials for the cast and crew's awesomeness – could have fit on one disc.” The New Jersey Star-Ledger.

“This DVD is a welcome gift for eager fans, but it's certainly not sharing all there is to offer. … The commentary and documentary offer the occasional interesting note, giving a lot of technical background to the film, but fans are sure to miss the giggling embarrassment of Robert and Kristen from the first film's commentary.” Monika Bartyzel at Collider.com.

“Oh man, Twilight fans are going to love this. This is a 6-part documentary that covers everything you want to know. I intended to skip over this, but I couldn't stop watching. Twilight fans are crazy, but I can't look away. For the record, I enjoyed this waaaayyy more than the actual film.” Brad Sturdivant at Flix 66.

“The Blu-ray and 2-disc DVD include a six-part behind-the-scenes doc, music videos and filmmaker commentary. It stands to reason why author Stephenie Meyer doesn't show up, because the movies don't do her books justice.” Phil Villarreal at OK! Magazine.

“To anyone not in the targeted teen demographic, the story probably sounds patently-preposterous. But who are they to quibble with such a popular escapist fantasy which never takes itself seriously, yet somehow still resonates perfectly with the overly-sentimental, puppy love inclinations of passionate, prepubescent females?” Kam Williams at News Blaze.

Photos: The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Kimberley French / Summit Entertainment)

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Below are a few more The Twilight Saga: New Moon Blue-ray/DVD reviews.

“On the disc releases of NEW MOON, fans can check out a lengthy behind-the-scenes documentary that takes them all around the dreary landscapes, showing the making of the movie, the development of the characters' wardrobe and other superficial insights into the TWILIGHT universe. This six-part making of does pay great service to the loyal fans of the books and their accompanying movie adaptations, providing exhaustive detail concerning the creation of the town of Forks, Washington and the care given to its most popular residents.” Fangoria

“Overall I would give this film a 3/10 which is extremely disappointing. Not much happens in the film and you get to the point where you wish Bella would just disappear because she is so boring, selfish and childish. The DVD offers some interest in the Extras, there are some deleted scenes, interviews with the main cast, Behind the scenes and a sneak peak at Twilight Eclipse which actually looks interesting.” Laraine Sztypuljak at HEYUGUYS.

“Because the Twilight books and movies are a full-fledged phenomenon, no review is going to prevent the home video releases from becoming bestsellers, but you shouldn't feel bad if you don't understand what the fuss is about. You're not alone.” Forrest Hartman in the Reno Gazette Journal.

David Kross, Kate Winslet The Reader
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner in Chris Weitz's The Twilight Saga: New Moon (top); David Kross, Kate Winslet in Stephen Daldry's The Reader (bottom)

Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry could be the next person to direct Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner in the Twilight Saga series.

For those unfamiliar with the name, Stephen Daldry has been nominated for three Best Director Oscars: for Billy Elliot in 2000, The Hours in 2002, and The Reader in 2008. I should add that to date he has only directed three films.

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times blog 24 Frames, the powers-that-be at Summit Entertainment believe Daldry might be the right guy to handle vampires and werewolves in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Might. No contract negotiations or anything of the kind thus far.

But why shouldn't he? After all, he has handled a troubled working-class, teen male ballet dancer; two suicidal characters – one drowns herself, the other throws himself out the window; and a former Nazi guard who has an affair with a young man half her age. Vampires and werewolves should be a piece of cake for him.

Others who have been mentioned as possibilities for the next Twilight Saga installment are two filmmakers with Best Director Oscar nominations in their resume: Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk), and one Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay Bill Condon* (Gods and Monsters, which he also directed).

Summit Entertainment apparently wants to take the lucrative The Twilight Saga franchise to the next level in terms of artistry. What's interesting is that Coppola, Condon, Daldry, and Van Sant are all widely divergent talents.

Do the Summit powers-that-be merely want a prestige name, or are they actually looking for someone with a particular vision? If it's the latter option, then they must be changing their minds quite radically each time they think of a new name. One day The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is supposed to be a hip, innovative love story; the next, a moody, atmospheric existential drama; the next, a conventional but glitzy affair.

Of the four listed above, I'd say Daldry would be the most interesting, chiefly because he hasn't been afraid to tackle difficult themes – and Breaking Dawn offers some heavy-duty stuff. (Come to think of it, Van Sant would actually be the best choice, except that his commercial ventures tend to be disappointingly by-the-book efforts. Pattinson, for his part, sounded excited about the possibility of working with Van Sant, telling MTV.com, “He shoots everything in Portland. He's good at making it look beautiful. … [Breaking Dawn] is all about teenage love and obsessions. I think Gus Van Sant would be great.”

But then again, if Stephen Daldry is selected as his next director, Pattinson and his fellow cast members should consider themselves very lucky. In his three-film career, Daldry has helped to earn his actors three Oscar nominations (Julie Walters for Billy Elliot, Ed Harris and Julianne Moore for The Hours) and two Oscars wins (Nicole Kidman for The Hours, Kate Winslet for The Reader).

* I'd erroneously – and inexplicably – had Bill Condon as the Oscar-nominated director of Chicago. Actually, that was Rob Marshall. Condon received an Oscar nomination for penning the screen adaptation of the 2002 musical.

March 31

Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Jackson Rathbone, and Peter Facinelli can be seen above in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. This new photo has been recently released by Summit Entertainment.

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner star in the upcoming film.

In the image, Dr. Cullen (Facinelli), Esme (Reaser), Jasper (Rathbone), Alice (Greene), and Rosalie (Reed) look for enemies lurking in the forests of Forks, Washington.

Directed by David Slade from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse opens on June 30.

Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner look quite pensive in the picture above, as they wonder: Will Breaking Dawn be one or two movies? Will people need 3D glasses to watch it or not? Will Summit Entertainment hire an Oscar-nominated director to handle it?

If all those concerns weren't enough, Bella will have a lot more in her plate in Eclipse: there's a vengeful vampire out to get her, the detente between vampires and werewolves is about to unravel as both werewolf Jacob and vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) vie for Bella's affections, and Bella must decide if she wants to become immortal.

And if that weren't all, there are school exams and all for her to worry about. Ah, and some dead people have been turning up in Seattle.

David Slade directed The Twilight Saga: Eclipse from a screenplay by Melissa Rosenberg. The film is based on Stephenie Meyer's novel. It opens on June 30.

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5 Comments to New 'Twilight' Movie DVD Reviews & Unexpected Director for Upcoming Entry?

  1. Vicki Johnson

    Love Remember Me - Love New Moon - Love Robert Pattinson.

  2. Gabrielle Saracen

    I want all the books and all the movies!!! I AM TWILIGHT ROCKS

  3. TYRAH HOLMES

    i think that its really facinating to watch them as they look so interested in the stories

  4. julie prawira

    I really like this love story

  5. Jenny Rushing

    Thanks for linking to my review, Joan! :)