New Moon: Series 2 – Shirtless Jacob and Sparkling Edward

Love it or hate it, Twilight is here to stay…at least for a couple more years as we await the coming of the last two films. And with the marketing machine behind Stephanie Meyer’s juggernaut of a franchise still going strong, NECA’s released a whole new wave of figures as the second series from their New Moon collection.

For fans of the series, this is a blessing. For those who can’t stand it, well…these might be the most alarming yet as, on top of a second Edward and a figure of Jasper, Series 2 brings us…SPARKLE EDWARD (above) and SHIRTLESS JACOB.

Yes, that’s correct. One figure devoted to Edward as he appears in the sun (why these vampires sparkle rather than burn, I don’t know, but such is the watered-down monster of our time) and another to those who just want to see Taylor Lautner with his top off. You can see the whole set (and the original Twilight figures) over in CmdStore’s Twilight section and here’s a look at what you can expect from everybody’s favourite shirtless werewolf.

Personally, though, I think I’ll be sticking with Benicio Del Toro in the upcoming The Wolf Man. And we’ve got figures from that, too, which I can definitely say I prefer even if he keeps his shirt on.

Taylor Lautner flaunts rippling 8-pack in Twilight New Moon

Taylor Lautner shirtless

Twilight hunk Taylor Lautner, who worked out nonstop to gain 30 pounds of muscle for sequel New Moon, is embarrassed by the media attention surrounding his ripped physique.

“It’s actually quite uncomfortable knowing so many people are seeing that!” Lautner, 17, tells Us. “It’s a little bit embarrassing!”

Taylor credits working out and eating around the clock for the rippling 8-pack abs he flaunts in New Moon. Gaining weight was “a lot of hard work,” says Lautner. “[It was all about] eating, working out – a lot of stuff.”

For Twilight’s next two sequels–Eclipse and Breaking Dawn–Taylor must add even more weight to his naturally lanky frame. [Editor’s note: In the book, Jacob morphs from a baby-faced 6’2″ teen to a monstrous 6’7″ werewolf.]

“Jacob continually grows throughout the series, so I’m still going to have to put on a little bit more weight,” says Taylor.

Lautner is currently in Vancouver with co-stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, filming Eclipse. “We are having a lot of fun hanging out in Vancouver,” says Lautner. “It’s really good.”

Twilight has flexed some serious box-office muscles, having grossed over $384 million worldwide since its release last fall while the sequel (New Moon) has grossed over $677 million worldwide so far.

Buy New Moon Action Figures at Cmdstore.com:

Taylor Launter Action Figure

New Moon: The Reviews are in! Plus, Figures!

We’ve got all four of the New Moon figures in-stock and available for sale. Check out Edward Cullen, Jacob Black, Bella and Alice over in our Twilight and New Moon section. The figures stand about 6 inches tall and feature some great sculpting that makes them very loyal to the iconic looks of their film counterparts. They’re made by NECA, so don’t expect much in the way of articulation, but the scultping and design will more than make up for what it lacks in movement. These will look great on the shelf of anyone who loves the books or the films.

But if you’re a true Twi-hard, you probably already had those on pre-order and have seen the film at least once. But for everybody else, MTV.com brings us the lastest from fans and critics who have now reentered the world of Twilight for the second installment, New Moon.

It’s Friday morning, and the opening midnight screenings of “New Moon” have come and gone. But it’s not just devoted vampire lovers and werewolf fiends who got early looks at the film. Premieres and screenings have taken place across the country, and loads of folks have already been able to see this sequel to Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” vampire series.

Now, let’s be honest, if you’re a committed Twilighter, you surely already plunked down some cash for an opening weekend trip to the cinema and are counting the minutes until showtime. Or maybe you’re sitting on the “Twilight” fence, unsure if all the breathless enthusiasm for Edward and Bella can possibly live up to the hype. Well, the “New Moon” reviews have flooded in to help you decide. Agree or disagree, here are what the critics are saying about the film.

Perhaps the most notable difference between “Twilight” and “New Moon” — aside from Taylor Lautner’s new muscles — is the look and style of the film after a new director came on board the franchise. “Director Chris Weitz (‘The Golden Compass’) has crafted a film with visual flair and polish, particularly in the action sequences of werewolves vs. vampires,” writes USA Today’s Claudia Puig. “Fortunately, he is more sparing with the tight close-ups and swirling shots that typified ‘Twilight’ director Catherine Hardwicke’s dizzying style.”

And then, of course, there are the film’s three leads. Not all critics were taken with their performances, but many gave them props. “Kristen Stewart is a little twitchy (‘Can’t she get through one scene without playing with her hair?’ a friend of mine sniped afterward) but her antics and moody moping are perfectly appropriate to the troubled-teen character,” declares Stephen Whitty of the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “As for her co-stars — well, they do exactly what they need to do, which is embody two separate kinds of wish-fulfillments for the fans. A newly buff Taylor Lautner is hunky, often shirtless — and very much the Bad Boy (complete with motorcycle and delinquent friends) every girl is warned about. And Robert Pattinson — all tousled locks and malnourished torso — has all the troubled anguish of the Sensitive Soul No One Understands.”

Our own Kurt Loder was thrilled to see Lautner take over from Pattinson for the large part of the movie. “Last year’s sensitive hunk, with his pasty face and glum, mopey demeanor, is no match for this year’s actual hunk; and Jacob — vibrant, funny, and madly muscular — romps off with the picture,” he says.

The supporting cast come in for especially high praise. “Michael Sheen takes a break from playing historical figures like David Frost and Tony Blair and gets to overact shamelessly as Aro, the head of the vampire council known as the Volturi,” says the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr. “Better yet, there’s Dakota Fanning, God bless her, showing Stewart how it’s done in one nifty scene as a vampirette with sadistic mental powers and old-school movie presence. Anna Kendrick also walks away with her one scene as Bella’s tart high school pal, Jessica.”

While many critics acknowledge how the film serves its base, they argue that “New Moon” won’t hit home for those less familiar with franchise mythology. “[E]xpect this film to satisfy its fans,” explains Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everybody else, get ready for a bizarre soap opera/pageant, consisting of a succession of static scenes with characters loping into the frame to announce exactly what they’re thinking. Then they spell out their personalities for us. Here is an emotionally tortured vampire. Here is a perky, friendly vampire. And don’t forget the vampire who is a dedicated physician.”

So while not every critic may get the “Twilight” phenomenon, fans undoubtedly will. ” ‘New Moon’ is not all love and hisses,” says the Toronto Star’s Peter Howell. “Although tangled romance is more the emphasis this time out — ‘Romeo and Juliet’ allusions are driven home like a stake through the heart — there are action set pieces designed to thrill genre movie lovers. They’ll likely scare the daylights out of everyone else.”

The Top 10 Sexiest Vampires

Top 10 Sexiest Vampires

There is just something about the undead that gets our pulses racing. Whether it’s the fact that vampires only come out at night or that they reel in their prey by seducing them first, we continue to see them as more lustful, irresistible and exciting than any other horror flick creature.

In honour of True Blood, the racy new vampire drama on FX, we have compiled a list of the top ten sexiest vampires of all time. There were a lot to choose from, so if you disagree with our selection please feel free to tell us in the comment section below.

10: Kiefer Sutherland, The Lost Boys, 1987

Proof that Sutherland was actually sexy before he began torturing terrorists and trying to single-handedly save the American people in 24. This is the film that started the teen vampire craze and it’s packed full of great Eighties tunes (Remember Cry Little Sister?), male bonding of the slightly homoerotic Topgun variety and teenage rebellion. Yes, we’re afraid of him, but when Sutherland, aka David, starts jumping off railway bridges we want to be part of his gang. It seems a bit wrong to pine for someone with a mullet – but we just do.

Watch a clip

9: Sharon Tate, The Fearless Vampire Killers, 1967

Roman Polanski’s camp vampire comedy, subtitled Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck, was panned by critics as being slow-moving and unwitty, but Tate is cute as a button as the innkeeper’s daughter who fraternizes with the local vampires before being abducted and turned into one. Tate had hardly done any films at this stage and has a playful innocence that audiences (and Polanski, who married her a year later – shortly before she was murdered) loved.

Watch a clip

8: James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997 (TV series)

What, Spike over Angel? Now before hordes of Buffy fans send in indignant letters about the exclusion of David Boreanaz, let us explain: Spike makes our top ten because he represents the ultimate female fantasy: the bad boy who abandons his evil ways because of his love for a woman (unlike Angel, who is already good when Buffy meets him). He is like the Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons; Mr Big in Sex and the City; Danny Zuko in Grease (just a bit more sinister and with tighter leather). And in the end, he doesn’t run straight off to his own inferior spin-off series, thank you very much; nope, Spike – spoiler alert – sacrifices his life for his lady. What could be sexier than that?

Watch the trailer

7: Catherine Deneuve, The Hunger, 1983

Deneuve gets our vote for being the only successful blonde vampiress that we can think of, in The Hunger, a modern-day gothic vampire flick that gathered a substantial cult following in the years after its release, partly because it co-stars David Bowie, and partly because Deneuve gets it on with Susan Sarandon. Deneuve brings a certain elegance to her role as the sensuous Miriam – not surprising given that she had already managed to make a prostitute with a penchant for rough sex look chic in Belle de Jour in 1967.

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6: Monica Bellucci, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992

Even in a stellar cast that includes Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins, a then unknown Bellucci still managed to shine as one of Dracula’s beautiful vampire brides in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 classic. Unlike Dracula himself, Bellucci’s character is not even remotely likeable, but she does positively exude sex, embodying cinema’s fascination with vampires’ raw, relentless sexuality.

Watch the trailer

5: Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992

He doesn’t seem like much these days, but back in the Nineties let’s not forget Oldman was married to screen goddess Uma Thurman. Oddly handsome and enigmatic in his heyday, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula Oldman is the love-sick count who waits 400 years to find the reincarnation of his much beloved wife. He may have a receding hairline and have murdered her best friend but Winona Ryder is still so enamoured that she tries to drink his blood and become a vampire too.

Watch a clip

4: Kate Beckinsale, Underworld, 2003

Whether or not you think that Beckinsale crossed over to the dark side when she exchanged Michael Sheen and English shores for LA, a perma-tan and a friendship with Victoria Beckham, there’s no denying that she makes a hot vampiress. In Underworld, she plays Selene, an impassioned fighter in the war between vampires and werewolves, until she falls for one of the latter. It’s all very Romeo and Juliet, but in what is really a fairly dull thriller, it’s Selene’s skin tight leather cat suit that does the trick. It certainly got the attention of Len Wiseman, Underworld director and now Beckinsale’s husband.

Watch the trailer

3: Stephen Moyer, True Blood, 2008 (TV series)

Moyer has been bumped all the way up to number three on our list of all-time faves because, frankly, we’re smitten. He is Bill, a lonely vampire who, in a contemporary US where vampires drink synthetic blood to survive and have just been granted the vote, is searching for a quiet life in Bon Temps, a small town in the swamps of Louisiana. He is strong, handsome, emotionally vulnerable and throws furtive glances at Anna Paquin’s character Sookie that are desperate with longing. Unlike Twilight’s infantile Robert Pattinson (see below), Bill seems older than his 30 “human years” and his weariness at his own immortality is palpable. Moyer is a Brit, which might explain how he manages to seem so endearingly reserved.

Watch the trailer

2: Salma Hayek, From Dusk Till Dawn, 1996

Without doubt one of the most erotic dances in cinema history, Hayek’s perfect, curvaceous form writhing on stage covered only in a very flimsy black bikini and a snake caught the imagination of every cinema-going male in the English-speaking world when From Dusk Till Dawn was released (long before Britney Spears attempted something similar). The fact that she subsequently transforms into a hideous monster and bites a huge chunk off Quentin Tarantino’s neck has done little to diminish her appeal as one of the sexiest vampires of all time. And kudos to Tarantino for getting up close and personal with someone like Hayek in one of the only films he has actually had a major role in.

Watch a clip

1: Brad Pitt, Interview With The Vampire: the Vampire Chronicles, 1994

The ultimate reluctant vampire. Louis’s brand of handsome, brooding anguish is the reason why vampires play on our heartstrings in a way that zombies and werewolves never could. Vampires aren’t always bloodthirsty monsters, but unfortunate creatures whose hunger compels them to kill. When we don’t fear them, we pity them. And Pitt’s paternal relationship with Kirsten Dunst (inappropriate snog aside) makes him more endearing still. This is Pitt at his most youthful, engaging and sympathetic – like his role in Thelma and Louise, but with fangs and a conscience.

Watch the trailer

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Robert Pattinson, Twilight, 2008

As the dreamy, misunderstood Edward Cullen, Pattinson has become something of an obsession amongst 15-year-old girls of late, the way Leonardo DiCaprio was post-Titanic. But he’s just a bit too teenage for our liking. Yes, he’s the kind of boy you thought was sexy at school because he seemed mysterious and never actually spoke to you. But then you grew up and started liking men who could hold a decent conversation.

Watch the trailer

Tom Cruise, Interview With The Vampire: the Vampire Chronicles, 1994

Given his increasingly bizarre behaviour in real life, Cruise’s portrayal of the blood-sucking corrupter Lestat seems positively lamb-like. We know it’s not quite fair to let real life affect our film judgement (and Cruise is actually brilliant as Lestat) but we can’t quite see him as sexy since we saw that YouTube video of an oddly hyper Tom cackling hysterically about his spiritual enlightenment.

Watch a clip

For Twilighters: New Moon Figures

On the heels of the Twilight 2-Pack from NECA comes the next series of toys from the film franchise based on Stephanie Meyers’ trendy vampire book series.

The first series of toys from the hotly-anticipated New Moon consists of four figures: Edward and Bella, plus Alice and the werewolf, Jacob Black. Rendered with all the skill you’ve come to expect from the folks at NECA, they look just like the actors and are a great way for fans to get just a little bit closer to their favourite characters–or just Robert Pattinson.

You can find the Twilight movie, Twilight book and New Moon Soundtrack here!
Twilight (Two-Disc Special Edition)
Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack

The Official New Moon Trailer!

In case you missed our last New Moon post,where we checked out the new poster (above) and the Twilight figures (below), here’s a bit of news that’s sure to please Twi-hards everywhere.

The official trailer is out! Hard-core fans likely already know this, but as is the way with phenomena like the Twilight books/films, I’m sure that Meyer-fans (or maybe just Pattinson fans) won’t complain about taking another look…or fifty.  If you liked the first film, you’ve surely been salivating at the mere prospect of another, so hopefully this will tide you over until it’s release on November 20th!

Twilight Saga: New Moon Movie and Twilight action figures

I’ll be the first to admit that I am definitely not into Twilight, nor any aspect of it. Even my feelings on Robert Pattinson pretty much end at “I guess he was okay in Harry Potter”. But while I might not be a in any minority for failing to grasp the reason for the popularity of Stephanie Myers’ book series, I still have to admit that it’s swiftly become the Next Big Thing (or I guess now it’s just the Big Thing) in certain circles. So for fans, here’s a look at the New Moon poster they released yesterday:

From the comments on various sites, I’d say reactions are mixed. A lot of fans even call it a little over-the-top, with the photoshop work a bit too glaring, but for die-hard Twilighters it’s just another sign that they’re getting close to a sequel for which they’re waiting impatiently.

Of course, fans might also want to make the wait easier with the Twilight figures that we now have available.

Twilight Action Figure 2-Pack Series: Edward & Bella

They’re from the folks at NECA, so the highly-detailed sculpting and the expert painting come as little surprise (of course, neither does the lack of articulation) and both Edward and Bella look pretty great on display. Plus, it comes with a Cullen family crest that just begs to be made into a pendant. You can click the above photo, or if you’re looking for more, check out our online store!