‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ in review

Sat, 03/07/2010 - 13:57 | by Eyes of Amber

For all of us who spent months asking if it was June yet, the fact that it is now July seems nearly unbelievable. So what does that mean? It means that Eclipse is now out in US theaters and will soon be all over the UK as well. It’s US opening on Tuesday was a record-breaking $30 million for the midnight release alone. I was among those numbers, seeing the entire “Twilight Trilogy” back to back. I couldn’t pass up the chance to see Twilight and New Moon on the big screen again just beforeEclipse. It was definitely the perfect lead-in.

As Robert Pattinson said when he was on the ‘Tonight Show with Jay Leno’, the movie is based on a book so they aren’t really any secrets. Having said that, I avoided all the clips and stills before seeing the movie and I’m glad that I did. I promise not to share anything with you here that will spoil your viewing experience. These are just some of my thoughts on the movie and I can’t wait to hear yours!

Overall, I was very happy with Eclipse. The love letter that David Slade wrote to the fans deserves an equally loving response. He did a fantastic job in bringing more of the action of Eclipse to life without losing the romance that is the backbone of the saga. If you’ve read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: an Eclipse novella, you will certainly see its influence on the film. I was really glad to see how small details were worked into the script. If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out breetanner.com where you can read the book for free until July 5 at midnight EST. You can also check out the review I wrote of the book here.

There were so many things to love about Eclipse. Robert Pattinson’s Edward is straight from the books. We get to see a lighter, less broody version of the vampire we all love so much. We are reminded that despite his hundred plus years, he’s still very much a teenager in love. His emotions are very strong and very human, particularly when it comes to Bella and Jacob. The nasty chemistry between Edward and Jacob we got a glimpse of in Twilight has now come to full fruition and is played out fantastically. If it is at all possible for anyone to still have doubts about Taylor Lautner’s casting as Jacob after his performance in New Moon, this should erase every last one.

Eclipse also gives some of the other Cullens a chance to shine. The back stories of Rosalie and Jasper are brought to life beautifully. This is my favorite look for Rosalie and I’m so glad to see a chance for Nikki Reed to take a bigger part. If you have longed to see Major Jasper Whitlock in uniform on his horse, you will not be disappointed. But the Jasper wonderment doesn’t stop there. The scenes where he is training the other Cullens and the wolves how to fight the newborns are a highlight of the film much as the baseball scene was in Twilight.

No matter how many times you’ve read Eclipse, there will still be surprises for you. It’s very interesting how things have been moved around or changed slightly. The effect is generally the same and any omissions do not seem to impact the general flow of the story. The tent scene, the infamous leg hitch and the proposal are completely epic. The way Bella left school with Jacob on his bike threw me for a bit of a loop. There was only one moment that I was truly shocked by something that did not match the book.

So what are the downsides? I really could have done with less Riley. I understand the reason for adding these scenes, but some of them just seemed like overkill to me when we could have spent those few moments expanding some other scenes. I would have liked to see more of Bella’s time with Jacob after the battle and the emotional impact that had on her. The replacement of Rachelle LeFevre as Victoria was disturbing to me. I am in no way criticizing the performance by Bryce Dallas Howard, it was just very distracting. I found myself wondering who this woman was and what she has against the Cullens.

Finally, I think the Eclipse soundtrack is the best so far and is absolutely fantastic. I was a little disappointed and didn’t feel like it was used optimally. There was one song in particular that could have been used beautifully in several different spots and ended up in the closing credits. On the plus side, the Muse song which was my least favorite was used in a spot in the movie where it fit surprisingly well and sounded great.

So is Eclipse the best movie of the saga so far? I think it probably is, but I need to see it a few more times before I can say that definitively. This is my favorite Edward of all and there are so many chances for the minor characters to shine and sometimes completely steal the show in this one. It’s a must see and I doubt that you can resist the urge to see it more than once. With nearly a year and a half to go before we get part one of Breaking Dawn, you’ve got lots of opportunities to commit this one to memory. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

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