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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Blu-ray Movie Review


The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

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Those starry-eyed Twilight fans finally have the movie their over-obsession deserves.  Director David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) bravely jettisons most of the sappy and unbelievable drippy “romance” that saturates the pages of Stephanie Meyer’s book of the same name and injects some much-needed action and suspense.  Sharper, edgier and a hell of a lot better than what we’ve seen before, Slade’s Eclipse is, in my opinion, where the Twilight series, in its cinematic form, should have started.

Bella (Kristen Stewart) is in a hurry.  She wants Edward Cullen’s (Robert Pattinson) in her now.  His fangs, that is.  She wants to love and be loved forever...as a vampire and she simply cannot wait.  Still grounded from her adventures in Italy, Bella impatiently listens to her father (Billy Burke) humorously explain the birds and the bees and the changes that will happen to her emotionally, but she actually hears none of it.  She wants change now.  But which will she choose?  There’s the defined abs and feral howl of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and the dreamy sparkle of Vampire Dead Ed’s skin.  As a young adult, it's a little hard to choose between eternal life or a life covered in hair, you know...so be patient.  Yet, there’s more at stake: her decision of lover could make or break the uneasy truce between the two warring supernatural tribes as some pissed off vampires start thrashing around Seattle and murdering innocents again.  Only a team-up will save the population and Bella, but can the two boys put aside their lust long enough?  Yes, that's the plot and territory of Meyer's book.  Sounds awful, I know, but - when it comes down to it - it kind of works this time.  Kind of.

With an emphasis on action, Slade’s film kicks into high gear with several large-action sequences that might startle some audiences as they are much more jolting and adult than previously seen from the franchise.  It seems danger is actually afoot.  Suspense, too.  But, rest assured, all is not lost for the twinkle-toed dreamers in the audience, those hackneyed scenes of “romance” in Bella’s bizarre love triangle are still very much in tact and they nearly sink, as in teeth breaking skin, the adult spirit of the franchise because of their laughably juvenile scenarios (still in the teenage longing vein of the original).  For example, the best worst line of the triangle (and the movie) comes when Jacob, bickering with Edward over Bella in a tent the three of them are "sharing", emphatically declares, “I’m hotter than you!”  Yeah, the triangle doesn't get anymore believable than that.  Fortunately, Melissa Rosenberg’s script suffers the least when she strays from the originating source material.  Adding a hefty amount of back-story to some of the new vampires and changing some of the scenes around to build a more engaging cinematic flow, Rosenberg’s script shares the same spirit of the Harry Potter series when it “broke free” from the mold under Alfonso Cuarón’s direction.

Soaked with a hefty amount of campy moments and only a few that encourage an automatic gagging reflex, Eclipse seems to have developed a healthy sense of humor from its super serious and overly sensitive fanbase and doesn’t mind ribbing them a bit about it.  Of course, The Twilight Saga is critic proof.  There really is no sense in reviewing the film because people either “get it” or they don’t – and those that do “get it” don’t mind “getting it” multiple times.  Sure, it’ll make $200 million because of its name alone - and an extra $100 million from word of mouth when the boys shrug that it isn't that bad.  Eclipse doesn’t have to be good, but, thankfully, the dusting of action helps to sugarcoat its dramatic flaws.  That being said, Slade's vision is what this PG-minded series needed and – under his direction – seems to be making its first step in the right direction.  Certainly not the best example of soap operatic material, Eclipse – because of Slade - manages to bring some of the mysticism lacking in the Twilight of before.


Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 Stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 Stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 4, 2010
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: BD-59 (BD/DVD flipper disc); Single disc (1 BD); DVD copy; Bonus View (PiP); BD-Live

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
  • Author Stephenie Meyer and Producer Wyck Godfrey

Featurette:

  • The Making of 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' 6-Part Documentary (1080p, 1:28:00)
    • Introducing David Slade
    • Pre-Production: Setting the Stage
    • The Heart of 'Eclipse'
    • The Dark Side of 'Eclipse'
    • Lights, Camera, Action
    • Post-Production: Leaps in Technology

Deleted Scenes: Eight deleted/extended scenes (1080p, 12:33)

Photo Gallery (1080p)

Music Videos:

  • Neutron Star Collision by Muse (480p, 4:18)
  • Eclipse (All Yours) by Metric (480p, 4:20)

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