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Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

June 30, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – An E1 Films’ Release

http://www.eclipsethemovie.com/

Release Date: June 30th

Rated PG for violence, not recommended for young children

Running time: 124 minutes

 

David Slade (dir.)

 

Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)

Stephenie Meyer (novel)

 

Howard Shore (music)

 

 

Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan

Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen

Billy Burke as Charlie Swan

Justin Chon as Eric

Anna Kendrick as Jessica

Bryce Dallas Howard as Victoria

Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black

Dakota Fanning as Jane

 

 

 

Photo credit: Kimberley French – Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

 

Our reviews below:

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is grittier and more entertaining than the first two Twilight pictures.  Both of which were movies that I kind of liked, but I enjoyed this one a lot more.  The acting’s better this time around, and there’s actually a more imminent sense of suspense.  In other words, it’s the first film in the series that can actually be called a purely good movie.  I liked Eclipse a lot more than I thought I would.

 

Bella (Kristan Stewart) is still in the midst of a confusing love triangle between vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and wolf-boy Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).  This time around, the Cullen’s have to fend off a group of evil “newborn” vampires coming out of Seattle, Washington.  Meanwhile, Bella gets caught up in the long-time rivalries between the vampires and wolves.  Director David Slade has provided nice back stories and more character development, making the whole Twilight phenomenon make a little more sense to me, having not read the books.

 

This is the first time I have actually gotten the sense that Bella does have a tough decision to make between Edward and Jacob.  But one thing I still don’t understand is why the wolves are so big, if they’re normal sized human beings.  In one particular scene, Jacob stands on all fours beside Bella, and is towering over her.  This just looks ridiculous.

 

Some of the special effects are still campy and cheesy, like the fight scenes that end with stone-heads shattering, but it’s more forgivable this time around, because everything else has been kicked up a notch. It does rely on shaky-cam perhaps more than it needs to, but it does add to the sense of danger and suspense.  It is a little long, like the previous pictures, but it also moves at a better pace.

 

Kristan Stewart might display more emotions in the first ten minutes of Eclipse than she has in the other two movies, but even though she’s grown more comfortable with the role of Bella, she’s still pretty much playing on the same one-note.  Robert Pattinson is on an upward swing, actually giving a better, more subdued performance this time around.  Taylor Lautner is also good, and they get some funny interplay between them, particularly in a hilarious scene in a tent.

 

Although it may only sound like faint-praise, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is a far better movie than the first two, and is actually a surprisingly entertaining summer blockbuster.  Although it will surely please Twi-hards, whether they are on team Edward or team Jacob, this is also the first film that doesn’t seem to exclude those who haven’t read the books.  Although it won’t go up for awards, or be named one of the best of the year, this is a fun way to spend a summer afternoon, even for those who aren’t the right demographic to be swooning over either male lead.

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review by Erin V.

*** (out of 4)

Back when I’d reviewed [ranted slightly about] New Moon on DVD, I said that with Eclipse coming out in a few months, I hoped the series would get better than it had been so far.  I’m pleased to say, that it has – at least enough for me to get the hype a little bit more.

 

In Eclipse, Bella is now graduating high school and still trying to convince Edward to change her into a vampire, while Jacob is still trying to convince her to go with him.  Meanwhile, someone is creating an army of vampire ‘newborns’ in Seattle, which we just know is going to lead to a battle by the end of the film.  This time though, the vampires and ‘werewolves,’ both of which are still trying to figure out Victoria’s secret, will have to work together to protect Bella and stop this new nemesis.

 

There was at least some suspensefulness here.  But still, while entertaining, a lot of the choreography and special effects in the fights amuses me more than allowing me to actually take it seriously.  One particular snowy set looks fake too.  And, although not nearly as much this time around, like in the other two films, I also found that there were some parts in the middle that dragged a bit for me – I think I’d fall asleep during a triple bill.

 

One thing I must say though, is although I’m admittedly not a fan of Robert Pattinson’s acting (movies like How To Be, Little Ashes, and Remember Me are kind of what did it for me), he’s actually ok as Edward.  I think other than his small part in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Twilight Saga is his best work.  Taylor Lautner is also fine as Jacob, although Kristen Stewart still gives the most wooden performance of the three.  The scenes with back and forth dialogue between just Pattinson and Lautner where Stewart doesn’t jump in are far better for this particular reason.  They also seem to get better lines.  Overall, I think the lead actors are all coming more into their roles as they keep on reprising these characters.

 

The music (this time around by Howard Shore) was fine, albeit quite overscored at times – but it’s that kind of movie I guess.  I honestly think that if the last (two-part) installment keeps going in the direction that this one did, it will be fine.  I’m glad I saw this film, since it’s one of the biggest of the summer.

 

Is this to say that I am a now a fan of the Twilight series?  No.  I don’t anticipate the films like I do some other movies, but I think the series has come to a point where I don’t mind sitting in a theatre for 2+ hours to watch the next installment.  You just won’t find me lining up at midnight to do it.

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

As the most entertaining movie in the saga so far, Eclipse has more suspense than the previous films.  This is apparent in the first scene, in which a young man named Riley is attacked by Victoria, turning him into a rogue vampire himself.  Victoria has been terrorizing nearby Seattle by turning local teenagers into ravenous vampires known as “newborns,” who gang up on unsuspecting victims.  Meanwhile, back in Forks, Edward wants to propose to Bella.  But Jacob also has feelings for her, so he’s jealous of Edward.  Jacob and Edward have never really gotten along.  But when Victoria’s army of newborn vampires come to Forks, both the wolves and the Cullens must work together to save Bella and the town.

 

The acting in Eclipse is better than in the previous movies.  The characters are also far more developed in Eclipse.  We see a real vulnerability in Edward, and an almost possessive side of Jacob, that wasn’t seen in the earlier films.  We also finally hear the history behind Jasper Cullen, and the history of the Quiluete wolf clan.

 

What worked about Eclipse is that the movie has just the right balance between suspense and comedy.  One of the funniest (and best) scenes involves an argument in a tent between Jacob and Edward.  The argument over who is better for Bella results in a very witty exchange of dialogue.

 

The final battle between Victoria and her newborns, versus the Cullens and wolves, has some great laughs.  The rogue vampires snap apart like they are made of plaster!  And the wolves’ proportions keep changing throughout the fight.  But somehow,  the cheesy stuff works in Eclipse, as it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Two things that are present in all the Twilight films are a decent score, and beautiful scenery.  Eclipse has a little of everything, suspense, drama, comedy, romance, and action.  Whether a Twihard or not, Eclipse is one film you will want to see.

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Twilight fans will likely be pleased with this latest installment.  Eclipse is a much better movie than the first two in the series.  This one provides a greater sense of suspense, better special effects and a lot more character development particularly with Jacob and Edward.

 

In Eclipse, Bella is in danger once again.  Vampire Victoria is seeking revenge and has recruited a violent group of newborns, young adults and teens who have recently been turned into vampires.  Edward and Jacob with the Cullen clan and the Quileute wolf tribe join forces to defeat Victoria and her army.  With both Edward and Jacob openly declaring their love for Bella she has some difficult choices to make.

 

What really works are the scenes between Bella and Edward, Bella and Jacob,  and especially Edward and Jacob.  Because there are more dialogue driven scenes than in the previous movies the viewer gets a better sense of who each character really is and why Bella’s choice is so difficult.

 

My favourite scene in the movie is when Jacob, Edward and Bella are all in a tent during a mountain snowstorm.  Bella is becoming hypothermic , so shirtless Jacob has to hold her close to him while Edward watches jealously.  Jacob says to Edward “let’s face it, I’m way hotter than you are.”  The dialogue between the two rivals while Bella sleeps is witty and a turning point.

 

I also liked the back stories about how Jasper and Rosalyn became vampires with the Cullen clan and what their lives were like prior to the change.  Eclipse also explains the legend of Jacob’s tribe and their shape shifting transformation into oversized wolves.

 

While the story seems clearer in Eclipse there is still room for improvement in the fight scenes and special effects.  The fight scenes still seem too blurry and too quick to really follow the action.  As for the popping off heads and arms, they look like defective store mannequins.  Those scenes probably weren’t meant to be laugh out loud moments.

 

The audience I saw Eclipse with was clearly a team Jacob one, with teenage hoots and hollers when he first appears shirtless.  Team Edward fans will be pleased to know he still sparkles in the sunlight.  Whether you are on team Jacob or team Edward, Eclipse is an entertaining two-hour visit with Bella, the boys and the assorted wolves and vampires, even for those of us who have never read the books.

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the third film in the Twilight franchise.  With more action and the leads Bella (Kristen Stewart, now getting first billing), Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) growing into their characters, this film is better than the first two in the series.  As the Volturi look on, an army of “newborn” vampires is being recruited in Seattle to avenge Victoria (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard) by killing Bella and wiping out the Cullens. They need the support of the native werewolves to help fight them off.

 

A lot of the film deals with the triangle between the leads: Bella still favours Edward even if he can’t keep her warm at night. There is little relief from the sombre atmosphere of the first two films, save for a few flashes of humour, not always intentional. The CGI wolves, about the size of grizzly bears, are impressive.  Everything is accompanied by a fine score from Howard Shore augmented by a good selection of appropriate songs.

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Consensus: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is a better movie than the first two in the series.  With better acting and special effects, this is a surprisingly entertaining summer blockbuster, that will surely please Twi-hards, as well as those who haven’t read the books. *** (Out of 4)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather Von Zuben permalink
    July 4, 2010 4:32 pm

    Hurrah!!!! Finally a Twilight movie where I didn’t come away from the screening complaining about one thing or another. I love this series of books and of course the books are much better than the movies but this is the first one that comes close to portraying the story. I just wish that Summitt Entertainment would blow out the budget for the final two movies that will tell the final book, Breaking Dawn. They definitely should have the money because this movie is going to smash all sorts of records. Ramp up the CGI and keep working on the makeup. Edward still is looking a little pasty to me. Looking forward, (although it’s going to be a long wait), to next November and the first installment of Breaking Dawn!!!

    Like

  2. Clare permalink
    July 7, 2010 11:57 pm

    I will leave you with this. Why. Was. There. A. Snow. Storm. In. June?????

    Like

    • July 8, 2010 3:44 pm

      In the film, I presume it was supposed to be because of high mountain elevations… The fake snow could have been better though.

      Like

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