The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Directed by: David Slade Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner Running Time: 2 hrs 4 mins Rating: PG-13 Release Date: June 30, 2010
PLOT: In the third installment of The Twilight Saga series Bella (Stewart) must seriously think about her future as a vampire with Edward (Pattinson), or with Jacob (Lautner). Meanwhile, an old enemy resurfaces along with some evil newborns.
WHO'S IT FOR? Twihards unite! Beyond that, this is the most accessible film in the series for those boyfriends who are dragged along. Plus, those who are kind of curious should have a pretty good time.
EXPECTATIONS: None. Twilight and The Twilight Saga: New Moon were both fine. Not great. Not terrible. I figured this would find its way into that group. Plus, director David Slade's (30 Days of Night) work doesn't excite me.
Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan: The film starts with Bella reading poetry to Edward. Sure, some of you may be already rolling your eyes, but it's not bad. More importantly, I finally started to feel her angst. It actually is a tough decision to become something for one person, which will alienate you from everyone else in your life. Sure, Stewart still relies on biting her lower lip, but not as much. And Bella learns an important lesson, don't punch a werewolf in the face. Score: 7
Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen: It finally strikes me that Edward is mature. He's hundreds of years old, so it makes sense. Because of this maturity, he also has a little bit of a protective (almost parent like) love for Bella. Yes, there's some glitter too. Most importantly though, he's not moping as much. There is life in this vampire! Score: 7
Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black: The first moment we see him, base guitar is cranking and he's posing. It's a little comical for those not obsessed with Team Jacob. He's just full of zingers this time along. He also makes some really good points in the war for Bella's heart. He's not Edward though, and most would agree that means he's just not going to cut it. Score: 7
Rest of Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard and Dakota Fanning are barely in this film. That might hurt some who were waiting for a big Victoria story. They really could have done more with Victoria and Riley (Xavier Samuel). There's also back stories for Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and Rosalie (Nikki Reed), which immerses you in this world better than the other films. Score: 6
TALKING: We actually do get to hear Bella say, "I'm tired of this. I'm Switzerland." Much better though are the lines from Jacob and Edward. Edward: "Don't you ever wear a shirt?" Jacob: "I'm hotter than you." There's a playfulness that isn't in the others. While the dialogue is pretty good, it's really stretched out. Each scene is five minutes, when they could have just spoken a little quicker and gotten it down to four. The existence of the Volturi still haven't been properly explained. Score: 7
SIGHTS: The big battle ... while it works for the story, it really doesn't visually showcase the fighting. After all, these newly turned vampires known as newborns are supposed to be stronger than the others, right? So why does this big battle take just a few minutes, and really not put anyone is serious danger? The action is SCS (Shaky Camera Syndrome) so you can't really get a sense of the quality of fighting. The one on one with Robert and Victoria works much better. Score: 6
SOUNDS: While the soundtrack has some great bands like Muse, The Bravery, and Vampire Weekend, I never feel like these are effectively used in the story. I'm not saying they won't sell tons of albums, but "Let's Get Lost" by Beck and Bat for Lashes seems out of place in the movie. The score is good, not great and doesn't really make any moment feel greater than it already is. Score: 5
BEST SCENE: It was pretty fun to be trapped in a tent with Bella, Edward and Jacob. There was some good humor and an actual honest-to-god logical conversation about this love triangle.
ENDING: It ends with Bella and Edward back with the purple lilies. It's an amusing moment with some levity brought in to this otherwise otherworldly romance.
QUESTIONS: Jean shorts. Where do the werewolves get them? So are the werewolves' bones super strong in both forms?Why hasn't Edward's ideas on relationships evolved with the times?
REWATCHABILITY: With a remote in hand, I definitely could see this one again.
Twihards will adore it. Regular fans on of the Twilight series will have a great time. And here's the most important thing ... the ones who haven't already made up their mind about Twilight already, will think this is pretty good. Is it a great movie? No. For one, it's not an action movie even though some previews will try to convince you otherwise. The final battle is quick. Another issue is, their isn't a great focus on villains, so it doesn't feel like there is anything extremely significant for the Cullens or werewolves to fear. What really is surprising is how slow this movie goes along. It doesn't make sense why it creeps along at times. They finally give the love triangle the weight it needs. For just two hours, they make me think about how Bella wouldn't have to change to be with Jacob (werewolf) compared to being with Edward (vampire). Sure, afterward I start to think about how life with a werewolf wouldn't be all that great. Just think about constantly trying to find more jean shorts after he's ripping through two to three a day. Eclipse is the best Twilight has to offer. While I never see greatness coming from these films, this one is pretty good.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10