Warning: The following contains spoilers. If you have not seen this movie or read the book and do not want know what happens you shouldn’t read this review
Unlike New Moon, I did not attend the midnight showing of Eclipse and for several reasons:
1. My movie watching companion (my sister) had to work
2. I wasn’t as amped for the movie as I have been in the past (see reasoning below)
3. I’d rather not be there amongst all the rabid screaming little girls this time
So I saw the movie last Saturday morning instead, three days after its release (obviously I couldn’t wait too long) and I was happy with this decision. The theater was fairly packed, but there was no one on either side of our seats and since it was so early the majority of the crowd were people my age or older (basically woman who don’t squeal as much). I was surprised by the amount of men in the crowd for Eclipse in comparison to New Moon, but my sister replied to that comment with, “They’re only here because their girlfriends made them come.” While she’s probably right, Eclipse was by far the best male targeted film of the bunch and my favorite so far.
Before I tell you exactly why it was my favorite let me first explain why I wasn’t as amped as I have been in the past. With New Moon, fans were almost overwhelmed with promotional material for months leading up to the release of New Moon. Nearly every other day some sort of picture or video was released online, not to mention the bombardment of advertisement in everything from Burger King Commercials to cardboard cut outs of the cast in the malls. New Moon was everywhere, reminding you to be excited for the film – making you count down the days until it had finally arrived. But Eclipse showed up with hardly any sort of fanfare. There wasn’t behind the scene footage released while filming, there wasn’t promotional material provided by Summit until a month and a half before it’s release and there wasn’t even the same frequency of trailers on TV leading up to it. While some may feel that the way New Moon was hyped up was overkill, I argue that not following the same marketing strategy with Eclipse was a mistake. Twi-hard fans need to salivate in anticipation, but if it’s not in their face they will quickly replace it with a new obsession. This was the case with me. I found it difficult to even keep my fan site up to date because of the lack of content surrounding Eclipse and this disappointed me. Truthfully, by the time June 30th arrived, I’d really kind of forgotten that I was supposed to be looking forward to it and I blame it on marketing.
Aside from that though, Eclipse was my favorite movie to date in the series. Now, I expected it to be because it was also my favorite book in the saga, but I was leery about it like I was with New Moon because of the switch in directing. I really liked what Chris Weitz brought to New Moon and would have loved for him to continue directing the series, but I must say that David Slade impressed me a lot! I’m not saying the movie was perfect because it wasn’t, but his darker take on vampires worked beautifully with the newborns and he brought them to life more than I think the book ever could (which is rare for me to say since I think books are always better than the movies they are made into).
What I liked:
1. The Action-The War-The Fighting, it was amazing! The scene wasn’t over in a blink of an eye, you got to see the entirety of the battle unfold and from both points, the Cullens & wolves Vs. the newborns and Edward & Seth Vs. Victoria & Riley and both battles were extremely well done. I found myself saying “Oh!” every couple seconds when it looked like one of the good guys might not win (even though I knew they would because they do in the book). It was illustrated far better than my imagination depicted it when I read the book and this makes me happy.
2. Eyes that changed from gold to black when they were hungry like they did in the book. This was something that disappointed me in New Moon, their eyes never changed when they were hungry, which to me was a major mistake on their part. Luckily, they corrected this oversight in Eclipse.
3. The score and soundtrack felt perfectly laced within each scene in Eclipse, but I should note that I’ve been impressed with this in all three movies so far. I like their attempt at grabbing several indie bands, people most haven’t heard of, and making them part of something that’s sure to launch their career forward.
4. Edward and Bella are a lot “closer” in Eclipse, which they should be. In the book Bella was almost always tempting Edward in a sexual manor so I appreciated the increase in kissing and groping scenes in the movie because that’s how it was in the book. And it was just enough, nothing too overboard or inappropriate for the age of most viewers in the crowd. Had they overplayed their increased sexual desire for each other because sex sells it would have greatly disappointed me, but they didn’t, they gave you just enough to know without plastering it obviously in front of your face.
5. All of the history and flashback scenes. As a writer myself, these are often my favorite scenes to write. In Eclipse they did an excellent job showing us Jasper, Rosalie, and the Quileute Tribe’s history, all of which were very different from each others and from the current day view of the movie. I think people who’ve never read the series probably really enjoyed finding out why Jasper and Rosalie have so much edge to them and how the wolves came into existence to begin with. In my opinion, in comparison to the flashback scene in Twilight when the treaty was set in place, the flashbacks in Eclipse were far better at portraying the entirety of the back story.
What I didn’t like:
1. Bella’s wig, it was very obvious and very distracting. I understand Kristen Stewart was filming “The Runaways” and therefore needed a modified hairdo, but I can’t understand why they chose to use a wig over giving her extensions. Hairstylists do extensions that are so realistic looking these days you can’t even tell most of the time unless you know for a fact that person doesn’t usually have that length of hair. I had extensions once and everyone believed it to be my real hair. I just don’t get why they didn’t go this route with her and I really wished they had. That wig was hideous! It never laid properly on her face, never held a natural part and just looked bulky in comparison to the hairstyle she’s had for the previous two movies.
2. Actors should get better with experience and the main three actors/actresses –Kristen, Rob, and Taylor- did worse in this film then the previous two which is just backwards. Rob and Taylor weren’t as bad – I wanted their banter between each other in this love triangle to be more like the book and it wasn’t, but still their acting was decent. Kristen on the other hand almost annoyed me. I was so impressed with how absorbed into the role she was in New Moon, but in Eclipse she just seemed awkward in the worst of ways. Her lip quivered too much when it shouldn’t have and overall she just let me down. Out of the three of them she has the most acting experience and should be at the top of her game by now, but she failed in my opinion. It seemed like maybe their ego caused by their overnight fame was a little too swelled and I hope when Breaking Dawn comes around they really work harder at being the roles they are trying to portray.
3. There’s close dialogue and then there’s too close. Most of the dialogue between Jacob & Bella and Edward & Bella were the latter, extremely close to each other while speaking, so close that their faces were almost brushing against each other. Who talks like that with people? (Especially all of the time) It was extremely unnatural and as a viewer I found myself feeling uncomfortable just watching it. I felt like saying, “Back up already jeez!” I don’t know why they chose to have so many close ups like this, but it irked me something fierce. I wish they hadn’t done it so frequently.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and look forward to the DVD release which is guaranteed to have extra footage (like the others). Even if you weren’t a fan of the book series, I’d say you’d probably still enjoy this movie. It’s worth the watch