The Twilight Saga: Eclipse DVD review

The Twilight Saga wraps up in 2012, but to keep fans going until the release of Breaking Dawn Part 1 in November next year, there is the Eclipse DVD.

The story of Eclipse carries on from the movies that preceded it. Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) are back together after their doomed attempt to live apart in New Moon, and Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), the vampire that is hell bent on revenge for the death of her paramour in the first movie, is after Bella’s blood. As well as this, Bella has to deal with the love triangle that surrounds her and choose between a vampire or a werewolf. As you do.

The major change in this movie is the tone. David Slade, director of 30 Days of Night, was drafted in for Eclipse, and his touch is evident. Gone are the incredibly emo love scenes between Edward and Bella, and this is the first time that the pair appear to be actually happy with each other. Slade’s touch is especially evident in the fight scenes. OK, so the gore is toned down with the vampires shattering into ice-like shards when they die instead of a good old blood fest, but when we consider the target audience of the movie this is understandable, even if it does feel like something of a cop-out.

The suffocating, overly dramatic love story between Bella and Edward has finally been scaled back – presumably with the intention of bringing in a wider audience than the emo kids who loved the first two movies. There are also some amusing face offs between Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and Edward as well as some interaction between the main three characters that actually feels genuine. Sadly, the supporting cast are moved entirely to the background and not given a chance to show any sort of a range of emotion in the movie, although this means that the main three characters are given tons of room to grow. Of course there are some truly bad wigs, cheesy lines and a rubbish voice over that sporadically starts and stops throughout the film, but this is a Twilight movie, and we have to expect this.

One aspect of the story that finally needs to die is the revenge sought by Victoria. This has been a subplot since the first movie and it actually feels as though it is getting in the way of the movie, rather than moving it along. There is also a curious amount of focus given to Bree (Jodelle Ferland) – the vampire newborn who was given her own spin off book – that it begs the question of whether we are going to see an adaptation of her story on screen any time soon.

At the end of the day, we know what to expect from a Twilight movie. Eclipse may be the most accessible of the series, but it is not going to change anyone from a hater to a believer. Twihard fans will be enthralled, and the curious may be pleasantly surprised; the movie is open to wider audience than the ones that went before it, and the pacing issues of the first two movies has, thankfully, been resolved.

Movie: 2.5/5

Special Features

Deleted Scenes
There are a lot of deleted scenes on the DVD. These may be interesting to fans of the book as there always seems to be more interest about what has been cut out than what has been left in. There are some scenes about Bella’s choice as to what she is going to do after she graduates high school, and the graduation itself – which has a cute speech from Anna Kendrick’s character Jessica – as well as some cut scenes concerning the relationship and tension between Edward and Jacob. Overall, however, these scenes do nothing to forward the story of the film as a whole and it is easy to see why these were cut from the final movie.

Featurettes
Featurettes have become the mainstay of any DVD release. The ones included on the Eclipse DVD may sate the curious, but they really are for the Twihard fans only as they get boring after the first few. The featurettes include an introduction to director David Slade, glimpses of pre and post production as well as in-depth looks into the ‘heart’ of Twilight, the dark side of the movie and a behind the camera style, making of the movie featurette. Mildly interesting to the casual observer, but fans will love them.

Special Features: 2.5/5

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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