Plot: What’s it about?
Hmmm, where to begin? Well I suppose I can’t write a review of this or any of Stephenie Meyers’ novels without first mentioning J.K. Rowling. I suppose if there’s a “Team Jacob” and a “Team Edward” then, rightfully so, there must be a “Team J.K.” and a “Team Stephenie.” I’m wholeheartedly on Team J.K. Still, I can’t deny that, like it or not, the “Twilight” saga of books and now movies has become an indelible part of our pop culture and unlike the “Harry Potter” movies, they don’t seem to take their time to crank these films out. Hey, never let it be said that striking while the iron’s hot is a bad course of action. There’s a few correlations that are hard to ignore, the first being that I highly doubt there would be a “Twilight” had there been no “Harry Potter.” The next is that “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (the sixth film) was scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2008, but was bumped back to the Summer of 2009 so they could work on the film. “Twilight” then immediately took “Harry Potter’s” release date. And lastly, the unquestioned star of the films is Robert Pattinson who got his start in, you guessed it, a “Harry Potter” movie (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” to be exact). But that’s all in the past and we’re now here to discuss “Eclipse.” Let’s get started.
The events of the first two films behind them, Bella (Kristen Stewart) now finds herself torn between two opposing sides for her love. On one hand there’s Edward (Robert Pattinson), a vampire whose skin glistens in the light and is a proprietor of the undead. Converse that with Jacob (Taylor Lautner), a darker skinned teen who just happens to be a werewolf. Suffice it to say that Bella’s got some difficult choices to make when it comes to her love life. This all takes a back seat to a series of mysterious killings that have been happening around the Seattle area. Riley (Xavier Samuel) has been turned into a vampire and is amassing an army of “newborns” (new vampires) and is heading to Forks to start a war. Naturally this doesn’t sit too well with the vampires that are already in Forks and we know it’s only a matter of time before push comes to shove and blood is shed (pardon the pun). Will Bella make it out alive and who will she choose?
It’s widely accepted that “Eclipse” is the best movie adaptation to date with “Twilight” and “New Moon” not faring too well critically, “Eclipse” garnered over $300 million at the box office and only seems to continue to gain momentum. I’d also like to note that “Eclipse” has a rating of 4.8 on the IMDB and that’s, well, not very good. Still no one ever said a movie had to be good to earn a lot of money. I somewhat checked out after the first movie and having not seen “New Moon”, “Eclipse” felt a bit distant to me. Still, regardless of what I say, there will be an army of teenage girls that have already snatched this up and have posters of a pouty-lipped Robert Pattinson adorning their walls. While I’m very much outside the target audience for this series of books and movies I do applaud them for cranking them out one after the other. There’s no shortage of vampire material out there, so if this isn’t for you, you’ve got options – for sure.
Video: How does it look?
“Eclipse” is presented in a 2.35:1 AVC HD transfer that looks visually appealing on Blu-ray. The image doesn’t suffer from any major issues despite that it a majority of it takes place at night. Colors are surprisingly warm and robust and we get a feeling as to exactly how pale Edward is when contrasted with Jacob. Detail is good and especially on Blu-ray we can see the makeup caked on Edward’s sometimes sparkly face. There’s a fair amount of CGI in the film as well and though it doesn’t look overly fake, the detail does allow us to make out some of the fine hairs on the werewolves. This is consistent with a new to Blu-ray movie and while not the epitome of a perfect transfer, it’s not bad in the least.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is also robust and I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting such a strong soundtrack here. There are a few chase scenes through the woods that utilize all of the speakers and help heighten the action. Dialogue is a bit above average and if you listen closely you can hear Pattinson’s accent slip a few times (we won’t hold that against him, though). There are also segments that are very soft and subtle. Overall “Eclipse” won’t blow your system up, but it’s a fairly above average representation of what’s possible with an uncompressed soundtrack.
Supplements: What are the extras?
“Eclipse” comes to Blu-ray with two commentary tracks, the first with stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. There’s not a lot of substance here, so be warned. I don’t even know if the teenage girls will want to listen to this one. The more informative track is with author Stephenie Meyer and producer Wyck Godfrey as they bounce conversation off one another and they even get into some technical discussions about the CGI effects. “The Making of ‘Twilight: Eclipse'” runs about 90 minutes and is a hodgepodge of featurettes that equates to a long EPK. Pretty much everything you want or wanted to know about the movie can be found here. There are also a dozen minutes of deleted scenes, some 50 photos in the gallery and a couple of music videos.