Plot: What’s it about?
It’s over. Right? I mean…isn’t it? About a decade or so ago a little known author by the name of Stephanie Meyers wrote a book about a vampire. And a werewolf. And an angsty teenage girl who would fall in love with said vampire. The books were a natural progression for fans of the Harry Potter series, which wrapped (in book form) in 2007 and in movie form in 2012. Though the books were fairly well-received, the movies were a different story. While the Harry Potter movies were truly a sight to see, the same couldn’t really be said for the Twilight Saga. Now, granted, this is Hollywood and never let a bad review get in the way of a film (or film franchise) making tons of money. In total, the five movies have grossed about $1.4 billion dollars domestically. That’s about what one Harry Potter film did, but as we’ve already concluded – this is no Harry Potter. The series has now wrapped and we find ourselves looking towards a more despotic future with films like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and Divergent – all good in their own rights. Still, with the Twilight Saga being in the books – is there still money to be made? Of course there is. Of course there is! All of the films have been released on Blu-ray, but Lionsgate has taken the first three films and has added the deleted scenes (taken from the Blu-ray’s) and have edited them back into the movies. Warner did the same thing with the Harry Potter films, but put a ton of extra material on the discs, added some trading cards and housed them in a nice little package (that’s one of the many differences between Harry Potter and Twilight). Below are general synopsis of the plots of the films.
Bella (Kristen Stewart) has just moved from the flats of Arizona to the dank and dismal Pacific Northwest (Forks, Washington to be exact). Her father (Billy Burke) is the local sheriff and isn?t quite sure what to do with his teenage daughter. Bella wants to be left alone and, well, fit in just like every other teenager out there. It?s when she sees the Cullens for the first time that changes her perception of her new locale. In particular, Edward (Robert Pattinson) has developed somewhat of a crush on her too. The Cullens are all vampires, you see and as aloof as they are they?re also ageless. There?s no real explanation for their porcelain skin or why they never eat. We follow Bella as she gets to know Edward and attempts to have a relationship with him. After he saves her life, Bella starts to figure out there?s more to Edward (and all the Cullens) than meets the eye. Will Bella find true happiness with Edward or is a teenager dating a vampire something that’s just not meant to be?
The supernatural tale of star-crossed lovers continues as the Cullen family flees Forks in order to protect Bella (Kristen Stewart), and the heartbroken high-school senior discovers that vampires aren’t the only creatures in town. Realizing that Bella will never be safe as long as he’s around, Edward (Robert Pattinson) makes the difficult decision to leave his beloved behind shortly after her 18th birthday. Reeling from her loss, Bella embraces self-destruction after being comforted by Edward’s image during a moment of mortal peril. But as heavy-hearted as Bella may be, her old friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) distracts her from her sorrows by helping her renovate a weather-beaten motorbike. When Bella encounters a former adversary with a sizable grudge, she’s rescued from harm at the last second by pack of enormous, ferocious wolves. Subsequently delving into the history of the Quileutes, Bella discovers the secrets of Jacob’s tribe while looking forward to a reunion with Edward that may have deadly consequences.
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?
Video: How’s it look?
All three films are presented in a 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer that look 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. The deleted scenes spliced in are, too, consistent with the image quality of the films. These are the exact same transfers used on the previous Blu-ray releases so if you had your hopes up for new 4K transfers – sorry.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio soundtracks are 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. All three films pretty much contain the same frequency and dynamic response, but they’re surprisingly robust at times. Again, these are the same soundtracks that appeared on the original Blu-ray’s.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I guess Lionsgate is waiting to release these again as “Ultimate Editions” as this set contains zero extras. If you’re looking for the first three movies with the deleted scenes added into the films, this is it. If you don’t care about supplements then this too is for you. For everyone else, hold onto your previous Blu-ray editions or wait for better ones to come along. They will.