Today is a landmark for Twilight fans because Eclipse, the third installment of the Twilight Series, has finally hit theatres.
I have had the opportunity to see it twice and counting. I have to agree with the critics when I say, “Eclipse was the best ‘Twilight’ yet.” It definitely was. Not only did the cinematography add to the film’s richness, but the elements from the book were captured on film. This film brought the book it was based on to life. This film was the only movie that was successful in that aspect.
All in all, I loved the movie! I thought it stuck very close to the book, way closer than the previous movies had. Of course I had my quirks though. I will share my positives and my negatives. I will not go through every scene because this would be a really long review if I did. Haha
I felt the need to write a small paragraph about the new director. When Slade was chosen as director, many people were worried, including me. Yes, David Slade brought darkness to the film. However, he brought it to a realistically, dark level. And what I liked about Slade's direction is that he did not try and follow the directors before him. Continuity is there, but he made the movie his own. The film is tainted with his unique touch, and you can obviously see it in the film. The tone of the movie, the wide-shots, everything is "Slade-copyrighted". We haven't seen these camera movements in the other films before, and I thought Slade did a fantastic job: with the actors, with the cameras, and with the movie.
The cinematography was absolutely gorgeous. From the landscapes to the tone of the movie, everything was beautiful. The movie was very visually dynamic and the coloring was incredible. The different angles, whether wide shots or close shots, they fit with the scene they were in. I will go into specifics when I am talking about certain scenes. To wrap up this portion of the review, I reiterate what I said about him in the paragraph above: David Slade did an amazing job with the camera work. I would even use the word artistic. He had some unique shots, which I am excited to talk about later on.
****Obviously, Spoilers from here on out****
I would give a play by play review, but I am afraid I would mess up the order of scenes, so I will review them in the order in which I loved the most. This is very hard for me to do considering I have many favorite scenes in this movie :) I can say that two and three are tied. I can’t decide which one I like better!
1)Edward Proposing to Bella. This scene was absolutely beautiful. I loved how similar Edward’s bedroom in Twilight and Edward’s bedroom in Eclipse were. They were two completely different houses in two completely different locations and I was very impressed. The color of his room, the golden glow fit the scene so well. It added intimacy. This scene was all about them. When Edward gave Bella the heart charm, I do wish it was longer, and I do wish the whole “I thought it was a good representation” talk was in there, but the scene is amazing nonetheless. I will not gush about the kissing/leg hitch in this scene too much, but I must comment that it was insanely…passionate. The emotion in the scene was building and flowing and that’s one element that I loved. Of course, Sia’s My Love song placement was perfect and fit hand in hand with this scene and helped the crescendo of emotions. The camera movements flowed and intertwined with the melodies. It was like having an instrumental song with the scene. I would not have had any other song playing during this scene. I wish this scene was longer, but maybe that’s just me being greedy. :)
I loved how Edward explained how he’s from a different era. I love how he told her the steps in which he would have made her his if they were living in his time. “I would have courted you. We would have taken chaperoned strolls and had ice tea on the porch. I may have stolen a kiss or two. But only after asking your father’s permission… I would have gotten down on one knee and would have presented you with a ring…” I absolutely loved that. And after Bella accepted Edward’s proposal, she jumped into his arms and he spun her around and embraced her…I could not have asked for a better and more touching proposal.
2)Edward and Bella’s First Scene in the Meadow. I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but the way this scene was shot was remarkable! The lighting, the ethereal feel of it, the magic of the meadow…it was the meadow from the book. The interaction between Edward and Bella in this scene was such an improvement from the previous films. People seem to forget that Edward and Bella have light moments in the books, but this scene shows, they most certainly have fun at times :) Edward playfully whispering in her ear, breathing around her neck, playing with her hair… he was the Edward from the books. You feel the closeness, the connection, the love between them. Nothing heavy in this scene.
3)Edward vs. Victoria/Riley. What else can I say other than epic? David Slade said in an interview that he wanted Edward to be dark. He wanted to show the audience a dark Edward. He succeeded. “You won’t get another chance like this again! You want her! You want me to feel the pain you felt when I killed James! When I tore him to pieces. When I turned him into ash. When I turned him into nothing.” He was taunting her. He was playing on her feelings, her motivation. Once she set off, he crouched and they fought. Once he went for the kill, he bit her neck, then beheaded her. It’s one of my favorite scenes because it shows that Edward is capable of fighting too. And that he’s more than capable of doing anything for Bella, even if it means him risking his life for her. However, the addition they made, Bella cutting herself with a rock, I loved it. Because… nothing says “I love you” more than having the will to risk your life for a person. Upon reading the script, I was a little wary. I did not know if that idea was so great, but it turned out well. I have nothing bad to say about this scene.
And small props to Xavier Samuels. He played Riley really well, especially since the character is small. He made me feel… bad for Riley throughout the movie. And applauds Bryce Dallas Howard. The task of continuing Victoria must have been daunting to her. She knows the fan base and how hardcore they can be at times. People doubted her ability. I did not like that Rachelle was replaced, but I was positive Bryce would do a great job. And she did. The book says Victoria was feline like. A sweet, soft voice. Like a child. They both had great chemistry and they took their characters and embodied them. Give Bryce Dallas Howard a chance. She’s not half bad.
4)The Tent Scene. A lot of Edward and Bella fans will tell you they hated this part in the book. Of course I am not too fond of Jacob’s fantasy thoughts, nor do I love the idea that Edward is just sitting there, feeling completely helpless. Well, I am one of the few that loved this chapter. The movie wasn’t nearly as specific as the book, but the scene played out well. In this scene, Edward’s thoughts are revealed to the audience like in the book. The conversation vaguely mentions Edward’s reason for leaving [in New Moon]. I do wish they had more of the “four options” speech though. And it’s revealed that Edward would let Bella go if she were to choose someone else. The reason why I love this scene so much is because Edward never had a chance to explain himself in New Moon. He did in the book, but not in the movie, unfortunately. But, we see what he went through. Rob played this really well. You could see all the emotions on his face. He was completely disgusted with what he is. He was disgusted that he could not do anything to help Bella because of what he was. Rob did an excellent job with this.
And another reason why I absolutely love this scene is that it shows how much of a man Edward is. He stays classy. Jacob asks Edward “How did you cope?” Edward replies “There are no words. But I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, Jacob.” Also, Jacob asks Edward “Would you try and kill me?” Edward replies “That’s an intriguing idea…but no. I could not hurt her like that.” I love that the audience can finally catch a glimpse of who Edward is and that he solely lives for Bella. How he would do anything for her, how he wants her to stay human and have a human life. She’s his “reason for existing”. In the other movies, Edward has said he wants her to stay human, but this scene, there’s an undeniable honesty there. You cannot doubt him.
The scene in the movie compared to the book? Similar. The gist of the chapter wrapped into five minutes. I would have liked more conversation between them like in the book, but we cannot have everything. :)
5)Fight Training. This scene was so fun to watch. It changed a little from the book though. It was supposed to be dark, however, I liked the change they made. I think if they put darker tones in this scene, it would not have been so great. We can actually see what they are doing. I liked Jasper demonstrating how to fight. He would fight Emmett, and then give a tip. In Emmett’s case, “Never lose focus.” Edward vs. Carlisle was adorable. I loved their relationship in the book so much and I loved that we got to see it on screen. When they were fighting, Edward was… smiling. He was “fighting with dad” and I thought it added to their father-son relationship rather well. Once Edward smashed Carlisle to the ground, which looked amazing by the way, Jasper gave another tip, “Never turn your back on your enemy.” Rosalie vs. Jasper was cute since it was playful “sibling rivalry”. I loved how Rosalie smiled when she was on the ground. And Alice vs. Jasper, I am glad Alice and Jasper fans got a couple of cute moments between them. I loved how they showed Alice. She was cunning, but playful. Like she should be. Again, I do wish this scene was longer, but that’s just me being greedy again :)
6)Graduation. This might be surprising, but I really enjoyed the graduation scene. From Jessica’s speech to the after party, I really enjoyed it. I appreciated the fact that during the graduation ceremony, it focused on Bella, Charlie, Edward, and Carlisle and Esme. When we see Bella accept her diploma, and Charlie stands up and claps… it makes my heart melt. You can see how proud he is of her, almost on the brink of tears. And Carlisle and Esme share a smile of appreciation for each other during the speech after we see Edward. I think the reason why I love this particular section of the scene is because I graduated this year, and it brought me back to that. I was in tears in this scene. “This isn’t the time to make hard and fast decisions. It’s the time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. Fall in love…a lot. Major in philosophy ‘cause there’s no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent…”
The after party, when the Cullens, Jacob, Embry, and Quil were gathered in a room talking about teaming up to save Forks, I liked what Jacob had to say at the end. “Bella…this is was we do. You should be happy. This is what you wanted. Us… working together.” Something along those lines. In the movie, Jacob lost his edginess. I specifically remember in the book, Jacob sounded cocky and had an “it’s stupid for you to worry” attitude, but this line sufficed I guess.
7)“Something's Wrong." This is such a little scene, but I love this scene. Bella returns home from seeing Jacob for the first time. Once inside, there is a knock on the door. Edward appears and he begins to tell her how worried he was and how close he was to breaking the treaty… then he stops. He has this look on his face. A look of fear. He runs up to Bella’s room and touches her dream catcher. “Edward, what’s wrong?” The way he says, “someone’s been in here” is so chilling. I do not know what it is. It is how I imagined it in the book. There is nothing more showing in his eyes other than fear and concern for Bella’s safety. Not a big scene, but it spoke volume.
8)The Clearing. I loved the scene where Bella and Edward, Jasper, and Jacob were gathered in the clearing talking about scents. I thought it was cute. All the bantering. When Jacob picks Bella up and Edward plainly says, “Run.” More chills.
9)Victoria On the Treaty. The reason why I love this scene so much is the Cullens’ desire to catch Victoria to save Bella. You can hear it in their voice. When they are chasing her and she nears the Treaty line, Esme shouts “She’ll get away!” I loved that. I do not know what it was. Just the fact that she was so desperate to catch Victoria and that unknown fierceness. We have never seen that in Esme before. It was a nice touch.
--Eclipse. The ‘Eclipse’ title screen. I really have nothing more to say other than absolutely beautiful.
--The Make-Up. It is so much better in this film. Edward does not look old. He looks so young. He actually looks like a seventeen year old, which is a good thing! Since there are a lot of close ups, I am glad we could not see the powder on his face.
--Seth Clearwater. The boy is too cute. Even though he had a minimal character, I loved his character just like in the book. I did miss him and Edward’s friendship. I really liked that in the book. I also missed their fist pump when they killed Riley and Victoria, but he was adorable nonetheless and it was nice to see him on screen.
--The Wolves. Their characters were shown through the wolves. You could actually tell which wolf was which. The actors’ features were resembled in the CGI wolves. Big thumbs up to the art and graphics department.
--The Ice/White Granite Effect. In New Moon, we see the vampires being torn apart and they were like stone. In Eclipse, we see plenty of vampires being torn apart, but they were like ice or white granite. I really liked that. It showed how hard and cold the vampires are.
--The Sets. David Slade said he was given pretty much free reigns about the set as far as continuity. I think he did a great job recreating Bella’s room and Edward’s room, let alone the Cullen’s whole house, especially the stairs to his room. I thought the resemblance between the Twilight house to the Eclipse house was amazing. It looked the same! Such a beautiful house.
--The Wigs. My goodness, some of them were just awful. Bella’s wig was okay in some scenes, but in certain scenes, it was very distracting. The top of her head would be flat at times. Jasper’s wig… he always ends up with bad hair in the movies. However, during his flashback, we see him riding in the desert… his wig looked amazing there because of his hat. Victoria’s wig was pretty obvious, but it did not take away anything from Bryce’s performance.
--The Jacob/Bella Kiss. Before you all say anything, I did not write this off as negative because I love Edward and Bella. I put this in the “negatives” because it seemed awkward. I am sure it was for the actors, but the awkwardness was just leaking off the screen. I did not feel anything. Nothing like I did in the book. I was angry when I read the book. I was angry at Bella, but in the movie, I was not angry at her, I was just irritated that the kiss was going on for so long. Lol. The scenery was beautiful, but I felt the kiss to be awkward. You can disagree, but I did not feel the passion the book described. Jacob did not grab her violently. I thought the kiss would have been more heated. I was prepared for it. But it turns out, I did not need to be.
--Angry Edward. I did not know where to put this, so I put it in the ‘negatives’ just because I would miss the change. I liked the change; however, I am also sad that he was not as calm as in the books. In the books, when Bella calls him up and tells him about Jacob’s forced kiss, he arrives at her house and checks her hand first. Then he walks up to Jacob and calmly threatens him. In a way, it could have been more chilling. I did miss that, but this way worked too.
--Angry Bella. I wish Bella became more irritated with Jacob. It seemed that she did not really lash out at him as much as in the book. I missed her asking Edward to kill Jacob, however, Edward, being the gentleman that he is, would say it would bother her in the morning. I wish they showed more of that, more of Bella’s disgust when Jacob kissed her the first time.
--The Last Scene. A big problem. In Breaking Dawn, after Bella has become a vampire, she says that she knows it was her destiny to be with Edward and to become a vampire. In Breaking Dawn. Not in Eclipse. When Bella is talking to Edward in their meadow in the last scene in the movie, Bella says that it was not just a choice between Edward and Jacob, but between who she is and who she should be. “I’ve always felt…out of step. Literally, stumbling through life. I’ve never felt normal. But now I know. I’m not normal. And I don’t want to be. I’ve faced death and lost and pain in your world. But I’ve also never felt stronger, more real… more myself. Because it’s my world, too, Edward. It’s where I belong.” And then says “You’re saying… that it’s not all about me.” Bella smiling, simply says “Sorry. No.” It has everything to do with him.
Page 267 of Eclipse says that “Forever means nothing without you.” The quote I provided from the movie, where Bella is talking about not fitting in, it is sounding like she just wants to be a vampire with powers. It comes off as shallow and superficial and completely and entirely out of canon. During Eclipse promotion, Kristen had said that the ending scene was to show that Bella is also choosing for herself. She is not just running off with the guy. She is choosing to be with Edward and choosing, for herself, to be a vampire. And I do not get that. This had the potential to ruin the entire movie for me because this is what the movie, the book is about. Bella’s immortality and her conscious decision to be with Edward. Solely for Edward. Being with Edward means becoming a vampire, and she is willing to make that sacrifice because she loves him that much. Forever means nothing without him.
--Kristen Stewart. All in all, I think she did an okay job. I do wish she had more enthusiasm in certain scenes. However, I think she portrayed Bella well in this movie. Better than the previous movies. I like what Kristen brings to Bella. And that is inner will power and strength. We all know Bella is motivated and has a strong will in the books, but I love that Kristen enforces that a little more. She does not make Bella as weak as she is in the book. She evens out the field. In the books, you can tell Bella is completely different and out of sync with everyone. But in the movies, it is more believable.
--Robert Pattinson. I love how Rob plays Edward. Even though Edward in the books and the movies are a little different, the scripts change the character, not Rob. But I love how Rob plays Edward. Just like the book describes Edward, “the emotions flash across his face”… you can see that when Rob plays him. I appreciate that. Rob understands his character. He understands that Edward is flawed. He understands that Edward can be over-protective, but he also understands that he only acts that way to keep her alive. That her “existence is everything”. He knows that Bella is the only person he wishes, he needs to protect. He comprehends that even though Edward is one hundred years old, long past human, Bella brings out the human in him. Bella brings out the 17 year old in him. He grasps the fact that even though Edward is disgusted by himself and what he is, maybe he has been too hard on himself. Because, how could someone like Bella be capable of loving someone like him if he was truly the despicable creature he thought he was? Rob knows that Edward accepts the fact that he is a vampire, but he also accepts the fact that Bella loves him because he chooses to be better. To become the best he can be.
--Taylor Lautner. Taylor’s portrayal of Jacob is lighter in the movie than it is in the books. I appreciate his enthusiasm and his love for Jacob, but sometimes, Jacob’s other qualities need to be shown. During New Moon promotion, Taylor had been speaking about Jacob’s pre-transformation/post-transformation side, but I have yet to see a massive difference between the two. In the books, you can tell Jacob is different. He is a lot rougher and more edgy. In the movies, we hardly see his ignorance. It’s part of his character, and I am disappointed that we do not see it. During the scenes where Jacob is trying to convince Bella to choose him, the scene in the garage, his acting is awkward. Dramatic pauses and he do not mix well. I do like how he said “He probably can’t even kiss you without hurting you. Feel that? Flesh and blood and warmth.” Despite what ‘team’ I am on, Taylor did act that one line pretty well. Other than that, I could not help but feel awkwardness leaking off the screen.
Now, we have finally reached the end of the review. It ended up being longer than I originally thought. I restate what I said at the beginning of the review, over all, I loved the movie. The movie had the heart the book did. The feelings, the magic was captured in the film. David Slade recently said in an MTV interview, “You can have the best actors in the world and the best cinematographers in the world. But if you don’t have a solid story, then you don’t have a film.” And he is absolutely right. Without a solid story, the film would be dead. I very much like David Slade and have grown to love him and what he has done for the Twilight fans by blessing us with a movie such as this one. I really respect him as a director and I hope everyone shares my thoughts regarding him. He knows his stuff. Aspiring film directors should take notes from him and what he says. Because a lot of what he says rings true.
I hoped you liked my review :) Comments are welcome!