Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Title: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Directed by: David Slade
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Green, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Dakota Fanning,
Genres: Drama, Romance, Adaptation, Sequel,
Running Time: 2 hours. 4 minutes
Release Date: June 30th, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Review: Once again I thought I would find myself in an unbearable crowd of screaming Twi-hards for the midnight premiere of 'Eclipse', but thankfully, for the 3rd installment of the Twilight Saga my local movie theater have started with "VIP" movie watching passes, which effectively removed the entire pain-in-the-ass aspect of catching that very first, frantic, middle-of-the-night screening (Thanks again, F!). To make the deal even sweeter, they also screened the previous two installments of the saga before the midnight premier. This whole "VIP" passes might be the best improvement to movies since popcorn!

So what about the movie?!? Anticipation has been high for this one, and both Twi-hards & Twi-haters has dubbed it with record-breaking labels. So, where did it fall? Was it "The Best Twilight So Far"? Or was it "The Worst Movie EVER"? For me, it was the best Twilight movie in the series so far, but that does not say much, since its predecessors were not exactly Oscar-worthy.

Some positives: 'Eclipse' is funnier than its prequels, thanks to the addition of witty, self depreciating quips to the dialogue. It is nice to see that these particular Twi-creators do not take themselves too seriously. Jacob and Charlie, in particular, were quite snarky. Also, the increased character development of some of the saga's supporting roles adds a lot of interest to the story. Another addition, that previously has been completely ignored, is the actual dialogues from the book. Both in 'Twilight' & 'New Moon' you see a lot of soundless lips moving while music plays, instead of hearing the actual conversations between the characters. This is something that has annoyed me throughout the film-series, since a lot of these conversations were very important for the story development, and outlined in great detail in the books. Finally the audience actually get to hear these conversations, instead of just seeing them play out silently.

Some of the negatives: One of the biggest negatives of 'Eclipse' is the lack of a decent soundtrack, which has been one of the notable strengths of the franchise in the past. 'Twilight' started things off decently, and the use of music in 'New Moon' defined the whole film. In 'Eclipse', however, the music is a non-participant, and that really subtracted significantly from the over all experience. Another pet-peeve were the wolves. While the face-colorings have improved in this installment, the general appearance and movement of the wolves has decreased, and their awkward lopes bugged me throughout the film. Then there is the [huge] issue of the creative eye of director David Slade; I can't say that I am a fan of the look that he choose for the film, and compared to 'New Moon' we're definitely moving backwards. The same goes for Slade's territory-marking efforts of altering previously set details, in his efforts to make the story his own.

Overall, though, I was generally pleased with the film. The alterations to the storyline were generally to improve the film-experience, and most of them worked well. All in all, 'Eclipse' doesn't disappoint, and it should do extremely well at the box office.

Grade: 8.5

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