My anticipation of Eclipse was no less intense than that of New Moon, but filled with far less apprehension. The production quality had been greatly improved with New Moon and, while Eclipse has some touching, emotional moments, it is a far easier story to tell. Mostly, I was just looking forward to the big fight scene
Overall, Eclipse was the most accurate to the book of the movies so far, though certainly had a touch of the Bree Tanner book thrown in to add some flavor and context. The production quality was even higher than that of New Moon with better make-up, better special effects, and better wolf CGI. Only Kristin Stewart’s awful wig tarnished the movie in that regard.
The story of Eclipse is highly action focused and the movie was definitely paced in such a manner. As such, it was lean, lacking any fat. Each scene covered the material it needed to cover and moved on. Unfortunately, the Twilight Saga is not an action series; even Eclipse is a romantic drama with some action scenes so the lack of “fat” made some of the more emotional scenes fall flat. The follow through with the food analogy, you often need to keep some fat in order to fully enjoy the flavor of the meal and Eclipse certainly lacked that. The tender moments occurred, but you were not allowed the time to live in the moment, to experience the emotion before you were flung to the next scene.
The flashback scenes were masterfully done, just enough to portray the story yet still adding insights into the characters. I was especially impressed with the portrayal of Rosalie’s last days – it’s a feat to tell of what was, effectively, a brutal gang rape in such a way to make it clear what occurred without using any disturbing imagery. I also enjoyed the tribe flashback as it solidified images from the book that were not fully clear to me; the European clothing on the vampires was a great touch.
The most famous scene of the book, the “tent scene” was done well, but not incredibly so. Still, it was challenging to portray so I’m not going to be too harsh there.
The training scenes and the mass fight with the new-borns were very well done. There were some “Hollywood” liberties taken but overall it was quite entertaining and more than sufficient to satisfy male Twi-noobs looking for a testosterone fix.
I was disappointed that Edward was again portrayed as a vampire wimp, that his extraordinary speed and mind reading was not correctly portrayed (again!) in a combat situation. This time, instead of hurting herself to save Seth, she did it to save Edward from getting his head ripped off by Victoria and Riley. They took a scene which was intended to portray that, despite her best efforts, Bella was a helpless pawn in these supernatural struggles and instead made her the heroine. First Felix and now this - don’t you read the books, people!?!?
I was also disappointed that Melissa Rosenberg had to add her snarky liberal comments into the script, with Bella replying that waiting until marriage for sex was “ancient” and that, once married, she would keep or hyphenate her last name. Hello!? Last I checked the author of Twilight was Stephenie Myer, not Melissa Rosenberg – keep your personal views where they belong and just tell the story!
My biggest disappointment was probably the “Bella kissing Jacob” scene (day of big fight). It’s the case where the “lack of fat” was felt the most. In the movie, you barely got the sense that Bella even felt bad for kissing Jacob yet it’s a poignant moment in the book in which Bella recognized her love for Jacob but decides to put that part of her behind her and in which she feels so bad that she actually *wants* Edward to be mad at her. It’s a touching scene that provides real closure to the tent scene and was effectively brushed over.
Overall, I was pleased with the production quality and overall flow of the movie and appreciate that it captured all of the major plot points of the book in a mostly accurate manner. By far the most commercial of the Twilight movies, Eclipse will appeal to a large audience of Twi-hards and new fans alike. The emotional elements of the story could have been told better, but overall, I rate the movie an A-