Alphie’s Eclipse Review

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As most of you know, a special screening of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was shown to Oprah’s audience members on Tuesday May 4, 2010.  I was able to attend the screening.  I don’t want to spoil too much, so I hope to make this review as spoiler free as possible. Now if you are trying to stay 100% spoiler free stop reading here, but if you want more, read on .

First off, I think it needs to be made clear that what we saw that night was an unfinished product.  I spoke with a representative from Summit after the film to confirm a few things before I passed any judgment on any particular section of the film.  I was told that the sound for the film we saw was mostly raw, meaning not a lot of over dubbing had been done to clean up the vocal quality of the dialogue,  and that the sound track wasn’t completely provided.  This was good news to me as I found some of the dialogue difficult to understand.  There was even one section where the sound disappeared completely and subtitles were supplied so that we would know what Edward was saying to Bella.  There were also long 10 – 15 minute segments of film, all non-action scenes, with absolutely no underscoring.  You don’t realize how much that underscore means to the emotion of a film until you watch a film without it!  And now that we’ve heard parts of the soundtrack, I am really excited to hear that music incorporated into the film.

Other than the sound, the special effects weren’t finished.  We were told at the start of the film to expect the finished product to be sharper and more visually dynamic.  I’m not sure which moments were missing their effects, but I’m guessing that some of the vampire battle moments will get tweaked as well as the wolves.  We did get a shot of a few wolves in their silvery, computer digitalized versions, which was a bit of a shock to see and really makes you understand the work that goes in to animating the wolves.  However, the moments with the finished wolves we’re just beautiful.  I felt that each wolf’s character really came through.  There is one moment in particular with Jacob in wolf form that is just perfection.

So that being said, what we DID see was 100% of the storyline.  Let me reassure those of you who still doubt the romance of the film that it is there.  It is so totally there!  Every kiss you expect to see is there.  Every moment of longing and confusion is there.  From marriage proposals to leg hitches, it’s all there… and then some.  The chemistry is hotter than ever.  No need to worry about this side of the film.

Those of you that have missed the Cullens in the first two movies will not be disappointed.  All the Cullens get more screen time, with the obvious emphasis on Rosalie and Jasper and their back stories.  It was really quite fantastic to see them playing their human counterparts, and then to see both of them as red eyed vampires.  The flashbacks were some of my favorite moments of the film.

Wolf pack fans, you get a treat, too.  The scene that comes from chapter 11 of Eclipse (Legends) is very well done.  Even though the CG on the wolves wasn’t finished, I felt there was more emotion and characterization in the wolves this time around than in New Moon.  The new additions to the pack are played exactly as you expect.  The crowd gave a sweet “awwww” when we first met Seth in the film.  Booboo Stewart is so spot on Seth that you can’ t help but smile at him.  Julia Jones is as bitter and edgy as Leah should be.

But I think the thing everyone will be talking about when they walk out of the theatre is the action.  Action, action, action!  Vampires being vampires and werewolves being werewolves.  The action in the film rocks!  It’s fast paced and intense.  Yes, there is blood and the vampires die on film exactly as described in the books.  Some of it will make you say “ewwww,” but then if you’ve read the book you know how certain characters go out in the end.

The few things that have had me concerned are the same things that have had every fan concerned from the moment we first saw the trailer.  Jackson’s and Kristen’s wigs are just… not good in the version that I saw! There was online speculation that some of the pick up shots that were done recently were to fix Kristen’s wig.  I had it confirmed from a Summit representative that Bella’s hair was actually digitally remastered so that she would have the natural looking hair we all know and love, and not an obvious wig with a dodgy hairline!  I’m not sure if they did the same for Jackson, but I hope they did something.  Jasper’s hair looks stringy. When in confederate uniform, Jasper’s costumes were fine; however, some of his more modern costumes reminded me of Mister Rogers in a few scenes.  I find it really sad because Jackson did such a good job with Jasper’s back story.  He really shines in this movie, but his hair and cardigan sweaters are somewhat of a distraction.

For the typical die-hard fan there are some changes made: a line choice here, a  moment missed there.  However, I don’t feel I can really address them here without spoiling too much.  It isn’t  much of an issue, just a few minor things that I wished had been done differently.  And keep in mind that I am personally attached to Eclipse, so I figured I’d be pickier about this film than any of the others. So as a fan of the books, I understand that when adapting book to film that some things have to go or be changed, but it wasn’t anything vital that made me think the heart of the plot was destroyed or that familiar characters were acting out-of-character.

Overall, I honestly feel this is the best of the three films, and I’m not saying that just because I’m a Twilight fan.  That comes with the addendum that I also feel it is the best book in the saga.  So take my opinion for what it is worth on that account.  However, with the intensity of the romance and the fast-paced action sequences, I  expect every Twilight fan will be thoroughly pleased with the end result.  More than pleased – I expect this film to crush some box office  records not because it’s a Twilight film, but because it’s a great summer movie!  Bravo David Slade.  And bravo to the cast and crew for truly bringing their A-game for this one.  I can’t wait to see the final product on June 30th!

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this review. It pumped me up for this more than I have been in quite some time. So can’t wait to see the fight scenes. Oh and that tent scene!! can’t wait. Got my tickets. can’t wait.

  2. ShannonP says:

    Thanks for the awesome review!

    One thing you didn’t address that I think a lot of fans want to know is how is Bryce Dallas Howard as Victoria? Any thoughts on her performance? So many people were in an uproar over the recast that it’s the one topic people consistently bring up concerning the film in the forums I visit. Would love to know your opinion, since you’ve seen the film?

    • Twilight_News says:

      I thought Bryce did a fine job. Yes, I missed Rochelle, but I didn’t have any issues with Bryce’s portrayal of Victoria. I do have some concerns about how tidy she looks. Her hair was almost perfectly styled, and that isn’t the fault of the actress.

      • ShannonP says:

        Thanks for letting me know about Bryce–it’s been the main concern for a lot of my friends. They’ll be happy to know a true fan like you has seen it and approves!

  3. Unfortunately I do not have the same confidence that you have in the spirit of the story line being preserved. I won’t deny that what I’ve seen of the movie looks fantastic. As a movie, on its own, it looks like its done well as making an individual movie is concerned. HOWEVER, the scene with Edward and Jacob shows that they do not understand the dynamics of the story at all. They play the scene completely wrong, blowing a major plot point in the process. Edward can’t tell Jacob later that he’s hurting his chances wearing his heart on his sleeve if he’s losing his temper as well. Also, in that scene Jacob is HOPING for a fight. He wants to push Edward to the edge so that Edward feels forced to make some type of ultimatum which would force Bella to make a response. Jacob tries this trick again later when he offers to kill himself to Bella. Edward shows up Jacob by staying calm, showing that his concern for Bella overrides everything,including his own feelings. Edward would love to rip Jacob apart but he’s not going to and we get that fun sarcastic comment about how she would regret it later if he did. This was a scene where David could have emphasized that Edward truly is a dangerous creature but he blows it with a temper tantrum. Gee, thanks David and Melissa for not understanding their story.

    • Twilight_News says:

      I said in another comment that I think this whole “calm” Edward thing has been blown up a bit. Maybe if I had seen the clip ahead of time, I would have felt the same way as you do. But while watching the film with no warning or knowledge of what was to come, I didn’t take any issue with this moment. And keep in mind that the scene does continue on after Jacob says, “I kissed Bella.” You haven’t seen the whole thing.

      • This is true, I haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen the other two Twilight movies and I haven’t been impressed with the choices made as they have cut up the story line for time. I don’t expect carbon copy scripts, that’s unrealistic, but I do expect the right feel of the story. They have their moments, but overall, I approach them as individual stories that have next to no connection to the beloved books. The nuances of the relationships aren’t understood. Everyone thinks this is about vampires and werewolves and they miss completely that this is about people who don’t give up on difficult relationships. Chris Weitz was better at it than Catherine, but not by much.

      • CravinCullen81 says:

        So to respond to you Alphie, I trust in your opinion. If you say it wasn’t that big of a deal then I will believe. Until June 30th that is!! :) Thanks so much for the tidbits you gave, I can’t wait!!

    • CravinCullen81 says:

      You articulated that very well. I also felt a little dissapointment at seeing Edward all in a rage. The thing that makes Edward so bad a*s, for lack of better word, was how cool he was able to stay. I remember reading and rereading that part just because I thought “love him, love his restraint, love how even though he isn’t blowing his cool Jacob knows he better back off” and that temperment is what sets Edward and Jacob apart.

  4. I watched it already. I will not tell what is the story because I have very big respect for Twilight. I can’t wait to watch it again. Although, I did not watch it in the Oprah show. I watched it online. I will stay quiet about the site. Only 17 people have visited it since May 15, 2010 and I think its a good thing that only 17 people watched it so they will not have to spoil the earnings of the movie. Please do not ask me about the site. They have very friendly people and we have to take surveys anyway. By the way, BooBoo Stewart really cute. Just like a young Jacob. :)

  5. Of all the websites and tweets I’ve read regarding the Oprah screening, this is BY FAR the best. BIG fan of Lexicon and posts like this are the reason. Thanks Alphie for waiting, as you said you were going to, to process and write such an awesome (dare I say, fair and balanced) review. You ROCK. I already have my tickets – IMAX in 34 days!

  6. Cyndi C says:

    Oh my! Eclipse is my fave too – now I really can’t wait for the movie!!

  7. Oh and also their eye lenses are different. Its a bit orangey. And the ring doesn’t match. It’s obvious the new Victoria and Kristen is wearing a wig. Riley, is so freaking hot! I still hate Kristen (as always). The Rosalie scene is awesome! In tne Edward gets mad at Jacob scene, Edward’s voice is really strange, the audio man has bad taste. And it says in the book the JACOB IS 7’0 AND EDWARD IS 6’2 but EDWARD SEEMS TO BE TALLER THAN JACOB! AND I’M TEAM EDWARD! Anyway thats it I think. Voila!

    • unfortunately, there’s nothing they can do about the height difference. it would be way too complicated and cost way too much money to digitally size taylor at 7 feet for every scene. your movie ticket would be like $50. :)

  8. Heather k says:

    Omg I sooooooooooo cannot wait!!!! Bought my midnight tickets last week and preordered the soundtrack! I love twilight and summit and the actors of course!!!!!!!!

  9. I AM OVERLY EXCITED TO SEE THIS FILM!! I’VE READ EVERY BOOK IN THE SERIES MORE THAN ONCE. BUT ECLIPSE AND BREAKING DAWN ARE BY FAR MY FAVS. NEW MOON NOT SO MUCH CUZ I’M A DIE HARD EDWARD FAN.SO THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW JUST CAN’T WAIT!!!

  10. Thanks for this review. Eclipse is my fav book as well. You didnt mention about “tent scense” I just have to wait for June 30…*sigh*

  11. thanks so much for taking the time to share! i LOVED what you said and am so excited. i’m pretty easy to please when it comes to having to adapt things for movies. i work in video production and understand it a little bit more than typical people. the obvious goal should always be to tell the same basic story in a way that fans can relate to and still love, and new people get.

    the only thing that seems awkward/awful to me from what i’ve seen is jasper’s hair being longer. vampire’s hair doesn’t grow–especially not 3-4 inches! it would be like making bella’s skin black; not possible. so that was just weird to me that that change was approved by all those involved. it may not be so bad when seeing the whole movie. we’ll see won’t we! i can’t wait!

  12. LuvinTwilight143 says:

    just reading this is getting me more excited for Eclipse I cant wait it sounds like its gonna be awesome =}

  13. Eclipse is my fave book, followed by Breaking Dawn…I’ve been excited to see this movie since reading the book! I’m mostly disappointed with the wigs on Carlisle and Jasper in New Moon and I think it’s awful they continued using them in Eclipse. I loved Carlisle’s hair in Twilight, Peter F. is so hot in that movie! The New Moon hair looked incredibly fake. Eclipse seems a bit better or maybe I’ve just gotten used to it. I completely agree about Jasper’s wardrobe being bland and I think Alice would surrender her credit cards before allowing him to wear that stuff!
    Eagerly waiting for June 30th…

  14. Wow..lucky you to have had such a wonderful experience, and thank you so much for sharing. I too am extra excited now to see it, sounds fantastic.

  15. Thanks for the review. You really help me with some concerns I had.. If you can Lets us know how the tent scene was, and also I was worried about the bike escape from the school scene..Oh yeah, The music is something I was worried about..

    I HATE HATE how Jasper’s hair looks in New moon. It wasn’t to bad in Twilight but what I have seen in picture I was still disappointed..

    I love that the kiss scene are in there. I really loved them in the book a lot..

    Can’t wait until June 30..

  16. Oh, Lord help me!! How will I ever make it through the next month? I was already excited but you just ramped it up a notch and got me going even more.

  17. Thanks for the great review and for putting some of our concerns to rest. Eclipse is my favorite book…hopefully it will become my favortie movie too!

  18. Twilight Nymph says:

    Reading this just got me all excited. I’m definitely ready for June 30th and seriously think that it can’t get here fast enough.

  19. Cathy McCarron says:

    Hi is anyone else a little annoyed that “Bella” does not have a brace on her hand? Why did they leave that out of the movie? I agree some things had to be left out but that is such a major moment that it is almost funny when she tells Emmett that she punched a warewolf in the face” That is so awesome that I will miss that!!!!!

  20. Julia marquese says:

    *SPOILER ALERT*

    Alphine i agree with you a 100%,i was also part of the special screening of eclipse at the Oprah show and i totally agree with you, i wished they have the some scenes more differently especially Rosalie’s scene when she tells her story, they did it somewhat different because i felt it was a rushed version on how it resulted, any way i love the movie even though it was the unedited version of the film, cant wait to see the finished product of the film oh yeah whats up with jaspers hair and sweaters he is wearing it was weird to watch the scenes when he came out.

  21. Can you tell us if we get to see Bella call Edward to tell him about Jacob kissing her, or does she just punch him and then the next scene we see is Edward showing up at Bella’s house to confront Jake?
    Also, do they mention Bella working at Newton’s in the movie?

  22. Extremely well written. Does anyone know how she is attached to Eclipse? Just curious.

    I was glad for the info, especially letting us all know that this is the best movie in her opinion. That means to me that we will not be disappointed.

    • Twilight_News says:

      If you look in the back of Eclipse at the acknowledgements you’ll see a paragraph about Lori Joffs. I was kind of like a sounding board for Stephenie for Eclipse and read it well before it was published.

  23. starjen says:

    Thanks so much Alphie! I wasn’t sure how this movie was going to turn out but your perspective makes me more excited to see this movie.

  24. I’m a little nervous that she hasn’t mentioned the tent scene. It only leads me to believe it wasn’t great.

  25. Twilibrarian says:

    Alphie, thanks for the review! Sounds like there is a huge hit coming June 30th! I totally agree with the wig and sweater analysis. However, in BD, Jasper is so rattled by Bella, and spends so much time muttering to himself over the whole situation, a little old man sweater might work!!!

  26. YAY!!! that is awesome. i am even more excited now. i have my tickets now all i have to do is wait till june 30th. :D

  27. OMG I thought I was having trouble waiting before, now I’m really antsy! I may just have to read the book again before the movies comes out, it is my favorite of all the books. Thanks for the review!!!

  28. OMG i can’t eclipse is my fave book and i was really worried that it might not work but thanx to this i know that it wil be great THANK YOU SO MUCH :)
    <3

  29. OMG!!! Soooo can’t wait for June 30th!!!! Excited to watch it so much more now after reading ur review….ahhhh CAN’T WAIT!!!!! lol.

  30. Thanks for the great review. Makes me look forward to seeing this book into movie more than ever. It was my favorite of the books. Cannot wait :-)

  31. Thanks for the review. No mention of my one complaint so far in the comments I’ve read, about half of what posted– Reilly and Victoria didn’t get Edward that close to loosing his head as shown in the one trailer. Agree with the angry Edward for the movie works better. The bike escape I will reserve judgement on until actually see that. The script was a little off. I’ve not been this excited for a movie since original Star Wars. June 30th can’t come fast enough.

  32. samantha says:

    this movies sounds sooo awesome and am a twilight-fan and I was just wondering in the book where Jacob kisses Bella does she punch him in the movie

  33. Yay! I am now even more excited for Eclipse! Compared to how long i was waiting for New Moon, Eclipse had been coming along faster than I can keep track. Which is a good thing.

  34. Debbev3 says:

    Great review for what you saw. I kindof feel for everyone that saw it….I think that I ONLY want to see the finished version! I am joining you at the Nashville showing for the Lexicon’s…I missed the last one due to cancer so I have to tell everyone that Nashville ROCKS! We ALWAYS have a great time!

  35. I agree with everyone above — great review, and thank you!!! Extra ad clicks from me today!

    Stoked for Eclipse!

  36. LLcruize says:

    What about Bryce, how does she pull off Victoria?

  37. Okay I shouldn’t have read this, I am now ever MORE pumped than I already was to see this movie!!! (And I thought I was about as excited as I could be until I’m sitting in the theater.) :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts w/us!! I am so excited to finally meet Seth!!! And I’m so happy that the Cullens get more screen time!! And that there’s plenty of Bella & Edward romance!! :) Leg hitch! And more? Sweet!!! June 30th can not come fast enough!!!

  38. Oh man, I am sooo stoked for Eclipse. Can’t wait!!!!!

  39. MiVidaLoca says:

    Eclipse was by far my most favorite book and I am so excited to see the movie many times. Glad to hear that someone that loves the book as well, and has seen it, gave it a good review. The movie can’t come fast enough.

  40. Well i thought the anticipation was peaking before…
    Now i really cannot wait to see this movie…
    see the movie, be the movie, feel the movie…
    and if every book based film covered every detail, then there’d be no reason to read the book… and THAT is a tragedy…
    Awsome!

  41. Excellent, excellent, Thank you for the review!

  42. Thanks a bunch, Alphie, for your ‘reassuring’ review!

    Loving all the Twi/Eclipse-related stuff that’s ongoing and upcoming….June is gonna be an AWESOME month! :D

  43. Thanks for the great review, Alphie. I was worried about romance being absent from the film, but you’ve put my fears at rest. :)

  44. Sabrina says:

    I have seen the scene after Jacob kisses Bella and I have to admit I am a little disappointed. The book shows a side of Bella where she stands up for herself and stands up for Edward while being spiteful to Jacob. It’s very dynamic with a mix of humor with anger in the rivalry between Edward and Jacob. The movie spins it and it’s all anger and Bella still plays mediator. I am a little sad. It’s one of my favorite scenes and I’m upset.
    Btw the tent scene is definitly there because Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart have mentioned it as a favorite.

  45. elisa quintanilla says:

    wow i really want to see the movie even more since i have been waiting for the movie i read the book twice already when the movie comes out ill be right at the box getting my entrance for this awesome movie then ill be back home and i am going to read breaking dawn again !!!!! :)

  46. wow this sound pretty awesome!!!! now im even more anxious to see the movie … like the writer said the movies caught every aspect of the book i hope so since i have the book memorized… cant wait till its out to go see then of course another wait for breakin dawn !!! i read the book after i see the movie again and again till its ready to be out !!!! cant wait for eclipse !!!!!

  47. switzy4ever14 says:

    Good review, Alphie, thanks for being continuously amazing.

    Sounds good! Of course other than the few little mistakes…. but that’s to be expected.

    <3 SWITZY LOVE <3

  48. Twilight dreamers says:

    COME ON JUNE 30TH!!! I HAVE ALREADY PLANNED AN ALL GIRLFRIENDS MIDNIGHT RELESE PARTY CANNOT WAIT! Also i actually love the new angry edward for the “i kissd bella” scene. it gives it an edge. My dad sees me watching the trailers and he says “why are those vampires always having to fly around, i cannot believe ur gonna drag me to that new movie” well i have to spread twi mania! as a twilight addict its m job!!!!

  49. CravinCullen81 says:

    Yayyyyy! Thanks Alphie I will retain my jealousy that you’ve already seen it to scream at the top of my lungs-
    Leg Hitch!!Leg Hitch!!Leg Hitch!!Leg Hitch!!Leg Hitch!!
    whoo hooo!! I can’t decide which book is my fav- Twilight or Eclipse but when I think about the kidnapped, leg hitch, breaking iron roses scene I have a winner.
    Thanks sooooo much for letting me know that one of my most cherished parts of the whole series (of all literature of all time) hasn’t been cut.

  50. Brittney28 says:

    I have a question about a qoute, was the qoute from edward when he goes hunting… “Look after my heart I’ve left it with you” in the film you saw? It is my favorite quote from all the books, I even have it on water bottles, hand painted signs I really will be upset if they didn’t put it in the film.

  51. elyannette says:

    im happy to hear..that..lol..thanks..for leting m know..lol…i cant wait for the third movie…lol

  52. I can alerday tell that\’s gonna be super helpful.

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