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July 16, 2010 > Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

By Mary Dixon

Summit Entertainment has another hit on its hands with the latest installment of the Twilight Saga films, "Eclipse." Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson continue to develop the passion between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. But Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black (who has about half a dozen shirtless scenes) holds equal sway over Bella's heart.

The movie opens on a dark and stormy night. Through David Slade's brand of nonstop motion cinematography, (director of "30 Days of Night," 2007), viewers see a young man stalked and thrown against rain-slicked pavement in a deserted part of Seattle. Another flash of movement and he is left writhing on the ground, guttural screams piercing the black night as he grips his bleeding, bitten hand.

Initially unaware of the events unfolding in Seattle, Edward asks for Bella's hand in marriage once again, but Bella pushes for her transformation to vampire form instead. Edward agrees to change Bella if she agrees to marry him, and Bella seems willing, but this momentary peace does not last.

Jacob confronts Edward in front of Bella-there was a vampire sighting, in which a Cullen crossed into the Quileute tribe's area. Bella immediately realizes the vampire they saw is Victoria, come to seek her revenge. To better protect Bella, Edward and Jacob must work together. Jacob takes advantage of this shared custody and works on convincing Bella to stay human, to stay with him.

A wave of vandalism and missing persons add to the stress between the werewolves and vampires. Tribe and clan do not know who is behind the attacks. It could be a brand new enemy, come to drive the Cullens out of their territory, or perhaps even the Volturi, the vampire version of royalty, coming to see if Bella has kept her promise to become one of them.

There are two notable newcomers to the film series. Bryce Dallas (Gwen Stacy in "Spider-Man 3," 2007), replaces Rachelle Lefevre as Victoria. Viewers might find this Victoria a little less intimidating than the one played by Lefevre, as Dallas' stage presence is somewhat lacking.

Xavier Samuel, an aspiring Australian actor, plays Riley, the "newborn" vampire transformed in the film's opening scene. Tom Felton and Channing Tatum were also considered for the role, according to the Internet Movie Database. Samuel is a better choice, however, since Felton is too well known as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films and Tatum is too masculine to correctly portray Riley's vulnerabilities.

Despite having a different director for each movie, Meyer's involvement has helped preserve continuity among the films. The music suits the original "indie film" feel of Summit Entertainment, although the production company is quickly rising in the public's awareness and the special effects for the fight scenes between werewolf and vampire do not disappoint.

So, for those moviegoers at all interested in romance, action, or fantasy, this is definitely a blockbuster to see this summer. For the moviegoers who were fans from the beginning, "Eclipse" holds up to all expectations and will leave viewers asking, "When does 'Breaking Dawn' come out?"

Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 124 minutes

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