The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Blu-ray Review
This third Twilight movie comes to UK Region B-locked Blu-ray complete with a 1080p high definition video presentation which looks just that little bit better than the decent-but-not-quite-demo-quality renditions for the previous two films. It’s still only barely, but this glossy, biggest-budget-of-the-trilogy effort fares pretty well in high definition. Detail is generally very good indeed, boasting clarity throughout; with no signs of softness, no digital defects or anomalies and no sign of overt edge enhancement or DNR tampering. In fact, there is even a nice layer of suitably filmic grain which permeates the image and gives the film a more cinematic feel. The colour scheme is still massively restricted by the setting, offering up a bloodless, sun-less, bleak environment populated by up, blood-less characters. You’d think the wolf pack would make a nice contrast, but they look comparatively bronzed, their perpetual lack of attire making the presentation look like it’s for a boy band promo. Overall it’s still a very good presentation, which unfortunately – as with all solid presentations – only shows up the often not picture-perfect seemless CG, but will generally please fans.
On the aural front we get an equally impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that does a great job with the material – both creating some engaging setpieces and also some immersive atmospheric moments. Dialogue, however painful it may be, comes across clear and coherently throughout, largely emanating from across the frontal array. Effects, as stated, come in all different forms, with some great ambient touches that give the movie a good atmospheric feel, and some boisterous more action-orientated moments, most notably towards the end of the movie. Surrounds are given great use in this respect, and the rears even see a fair amount of action. The LFE channel isn’t exactly omnipresent, but it has its moments, and overall this is a quality track to accompany the main feature.
On the extra front, as with the previous instalments, we get a whole wealth of material, somewhat brought down by the lack of talent of the participating individuals, but also more than likely to please all twi-hards.
First up we get an audio commentary with the two lead cast members – Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Unfortunately they are as uncharismatic in real life as they are on screen, and whilst fans will probably hang on every words, their comments and reflections are shallow and lacking in substance or worth, with only a few random anecdotes even coming across as vaguely interesting. The second commentary is slightly more involving, by writer Stephanie Meyers, who is accompanied by producer Wyck Godfrey. This is far more structured, and offers direct reflection on this interpretation of her book, the moments that correspond and the background themes, but at the end of the day this track will still rise or fall largely based on whether or not you love Meyers’ work, or think her books are overrated, ludicrously over-descriptive ethereal tosh.
The Making of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse can be viewed either as an 88-minute feature-length documentary, or as a Picture-in-Picture offering which pops up through the best part of the movie (it should be noted that most of the footage looked the same, but I’m not enough of a Twilight fan to be able to guarantee that there wasn’t some new stuff in the PiP track). Split into Introducing David Slade; Pre-Production: Setting the Stage; The Heart of Eclipse; The Dark Side of Eclipse; Lights, Camera, Action; and Post-Production: Leaps in Technology, the descriptions largely speak for themselves, as well look at the new style offered by the new director, the
Both the Deleted and Extended Scenes come complete with introductions and optional commentary by the director himself. Here we get a couple of extra scenes, one with Bella and Angela talking about boys, and one with Bella talking to her dad after graduation.
The extended scenes include a fairly standard relationship quarrel between Bella and Edward, and extension to the three-way standoff (where Bella calls herself Switzerland), a scene further exploring who could be behind the army that is being formed to stand against the town, a short extra bit with the newborns, and slightly more inner monologue between Edward, Bella and Jacob discussing Edward’s departure in the last movie.
Here we get an extensive gallery of portrait shots and professional stills which I’m sure Twi-hards would love adorning their bedroom walls. Skip to the end.
Rather than enable you to jump out of a window every time something cringe-worthy happens, this gimmicky pointless extra enables you to jump to specific scenes of particular interest. The options are: Edward, Jacob, The Love Triangle, The Cullens, The Wolfpack, The Humans, Victoria’s Army, and Action Sequences.
Finally we get two expectedly painful music videos: Muse – Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever); and Metric – Eclipse (I’m Yours).
Bad. Just bad.
I'll be the first to admit that Twilight wasn't as hard to endure as I expected - mostly because it was so bad that it was regularly unintentionally humourous, and thus surprisingly entertaining (think Showgirls) - but two movies later even that silver lining has disappeared, and all we're left with is bad acting, pointless love triangle back-and-forth story plotting and terrible, cringeworthy dialogue. Things may have been different had Meyers not written the unplanned second film, and instead stuck to the plan of doing Eclipse as a follow-up, then somehow the three-way love story wouldn't drag out so damn long. But that's not the way in played out, and enough is enough, already.
Coming to Region B-locked UK Blu-ray in a near-enough identical package to the US release, we get excellent video and audio and a hefty selection of extras which are sure to please fans of the saga. Those new to the series should just start at the beginning, at least Twilight had some originality to it. That said, I'm sure you could skip to this one and fill in the gaps. Edward loves Bella. Bella loves Jacob. Jacob loves Bella. Bella loves Edward more. Wow, I just saved you six hours of your life.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £24.99
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