by Jason Whyte
Twilight: Eclipse on Blu Ray
Aside from the "Sex & The City" film franchise, I don't think there's any other film series that has developed so much fan derision lately than the "Twilight" film series. If you're reading this and are a fan of the films based on Stephanie Meyer's insanely popular book series, likely you already have ambition to watch the new "Twilight", you're counting down the days until "Breaking Dawn" happens. For now, the recent release of "Eclipse" is upon us.
I remember seeing the first "Twilight" back in the fall of 2008 and thinking it wasn't all that bad. I mean, you had a pretty simple love story between a vampire and a high school girl, and it was a fair take off of a Romeo & Juliet tale. Catherine Hardwick's direction on a low budget was pretty decent and the performances by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison was fine. (I also don't live too far from the Forks, Washington setting in the movie, so it's nice to see some familiar terrain) In 2009, the sequel "New Moon" happened, more money was thrown at it, and it was around this point where my overall series waned; possibly because I felt there wasn't enough storytelling here to hold my interest. This hit the boiling point in the dull as nails "Eclipse", which I viewed in a cinema last summer and felt it was a non-stop bore fest. It seems that the entire film is winding up to a big showdown that never comes, and despite some good performances and a very strong visual style by director David Slade ("30 Days of Night"), it stalls before the end of the first reel. But that's just me, it seems, as the film still did well and it has its hardcore fans.
VIDEO: The image is a pretty solid representation of the stylized look I saw theatrically. There's a lot of heavy black, grey and blue detail on the disc, and it is faithfully represented in a strong 1080p, high-def transfer. The film was shot in the Super 35, 2.40:1 format and digitally timed, and it makes me wonder if the series will be continued to be filmed this way or if the next will be shot digitally.
AUDIO: I felt the audio (DTS Master audio) was a bit on the weak side, even though it is mostly a dialogue driven film. Surrounds are limited at times and it isn't as enveloping as one might think. On this Canadian release from Entertainment One, there is also a French 5.1 track, whereas the American release has Spanish audio.
EXTRAS: There are two commentary tracks on the Blu Ray, one featuring the cast and crew and another more technical commentary featuring the main talent behind the camera. Following this is a lengthy, six-part documentary on the making of "Eclipse" and how it ties into the overall "Twilight" series. You can watch this playing with the film or on its own; I recommend the latter as you can pay closer attention to how the film was made without the actual film distracting you in the background. Rounding out the disc is a few music videos tied to the film, along with several trailers for other releases from EOne.
Note: While Summit is releasing this movie in a DVD/Blu Ray combo in the US, the Canadian release by Entertainment One is releasing the film separately on Blu Ray and DVD; a move I agree with as I don't care for flipper discs and combo releases (especially if you're paying more for it). Transfer and features are identical to both territories. The price for the Blu Ray is also very good in stores; sometimes as low as $20 in the big retailers as well as online. This is much better than the $30+ price I have seen for some new releases.
Bottom Line: If you're a fan of the film, then this is a no-brainer. It's a solid release with a good transfer and a large amount of good features to keep you Twihards happy. Skeptics on the series would be wise to just steer clear or to simply rent this and the other films in the series to check out. And if you see me in person, ask me to do my "Twilight Trilogy in 30 Seconds" act. You're welcome.
Review copy courtesty of Entertainment One Films.
Jason Whyte, efilmcritic.com
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=3130
originally posted: 12/11/10 05:21:18