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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse


Rob Collins January 13th, 2011

Summit Entertainment was wise enough to release the latest installment of Stephenie Meyer’s $2 billion “Twilight” franchise in time to make it the perfect stocking stuffer for Twi-hards.

More than 3 million units of the “Eclipse” Blu-ray and DVD were sold during the first 48 hours of its early December release.

Following directorial turns by Catherine Hardwicke and Chris Weitz, horror director David Slade was pegged to direct the third “Twilight” installment. Slade, who previously directed the splatterfest “30 Days of Night,” is an interesting choice considering that “Eclipse” is less about gore and more about l’amour.

For this “Twilight,” the theme is about levels of relationships and the responsibilities they require. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is forced to chose between friendship and love with vampire Edward (Rob Pattinson) or wolfman Jacob (Taylor Lautner). The indigenous wolves and nomadic vampires have been hating on each other for centuries, so Bella has to take that into consideration. The tension between Edward and Jacob is palpable, allowing for some interesting dialogue (“Doesn’t he own a shirt?”) within the sharp-edged love triangle.

Slade’s sequel is sexier than its predecessors, but the sensuality is still not explicit (the three-way tent scene was reshot to make it “more erotic,” according to R-Pat). While the film isn’t fang-tastic, its production values and pace make it the most accessible adaptation of the series thus far. The audio and video transfer to Blu-ray are flawless, right down to the genitalia-free wolves leaping about.

Technophiles my grimace that this combo release of “Eclipse” is a so-called “flipper” disc, with one side presented in the Blu-ray format and a DVD version on the other. U.S. customers can buy a movie-only version of the Blu-ray, but the flipper is the version available with the extra Blu-ray features domestically.

Those considerable extras include two audio commentaries (Stewart and Pattinson on one; Meyer and producer Wyck Godfrey on the second), eight deleted/extended scenes, music videos by Muse and Metric, and a photo gallery.

The most impressive bonus for Twi-hards is a six-part, 90-minute documentary, which can be viewed by itself or in the picture-in-picture format. In the doc, you can learn about the intricacies of the Cullen house and how to make a vampiric quilt. —Rob Collins

 
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