Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book to Movie: Eclipse

I saw Eclipse the week it came out, but I haven't been able to get to writing the review until this week. It's not a reflection of the quality of the movie, but a crazy summer busy, tons of company, my entire household has been sick for a week and a half thing. I don't know if I can quite do it justice from this distance, but I couldn't let the occasion go by without marking it on the blog.

I thought this was absolutely the best of the three movies. This is the first time I've gone to see a book-to-movie without re-reading the book beforehand, so that may have influenced my opinion somewhat. The action sequences are amazing. The rest of the cast, underused especially in the first movie, really gets a chance to shine (and all that screen time for everyone else means less for Kristen Stewart, which makes me happy). Although Eseme/Elizabeth Reaser was barely present in the film, Eclipse is not about her, Breaking Dawn* will give her more screen time. Billy Burke is warm and funny throughout, showing why he was perfect for the part of Chief Swan. Even the change in actresses for Victoria from Rachelle Lefevre to Bryce Dallas Howard seemed smooth.

The parts that dragged in the book, such as Jasper's back story, though still a little slow onscreen, were easier to accept on the big screen. For me, all the important scenes and dialogue were there. Some of the competitive games Edward and Jacob play throughout the book had to be skipped for time sake ~but they kept so much in, especially the all important cave conversation between Jacob and Edward. The only conflict that I missed was when Edward doesn't react and Jacob knows it's only because Edward is playing it cool for Bella's sake, so Jake loses again.

The scriptwriter even added some dialogue to a serious conversation that I thought was crucial. I remember when reading this book that I was seriously concerned that Bella wanted to throw her mortal life away for Edward. In the book the conversation is all about assuaging Edward's fear that Bella's choice is about immortality, not him. She assures him, it's all about him. The movie clarifies this a little. It's also about never fitting into her world, but actually fitting into his. I know that's how Meyer intended it, but the extra dialogue here made it so much clearer.

I wish I could revisit this in the theatre, but I probably won't get a chance to watch it again until the DVDs come out. If you are a fan of the books and were turned off by the first movie, give them another shot; they keep getting better.

*Breaking Dawn will be separated into two films.


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