DVDizzy.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | New and Upcoming DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Two-Disc Special Edition DVD Review

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) movie poster Eclipse

Theatrical Release: June 30, 2010 / Running Time: 124 Minutes / Rating: PG-13 / Songs List

Director: David Slade / Writers: Stephenie Meyer (novel), Melissa Rosenberg (screenplay)

Cast: Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black), Bryce Dallas Howard (Victoria), Billy Burke (Charlie Swan), Dakota Fanning (Jane), Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen), Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale), Kellan Lutz (Emmett Cullen), Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen), Nikki Reed (Rosalia Hale), Anna Kendrick (Jessica Stanley), Michael Welch (Mike Newton), Justin Chon (Eric Yorkie), Christian Serratos (Angela Weber), Xavier Samuel (Riley Biers), Sarah Clarke (Renιe Dwyer), Gil Birmingham (Billy Black), Jodelle Ferland (Bree), Jack Huston (Royce King), Chaske Spencer (Sam Uley), Julia Jones (Leah Clearwater), Kiowa Gordon (Embry Call), Tyson Houseman (Quil Ateara), BooBoo Stewart (Seth Clearwater), Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria - uncredited)

Buy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse from Amazon.com:
Two-Disc Special Edition DVD • Single-Disc DVD • Single-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo • Movie-Only Blu-ray

The Twilight Saga produces strong feelings in people. For many teenaged girls, they are feelings of enjoyment and appreciation. That alone is enough to inspire ridicule and resentment in many who are not teenaged girls. Personally, I've found myself comfortably situated between the two extremes, more able to appreciate passion for than against the film series.
Sure, it's not great art and it's not powerful like the Harry Potter franchise, but the first two films struck me as fairly harmless and often hilarious escapism. These fantasies may be aiming for drama, romance, and poignancy, but their efforts are goofy enough to warrant a regular chuckle. Not a derisive weeping-for-humanity chuckle, but the isn't-that-a-bit-much kind.

Eclipse, I'm sure you know, is the third entry to the franchise. It is based on the penultimate book in Stephenie Meyer's bestselling series, but there are two more films yet to come. The filmmakers are savvy; besides striking while the iron is hot and churning out five films in just four years, they're also splitting the final novel into two movies, Part 1 coming next November and Part 2 the following one. I have no clue where they could have gotten such an idea from, but I suppose it makes sense, what with Breaking Dawn running a series-record 756 pages (or just three shorter than another fantasy series finale I can't think of at the moment). Why make one inexpensive movie that's just about guaranteed to gross $300 million stateside and $700 million worldwide, when you can make two that will do that twice? If nothing else, the Twilight movies have alone ensured the survival of young Summit Entertainment for decades to come even as the movie industry hasn't exactly been thriving for small-midrange studios.

Competition for the affections of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) heats up between werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."

I'm going to assume you've seen Twilight and its sequel New Moon. You needn't have to know that Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is an angsty Forks, Washington teen whose heart is torn between immortal vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a tormented over 100-year-old soul in a pale high school heartthrob's body, and longtime "Native American" pal Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), a newly-transformed werewolf. That love triangle permeates Eclipse, supplying evidence to support the case for both Team Edward and Team Jacob.

Thus far, Edward has the upper hand, with Jacob discontentedly ranking as merely Bella's good friend. When the film opens, Bella still wants Edward to change her into a vampire, an irreversible act that has required much thought. Edward, meanwhile, wants her to marry him, the only way she can crystallize her love to an old soul like he. They seem to agree on a compromise that for them will make vampirism and marriage go together like a horse and carriage.

But Twilight's never just been about a love that knows no bounds. The life of a vampire is filled with action and danger. Fulfilling those quotients are a series of disturbances in nearby Seattle that has caught the eyes of Bella's divorced detective father Charlie (Billy Burke) and the entire Cullen clan. The latter deduce that it must be a band of "newborns", newly-converted vampires, i.e. the strongest and most ravenous ones around. Using their extrasensory skills, the Cullens figure out that the newborns are on the hunt for Bella. To protect her, they form an unlikely alliance with their longtime enemies, the werewolves, including the increasingly arrogant Jacob, who is determined to get Bella to admit she loves him.

Muscular teen wolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) must carry Bella (Kristen Stewart) through the forest to cover her scent and fulfill the film's sensuality needs. The incomparable Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone) leads werewolf and vampire alike in a fight-training session.

Much of the movie is setup for this important battle and the preparations just so happen to develop the central triangular romance. What's this? Jacob has to carry Bella so as to cover up her scent? Jacob has to cuddle with Bella to keep her warm? Jacob has to do these things and everything else without a shirt so as to reveal his meticulously developed upper body? For his part, Edward mostly retains his cool, ever reflecting his kind's chilly temperature.
He tolerates Jacob, even extending a modest amount of compassion, but, with confidence and caution, ensures Bella remains his, giving her his mother's ring and a proper proposal while further discouraging her planned upgrade to immortality.

The big battle arrives as a climax with more violence than expected. Have we seen decapitation by fist before? The limb-tearing seems familiar, as do the Volturi, the red-eyed vampire council with their rules and regulations. But none of this will set the target audience's hearts aflutter. For that, there is Jacob making passionate moves and Edward and Bella snogging just moments after Charlie's attempt to give her "the talk" ends with her confessing her virginity. This is the stuff that fuels the female fandom.

Eclipse doesn't strike me as being much different from its two predecessors. Fewer lighthearted moments arise and less time is spent at the high school (although a now overqualified, underbilled Anna Kendrick does get to deliver a valedictory speech at Bella's graduation). But beyond that, there are the same emphases on plot, feelings, and deliberation. The movie isn't especially well-written or well-acted. Again, from the occasional weak effect and unconvincing rhythm, there is the sense that these are being produced more hastily than they should be (a sacrifice in the name of maximizing the franchise's impact and profit). Nevertheless, Eclipse is consistently engrossing and entertaining in its own way. Overdramatic, super serious, and ludicrous, yes, but also fun and unthreatening. The film series' schedule illustrates that even the makers recognize this as a lucrative fad. As such, how can you harbor resentment towards this? Why must guilt qualify the pleasure derived from it? Is there anyone concerned that the last two movies will lose their way and not reach the established heights? The more reasonable concern is that fans will grow out of caring enough to observe the series with midnight rituals. Even then, the whole thing will be done two years from now; how quickly could interest fall off?

Missing youth Riley Biers (Xavier Samuel) does the bidding of the newly-recast Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), leading an army of newborn vampires on rampages throughout the state of Washington. Rosalie Hale (Nikki Reed) becomes more memorable as she shares a vengeance tale from her newborn days, one of the film's three major backstory sequences.

In a move that must still peeve Rachelle Lefevre, the part of redheaded antagonistic vampiress Victoria is recast here with Bryce Dallas Howard. Though pivotal, the part is surprisingly small to attract someone of Howard's experience. But then the same could be said of Dakota Fanning, who again receives minimal screentime but respectable billing as Jane, an authoritative member of the Volturi. Also new to the franchise is British director David Slade, who previously helmed Hard Candy and the vampire horror 30 Days of Night. Slade has since handed over the reins to Dreamgirls writer/director Bill Condon, who will direct both parts of Breaking Dawn, presently being shot back-to-back through March 2011.

As the first and only Twilight movie to be released outside the series' established Friday-before-Thanksgiving launch date, Eclipse didn't perform all that differently from New Moon despite playing in an extra 300 theaters. It very narrowly eclipsed the $300 million mark to become the franchise's domestic apex; worldwide, it's earned $17 million less than its predecessor's $709.8 M tally. Still, you can't qualify Eclipse as anything less than a massive success. Released less than a year apart, the two sequels have earned a combined $1.4 billion globally, and that's just in theaters. Among 2010's releases, only Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, and Iron Man 2 did more business at the North American box office than Eclipse. Even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 will need stronger legs than usual to get there.

Making its home video debut on a now customary event-making Friday/Saturday midnight, Eclipse comes to disc in four different arrangements: a movie-only Single-Disc Edition DVD, a Two-Disc Special Edition DVD, a Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo (on a single double-sided disc that only Summit seems to like), and a Movie-Only Blu-ray Disc. Here, we look at the most popular version (even on tech-friendly Amazon), the Two-Disc Special Edition DVD whose mold the first movie established.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Two-Disc Special Edition DVD cover art -- click to buy from Amazon.com DVD Details

2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Twilight. Entertainment Earth.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, Spanish)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired, Spanish
Not Closed Captioned; Most Extras Subtitled
Release Date: December 4, 2010
Suggested Retail Price: $32.99 SRP
Two single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s)
Black Eco-Friendly Keepcase in Embossed Foil Cardboard Slipcover
Also available in Single Disc Edition DVD ($28.99 SRP), Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo ($40.99 SRP), and Movie-Only Edition Blu-ray ($34.99 SRP)


Picture quality is just about perfect in the DVD's 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. By now, you should know the saga's gray-heavy woodsy Northwest palette, which is upheld here. The visuals have lower contrast than many of their contemporaries and its blacks seem to remain dark gray. Otherwise, the element is clean, sharp, and vibrant. The Dolby 5.1 soundtrack also delights, delivering atmosphere throughout besides capably distributing Howard Shore's score.

Kellan Lutz boasts about being the fastest cast member in "Pre-Production: Setting the Stage." The snowy Washington mountaintop of the film's climax comes to life on a controlled Vancouver sound stage via this time-lapse photography.


The Special Edition DVD's first disc contains two audio commentaries.

The first and more attractive one is recorded by Bella and Edward themselves, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. They're recorded together in different countries. While they don't have much inside or substantial information to share, they have a good time watching and commenting. Theirs is a light discussion, focusing on appearances and deliveries, with many a laugh along the way. Twihards should enjoy this.

The second commentary features two individuals more creatively involved in the franchise: author Stephenie Meyer and producer Wyck Godfrey. They give a fuller reading of the movie, discussing cast members,
filming locations and techniques, cut bits, disagreements, adaptation, the characters, and reshoots. This is the more engaging, diplomatic, and serious of the two.

All the video-based extras are housed on Disc 2, beginning with the centerpiece, "The Making of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse". Similar to the extras that accompanied the previous two films, this can be viewed as one big documentary (running 88 minutes that way) but plays more like six distinct featurettes strung together.

"Part 1: Introducing David Slade" (4:33) discusses what the series' newest director brings to the table. "Part 2: Pre-Production: Setting the Stage" (12:25) covers the cast's vigorous physical training, tours the new Cullen home, and looks at the controlled mountaintop stage set, Edward's ring for Bella, and the trip T-shirt quilt.

Between takes, Taylor Lautner keeps his figure by catching grapes in his mouth and staying warm in a purple bathrobe. Believe it or not, the werewolves of "Twilight" begin with real dogs.

"Part 3: The Heart of Eclipse" (14:24) allows cast and crew to discuss the movie in terms of story, individual characters and flashbacks. "Part 4: The Dark Side of Eclipse" (8:54) turns our attentions to the villains of the film, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Riley (Xavier Samuel).

"Part 5: Lights, Camera, Action" (24:28) takes us through production, tackling every major sequence in chronological order, with B-roll, cast & crew comments, and Taylor Lautner demonstrating his grape-catching skills. It plays a bit like a lighthearted, visually interesting commentary. "Part 6: Post-Production: Leaps in Technology" (23:06) wraps up with visual effects, devoting half of its time to wolves and dividing the second half between stunt work, PG-13 violence, and closing credits.

The content of these featurettes is pretty great, giving us interesting behind-the-scenes looks at the film without coming off as promotional, self-congratulatory, or overly technical.

Charlie (Billy Burke) can't wait to see what Bella's going to do next and tells her as much in this deleted post-graduation scene. "Eclipse" director David Slade looks down while explaining why some scenes have been cut and shortened.

In what's likely to be many Twihards' first stop, we get 2 deleted and 9 extended scenes. The biggest addition is a bedroom scene of Bella opening up to her romantic concerns to sympathetic Angela (Christian Serratos). There's also a brief post-graduation father-daughter moment. The extensions are fairly short and mild. With the all-purpose introduction by director David Slade, the section runs 12 minutes and 32 seconds. Slade also supplies passionate audio/video commentary over these cuts (the latter segments extending the reel to 14:27), interestingly since he doesn't comment on the film itself.

"Jump to..." is an interesting feature. It allows you to watch an all-Edward (46:50) or all-Jacob (31:20) version of Eclipse in 1.78:1. Scenes that the characters aren't in are fast-forwarded with loud videotape sound and video effect. A bizarre concept and one born more out of excess disc space than real value, it's a humorous nod to those whose main draw to the movie are Masters Pattinson and Lautner. It also gives us an exact official screentime tally for each potential mate.

Da Fannster (Dakota Fanning) gets her due as Volturi leader Jane is pictured in Disc 2's Photo Gallery. At 36 years of age, Manic lead singer Emily Haines is a bit old to be this emo in the cabin of the band's "Eclipse (All Yours)" music video.

A "Photo Gallery" is actually a scored slideshow (6:30) providing both film stills and behind-the-scenes pictures.

Finally, we get music videos, a Twilight series staple. In Muse's "Neutron Star Collision" (4:18), clips from the film are weaved between and behind shots of the Queen-aspiring British band rocking out among colored light. For Metric's "Eclipse (All Yours)" (4:22), members of the Canadian indie band take to the film's settings, being weird and emo, with notebooks and flares.

The only extra that is exclusive to the Blu-ray/DVD Combo is a picture-in-picture (PIP) mode on the making-of documentary.

Big ups to the Quileute Native Americans/werewolves, appearing as part of Disc 1's main menu Forks tour. The Volturi adorn Disc 2's boring static Bonus Features menu.

Disc One opens with trailers for Red, Letters to Juliet, Remember Me, and Twilight in Forks.

Each disc's animated main menu navigates a landscape of character poses under the eclipsed moon. The simple other menu screens are static but scored scenes.

Placing a disc on either side, the black Eco-Box keepcase has neither inserts nor room for any. It is topped by a lightly embossed and somewhat eye-catching cardboard slipcover whose niftiest feature may be letting you choose to display a Bella and Edward spine rather than the standard Bella and Jacob of the keepcase.

As Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) discuss their marriage plans out in the snow, ever-shirtless Jacob (Taylor Lautner) emerges between them in the background.


The Twilight Saga is what it is. It's not Shakespeare. It's not Rowling. It's just a frothy teen romantic fantasy that has resonated with the masses like few book or film series have. While I can't put a high artistic value on Eclipse, I also can't pretend it bothers me in any way. It's easy to watch and get caught up in, to laugh at and sometimes with, and to enjoy as an organically grown franchise that differs from all others.

Similar to the two that have come before it, the Two-Disc Special Edition is strong and sure to satisfy the majority of fans. I don't know why anyone would opt to save $2 on the movie-only DVD over all the bonus features found here. Blu-ray customers have a little more of a decision to make, with $5 separating the movie-only disc from the loaded Blu-ray/DVD flipper combo. Whatever format interests you, you probably don't need my endorsement or disapproval. Like its predecessors, Eclipse is not nearly as good as its devotees suggest and not nearly as bad as the vocal detractors claim.

Support this site and buy The Twilight Saga: Eclipse from Amazon.com:
Two-Disc Special Edition DVD / Movie-Only DVD / Special Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo Disc / Movie-Only Blu-ray

Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
New: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World • 16 Wishes • 12 Men of Christmas • Waking Sleeping Beauty • Eat Pray Love
Kristen Stewart: The Runaways • Adventureland • Into the Wild • Jumper | Robert Pattinson: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Ultimate Edition)
Taylor Lautner: He's a Bully, Charlie Brown | Bryce Dallas Howard: The Village | Dakota Fanning: Push • Coraline • My Neighbor Totoro
2010 Movies: Toy Story 3 • Alice in Wonderland • The Karate Kid • Grown Ups • Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Third Movies: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Glee: The Complete First Season • Knowing • Kyle XY: The Complete Third/Final Season • Greek: Chapter Three

Related Interview: Taylor Lautner for The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D (September 2005)

Eclipse Songs List (in order of use): The Black Keys - "Chop and Change", Beck and Bat for Lashes - "Let's Get Lost", Bombay Bicycle Club - "How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep", Eastern Conference Champions - "A Million Miles an Hour", Vampire Weekend - "Jonathan Low", Band of Horses - "Life on Earth", Muse - "Neutron Star Collision (Love is Forever)", The Bravery - "Ours", Fanfarlo - "Atlas", Battles - "The Line", UNKLE feat. the Black Angels - "With You In My Head", "Clair de Lune", Sia - "My Love", The Dead Weather - "Rolling in on a Burning Tire", Metric - "Eclipse (All Yours)", Florence + The Machine - "Heavy in Your Arms", Cee Lo Green - "What Part of Forever"

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack:
Download from iTunes • Download MP3s from Amazon.com • Buy CD from Amazon.com

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Deluxe Edition Soundtrack:
Download from iTunes • Download MP3s from Amazon.com • Buy CD from Amazon.com

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The Score by Howard Shore:
Download from iTunes • Download MP3s from Amazon.com • Buy CD from Amazon.com

DVDizzy.com | DVD and Blu-ray Reviews | New and Upcoming DVD & Blu-ray Schedule | Upcoming Cover Art | Search This Site

Search This Site:

DVDizzy.com Top Stories:

Sign Up With Blockbuster, Get a Free Trial!

Reviewed December 2, 2010 / Exclusive Twilight Merch only at Hottopic.com! / Twilight Action Figures from the hit movie! CLICK HERE

Text copyright 2010 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2010 Summit Entertainment. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.