THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE Blu-Ray and DVD Special Edition Studio: Summit Entertainment Year: 2010 Rated: PG-13 Film Length: 2 hours, 4 minutes Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.40:1) Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish Release Date: December 4, 2010 The Movie The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is the film adaptation of the third book of the same title in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight book series. Teenager Bella Swan(Kristen Stewart) is attracted to 2 classmates, Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner). What sets this apart from conventional teen angst dramas is that while Bella is a mortal girl, Edward is a vampire and Jacob is a werewolf, and their respective clans have always been in conflict. Even as Bella is forced to choose between Edward and Jacob, the vampire and werewolf clans must unite if Bella is to be saved from other parties seeking revenge. Eclipse is directed by David Slade who has experience in this genre since he previously directed 30 Days of Night(2007). Slade’s experience in directing music videos is also an asset to this film since the soundtrack is heavy with contemporary music used to set the mood. Of the three Twilight films released thus far, Eclipse seems best designed to appeal to a wider audience. While Twilight (2008) and New Moon(2009) emphasized the romantic aspects of the story, Eclipse is more action-oriented than the first 2 films put together. Female fans will appreciate the drama of two guys fighting over the heroine while male fans will be likely to enjoy the fight scenes as they unfold. The Twilight films seem to be more interesting with each chapter, since I found Eclipse to be more entertaining than New Moon, and New Moon more entertaining than Twilight. Video The movie is displayed on Blu-ray and DVD in an anamorphic 2.40:1 aspect ratio consistent with its theatrical presentation. The disc is a flipper disc with the Blu-ray version on one side and the DVD on the flip side. The Blu-ray appears to be an fine transfer with excellent shadow detail and minimal black crush. As with the previous films, colors are deliberately muted as an artistic decision consistent with the presentation of the earlier films in the series. Grain is minimal but appears consistent with the original theatrical presentation with minimal DNR and edge enhancement. The DVD is a good transfer although it suffers from edge haloing and other minor compression artifacts. Some black crush is evident on the DVD which makes the difference between it and the Blu-ray all the more striking. Audio The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks on the Blu-ray are best employed during the musical sequences, of which there are many. As with the previous films in this series, the music soundtrack was selected carefully to create mood within the film. Directional audio is employed well during the action scenes, particularly with some pans of the camera, and dynamic range is excellent without compromising intelligibility of dialogue during the action sequences. Directional audio is also used especially well in the special features. The English Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks on the DVD version also serve the film very well. Special Features The audio commentaries on the special features are included on both the Blu-ray and DVD sides of the disc. The remaining special features are included only on the Blu-ray. The special features are as follows: Film Commentary: Film stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart offer comments in this feature length commentary. Film Commentary: Author Stephenie Meyer and producer Wyck Godfrey contribute a feature length commentary on the film. The Making of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: A 6 Part Documentary(1:28:00): This feature length documentary is broken down into the following 6 parts, which can be viewed continuously or selected individually from the menu options: 1) Introducing David Slade 2) Pre-production: Setting the Stage 3) The Heart of Eclipse 4) The Dark Side of Eclipse 5) Lights, Camera, Action; and 6) Post-production: Leaps in Technology Deleted/extended scenes(12:33): These scenes have time stamps on the footage and can be viewed individually and with a "Play All" option which includes a brief introduction by director David Slade, as well as optional director commentary during the scenes. Photo Gallery: These stills are navigated by use of the arrows on your remote control. Music Videos: The following music videos, with scenes from the film, are included: "Neutron Star Collision"(4:18): Music video by Muse. "Eclipse(All Yours)" (4:20): Music video by Metric. Jump To...(This feature has clips of footage from the film categorized according to characters and subjects, including Edward, Jacob, The Love Triangle, The Cullens, The Wolfpack, The Humans, Victoria’s Army, and Action Sequences.) BD Live: Blu-ray enabled players can access the server with trailers from other Summit films. Trailers (8:33): The DVD version also includes the following trailers that play automatically prior to the main menu: Red, Letters to Juliet, Remember Me, and Twilight In Forks. Conclusion The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is designed to be comprehensible to anyone who has not seen the first 2 films, although familiarity with the earlier films certainly helps and enhances understanding of the story. Prospective viewers have a very good idea before they have seen Eclipse whether they will enjoy this film. You either like this type of film or you do not. I have never read the books and I do not consider myself a Twi-hard, but I found Eclipse to be entertaining and well-executed, moreso than the previous films in this series. If you enjoyed the earlier films, you will probably enjoy Eclipse. The video and audio presentation on this hybrid Blu-ray/DVD special edition are consistently excellent, and this set contains a wealth of special features. This film series seems to improve with each entry, and we will see if the yet to be released Breaking Dawn will follow this pattern.