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ecksmanfan reviews The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The previous two were just plain painful to watch. How does this one hold up?
Ah, yes. We return once again to the love triangle of Edward, Bella and Jacob. I sit down and prepare myself for two hours of sappiness and horrible attempts at acting. But wait...was that humor? Oh...was that a decently filmed action scene? I actually found myself pleasantly surprised by the latest installment of the Twilight Saga, which is something I never thought I'd say. It's still a ways out from being a really good film, but it is a vast improvement over the previous two films.

When I first heard that David Slade would be taking over the directors chair for this film, it gave me a bit of hope. His film Hard Candy was an amazing film and guess what...he's filmed vampires before in 30 Days of Night. I was correct in my expectations: he raised the bar in the action of the film as well as added the humor that was missing and needed in the first two films. It's too bad that he won't be returning for the last two films, but Bill Conden is also very capable.

One of the biggest improvements in the film is the acting by the three main stars. Yes...we still have to suffer through one of the most cheesy love stories ever put on film, but at least they make fun of themselves this time. The chemistry between them has vastly improved. I will say that none of them will be winning any awards anytime soon. Unless it's a Razzie. The best int he show (yet again) is Billy Burke. Why he hasn't been picked up for bigger roles, I will never know. He's a very talented actor and steals the screen every time he's on it. As I mentioned in my The Last Airbender review from the other day, Jackson Rathbone is just plain painful to watch. The rest of the supporting cast is decent, but they too still need some work.

Another area of improvement is in the animation of the wolves. It is much smoother than before, but then again, there was a much bigger budget for this film. There is a scene in the mountains that looks rather cheesy, but there is a decently filmed action scene here, so it keeps you from noticing. The main climax of the film is pretty good and much better than I had anticipated. It still can't compare to scenes filmed in other movies but for this film, it works. Let's face it...these films aren't made for action lovers.

The story is paced well and moves rather quickly; I didn't even look at my watch this time, which is a good thing. There are some new characters that are thrown into the mix with little or no back story into who they are. You are just expected to know them and care who they are.

All that being said, it's a much better film than the previous two, but it is still lacking in many departments. However, all the things I've mentioned are not the reason people go to see these films. A director could film Stewart, Pattinson and Lautner just staring and breathing at each other for two hours and people would go see it and enjoy it. The grade I gave it is probably generous, but I'm just thrilled that someone actually put some thought into one of these films. Speaking to the non-Twilight fans here: give this one a chance. I'm not saying it will be your favorite film in the world, nor should it be, but it's funny and has some pretty good action scenes.

The films still have a long way to go before they can be considered great, but this is a good start. Oddly enough, this installment is rather stalling at the box office compared to the others. Improve the acting even more, keep the humor going as well as the action, and you could be in a decent place.

Grade: B-
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