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Eclipse Movie Review – Third Time’s A Charm

I’ve been sick the last few days, hence this was not posted mere minutes from getting back from the theatre on Wednesday night! I saw The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on June 30th and it did not disappoint. To me, the biggest triumph for Eclipse was the successful adaptation from book to movie. Eclipse transitioned smoothly off of the pages written by Stephenie Meyer into an engrossing movie with just the right balance of action and romance.

I asked a couple of my friends (non Twilighters) what they thought of Eclipse and all of them were quick to show support for the third Twilight film. Some who had read the book even liked the movie more. There have been lots of interesting reactions to Eclipse as a movie, perhaps because of all the hype and lead-up, but also maybe because this is the point in The Twilight Saga where there is a concrete story to be dealing with. It’s also the point where characters have been developed thoroughly; there’s not much set up going on anymore, just the telling of the story between Edward, Bella, and Jacob. People seem to love Eclipse because as a movie it has it all: concrete plot, good complex characters, a narrative that moves along steadily, and the climactic moments on the mountain where everything is fully realized.

The best thing about Eclipse, for me, was the performance by Kristen Stewart. It seems that with every Twilight movie she progresses into an even stronger portrayal of Bella. Each time is different, and that’s how it should be because Bella grows as a character throughout the Saga. It just felt like Kristen carried this movie – in a good way. Everyone screamed over Rob Pattinson in the first Twilight movie, and girls fawned over Taylor Lautner in New Moon, but Eclipse felt like Kristen’s movie. She really stood apart in this one. I realize that her character is kind of secondary to the love triangle debacle and the whole newborns versus Cullens story, but Kristen really did shine. I felt like every word that came out of her mouth was honest, and that she had worked really hard to make this representation of Bella’s situation as real as it could be. I’m sure Kristen fans everywhere would agree that she really stepped up for this one.

Other great things of note in Eclipse would be the dynamic cinematography. I loved the close-up shots of Edward, Bella, Jacob, Rosalie, Victoria, and Xavier. The experience of watching a movie seems to become much more personal when you are brought so close to the characters – literally. Every emotion is highlighted, and every line that a character speaks seems to have some greater significance. This kind of close-up shot worked well for the scene where Rosalie told her tale to Bella, and explained her reasons for wishing to have stayed human – a defining moment in the book.

Character wise, I loved Xavier Samuel‘s performance. He really brought something extra special to Eclipse and it was a richer movie with his addition. The relationship between him and Victoria set up the opening for the movie, and continued to feel real throughout the rest of the film. He enhanced some of the nuances from Eclipse the book that might not have translated into the movie otherwise. An example of this would be how Riley is so infatuated with Victoria that he cannot see that she is simply using him for her own endgame against Bella and the Cullens.

The action and fight scenes were another success. The fighting looked real, and it was clear that everyone had trained hard for these scenes. The moments where the Cullens are running through the trees with the wolves in pursuit of Victoria were some of the coolest to watch due to the dizzying speed and pumping music. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the scenes between Edward and Bella felt real and honest because they proceeded with a natural pace, and the conversation wasn’t stilted. It felt like going about your day and momentarily seeing a couple together – like we were getting a glimpse into their lives, no acting and rehearsing involved. Who knows what that really means, I’m just saying it’s a testament to the natural chemistry that Rob and Kristen have going on.

I guess a review is never really a review unless you point out some things that could have been improved upon. For me, there are a few things that could have been better, but they don’t come close to overshadowing the many successes of Eclipse. Seemingly minor things like Bella’s disastrous wig actually become quite noticeable throughout the film. I’m so happy Kristen will be filming with her own natural hair for Breaking Dawn this fall! Continuity wise, I find it hard to get used to seeing another actor playing a role we have become accustomed to. Bryce Dallas Howard gave a solid performance as Victoria, but it just feels weird seeing a different actor playing such a vital character to the storyline. The last thing I would fix up would be the soundtrack placement throughout Eclipse. There were so many amazing and evocative songs on that soundtrack and I feel like they were wasted on some insignificant moments. Key scenes between Edward and Bella, and Bella and Jacob could have had much more weight with the addition of some of those amazing songs.

Like I said, these are small, seemingly trivial things to nitpick at when considering the movie as a whole.¬† I feel like a movie is really a success when nothing feels contrived. In Eclipse, every moment of dialogue felt genuine, the action looked real, and the characters interacted fluidly. These are three pretty important things to achieve when you’re working with such a fictional storyline – and the Eclipse team managed to pull it off with ease and grace.

Here’s to a great addition to The Twilight Saga films, and to what I hope will be an amazing adaptation of Breaking Dawn to come!

Amy’s Top 5 Fave Scenes From Eclipse:

1. Edward and Bella bedroom scene: raw emotion, honest portrayal, and undeniable chemistry between Rob and Kristen. Why did it have to end!

2. Jacob and Bella mountain scene: powerful and affecting, a critical moment in the storyline, and it felt real.

3. Bella visits Renee scene: so emotional, sets up story, again – it felt so genuine I actually got kind of choked up.

4. Xavier’s opening scene: such a great way to start the movie, dark and edgy, and set the tone for the movie.

5. Wolf pack and good vamps vs. Victoria and newborns scenes: action really came to the forefront, exhilarating to watch, and visually dynamic.

July 3, 2010 Posted by | Eclipse | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Creation Entertainment Official Twilight Convention: Twi Tour In Vancouver With Catherine Hardwicke And Peter Facinelli

Today I went to check out Creation Entertainment’s Official Twilight Convention aka Twi Tour in Van – it was awesome! I could only make it today (Day 3) but it was definitely worth it to see Catherine Hardwicke (Director of Twilight) and Peter Facinelli (Carlisle Cullen in Twilight) and hear them speak about Twilight and their other projects. Twi Tour has been happening all weekend (Friday-Sunday) at the Sheraton Wall Centre hotel downtown Vancouver. Twilight cast members including Rob Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have stayed in this hotel during filming in Vancouver so it’s kind of a cool place to check out anyways if you’re a Twilight fan.

Without further ado, check out my photos and some fun facts from The Official Twilight Convention aka Twi Tour Day 3:

The Hillywood Show Hosts Twi Tour

Sisters Hilly and Hannah Hindi were there with their Hillywood Show co-stars to host Twi Tour and introduce the guests of the Twilight Convention. They were really down to earth, friendly people who interacted with the crowd and did on-stage parodies of parts of Twilight to introduce the next events on the schedule. The Hillywood Show also fielded audience questions to both Catherine Hardwicke and Peter Facinelli who were today’s guest speakers at Twi Tour.

The Hillywood Show also debuted their New Moon Parody which was a mini movie they made mimicking and poking fun at New Moon the movie. They had their song and dance routine thing going on with songs like Pink – So What and Katy Perry – Thinking of You. Their movie featured mock clips of scenes from both Twilight and New Moon in what can only be described as an extended super music video. It was really entertaining to watch.

The Hillywood Show members use their own money to fund their projects and make their movies which I thought was really cool. Having originally found YouTube success with their Twilight parodies, they seem to have found a lot of recent success within the Twilight fandom and their hard work has payed off. The New Moon Parody was really well done and I can’t wait to see what they do for their upcoming Eclipse Parody.

Catherine Hardwicke – Guest Speaker at Twi Tour

Catherine Hardwicke was the first guest speaker of Day 3 for Twi Tour and she really was such an interesting person to listen to. She is such an open and friendly person who you can tell has this genuine passion for film making and for Twilight. She spoke a lot about her creative approach to directing and how spontaneity and collaborative efforts are very much a part of her approach. Catherine described how she auditions and works with actors: by jumping right into the scene and acting it out with them rather than watching from the sidelines. She described Peter Facinelli’s Twilight audition for the role of Carlisle Cullen and how they worked on the scene at the end of Twilight where Carlisle is helping to save a vampire-bitten Bella. Catherine literally played the part of Bella for the audition by lying on the floor pretending to be in pain while Peter leaned over and had to help her.

Catherine delved into a bit of discussion about the process behind Thirteen, which she wrote with Nikki Reed in six days straight. She described the difficult place Nikki was in at that tender age and how she was misunderstood. Knowing this, Catherine helped Nikki explore more creative activities and this culminated in them writing Thirteen together and acting out each scene as they went. A few audience members asked her about Lords of Dogtown and she spoke a bit about Heath Ledger and the loose and creative freedom he brought to the production of that film. Catherine also told the fans about her next big project to shoot in Vancouver – a modern gothic tale of Red Riding Hood which Leonardo DiCaprio is apparently heavily involved with in terms of both writing and production. Amanda Seyfried is set to star in the new movie alongside Shiloh Fernandez (who coincidently was one of the top contenders for the role of Edward Cullen in Twilight).

Catherine told some awesome stories including a more detailed account of the Twilight audition process involving Rob and Kristen. She described how Kristen came over to her house and had to kiss these random top 4 guys narrowed down for the part of Edward Cullen. The audition was focused on the bedroom scene between Bella and Edward – an important scene that would reveal chemistry or lack thereof between two actors. Once Kristen had finished auditioning with Rob, she told Catherine right away that it had to be him. Catherine reviewed the audition tape and totally agreed that the chemistry was right there from the start. It was really interesting to hear Catherine’s insights about film making and fun behind-the-scenes facts about Twilight. She is really talented and I will always admire her work in bringing Twilight to life for the first time.

Peter Facinelli – Guest Speaker at Twi Tour

Peter Facinelli, also known in The Twilight Saga as Carlisle Cullen, was the second guest speaker at Twi Tour Day 3. Peter was amazing: he connected so well with the fans in attendance, he joked with us, mingled in the crowd, and he was really honest about himself. It was interesting to hear him speak about being really shy growing up and having not had any experience with acting and theatre at a young age. Now he’s this largely successful actor with both Twilight and the TV show Nurse Jackie as current projects and he just seems to be taking it all in stride. He joked about embarrassing moments such as spilling his Starbucks coffee right that second and later almost kicking his coffee over again. He described his love of Starbucks coffee and how he finds it funny how many Starbucks there are in our city (Along Robson there’s well over 4!). Peter also said he enjoyed hanging at Tojo’s in Vancouver for Japanese food during the filming of Eclipse.

Peter gave us some insight on his hectic schedule and how he often finds the constant travel to be confusing. He was once in New York flying out somewhere and at the check-in desk when asked here he was travelling to he said New York! Peter was really humble and willing to joke around telling some other funny stories. He is the assistant coach of his daughter’s soccer team and recently walked up to what he thought was his daughter’s soccer team but it turned out to be a completely different group of girls who started asking if he was Carlisle. He then ran back to find his daughter’s team! Peter took many questions from the audience, one of which was if he would ever change his name? He said he doesn’t think his name is that striking and wants a name like John Wayne or a cool name like Johnny or Billy. He was so funny and relaxed with the questions and even went as far as to hug random audience members whose questions were “can I have a hug from you?” Peter came right over to our side section of the audience for a bit and was mere inches away from us – very cool!

Peter also shared some thoughts on Twilight the book versus Twilight the movie and his own personal stake in that. Peter has been and still is a fan of the Twilight books and he studied for the role of Carlisle to help express the literary version of that character. It was nice to see that he easily shares this personal enjoyment of the series and it really does forge a connection between him and the fans of The Twilight Saga. He joked a bit about the Twilight movie and how random it is that Carlisle drove with Edward to the ballet studio in the movie yet he doesn’t actually get in there to help until the fight between Edward and James is almost over. Peter joked that Carlisle was taking an exceptionally long time to park the car out front! He made the crowd laugh and smile, and also took the time to give some serious advice about the film industry for aspiring actors. It’s clear that Peter truly cares for both his family and his fans which is amazing to see and it really made me happy to get to see him in person and get to know a little more about who this guy really is. He’s amazing!

Twilight Merchandise and Vendors Area at Twi Tour

The vendors area of the Twilight Convention had cool Twilight merch for fans to check out. There was everything from autographed glossy photos of Twilight cast members to Twilight lunch boxes, wallets, pencil cases, pins, buttons, stickers, water bottles, bags, t-shirts, posters, candles and so much more. The Volturi collection of the Twilight Beauty Makeup was also available at a London Drugs booth in the vendors area. There was a section for Twilight makeovers, and the people from The Hillywood Show were on hand to interact with fans by their own booth. Check out a close-up of The Official Twilight Convention graphic tee below:

Twilight Charity Auction at Twi Tour

A really cool thing they did at Twi Tour was the Twilight Charity Auction with money going towards the Epilepsy Foundation which is a really good cause. Since it was the last day of Twi Tour in Van, many of the banners for the Twilight Convention were up for auction and had been signed by various Twilight stars. There was one banner that had been signed by Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart that sold for well over $600.

Twilight Lexicon Panel at Twi Tour

Widely recognized fan site Twilight Lexicon was there at Twi Tour to talk a bit about their early experience with the Twilight fandom. They told us about their set visit on the day that they were filming down at the beach where Bella and Jacob have their talk about the cold ones. They showed us their own interviews with both Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart from that day which was interesting to see because they seemed so happy and relaxed in the videos back from when they didn’t have chaos surrounding their films sets. They also revealed that Taylor Lautner was relatively unknown back then and they spent much of the day hanging out and talking to him as much of the focus back in the original Twilight movie was on Robert Pattinson and the Edward character. There was also some Q&A with Mandy who is well versed in set locations in Vancouver. Many fans wanted to know where recent Eclipse reshoots took place as well as the locations for popular places like Bella’s House and Jacob’s House. It was fun to hear some more detailed information about Twilight sets locally.

* * *

It was interesting to note that there was quite a variety of people at the Twi Tour. I thought it would be full of young kids seeing as it was the weekend but there were people of all ages there and definitely lots of kids and adults alike. Some were decked out in costumes from the movies and others were in jeans and t-shirts. Everyone was super friendly and it was just nice to see a bunch of like-minded individuals (crazy Twilight fans) having a good time together at the Twilight Convention.

I hope you enjoyed my experience of Twi Tour in Vancouver. Please note that all photos are my own and require a link back should you share them. Thanks again for reading!

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Twilight | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2010 MTV Movie Awards Nominees: What Will Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Twilight win?

The 2010 MTV Movie Awards are coming up on June 6th meaning that Twilight fans are going to be glued to the TV in anticipation of seeing RPattz and KStew. This kind of excitement is palpable perhaps in light on last year’s events at the MTV Movie Awards when Rob and Kristen had that epic moment on stage for their “Best Kiss” award win. Remember how that went down? Rob announces he needs to remove his gum, fans start screaming in the audience, Rob goes in for the kill, and Kristen moves away at the last second – epic!

This year, Twilight is back with many nominations for the New Moon cast, as well as a couple of other nominations for Twilight actors such as Taylor Lautner in Valentine’s Day, Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air, and Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in The Runaways. Twilight has garnered 11 nominations this year in total (including projects from Twilight cast members) and let’s face it – it’s very likely to clean up this year based on how well New Moon was received by the fandom.

Check out the full list of nominees for the 2010 awards show below. I’ve bolded/starred any Twilight-related nominees…

2010 MTV Movie Awards Nominees

Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hangover
*The Twilight Saga: New Moon*

Channing Tatum, Dear John
Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
*Robert Pattinson, The Twilight Saga: New Moon*
*Taylor Lautner, The Twilight Saga: New Moon*
Zac Efron, 17 Again

Amanda Seyfried, Dear John
Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
*Kristen Stewart, The Twilight Saga: New Moon*
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Zoe Saldana Avatar

Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Helena Bonham Carter, Alice In Wonderland
Ken Jeong, The Hangover
Stephen Lang, Avatar
Tom Felton, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Ben Stiller, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Bradley Cooper, The Hangover
Ryan Reynolds, The Proposal
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal
Zach Galifianakis The Hangover

Beyoncé Knowles vs. Ali Larter in Obsessed
Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber vs. Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Logan Lerman vs. Jake Abel in Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Robert Downey Jr. vs. Mark Strong in Sherlock Holmes
Sam Worthington vs. Stephen Lang in Avatar

*Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in The Runaways*
*Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: New Moon*
Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds The Proposal
*Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner in Valentine’s Day*
Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington in Avatar

*Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air*
Chris Pine, Star Trek
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Logan Lerman Percy, Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Quinton Aaron, The Blind Side
Zach Galifianakis The Hangover

Betty White, feeling up the bride, in The Proposal
Bill Murray, as himself, in Zombieland
Isabel Lucas and her robot tongue, in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen
Ken Jeong, booty call out of the box scene, in The Hangover
Megan Fox, projectile vomiting, in Jennifer’s Body

Alison Lohman, Drag Me to Hell
Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer’s Body
Jesse Eisenberg. Zombieland
Katie Featherston, Paranormal Activity
Sharlto Copley, District 9

Angelina Jolie
Channing Tatum
Chris Pine
Sam Worthington

Daniel Radcliffe
Johnny Depp
*Kristen Stewart*
*Robert Pattinson*
*Taylor Lautner*

It’s likely we’ll be seeing Twilight cast members repeatedly taking to the stage to receive MTV Movie Awards on the 6th, but which awards are the most likely to be won? Here’s my two cents on what the likely wins will be for our amazing Twilight cast members and their projects…

Amy’s picks for Twilight wins at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards:

  • Best Movie – New Moon: Highly likely to win for obvious reasons.
  • Best Male Performance – Taylor Lautner, New Moon: This was Taylor’s movie and I feel like he truly deserves the award on this one. He stepped up for New Moon and showed the fans he belongs in the The Twilight Saga as Jacob Black.
  • Best Female Performance – Kristen Stewart, New Moon: I’m going to go ahead and say she’s likely to get this one.. I hope she does. I’m a huge KStew fan and like I said above, this is Taylor and Kristen’s movie, it’s all them. I’d love to see them both win for these awards.
  • Best Kiss – Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning OR Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart: It’s got to be one of those two pairings for the win. Last year Rob and Kristen won this exact award, and this year they are likely to win again. Then again, people loved the DakotaStew lip-lock in The Runaways so it could go either way.
  • Best Breakout Star – Anna Kendrick: She got the Oscar nod, and she stands a good chance of getting recognized with MTV. Lots of strong contenders in this category but I think the fans will vote for Anna because not only does she have fans of Up in the Air voting, but she has the entire Twilight fandom voting too so it’s likely she’ll win.
  • Global Superstar – Robert Pattinson: I’m going to go with RPattz on this one. I kind of want Kristen to win it, but Rob is the most likely. He is the superstar of Twilight so the award is kind of fitting for him.

Don’t forget to tune in to watch the MTV Movie Awards on June 6th and see what Twilight will take home. Voting is now open on the MTV website so go and vote for our amazing Twilight stars!

2010 MTV Movie Awards Voting

[Photo via MATT SAYLES/AP PHOTO | Video via BellasAfterCarF430]

May 12, 2010 Posted by | New Moon, Twilight | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment