Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have released early reviews for the Eclipse movie! Here's a snippet from Variety's review:

It goes without saying that the faithful will devour "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," the third movie in Stephenie Meyer's immensely popular supernatural love-triangle saga, and also the one in which Bella must finally choose between her two beastly suitors. The pleasant surprise this time around is that the result finally feels more like the blockbuster this top-earning franchise deserves. Employing a bigger budget, better effects and an edgier director ("Hard Candy's" David Slade), "Eclipse" focuses on what works -- the stars -- even as the series' parent-friendly abstinence message begins to unravel. Summer release should reap Summit's biggest yield yet.

Taking a cue from the "Harry Potter" series, which maintains continuity on the writing and casting fronts while introducing a different feel with each change of director, the "Twilight" producers have embraced a variety of different visions behind the camera. Capitalizing on her indie sensibility and keenly observed teen insights, Catherine Hardwicke set the tone with the low-budget first film, with Chris Weitz expanding (and flattening) the world with his broader, daytime soap-opera style in "New Moon." Now, the task falls to Slade, who clearly understands how to work with actors while also demonstrating a welcome competence in the action and melodrama departments.

It's no easy task taking a piece of material auds already know inside-out and spinning it in such a way that individual scenes still generate tension and suspense. Slade sets us on edge from the outset with an atmospheric vignette merely alluded to in the book, as small-town boy Riley (Xavier Samuel) is ambushed and bitten by an unseen vampire in shadowy Seattle (looking every bit as ominous as Tim Burton's Gotham City).

Not much happens for the first 300 pages of Meyer's novel, during which vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) vie for the affections of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), with our increasingly impatient heroine determined to surrender both her virginity and her humanity to the brooding bloodsucker (to his credit, Bella's 109-year-old boyfriend wants to marry her first).

Slade and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg wisely intercut these puppy-love scenes with uneasy horror-movie jolts. After all, "Eclipse" builds not to a showdown between Edward and Jacob (no matter how often he takes off his shirt, the poor wolfboy will never be Bella's first choice), but to an uneasy alliance between the Cullen clan and Jacob's tribe of shape-shifters, united to protect Bella from the vengeance-seeking Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard, taking over the role from Rachelle Lefevre) and her army of "newborns," undisciplined but super-strong new vampires.


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And here is The Hollywood Reporter's review:

It took three films, but "The Twilight Saga" finally nails just the right tone in "Eclipse," a film that neatly balances the teenage operatic passions from Stephenie Meyer's novels with the movies' supernatural trappings.

Where the first film leaned heavily on camp and the second faltered through caution and slickness, "Eclipse" moves confidently into the heart of the matter -- a love triangle that causes a young woman to realize choices lead to consequences that cannot be reversed.

With the momentum of a movie series that sees installments arriving like clockwork every year, "Eclipse" looks primed to be the most successful film yet in Summit Entertainment's franchise. The action is pretty much relegated to the climax, but it's nifty enough that young men may get into the series too even if "Eclipse" isn't their first choice on a Friday night.


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Sincerely, Alice
6/28

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