Amidst all the 4th of July hoopla, I found time to go see the third installment of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse.  I am happy to report that the movie was as fun to watch as I was hoping it would be.  With most book-turned-into-a-movie kinds of series, I am usually disappointed, things tend to fall flat, especially as the series progresses.  Such is not the case with the Stephanie Meyer books.  In fact, it is my opinion that the movies are getting better each time!  I do feel that you can never fully capture the essence of a book when you turn it into a movie, as things get inevitably left out or glossed over, but I think they did a great job with Eclipse.

While I did read some rather harsh reviews of the movie, I personally enjoyed watching it.  I have read all four books and I read Eclipse in two days.  I literally just couldn’t put it down.  I was quite eager to see it come to life on the big screen, bad reviews or not.

The love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob was considerably more poignant than New Moon, and it stabs you in the heart to watch Jacob tell Bella he loves her and will love her until her “heart stops beating.”

There are some humorous moments, as Stephanie Meyer writes her characters with a sly twist of humor, and it’s fun to watch Edward and Jacob give eachother a hard time.  There is a part in the movie where Edward asks Bella if Jacob owns a shirt, because Taylor Lautner is shirtless in almost the entire movie.  I have to say, even though I certainly enjoy a shirtless Lautner, I wondered the very same thing, LOLOL!

There are, of course, the usual romantic moments between Edward and Bella, especially when Edward proposes, and it just makes me wish you could see a little more emotion on Kristen Stewart’s face as Bella.  At times she seems very “wooden”.  Robert Pattinson, on the other hand, is VERY wonderful at playing a tortured vampire, much to my delight.  He just had Edward down to a “t”.

I found my self almost cheering like an animated child whenever the wolves came onto the screen.  This is one thing I think they have done a very outstanding job with.  The way they created these wolves, you can see the personality of the character shining through in their eyes… the way you would envision it while reading the book.  I very much love Jacob in his wolf form… it had me wishing I had my own wolf friend, LOLOL!

The action scenes in the movie were pretty great too.  You get so swept up into all of it, and it’s all happening so fast, because the vampires are so quick… you find yourself almost holding your breath.  It’s fun!  I really enjoyed watching the vampires and the wolves working together as a team to get rid of the “newborns” that were terrorizing Seattle.

Speaking of the “newborns,” there are some new things you get to learn in this movie as well.  For instance, you learn how both Rosalie and Jasper became vampires.  You finally get a deeper glimpse into who they are, and how they came to the Cullen family.

Rosalie was viciously attacked and raped by a man she thought wanted to marry her…. Carlisle found her and changed her.  She eventually got revenge on the man who destroyed her dreams.  She explains to Bella that she would have liked a choice and that is why she cannot be in favor of Bella changing.  It’s nice to finally have some clarity as to Rosalie’s character.

Jasper was a Confederate soldier, who was changed by a vampire coven of three women.  He thought he had a loving relationship with the coven leader, Maria, only to find that she was merely using him to control other newborns and teach them how to fight for her.

Jasper, using his knowledge of newborn vampires,  helps the others to fight the newborns that have been accumulated and trained to look for Bella.  And Victoria, bad ass red headed vampire is behind it all.  Revenge, ladies and gentlemen.  Plain and simple.

Of course, the Volturi have a hand in whether or not to let the battle happen, and they choose to let it happen, I am thinking in hopes that the Cullens are destroyed.  They are a powerful family and Aro still wants Alice and Edward to join him.

We also get to learn more about Jacob’s tribe, the Quileutes.  His father tells the tale of how they came to change form into wolves, what they have learned of the “cold ones” and how it is passed down from generation to generation.  Bella gets to sit in on this “council” meeting, in hopes it will help her to better understand them.

Two new wolves join the pack… one is a girl, which I think is awesome!  Her name is Leah and she has a pretty big chip on her shoulder.  It’s quite clear that Jacob doesn’t like her.  Seth, her younger brother has also phased, as one of the youngest to ever phase, being only 15.  He is eager to learn and has a very large heart.  I immediately liked his character when I first read about him, and I liked him onscreen as well.

I loved the part of the movie where Bella, Jacob and Edward are camping in the woods together while waiting for the newborns to arrive.  Bella is freezing in the snow storm, and the only way to keep her warm is for her to cuddle close to Jacob.  As Bella sleeps, the two men have an earnest talk about who and what is best for Bella.  There are some humorous jibes, but mostly you feel sad for them both, as the knife can twist both ways.

The battle scene happens fast and furious and the Cullens quickly win with the help of the wolf pack.  The newborn vampires are clearly taken by surprise by the unexpected participation of the wolves and it’s soon over.  Edward battles with Victoria and a guy she had clearly been brainwashing into thinking she loved him so he would do her bidding.  He almost loses the fight, but Bella manages to distract the vampires with the scent of her blood.  Edward kills Victoria and all calms down for about a minute… until the Volturi show up.  And what timing, right?  Funny how they show up AFTER it’s all over, lol!  They make mention of the fact that Bella is still human and remind the Cullens that the Volturi do not give second chances.  They destroy the newborn, Bree, as they will not give her a second chance either.  The Cullens tried to save her, but to no avail.  The Volturi leave just as quietly as they appeared.

Jacob is hurt in the battle, having nearly been crushed, so Carlisle has to set to work resetting his bones.  Bella visits him and explains that she belongs with Edward and it is not going to change.  Jacob admits that he will always be there for her and love her… maybe even after her heart stops beating.  It’s sooooo sad!  I admit to tearing up during that scene.

Last scene in the meadow was so colorful and beautiful.  Edward and Bella talk about their future, about getting married.  The movie ends with Bella telling Edward that they have to go do something very dangerous…… tell Charlie their plans to marry.

All in all, I loved this movie and I can’t wait until it comes out on DVD so I can watch it over and over again!!!!!!  I am VERY much looking forward to seeing what they do with “Breaking Dawn”!!!!

***Images found via Google image search