While "New Moon" has certainly accrued fan approval and box office power since its release on November 20, critics haven't had the same appreciation for the vampire romance. "Eclipse," the next in the series, wrapped in October and is slated for a June 30, 2010 release, we have a few suggestions to help make it a film everyone -- not just Twilighters -- will enjoy.
Amp up the Bella and Edward romance
"Twilight" established the potent romance between Bella and Edward, but "New Moon" sacrificed much of the chemistry for the sake of Bella's growing bond with Jacob. Granted, the reason why Edward was mostly absent during "New Moon" was because he broke up with Bella and was moping around in an apartment for months on end, but Chris Weitz forgot to reestablish why exactly Bella and Edward were so in love. With "Eclipse," we hope David Slade explores their connection, especially with so many fans jumping ship to Team Jacob after seeing Taylor Lautner's abs.
Expand the secondary characters
Even though Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are the biggest draws for most fans, secondary characters like Anna Kendrick's Jessica, Mike Welch's Mike Newton, Dakota Fanning's Jane and Michael Sheen's Aro were key to some of the most fun parts of "New Moon." "Eclipse" introduces a whole slew of new characters (Riley and Leah, anyone?) and we hope some of the old favorites aren't sacrificed for the new, especially with Anna Kendrick's potential Oscar win for "Up in the Air." Plus, there's the fact that the scenes in which Bella interacts with humans (like her father, played by Billy Burke, and the high school students) are some of the most interesting and well-acted in the series thus far.
Make the fight scenes more action-packed
Yes, we understand that a lot of care went into making the CGI werewolves in "New Moon," and thank goodness the fight scenes in the second "Twilight" installment were better than the first, but the final battle in "Eclipse" is the most action-packed part of the entire "Twilight Saga." With David Slade's previous vampire film "30 Days of Night" under his belt, we can expect some intense action, but we'd like to remind him we want to see some newborn vamps being torn limb from limb anyways (and not just in slow motion).
Make the film more appealing to a non-"Twilight" audience
There are a lot of elements in "Eclipse" that could attract an audience not made up solely of Twilighters. In "New Moon," there was no effort spent on setting up the story from the previous book or explaining why Bella and Edward are so in love. "Eclipse" was the book that made Stephenie Meyer's vampire series what it is today, and hopefully "Eclipse" the movie will break the film series out to a larger audience as well.
Have fun with it
Some of the best parts of "New Moon" were when screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and director Chris Weitz let loose and had fun with the film. "Face Punch," anyone? (This I consider a stroke of genius. I expect a "Face Punch" movie poster for Chanukah.) Flying Virgin America to Italy? Jessica's commentary on zombie films? If "Eclipse" doesn't take itself too seriously and doesn't hold itself too close to the book, it could turn out to be not only a great movie for "Twilight" fans, but a great film in general.