Lara’s Solo Review of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

13 Jul

Another six months, another Twilight film. And not a moment too soon, for my teenage-girl-porn withdrawals were starting to get the best of me. Thank God that before New Moon could even leave the theater the Eclipse trailer was put online and not but a week later the DVD of the second installment was released. I’m pretty sure that Summit Entertainment believes that if they allow any lag time for tweens to calm down from their previous Team Edward/Team Jacob spats they will lose them to non-magical distractions like The Jonas Brothers or Justin Bieber. For those fans who are nervous about Eclipse delivering anything different from its predecessors, fear not. The Edward Vs. Jacob pissing contest is Still Going Strong. However, there are a few things that changed since New Moon, I mean, come on, David Slade wouldn’t be brought on to direct the same movie all over again, would he?

WHAT CHANGED

We are finally shown many of the characters’ back-stories! I don’t know about you, but I’ve desperately wanted to see Rosalie in 1930s attire, walking through substandard “period” sets since her first snarl in the original Twilight (remember that movie? From all the way back in 2008?) The best part of these segments (that would make the History Channel vomit with rage) is when we find out that Jasper was a Confederate soldier, “the best in Texas” he tells us, unexpectedly with a drawl. Yes, half way through the third film he develops a Texas accent. Suddenly he’s dropping “ma’am”s and “y’all”s like they are going out of style, despite the fact that during the last five hours of Twilightdom the only noticeable aspect of his speech has been his evident attempt to keep his lip movement down to a minimum. Perhaps that was a subtle character development Jackson Rathbone had in mind all along, I can just seem him running his hands through his curly locks and discussing it with Catherine Hardwicke, “So he’s trying to hide that he’s a Texan by keeping his jaw locked at all times, but once he opens that door, discussing his past, the Good Old Boy can’t help but come out.”

Bryce Dallas Howard now plays super-threatening-bad-guy-whose-destructiveness-we-have-yet-to-see, Victoria. Thank God, because I know I couldn’t have dealt with any more Rachelle Lefevre. It was absolutely necessary for my film experience to have a top-notch actor like Bryce Dallas Howard say those three lines.

This is by far the most action-packed entry in the saga, for the werewolves and “vegetarian vampires” have to put their differences aside and team up to defeat the evil, or “normal” vampires. With practice fights and running that would make Speedy Gonzalez himself jealous, the entirety of the film is a giant build up to the Ultimate Battle, which ends almost as abruptly as it starts. Perhaps it’s symbolic of violent delights bringing violent ends for Bella and Edward, but I highly doubt Stephenie Meyer is that deep. Though it has potential to be awesome, with the vampires shattering like stone (once again, not in conjunction with the first two films), there is no challenge. SPOILER The brawl lasts about five minutes and consists of the good guys defeating the bad guys with little effort. SUPER SPOILER When the antagonist who has been alluded to in all three films finally faces off with Edward she is killed in about a minute…. Or maybe less… however much time it took her to come close to Bella, get thwarted by Edward, say something threatening, and then get her head twisted off by Edward. And scene.

Mama vampire was absent for most of the movie. She suddenly appeared in the battle scene, and even then she wasn’t fully present; for there were occasions in which the entire Cullen clan was shown and she would come and go from shot to shot. Weird. It’s like they had to pay her per second on screen, or maybe her overly, toothy grin was not going over well with test audiences.

Edward is not quite as controlling. Like, in one instance instead of telling Bella, “Stay in the car” like Old Edward would have done, he says, “If I tell you to stay in the car, will you listen?” Much nicer. He also tells Jacob that if Bella chooses his warm-blooded ways that Edward will back off forever. Pretty shocking after his previous behavior. While this was a more pleasant side to Edward all I could think was, “He’s bipolar. Not only is he an abusive, control-freak, now he’s got extreme mood swings, too.” At least be consistent with your totalitarianism! –Oh wait, he disconnected the engine in Bella’s car so that she can’t go visit Jacob… that’s the Edward I know and love.

Edward and Bella in their favorite field.

WHAT STAYED THE SAME

The vampires glisten in the sun. And other atrocities to vampire-lore.

Dakota Fanning is there for no reason.

Charlie Swan is the only character I’d ever want to spend any time with.

The constant pissing on Bella. Edward and Jacob continue to mark their territory on the personality-lacking mortal, first Jacob gets her a bracelet with a wolf on it then Edward gets her a bracelet with a diamond on it, then Jacob protects her and broods, and soon after Edward protects her and broods… and on and on and on… There’s a scene in which Jacob has to come into Bella’s snow-surrounded tent and warm her up with his body heat, while Edward glares on. Hmm… that seems like pretty well worn territory, I’ve seen this before… Brokeback Mountain anybody?

Love declarations from every member of the love triangle bordering on threats.

Bella’s average friends stay by her side though she doesn’t give them the time of day.

Jacob never wears a shirt.

Jacob? Shirtless?!

All that said, is this a worthy entry to the Twilight saga? Sure. It’s basically a new situation, but otherwise almost an exact replica from New Moon. And if that’s what you’re looking for, that’s what you’re going to get. I could go off on a tangent on how harmful these films are to teen girls (and boys) everywhere, and how the emphasis on chastity is maybe less important than the frightening depiction of “loving” partners… but I’ve been there before. Honestly, I look at these movies as comedies (it’s the only way possible to stomach them) and this one was disappointingly less hysterical to me than the others. I don’t know if that’s because it’s actually a better quality film or maybe I’m getting too used to the formula. God forbid.

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2 Responses to “Lara’s Solo Review of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”

  1. breadtobeeaten July 14, 2010 at 6:11 am #

    Bob Mondello says this is actually… kind of good… I don’t know what to do. I mean, maybe I’ll just watch this one and not the others. Is there the same Harry Potter type argument with these, that you need to read them/watch them for their cultural relevance?

    Also, Latner/Lautner (?) is going to have to have a six pack the rest of his life in order not to be a disappointment. That is pressure I’m sure glad I don’t have to live with.

    • CintusSuprimus July 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

      Um, I wouldn’t say it’s good. It’s better than the others…maybe, but a lot less funny. I say if you have to watch one have it be the first, for it is HILARIOUS and these should not be seen for Quality. I don’t know if they’re better if you read the books, seeing as I’ve avoided that, but I hear that the books are just as addictive and bad, with the word “beautiful” used for Edward every other sentence.

      Oh and Taylor Lautner’s abs had actually diminished a little since the last one. And I was disgusted.

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