Film Reviews

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE

By • Jul 2nd, 2010 •

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Not that it matters but it was horrible. Zsa Zsa Gabor wigs, 99. Store makeup, and overall lousy filmmaking. Pattinson’s fattened, sun-blessed face plays second banana to pig-nosed, shirtless Lautner. Disney vampires without teeth or lust – is this really what pre-teens want?

Okay, I wasn’t expecting a teen SCHINDLER’S LIST – and I know this is reviewer seppuku and there will be, if not blood, then mighty fan wrath – but I hoped that the enormous global success of The Twilight Saga novels and previous films, would mean a heightened level of filmmaking. But, clearly, that does not matter. It is all about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob.

With ECLIPSE, the filmmakers have voted: it is Team Jacob all the way. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), the archetypal teen vampire-boyfriend has not one speck of thrill, menace, or lust. Edward is, indeed, a soulless vampire in desperate puppy love with Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). He stands around looking helpless in ill-fitting clothes. Bella is conflicted, she cannot decide between a vampire Edward or a werewolf, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).

They are both insanely in love with wig-wearing Bella. There are no other women in the world for either Edward or Jacob.

The entire Cullen clan wears Wigs R Us.

Bella, like every person on the planet – or at least in Hollywood – does not want to get old. She wants Edward to turn her into a vampire so they can live together forever. But Jacob is sulking around demanding that Bella admit she really loves him and wants to stay human and live on the reservation with him. Jacob cannot make Bella a werewolf, so it will be a mixed species marriage.

The script by Melissa Rosenberg is terrible. She doesn’t understand her target audience. They want forbidden love. Director David Slade doesn’t have a clue about how to orchestrate subliminal cinematic sex scenes. Where is the animalistic wolf sex drive? Jacob’s wolf pack is a bunch of college jocks.

Why are vampires so family-oriented? What’s up with that?

We open on Edward and Bella having a love picnic in a field of lavender lilies. Their love is chaste since Edward has morals! He wants to marry Bella, and then have sex – I mean – make love.

With vampires and werewolves outnumbering the good simple folks of Forks, Washington, big bad capital Seattle is awash with disappearances and ugly deaths. The Cullens know that Newborns – freshly made vampires – are to blame. They are hungry. They are strong. Someone is making a vampire army to find and kill Bella. Apparently, over hundreds of years, vampires mellow, settle down and do community service. Newborns want blood. They are dangerous.

She’s back and she’s mad! Of course villainess Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) has red hair. Red hair was thought to be a mark of a beastly sexual desire and moral degeneration.

Montague Summers, in his translation of the medieval masterpiece, ‘The Malleus Maleficarum,’ notes that red hair and green eyes were thought to be the sign of a witch, a werewolf or a vampire during the Middle Ages; those whose hair is red, of a certain peculiar shade, are unmistakably vampires.

So the Cullen Clan and the Wolf Pack must unite to save Bella – she’s so important that they put aside hundreds of years of animosity. Bella has that special je ne sais quoi – something intangible but very, very powerful.

The arch enemies await the Newborns and fully expect the arrival of the howling silly Volturi, led by Jane (Dakota Fanning). It’s a walk-on for Fanning. She doesn’t have the menace stare or voice to be a merciless executioner (thank God her name hasn’t been mentioned for Lisbeth Salander – yet).

I did like the backstories for Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and Rosalie (Nikki Reed) but what about the rest of the Cullen Clan? All the CGI wolves and the big finale fight scene look fake. The scenery appears to be filmed on a soundstage.

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One Response »

  1. Having had to sit through these things with my friends and their kids, I have to say it is a ….pleasure…that both BUFFY and ANGEL have been brought to the silver screen!

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