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The Full Meaning May Eclipse Me

Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
Spoilers: none

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Some may by now want to drive a stake through the heart of the Twilight series. Others passionately may not. Either way, no one can deny the far-reaching affect of what Twilight has become—a semi-erotic sensation for the young, the lonely, the misunderstood, for the discarded looking for love, probably in the absence of it.

With the choppy and uneasy arrival of the first in the series, we were taken aback by the crafting, which made it fit only for 13-year-olds convinced that nobody understood them. The very long but slightly improved second film added some dimension to its viewing demographic and gained a debatable increase in respect—more so than it lost in powerfully portraying (if in a very manipulative sort of way) the fragility of emotions.

Twilight Saga: Eclipse again raises the bar in continuing to garner admirers while expanding its value in content. The first two movies were only praise-worthy for hitting dead-center their target audience; you must admit so whether you are or were ever “into” the genre or not.

At the beginning, part three moves to Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) in the perfect setting of a beautiful field. Rainy, romantic Seattle can't outdo that. They are hugging and kissing in the throws of passion. Field french-kissing never really happens in life anymore (if it ever did), but it creates a perfect head-vision for an autoerotic moment for divorced, housebound, overweight females, but perhaps for others as well.

Bella’s dad – still clueless as ever – wants Bella to get some space. He figures, why not spend some time with Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who happens to be going through some tough times. That's all a young Bella needs is to spend more time with a male friend, more time around a hormone hurricane, also known as a teenage boy, who wants to jump her bones (wolf or not). Those abs...walking around like he doesn't own a shirt...that won't result in premarital sex or anything! Remember, we never said dad was anything other than clueless.

Bella gets to visit mom and perspective-ize the supernatural smooch-fest that is her flowery, back-of-motorcycle-riding life, but the drama at home hasn’t changed. Jacob has put his passions for Bella on hold, but his love for her is more than he can handle. The love can be felt by a faithfully waiting Edward who is not about to stop fighting for her heart. The stage has been set for a blow-up in this love triangle. The date has also been set for Bella’s change at Edward’s bite.

Meanwhile, unsettling deaths and missing person reports are surfacing in droves in Seattle. The Cullen clan is on the lookout. The slaughter appears to be the work of vampires, “newborns” recklessly created by an unknown party, without the guidance towards inconspicuousness needed to live and carry on in vampire society. But this is more than reckless living. This is a war brewing.

These newborns are out of control and vicious. Oddly, the explanation given is that traces of human blood still remain in the tissues of the newly changed, making them much stronger than aged vampires for up to seven months. But any bloodless vampire is stronger than any human. So doesn’t reason dictate that the human with LOTS of blood should be stronger than the vampire? Guess I should just ignore that little dilemma. It makes about as much sense as the boys of the wolf clan explaining that they go shirtless to more easily transform into wolves. But why wear pants then?

It goes without saying that the Twilight series is known for being provocative fantasy, not reality, just as it goes without saying that Jacob will not stop taking off his shirt to show off his “six-pack” until newly-divorced, middle-aged women with eyes as busy as termites quit demanding it, which will be never…or just until Lautner gets a beer gut at age 33. 

I have never understood what the “Eclipse” part refers to, as I never understood the “New Moon” of the last one’s title, but with the same heavy-handed dose of drama we’ve become used to, Twilight Saga: Eclipse does more than advance an addendum to an epic story; it begins to focus on more mature themes, like the wisdom to make wise life choices, the valuing of virginity and an identity status, and other youth-logical concerns. In cutting down on the emotional exploitation and melodrama and adding more maturity to the pallet, it goes much further towards being a fantastic movie of its type.

(JH)

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Grade: B+ (3 ½ stars)
Rated: PG-13 (for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality.)
Director: David Slade
Summary:
As a string of mysterious killings grips Seattle, Bella, whose high school graduation is fast approaching, is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward and her friendship with werewolf Jacob.
Starring: Kristen Stewart "Bella Swan," Robert Pattinson "Edward Cullen," Taylor Lautner "Jacob Black," Bryce Dallas Howard "Victoria," Anna Kendrick "Jessica," Michael Welch "Mike" Christian Serratos "Angela," Jackson Rathbone "Jasper Whitlock," Ashley Greene "Alice Cullen," Paul Jarrett "Mr. Biers," Iris Quinn "Mrs. Biers," Sarah Clarke "Renee," Peter Facinelli "Dr. Carlisle Cullen," Elizabeth Reaser "Esme Cullen," Kellan Lutz "Emmett Cullen"
Genre: Drama / Fantasy / Romance
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