The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
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It all begins… with a choice. In the third chapter of Stephenie Meyer’s phenomenal Twilight series, Bella Swan is surrounded by danger as Seattle is hit by a string of murders and an evil vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, Bella is forced to choose between her love, Edward Cullen, and her friend, Jacob Black—knowing that her decision may ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf.
The third installment of Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster vampire series is its most action packed, both in terms of fight scenes and human-vampire-werewolf lovin'. In Eclipse, the vampiric Cullen clan and the werewolves--their sworn enemies--unite against an army of "newborn" vampires, whose remnants of human blood in their veins makes them stronger and more uncontrollable, causing a string of murders in the Seattle area. They've been created by the vengeful vampire Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard, taking over for Rachelle Lefevre), still keen on destroying human Bella (Kristen Stewart). Thus, Bella is under careful watch, and her undead love Edward (Robert Pattinson) and werewolf best friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) spend a lot of time arguing over who is the better man for her. (In one hilarious scene where Bella's freezing and only Jacob has the lupine body heat to warm her, he looks over at Edward and cracks, "I am hotter than you." Go Team Jacob!) But there's more at the heart of the triangle than love: Bella, against Edward's warnings, doesn't want to grow older than him and would willingly give up contact with her parents, the chance to grow old with children, and more to be turned into a bloodthirsty vampire. (Jacob's trump card is that Bella wouldn't have to give up her mortality to be with him.) But the unfolding of this love triangle is even clumsier than it was on the page; you're never really convinced Bella has romantic feelings for Jacob, even during their climactic kiss on top of the mountain. This is likely to confuse non-readers of the book series, as Stewart emotes nothing that intones there's a real competition here (clearly, she's Team Edward).
Pattinson, on the other hand, appears to have overcome his awkwardness to become a much cooler Edward; Howard, while missing Lefevre's mischief as Victoria, brings her own touch of soft-spoken manipulation; and Billy Burke, as Bella's father Charlie, continues to steal every scene he's in. The other Cullens also get far more play here, notably Rosalie (Nikki Reed), whose revealing back story is touching and tragic, and Jasper (Jackson Rathbone), who trains everyone in combat and who, halfway through the movie, adopts a sudden Southern accent that he didn't have before, once it's revealed he was a Confederate soldier (on a side note, it's mentioned in the books that Jasper can calm the emotions of others, but that trait isn't used in the movie). The climactic fight scene is well staged by director David Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy); the violence, while not bloody, is still more abundant and disturbing than in the previous films; and the sex, while not actually happening between anyone (yet), is certainly on everyone's mind (but Edward wants to get married first). It seems the characters, and the series, are growing up. --Ellen A. Kim
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The Twilight series is filled with interesting characters and has a lot of interesting plot developments in it. Unfortunately the story follows the three worst characters and instead of concentrating telling the story of one of five to six interesting stories, it focuses on what is supposed to be a love story.
I'll start with the characters......
Bella Swan is a despicable person with no redeeming qualities. Would anyone actually want to even be associated with Bella Swan in real life? All I know is that she puts every single person in danger (including the vampire she is presumably in love with) all for purely selfish reasons. If her vampire plaything isn't around she decides to toy with the idiot werewolf boy who for some reason decides he likes this moping, selfish, unfriendly person. Has Bella Swan (which is a stupid name anyhow) ever uttered anything at all interesting or positive in the course of three movies?
Let's move on to Edward. You would think after centuries of existing he would have A) found something better to do with his time than to graduate high school repeatedly? B) Developed at least a smidgeon of a personality C) Had enough time to find someone in this world that could offer him something more than Bella Swan? I get he can't read her mind (which he sees as a positive), but maybe that's because she doesn't have much in that head of hers? Honestly?
And that leaves our pathetic werewolf pal who marches around shirtless (a joke about his shirtless ways was written in the Eclipse movie). He at least has a motorcycle hobby and outwardly seems friendly in the 1st movie (until he becomes a werewolf) and then because he becomes a central figure in this movie he must relinquish all semblance of a personality and become mad/sad. Why do I call this character pathetic? Because to constantly chase after someone who has been so outwardly disrespectful and just plain mean to you shows he has very little self respect for himself.
And now why I don't think the "love" triangle works. First, none of the characters are likable or compelling as explained above. Secondly, other than saying they love each what has happened to make me believe it? I know Edward has saved Bella a few times (because she needlessly puts herself in danger, because she's moody, reckless and selfish) so maybe I can buy Bella liking Edward. But other than not reading her mind there's no reason for this vampire to like this girl (I guess her blood smells good, but that's more reason to kill her right?). I could care less who ends up with this girl. As far as I'm concerned, whoever does is the loser in this triangle.
While watching the Eclipse, I felt the father echoed my thoughts. He seems bewildered at all the situations around him. Can't understand his daughter, doesn't like Edward. But he does really like Edward's sister Alice and so do I!
Imagine how much better of movie or series it could be if it followed the character of Alice? Or how about the doctor vampire father? Or what about Jasper from the 1800's? Or even the vengeful vampire girl that kills her rapist attackers from the 1900's? Or what about the group of Werewolves that are eager to kill and seem to at least have fun together? Or....well you get the idea. All of the characters are more proactive in what seems to be a larger picture. Our characters are far more concerned about laying in fields of flowers saying they love each other. In between that we the audience are treated to ridiculous jealous banter between two immature idiots (the vampire vs. werewolf boy).
So anyway, there is a lot to like in this series but instead we get left with the worst trio of characters possible in the movie. It could be a simple fix too. Why not give Bella a bigger destiny than just becoming a vampire's wife? (if there is one we should have had a lot more foreshadow) Why not make her a key player in a bigger story (and no, having a vamoire baby is not a bigger story). Would it be too much to have them fall in love while trying doing something interesting on the behalf of something larger in scale than themselves? What if she could be a key part of a prophecy that helps mankind or vampirekind? Then it would make a little bit of sense that Edwards entire family and the entire werewolf clan puts their lives on the line to protect her while Edward, Bella, and Werewolf boy hide on a mountaintop out of harms way. And by the way if you are trying to make out a vampire army sound invincible at least have one member from the "heroes" side die, even a side character would be a start. I don't believe that band of young vampires was very formidable since all twenty or thirty were killed without them barely inflicting any damage to the good guy side. It's all just fluff in the end, nothing really happened.
So blah! Tell me why I'm wrong Twilight fans. While you do that please tell me what redeeming values Bella Swan has without telling lies or using references from the book series. Any positive character traits at all? Good luck.
I also am glad to say that Kristen Stewert has better facial expressions in this movie. She doesn't look like her face is frozen in only two expressions. Edward also delivers more side comments with good comedic timing. Jacob is hurt in this movie, but the interaction between all three is much less forced and more natural than the first two movies. It is without a doubt the best of the bunch. I won't bog down this review with the plot, because obviously 99% of the people going to Eclipse have read the book at least twice. I can say though that unlike the other two movies, I actually found myself wondering what happens next, and looking forward to how Bella and Edward (and yes Jacob) would react. I'd say if you've been on the fence about the other two movies go see this one, if you hated the first two movies, this one is infinitely better and if you loved the first two movies, I can only say you will love this one even more.