The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is not exactly a user-friendly experience if you’re new to the series, or even if you’ve seen all the other movies before. Apparently it’s of vital importance to have seen the first two movies in the series, plus read all the books, and possibly some fan-fiction as well. Because I’ve seen all the movies and I still had no earthly idea what the hell was going on most of the time.
Here’s the plot, as best as I could make it out: The vampires that normally populate these movies are good, but there’s also bad vampires with emotional problems. They’re assembling an army of other bad vampires, and the situation is so bad that the vampires and werewolves have to work together to stop them. Most of that you kind of have to piece together yourself, because the script makes ZERO effort to provide exposition to help you out with that. Even at 125 minutes long, this is a movie that assumes you are a 14-year-old girl who has memorized the books and doesn’t need any more explanation than is contained within them. Oh, there’s explanations and talking and backstories, but none of it has anything to do with what’s going on. We learn about the secret origins of the various members of the Cullen “family” (most of which is merely opportunity to allow the girls in the audience to swoon and shriek in delight), and we learn in excruciating detail about every vapid thought that passes through the minds of Edward, Jacob and Bella. Edward is supposed to be 120 years old, and he still doesn’t have enough perspective to shrug off a kiss between Jacob and Bella?
The sad thing is that there’s potential for some really fun movies contained here. At one point, the invading army of “newborn” vampires is wrecking the city of Seattle, and their exasperated leader yells “What did I say about keeping a low profile?” That’s a pretty funny line, but the other 99% of the movie is teenagers moping around because everything is so damn important and deep and MEANINGFUL, you know? Bella MUST be protected! We CAN’T have sex, it’s too IMPORTANT! The books are supposed to be metaphors for abstinence, but the movie takes it one step further and just has everyone come right out and SAY that! The script doesn’t even trust the audience to get metaphors or any kind of subtext! They really could take a page from a much better vampire melodrama, The Vampire Diaries, which actually has fun with itself and knows what a stupid show that it is. Plus it’s got Ian Somerhalder hamming it up, something these movies are desperately lacking.
However, as I know all too well, and so does every other male out there, we are not the audience for these and definitely not the reason why they’ve made so much money. If we were, the CGI wolves would not be so ridiculously bad and the lead actress would be someone much hotter and more interesting than Kristen Stewart. I will say that my wife nearly peed her pants with excitement when I got this in the mail, even though she’s already seen it almost a dozen times, and she continues to defend the quality of the movies and hotness of Edward no matter how crappy they might be. So really my recommendations are meaningless, because every husband in North America is going to be buying this for Christmas gifts anyway. Just accept it and know that there’s only two movies left in the “saga.”
The 2-disc special edition features a pair of commentaries on the main film (one with K-Stew and R-Pats that I got about 15 seconds into before my own intestines tried to come up through my throat and strangle me to death, and one with Stephanie Meyer and the director). The second disc has the rest of the features, with 12 minutes of deleted & extended scenes (I was watching with two crazed Twilight fanatics and even they were disappointed with these), plus a lengthy documentary, and two music videos. The real draw here for fans is that they have edited the movie down to all the best Jacob and Edward scenes, allowing you to only watch those depending on your tastes. I have to wonder if 20 years from now people will look back at these DVDs and wonder what the hell their parents were thinking.
Strong recommendation to buy, because you’re gonna HAVE to.
Tags: Eclipse, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, SmarK Rants, Twilight