Total Eclipse of the Heart for Bella
Being of the mind set to ‘live in the moment’ and not look back, I have to say that the third installment of the Twilight film series was so enticing that it actually caused me to contemplate the idea of reliving my girlie teen years; but only if the Twilight books and films are in my realm! Yes, I totally get these movies and more importantly why they are so popular with the tween girls, teen girls, girls in their 20s and moms (the Twilight mom group online has over 25,000 members). Mothers are blogging on ‘Twi’ forums that upon purchasing the Twilight books for their daughters they’re finding them irresistible and begin reading them through the night themselves. And…once they see the movies, well, its all over! They are hooked or bitten so to speak with the ‘Twi Bug.’
With all the above being said, I am pleased to say that Eclipse is both entertaining and amusing, even if you are not a die-hard fan, of which, I am not. The advantage I do have in reviewing these films is that I clearly remember what it’s like to be a doey-eyed teen girl. Twilight filmmaker’s are well aware of their target audience and no holds are barred in this one.
Overall, Eclipse has a heightened romanticized look and feel compared to its predecessors’. The action sequences are also taken to another level. The actors, Kristen Stewart (Bella), Robert Pattinson (Edward) and Taylor Lautner (Jacob) have enhanced their roles and give credible performances. Recently, Stewart and Pattinson have appeared in other films (The Runaways and Remember Me). Both actors gave very different renderings than their Twilight characters. Stewart is developing as a notable actor and Pattinson is not far behind. Their roles in the Twilight films are melodramatic as with the rest of the cast. That’s what makes the films endearing and comical in my view. The scripts are filled with over-the-top drama and these characters are expected to act and react with extreme emotions.
The story centers on Bella’s dilemma of being in love with a vampire, her choice of longing to become a vampire; (thus allowing her to live forever with Edward) and lastly coming to terms with her feelings for her friend the wolf-boy, Jacob. Love triangles are an interesting scenario in and of themselves but when you write them for teens the range of emotions explodes. What teen wouldn’t want one lovesick boy or girl longing after them? When you add another to the mix, the emotions of jealously, confusion and competition muddy the waters just enough to make the viewing fascinating. A fantastical dramatic story in the first place becomes heightened with the triangle addition. Clearly, that was the motive behind Eclipse.
What I find interesting is that the Twilight filmmakers have even begun to poke fun at themselves. I love the line Edward blurts out when Jacob shows up as he turns to Bella and says, “Doesn’t he own a shirt?” Come on, that’s funny. In fact, all of the wolf-boys are comical looking with their shorts and no shirts. But in the Twilight world, their wardrobe is explained; as you see their temperature is boiling hot, that’s why they don’t wear shirts. Oh…okay I get it now, that makes perfect sense! Much of the script is silly. Bella says to Edward, “You have to hunt, so take your time.” She’s very serious as if saying, “I know you have a big appetite so order three cheeseburgers instead of two!”
David Slade is the new director at the helm and he goes for really big onscreen headshots, some that even encompass over three-fourths of the screen. Most of the scenes between Bella, Edward and Jacob are all very close. The technique was over-used in my opinion. Once or twice? Okay. But throughout the film? Too much. What I did like was the character development and all of the new characters that were added. The lines between the Cullen family particularly Kellan Lutz, Ashley Green and the rest were divided up a bit more. Their back-stories were told in flashbacks, which were really cool! The newborn vampire villains were developed and given lots of screen time.
The action scenes were fine, not over-kill. Although, I didn’t understand why those wolves (wolf-boys) look so big next to Bella. The wolves are massive, much larger than any wolf on this planet, I’m talking huge. (Maybe, that’s explained in the next film).
The bottom-line-Eclipse is a film for a target audience and this one hits the bullseye.
Sarah Adamson June 29, 2010