Vampire Movie Week: EclipsePosted: July 1, 2010
All Vampire Movie Week reviews and profiles will contain spoilers of the films.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)
Written by: Melissa Rosenberg
Directed by: David Slade
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Synopsis: Bella wants to be a vampire. Edward wants Bella to marry him. Jacob wants Bella to stay human and stay with him. Victoria wants to kill Bella because Edward killed her one true love. Riley wants to believe he is Victoria’s one true love. Leah wants to be Sam’s one true love. But Sam is imprinted on Emily. Bella asks “Do I want to know what that means?” We answered “No.” but Jacob told her. It means even though Sam loved Leah he HAD to choose Emily. She’s THE ONE. Then Bella gets to go to wolf council and be told the story of The Third Wife who had no powers but courage (courage here meaning “she commits suicide”). Speaking of wives, Rosalie is mad she can’t have kids or grow old and still misses her perfect human life every day. (Perfect here meaning “except when I was gang-raped to death by my fiance and his friends” — reminder: this is the Twilight where every other scene is exposition.) Meanwhile, there are mad murders going on in Seattle. It’s a Newborn Vampire Army and they want Bella (everyone wants Bella). SO, the wolves and vampires set aside their hatred and team up to protect Bella from the NVA. This requires “How to Kill Newborn Vampires Training”. Luckily, Jasper knows all about it because (exposition scene!) he once ran NVAs for Maria (another vampire, now dead though why is not exposed). See, there are all these parallels. Jasper was Riley to Maria’s Victoria, something Bella figures out after having a bad dream (Bella’s subconscious is smarter than everyone else. OBVIOUSLY Victoria is behind the NVA). Since wolf smell hides human smell from vampires, Jacob is recruited to carry Bella into hiding. But first she spends the night with Edward. Bella wants to have sex, Edward says not until we’re married, Bella agrees to get married but wants to keep it a secret until after the battle. The NVA walk from Seattle to Forks underwater because that is more dramatic than taking the Vampire Bus. Edward, Bella, and Jacob spend the night in a tent and Edward and Jacob bond leading to Edward tricking Bella into telling Jacob she’s engaged to Edward leading to Jacob running off leading to Bella running after him and admitting she loves him, TOO. Sort of. I guess. Anyway! There is a big battle. Victoria and Riley find Edward and Bella. Bella has no powers but courage (parallel!) (courage here meaning “self-injury”). Victoria is distracted, Edward kills Victoria. The Cullens + Wolves win. Jacob is hurt protecting Leah. Leah is angry. The Volturi show up and Jane orders Bree (sole survivor of the NVA) to be killed. Jacob’s okay. Even though Bella loves Jacob she HAS to choose Edward. He’s THE ONE (parallel!). Jacob is sad and angry. Edward and Bella are in the meadow. Bella explains she never really felt alive until she found out about vampires and she knows being undead is her one true destiny. Edward puts the engagement ring in her finger and they prepare to tell Charlie the news. But the movie ends there and we don’t get to see it, which is too bad because Charlie is by far the best part of this film.
Review: Way better than New Moon. Now, I’ve said that New Moon the book is possibly the WORST book I have EVER read and that the film is an amazingly faithful translation so that is not so tough a task. But, much like all of Twilight, this film is enjoyable for its inanity. The non-rambling synopsis would be: Edward broods, Jacob whines, Bella should run away with Anna Kendrick. I’m really not Team Jacob or Team Edward, they are both bad choices (if I’m Team anyone, I’m Team Leah and I am STILL mad that Meyers forgot about her halfway through the last book). The Cullens and the wolf pack both have little to do beyond battle and sometimes star in random flashback sequences, but the battle does end up exciting. I left the theater thinking about how let down I will be after the second Breaking Dawn film. Unless they, you know, rewrite the ending so that something actually happens*. But Eclipse amused and entertained, maybe not quite the way it was trying to, but it did.
Vampires: I’m sure everyone knows by now, Twilight Vampires sparkle. My complaint continues to be: the vampires are not pretty enough. In the books the Cullens are described in great and loving detail again and again and again as the most beautiful people found on this Earth and in the films it just isn’t true. I’m not meaning to call out the actors as not pretty enough, the make-up, hair and lighting were definitely mishandled sometimes. The men fare better, especially Jasper, whose look I just kinda love. In her big scene, Rosalie looks peaked and un-pretty. Victoria, however, is absolutely beautiful. And Dakota Fanning is what I think vampires should look like.
One thing, I like a lot that the vampires were stony and bloodless in death. It makes perfect sense but it looked really good on film.
Fashion: It’s a modern film (and Alice’s part is small) so the fashion is mostly unremarkable with two notable exceptions. The first is that the Cullens all wear blue jackets to the battle. It’s like their uniform — maybe so the wolves know which vampires are on their side? Is that in the book? — but it is quite the sight to see them all in their designer blues. I want a Cullen Blue Jacket.
The second thing worth mentioning is the best line in the film. Edward is handing Bella off to Jacob for protection and when they pull up Jacob is leaning against his car, bare chested as always. Edward says: “Doesn’t he own a shirt?” The audience erupts in laughter.
Bottom Line: If you are a fan, I’m sure you’ll love it. If you are not a fan, there is a lot to giggle at (but its wild popularity might make you angry).
*ETA November 2012: You guys! They did! And the Breaking Dawn Part 2 midnight release is probably the BEST midnight release I EVER attended. It made reading all the books and watching all the movies completely worth it. WELL PLAYED TWILIGHT.