Nightpete reviews Twilight: Eclipse

There is no shortage of reviews bashing the Twilight movies, but after what I endured this afternoon, I just couldn’t help myself. I know it’s a guilty pleasure, and many people who enjoy the series have a bit of extra self-loathing as result. My wife compares it to Gollum’s feelings for the One Ring, he both loves and hates the ring (as he loves and hates himself). I thought I was one of those people too. I thought, hey, these movies aren’t perfect, but at least they’re relatively harmless and marginally entertaining. Those days are done, my friend. Maybe I wasn’t in the right frame of mind going into it, but Twilight Eclipse lost me early on and there was no turning back for me.
I’m sure it helps to have read the books. I have not. There were a number of times I needed to rely on my wife to translate for me. The couple behind us had the same dynamic going on, as they talked loudly for the entire film. Jerks. I’ve never adapted a book into a screenplay but if I ever do, I’ll be sure to not take for granted that my audience has read the book. It wasn’t anything major (my biggest qualms involved the fluctuating eye color of the Cullens, and the fact that when they rip off each others limbs, vamps appear to be made of the same liquid metal as the T1000) but it’s just not good form. This is a movie. It should stand alone as a functional universe and the audience should not be expected to have done any prerequisite study before viewing. If there is detail that you aren’t able to explain through the medium of film, dump it. I don’t care what the Twihards will say, make your movie cohesive. Some detail will have to be sacrificed to do this, but that’s why LOTR is 9 hours long and not 14.
Stephanie Meyer has redefined vampires (that’s not a compliment) and created a whole new set of rules for them. Where I come from, vamps burst into flame when exposed to sunlight. They don’t sparkle like a 4 year old after arts and crafts time. Half of this movie is set in daylight. Not overcast Pacific NW daylight, but broad daylight. Even it were overcast, there would still be photons penetrating the cloud cover which should, in any respectable vamp-containing universe, kill vamps dead. But no, these guys just sparkle. Sometimes. Most of the time they just look like everyone else but with colored contact lenses. The sparkle effect is used like twice. Why am I complaining about this? I don’t want my vamps to sparkle, I just want consistent filmmaking.
I guess my problem is that I just don’t like any of the characters. It’s been three movies and I still have no idea why Jacob and Edward are fighting over Bella. She has no discernable characteristics as far as I can see. She pouts and complains and makes out with them but if you were to ask me describe her beyond these attributes, I would be unable.
Edward is a pretty intense guy and he seems to have Bella’s best interests at heart but after three films, I still don’t really understand his motivation. I guess it’s just true love or something but his girl is stringing along another dude and she’s boring. Does Edward have a backstory? Have they covered this already and I’ve just forgotten? Plus his head is shaped like a perfect cube. And he has a hairy neck.
Jacob says he’s perfect for Bella and that her life would be so much easier if she picked him over Edward, but what’s so perfect about a dude who could rage out, turn into a dog and slash you to pieces if you piss him off too much? He’s in a pack and he goes through jean shorts like most men go through toilet paper. Why not just get some pants made out of paper or something? He rips through clothes like the Hulk but doesn’t have the forethought to undress before wolfing out. Shoes too. Shoes ain’t cheap, kids. And he never wears a damn shirt. This pisses me off. Sure, steroids are sexy but it’s such an easy gimmick to lure in the female audience. He’s hot too, literally hot, temperature wise. This comes up a few times and at one point he tells Edward that he is hotter than he is, to which the unaccompanied woman sitting next to us replied to the screen, “yes you is, child, mmhmm!”
The rest of the Cullen clan gets a little more fleshed out in this installment but the ‘mom,’ Esme per my translator, continues to do nothing at all. She is pretty good at looking concerned though, I guess that’s her special power. Jasper and the blonde girl get some interesting historical backstories which I appreciated. I’m not sure what kind of accent Peter Facinelli is going for but it’s… it’s not good. Bella’s friends make a couple token appearances too, but continue to have no connection to Bella, nor do they seem like the kind of kids with whom she would associate. During a scene at a party, they come up to greet Bella, say five or six words to her and then run off, “I love this song, let’s go!” Yes, a song comes on and you are more interested in it than this pouty girl who is allegedly your friend. That seems about right actually.
The action in this movie is an improvement over the first two. The effects are better as well, but the wolves still look like cartoons to me. The climax was generally well choreographed and sufficiently exciting so I’ll award… five points. But I still had questions. Why would a tent be the safest place for Bella? Why didn’t Bella bring a coat to the mountains when she knew it would be cold? Why was it January in the mountains and September on the battlefield? Why did Bella nearly catch hypothermia at night yet look comfortable in just a shirt once it was daylight on a snowy day? Why did Jacob have to carry Bella through the woods to prevent her from leaving a scent? Do her footprints smell? Why did the Newborn army arrive to battle through a lake? Do they turn into fish instead of bats? If Victoria has been hunting for Bella this whole time, why didn’t she look for her at places like her home, or her school, or anywhere else in Forks? Why does she spend her time sprinting through the woods? Why do the Volturi shop at Hot Topic and remove their hoods simultaneously? Why do they give a shit about the Cullens? Why does Bella break her wrist when she hits Jacob?
I apologize if you are a fan this series, I don’t want you to stop getting enjoyment from it as millions like you do. Special apologies to my wife who took me to see it. I’m sorry to poop on it but dammit, I got nauseated out of the gate from the first (of two) romantic scenes of Bella and Edward snogging in a field of flowers. I love Buffy. LOVE it. There is plenty of pillow talk and romance in that series and I eat it up. The difference to me is the writing, Buffy is smart and witty and Twilight just isn’t. Not to me anyway. Sorry everybody, but I’m a wee bit tipsy on Haterade tonight. And yes, I’ll watch the next two installments. On video.

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4 Comments to “Nightpete reviews Twilight: Eclipse”

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  1. JD (Host) says:

    Liar. The Hoss will drag you to both installments in the theater and you know it. Most of your answers are indeed in the novels, but I wouldn’t recommend reading the books to learn more. They are pretty terrible in almost every way, but that is why they’re on my Pop5 list of guilty pleasures. There are elements from these stories that I’m drawn to, but an almost equal amount that make me squirm. I don’t find the characters themselves redeeming but enjoy some of the action and interactions. I wish someone more talented had thought these stories up and had done it well. I still “enjoy” the movies in a way that I would a Godzilla movie or something called The Amazing Sharkdapuss versus Dirk Steeljaw or something on cable on Sunday afternoon, ya know? Here’s a perfect example, actually.
    I’m listening to the last half of the last book now on Audiobook because I couldn’t bear to give my sole attention to it by reading the books. At least on audio, I can Ink or Design while I’m listening.
    Overall though, I enjoyed this last film the most out of the previous installments but maybe that’s because I understand the “rules” of the Twilightiverse. (The vamps crumble because they have Marble-like skin…Jacob carries her to hide her scent because his Werewolf scent is waaay overpowering to vampires and would therefore hide her smell cause it mixes with his… for Victoria looking for Bella, she can’t actually get INTO Forks because both the Vamps and the Wolves are looking for her and chase her out every time she gets close..Bella breaks her puny human hand hitting Jacob because he is much denser now that he’s changed..and the Voltouri shop at Hot Topic because that’s the best place to buy clothes that make you look cool and disinterested and gothic. You should know this best of all, GothPete.)

  2. m says:

    I enjoy the ‘Alex reads Twilight’ series on YouTube:

    Mostly because it confirms that the book is as arbitrary and frustratingly bad as the movie.

  3. JD (Host) says:

    haha I just watched the first eppy of Alex Reads Twilight..
    funny stuff!

    and how the hell did you get your pic on your profile, M?

  4. m says:

    I must have registered a photo with

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