Gutenfilm Presents: Twi Hard: Eclipse

I’m in the comfort food phase of Twi Hard. I am emotionally irregular and armed to the teeth with Burger King and beer. I’m at the point where I want to get this over as soon as possible and I hear and share my Blu-Ray player’s cries for mercy.  It does not want to play Eclipse, and I do not want to watch it.  But I made a promise. Promises must be kept.

So apparently Bella didn’t actually accept Edward’s marriage proposal at the end of New Moon, because she wants to be a vampire first.  I really can’t be sure though because Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are mumbling here more than ever before.  Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), still butthurt over the events at the end of the first film where her lover got killed, has graduated from simply running around the forest to attacking people to turn them into vampires so she can upset the vampire/werewolf truce or something. Jacob finds out that Bella plans to leave with Edward and broods harder than anyone has ever brooded in a film. He also throws stuff because he’s a werewolf and has a temper. The Cullens decide to start protecting Bella from whatever is committing the serial murders popping up around Seattle. Jacob is also completely convinced that Bella is actually in love with her.

Villainy! Scheming!

Victoria continues to build her army and Jacob and Edward continue their absurd power struggle for Bella’s emotions.  At this time in the film I became extremely bored and irritated. There’s some nonsense about Victoria’s army coming to Forks to kill Bella because, tit for tat, since Victoria’s lover was killed so must Edward’s.  You’d think Victoria would just want to kill Edward and be done with it but why would Twilight start making sense more than halfway through the series?  However, if ever a series jumped the shark, it would be Twilight, about an hour and a half into Eclipse. Bella is taken to the top of a mountain to hide in a tent, for whatever reason, and since it’s cold and there is a snowstorm, Jacob volunteers to cuddle close with Bella to warm her with his body heat. It’s so stupid, so utterly, inconceivably ridiculous, I could barely focus. Then there is a fight between the werewolves and vampires, and Edward proposes for real, and the Voulturi do more scheming and plotting (albeit with a depressing lack of Michael Sheen, the sole bright spot in New Moon), and at the end there is some extremely cringe-worthy dialogue about how Bella has always felt strange but she feels complete and strong in Edward’s world. Note the steady deterioration of my attention to detail as the film goes on.

I have to wonder why Bella is so incredibly important and special.  She’s a brunette tabula rasa with a healthy libido and seemingly no bearing on anything, yet no vampiric powers such as mind reading work on her. Everyone wants her too; the vampires and werewolves all seem to want to either protect or kill her.  She is the One Ring of Stephanie Meyer’s series, yet no conceivable reason is given for her being so popular.  If there’s anything I want to see in this series, it’s a good reason for all of this.

The flowers are "meaningful", or something.

Eclipse continues to ramp up the stupidity of the series, this time employing a rather alarming amount of flashbacks to colonial times or whenever the hell most of the Cullens got turned.  As far as I can tell it’s never really explained why most of them got turned into vampires, but they did and it makes for “bonding” time between Bella and the individual members of the Cullen family. There’s also plenty of the stupid endless conversation between Edward and Bella that defines the series, as the couple lays in a field of purple flowers that apparently is part of some stupid motif that I can’t figure out.

The director’s chair is passed on once again, now with David Slade (director of the extremely dark and brutal vampire flick 30 Days of Night) up to bat. The decision to make Slade as the next director seems motivated to get some more people to see the movies, in that getting a darker tone for the series will attract more males.  Slade does indeed cut the crap and deliver a straightforward, darker entry with none of the artsy nonsense from the previous two films. Unfortunately, this comes with the tragic price of most of the other film’s enjoyable camp.  There’s some unintentional silliness here, but Slade more or less ditches it for a disappointingly serious installment. On the other hand, Slade’s experience with 30 Days of Night does lend him the skills to be able to deliver some refreshingly brutal action towards the end.  While it’s still as stupid as the confines of the series allow, there are still a couple of good shots of vampires getting their apparently porcelain heads ripped off and Victoria gets completely rocked by Edward.  Still though, I have lost a lot of respect for Slade for signing onto this stupid franchise.

They all have just one expression.

Only one more movie, and then I get a year’s reprieve to watch the manliest movies I can find and drink the most beer and eat the most steak I can muster. It’s been a thoroughly unpleasant experience thus far and the only comfort I can find is that you have all been entertained by my pain.  Breaking Dawn Part 1 tomorrow will be the culmination of my pain.  Since it’s in the theater I’ll have to make to with lots of popcorn with ALL OF THE BUTTER and no alcohol, so know that I’m doing this for you.

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Posted on November 20, 2011, in Features. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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