Remember when I said that no one should be ashamed or embarrassed when they go to the theater by themselves. Well, I ran into that situation this morning while attending the third outing of the Twilight series (or saga as they are billing it). On the way to the box office, there was a group of 5 girls getting tickets for the 10:30am showing of "Eclipse". I felt like a strange guy going to the same movie. Luckily, I was attending the 10:00am showing. On the way out of the movie after the credits, 3 other girls walked down the corridor laughing and looking back at me. My first reaction was that they were wondering why I, a dude, would go to this movie by myself. Perception is everything, I guess.
SYNOPSIS: Edward, Bella and Jacob continue their uneasy love triangle. And, as always, the treaty between the Cullen clan and the wolves is on shaky ground. But more important matters arise as a shadowy figure raises an army of new born vampires for an unknown purpose.
I really did not want to go to the third "Twilight Saga" movie. I was dreading another CW television teenage drama continue to unfold. But, I was already invested from sitting through the first two films, and thought I owed it to my readers to soldier on. I have not gone as far as reading any of the four books, but I have had my ear to the ground picking up the tidbits from tween girls and their mothers about why the books and first two films are so good.
From the opening fly-through camera shot, Kristen Stewart's voice over narrative was much stronger then the horrible writing done for "The Last Airbender" (see its review). The narrative both relates to the story as it opens and to the poem that Bella is reading to Edward in a flowery field for her English class. This perked my interest. As I was ready to deal with Bella's whiny, wishy-washy personality from the earlier stories, a strange thing happened. Instead of the established character type I was expecting, I instead am presented with a girl that knows what she wants and is driving toward it. Could this be happening? Could I actually enjoy this film? Read on to find out.
Robert Pattinson's Edward is the same cold, sullen stoic vampire I remember, but there was something less gothic about him this time out. Something lighter. It broadened his appeal a little. Jacob, played by Taylor Lautner, is still as head-strong and hot-headed as ever, but more matured as he established his position in the wolf pack. As I had promised in the last review, Jackson Rathbone's Jasper Hale was especially intriguing as I found out more about his warm-blooded life during the Civil War, his turning, and his knowledge of newborn vampire armies. The origins or additional back stories of Alice and Rosalie also added to the depth of the mythos of the Twilight universe.
And, of course, a hero is only as good as the villain faced, so I was happy to see Bryce Dallas Howard return as Victoria. I will not see what her role is in the movie, but readers of the series will already know and moviegoers will find out. Dakota Fanning returns for a couple quick scenes as the ever-menacing Jane. She is definitely adding street cred as a teenage actor, shedding her pigtail image from her preteen roles. Xavier Samuel as the army building Riley keeps tensions high and the story moving. And finally, Billy Burke as Bella's father Charlie Swan could be a teenage girl's villain since he still has his doubts about Edward. But he also adds a couple chuckles as the exasperated father trying to look out for his daughter. If only he knew what she has already been through!
The final act's fight scenes between the newborn army, the Cullen clan and the wolves are cool and viseral, definitely enjoyable for a guy like me. All in all, a better cinematic experience then the first two movies, in my opinion. Of course, there are millions of people who were already entranced by the books and the films before my reviews, but now this reviewer may actually be looking forward to the final film.
I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!
out of 5 popcorn buckets