That’s right, Twilight freaks, while you were all at home bouncing off the walls with excitement -- or perhaps waiting in line for the midnight show at the very same theatre -- I was sitting in front of the giant IMAX screen at Loews Lincoln Square watching a free advance screening of ECLIPSE, the third installment in the Twilight Saga.
Um, no. But I will say this right off the bat: ECLIPSE is by far the best Twilight film yet. Granted, that's like saying the crap I took today is better than the crap I took the previous two days. (The only difference is that I tend to feel better about myself after taking a crap.) But seriously, the movie IS an improvement over the mind-bogglingly dismal TWILIGHT and NEW MOON. It’s still very, very bad, with horrendous acting, dialogue and plot developments across the board -- but it does have more going for it. For one thing, MORE STUFF ACTUALLY HAPPENS. I was pleasantly surprised by the addition of some actual CHARACTER DEPTH, particularly amongst the supporting cast). And best of all, there was MORE ACTION, something that was sorely missing from the first two movies, including (this is probably not a SPOILER for most people, but just in case, I will hide this next section -- highlight the invisible text to read) a pretty badass and surprisingly intense climactic battle where we FINALLY get to see vampires and werewolves go at each other in a no-holds-barred, bone-crunching, limb-ripping street fight! Easily the best sequence of the series so far.
As for everyone’s favorite love triangle… well, it’s still happening and lamer than ever. This time, though, the movie is ripe with sexual tension, which the teenyboppers in the audience ate up like candy, and which made me laugh out loud more than a few times. (Dear lord in heaven, just wait for the Tent Scene… HAHAHA! Also, Star Wars fans, you know how we all hated Anakin and Padme romping in the field in ATTACK OF THE CLONES? Well, that looks like the classic beach scene in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY next to Edward & Bella sitting in their field of flowers!) Still plenty of brooding and pining and whining from all sides. Kristen Stewart still sucks the life out of every scene she is in. Robert Pattinson stills sparkles and sleepwalks his way through the proceedings -- has there ever been a more boring heartthrob? As for Taylor Lautner… well, he still sucks, too. He’s got the personality and acting range of a department store mannequin… but with abs to match, which, I suppose, is all he needs as far as most girls (and gay porn fans) are concerned. However, as a character, I think Jacob is the most interesting. He’s got the more relatable angst, the better one-liners and, frankly, the better superpower (I mean, yeah, the Twilight werewolves are ridiculous and an insult to werewolves throughout history… but they’re a heck of a lot better than f’ing sparkly vampires). Makes you wonder how these movies might have been if they’d actually gotten a good actor to portray this depth (and, y’know, if the whole thing wasn’t completely ridiculous).
In the end, if you're a Twilight fan, you will probably love this movie, because it has everything you could possibly want in a Twilight movie -- and as a geek myself (a geek who unconditionally loved the STAR WARS prequels, I might add), I cannot begrudge you that excitement. Enjoy, Twi-hards! And to the rest of us: Don’t worry, two more movies and it’ll all be over!
Also, only five months till HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, whose new trailer buries Twilight in every way possible in two and a half minutes of unbridled awesomeness: