“Eclipse,” and Other Twilighty Things

I’m Nathan, and this is how I roll.

It’s an incredibly rare thing for me to say that I enjoy a movie more than the book on which it was based. But that’s exactly how I feel about “Twilight.” And “Eclipse” was no exception.

“Twilight” is a fairly good book series, with the exception of the travesty that is “Breaking Dawn” (more on that later).  “New Moon” is arguably my favorite, and as such, I enjoyed “New Moon” as a film slightly more than “Eclipse.” That said, “Eclipse” is definitely quite re-watchable.

The films are well-cast, save for Robert Pattinson, but then again, I hate the Edward character so much that, in all likelihood, they couldn’t have cast anyone to play him that I would like. I’m sure Pattinson is a fine actor; I enjoyed him as Cedric in “Goblet of Fire.” This is likely why I enjoyed “New Moon” the most, as Edward is mostly absent (to which I say, “Yay!”).

I won’t get into the plot of “Eclipse,” mostly because if you’re reading this, you probably already know it or couldn’t care less. I’ll just say that it’s filmed well and paced well. I’d say they included every important detail from the book.

The dialogue and acting is, at points, somewhat stiff, but then again, with the material they have to work with, that’s to be expected. Generally, the better actors tend to be the supporting players; Billy Burke shines once again as Charlie, Bella’s father. There’s one particularly humorous scene involving a discussion about sex that I won’t spoil here. Ashley Greene as Alice may be my favorite of the Cullens.

There were plenty of guys in the theater today (some of whom didn’t even appear to have been dragged there by their girlfriends). The action in this film is enough to keep the attention of the guys who hate the love-triangle part of the story. The effects, to me, were very well-done and the fight scenes were outstanding. And that’s good, since the love-triangle tends to annoy the crap out of me.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good love story. I just can’t quite figure out how Bella can choose Edward. He turns her into a damsel in distress, essentially weakening her. I’ve never liked weak female characters. I much prefer strong, independent, kick-ass women who can handle themselves (which is probably why shows like “Buffy” and “Alias” remain among my favorites). With Jacob (Bella’s werewolf alternative), she would be included in plans instead of being kept in the dark (to “protect” her). She would be free of Edward’s tyrannical treatment and – Okay, I’m drifting into a tirade here.

The final book will be split into two movies, and that worries me. “Breaking Dawn,” to me, was easily the weakest book in the series. Basically, nothing happens, so I’m trying to figure out where they’re going to get enough material. It’s all buildup and no climax. It’s Stephenie Meyer’s way of trying to wrap everything up where everyone’s happy. It’s unrealistic even in such an unrealistic fantasy world. It’s dull, laughable, and annoying. So I will, of course, see it, and probably enjoy it quite a bit as a film, but as a book, it’s lacking.

Then again, Meyer’s writing style is generally lacking. I’m by no means claiming I’m better. She came up with a good story that managed to hold my interest considerably through 3 1/2 books, and which works even better in movie form. But the books have no re-readability, in my opinion (in contrast to the films, which so far rank among some of my favorite movies). Her characters are one-dimensional and in the end, really, I found myself not particularly caring about any of them (except, perhaps, Jacob, but only because I usually support the underdog). This is in comparison to, say, the “Harry Potter” series, which I re-read several times, burning through the last in under seven hours. Ironically, the “Potter” movies have little re-watchability for me even though I loved them, yet I can watch the “Twilight” movies over and over.

“Twilight” works well in its fantasy-action elements but falls short in its love story, for me, at least as far as Edward is concerned. If you want a really good fantasy-action-love story, I highly recommend “The Mortal Instruments” series, by Cassandra Clare, which begins with “City of Bones.” The film option for this trilogy has already been picked up, though there’s no word on if and when it will begin filming. But it’s an incredible trilogy, with highly developed (and extremely likable) characters and constant action, suspense, and mystery, set in an immersive world.

And now, I suspect, the disagreement shall commence. If anyone even reads this post and, well, cares. Ha!


Nathan

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One response to ““Eclipse,” and Other Twilighty Things

  • Briana

    I want to be your friend.
    Specifically because of the section that starts at: “It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good love story,” through ” (except, perhaps, Jacob, but only because I usually support the underdog).”

    I said very similar things in my blog and actually devoted an entire post to how much I hate Bella and Edward’s relationship. Great minds.

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