This review was written by George Lang. The film received two out of four stars.
Up to this point, the film versions of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books felt like souvenirs for fans— trinkets that offered light allusions to the stories on the page. They skimmed along the surface and offered up visual cues, but for people who had yet to crack one of Meyer’s vampire books, 2008′s “Twilight” and last year’s “New Moon” felt bloodless, virtually drained of any real drama.
So “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” constitutes an improvement, offering more action and forward momentum thanks to director David Slade, the “Hard Candy” director who injected uncommon intensity into the modern vampire genre with 2007′s “30 Days of Night.” Slade proves to be a good choice for “Eclipse,” which builds to a battle between opposing vampire factions, but even with ramped up action, the stakes never seem genuinely high for Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) or Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).
In “Eclipse,” a series of grisly murders in Seattle and the disappearance of a young Forks, Wash. resident, Riley Biers (Xavier Samuel), lead Edward to believe that the killings are the work of a “newborn” — a vampire with an insatiable, uncontrollable desire for blood. Edward and the rest of the Cullens (Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz) soon determine that Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) has assembled an army of these newborns, and the Cullens join forces with the wolf pack to fight off Victoria’s incursion.
Howard was an inspired choice to replace Rachelle Lefevre as the lethal Victoria, but her significant threat feels more like a subplot, since more time and weight are given to the often tiresome love triangle of Edward, Jacob and Bella. Bella is perfectly willing to become a vampire, but Edward, a vampire with traditional values, insists on marriage first. When he is not shape-shifting into a wolf, Jacob spends most of “Eclipse” steamed over Bella’s choice, giving Lautner little more to do than pout without a shirt.
Fans of the novels and the film series who enjoyed “Twilight” and “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” on the screen will probably like “Eclipse” more. But the emotions in this entry still feel muted, as if the considerations of becoming an immortal creature of the night carry no more consequence to Bella than deciding on a prom date. This could be Stewart’s fault — the actress can deliver strong performances, but she is borderline somnambulant as Bella.
But Slade still manages to extract fire from “Eclipse,” particularly during the climactic battle scene, and the appearance by the Volturi in the final moments is especially effective. These elements elevate “Eclipse” and will make non-fans dragged by their “Twi-Hard” significant others squirm in their seats a little less, but it’s a shame that a series with such a devoted following has yet to deliver a sharper bite.
When director David Slade accentuated the action factor in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” one of the film’s most prominent stars, Taylor Lautner, got left out of the excitement. Sure, Lautner’s character, Jacob Black, goes to battle against the “newborn” vampires in “Eclipse,” but because Lautner walks upright on two feet, he saw none of it.
“For me, specifically, I am a wolf when there is any action going on,” Lautner said during a press day for “Eclipse” at Los Angeles’ Four Seasons Hotel. “So, I was bummed that I wasn’t involved in it too much. I got to kiss Bella for the first time. Yeah, so that was probably the biggest thing. That was probably the most exciting new thing.”
Right now, Hollywood casting directors see Lautner as “the most exciting new thing,” a result of lightning striking at just the right time and place for the 18-year-old Michigan native. But while 2008’s “Twilight” and last year’s “New Moon” vaulted Lautner into the public consciousness, he spent most of his adolescence in odd roles that, added together, did not seem like a formula for worldwide stardom. Along the way, he was all-ears as a Mouseketeer on the misbegotten “Nick and Jessica Variety Hour,” suited up as Sharkboy in “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D,” and played a marble-headed antagonist in the last produced Peanuts special, “He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown.” Lautner worked solidly, but he needed that one role that would break him beyond voice work, kid’s shows and goofy, one-off Jessica Simpson specials.
Where does a $45 million year land you on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list? Just behind pompous American Idol judge Simon Cowell and just ahead of old-for-her-age Miley Cyrus.
With a number as big as that, 20-year-old Swift has plenty of room to grow into one of the biggest recording artists of the impending decade, eventually passing Madonna, Britney Spears and Beyoncé ahead of her. We can only hope.
This week’s Rooster Teeth update brings a new chapter of “Red vs Blue: Revelation” and a mind-bending new “RT Short.” Please enjoy responsibly after the break.
Today’s featured event:
Remember the late Michael Jackson when the 2009 movie “This Is It” plays at 6 p.m. today at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave. The film is part of the library’s Wednesday Night at the Movies program.
For more information, go to www.metrolibrary.org and click on the “calendar” tab.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
After years of classic movie scenes being recreated with Legos (The “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” number below immediately springs to mind), Lego itself will get its chance on the silver screen.
Reuters reports that the Warner Bros. project has found a pair of directors in Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who directed last year’s animation hit “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.”
Lord and Miller convinced Warner and Lego to get on board with a presentation that incorporates animation and live action in the same film. The Lego movie is set to enter production after Lord and Miller finish up with their current project, an adaptation of TV show “21 Jump Street.”
The new Harry Potter trailer is out and it makes the ads for Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” look like Saturday morning cartoons.
“Deathly Hallows” will be in two parts: part one in November and part two in July 2011.
Make sure to fasten your sorting hats, it looks to be a bumpy ride.
This week’s releases will make the Twi-hards happy, as the soundtrack to the third “Twilight” film debuts on CD and “The Official Illustrated Movie Companion” comes out in books.
This week also brings the first new “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” album in several years, and the first “Percy Jackson” movie adaptation to DVD.
Here are your new releases for June 29th in movies, music, and books, according to Amazon.com.
1.) Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
2.) The Closer: The Complete Fifth Season
3.) Hot Tub Time Machine
4.) Warehouse 13: Season One
5.) The Crazies
6.) When You’re Strange: A Film about The Doors
7.) Mad About You: The Complete Fourth Season
1.) Private by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
2.) Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
3.) The Brazen Bride (Black Cobra Series #3) by Stephanie Laurens
4.) The Twilight Saga Eclipse: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Stephanie Meyer
5.) Ice Cold: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen
6.) Love in the Afternoon (Hathaway Series) by Lisa Kleypas
7.) Keys to the Repository (Blue Bloods Series) by Melissa de la Cruz
8.) The Darkest Lie by Gena Showalter
1.) “Twilight Saga: Eclipse the Score” by Howard Shore
2.) “Night Work” by Scissor Sisters
3.) “Staring Down the Brilliant Dream” by Indigo Girls
4.) “Paradise” by Judy Collins
5.) “Time Flies…1994-2009” by Oasis
6.) “Till the Light Comes” by Jackie Greene
7.) “Street Songs of Love” by Alejandro Escovedo
8.) “Mojo” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Theboombox.com reported T-Pain is interested in collaborating with Checotah native Carrie Underwood.
T-Pain discussed the process of working with other artists.
“It gets weird when I request a ‘crazy’ collaboration. It gets like downplayed, basically,” the top-hatted singer explained. “When Taylor Swift said she wanted to work with me, it was like ‘Oh, it’s going to be such a great song, blah bah blah.’ Then I came back and said I wanted to work with Carrie Underwood and it was like ‘Carrie Underwood would never work someone with as less class as you!’ ”
If either of the two artists are looking to do a “I’m on a Boat” remix then I’ll do whatever I can to help.
Today’s featured event:
Watch Oklahoma Children’s Theatre perform “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. today at Bethany Library, 3510 N Mueller; 1 p.m. today at Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library 300 Park Ave.; and 3 p.m. today at Southern Oaks Library 6900 S Walker.
The theater troupe will perform through Friday at libraries throughout the metro area.
For more information, go to www.metrolibrary.org.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.