Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The BC Review: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

For those of you who are not previously aware, I am happy to report that indeed, I have fallen victim to the latest teeny-bopper craze; Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Saga. I've read all four books and up until the other night, saw the first film adaptation of Book 1 via Netflix (and subsequently purchased the DVD), and took my husband along with me for the ride opening night of Book II: New Moon.

For the recently released third adaption, Twilight: Eclipse, we really went out of our way and made an entire evening/night/morning out of it. As it were, on opening night of Eclipse (for an extra special treat) Regal Cinema theatres played a double feature of Twilight and New Moon at 6:30pm, followed by the premiere of Eclipse with a 12:01 am start time. Needless to say (as I'm quite sure you've already surmised), my husband and I were indeed included in this group of so-called "Twihards" and made our way to the theatre for the triple feature.

As the storyline goes, the third in the series brings us back to the love-sick Bella. We continue to follow our heroine through her struggles to hold onto her life's love; Edward Cullen (a literally blood-sucking, but "vegetarian" vampire) while at the same time desperately trying to figure out her feelings for her best friend, Jacob Black (an attack-driven, vampire-hating Werewolf). Throughout the film Bella is torn between the two and of course, must ultimately make a choice (of course, it is pretty obvious who she favors as she desperately tries to persuade Edward into "changing" her, but we go along for the ride!).

As we watch the three struggle through an intense love triangle, an interesting sub-plot develops. When scenes are directed away from the three love-stricken teenagers, an old enemy; a flame-haired, vengeful vampire by the name of Victoria, serves to complicate things... eventually breeding an army of vampires set to destroy the Cullen coven (or at the very least, make a dent) in her desperate attempt to kill Bella. The sub-plot and accompanying battling vampire scenes are perhaps the best of the film and achieve minimal anticipation from the audience. But as this is not the primary storyline, it is no surprise as all ends well at the film's conclusion.

Fans of the Stephanie Meyer books will always see something worthwhile in the film adaptions. Although, despite no-less-than-three different directors for each theatrical adaption, the films pale in comparison to the riveting and utterly indulgent written words of the originals.

However, to rate the three adaptions that have been released so far, Eclipse is decidedly the best. This may be the result of a couple key factors:

1. The "characters" portrayed by the film actors (Kristen Stewart as Bella, Robert Pattinson as Edward, and Taylor Lautner as Jacob) appear to have grown into their roles and thus present a more authentic/organic depiction of the heroine and her two heros

2. The Eclipse storyline itself lends itself better to big screen adaptation than the prior films due to its intense action scenes (vampires not only fighting werewolves, but other vampires makes for some intense reading/viewing)

3. A bigger budget/more "hype". It is very apparent in the newly released film that more money has been thrown at this project (better action sequences, better make-up, etc).

Of course, the less-than-stellar film does not lessen this reviewer's anticipation of the fourth and final adaption of the series. Much to a "Twihard's" delight, Twilight: Breaking Dawn is slated for release as two separate films (Fall of 2011 and undetermined in 2012).

Twilight Saga: Eclipse comes recommended for fans of the series. This point I cannot stress enough. For those uninterested in teen romance and epic battles, this one is best left for the self-described (or as the case may be, self-denied)"Twihards".

The Bee Charmer Review Rating: B-