Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Movie Critics Give “Eclipse” Rave Reviews

COPIED AND PASTE

More articulate, more plot-driven than the previous segments, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” the third film of Stephenie Meyer’s successful book series, is artistically the most interesting and engaging chapter thus far.

However, it also proves that the particular story and the dilemmas faced by the central characters are far more important than the specific director assigned to the project, though helmer David Slade should get some credit for the higher level of acting and better production values.
Relying on more action and events, and less mood and attitude, “Eclipse” is a revenge-driven romantic movie, which should please the fans of the books as well as the supporters of the first two movie chapters. Regardless of what kind of reviews it gets, the third installment should score big (perhaps the biggest) for its distributor, Summit Entertainment, which will open the picture on June 30, in the midst of the summer season. (The previous installments were released on Thanksgiving weekend, see below).

In less than five years, Phoenix housewife-writer Stephenie Meyer has become a worldwide publishing phenomenon. The translation rights for her four “Twilight” novels have been sold in nearly 50 countries and 100 million copies have been sold worldwide. Her books have been on the bestseller list for over 142 weeks.

Two notches above the previous chapter, “New Moon,” which suffered from an indulgent, overly long narrative and a pretentiously gloomy mood, “Eclipse” is functionally directed by David Slade, who had previously made “30 Days of Night” and “Hard Candy.” Smartly, Slade pays greater attention than his two predecessors to storytelling and characterization, and as a result, his youthful cast, headed by Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, comes across as more appealing than before.

Though giving this saga a different visual style from that of his predecessors (the first by Catherine Hardwick and the second by Chris Weitz), Slade shows than an intelligent director can shape the literary material into an engaging picture, given the broad base of the book series, and the sepcific dramatic elements at this phase of sprawling narrative.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP




By now the trio of characters are so established and the basic ingredients of the saga so familiar that it may be hard for any director to give the franchise a truly personal touch; I am not sure that the fans want it, either

In this tale, scripted by Melissa Rosenberg, the young, sexy, and endlessly confused Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) once again faces danger, albeit of a different kind. Seattle’s environment seems to be ravaged by a string of scary and unexplained mysterious killings, not to mention the quest for revenge by an uncontrollably malicious vampire.

But, like in the previous chapters, what count the most are matters of the heart. And, indeed, Bella is now forced to choose between her love for Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and her friendship with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Bella’s decision, which is depicted as the most fateful she has had to make, goes beyond selecting a personal favorite–it could ignite the long-lasting but dormant conflict between vampire and werewolf.

Time is not in Bella’s favor since her graduation is quickly approaching. As an outsider among her cohorts, she is preoccupied by different concerns. While most of her high school friends deal with their education–receiving college acceptances, sending graduation announcements–Bella is torn by another conflict. She is struggling with Edward’s compromise to marry him before he agrees to be the one to change her into a vampire. Bella knows that her decision will have consequences not only to herself, but also to her family and her friends.

“Eclipse” is enriched by the fact that Bella’s dilemma is placed in a broader, more dramatically menacing social context than the previous segments. Playing with the blind spots in the Cullen Family’s mystical gifts, an unexplained force has created a Newborn Army, made up of the newly turned vampires. The viciousness and uncontrollable blood lust of these bizarre creatures appear to be strongest in the first months of supernatural life.

There’s some question as to the origins of this specific war? Are the new vampires the product of Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) in her single-minded pursuit of vengeance, or the creation of Volturi, who wants to ensure that Bella follows through on her intention to become immortal?

In the movie’s second reel, the Newborn Army, led by the pawn Riley (Xavier Samuel), makes its way towards Forks and the Quileute land. As a result, the Cullens and the Wolf Pack are forced to put aside their instinctual conflict and form an alliance that would protect Bella and their community from a larger threat.

As they prepare for battle, Bella is eager to learn more about the secret history of the Quileute tribe, the growing Wolf Pack, and the origins of Jasper and Rosalie. She firmly believes that this knowledge will help her understand the bonds among the wolves and her love for Jacob Black, perhaps even contribute to the protection of those she loves.

Technically, too, production values and special effects of “Eclipse” are better than those of the former pictures, a joint function of the large budget as well as skills of director Slade in giving the sage a more pronounced (though still impersonal) visual style.

Take a long breath: There are two more movies to be seen in this franchise, based on Summit’s decision to split the fourth (and last book) into two pictures, perhaps following the model of the “Harry Potter” saga.

End Note

The first chapter, “Twilight,” was released on November 21, 2008. Dividing critics (it has 50/50 rate of approval), the movie grossed domestically $191,449,475.

The second movie, officially titled, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” was also released in the winter, November 20, 2009. Panned by most critics (only 27 percent liked it but 73 percent disliked), the movie outperformed the first, grossing $296,593,070, relying on a bigger fan base as a result of more readers of the books and and more viewers who saw it on DVD.


SOURCE

No comments: