June 30, 2010, - 4:25 pm

Mid-Week Box Office: “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Graphic Dismemberment, References Gang Rape)

By Debbie Schlussel

If you want to know my review of “The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse,” in theaters today, check out my review of “The Twilight Saga:  New Moon.” It’s the same movie, only this latest regurgitation is far more boring.  Been there, induced to sleep through that.  The only difference is that this one has graphic violence and a not-vague-enough mention of gang rape. Yay.

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It’s no coincidence that the movie posters for this and the second installment of the teen angst vampires versus wolves saga are almost exactly the same.  The story is identical.  A brooding high school teen , Bella, is in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen.  But her American Indian friend, Jacob, is a werewolf who is in love with her, too, and fights over her.  Meanwhile, “newbie” vampires are thirsting for human blood and planning to drink that of Bella and her town.

Yawn.  Like I said, it’s the same boring, overwrought story as the second movie:  the vampire and the werewolf fighting over the mortal chick.  The same icky late-40s and 50-something moms are flocking to see it and pedophile-esquely drooling over 17-year-old Taylor Lautner (Jakob) showing his ripped bare chest, etc.   “Eeuuww:  The sequel.”  And the same over-abundant uber-excess of making out and brooding goes on throughout this one as it did in the second installment.  It’s just warmed over old milk, tasting even more spoiled.

What’s hard to understand is what these two male wannabe supermodels see in Bella.  She’s plain, always sullen, has zero personality or sense of humor, and dresses like a man (so many plaid men’s shirts, I thought I was at a WNBA game or a comfortable shoes seminar).  Would it kill her to wear a skirt, heels, or some make-up once in a while?  She broods like it’s going out of style and is completely annoying.  Essentially, she’s the man in this love triangle with two pretty boy chick girlie-men fighting over her.  She wants to have sex and wants to become a vampire.  So what?  Who cares?  I certainly don’t.

If there’s one good thing about the movie aimed at teen girls, it’s that the vampire makes an eager Bella wait until marriage for sex.  But that’s not enough to make this waste of time a good movie.  And the message is lost, as the movie is gushed over by far too many middle-aged American women with sick “cougar” predator fantasies imprinted on them by too many “Sex and the City” re-runs.

And aside from the sex message, I thought it was kind of violent and graphic for young girls.  Vampires and werewolves decapitate and dismember several other vampires and you see their dismembered limbs and heads up close.  A female vampire tells Bella about her life as a mortal, in which she was gang-raped, left for dead, and then a vampire drank her blood.  Yeah, that’s the wholesome stuff you want your young daughter hearing at the movies, right?

Uh-huh, this drivel is what passes for “movies for your kids,” these days.  Stephenie Meyer is laughing all the way to the bank.

ONE-AND-A-HALF MARXES
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21 Responses

Some of my co-workers fall into the “too old to be dreaming about ‘boy-weres’ category. I still haven’t seen any H. Potter, let alone this francise. Too much more interesting stuff going on.

Doug on June 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I simply do not understand the whole appeal of vampire crap. There was a show back in the 1990’s called “Kindred -The Embraced” starring a handsome guy named Mark Frankel (he died in a car accident and the series ended). Even then, I knew women who were crazy for the creepy stuff. Then stupid Buffy came along and all the other bodice-ripper vampire crap. How do you even explain this? It’s like the women who find Muslim men sexy b/c they too can be extremely dangerous and life threatening and want to suck away your soul. NO THANKS.

Moi on June 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

It makes sense older women like movies about blood-sucking vampires…these same women have been sucking the life out of their husbands over the last 20-25 years so they have something in common.

Don on June 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Saw a video of people being asked why they want to see the new “Twilight” movie, and one after another said they were excited to see Jacob with his shirt off (in fact, it seemed the only reason they wanted to see it)… one 60 year old said that was what she wanted to see(kind of disturbing, seeing that the guy was 17 during the filming of this “Twilight” film).

What concerns me about the film is the aspect ratio. I noticed the picture size of the clips for this movie were different than what is being shown in the cinema. Turns out the clips are larger because they show more on the top and bottom of the screen whereas what is shown in the cinema cuts it out to get the 2:35:1 aspect ratio. A similar thing happened with “Avatar”. The picture at the top and bottom were cut out for the theatrical presentation but on Blu-ray it was restored. I wonder if the same will happen with the Blu-ray for this movie.

MH on June 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I can explain why older women like “Twilight”. I asked one of the readers and she told me that it was because of the desire for an unconditional love like Edward has for Bella–I do not know if that is unconditional, but that is what I was told.

MH on June 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

As far as plain Jane Bella scoring the interest of two wannabe male supermodels…Author Stephenie Meyer has said that Bella’s experience of going from a pasty 5 in sunny Phoenix to an 8/9 in Forks, WA mirrors her own experience, when she left Phoenix and went to college. Evidently, she became a pretty fish in a Mormon pond.

Robert on July 1, 2010 at 5:57 am

Anyone who wants unconditional love should get a dog!

Moi on July 1, 2010 at 8:43 am

“If there’s one good thing about the movie aimed at teen girls, it’s that the vampire makes an eager Bella wait until marriage for sex.”

And this is supposed to be a good thing? Vampires having better “family values” than humans? Also, studies show (and common sense dictates) that marriages that were initiated in large part because of the sexual cravings of one or the other parties often end in divorce. Another thing, if sexual desire is a suitable motivation for marriage, then what is the argument against homosexual marriage?

A far better movie would A) present humans as being capable of good moral choices and B) depict the virtues of restraint and self-control while waiting to get married to the right person for the right reason (i.e. not a vampire for a sex partner). So many women get romantically involved with, have children with and get married to men that they KNOW are unsuitable, and when things go badly, they blame and bash the males (not just their partner but men in general) for their own bad choices. And we have had Hollywood promoting this junk for years with all of these “romantic” movies depicting women getting involved with playboys, jailbirds, barflys, louts and losers instead of the decent stable guy with a good education or trade. So what do boys who grow up watching these movies learn? If you want to get a pretty girl, be a jailbird, barfly or violent lout.

As far as the plainness of Bella: that’s just Hollywood. “Good girls”, whether TV moms or action movie heroines, can’t be “too sexy.” If you are a curvy or buxom actress, you have to play the villainness, the rebellious daughter, the home wrecker, the “bad girl.” And Hollywood depicts males as demonstrating their machismo with one night stands with the “bad girl”, then their morality by entering relationships/marriages with the “good girl.” Hence the famous line in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, which was “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” The very idea that a woman with that figure could be a protagonist – let alone a devoted wife – was so subversive that it was the main plot device of the entire movie.

Alas, still more reasons to hate Hollywood. And if this “keep yourself pure until you marry a vampire” nonsense wasn’t bad enough, “The Kids Are All Right” is coming out soon as well. Wait until Schlussel reviews that one. It is getting to the point where the only watchable stuff being produced by Hollywood these days is made by Pixar, and even they are not above pushing Ed Asner and an out of the closet Ellen DeGeneres on you as voice actors.

Gerald on July 1, 2010 at 9:36 am

Any adult woman who longs for the love that Edward has for Bella needs to grow the eff up. Bella and Edward barely even KNOW each other. They barely talk. They have ZERO chemistry. You know how we know they love each other? Because they basically decide, within about a week of meeting, that they love each other intensely. We as readers are made aware of this because they’re constantly saying it (in between angst-riddenly telling each other they can never be together for no apparent reason), but we never SEE it in action. We don’t see them talking, laughing, joking, sharing activities, getting to know each other, or doing anything that could result in really falling in love with someone.

And that, I think, is what’s damaging to girls. To tell them that love – especially everlasting love – is solely dictated by looking at someone and thinking they’re hot and that’s it; that’s your basis for marriage/commitment. Because that is literally all they do in this movie. Tween girls don’t get why that’s a really immature view of love, nor would you expect them to; but grown women? Seriously? That’s kind of shameful.

hellcat on July 1, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Excellent comments, Hellcat. I would add that having near adult men fighting over a woman is school-yard behavior. (Or Muslim behavior.) Whatever happened to respecting the woman’s choice. A hundred years ago novels commonly dealt with the situation of a man continuing to love a woman even though she had chosen someone else. See Dracula by Bram Stoker, for example, in which Mina has two former lovers (they’d proposed to her) help her fiance and Van Helsing fight Dracula. For a great love story watch Casablanca, Paul Henreid steals that show by never being jealous but respecting both his wife and his rival. His reply, to Rick, as to whether resisting the Germans was worthwhile is timeless: You might as well ask if we should continue breathing. If we stop breathing we die, if we stop fighting our enemies we die. (That’s a quote from memory.)Thanks.

    David O. on July 3, 2010 at 11:55 am

How in the world could you mess up a sure fire thing like vampire movies?

You had Dracula, you had hot babes, they got bit, and other cool things. Great deal.

What next? Justine Timberlake as James Bond?

Forget this dreck. I’m going home tonight and putting on “Embrace of the Vampire” and watch a TRUE vampire movie that rocks! A young, never hotter Alyssa Milano….oooh, babee!!!

Then, as a double feature, watch “From Dusk till Dawn” and see Salma Hayek do the Forbidden Dance!!…vavooom!!

Jeff_W on July 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Hellcat, I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Robert on July 1, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I’ve said it from day one it is not ok to stare at young pple’s body’s in lust. I am glad DS brought that up. It is wrong and just……anyways, for women over 30 to swoon like this is nasty. young ppple in their late 20’s and early 30’s are swooning too. these “boys” look like boys, not men. big sin factor here.

and the serfs or consumer drones will buy the tickets and watch like idiots.

As for Miley’s act? it is sad for America that this is the kind of filth they put out all to compete with lady ga ga.

Revolting!

L on July 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I’ll put it a different way than it is mentioned above:

The reason ‘Bella’, the main character of Twilight, appears to have no personality is so that the reader can imagine herself as the main character. People want to be the center of attention, worship, and lust without any accomplishments, capabilities, or even traits. (That’s what is meant by ‘unconditional love.’)

If you read the books, you can see that Bella is almost never described – because if the reader saw that she herself looked different than how Bella is supposed to look, it would take her out of the wish-fulfillment fantasy.

luagha on July 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    But that’s so insulting to the reader. And it’s not even the definition of unconditional love. Unconditional love is “I love you no matter what you do,” not “I love you for absolutely no reason.” The difference is subtle, but it’s there.

    hellcat on July 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm

L:

If looking at young bodies is wrong for the old women with regards to “Twilight”, then wow a lot of that needs to be directed at MEN who have been sizing up and down teen female celebrities for quite some time now. In previous times, Hollywood would try to find a 16 year old “actress” or “singer” and try to make her look 25 or 21. Now, Hollywood – especially Disney – is fine with getting 16 year olds who look 13 or 12. Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Anna Kournikova, you name it. I am convinced that a Raquel Welch or a Marilyn Monroe wouldn’t be able to get work in Hollywood today.

Gerald on July 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Debbie’s right: Meyer’s laughing all the way to the bank. She’s tapped a gold mine here, and while the writer side of me cringes at what passes for a plot in the Twilight series, the capitalist in me cheers her on.

What amazes me is how being a vampire could possibly be something to want. Sure, you get immortality and neat powers–but let’s see here:

1) You can only exist on a warm, liquid diet, often requiring that you kill something (or someone)

2) Apparently you tick off every other supernatural race which are just as powerful as you

3) You can never see the sunlight (well, in Meyer’s world you can, I s’pose, but somewhere Bram Stoker is spinning)

4) You have to keep said neat powers and everything else about your existence secret–if the rest of the human race finds out and decides to exterminate you, you’re only outnumbered 4 billion to one

5) And finally, you get to watch your friends and family grow old and die. I imagine the novelty of being immortal wears a little thin after awhile.

The hell with being a vampire. I’d rather be a werewolf. At least then, when something ticks me off, I can turn into a wolf the size of a grizzly and gnaw the hell out of it. Naturally, this means I could no longer watch or read the news, as there are many elected officials in this country that could use a good gnawing.

Sentinel on July 3, 2010 at 8:54 am

“Jacob” isn’t even attractive. He has beady, little eyes and plain features. As for those women going to see with his shirt off — if they had any taste, they’d be fangirling over Adam Lambert. After reading the panting comments on actresses like Alyssa Milano, I don’t feel bad at all about saying (re: Lambert): Now THAT’s hot!

impeachthedude on July 6, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I like it mostly for the music. Some really lovely music in Twilight. Oh, yeah, and pretty pretty scenery.

If only it were a nature documentary.

Michelle on July 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm

There is a line in the end of Eclipse that struck me as a bit uncharacteristic of the Bella’s usual lack of personality. She said that the choice for her was never between Edward and Jacob, it was between who she was and who she should be. Ok, we all have weaknesses, and this was mine. This struck a nostalgic cord. I left the movie theatre and couldn’t get this out of my mind. A fictional character in an angst teenage drama did something at 18 that I couldn’t do at 33. I’ve even read the books, hoping that this spark of personality was more developed there. Of course, as all of you know, it wasn’t. But this one sentence still bothers me.

Did anyone notice this or, perhaps bored at watching a movie without substance for 2 hours, I grabbed to the only thing that could keep me awake?

Elise on October 5, 2010 at 9:59 pm

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