Saturday, 8 August 2015

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE - Review By Greg Klymkiw - There's so little to bother discussing about this dreadful pile of crap and third in the interminable series, that we're forced to discuss the hunky, mouth-watering pecs and abs of Taylor Lautner and how awful the cinemas are which were first launched with the theatrical release of this "film".

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) dir. David Slade
Starring: Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Wading through this vat of raw sewage, I came to the conclusion that only one of two types of people in this world might enjoy watching it - those who have a good time nailing their titties or testes to the floor and/or completely brain dead vegetables.

There is, however, a third.

I wandered into the living room this weekend to find my sharp, quick-witted daughter watching this movie on Blu-Ray. "Why do you keep watching these Twilight movies over and over again?" I asked. She put the picture on pause. The horrifying image of Taylor Lautner's pectorals greeted me. She looked at me with that typical teenage expression which says, "Why do you think I'm watching this?" She then assured me that the next movie she'd be watching was Pitch Perfect 2. "And don't worry, Dad" she added. "I'll still watch a depressing Italian Neo-Realist movie with you tonight."


In any event, I'm compelled to discuss The Twilight Saga: Eclipse because of this event, but I find I have little to say and much bile to expel.

Replete with endless, dull, poorly written conversations punctuated occasionally with uninspired, sloppily directed bursts of violence, I can only shake my head in disgust at how low our civilization is sinking. Call me a curmudgeon, assume I am pathetically uncool, accuse me of sounding like my father - I don't particularly care. Today's youth - those who actually think this crap is good - are pathetic, pure and simple.

When I was a lad, my idea of a vampire movie included great actors like Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee squaring off as vampire hunter and vampire respectively against the backdrop of garish colour schemes. heaving bosoms and atmosphere thicker than Shelley Winters's waistline in the original Poseidon Adventure.

The first instalment of Twilight at least had the virtue of a relatively well-directed and watchable opening 40-or-so minutes. The second helping was a complete mess. Now, due to millions of boneheads watching the previous entries, Hollywood has foisted upon us a third portion of this interminable "saga". I use the word "saga" loosely, if at all, only because the filmmakers have chosen, somewhat erroneously to include it in the title and thus, label it as such.

A saga in the traditional sense would normally have something resembling epic qualities, which this film and its predecessors are sorely lacking. In fact, much of the world created by the movie feels - in spite of being set against the great outdoors backdrop of Washington State - strangely claustrophobic. The soap-operatic ruminations of the three central characters belong on weekday afternoon television, not a big screen.

This is not to say that melodrama is out of place in vampire and werewolf tales, as it is indeed the backbone of such genre items. That said, there's good melodrama and bad melodrama. The legendary Dan Curtis delivered a consistently creepy and sexy horror soap opera on his daily television serial Dark Shadows in the 60s and wowed us with an astounding big-screen version in the 70s called House of Dark Shadows.

Alas, these first three Twilight pictures (a godawful money-grab-of-a-two-parter followed) are rooted in revisionism of the clunkiest kind and are so gently precious and tame that they not only drag the whole genre down, but, as stated earlier, reflect the pathetic state of today's youth for buying into such pap.

Again, we who are possessed of brain cels must suffer through the triangle established in the second instalment New Moon involving Bella (Kristen Stewart), the mixed-up mortal with a desire to become a vampire and her romantic obsessions with the pale, thin bloodsucker Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the buff werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner). The details beyond this are meaningless save for the physical attributes of the film's third wheel in the menage of monster-lovin'.

Lautner's pectorals and abs of steel are genuinely impressive and might have even rivalled the milky cleavage content of Hammer Horror pictures if everything else in the movie was as awe-inspiring as his shirtless glory. It's not. In fact, the shirtless man-boy Lautner-pectoral-porn on display is as wasted as John Travolta wearing those delicious form-fitting shorts in the ill-fated Moment By Moment where we were forced to succumb to the vomit-inducing sight of him having to swap saliva with Lily Tomlin.

This episode of Twilight is especially disturbing since it is helmed by a solid director. David Slade, who delivered the tense, creepy Hard Candy and the genuinely malevolent 30 Days of Night, one of the scariest vampire pictures in years, seems largely absent here. The dialogue scenes are covered like a standard dramatic television series, the action sequences are poorly shot and choppily edited and the whole enterprise is so bereft of suspense and style, that one assumes Slade did a paint-by-numbers job in order to secure himself bankability by handing over an unexceptional platter of mediocrity to satiate the boneheads who moronically continue to make this franchise a hit. Either that, or the studio interference was just so ludicrous, that he settled for cashing his cheques and punching the time clock.

About the only thing worth discussing is that I first saw the picture five-years-ago in one of the then-new theatres in Canada that the Cineplex chain branded and expanded (with a healthy price-grab from consumers) as "UltraAVX" - a supposedly new and exciting approach to motion picture exhibition. I'll agree that the digital image is unbeatable - utterly pristine and crystal clear. The sound is also successfully "immersive" as described - in fact, it's so effective that at times, the bass seems to almost make you jiggle in your seat not unlike that of the 70s oddball exhibition feature called "Sensurround ".

The three other major attributes of UltraAVX are less impressive. The wall to wall screen is as advertised, but the top and bottom of the frame's not masked properly. It's a little more than annoying as it takes one out of the supposedly immersive quality of the image. The bigger, supposedly more comfortable rocker chairs in these cinemas are, in fact, extremely uncomfortable - one sinks into them too deeply and the rocking-effect pulls you back too far.

In fact, for all the hype about this new seating, leg-room is still an issue in UltraAVX cinemas. Ironically, when they first burst upon the scene, ushers annoyingly paraded back and forth telling people to take their feet off the chairs in front of them. Now they annoying saunter in every half hour or so with the lowly heads ever-so low and go down to the front of the cinema to flick on a flashlight and annoying scribble something on a sheet of paper affixed to the wall before departing in the manner they arrived.

Finally, the reserved seating feature is just a major pain (and price-grab). If you're stuck anywhere near boneheads blabbing or eating with their mouths open (the latter an especially common and disgusting habit in movie theatres these days) then moving to a different seat becomes problematic. Luckily, I prefer the front row (which is always empty) and I just sit there instead of listening to people eat popcorn and nacho chips more grotesquely than pigs at a trough.

Then again, maybe movies like the Twilight series are perfect for UltraAVX since the cinemas purport to bring back the magic showmanship of movie-going, but are designed to appeal to undiscriminating, mindless, swill-lapping hogs.


All the Twilight movies, including this one, are available on various and endless special Blu-Ray and DVD editions from that entity of quality, E-One Entertainment.