Sunday, October 21, 2012

30 Days of Fright - 20: Twilight: Eclipse

You may be aware of a popular television series called Strictly Come Dancing (as it's called on UK television, in the US it's called Dancing with the Stars). The premise of Strictly is that a celebrity of varying quality, from washed up has been to well-known presenter or soap star, is partnered with a professional dancer who then teaches them to dance a new routine each week. A panel of judges issue their opinions on the quality of the dancing along with a score and the public then vote on which celebrity/dancer pairing should be kicked off the show or saved for another week.

The dances each celeb has to learn are all quite complicated and technical and have to be done just so. The costumes and props have to be just right as well and there's a lot of sequins, latex, open-shirts, un-necessarily tight trousers, fake tan, and brightly coloured dresses (and the girls' outfits are quite something too) but as camp and all as Strictly Come Dancing is it's still nowhere near as gay as a Twilight film!

Strictly Come Dancing, a popular show among fans of Right Said Fred's dress sense 

The opening scene of Twilight: Eclipse (2010) introduces a young man called Riley Biers who is attacked and bitten by something unseen one rainy night in Seattle. Switching to Forks, we find Bella and Edward sitting in a field of wild flowers reading love poems (told you it was gay). Edward is keen to marry Bella and she's anxious to become a vampire so that the two of them can spend eternity with each other, though Edward is reluctant to condemn her to that existence just yet and she's not quite ready for marriage, so it's all very comp-li-ca-ted, dar-ling. With their high school graduation, which marks the time Bella is supposed to become a vampire, rapidly approaching Eddie and Izzie are both facing into big changes in their lives/deaths.

Riley's disappearance in Seattle following the attack turns out to be just one example of several such incidents that have been plaguing that city that the Cullen family have been taking an interest in as they seem to be the type of thing that newly made vampires (called "New Borns" in Twilight speak) would be getting up to and the Cullens are worried that someone is deliberately creating vampires near by, and that the Volturi (the head vampires) will turn up and raise all sorts of hell, particularly when they see yer one Bella is still human. Their investigations reveal that the vampire Victoria (from the the first movie) is in the area and (like everyone else in the pacific northwest) has the hots for young Miss Swan and that a vampire, other than Edward, has been in Bella's bedroom.

Meanwhile, to make matters even more awkward, Jacob the Werewolf, who had stopped talking to Bella because he loves her but she doesn't love him, is needed to provide Bella with some security while the Cullens try to find the vampire or vampires who are coming after her. Jacob and Bella get to spend some quality time together and she slowly begins to realise that she might actually have feelings for him after all which puts a bit of a strain on her relationship with Edward just as she needs him most...

Carlisle keeps the Cullens in the background, even though they're the best thing in these fucking films

OK then, another Twilight film... Let me start by saying this, if I were a member of the target audience for these films and books (and I thank my personal Gods that I am not) I would be extremely pissed off at Twilight: Eclipse. At the end of the last film, the Cullens made a deal with the local werewolves not to make vampires and Bella was to be the exception to this once she married Edward, so the big set up was that there'd be a wedding and all the hoopla that goes with it. Now, along comes Eclipse and from the start there's talk of marriage, and that talk goes on for an hour and a half, and at the end of the film whadda get? A fucking engagement! I thought that's what happened at the end of the last one of these films? Eclipse is nothing more than the same shit on a different day.

Here's how the Twilight films break down in terms of plot:

1. Twilight: Down in the mouth horsey-featured girl meets effeminate boy in school who turns out to be the worlds worst vampire and they fall in love despite him being clinically dead and her looking like she is. Vampires try to kill horsey girl.

2. New Moon: Horsey chick and girly vampire struggle to be together due to their respective disabilities (Him - vampire, Her - moody bitch). Girly vampire goes away. Horsey girl hangs out with wolf boy. Wolf boy loves horsey girl. Vampires try to kill horsey girl. Girly vampire comes back.

3. Eclipse: Horsey chick and girly vampire struggle to be together due to their respective disabilities (Him - vampire, Her - moody bitch). Girly vampire goes away. Horsey girl hangs out with wolf boy. Wolf boy loves horsey girl. Vampires try to kill horsey girl. Girly vampire comes back.

Basically, the first three films in the Twilight Saga are all about vampires with more sense than Edward trying to kill Bella, and the second two are the same film dressed up slightly differently, like how Days of Thunder is really the same film as Top Gun only re-done for race cars. As to why the vampires are always wanting to murder her, well that's definitely more believable than everyone in Forks loving Bella so much; in fact, if the Twilight saga had actually been a collection of short films about vampires trying to murder Bella Swan without all the romance shite, I probably would have been a fan!

Unfortunately, there's no getting away from the fact that the central piece to the story is the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob. Making one film out of that story was pushing it but two is flat out taking the piss, especially as so little is offered to continue this nonsense. Jacob continues to pine for Bella long after she told him to get lost and now it seems that all that moping after her might pay off as Jacob is brought back so as to add a little tension into things. At no point does he, or Edward really, do anything that would be worthy of Bella's affection. Jacob hasn't changed a bit since the last film and all he does is bang on about his feelings for her and that seems to be enough to get under her skin and make her admit that she does love him after all. If any of that kind of stuff had any basis outside of the raving fantasies of hormonal teenagers then the lives of everybody on the planet would be radically different as we all would have hooked up with whoever we had a crush on when we were seventeen (so, in my case Gillian Anderson had a lucky escape).

Dana Scully: I spent a whole long weekend in 1993 pining over you and you never even wrote back to me... bitch!

To be fair, that whole love triangle thing did lead to one decent scene, where Jacob has to snuggle up to Bella to keep her warm when she and Edward are in a tent on a cold night (seriously there's a scene like this in Eclipse, I couldn't make this shit up). Bella falls asleep and Eddie and Jake have a bit of a chat; it's a stupid scene but the banter between the two lads is pretty good even though the whole thing is lost on Bella herself as the only reason Jacob has to be there is because Edward has no body heat of his own seeing as how he's a fucking corpse.

I could never really enjoy a Twilight movie the way they're meant to be enjoyed because I'm not an adolescent girl and because as films go the Twilight's are pretty stupid. Eclipse commits a cardinal sin by being extremely lazy and simply rehashes the basic stroryline from New Moon. Once again, the only hope for something decent to emerge from a Twilight, that is more of Carlisle Cullen and his family, is ruined when Eclipse tries to show some of the Cullen's histories in the form of flashbacks but for some inexplicable reason all the juicy stuff is left out. Carlisle seriously needs a film of his own as he's the best thing in Twilight by a country mile.

Thankfully the Twilight phenomenon seems to be fading and soon all that will be left will be a handful of ruined careers and the occasional reference to Teams Edward or Jacob. One unexpected casualty of the Twilight films might be Dakota Fanning, as quite frankly she was brutal in Eclipse as one of the Volturi which is a crying shame, though when you think about it, what actor in their right mind would want to be known for doing their best work in a Twilight film?

Two Thumbs Firmly Down for Twilight: Eclipse.

Here's what legendary Friends of Dorothy and Strictly Come Dancing costume designers Right Said Fred had to say:
I'm too sexy for Twi-light, too sexy for Twi-light, be-cause it's shi-ite!

Thanks, Fred.

Try not to get Eclipsed by these links:

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