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Movie Reviews

Film Review: “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”

(Summit Entertainment. 2 hours, 4 minutes. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality. Directed by David Slade.) Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan), Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen), Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black), Xavier Samuel (Riley), Billy Burke (Charlie Swan), Anna Kendrick (Jessica), Bryce Dallas Howard (Victoria), Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen), Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale), Dakota Fanning (Jane), Ashley Greene (Alice), Nikki Reed (Rosalie). Music by Howard Shore.

Third installment in this critic-proof series has another new director (David Slade), and yet another (Bill Condon) is lined up for the two-part Breaking Dawn. But perhaps it doesn’t matter who’s at the helm; these movies just print money.

I’ll be brief: Newborn vampires are itching for a fight, while hapless human Bella, sure of her love for undead vampire Edward, has another choice: Jacob declares his love (a werewolf may not be the best of second choices, but at least he’s breathing, and then there’s that body). Meanwhile vampire Victoria (now played, and not improved, by Bryce Dallas Howard), is bent on avenging her lover who was killed by Edward. Eclipse is the best of the movies so far, but that’s not saying much. The dialogue is still Harlequin-novel bad (“I’m Switzerland!” Bella yells while standing between the ever-bickering Edward and Jacob). The editing and transitions often don’t make sense. There are way too many characters so most get short shrift. Even the music by the usually-reliable Howard Shore is undistinguished (Alexandre Desplat’s New Moon score is far better). Best thing I can say about Eclipse: it’s not in 3D.