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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Genre Fantasy
Year: 2010

Twilight... twilight... TWILIGHT! The word still sends shivers up and down my spine as I think of the young tweens gnashing their teeth like wolverines and vampires at the chance of sinking their teeth into Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner or if they're not too hungry Kristen Stewart. It's a good thing they didn't release Twilight: Eclipse in 3D, otherwise cinemas could have literally turned into a feeding frenzy with tweens reaching out and biting whatever's within reach in the hopes of uniting with their on-screen Twidols.

It's true... monsters are still in and nothing can be more erotic than having one kidnap you and take you "sight-seeing" on the Empire State Building or falling prey to their blood lust as they "take a nibble". Twilight: Eclipse is a mixer for werewolves and vampires, but this is no ordinary Halloween fancy dress party - it's the real deal, where humans can and do fall in love with these sensual "beasties" - hey, it technically happened in Beauty & The Beast. Bestiality aside... the new Twilight installation is here and the Twihards aren't going to go down without a fight in trying to make you understand!

In Twilight: Eclipse, Bella (Stewart) finds herself in danger after a vengeful vampire's spate of killings. She's forced to decide between her love for Edward (Pattinson)and her friendship with Jacob (Lautner) as her graduation approaches, a decision that could set a full-scale war in motion. So it's still playing up the hemming and hawing Dawson's Creek love triangle between Dawson, Pacey and Joey, literally starting and ending in a bed of flowers. Lucky for us it's been rebranded as paranormal romance and not a fantasy soap opera.

After failing to see the intrinsic entertainment value in Twilight and Twilight: New Moon, I was obviously skeptical about seeing the latest offering from the Twilight Saga. The series of novels is adored and has found a home in the heart of many a young girl, grappling with young love, teen angst and vestal virginity as incumbent suitors pluck at their Forget-me-nots.

The film's release hasn't been without its problems. Putting it slap-bang in the middle of the World Cup could be genius or lunacy, depending on which way you see it. Although it does have it's similarities as one "Twit" so callously observed "They run around for 2 hours, nobody scores, and its billion fans insist you just don't understand".  New Moon seemed to have more attention on social media platforms in the build-up to the year-end holidays and the midnight screening debacle between Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro only spoiled the broth.

The good news is that David Slade has improved the overall product with improved direction. The cast are actually acting, albeit TV soap good, and the film has more of an arc with scenes blending into one another instead of just appearing like a series of skits. However, they've thrown in a bunch of cheesy flashbacks in an attempt to give their characters more depth. The camera is unsteady and the CGI wolves are as scary as Lots-o-huggin' Bear in Toy Story 3 with unintentional laughter breaking out when Bella is nuzzled by Jacob in wolf form.

Twilight: Eclipse is clearly aimed at tweens deciding to cutaway before anything truly gruesome happens. A man is left clutching his bloody palm, a serial killer vampire bride is left on the verge of tearing her rapist from limb-to-limb and most of the characters don't even bruise. Twilight defies classic horror conventions, allowing shape-shifting changes for wolves, but not vampires. Giving vampires daylight hours in Seattle, where it's often overcast.

The themes stay along the lines of lust, abstinence, romantic torture and even have the moxie to talk up old world values of sex after marriage in today's "open-minded" society. Twilight: Eclipse is like a Nicholas Sparks adaptation with paranormal forest creatures instead of heart, humanity and meaning. It still isn't able to shake the TV movie quality with substandard effects, sluggish interludes and the constant procrastination.

For the most part, Twilight: Eclipse is really toothless and relies on anticipation to reel in the swarms of fans as they provide emotionally-stunted padding between desire and fulfillment. The Twilight franchise doesn't even threaten the world of Harry Potter when it comes to artistic merit or entertainment value. While it's slightly better than its predecessor New Moon (I stayed seated for more than 45 minutes), it's still strictly for the tween market and peddled for fans of the Twilight series.

I guess that's why they called it Twilight... it's neither day or night, a stage of emotional uncertainty. Perhaps young girls fall in love with the in-between stage, enjoying the chase and managing to stay a few steps ahead of the "predator". Limbo would've probably been more accurate a description as an overall experience, but how can you love being on the edge of Hell? If you'd like to find out - trying sitting through the full 125 minute run time.

The bottom line: Limbo.

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