CASEY PHILLIPS: If ever a series of movies deserved a rating class all its own, it's the "Twilight" saga. Call it "NA-NT" (no admittance to non-teens) because it's rare for a movie to be targeted so narrowly at adolescents.
The first two film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's novels focused on an angsty vampire (Robert Pattinson) pouting at an angsty werewolf (Taylor Lautner) while both chased a -- yes, angsty -- human girl (Kristen Stewart).
The third film, "Eclipse" is no different. As such, it's plagued by the same abundance of melodrama and over- and under-acting by beautiful people you won't care about unless you're a fan of the novels or a subscriber to Seventeen.
That's particularly unfortunate, because the potential is there for an engaging story this time. Vamps and wolves, normally mortal enemies, grudgingly unite to confront a mysterious third party raising an army of newborn vampires. But all the potential excitement is hamstrung by the continued emphasis on the Edward/Jacob/Bela romantic merry-go-round. That would be fine, if that plot line did anything but swim in lazy circles, but it doesn't.
HOLLY LEBER: This movie, and the others, are indeed strictly aimed at teens, specifically teen girls. The problem with that is the fact that the "Twilight" saga, and a saga it is, offers these girls a shameful role model in the character of Bella Swan. An 18-year-old girl who is literally willing to give up her life and family for the boy she loves, who knowingly strings along her smitten friend, who really seems to lack any goals for herself outside of her romance, is not someone young women should look up to. And I fear they will.
REVIEWED THIS WEEK
Movie: "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
Rating: PG-13 for sequences of action and violence and some sensuality.
Synopsis: Bella Swan and Edward Cullen continue to circle each other romantically as an increasingly frustrated Jacob Black looks on. Unbeknownst to them, a mysterious entity is creating a force that will bring them all together.
Comparisons have been made between the "Twilight" romance and "Romeo & Juliet." And while William Shakespeare is probably spinning in his grave at that, there is one parallel that does hold true: Like Edward and Bella, Romeo and Juliet were essentially a couple of petulant teenage brats. They were just better written.
CASEY: "Twilight" vampires are cold and unchanging. Unfortunately, the same could be said of the human and lupine characters, all of whom are incredibly static to the point of being boringly predictable. Stewart's character has basically spent three movies doing little more than asking Pattinson's character to "bite me." It's enough to suck the life out of you.
HOLLY: Cold and unchanging can also apply to the wooden acting. And even a few talented supporting young ladies like Anna Kendrick, Dakota Fanning and Bryce Dallas Howard couldn't spin the straw of this melodramatic script into anything even resembling gold. Really, they should have just cast Taylor Swift in Ms. Howard's part to slam the final nail in the coffin that people named Taylor shouldn't be in movies.
CASEY: I, for one, don't get it, but then again, I'm not supposed to. Like I said, NA-NT.