By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com:The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (**1/2 out of 4)
Some interesting parallels exist between the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” film franchises.
Of course, both started as beloved, and best-selling, literary series that dabbled in the supernatural or the occult. Movie adaptations were inevitable, and each series retained its acting core as they transitioned from page to screen. Also the film franchises have retained the same screenwriter (Melissa Rosenberg for “Twilight,” Steve Kloves for most “Potter” films) while substituting directors at regular intervals.
The main difference between the series, so far as I’m concerned, is that the “Potter” films have been joyous, harrowing, emotionally stimulating, character-driven, special-effects-laden masterpieces, while the “Twilight” movies, to date, have sucked. Hard. Catherine Hardwicke’s original, humdrum teen romance was as dreary as its Pacific Northwest setting, as colorless as the pale-skinned Cullen clan, and as stiff as a corpse. Chris Weitz took over for “New Moon” and breathed some life into Stephenie Meyer’s prose — which remains far too reliant on schoolgirl gushings and pained, chaste vows of vampiric celibacy — but still delivered a largely unwatchable product.
So forget Team Edward and screw Team Jacob. I’m throwing my weight behind Team David Slade. The latest director to join the “Twilight” fold, Slade taps into past experiences with both undead creatures (“30 Days of Night”) and horny teens (“Hard Candy”) to lend “Eclipse” a mature bite that has been missing from Meyer’s cinematic soap opera. This is the first “Twilight” installment to feel like a legitimate movie, and not the visualization of a smitten teen girl’s diary pages. Undoubtedly, it is the best film in the series, though that’s the equivalent of declaring Moe to be the sharpest Stooge.
“Twilight” fans will have to help me here. Was “Eclipse” the better of Meyer’s books? Did Slade simply luck into a meatier plot? Or did he actively choose to simmer the overwrought teen drama, tone down the laughable “Dungeons and Dragons” antics of the Abercrombie-fierce Volturi, and crank up the terrifying threat of raven-haired Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her newly recruited vampire weapon, Riley Biers (Xavier Samuel)? For once, there’s something more at stake in the “Twilight” universe than the fragile bond between Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), and “Eclipse” benefits from the increased dramatic tensions.
That’s not to say our emo love triangle takes a back seat, as [...]
Tag Archives: 30 Days of Night
By Sean O’Connell
By Kim Palacios
HollywoodNews.com: In a recent interview with IGN, David Slade gave excellent commentary on his treatment of the sinister themes in “Eclipse”. Slade’s own directorial resume shows a bent toward darker pieces (e.g., vampire flick “30 Days of Night” and psycho-horror-thriller “Hard Candy“), the inclinations of which he admits he brings to the upcoming Twilight film.
“Of the three films so far, we were lucky. We got the best story. We got the most action. In terms of both the character histories, a lot of the origin stories, but also we have a battle, we have huge momentous fight, plus we have a newborn army. A lot of darkness in this film,” said Slade. “Aside from the love triangle theme we saw in the other Twilight films, we got another theme: vengeance. And, that is a theme that really delivers.”
Yet, it’s not just the villains in the film who are depicted darkly–rather, we are introduced to the darker sides of characters who endeared themselves to us in the earlier books. Said Slade, “One of my goals in doing the script was to make Edward scary, because he’s a vampire [at the] end of the day. There’s a carnivore beneath that surface, so we went out and we shot a lot of sequences that are all in the book geared towards just opening that character out, showing the potential of vampire as killer. And in the end, particularly in a sequence I don’t want to spoil about, he comes across as dangerous.”
The most interesting (and fun) aspect of Slade’s tone is his satisfaction around translating complex relationship dynamics to the physical aggression of a battle. “If you read the books you have an idea of the alliances that form together for the final battle…If you haven’t, then let’s just say there’s a lot of very, very devious, very scandalous stuff going [on] in the background with our villains. Then, an alliance that is still very, very difficult takes place, one that allows a battle to become a more of a massacre, which is great fun to watch.”
The interview can be viewed in its entirety on IGN.com
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