Eclipse (Film)

It might not have been the strongest Twilight but it sure brought the hordes of fans out to support it.

Jacob and Edward are still dreamy (something that induced and dragged the drooling for so many girls for far too long) we are still in Forks and everyone still looks like a pin-up version as opposed to the book – it was supposed to be just a handful. Then there’s a tug of war between the wolves and the vampires and right smack in the middle is Bella, the dolt of a girl who can’t seem to get her decisions straight. And to make a trifecta of it all, the people around her would need to prepare for a huge mano-a-mano because Victoria is out for revenge. Suffice to say the good romance surrounds a bad heroine.

Essentially a love story, Eclipse predominately creeps into the egos of the female gender selling the idea that this type of whirlwind oh-the-universe-can-revolve-around-me story can be a tool to live on vicariously. I mean, who wouldn’t want an Edward or a Jacob? While I can’t remember how it was when I was crazy over the novels, I can say that it was fairly okay.

It might have been atrocious to most (and I was bordering on that) this indeed was far more acceptable than the first one. The colour was crisp and the musical scoring decent. Summarizing a 629-page young adult romance novel is a feat on its own but the movie was able to capture every important detail to carry non-readers to understanding.

I am still wishing that there’d be better acting from the main characters but I think that would be asking for too much. Instead, I just sat there like any good moviegoer and allowed Eclipse to progress in ways it can and wanted to.

You know what? The opening of the movie reminded me of the film The Ring; if you’ve seen both then you’ll catch my drift. The gimmickry overshot and failed instantaneously, I can only look away. Though the director can be credited for keeping it away from crashing the way the first director did, there really isn’t much material for him to work on.

If you ask me, New Moon still inched higher than this but hey, better than the first, yes?

For most it is forgettable, but for those who eat up the idea, this is going to be the best movie until Breaking Dawn. I trust there will never really be a middle ground.




New Moon (Movie)

New Moon Poster Laying its every useful plot to inevitable appealing use, New Moon hit every note possible for fans. 

I don’t know about you, but I think maybe director Chris Weitz was nervous; while making New Moon he had to pull all stops available to his budget to please everyone. As we all know, the first instalment’s director was rumoured to have been fired. Why not? Her frenetic directing was widely panned. Perhaps Weitz identified that he needed enough verisimilitude to hook the audience, but not too much to freak them out. In short he did not find any need to add more than what was provided; the plot was by the book, enough to be plausible for the rabid fans and enough not to keep them for longer than two hours and ten minutes. And so far via that simple formula he achieved his commercial success. 

Within New Moon’s small universe, all it really wants is to jumpstart a tale of love triangle to end all love triangle stories, and it’s quite successful frankly. New Moon is a story of a young girl coming to terms with the absence of option to be with her choice and gets tangled with a rebound.  But I don’t want to spoil the grand narrative that so many young girls have fallen for, so you either read a decent summary, read the entire series or just watch it yourself. 

What was first notable in the opening scene was the musical scoring. It seemed to have made an effort to blend the scene well in order to guide the viewer’s focus on what emotion the scene is trying to convey. Although the pacing of the moon in the opening (to introduce the title of the movie) looked like an eclipse to me, I found that it was a decent attempt to be artsy. In addition, given that the demographic New Moon is catering to, there is a significant amount of quality non-commercial-formula music here. Artists  like Thome Yorke (Ear Damage), Anya Marina (Satellite Heart) and Bon Iver & St Vincent (Roslyn) graced the film and the collaboration was not as disposable as Paramour. 

Pattinson, Stewart and LautnerNow let’s get down to the actors and their characters. 

Kristen Stewart who plays Bella has remarkably improved her stoic acting. There are now more ranges in her facial expression compared to Twilight and she gradually owns a character so many of us doubted her with. While I felt the need for more acting flair, I’ve identified that there was a significant amount of effort in her part. It seems that she is more akin to looking tired, tortured and depressed than looking forlorn. The best scene she’s done was when she was static while the months from October to January flew by. I also enjoyed the simple way she looked when Billy Burke (Charlie Swan) was telling her that she needed to go. 

Robert Pattinson on the other hand, who for all his deficiencies as the main squeeze and wrangler of young girls, can never be accused of not trying. Although I’ve identified that he is chugging laboriously towards Edward’s essence (come on people, what is up with the unsightly stubbles and eewish chest hair?), he did try his best by spewing as much chutzpah proper for quoting Shakespeare. That, and getting his ass kicked by a little girl. Talk about well-mannered torture.Lautner, Stewart and Pattinson 

After Twilight presented us with the two main characters, the dust settles for the new hero, Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner. 

I am telling you he is a dead-serious hoot. I think I need not say more but for a warning, you’ll need to stitch your enthusiasm to keep from snickering over his hot bod. I am not afraid to admit that watching Lautner strut around sent scintillating chills down my spine. Depending on your tolerance, he can be brutally convincing that he is Jacob Black. And because of the ease, Lautner looks like he’s actually having the kind of good time morphing actors achieve. And I must say that his discipline to gain 30 lbs to earn the role roundly delivers. 

Unlike the book there’s no time for real tears in movies of this sort, though there’s plenty of space available to marvel the director’s ability for pacing done in soundless speediness (his time-lapse are smooth). Trust me, given that New Moon is over two hours, it held together quite well… well for the fans of the book.

 Ratings: starstarstarstar_halfstar_2

Begging For Trouble

Smart, prissy, eloquent, important people like me don’t read over rated vampire novels. We read philosophy driven masterpieces – the kind that creates profound opinions. We – meaning the minority of sharp human beings – boss people around, frown a lot, buy expensive coffees everyday and have only super intellectual things to say.

No, not really. 

I may be pretty stuck up with the books I read but this one is just too much fun to look down on. The truth is, I’ve been staring at my bookshelf for days now. I’ve wondered aimlessly when I’ll start re-reading New Moon. Alright, there it is. I’ve said it; I’m addicted to these scrumptious vampires and werewolves. But hey, it doesn’t change the fact that I am still smart, prissy, eloquent and important.

Of all the four, New Moon hit me closer. It’s almost as if few of its pages were lifted from my own life (note: I did not jump off a cliff… and I will not. I can kill myself on the ground, thank you very much). You know that part where you flipped pages that represented months of impregnable void? That’s me sometime in the past. It felt good to know that it did not end dreadfully yet you traveled its quaint designs. At least, even in imagination the characters redeemed you in a pseudo first person approach.

And do you know who makes me shiver in a good way? Jacob.

He is one guy who is more than willing to take it to the wire. And perhaps since I’ve had too little representations of that kind of chivalry in my life, I felt that his self deprecating ways to get into the heart of the one he loves is astounding… an astounding feat of self delusion.

When I say astounding feat of self delusion that’s the super intellectual talking. I mean for someone hotter than a stove can’t he just find someone else a little less dense? And to those who’d say they’ll pass a Jacob Black and still go for the emo vampire … Oh come on, wouldn’t you want someone to go crazy for you that way?  I mean pubescent crazy in love crazy. He may be trudging a hopeless existence but hey, he’s hopeless for you. And if someone is willing to be used in that level without giving it a second thought, go for it. We can always use someone who would love to be used.

I think its lovely that after all the damages life has done to you, there is a Jacob that will try to put you back.

Sometimes, levels of thoughtlessness is good. This is when we get to live more. This is when a sudden disregard of good judgment becomes the spice that makes looking back so great. The vanity of ownership and careless abandon aaahhh, what a healthy dose of trouble.

But going back, I think if New Moon was directed well it wouldn’t end up as pretentious as the first. The romance in the plot is already diabetes inducing, there was really no need to climb a tree to represent it.

I shouldn’t be procrastinating; I should just take it off the shelf and curl in my bed with a box of Kleenex. But wait, I still have to finish The Historian.

I trust that’s the intellectual thing to do.

Currently listening to The Bucket by Kings of Leon via Launchcast

The Lullaby I Hear From A Book … The Saga

What makes me crazier than usual is I can hear songs, scores, lullaby, and sound effects in my head when I read a good book. I get so lost that my fluidity from simply sitting in my room, reading, and transporting myself unknowingly in the pages of any book, is sublime. I failed to buy a new book the last time my friends and I went out so I’m left to reread one particular book that drove me to tears. Some books just have the careless ability to open old wounds. And soon after reading it, I heard a song on the radio that seemed appropriate for the closing credits … or maybe the part where the girl learns to move on or at least fake it.

For those who have read New Moon and hear Better In Time by Leona Lewis can perhaps understand why it’s been following me around like a shadow.

It’s been the longest winter without you. I didn’t know where to turn to. See somehow I can’t forget you. After all that we’ve been through. Going coming thought I heard a knock. Who’s there, no one. Thinking that I deserved it. Now I realize that I really didn’t know. If you didn’t notice, you mean everything. Quickly I’m learning to love again. All I know is I’ma be okay. Thought I couldn’t live without you. It’s gonna hurt when it heals too. It’ll all get better in time. And even though I really love you. I’m gonna smile cause I deserve to. It’ll all get better in time. How could I turn on the TV. When there’s something there to remind me. Was it all that easy. To just put aside your feelings. If I’m dreaming don’t wanna let hurt my feelings. But that’s the path I believe in. And I know that time will heal it. If you didn’t notice. Boy you meant everything. Quickly I’m learning to love again. All I know is I’ma be okay. Thought I couldn’t live without you. It’s gonna hurt when it heals too. It’ll all get better in time. And even though I really love you. I’m gonna smile ‘coz I deserve to. It’ll all get better in time. Since there’s no more you and me. It’s time I let you go. So I can be free. And live my life how it should be. No matter how hard it is. I’ll be fine without you. Yes I will. Thought I couldn’t live without you. It’s gonna hurt when it heals too. It’ll all get better in time. And even though I really love you. I’m gonna smile ‘coz I deserve to. It’ll all get better in time.

Breaking Dawn

Darkness in the brethren of vampires living in the sleepy town of Forks is coming to a close. All because a mortal and a beast accidentally started a family.

Slowly she walked to him, radiant and exited; soon she will be a Cullen. Down the aisle, the groom can never be more happier; the love of his life is walking towards him for a promise that will mean eternity. In the blurry of the festivities the two lovers, seventeen year old Edward and eighteen year old Bella, exchange I do’s.

Celebrations like this bring families together and somehow it can moot enemies in one roof without tearing each other apart. What made it festive than it already is, is the fact that Jacob Black had finally come home. Bella lost him in fury over the choices that she’s made but their bond as best friends were too strong to sever. Jacob had to go home and stand as the best man Bella wanted him to be; he’ll sacrifice (again) just to make life perfect for the girl of his dreams.

The blushing bride and the proud groom run off in the night to enjoy their matrimonial bliss. Tonight the promise will be fulfilled; fully human and wanting to enjoy everything experienced as a human, Bella and Edward starts with a nervous first night. However, when Bella opened her eyes in the morning something was wrong. Edward wasn’t happy, not one bit, if anything he was repulsed of what he has done. Apart from the customary aches and pains, Bella is covered in bruises. Edward was not careful and the dancing colour on his wife’s skin tells him so. Why didn’t she stop him? Perhaps what Edward did not understand is that Bella was very much in consent; she understood. Nevertheless, her human weakness will prompt Edward never to touch her again, not until she becomes a vampire.

She will turn him, yes, but the plan is abandoned when Bella’s health took a turn for the worse. Something in her was growing, something imminent, something deadly. How can she be pregnant in less than a month? Edward made a mistake and this mistake will mean that they need to go back to Forks  Washington – fast. The spawn needs to be rid off. However, Bella would rather be dead, and for sure, Edward knew it was really going to be her end. Because no human can bear a monster’s child; in just a month the baby will tear and chew out of her.

Jacob Black knew that he would keep his promise. Once Bella comes back, war is waged. He is sure that the girl he fell in love with by the beach is no less than a monster, whether he likes it or not, the Cullen’s will be killed. But when the fateful day arrived, Edward was on his knees begging for Jacob’s help. Why is everything upside-down?  There will be no killings the day the bride and groom return, because they themselves are already dying. Bella, in as short as a few days lost so much weight, eyes sport deep black circles and her weakness, emanating from the thing that was growing in her severely bruised and hideous belly, is stealing her life away. What has he done to her?

If Edward had tears, he would already be crying at the foot of Jacob. He begged profusely and the hate that drove Jacob away turned to crushing pity. He beseeched him to save Bella, to convince her to abort the abomination that is slowly and surely eating her away. Edward had no idea of Bella’s maternal instinct and her sudden need to have a child, he implores that Jacob take her away and give her the life that she wants; the family, the normal night of wives fulfilling their duties, to bear a child that will not murder her in the process. Jacob knew, standing there watching the vampire who was so happy a few days ago driven mad of despair, that something is gravely wrong. What was he thinking? But he refused; he can never do what is asked of him. Although it will play to his advantage, he loved Bella more than anything in the world and he knows he can never make Bella happy the way this distraught vampire can. Yet, with all the knowledge of his age, Edward can only come up with this solution; take the one I love and give her the desires of her heart. He’d rather have that than have her dead.

Jacob is suddenly lost in thought; finally his sworn rival is backing down and yet he can never win this argument with Bella. They’re more likely to end up fighting if she wasn’t so weak. Nevertheless, he had to try because the vampire needed him, he might just be the only chance to save this dying human.

Bella, although frail will not budge. She is hopeful that the child inside her will be okay and she can fare through it; that she can somehow make it work. She might look like she is dying but her resolve to save her baby is strong. In Jacob’s confusion and loneliness, an idea came to him. If the baby is Edward’s it only means that it too was a vampire, thus needing blood to live. The fetus was living off Bella and in order to keep her from tapping out they had to replenish her resources.

And Bella drank human blood long before she became a vampire. Jacob is hero once again.

This bought her time but it prolonged  Edward and Jacob’s agony; she is still nonetheless walking to her death. And for all it’s worth, the borrowed time secured peace between the warring men. Although Edward’s kind and Jacob’s people will always be against each other, at least even just the two of them – even for just a short moment, can sit, be civil and understand each other. They may be sharing fear of losing the one girl they’ve ever loved, but it is nonetheless still sharing in peace.

But the peace was suddenly torn by Bella’s painful screams, Edward’s baby is about to be born in just around a month. The movement inside Bella’s body turns frantic; the baby is wriggling  its way out breaking her mother’s bones. Bella is giving birth violently and no one is around to help. Yet Edward and Jacob had to try, death is apparent, but they will not hand her just that easily. Fire and Ice stood together fighting one battle in synchronicity. Not one faltering, not one wavering, but try as they can when the spawn tore out from Bella, the battle was lost.

I blew more air into her mouth, but there was nothing there. Just the lifeless rise of her chest in response. I kept pumping her heart, counting, while he worked manically over her, trying to put her back together. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men …

But there was nothing there, just me, just him.

Working over a corpse …

Because that’s all that was left of the girl we both loved. This broken, bled-out, mangled corpse. We couldn’t put Bella together again.

I closed the book relieved after learning how the story ended. Perhaps following the series prompted my need to read the book just so beginning it won’t be wasted by skipping this one last hurrah. And to my surprise, dawn indeed was breaking outside my room when I closed its pages. I opened the door of my quaint terrace and rested my tired but content self, staring at the gradual colours sneaking in the horizons. It was a journey worth reading. Then I realized a review was in order.

I stared at my screen conjuring for the words, yet the inescapable truth of being exhausted is overwhelming to ignore. It’s quite difficult to overlook that it carried a hefty 768-page narrative, so there were times I wished that Meyer would just go straight to the point. Honestly, she was at the point; I was just too wound up to know the conclusion. There were so many details and most of it was happening just within a month. Haste and information over load never mixed. At times when my impatience is crawling in, I simply caution myself that the payoff will be enjoyed thoroughly if I stay on track, so continue I did.

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final installment of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series. The book itself is divided into three chapters narrated in Bella (Book One and Three) and Jacob’s (Book Two) point of view.  It picked up with Edward and Bella’s wedding going as smoothly as Alice arranged. Down to the honeymoon; which to my chagrin was a little short in the description arena. It’s virtually impossible not to blush about the furniture wrecking-bruise inducing-pillow tearing sex. Then I had to remind myself that this is YA literature … we wouldn’t want to anger conservatives and befuddle kids.  Nevertheless, it provided us with enough innuendo of what transpired when Meyer cut short with the narrative of the first night. What puts me out is Edward’s melodrama of his self-hate after realizing what he put Bella through the night before. I wast just thinking, maybe he could have responded diffrently. Edward is just too complex and sometimes irritatingly theatrical. Can’t he just get it in his thick head that the lady likes it hard? LOL!

I’ve read several plot of women finding out they’re pregnant and while Bella was realizing this, I found it a little trite … a tad, how shall I say this without sounding asinine? … hokey and square. Until Edward suggested abortion, talk about pulling the rug under you. I was yelling, “Asshole, I thought you loved her?” in my head. Soon I realized why.

It was a fresh approach that Meyer allowed Jacob’s point of view to be presented. It’s quite interesting to be in his head. Although short compared to Bella’s book, it provided more than enough view of where this long-suffering hero is coming from. The prologue of his anguish in Eclipse is visceral. His struggle is now more astute and, silly or not, we can see the depth of his logic. He is both poignant and funny. While his miseries from the past have been described in Bella’s POV, it is nothing compared to how Jacob justified it in his head.

Edward’s vulnerability was never center stage in any of the books. We might have had a little taste of it in New Moon but the anguish and helplessness is far more profound in Breaking Dawn. He will not say a word but you can read it even if Meyer did not pen it. The vulnerable being is there and he accurately screams pain. If monsters ever really love and their heart starts breaking, Edward articulated it skillfully. Somehow, through Jacob’s eyes you can distinguish the level of despair he is going through. I especially like the way he answered Jacob when Jacob have given up giving Bella CPR. It was just too heartbreaking.

It is true that there are points in the story that builds up to nothing. Sort of like, making us feel that we will jump shark but really its just a case of making things a little invigorating. Some moments fail to launch to your expectations just when things get heady. The first half has its thrills but the second half has things spilled in wrong directions that it spells anticlimatic. Perhaps that’s one of my reasons why I’m only reviewing Book One and Two. For a tome that deals with the occult, this one pales to a degree. The payoff lacked the MPH it started with. Although you want good things to happen to all the key characters, somehow the realist in you will identify the lack of pain and heartbreak. Poignant ending always seem to hit the right note.

After the story’s ended, it still has potentials. The star crossed lovers got their much needed ending and yet there is still so much more for those who surround them. So many stories yet to be told; characters yet to be embraced. The pages of the Twilight Series doesn’t seem to close here, there is great possibility for a lengthy epilogue. Until we hear Jacob get his happy ever after, we will wait.

Breaking Dawn believes in happy ending. It will gnaw in you even after seeing (or reading) the worst (I still can’t wrap my head around how Bella’s powers were exhibited). The contrast from Twilight to Dawn is comparable to water and stone; flowing to stern. Yet somehow, like the element that they are, it will mix through time and it will find a way to deliver that to you.


Breaking Dawn (fourth and final installment of the Twilight Series)

Written By American Novelist Stephanie Meyer

Published By Little Brown