I was one of the semi-reluctant, Twihard observers on Wednesday for the opening day of “Twilight: Eclipse” adding to the record take (68 million dollars) for any Wednesday film opening. It’s hard to miss it with over 4000 screens showing it nationwide, still it was an eager full house of mostly teen girls to young mom’s on hand to see the third installment of the Twilight Saga, ably directed this time by David Slade. I felt that I was intruding on a wedding shower, there was an audible reaction to each quip, and each kiss in this oddly old fashioned tale of young love and passion. At times the pace and delicate dance of romance between Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), and the ardent suitor Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), could be mistaken for a Jane Austin novel- only with Vampires and Werewolves instead of Fops and Parsons.

I did think this was the best of the three movies so far in the series. There are a series of flashbacks providing interesting back-stories for many of the characters, and the pull of emotions by Bella as she decides her future provides the passion of young love, not to mention fertile ground for a bunch of YouTube parodies (see SNL’s parody promo for “New Moon”). Kristen Stewart has been doing the talk show circuit this week, promoting the film, and she’s an interesting combination of lip biting insecurity and total confidence, and her Bella reflects those attributes.

The story is a fairly easy to follow battle between some viscious “new born” Vampires led by Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard, Opie’s daughter), Bella’s Vampire enemy, and a tenuous alliance between Edward’s Cullen clan and the LaPush Werewolf tribe. The ultimate battle plays out well with the usual CGI tricks. It’s a film that Twihards will enjoy, but I’m  hoping the producers will “Twi” harder with the upcoming “Twilight: Breaking Dawn”

GPA: 3.0

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