Sunday, July 11, 2010

Movie Review: Eclipse (Twilight)

Jeremy and I went to see Eclipse on Saturday. We sent the girls over to a friend's house and then hopped in a taxi to the movie theater. Along the way, we thought of all the things that could go wrong and ruin our date, because that is the way things roll here. We tried not to get our hopes up too much because:

-the movie schedule shown on the internet might be incorrect.
-the theater might be randomly closed.
-the power might go out.
-smoking might be allowed in the theater (that would be a deal-breaker)
-we might get caught in traffic and miss the movie.
-the movie might be in Arabic.
-the theater might be a piece of junk not worthy of our business.

Miraculously, everything came through and we actually got to see the movie in relative comfort. There was even an intermission, wedged right there in the middle of the movie where it didn't really fit! So classy.

The picture quality was good even if the sound was all over the place. I don't know what the sound guy was up to but one minute the movie was way too loud, then the next minute so soft that I felt like we were back at home watching it in our living room trying not to wake up the girls. The sound finally stabilized but even then the audio sync was a little bit off. Oh well.

The movie was entertaining in and of itself but there was additional merriment in sharing the experience with Egyptians. The theater was packed, and it was a very mixed crowd - men, women, adults, teens, veiled, unveiled. We were the only foreigners there (which tells me that there are better, more expensive theaters in town that we don't know about). Throughout the movie, I could hear a sort of running commentary going on throughout the theater. People made comments, and explained plot points, and vocalized their suspense or happiness at certain scenes. It was a very social experience, even though we didn't know the people we were socializing with.

And can I make a nerdy, wholesome living observation right about now? It was SUCH a relief to watch a movie where for once I didn't have to cringe on behalf of America. Nobody drank alcohol or used drugs. Parents were present and responsible. On the whole, people dressed modestly. AND NOBODY HAD SEX. In fact - as I've come to expect in these Twilight movies - there was an entire scene after which you could have paused the movie and put up a title card saying, "ABSTINENCE: Sponsored by the Mormons." Sometimes I get tired of being judged by the standard of Desperate Housewives or Friends when I'm in the Middle East (because those shows are shown on TV here, and for some people, that is all they know of America). It was just nice to be a morally upright nation for once, you know?

Now, the movie itself. My overwhelming impression is that it wasn't as...moody as the other ones. I mean that in two ways. First, it didn't take as much trouble to establish that brooding, Pacific Northwest overtone that the other movies got exactly right. Don't get me wrong - there were some awesome outdoor shots but there wasn't enough ambient soundtrack music or pouring rain to bring it up that extra notch.

The other way it wasn't moody was that there was far, far less angst in this movie. Of course there still WAS angst, because hello, Twilight. But people didn't talk about their feelings so much or sulk over unrequited love for months at a time. I don't know, I kind of missed that element. A little.

Otherwise, I think Eclipse is the strongest movie of the series so far. They made Edward a little more likeable and his family a little more understandable. Riley was pure evil, as in, he didn't even have to do anything - just his face was evil enough. Yikes. Jeremy pointed out that they seemed to have given Bella a little more oomph as far as female empowerment goes.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

7 comments:

Brittany Cornett said...

There is only one thing I despised and that was Jasper's hair. What were they thinking? My favorite parts: The flashback scenes of Rosalie and Jasper, Riley's story, the father daughter safe-sex talk, the Edward comment of "doesnt he ever where a shirt", how the vamps were like porcelin dolls when they got ripped apart, and the fight scene. Just to name a few.

Susanne said...

I loved reading this. Not only was it a movie review, but a movie THEATER review in another country...which was grand. I love your posts for the cultural aspects of them, not necessarily your thoughts on movies which I've never seen nor intend to see. (Just not a movie person here.) :)

I really enjoyed this:


""ABSTINENCE: Sponsored by the Mormons." Sometimes I get tired of being judged by the standard of Desperate Housewives or Friends when I'm in the Middle East (because those shows are shown on TV here, and for some people, that is all they know of America). It was just nice to be a morally upright nation for once, you know?"

Yes, I hear ya! I have never watched Desperate Housewives and I don't support and have that kind of lifestyle so I think it's unfair to judge ALL of us like that. Arabs/Muslims hate when we do this to them - and I admit many of us do - but some of them do it as well. It's especially wonderful when they say "Desperate Housewives" and "Christian nation" in the same sentence. As if that show represents Christianity...or Christ's message anyway. AND as if we are a Christian nation with all the filth we produce!

On the other hand, I don't know why "good Muslims" would even watch such shows even if they do watch it only to say, "Alhamdulilah, I'm not an American Christian." Pffft. I don't watch such things. I struggle enough with not cussing and having bad thoughts so why would I fill my mind with such things to tempt me to lust over my gardener! :)


Anyway...enough of my complaints....this is unrelated by I thought of you when I heard it. This morning I was talking with my Syrian friend - the one we visited - who is currently studying in Friedberg, Germany. He's been attending an international Christian group meeting on Sunday evenings and one of his friends invited him over to his house for a "grill party." Samer said he met a Mormon couple with their two children. George is Lars' (the German friend) linguistics teacher at the university. His wife is Christine and they have two small children. They attended BYU and have been in Germany for a few years, but are headed back to the States because George plans to study law, I think. Anyway, Samer said they asked him a lot of questions about Islam and Syria. He really liked meeting them a lot though he found it sad how pro-Israel they were even saying the Jewish settlements were OK. Samer said, "aren't there any conservatives in the US who are on our side? Why are only liberals like George Galloway favorable to the Arabs?" This bothers him a lot. Anyway, I told him I thought you and Jeremy understood their position more since you've lived in Syria. Hope I didn't misspeak on that, but it's the impression I've gotten. Not that you are against Israel, but that you do understand the Arab POV moreso than those who have only heard the pro-Israel side from the America media.

Hope you don't mind my sharing this with you. I always think it's cute how "all Mormons"seem to know each other. Ha, ha...yes, I am teasing. But y'all do seem a tight-knit community. :)

Lu and Moo said...

With ya Brittany about Jasper's hair, but it's been worse be fore (remember when they had him looking like a clown?)

I think this movie is the strongest of the three as well. Bella could actually talk without it seeming forced/painful/full of awkward pauses.

Did you read Eric Snyder's rejected screenplay yet?

Bridget said...

Lu, YES I read that and it was hilarious, as usual.

Susanne, you are so right that "all" Mormons know each other. I might even know those specific two, who knows? As far as politics, ugh. I'm sure there are lots of conservatives who are not gung-ho pro-Israeli. Honestly I think some people who are pro-Israeli might not be if they were more informed. It's a sticky situation and I am sad to hear anyone give carte blanche to the illegal Israeli settlements.

Steven said...

I haven't seen Eclipse yet. But I love that you mention the mood of the previous movies. In fact, the mood was one of the only things I liked about New Moon. I LOVED the dark tone and the indie feel of the soundtrack.

Jake and Becky Veigel Family said...

I'm glad everything worked out for you! How funny that you commented about the audience--I didn't see the other two Twilight movies in the theater, so this was definitely an experience. I was shocked by the audience--they were so very vocal and reacted to anything at all dramatic or exciting in the plot. It got so that I actually felt like they were a little bit of a deterrent to my getting into the movie. My inital impressions are that I liked it, I liked seeing more of Edward's family and I actually REALLY liked that Edward didn't seem as depressed as he did in the other two movies. I think we actually saw at least 2 real smiles from him. So, I definitely want to see it again without the distractions, but I think it might be the best of the three. B

Kristen said...

I don't know why I haven't seen this movie yet...better update the Netflix queue! But I have to admit I found the abstinence "advertisements" in the books a little bit awkward and annoying. It didn't feel genuine to the story for me, which has nothing to do with how I feel about premarital sex. Only how it fit in the context of the book.

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