Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Paranormal Pop Passion: 'Eclipse'

Each week paranormal romance author Caden Leigh gives her take on love and sex in both mainstream and supernatural entertainment. The Florida-based scribe of The Silver Septagram, published by Captiva Press, always has an opinion on what's hot - or not.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

After it has made a bundle of money after two weeks in theaters (released June 30), what more is there to be said about Eclipse.  Well in one word, the movie can be summed up as: Teasing. But since my editor won't settle for one word, I'll give you a few more.

When we last left the town of Forks, Wash., in New Moon, Bella (Kristen Stewart ) was “technically” with vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson). She went to Italy and back for her man, so you’d think shapeshifter Jacob (Taylor Lautner) would take the hint, right? Nope, and he’s not entirely to blame. Bella does love him, and in Eclipse, the boundaries of that love are tested.

Meanwhile, bad girl vampire Victoria is bent on revenge for the murder of her mate James. Scheming for months she finally puts her plan into action, and begins stalking her prey in nearby Seattle. Her first victim (or more likely, coerced enlistee) is Riley Biers, a former residence of Forks. Victoria convinces Riley of her love for him and he joins her in plan to create a vampire army to destroy Bella and the Cullens. Unfortunately for the pair, their actions don’t go unnoticed. Both the Cullens and the Volturi have begun to track the vicious murders and rise in missing person reports.

Oddly, neither act on their hunches - which sums up much of the movie. There is a lot of promise of action, but nothing quite moves when you want it to.

Now what are Edward and Bella doing? Living the dream of two love stricken teenagers: dating, planning for their future and debating on how, or if, Edward should turn Bella into the glistening undead. Bella is blissfully unaware of Victoria’s plan for her demise. Jacob decides to tell Bella of all the recent activities that have occurred. And as any smart woman would do, she confronts the man she loves.

This is where her torture begins. Does she stay with the man who thinks she is weak and needs to be protected or go with the one who has never lied to her and has confidence in her strength?

I have read the entire series, so I know how it ends. But in Eclipse, everyone is wearing their emotions on their sleeves.

The love triangle creates an unnerving torment for the three. Bella is definitely torn; she confesses several times to Edward that he is the one. But in the back of her mind, you gotta know she isn’t ready to give up on how Jacob makes her feel.

The actors do a marvelous job portraying the characters. Edward has lightened up. Bella comes across calm and more mature - in other words less nail biting and ticks. Jacob is a bit bitter and afflicted. The entire cast has evolved as do their eccentric counterparts.

Two newcomers steal every scene they are in. Xavier Samuel (Riley) and Jodelle Ferland (Bree).  Both give captivating performances. Xavier snared me with his distaste for the new army's vicious hunger and Jodelle for her portrayal of innocents and refusal to give in to her new cannibalistic hunger.

The pop passion level for this one is simmering.  We have passionate kisses between Bella and Edward, and Bella and Jacob - but as anyone familiar with the Stephenie Meyer's books know, the series is about delaying gratification.

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