I Am Not A Tween: Andy Burns Tries To Love Eclipse

Here’s a confession that you may not be aware of – I am not a teenage girl. No sir, far from hit. I’m an almost mid-30’s father with a wife and mortgage who remembers the time when Citytv in Toronto showed Baby Blue and Great Movies. I can easily recall when wrestling was syndicated each week and you almost never saw Hulk Hogan wrestle an actual match. I was a kid when Drew Barrymore was a kid and the only boss I knew was…you guessed it, I’m not evening saying it. Ay oh, oh ay.

My point is – I’m not in the Twilight demographic. I know this, I accept it and my aging process. But good lord, how can anybody actually enjoy these films?

This past Saturday I was sent on an errand by The Queen – go pick up The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which was hitting DVD/Blu-Ray that day. With the arrival of our little bundle of joy and poop, we didn’t have a chance to see the film in theaters, so the home theater was going to be our method of consuming the latest adaptation of the mind-numbingly successful Stephanie Meyer “vampire” series. And I use the term loosely, since no self-respecting blood-sucker goes out in the freaking sunlight. But I’ve gone on about this before, so I’ll refrain.

The Queen and I saw New Moon last Thanksgiving and thought it was atrocious. But somehow it made its way into our DVD collection. Once again, I can’t explain it, since we both HATED that particular film. The first one has a strange hypnotic charm (I think I’ve mentioned it on BIff Bam Pop! previously), but the second flick was just plain tripe. However, there was still interest in seeing how the third film would turn out, for me especially because director David Slade was attached to it, and he demonstrated real talent with his other vampire adaptation, 30 Days Of Night. Surely he’d be able to do something with the source material, even if it is garbage.

So The Queen and I settled in to watch Eclipse and see what new forces would keep Bella and Edward from loving one another. Now, I’m pretty sure the main villain was that red-haired vampire Victoria (played by the very talented Bryce Dallas Howard), along with some new guy that she’d turned to help her avenge the death of her previous flame from film number one, James. In the meantime, Bella is waiting for Ed to turn her into a vampire, while he keeps asking her to marry him. There’s also werewolf Jacob, who seriously can’t get it through his head that Bella is just not going to pick him over the pale, shimmering one (shimmering vampires, wtf).

Anyway, that’s the basic plot but I really have no clue how it all wound up because I took my glasses off and rolled over to fall asleep about 40 minutes into this unbearably horrible movie-watching experience, one that if I hadn’t fallen asleep would have sucked 2 hours and 4 minutes out of my life. And that’s precious time.

For the life of me I can’t explain how The Twilight Saga has become the phenomenon it has. The films are just not good. The performances from Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are horrible. Horrible. She is ridiculously wooden, and I actually think she has genuine talent in her. I’ve seen it, in a small film called In The Company Of Women with Adam Brody from The O.C. As for R-Pat, he just seems embarrassed to be in these movies, as if he knows this role with haunt him for the rest of his days. I bet he wishes he was Daniel Radcliffe, who stars in a series that not only brought in the dough, but is also well respected by critics and fans alike.

The thing is, Eclipse started off not to poorly. There was a decent action sequence with the Cullen Clan chasing down Victoria in the forests of Forks and the story as to how Edward’s siblings became vamps themselves was somewhat interesting, but every time Bella, Jacob and Edward were on screen the movie just came to a screeching halt. And they’re supposed to be the stars!!!

Has there been a more ridiculously successful movie franchise that has been so poorly made than this one? Can you think of one? The only other name that comes into my brain is the Transformers series, with it’s minimal plot and poor editing, but even those films have some entertaining moments and actors who aren’t simply phoning things in. It just boggles the mind.

On that note, the day after our Eclipse experience, I wound up watching a little seen suspense film from last year called Horsemen, staring Dennis Quaid as a cop dealing with a series of gruesome biblically inspired murders. Now, while it is definitely a lesser version of Seven in many ways, I promise you that Horsemen is absolutely better crafted and acted than any of the Twilight films. It certainly kept me interested for its economic 90 minute running time, even if I did see where it was heading about halfway into it. Of course, Horsemen made no money, if it even made it into theaters, while all the Twilhards helped make Eclipse a huge moneymaker this past summer. There’s no real similarities between the two movies, but I thought it was unfortunate that a half-way decent thriller didn’t find an audience while a whole-way craptacular film like Eclipse did boffo box office.

Is it me? Am I so out of touch now in my nearing middle-age that I can’t get what all the kids are loving? I’m not sure – I like the Kanye West’s and the Jay-Z’s, I’m even liking this Nicki Minaj who’s all the rage, and while I’ve given up on my formerly beloved Gossip Girl, there was a time where I was rooting for Blair and Chuck just like all the other tweens. But I just can’t get on board with Bella and Edward, with their overboard love and under directed films. I’ve given up.

So long kids. I hope you two are very happy someday, preferably in a movie that’s actually good.

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