'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse': movie review

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse': Kristin Stewart's Bella finds herself torn between Robert Pattinson's Edward and Taylor Lautner's werewolf Jacob Black.

Kimberley French/Summit Entertainment/AP
Kristen Stewart, left, and Robert Pattinson are shown in a scene from the new movie, 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.'

If you’re not already a “Twilight” fanatic, you probably don’t need to hear about the latest installment, “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” the third chapter in the hit series based on Stephenie Meyer’s megablockbuster bestsellers. These are the books and movies that have turned tweens and teens and even grown women into gaga hysterics.

Vampires are all the rage now. “The Vampire Diaries,” “True Blood,” and “The Gates” are all on TV, but “Twilight,” directed by David Slade and written by Melissa Rosenberg, is the biggie. Settling in for a screening of the new film is, for its enthusiasts, a kind of ritual akin to burning incense in a holy shrine. (I suppose you could say the same thing about the “Sex and the City” movies, but let that pass.)

In this latest go-round, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) finds herself torn more than ever between square-jawed, pasty-faced, amber-eyed hunk Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and wolfish werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). As always, the biggest screams emanating from the audience come when Lautner bares his chest.

Jacob keeps trying to convince Bella, who looks perpetually stricken, that she loves him more than she loves Edward. His love for her, he implies, is an “inter-animal thing.” (No wonder she wavers.)

Edward, meanwhile, is attempting, with his vampire cohorts, to band with the werewolves against the invading Newborn Army peopled – or unpeopled – by newly turned vampires whose blood lust is at its peak.

None of this, it seems to a nonfanatic like me, is really what the movie is all about. “Twilight” is essentially an adolescent female fantasia about coming to terms with one’s sexuality. There I’ve said it. And I’m sure no one else has ever said it. Grade: C (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality.)

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