Following is a 10-point review of Eclipse by a 40-year old Twilight-cult virgin. First a word or two of context (since any review of anything is only as useful as its phenomenological reference point). I haven't read any of the books (and was, thus, spared the distraction of comparing the movie to the book). On the rather ardent encouragement of my wife (of nearly 20 years!) I have, not without reluctance, agreed to prime myself with the first two movies on Monday and Tuesday of this week, so that on this Wednesday I could cliff-dive into this odyssey well-primed, even if not "imprinted." We watched a noon show in a largely empty Pittsburgh movie-theater, sharing the best seats in the house next to a cluster of aging women that I believe came to see Jake, not Edward. Not that it matters, I had nachos and Goobers. They were, as per usual, good.
On to the review proper: the movie has eclipsed my modest expectations. Here's my spoiler-proof 10 point analysis of the movie that gives away nothing essential.
1. Movie begins with a psychologically astute and empirically sound review of the institution of marriage.
2. C30 Volvo hatchback hasn't been back. Ed still drives XC60 SUV. Bummer.
3. Jake is still Chippendale-"beautiful," the body a reincarnation of Marky Mark from Calvin Klein 90s, and just as good an actor.
4. Charlie (Bella's father) still cracks me up.
5. Edward almost has a tan.
6. However you slice it, straight guy, you are going to squirm a bit from the homoerotic tension between a bare-chested werewolf and a vampire, as the two play a game of intellectual chess, competing in romantic pseudo-altruism, with a sleeping beauty in between, while camped out on a mountain top.
7. CGI is tastefully understated.
8. Dialogue is neither on the nose nor improv-sloppy: just as it should be.
9. Speaking of "shoulds." Psychological punchline of the movie is Bella's stated dilemma: to be what she should be or to be what she is. She chooses to existentially affirm herself, and to ignore the dualistic distinction between life and death.
10. I still don't want to live forever.