We got there early enough to get exactly the seats we wanted, and it was comfortably full. (Keep in mind that it was a 5:45 pm.) I didn't see anyone really out-there, just some really young girls and an intermittently crying baby. I will say, the theater was pleasantly cool when we walked in, but about a third of the way through, my glasses steamed up. And they stayed that way. A roomful of 200 het-up women literally steamed up my glasses. Literally, in the literal sense of literally. I could hardly see the movie. I spent an hour pulling them down and pushing them back up, hoping that would help.
So. Anyway. I have to give Eclipse a lot of credit, because:
1) I've always appreciated what Melissa Rosenberg has done with these movies as a screenwriter, but she goes ABOVE AND BEYOND in this one. The deftness with which she leaps over various episodes of fuckwittery is breathtaking. As much stupid has been written out of this movie as was humanly possible. Edward still disables Bella's truck, and Jacob still force-kisses Bella, and Bella's still like "I LOVE EDWARD MORE BUT MAKE OUT WITH ME ANYWAY JACOB," but all the other stupid has been written out. No Edward bribing Alice to keep Bella occupied, no Charlie congratulating Jacob for being an ass, no Alice whining about having a proper wedding, none of the dueling scent-marking, no bullshit about Wuthering Heights, no sobbing all night after Bella realizes she's been an asshole for two whole books, none of that. And instead of just standing around holding a rock, Bella actually cuts herself with it to distract Victoria, which was such an obvious and logical thing to write in that even as I was reading the book two years ago I was disgusted that Meyer didn't bother to have the Tasty Beloved do it. I am
2) Taylor Lautner's acting is so much better. I mean light years better than in New Moon, although there are still a few moments that he just can't sell. Mostly the smoldering tough-guy glares directed at an actor a foot taller than he is.
3) "Doesn't he own a shirt?"
4) I did really enjoy seeing Edward get all CHIVALRY SMASH over His Woman, because as much as I fuss about the feminist issues, I also get really tired of Book!Edward just wringing his hands in a passive saintly manner. I think it's enjoyable in the movie because Bella is written/played to be more like OKAY WHAT NO BAD RIVALS NO BISCUIT. And the whole difference here is that the movie makes it clearer that the pissing matches are not considered okay. The bursts of machismo function more as fantasy bait rather than societal norms. And maybe this is simply possible because we're seeing it from a cinematic third-person perspective, which allows some critical distance in the way that even a well-written first-person character does not. Who knows.
5) We must have just gotten some bad stills, because Jackson Rathbone's hair actually looks (comparatively) decent. I mean, there are some Grace Kelly moments, but they're not any of his key scenes. However--and maybe this is because this is the first movie that Jasper's been allowed to speak two lines in a row--he has come down with a bad case of the Foghorn Leghorns. The Sookehs, if you will. Maybe you won't notice this if you're not Southern. All I know is, after two hours of listening to it--and Rathbone is great otherwise--my own accent went all to hell, much the way it does after watching True Blood.
(Don't you dare spoil me, I'm two episodes behind.)
6) The Vengeful Bride Rosalie flashback is awesome, in no small part because Howard Shore, intentionally or not, borrows a little here from his own score for The Silence of the Lambs, which, if anyone would recognize, I would, because, as previously noted, that is one of my all-time favorite movies. The only problem with this scene is that its awesomeness is entirely too brief--although, one might recall Jane Austen's line that "it was a perfect visit, in that it was much too short."
7) Howard Shore, you guys. HOWARD FUCKING LORD OF THE RINGS SHORE. I'm still not over this, either.
8) The filmed version of The Dry-Humping Chapter is hilarious, but that may be because I'm aware of how obsessed the fandom is with ~*THE LEG HITCH*~, so it's hysterical when David Slade actually makes sure he includes a closeup of it. HOT! STEAMY! KNEE-ON-KNEE ACTION!
9) God, that fucking cheese grater ring is still so ugly, you guys. It hurts me in my jewelry-loving heart. I can pull up three better rings without even breaking a sweat.
10) At the end, when Bella tells Edward why she chose him over Jacob, she tells him that she's choosing who she really is, because she's not really all that good at being human and feels like she's meant to be a vampire (a bit Rosenberg has borrowed from Breaking Dawn). YOU GUYS. SHE GIVES HIM THE "I CHOOSE ME" SPEECH. IT WAS ACTUALLY FEMINIST. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER.
(Okay, I'll take it back: it's almost feminist.)
11) Edward's response: "So... it's not all about me, then?" God, you can practically see Rosenberg grinning at her keyboard.
12) Meanwhile! There is lots of head-punching action and it is pretty awesome. I don't even want to describe it because I've got to save it for That Of Which We Do Not Speak.
P.S. THIS IS A THING THAT REALLY HAPPENED: Elena Kagan Grilled on Critical Judicial Matter of Edward vs. Jacob.