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06/30/2010

Acting and other 'Twilight' things that bite

Lines that are not in "The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse," but should be.

Edward Cullen, perpetual teen vampire:  "Wanna grab a quick bite after graduation?"

Bella Swan, pouting graduating senior virgin human two-timer who's constantly teasing a certain vampire and a certain perpetually shirtless werewolf:  "Yeah, and a cool one."

We might as well joke about "Eclipse," the third "Twilight" movie.  This monster-human romance series has continually morphed into a spoof of itself ever since filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke, a Texas native, left or was given the boot after the initial "Twilight" in 2008.

Hardwicke launched the teen-scream franchise with a decent enough teen vampire/civilian moody blue love story.

The franchise has gone down thrill ever since.

The acting is more stilted with each outing, even from capable Dakota Fanning in her second cameo in this one as Jane, a member of the Volturi (a vampire ruling group).

British director David Slade, who takes over the franchise with No. 3, made a real movie (with real dialogue, real drama and stuff) titled "Hard Candy" in 2005.  He followed-up with the eerie vampire monster mash "30 Days of Night" in 2007 and should have left his bloodsucking horror helming at that.

There's nowhere to go with the "Twilight" franchise, except to orchestrate the further slide down the slippery slope into a perfect storm of pop culture phenomenon, young teen girls with a crush on a dreamy big-screen, milk-faced imaginary boyfriend ("Oh, he bites?  Well, nobody's perfect.") and peer pressure to jump on the latest pop bandwagon.

In Episode 3, based on Stephenie Meyer's novel "Eclipse" and once again adapted by Melissa Rosenberg, the folks of Forks, WA are gearing up for high school graduation.  Bella (Kristen Stewart) isn't sending out invitations or applying to any colleges, though.

The forever glum "Twilight" ingénue spends her time sitting in a field of wildflowers discussing when she and 100-year-old teen vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) are going to "do it," which, of course, means to turn her into an immortal so they can live happily ever after and after and after.

Now this is shocking.  I mean, a vampire able to sit comfortably outside in broad daylight?  Who signed off on a complete disregard for vampire rules?  Is nothing sacred in schlocky monster-horror flicks anymore?

Putting that monumental problem aside for a second, nothing much of interest happens in the second "Twilight" sequel.  Edward and ab-noxious, muscle-flexing werewolf rival Jacob Black (decent actor Taylor Lautner) are forced to form an uneasy alliance, which is no big whoop.

A Newborn Army of blood-thirsty vampires is strolling down through the woods from Seattle to have a go at ripping Bella to shreds.   She has little time to worry about such things.  Bella has more pressing problems, like juggling bracelets given to her by each of her beast beaus.

The jugular will just have to wait until the next sequel.

That one should be titled, but isn't, "Twilight's Last Gleaming."

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