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June 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is not so much of a pain in the neck to most critics as the first two installments of the theatrical series were, but, for the most part, their reviews nevertheless display a hopeless disconnect between them and the movies’ fans. A.O. Scott in the New York Times, while allowing that Eclipse is more “robustly entertaining” than the two previous films, nevertheless derides the performances of the three leading actors, particularly Robert Pattinson, whose pout, he says, “conveys not the existential angst of a lovelorn immortal, but rather the peevishness of a guy who just lost a Greta Garbo lookalike contest — for the third time in a row! — to his own girlfriend.” Roger Ebert sums up all of the films this way in his Chicago Sun-Times review: “The Twilight movies are chaste eroticism to fuel adolescent dreams, and are really about Bella being attracted and titillated and aroused and tempted up to the … very … brink! … of surrender, and then, well, no, no, she shouldn’t.” But Kyle Smith in the New York Post, who sank his fangs into the first two films, withdraws them here. “Previously Twilight was my one-word rebuttal to those who claim I have the best job in the world,” he writes. “But the relatively streamlined The Twilight Saga: Eclipse dispenses with much of the caramel gooeyness of the first two episodes in favor of decent action, some heartfelt tender moments and even a splash of wit.” And Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times concludes that Eclipse eclipses its predecessors. It’s “back with all of the lethal and loving bite it was meant to have,” she writes. Some critics are not won over. Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer calls the latest Twilight edition “easily the least compelling, least fun entry in the saga thus far.” And Peter Howell in the Toronto Star likens watching Eclipse to “studying the middle moves of a painfully slow chess game.”