Living in the Twilight 

Ranger Rich

Today we'll discuss the blockbuster new film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and how it differs from the recent documentary film based on my own life, Nightlight Saga: 55 Years Old and Still Believes a Crazy Man With a Lobster-Claw Hand Is Under His Bed.

Seriously, our focus will be on the actual Twilight film and the powerful plot in which a sexually energized high school girl has to choose between a guy who is a vampire and a guy who is a werewolf. As any father of a teenage girl will tell you, either one is better than a guy who is carrying a skateboard.

Speaking of vampires, how about that Doug Bruce? No, really, what I meant to say was speaking of vampires, did you hear about the actual woman in western Colorado who stopped her SUV on an unlit dirt road last week — the night before the much-publicized film opened — then shifted into reverse and backed into a ditch, turning the SUV upside down?

The woman told the Colorado State Patrol she was trying to get away from a vampire who had jumped onto the road and was chasing her. I had an almost identical accident a couple of years ago, except the vampire was a mouse and it darted out from under the driver's seat and ran into my ankle while I was driving on Interstate 25. (I kept my composure and calmly exited the freeway at Bijou Street. And Cimarron Street. At the same time.)

Back to the movie. We find Bella Swan, the 19-year-old high school student played by Betty White, surrounded by evil in the form of malicious vampire Victoria, played by Nancy Pelosi, who has created an army of newborn vampires. Victoria is trying to destroy Bella Swan because Bella has lovely feathers and a long, graceful neck, I think.

Anyway, the movie really heats up as Bella and her long neck have to choose between Edward, a vampire, and Jacob, a werewolf. You can tell Jacob is a werewolf by the way he doesn't wear a shirt so that we — and by we, I mean screaming teenage girls — can see his unbelievable abdominal muscles, or "hamstrings," or "lats."

In the end, Bella chooses Edward the vampire over Jacob the topless werewolf and the couple become engaged to marry. She, however, is only 19. And the odds are slim of such a marriage working out. The odds become even greater when the husband is 109 years old, lives two lives, is a pathological liar and drinks blood — although John and Elizabeth Edwards made it work for more than 30 years.

The reviews from film critics are, as you might imagine, somewhat mixed.

Famed critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gives the movie two stars and writes sarcastically about "the ability of both Edward and Jacob to regard Bella with penetrating gazes from 'neath really dope eyebrows." And I think I speak for all of us when I say nothing so terrifies us, at a primal level, quite like a 68-year-old man named Roger using teen jargon like "dope eyebrows."

(Last week, in my own pathetic attempt to appeal to younger readers, I wrote the phrase: "So me and my frenz was hangin' at Del's crib and workin' on gettin' crunk." When I read it back to myself, I screamed and blew a mouthful of laxative out of my nose.)

Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern writes: "For the first time in the series I felt I'd seen a real movie. In other news, equity hedge funds lost 1.38 percent in June, leaving them down 3.42 percent in the first six months of this year, while the yield gap between long-dated and short-dated bonds has narrowed significantly."

Here in our village, Indy film critic Scott Renshaw writes: "The Twilight movies can keep changing the curtains and painting the walls, but they're still in a balsa wood house." And I'm no film critic, but I would add: "And if the balsa wood house was a rental unit owned by Doug Bruce, I bet it would smell moldy and have rats in it."

As for a review from the Gazette "newspaper," its best film critic has not yet written about The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

However, he has told friends he'll review the movie on Aug. 26 — the day after he turns 13 and can get in to see it.



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