The “Over 40” line forms to the left.
Eclipse was not bad. Certainly not New Moon bad. There was a wink and a nod this time around, as when Bella (Kristen Stewart), shivering in the midst of a snowstorm while encamped with cold-blooded Edward (Robert Pattinson), needs the lupine comforts of hot-blooded (Jacob) to raise her body heat and survive the night. As Edward grumpily looks on, Jacob (shirtless, of course) slides into Bella’s sleeping bag. “Let’s face it,” he tells Edward, “I am hotter than you.”
A sentiment with which the fortysomething woman sitting next to us wholeheartedly agreed. How did we know this? Every time Jacob appeared on screen, she endorsed his appearance with a prurient “mmmm-mmmmmm.” The two friends sitting with her — a single ladies night out, we gathered — reacted to her barely suppressed lusting in very different ways. One teasingly admonished her — “Brenda, behave yourself” and the like. The other did not acknowledge Brenda whatsoever.
Most movies we prefer to watch without a running commentary from the people sitting next to us, but Eclipse was that rare movie that benefited from it. From Brenda, when Bella jumped on the back of Jacob’s motorcycle: “Hold on tight to that one, honey.” When Jacob explained “imprinting” to Bella: “I’d let him imprint on me any day of the week.” When the movie ended, and — spoiler alert! — Bella chose Edward over Jacob: “Well, at least that means he’s still available.” (Taylor Lautner confirms he’s open to dating fans.)
Should this woman, Brenda, not be sitting in your aisle when you go to see Eclipse, may we recommend leaving the theater and sneaking into Toy Story 3. It is the rare Pixar film these days that doesn’t cause us to cry. Despite all appearances, these are not movies made primarily for kids; these are adult movies you can safely take your kids to. Toy Story 3 is ostensibly about old toys being put out to pasture (or donated to a creepy daycare establishment deceptively named Sunnyside) now that Andy is headed for college. Adults will see in the toys’ plight echoes of recessions, layoffs, downsizing: the fears of obsolescence, even mortality. (In one sequence, rogue toys reset Buzz Lightyear’s factory settings. This turns into the movie’s funniest ongoing joke — a Spanish-speaking Buzz in Don Juan mode, wooing Jessie and sashaying through danger.) Like Up, Toy Story 3 is a meditation on aging and loss. That you laugh as it unfolds — a cymbal-clanging monkey and depressed clown named Chuckles were our favorites, though neither topped a sequence where a dismembered Mr. Potato Head assumes the body of a tortilla — is a testament to Pixar’s magic.