Third installment of 'Twilight Saga' improves on its predecessors

"You're either on the bus or off the bus" was the line that author Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters used on their travels in the 1960s. It was a metaphor for the trip they were on.

The same can be said for most film franchises, especially by the time they've hit their third release. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is like that. After the first two movies and their DVD editions, either you care about Team Edward and Team Jacob by now or you probably never will.

Compared to its predecessors, though, Eclipse, based like the other films on Stephenie Meyer's popular series of books, quickens the pulse a bit, except for pale, cute vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson), of course. But the heart of his human girlfriend, Bella (Kristen Stewart), is definitely beating with romance, and she finds herself in a sort of a love triangle with werewolf friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner). Ah, men with teeth are always a problem, especially those with smoldering good looks.

The film, directed by David Slade (Catherine Hardwicke and Chris Weitz, respectively, directed the first two), is more energetic and entertaining than the first two.

Bryce Dallas Howard is a nice addition as a villainess. The DVD, to be released Saturday, offers the usual commentaries — Stewart, Pattinson, Meyer — plus extensive making-of featurettes. Are you on the bus?

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse retails for $26.99 or $32.99 Blu-ray.