Athens vs. Sparta. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Jennifer Aniston vs. Angelina Jolie.
Since the dawn of time, fierce rivalries have inspired fierce devotion, and Edward vs. Jacob in the ''Twilight'' saga is the latest, most fervent example.
Although fans of Stephenie Meyer's staggeringly popular series of novels know how it all ends - whether tormented teenager Bella ends up with vampire Edward or werewolf Jacob - somehow they still root as hard as ever for their favorite.
“Twilight” fan Shannon Winnett of Fresno, Calif., sits underneath a Taylor Lautner umbrella as she waits for Thursday’s “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” premiere in Los Angeles.
Noah Ringer plays the heroic Aang in a scene from “The Last
David Spade (from left), Kevin James, Chris Rock and Adam Sandler are learning what it means to be “Grown Ups.”
That obviously remains true as the hotly anticipated third film based on the books, ''The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,'' arrives in theaters. And most align themselves firmly one way or the other: There is no gray area here.
But what does it say about people if they wear a T-shirt emblazoned with ''Team Edward'' or ''Team Jacob'' underneath their Forks High School hoodies?
Jeremy Clyman, who writes about film in his ''Reel Therapy'' blog on the Psychology Today website, says just wanting to belong to a group is a fundamental human desire. Which side you choose in ''Twilight,'' though, could stem from personal factors beyond merely thinking Robert Pattinson as Edward is cuter than Taylor Lautner as Jacob - or vice versa.
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One of the main things that's exciting about Edward, Clyman said, is that he has a secret: He's a vampire. And that might allow audience members with secrets of their own to identify with him.
''The other appealing thing is the character strength that defines him, his self-control. He's very good at refraining from giving in to his impulses and that could be an appealing trait to see in a person,'' Clyman explained.
Meanwhile, Clyman thinks of the more adventurous and muscular Jacob ''as the underdog because when it comes to romantic affection for Bella, to competing for Bella, he's in the underdog slot the whole time,'' Clyman said. ''She wants to spend time with Edward and Jacob's stuck in the friend zone.''
Kristen Terry of Los Angeles, a self-proclaimed Team-Jacob member who works in photo production, says she can relate to his underdog nature.
''Here's her best friend who really cares for her and doesn't say anything for a while, even though he knows he has feelings for her. I know I've been in a situation where I was really good friends with a guy and started liking him as more than a friend, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to ruin the friendship,'' the 30-year-old Terry said. ''Edward was this amazing guy who caught her eye and from the very beginning she was smitten with him.''
Jacob also comes in second in fan popularity. A Google search for ''Team Edward'' yields more than 33.4 million hits compared to 15.2 million for ''Team Jacob.'' On Facebook, about 90,000 people ''like'' the Team Edward page versus about 52,000 for the Team Jacob page. And in an online poll at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com), Edward fans have been outnumbering Jacob fans by about a 2-to-1 ratio.
''Edward's always going to have a bit of a lead as he does in the story, as well,'' said Mark Englehart, senior editor of IMDb editorial.
''Edward personifies that kind of romantic hero from Gothic novels of the 19th century. He's kind of a little like Mr. Rochester in 'Jane Eyre,' the moody, attractive, mysterious man on horseback who comes to sweep the heroine away ... The whole vampire thing almost seems like icing on the cake with this type of character: It enhances his appeal 10 times more.''
Author Cleolinda Jones, who's written sarcastically funny recaps of the ''Twilight'' books on her blog, described Edward and Jacob as archetypal characters, ''like fire and ice ... and anytime you have a romantic rivalry in a story, people take sides very vehemently.''
Jones - who says she's Team Alice, if anything - says much of the allure of Edward is that he's a good boy and a bad boy simultaneously.
''He's so perfectly beautiful but at the same time he's got this sense of mystery ... He comes from a family with lots of money, lots of stability, lots of security. He goes to school over and over so he's sophisticated, educated. Compared to Jacob he's very calm, very well-read, very clean-cut.''
Jacob, meanwhile, is more impulsive, more spontaneous, and comes from a poorer community on the reservation.
''He was probably going to be a mechanic ... before he found out he was a werewolf. He's hulky and hairy as opposed to being a clean-cut, elegant figure, so you have the physical contrast.''
But as Team-Edward member Marianne Evensen of Norway points out, ''There's no happily-ever-after for all of them if she chooses Jacob. He can't make her immortal, and then Edward's unhappy, and then Jacob's unhappy when she dies.''
Evensen, a 35-year-old delivery manager who's been attending ''Twilight'' conventions while visiting the United States, thinks people on Team Edward probably tend to be hopeless romantics, like her.
''Everlasting love is something I strive to live for. I don't want to change friends all the time. I don't want triangles. (Jacob) comes in as an outsider and makes Bella confused.''
But she added: ''I find both of them hot, though.''
These are Maui Scene Editor Rick Chatenever's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"Twilight Saga: Eclipse" PG-13, 2:19, Maui Mall Megaplex, Front Street Theatres and Kukui Mall 4.
It'll be a battle of the heartthrobs as Team Edward and Team Jacob fans converge for this third installment of the vampire series. Bella (Kristen Stewart) once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward (Robert Pattinson) and her friendship with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the struggle between vampire and werewolf. This third edition of the "Twilight" series is already set to be the summer's big blockbuster, taking in more than $30 million from midnight screenings when it opened earlier this week, surpassing the previous midnight record of $26.3 million set on opening day last November by its predecessor, "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."
"The Last Airbender" PG-13, 1:58, Maui Mall Megaplex (3-D, with ticket surcharge), Kukui Mall 4 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
Suspense auteur M. Night Shyamalan takes a break from crafting original screenplays to tell this tale of a 12-year-old boy (Noah Ringer) who provides the last hope for restoring harmony to a land consumed by chaos. In a world balanced on the four nations of Water, Earth, Fire and Air, chaos ensues when the Fire Nation launches a brutal war against the others. A century has passed with no hope in sight to change the path of this destruction. Caught between combat and courage, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone Avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements. Aang teams with Katara (Nicola Peltz), a Waterbender, and her brother, Sokka (Jackson Rathbone), to restore balance to their war-torn world.
"The A-Team" PG-13, 2:12, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Chomping a cigar, Liam Neeson continues his action-hero career playing Col. Hannibal Smith, leader of a band of Iraq War Rangers on a righteous rampage after being sent on a military mission that turned out to be a trap. Spun off from the '80s TV series, the team includes Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Sharlto Copley, Quinton Jackson and Patrick Wilson in colorful roles that aren't too keen on military discipline or following the laws of physics in the noisy action that winds up trashing a container ship. Joe Carnahan directs.
"Get Him to the Greek" R, 1:47, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Russell Brand and Jonah Hill strike the same comic gold they mined in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" in this raunchy but lovable new comedy from the Judd Apatow brain trust. Brand plays an out-of-control British rocker suffering from every form of abuse available. Hill plays the recording company intern trying to get him to a concert in Los Angeles' famed Greek Theater to resurrect his career. "Sarah Marshall" director Nicholas Stoller directs and co-wrote the screenplay with Jason Siegel. Rose Byrne co-stars with Pink, Kurt Loder and Meredith Viera showing up in cameos. Results are clever, outrageous - and surprisingly endearing.
"Grown Ups" PG-13, 1:57, Kukui Mall 4, Kaahumanu 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.
The death of their childhood basketball coach leads to a reunion for some old friends (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock), who gather at the site of a championship celebration from years ago. Picking up where they left off, the buddies, with their wives and children in tow, discover why age doesn't necessarily equal maturity. Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider star in this film written by Sandler and Fred Wolf.
"Iron Man 2" PG-13, 2:20, Maui Mall Megaplex
After restarting his career as the most clever and interesting action hero in decades, Robert Downey Jr. returns as billionaire inventor-industrialist Tony Stark, here to save the world one more time. Gwyneth Paltrow, the real secret weapon of the first "Iron Man," returns as his faithful assistant, along with Don Cheadle on board as his new sidekick. Stark's nasty adversaries include Mickey Rourke as a cruel and unusual rival Russian inventor, Sam Rockwell as a business competitor and Garry Shandling as an unpleasant senator. Scarlett Johansson is here, too, but it's not initially clear whose side she's on. Samuel L. Jackson plays her boss. Recommended.
"The Karate Kid" PG, 2:35, Maui Mall Megaplex and Front Street Theaters.
Jaden Smith - Will and Jada Pinkett's kid - leaps into the starring role in this update of the heartwarming 1984 action-drama about a boy who has to learn martial arts from an unexpected master to ward off bullies' attacks. In this version, he is forced to move from Detroit to China after his single mom (Taraji P. Henson) is assigned to a new job there. He gets a big boost when his school's janitor turns out to be Jackie Chan. Harald Zwart directs, right to the top of the box-office charts.
"Knight and Day" PG-13, 2:04, Kaahumanu 6 and Front Street Theaters.
This spy caper unites fugitive couple (Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz) as they wage a war between truth and trust while speeding across the globe in an attempt to avoid capture by a determined federal agent. During their glamorous, globetrotting and sometimes deadly adventure, nothing and no one - even the now fugitive couple - are what they seem. Amid shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals, they race across the world with their survival ultimately hinging on the battle of truth vs. trust. The all-star cast is rounded out with Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Grace, Paul Dano, Marc Blucas, Viola Davis, Jordi Molla and the film, which was shot in locations all over the world, is directed by James Mangold.
"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" PG-13, 1:43, Kaahumanu 6.
Imagine "Aladdin" recast as a video game and you get the concept of this sixth-century action comedy. Jake Gyllenhaal stretches into the action-hero game, playing the resourceful swashbuckling Dastan who gets in and out of danger quicker than you can say, "shazam!" Gemma Arterton co-stars as Princess Tamina, sharing the adventures, romance and snappy banter. Heavyweights Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina co-star; Mike Newell directs.
"Shrek Forever After" PG, 1:48, Kaahumanu 6 (in 3-D).
Shrek's not the ogre he once was in this fourth installment of the comedy franchise. Married to Fiona with 1-year-old triplets, he's going through a midlife crisis that makes him long to get his groove back. Mike Myers heads the cast with Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas.