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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

By Christopher Gildemeister

 

Release Date: June 30, 2010

MPAA rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, and some sensuality

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard, Billy Burke

Recommended age: 13+

Overall PTC Traffic Light Rating: Yellow

 

 

Sex

Kissing, responsible discussions of teenage sex

Violence

Decapitation, dismemberment, murder, implied rape, intense fantasy   violence (but see below)

Language

“damn,” “ass”

Behavior

None

 

Bella’s life seems, for once, to be going well. Her romance with the vampire Edward is proceeding smoothly, with Bella now fully accepted by Edward’s vampire “family,” the Cullens. But the idyll is shattered when their old foe Victoria organizes an army of vampires to murder Bella. Victoria’s reappearance leads Bella to renew her friendship with Jacob and his family of werewolves. Can Bella’s presence unite the Cullens and the werewolf clan against this new threat? And will her growing feelings for Jacob overcome her love for Edward?

 

Like the previous Twilight films, much attention focuses on sensual romance, but this is conveyed solely through kissing and dialogue. Indeed, Twilight’s messages about teenage romance and sexuality are entirely positive, even chaste: despite Bella’s expressed desires, Edward refuses to have sex with her, and repeatedly insists they marry first; when Bella tries to initiate sex, Edward stops her and proposes. Bella’s father Charlie is concerned about the large amount of time Bella and Edward spend together, and awkwardly discusses sexual responsibility with her – a conversation which ends when Bella declares she is a virgin. (Charlie humorously remarks, “I like Edward a little better now.”) Jacob spends most of the movie shirtless, and in one scene crawls into Bella’s sleeping bag and holds her during a blizzard, purely to keep her warm.

 

A little more problematic in Twilight: Eclipse is its fantasy violence, which is more intense in this movie than in the previous Twilight films. The vampiric Cullen family, a group of bloodthirsty renegade “newborn” vampires, and Jacob’s werewolf clan are all involved in a massive battle, with vampires’ limbs and even heads being torn off. However, no blood or gore is shown (vampires’ bodies appear to be made of crystal or something similar), and such scenes are rapid and brief. Most of the battle consists of superhero-style leaps, punches, acrobatic maneuvers, and bone-crunching sound effects. Various humans are attacked in blurry fast-motion by the renegade vampires, with their corpses seen on the ground. In flashbacks, vampires are shown attacking humans, werewolves, and one another, though again, largely bloodlessly. Also in flashback, Edward’s vampire “sister” Rosalie describes being assaulted by a group of men; but the rape, and Rosalie’s revenge, are both implied, not explicitly shown.   

 

Bella is less openly defiant of her father in this movie than in previous ones, and even submits to being grounded. She argues against Edward’s desire for marriage, stating that marriage is “just a piece of paper” and a way of “telling people you’ve been knocked up;” but Edward is unmoved and continues to insist on marriage, and Bella ultimately capitulates.

 

As with previous films in the Twilight series, Eclipse is an action-filled romantic movie, with positive messages about love and responsible sexual behavior, no profanity, and limited violence. While characters such as vampires and werewolves are supernatural by definition, there are no overtly “occult” themes in any of the pictures which should trouble parents. In its promotion of chaste romance, Twilight: Eclipse has deservedly become a favorite with teen girls and parents alike. Due to its somewhat intense action, the Parents Television Council does not recommend Twilight: Eclipse for viewers under age 13

 

 


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