Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of action and violence and some scenes of sensuality
Profanity:Mild language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references, characters discuss whether to wait for marriage to have sex, passionate kissing
Alcohol/Drugs:Some drinking
Violence/Scariness:Intense and sometimes graphic scenes of vampire and wolf pack violence, characters injured and killed, off-screen rape, character sacrifices herself to save her husband
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:June 30, 2010
DVD Release Date:November 30, 2010

Things — and people — heat up in this third chapter in the “Twilight” saga. Bella (Kristen Stewart) begins by quoting Robert Frost’s famous poem about whether the world will end in fire or ice. That will be more than a metaphor as she must decide between Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner), both more than human, and both utterly devoted to her. Both, too, have sworn to keep her safe, and at times during this chapter that forces them into a grudging and very uneasy alliance.

Bella met Edward, a vampire, and they realized they loved each other in “Twilight.” And then in “New Moon” being separated and almost losing each other showed them that they could not be apart. But it also gave Bella a chance to grow close to Jacob, a shape-shifter who is part of a wolf pack. In this chapter, Bella and Edward are back together and she wants to become a vampire so they can stay together forever, even though it would mean giving up everyone else she has ever cared about. But Jacob insists that he loves her and is better for her. “You wouldn’t have to change for me,” he tells her.

And at graduation, Bella’s friend Jessica (“Up in the Air’s” Anna Kendrick) addresses the class, telling them that this is not the time to make irrevocable decisions.

Edward does not want her to change. He misses his human life and knows what it would mean to give it up. And his sister Rosalie tells Bella she feels the loss of her dream of living in a normal world. Bella worries that she might lose what it is that Edward loves about her if she becomes a vampire. But if she does not, she will lose him as she grows old while he stays forever young.

Edward and his family are benign vampires, living among humans and confining themselves to a sort of vampire vegetarianism, with animals as their only source of blood. But two groups of evil, destructive vampires are after them, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard, taking over from Rachelle Lefevre), bent on revenge because Edward killed her lover when he attacked Bella, and the Volturi, a ruling body that destroys any members of the vampire community they believe put them at risk of exposure.

Director David Slade ably takes over from Chris Weitz and Catherine Hardwicke, staying consistent with their vision but demonstrating his own take on the key elements of the story, adolescent longing and primal physical confrontations. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, continues her skillful adaptation of the books, respectful of the source material but translating it for cinematic story-telling. They maintain a connection that makes the the Northwest settings and the intensity of the fantasy battles feel like a physical manifestation of the between the teenage angst and desire.

Stewart and Pattinson still have the chemistry that launched dozens of magazine covers and Lautner really comes into his own in this chapter, showing more confidence and maturity as his character grows up. Like the book, this chapter has more action, more romance, and more drama, and sets us up very nicely for the grand finale.



  • David Crowley

    As a husband who went with my wife and daughter, I thought it was actually a better experience seeing the movie with so many women in the audience. The emotion and excitement was palpable and the interaction of the audience was so much better for experiencing the movie and getting pulled in.
    I do, however, need to print up some shirts though for all the boyfriends/husbands that go along to these movies… team Alice… team Bella … and team Rosalie :) My wife is a Team Jacob fan, so we already have that one. :)
    I did enjoy the new director’s take on this movie as he paced the movie a lot differently than the previous two directors. I never sensed a lull in storytelling and didn’t look at my watch. However, my only dilemma was that the “kids” (I think of them as the scooby gang) were not a prominent in this storyline. I haven’t read the books, so I am not sure how closely it followed them on this point, but I really missed Bella’s friends from school.
    But overall it was a good movie, although a lot more violence than previous movies… but there was enough of a break in between the fighting scenes to make it closer to a romance rather than an action flick.

  • Donna Royce

    It is stated in the blog, “Families may want to talk about the character who sacrifices herself to save her husband.”
    They are talking about “The 3rd Wife” of “Chief Taha Aki” who gave up her life to buy her husband the time he needed to kill the Vampire.
    She plunged a knife into her own heart to draw the attention of the vampire to her and that gave the Chief the time he needed to finish off the monster.
    I think she did a GREAT thing and would have been remembered (If this was not a story.) by the tribe for all time to come. She gave up everything for her husband AND her people. Could anyone out there do the same?
    Donna

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thank you, Donna. This is exactly why I suggest the incident as a good subject for family discussion.

  • TONY SMITH

    It’s amazing to me how our children today are so caught up in these dark fantasy movies like Twilight and Harry Potter, and movies of that nature. Some young people can actually quote the lines in these movies WORD-FOR-WORD. But, if you ask them what they learned in school last week, you get a blank stare.
    The things that we hear and see become part of us, even though we think it is just entertainment. These young people are our future, and some could be leaders of our world. Being influenced by these type of dark fantasy movies can influence them to make the wrong decision between good and evil.
    For example young ladies of today think nothing of putting tattoos on their bodies. One day those who are still alive will be asked to take a mark on their hand or their forehead. The proclivity of taking tattoos may influence this eternal decision.
    It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord be we are all going to have to serve somebody. The biggest advantage the devil has is thath he is able to make us think he does not exist. Pleae read your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (BIBLE).
    I love you all.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thank you very much, Tony. I believe that the power of these stories can be a very positive force in the lives of those who read them. The author of the Twilight books is a devout Mormon who explicitly wanted to illustrate to young women the importance of modesty and restraint. It is up to all of us to make sure that the way we present our messages of grace, faith, and respect for self and others — messages that must be lived as examples as well as taught through lessons — is as compelling as the many attractions the rest of the world has to offer.

  • Jan

    Hi – I just wanted to address this statement ‘The author of the Twilight books is a devout Mormon who explicitly wanted to illustrate to young women the importance of modesty and restraint.’ While she may have been attempting to do that in the first 3 books, she pretty much lost that thought in the fourth and final book. In fact, I sort of felt like that was a jump-the-shark moment unnecessary for her young audience. I am curious to see how a lot of those scenes are handled in the final 2 movies.
    I also want to say that I enjoy reading your reviews Nell. I tend to agree more often then disagree with you opinions. Sometimes I just wish your reviews would appear as fast as those on msnbc.com or other sites.
    And on a final comment about the Twilight series, my 10 year old daughter thinks that Bella is the most whiny and selfish character she has come across.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Jan. I have heard that about the last book and hope that they can stay true to the fans but temper some of its excesses in the final films, too. Sounds like your daughter shares your excellent judgment and has already learned to think for herself, in which case it seems Twilight has played a part.
    And thanks for the kind words about my reviews! I’m not allowed to post them until the evening of the night before the film opens, and I do my best to be prompt, but sometimes I have to wait until later. I’ll keep trying! Any time you don’t see a review, feel free to email me to ask about the film at moviemom@moviemom.com.

  • bill smith

    To Tony:
    The reason why kids can quote from these movies is that it ENGAGES them. The stories that Rowling and Meyer have dreamed up are painted in dark colors…but ultimately, their success has been determined by their audience’s ability to find themselves within the stories. Maybe, instead of threatening people with hell, maybe we find a way to tell OUR story in a more compelling way. Maybe, we find the parts of Harry Potter and Twilight that reflect the truth, and open up conversation about that truth. Maybe we even take the parts that don’t, and talk about that too. Thanks for your heart, Tony…and for your love for those that God loves.
    bill

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Beautifully put, Bill, thanks. A wonderful comment.

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