Twilight Saga: Eclipse

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Dakota Fanning. Teen romantic drama/thriller. Written by Melissa Rosenberg. Directed by David Slade.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Sequel II still has conflicted teen vampires and wolf people trying to decide who will smile first. Bet it won’t be Bella. Our young heroine is still in love with the undead Edward, but also has a deep love for wolfboy Jacob. While she ponders a life with either of them, vamp Victoria is seeking revenge, wanting to kill Edward’s beloved.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The great thing about Twilight: Eclipse is that you can take a snooze during Act II, and awaken during Act III to the very same speech: “I know you love him, but you love me too,” says Jacob (it seems like several times). The film is basically critic proof, with its built-in audience of adolescent women who relate to the pouty female lead and drool over the shirtless, pumped-up wolfboy. The majority of the screening audience was made up of teen and preteen girls, their older sisters and their young-ish mothers. The consensus of the group as they left the theater was that the film did not disappoint. And I have to admit, I didn’t hate it. I didn’t care much about wolfboy, shirtless or otherwise. Nor am I much of a fan of the always angst-ridden Ms. Stewart (does that chick ever smile?). But I was impressed with the storytelling. Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg manages to mystically hold viewer attention, spacing wolfman/vampire battles between anguished speeches/embraces.

I also appreciated the messages discussed: abstinence (Is it too old-fashioned?), and the value of marriage (Is marriage just a piece of paper?), and the consequences of your choices. Sadly, I’m not sure marriage or the wisdom of abstinence are given much of a defense. And, even though everyone keeps telling Bella not to marry a vampire, and though she sees his kind beheaded, revealing their innards to be a cold, lifeless crystal, still she loves him so much she’s willing to give up her soul and become one of the undead. Oh, she’s got it bad. And so do the guys. I mean, Romeo and Juliette would have cautioned this trio, “Lighten up.”

There’s no objectionable language other than several minor expletives, and though the sexuality gets a touch frisky, it is well contained by the filmmakers, as well as Edward, he being a gentleman vampire of the old school. So, should we Christians support this horror film, one some maintain has a hypnotic occult influence? Well, I’m not as convinced as some that it is a draw to the dark side. I think it’s a parable, a relatable allegory for young people trying to come to terms with parents, school, romance, and life in general. That said, let me offer up the following reading, an article that may be beneficial in understanding the horror genre’s grip. “Horror Films and Christians” (go to moviereporter.com and click on articles). It might give some perspective on society’s fascination with that genre. Please take a few moments to read it.

Also, I came across the following piece on the Christian Newswire dealing with Twilight and the occult. (The following two paragraphs were taken from Christian Newswire.)

“Occult researcher and bestselling author of 24 books Steve Wohlberg says in The Trouble with Twilight: Why Today's Vampire Craze is Hazardous to Your Health (Destiny Image, July 2010), ‘Twilight has positive features, but it is laced with occultism, contains mixed moral messages, and is now fueling the dangerous practice of sipping real blood among teens and adults.’

Major media have reported on this bizarre phenomenon: “ABC News: Coming Out of the Coffin: Vampires Among Us.
The Washington Post: A Vampire's Life: It's Really Draining.
Fox News: Night Neighbors: Members of America's vampire subculture could be living right under your nose.”

That whole blood drinking thing is a fringe deal. Most young girls have other motivations for seeing the Twilight films. They’re not considering becoming witches or joining a blood-drinking sect. Still, the film does seem to embrace dark forces, suggesting a good side to monsters. By their own admission in the film, these vampires are without a soul. Nosferatu and Dracula were evil beings unable to stand before the cross. Now the vampire is a brooding, misunderstood hunk, neither good nor evil.

In this Twitter age of incessant change, there are a great many influences that seem to attempt to thwart the teachings of the Bible. The Twilight series does little if anything to support a biblical standard. Though Edward is of a different age, one that supports respect for elders and maintains the value of marriage, he is often ridiculed by the more “modern” Bella, who wants to have sex with him, even if it means losing her soul by becoming one of the children of the night.

Will you be lost forever should you become a fan of Stephenie Meyer's vampire series? No, but here’s something to think about. If you refrain from supporting such entertainment because you wish to honor God and develop your Christian walk, that could only be good. I know, for teens it’s difficult – telling your peers you don’t want to see Twilight because of its dark content. You’re afraid they will think you are a square (teens, please interject today’s colloquialism for “square”). Well, sooner or later, you have to declare who is Lord of your life, Jesus or your classmates. Maybe this whole Twilight phenom will help you witness your faith. And keep this in mind, while you sometimes object to instructions from home, church or school, are you willing to accept the leading of Hollywood? You might want to rethink that. Don’t be led by the entertainment community. You lead them. Adults, shouldn’t you be doing the same?

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor:
Summit Entertainment

Summary
The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: I caught none

Obscene Language: Around ten mild expletives, but I caught no harsh language.

Profanity: None.

Violence: Though comic-book-like, the romantic interludes are broken up by battles between the Hatfields and the McCoys – I meant the vampires and the werewolves; huge computer-generated wolves attack with ferocity; heads are beaten off, vampires are crunched and decapitated; martial arts battles galore; in a flashback we see men mugging a woman, the scene cuts away, leaving us with the impression she was raped; she gets her revenge. Blood: Some blood.

Sex: Several kissing scenes; a couple of sexual situations between Bella and Edward, but he puts an end to it because he wants to wait until they are married, and, oh, yeah, he can turn her into a vampire.

Nudity: None, though wolfboy is bare-chested throughout.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None.

Drugs: None.

Other: None.

Running Time: 124 minutes
Intended Audience: Young girls, old girls.


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