Twilight Saga, The: New Moon (2009)

Rated: PG-13 for some violence and action.
Length: 130 min
Grade: CC+CC=C
Budget: $50 million
Box Office: $835 million (297 U.S., 413 Intl., 125 DVD)

Written by: Melissa Rosenberg (All three Twilight films, and lots of TV like Dexter, The OC, and Ally McBeal.), based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer.
Directed by: Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass, About a Boy)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, and Robert Pattinson
With: Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Anna Kentrick, and Peter Facinelli.

After the Cullens leave town because the desire for Bella’s human blood proves too much for one of the brothers, she is heartbroken and starts doing dangerous things to reconnect with Edward. Meanwhile, she starts developing a relationship with a the werewolf boy who has had a crush on her since the first movie. When Edward mistakenly thinks she has committed suicide, he tries to follow her into oblivion by crossing a very powerful group of vampires, and Bella and Alice must try to rescue him.

Entertainment Value: C
It’s pretty, very pretty, but the pace of this movie and the bizarre plot threw me off. Plus, and maybe I’m one of the few men in the world asking this question, what in the world is so great about Bella as played by Kristen Stewart? All the beautiful (though undead) boys seem to want her, but why? Then, after spending the first movie establishing this eternal love of “the one,” now all of a sudden Edward just leaves her because of his brother’s bloodlust? Totally implausible. I found the plot device of not revealing Jacob as a werewolf until halfway through the movie weird since it has been obvious all along. But all these plot complaints aside, this is still an epic chick flick. It didn’t make $800 million because it’s awful.

Superficial Content: C+
Drugs/Alcohol A, Sex/Nudity C+, Violence C, Language A
There’s a lot of sexualized teens in this movie, but no actual sex. The language is very clean, just name-calling. The violence is probably the main concern, with vampires and werewolves killing people and the issue of blood being constant. PG-13 is just right.

Significant Content: C
True love conquers all, but losing such true love causes a pain worse than death. It’s bad to be a human, it’s worse to be a vampire, but it’s the worst of all to be a human who loves a vampire or a vampire who loves a human. A real man protects his woman from every threat, even if it’s him. The best men don’t need sex because they are satisfied with your intoxicating companionship. However, this movie avoids being a D by the way it ends, which I won’t ruin for you.

Artistic/Thought Value: C
The Twilight movies are much more immersion experiences than they are epic thought provokers. As such, there is a haunting beauty about them and the pace and cinematography they use, although I much preferred Hardwicke directing the first movie. And I think that basic sentiment is overwhelmingly true for every aspect of this far inferior sequel.

Discussion Questions:
~When Edward leaves, it sends Bella into such misery that she almost wants to die. Do you think this is evidence of a healthy love or an unhealthy obsession? Is it idolatry? What advice might a Christian give Bella?
~When Edward thinks Bella has died, he actually does try to kill himself through a convoluted plot. If she was so vital to him, why did he leave her in the first place? Is his orientation toward her love or idolatry? What advice might a Christian give Edward?
~Why does Edward not want to turn Bella into a vampire? What do you think of his reluctance?
~What do you think of Edward’s decision to choose his community (family) over his romantic interest in Bella? Given the need for this community to help keep him sober (on human blood), is he just being wise?
~In what ways as a vampire’s bloodlust a good metaphor for sin? In what ways not? Can this condition ever be reversed?
~If ordinary pornography feeds and reinforces unhealthy versions of male sexual desire, do you think it’s fair to call the Twilight movies female pornography? Why, exactly, are these movies so appealing to teenage girls?
~In what ways is Edward the ideal man? In what ways is he not?
~Does this movie have anything useful to tell Christians about the perils of dating non-Christians?
Overall Grade: C
I liked the first one much better. It’s a bit like going from the original Star Wars trilogy to the three later prequels. Only someone who loved the originals would really love the followups. I hope the next one is better.

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