Twilight (2008)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson. Teen romance, thriller. Written by Melissa Rosenberg. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke.

FILM SYNOPSIS: TWILIGHT is an action-packed, modern day love story between a vampire and a human. Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) has always been a little bit different, never caring about fitting in with the trendy girls at her Phoenix high school. When her mother remarries and sends Bella to live with her father in the rainy little town of Forks, Washington, she doesnt expect much of anything to change. Then she meets the mysterious and dazzlingly beautiful Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), a boy unlike any shes ever met. Intelligent and witty, he sees straight into her soul. Soon, Bella and Edward are swept up in a passionate and decidedly unorthodox romance. Edward can run faster than a mountain lion, he can stop a moving car with his bare hands and he hasnt aged since 1918. Like all vampires, hes immortal. But he doesnt have fangs, and he doesnt drink human blood; Edward and his family are unique among vampires in their lifestyle choice. To Edward, Bella is that thing he has waited 90 years for a soul mate. But the closer they get, the more Edward must struggle to resist the primal pull of her scent, which could send him into an uncontrollable frenzy. But what will Edward & Bella do when James (Cam Gigandet), Laurent (Edi Gathegi) and Victoria (Rachelle Lefevre), the Cullens mortal vampire enemies, come to town, looking for her?

ABOUT TWILIGHT: Based on the current #1 New York Times Bestselling series (30 weeks and counting) with over 5.5 million books in print by Stephenie Meyer, TWILIGHT is a cultural phenomenon, with a dedicated fanbase that eagerly awaits this movie. There are over 100 fan sites devoted to Twilight, and it has been chosen as the New York Times Editors Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, Amazons Best Book of the Decade So Far, Teen Peoples Hot List Pick, The American Library Associations Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults and Top Ten Books for Reluctant Readers and has been translated into 20 languages. Critically acclaimed director Catherine Hardwicke brings to life this modern, visual, and visceral Romeo & Juliet story of the ultimate forbidden love affair between vampire and mortal.

PREVIEW REVIEW. Most of my colleagues were disappointed, but I was happily surprised. Aimed at a teen demographic, it addresses love, loyalty and self-sacrifice, and does so without typical teen exploitation. Oh, theres a certain amount of erotica, (these two want to consummate their love, but he is afraid to lose control -- if he gets too frenzied, he may also get, hmmm, thirsty), but the filmmakers tell their story sans objectionable language, giving young audiences an example of movie teens able to speak entire sentences without obscenity or crudity. Again, one of my colleagues didnt find that a plus. He found it unreal. I thought, come on, it's a teen love story featuring vampires. You really expect realism?

Art shouldnt just be about who we are, but about what we can become. One film out of a jillion aimed at teens without objectionable language isnt unrealistic. Its different. One might go so far as to say, it's creative.

Theres no graphic sex and nothing blasphemous, nor any Christian bashing. Though there is violence, it never crosses over to R-rated excess. It has several funny moments, including a great moment when the vampire family plays a game of baseball, and there are positive family relations. Now, I wouldnt want to give the impression that its a spiritually enriching experience. But as children-of-the-night films go, it's the best teen-aimed vampire film since The Lost Boys.

One of my editors has brought to my attention that there are some disturbing elements in the book series concerning lack of self-esteem, troubles at home, and the fact that the authors Mormon beliefs infiltrate the storyline, none of which are overt in this film. By the time the sequel comes out, we may know more concerning the author's agenda. I must caution filmgoers that there are red flags in the Christian publishing community concerning this book series. Perhaps the main problem with the film is that it may cause an interest in reading the books.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Summit Entertainment

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: A couple of muted sexual innuendos

Obscene Language: A couple of minor expletives such as damn and hell, but I caught no rough language.

Profanity: One Oh my God.

Violence: The lead vampire family doesn't molest humans, but three new bad vampires do; though several people are killed, the camera cuts away before they meet their doom; the one villainous vamp meets a fiery doom, again the camera cuts away; the lead girl is attacked by a vampire, thrown around the room and is wounded and bit, but saved in the end. Blood: A little blood as the female lead is smashed about in a battle.

Sex: Some erotic nuzzling, but no sexual gymnastics.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: The father and his best friend are seen drinking beer in a few scenes.

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Older

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