Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -2

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner. Written by Melissa Rosenberg, Stephenie Meyer. Directed by Bill Condon.

FILM SYNOPSIS: It’s the happy day, Bella and vampire boy are to be wed! Bella’s pop and wolfboy aren’t happy about the union because dad doesn’t want anyone marrying his 18-year-old daughter, and wolfboy still loves the gloomy chick and fears that vampire boy will tear her apart on the wedding night (he comes close). But what’s this? Not only does the human get pregnant on her honeymoon, it begins to grow within her in mere days. A month later, Bella’s about to hatch, and everyone’s wonders, “Is it a baby, or a…thing? Will Bella survive the birthing? Will wolfboy take off his shirt?

PREVIEW REVIEW: Now, I’m the reviewer who gave the first Twilight a positive review: “Aimed at a teen demographic, it addresses love, loyalty and self-sacrifice, and does so without typical teen exploitation. Oh, there’s 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.”

I grudgingly even gave the second sequel a passing grade: 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. 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, 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.

Well, I have to tell you that despite the soap-opera-ish distress that continues from frame one to the ending credits, the often laughable dialogue, a wedding ceremony in a fantasy forest out of a Disney cartoon, and a continuously miffed wolfboy who rides a motorcycle, I didn’t hate this sequel, either.

I guess the silliest point in the picture, and there are several to choose from, is the wedding ceremony attended by vampires, werewolves and humans dumber than a bagful of hammers. The minister carries a Bible, but is careful to omit any reference to the Deity. But then, I’m not sure God would sanction such a union. That is, if He were allowed into this cinematic alternate universe occupied by children of the night.

Some will maintain we shouldn’t attend the Twilight movies, which to their way of thinking contains a hypnotic occultic 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: “You and Horror Films” (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.

“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 one of the sequels, 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.

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
Crude Language: One crude joke, laced with sexual innuendo.
Obscene Language: One minor expletive, but I caught no harsh language.
Profanity: None
Violence: There’s a violent mood throughout, with a couple of battles between feuding tribes of monsters; pains of pregnancy; growling child birth; a death. Oh, a lot of blood, usually dripping from around mouths of vampires.
Sexual Intercourse: One sexual situation, no nudity; honeymooners frolic, it sometimes is very erotic.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: They never drink…wine.
Other: We see Bella vomit; not sure why filmmakers feel a need to show vomit coming from the mouth right when I’m eating popcorn.
Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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