Reviewing the New Twilight Film

I went to a movie with my wife on Tuesday night– date night. As we arrived to the movie theatre just before 8PM, we saw a long stream of females lined up along the walls of the theatres… Twilight fans, all waiting for the midnight showing of Twilight’s newest film, Eclipse.

On the way to our theatre (we were going to see The A-Team), we walked passed literally hundreds of these fans sitting in roped off areas, in eager anticipation of the film over four hours away. Not a male in sight! Mostly teenagers, some tweens, and about one in 5 seemed to be moms. Interesting group. I’ve never seen more Twilight t-shirts, tattoos, posters, and yes, even shrines! (Several groups had commandeered a bench and set up a shrine-of-sorts to Patrick and Taylor. Wow. Even Star Wars fans were saying, “These people are freaking weird!”)

A few days ago in my blog discussing the content we can expect in the next few Twilight films, I promised you a review of this new film from our movie reviewer Todd Pearage. Todd (my hero) braved the crowds of Twilight women on opening day to bring you our official review of the film.

Here’s just a snippet of that review:

The biggest problem I have with the movie continues to be the characters and the choices they make. Edward is so “in love” (aka obsessed) with Bella that he seems unable to make any rational decision outside of their relationship. Likewise, Jacob, who is still in love with Bella, refuses to accept the reality that she will never feel that same way towards him even though she has told him many times.  Then there is Bella.  She is willing to sacrifice everything, including her family, her dreams and even her soul, to be with Edward (i.e. become a vampire). It’s the same old thing that we saw in the second film, New Moon (Jonathan and I talked in great detail about these elements in our 2009 annual movie review podcast).

He goes on to say:

Jonathan and I have been discussing this since the first Twilight film. Realistically nothing has changed. I think Jonathan and David’s Youth Culture Window article, “I’m in Love with a Vampire summed up our feelings about the movie then, and ring true for the entire series still. The characters are far from role models. As parents and youth leaders we need to be equipped and ready to discuss these issues with our students.

Todd said it well. Let’s keep dialoguing with our kids about these issues we see popping up in youth culture.

In addition, here’s a great free resource that one of my blog readers Amy linked a few days ago– a great discussion guide you can use with the film.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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9 Responses to Reviewing the New Twilight Film

  1. Jon Forrest says:

    The A Team? On date night? You’re so romantic. How was it by the way? Keep in mind, I’m old school when it comes to the A Team. The only show that could touch it was CHiPs.

  2. Ha… it was good. I really enjoyed it… and my wife (who, yes, was a very cool sport to go to the A-Team with me on date night) thought it was just alright.

    Oh, how I miss the good ol’ days with the A-Team, Chips, and Magnum P.I. 🙂

  3. Paul Loeffler says:

    Introduced my boys to Magnum and A-Team this past week on Hulu. They weren’t impressed with Magnum, but loved A-Team. They have no idea who Mr. T is/was, but they thought he was the best. I’m hoping to rent the movie some day just to see if it’s any good. I hear Mr. T didn’t like it.

  4. ahhh, the A-Team…the show that always had my dad so sucked in he’d be shouting at the TV to warn the guys of what was around the corner…fun memories.

    on the other subject…I’ve linked you blog a few times on my facebook conversations to give parents heads up on stuff I know they have no info on. I really got a riot going when I posted it the other day on a Twilight conversation. I’ve heard you guys talk about your concerns on the messages for the girls, and I totally agree.

    But I’m even having concerns with the whole occult side of it and all the recent copycat shows along with Harry Potter. When I read about all the crazy stuff God “detested” and warned his people to have nothing to do with in the Old Testament, I believe it may still be detestable to him now.

    This is not a popular view…at all!

    I am blaming/thanking my mom for this line of thinking. I grew up knowing we didn’t watch Bewitched cause it made something evil look cute and appealing…not cause it was scary, but more like it was propaganda from the enemy…and I saw her point and agreed with it.

    Anyway, kinda looking for some back up, but also interested in your thoughts…even if they aren’t the same as mine 🙂

    and thanks for your website/podcast, I enjoy them both often!

  5. Lyle… thanks for your comments. I’m glad our resources are a help.

    As for your concern with the occult… I agree. I really don’t like entertainment that flirts with the occult. It’s pretty popular today with shows like “Medium,” etc.

    Personally, since you asked for my thoughts, I don’t think “Twilight” reeks of the occult. I see a lot of films flirt with the ideas of Ouija boards, talking to the dead, demons, etc. Personally, I don’t see “Twilight” going there. I don’t think Vampires= Satan.

    Some shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” really connected Vampires with demons, etc. “Twilight,” on the other hand, doesn’t. The “Twilight” vampires are about as demonic as Darth Maul… and I don’t have a problem with “Star Wars.”

    Of course… “Star Wars” doesn’t have all the teen drama with the emo Bella and her fickle emotions. In other words, “Twilight” has a whole host of OTHER issues that bother me.

    I hope that helps. My opinion isn’t the only opinion.

    God Bless!

  6. Thanks Jonathan, keep up the good work!

  7. IowaGirl says:

    I’m going to risk my neck here by coming out and saying it: I am a youth pastor (married female), and I …. Like … the Twilight Saga.

    Ah. There. I said it. Please don’t shoot me.

    I started reading the books last year in an effort to understand what the girls in our youth group were reading. To be honest, I was incredibly skeptical when I started reading them – I expected demons, occult, and the like. However, to my surprise, I enjoyed the books. I have watched each of the movies as well.

    It is definitely true that there are factors in each of these books that are cause for concern – such as Bella and Edward’s complete emotional dependence on one another, unrealistic relationship expectations, and Jacob’s unfortunate lack of learning how to get the hint. Potentially, because I am a married adult female, these messages don’t speak to me the same way that they speak to a teenage girl – in fact, I KNOW that is true.

    On some level, however, I also find myself somewhat thankful for a series that reflects characters who wait until they are married to have sex, and for showing a “family unit” that is functional, loyal, and loving – both examples that many of my kids are not fortunate enough to see in their own home lives.

    Additionally, I do think that it provides a solid foundation for open discussion. Getting teenagers to talk, especially about tough topics – like dating, sex, emotions, etc – can be a challenge. At the very least, this provides an easy segue to foster discussion with students regarding those issues.

    Also – it sometimes makes them think you’re less lame – even if you still really ARE lame. : )

  8. Gman says:

    Don’t forget the Rockford Files.

  9. Iowa Girl… thanks for your honesty. No jabs from me. I respect you for checking out the saga and engaging in discussions with your students. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.

    It seems that you recognize many of the negative elements from the films… that’s good. Because our students dont’ necessarily catch those. And it will be important for them to have someone they trust who they can talk with about those issues.

    Keep up the good work!