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Picks and Pans Main: Movies

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The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner| PG-13 |


Romeo and Juliet have nothing on lovebirds Bella and Edward, who pointedly are seen studying Shakespeare’s tragedy in a high school English class in New Moon, the stylish but water-treading sequel to 2008’s Twilight. When it comes to star-crossed teenage love affairs—though to be literal, the immortal Edward (Pattinson) is 104 but passes for 17—this chaste duo didn’t pick the easy road. She’s human and he’s a vampire. If that wasn’t problematic enough, it turns out that her best bud and would-be beau, Jacob (Lautner), is a werewolf, the sworn enemy of vampires. What’s a girl to do?

In Moon, based on the second novel in Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling series, Bella (Stewart) seems almost pained as she listens to constant swoony protestations of undying love from both boys (“I just couldn’t live in a world where you didn’t exist!”). Though the battles between good and evil vampires and between vampires and wolves generate excitement, mostly Moon is a stilted, soapy supernatural romance. You’d have to be an already ardent Twilight fan—girls and moms, you know who you are—to get moony over this teen twaddle.

The Blind Side

Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron| PG-13 | DRAMA

Think of The Blind Side as Precious for jocks. Though it lacks the gut-punch power of the new indie hit, this more homogenized, true-life inspirational tale also shows how education and self-esteem, plus a dose of familial love, can change a life. Here, a prosperous, football-loving white family (led by Bullock and McGraw) in Memphis takes in a homeless, husky, underachieving black teen and helps him to earn a college football scholarship. The youth is Michael Oher (Aaron), now a star rookie for the Baltimore Ravens. Blind scores a touchdown for worthy intentions and Bullock is feisty fun, but it’s all a little too, well, white bread.