Warning: the following thoughts are in absolutely no order, except for when I tried to put the Jacob thoughts in their own sections, and snowballed as I went.
+ The first post-teaser scene was really unsettling, but as soon as he said "Happy Birthday Bella," I thought it was really sweet? (also, I love how the fact that Edward was still with her in that dream apparently meant nothing in the face of being all WRINKLY AND OLD, THE HORROR. although I guess it would get creepy dating a 17 or even 18-year-old at some point relatively soon)
+ Charlie in this movie is everything I came to this series to see. Growing a sense of humor and awesomely teasing Bella while giving her unwrapped non-presents. Repeatedly calming her down after nightmares. Raising all hell when she disappears after dark and carrying her borderline-hypothermia self inside. Awkwardly giving well intentioned if hypocritical advice about not staying in Forks moping for your love who ran away. Even more awkwardly voicing "I love you," if that will help. And a bonus "do not ever do that to me again, ever" sadface (ahhh, there's my Revolution feeling).
+ The only thing I laughed at harder than Edward's slo-mo saunter across the parking lot was the vision of them frolicking in the woods, vampire style. But it was closely seconded by MICHAEL SHEEN, PRISSY VAMPIRE LORD IN RESIDENCE. Hahahahahahaha hah.
+ (For the record? The Volturi are way less delightful than our original vampire trio. They just look kinda dumb. The fact that they are as scary as vampires should be only hammers in how much I normally loathe all things vampiric.)
+ Anna Kendrick is a national treasure in her every second of limited screentime, speaking all the harsh truths. Zombie movies? LAME. Also, she totally gets your whole depression thing or whatever, but you know what, she's going through stuff too, OK? (stuff I'm assuming included breaking up with Mike? The part where he was suddenly back to badgering Bella for a date was very confusing)
+ The voiceover emails to Alice that went nowhere were a spectacular choice from whichever department decided that. It was heartbreaking, but oddly comforting to see Bella having some outlet for her feelings, and I thought it fit her personality well to not have to actually admit she was keeping a diary. It also reinforces how much I love their sisterhood.
And honestly, this is pretty much straight out of my own journals at some point. "When you left -- and he left -- you took everything with you." BRB HAVING TRAUMATIC FLASHBACKS K BYE.
Voice: *pipes up* "This is my impression of Bella: Edward eats the sun and drinks the skies, and they both go with him when he diiiies..."
+ Not a good choice, from a writing standpoint: Floating Headward. I mean, I laughed at "Lie. Lie better," but I still don't get why she was only able to imagine what he'd say when she was in danger.
+ I feel like Jasper is less attractive here than in the first movie and I'm not sure why. I also call too-little, too-late on identifying his mood-changing behavior, especially since we saw absolutely no evidence of it beyond Bella claiming it happened.
+ The OMG-STOP-MENTIONING-MY-BIRTHDAY Party scene was really great, from Rosalie's "I got you a necklace or whatever, like I even care" attitude to Alice's continued failure to be around blood to Edward accidentally (?) flinging Bella into a wall/table full of breakable glass objects in an attempt to protect her. I'm okay with that because that vampire fight was amazing on both a visual-effects level and a "HO SNAPS PROTECTIVE POSITIONING TROPE FULL SPEED AHEAD" one.
+ I think I might have found a reason for Emmett's existence, if he routinely says stuff to Edward like "dating an older woman, hot" while Edward just looks at him in disgust. I want to know everything about that dynamic. Alternatively, cleolinda linked to a super-hilarious speculative conversation about it.
+ Speaking of dynamics, I really like that 50% of Carlisle's role so far is to stitch up her wounds, and it's really sweet how she wholeheartedly believes in his goodness. Excellent father-figuring.
+ That was either the most fake breakup in the history of the world or the worst-acted one. Either could be true, but it appears she actually believes he's sincere about this instead of just doing his usual quasi-noble self-flagellation thing, and lol whut? I know he just asked you this but do you not understand how his feelings for you work at ALL?
Honestly, I'm kind of surprised Bella didn't exploit Edward's obvious weak point and threaten to kill herself if he left. I doubt he'd call that bluff.
Partial Running Commentary: Jacob Edition
OK that twirly hug was really genuinely adorable.
"because of your paleness and general lack of know-how" DYING OF LAUGHTER. OK, the kid can stay.
*3 minutes later*
I WANT TO STAY IN THIS WARM WORLD OF SUNSHINE ALWAYS.
"What's up with you and age?" JAKE, ASKING THE REAL QUESTIONS. Seriously, Bella, even as someone who has lamented being old since she turned 10, I don't get it.
SUDDEN SIX PACK REVEAL, ACTIVATE! [okay, that is the other thing I laughed at super hard in this movie]
As much as I love a good life-saving rescue, I am also reeeeeeally fond of emotionally protective dudes, i.e. "I am not a jerk like that fool who hurt you." I should also point out that Bella is currently bleeding from a head wound, so I am still getting pretty decent hurt/comfort out of this. What a magical way to get me to ship that.
...what. ARE YOU SERIOUSLY GIVING ME "ABANDONMENT ISSUES, PART II" RIGHT NOW??? Granted I assume Jake's problem is that he's busy wolfing out (has he not been a werewolf this whole time?? ugh, this series is such a mess, why would you inflict that upon someone who hasn't at least grown up either dealing with it or knowing it would happen), but still.
Ewwwww, where did that tattoo come from? That's it, we're back on Team Edward. I bet he doesn't believe in sullying his pure-as-the-white-diamonds-like-which-it-s
"I'm not...good." Oh no. Did I just see her eyes sparkle with heretofore absent interest? Is this like the Blade episode of Community, where Britta only loves the guy as long as he treats her like crap? Bella seems like that type.
Squeeeeeeeeee clingy hug!
Actual Intelligent Commentary On Bella/Jacob
I am still stunned that they didn't actually...date. How have I been under that wrong impression this WHOLE TIME? (Shippers, that's how. Shippers always make things sound more real than they are. See also, Teen Wolf). It got to the point where after about the 9th time she ducked out of kissing him, even I was fed up waiting for payoff. That never came.
That felt weird, because Meyer wrote this exactly according to my regular specifications. Whenever a love triangle pops up in fiction I am ALWAYS MAD that they try to sell me on the original relationship after the weak link was able to kiss someone else/have genuine feelings for them while on a break, what kind of true love is that.
But I was completely sold on Jacob being genuinely good for her, so much so that even if he wasn't endgame, I wanted her to have that real experience with someone (closer to) normal before making her final choice. Go ahead and ask me how I reacted to people suggesting this with Kurt and Blaine on Glee, the answer is I threatened to rip so-called Klainers' faces off for even suggesting such a thing.
It helped that they claimed he was 16. Senior girl/sophomore boy is a tried-and-true age difference formula in my actual real-life world. But more to the point, it pinged my friendship-first radar in a very Jim and Pam sort of way. His heart eyes are always, always there, but he never demands or expects anything from her, just hopes while otherwise being content with the friendship, and genuinely being a good friend. I wanted to watch a thousand scenes like them repairing bikes together.
(That really does make the SUDDEN WEREWOLF thing worse, not least because he does get way less attractive all buff and short-haired, so fortunately by that point I was already sold on him being a good dude. It's just that my brain would rather stay in the "you're sort of beautiful" timeline and spin the AU out from there.)
The one thing Edward has going for him over Jacob is the sharp contrast in family clans. Emily aside, that is one unpleasant house full of sophomoric Emmets.
Almost forgot! I definitely appreciated the bonus rescue-from-drowning scene, and watching her cuddle up to him for warmth was decidedly adorable. Honestly, you could stop my Edward/Bella shipping in its tracks by reminding me she will never fully experience the #1 benefit to relationships, cuddling on a cold night.
Other Monstery Thoughts
+ "Um, these wolves are freaking awesome." Like, so awesome. I want to watch 94 scenes of them transforming and running and leaping and growling and fighting in their jaw-droppingly gorgeous, realistic-wolf forms. (nothing is worse than when werewolves are portrayed as two-legged humanoid monsters. I love Direwolf style)
+ As hard as Teen Wolf has tried to ruin the concept of werewolves, Lupin has still cornered the market on making them way better than vampires, and I thought it was weird that there was so much focus on how loving them is ~disfiguring~ or whatever. Like, fine, he could claw half your face off. Neither one is a great choice, but Jasper is TRYING TO MURDER YOU.
+ I'm just saying, it's way cooler to watch Jacob defend her as wolf against another wolf than it is to just watch Edward throw dudes around at sonic speed.
+ So much for Laurent being cool. *sigh* Both his threat scene and his death scene were pretty good, though.
+ Victoria did not get nearly enough to do in this movie, but what she did have was wonderful, especially swimming toward Bella underwater like the scariest mermaid of all time.
+ As much as I love Alice, when she starts putting down Jacob, werewolves and dogs in the same breath, it hurts my heart a lot. Why can't we all just get alone!
+ Jacob kind of went to the Edward place of unwarranted control when he decided who she could and could not talk to, huh? (and is subsequently almost as culpable as Edward in getting her marked for death, good job)
+ "Well, that escalated quickly." One day you're an angsty teen couple in Washington, the next day you're running through the streets of Lesser Vatican City and standing before a High Holy Council.
+ On a more micro scale: I understand why all the Cullens vote the way they do, but Rosalie's heartfelt "I wish there had been someone to vote no for me" made me choke up a little. Girl, I knew I loved you. (Catty blonde bitches always reveal hearts of gold if you wait long enough.)
Final Shipping Thoughts, Because That's How I Do
+ I had no idea Edward went all Emo Romeo on us, but I really enjoyed the fact that Bella saved him this time. (I am an equal-opportunity rescue fantasizer, even though I pretend not to be). I think the book will be better on the immediate reunion scene -- I have seen this trope on a thousand TV screens, and you two did not properly sell the emotion because your chemistry is just so euch -- but my heart was very satisfied watching her later scream and beg for them to spare his life.
+ Sidebar on that first rescue: why is so terrible in the face department. I think he's going for emotionally pained? But he just looks constipated? I honestly don't know if it's the actor or the character or just the awful vampire clown makeup but you are RUINING HURT/COMFORT and it is pretty cringe-worthy trying to ship these two while looking directly at them when they're in PDA mode. I'm sorry that I've always said Kristen can't emote. I see it now. In comparison.
+ "You can sleep. I'll still be here when you wake up." Still going to have to swoon over that, it's straight off my Shipping Tropes quote list, and a nice change after a whole movie of watching her scream herself awake alone. Boyfriend definitely beats dad on the comfort heirarchy.
+ WHAT KIND OF A CLIFFHANGER IS THAT. I've already seen the proclaimed "proposal scene" and it does not look like that setting, so I'm hoping Bella's first response is something appropriately ridiculous like "whoa whoa whoa, I just asked you to help me become immortal so I could stay with you forever, let's not do anything drastic."
Final Verdict: Better or worse than the previous movie? I'm inclined to invoke one of Barney Stinson's One Rules, "New Is Always Better," but only because I have the memory of a goldfish. It was at least on the same level, though.
In other news, I am darn near obsessed with the first Twilight soundtrack. It's about time to try and switch myself over to the second one, but even though I'm up to 20+ plays I can't seem to stop repeating it. I just love how all the parts sound in sequence, even if I wouldn't recommend any of them alone except for Bella's Lullaby.