The weird hyper-controlling stuff ends about 20 minutes into the movie, thank goodness.
For the first time ever, I got a little swoony over them as a couple. Or a lot swoony. They looked really pretty in the meadow, okay, shut up. She's trying to study and he's totally distracted by her face and playing with her hair and that is precisely the sort of queenly attention one should command from their paramours. Also, those these halfhearted proposals were very convincing. "Where I'm from, it's the way one says 'I love you'" indeed.
Then there was a really perfect cuddling scene. I also got kind of interested in their physical chemistry whilst Bella was trying to take off their clothes, another first. I'm just saying, Edward seems to have figured out how to make his hands useful and it has resulted in prettier kissing. Also, the proposal was lovely. "My Love" was used to stunning effect in this whole scene.
Loved the subtle notes of "I'm All Yours" woven into the score in multiple places.
I liked being reminded Bella has a pretty nice mom.
Charlie has little to do in this movie, but between looking super proud of her graduation, deciding he likes Edward a tiny bit better for being celibate, and telling her very seriously that he would never stop looking for her if she went missing, I was satisfied.
The werewolves are still awesome looking, and I don't know why the fight between them and the vampire army didn't go on for at least seven and a half minutes because what we got was nowhere near enough. That is the best fight sequence I've ever seen in my life. (The wolves leaping out of the trees in slow-mo?? EPIC.) The training wasn't half bad, though.
I could not stop laughing at how vampires apparently shatter like pottery if another vampire punches them. The accompanying jingling-coin sound effect was really glorious. And much less gross than human murder sounds.
Really great job of tying in scenes in Seattle -- very atmospheric.
Jake is still utterly adorable in wolf form. When he was nudging his big wolfy head under her hand? I found myself wishing there was such a thing as werewolf nothlits.
(and the scowl & grumpy snarl he gives Edward before slinking off into the woods with the rest of the pack? A+)
I'm so glad they put both Rosalie and Jackson's backstories into the film via flashbacks. You really needed to see those for maximum effect. Vampire!Rose in her wedding dress was just a beautiful sight to behold, for one. And the way she still smiles remembering it...excellent.
(also, I liked that they continued the theme of Rosalie trying to warn Bella away with concrete reasons. God I love their relationship. As much as I appreciate that Alice is gung-ho to be her best friend type of sister, Rosalie is the big sister looking out for her because they're family, even though she's a constant pain in the butt.)
After randomly losing interest in him last film, Jackson shot right back into my favor in this one, and I'm glad he had a big part. But I particularly loved him because he gave Alice a lot of really wonderful looks: when she has her vision at lunch, during their ostensible practice/mostly play fighting + Alice teasingly withholding a kiss until the end, and after his slightly teary recounting that she saved him. This is probably the OTP of the series for me. Much like Lupin & Tonks were.
I don't care if I'm being manipulated into it, Bree Tanner is thus far the biggest tragedy of the series, and the fact that Carlisle & Esme so badly wanted to rescue another lost little wretch for their family and couldn't just breaks my heart into a million little pieces. Esme's face. Jasper wishing looks could kill. Edward pressing his face into Bella's hair. Carlisle once again having to stay quiet and politely concede to bloodthirsty Volutri law. TOO MUCH.
I thought Seth was genuinely delightful, and he didn't make much of an impression on me in the book. From what little I've read about Breaking Dawn (book version at least), this bodes well for me.
Overall, I think this might be my favorite? Just because it's the one where I want to rewatch the most scenes.
Did Jackson suddenly develop a more pronounced Southern accent?
For all the options they should have had going antique, Bella's engagement ring is about the least pretty ring I've ever seen. It reminded me of an oval shape cut out of a cheese grater. (the wolf & diamond charms on her bracelet were really lovely, though)
Leah was excellent but still did not get enough to do in this movie. MORE PLEASE.
The Victoria recast was DEVASTATING. It would have been fine if Bryce had always been her, but I just kept thinking how wonderful Rachelle would have looked saying all these lines.
I already knew this because of spoiling myself on YouTube, but Jacob is so gross and awful in this movie. I'm pretty sure the director is to blame for not checking those weird sneers of entitlement, particularly while saying that Bella will totally choose him in the future while Bella is standing right there. It doesn't help that he just gets less physically attractive by the film. (p.s. I'm pretty sure they explicitly described him having longer hair again in the book because he thought Bella liked it better that way, so WHY WAS THAT NOT DONE)
Also, my DVD froze right as they were about to have their 2nd kiss. Thank heavens I got to skip over it and will never see it. Also skipped: that apparently unending scene post-battle where she goes to see him while he's recovering, or something; I don't even remember because it's so irrelevant.
I hate the character of Jane so much, and I don't know if that's from the books or dislike of Dakota Fanning or what, but I wish she would just randomly burn to a crisp and disappear.
And now I'm back to my unending BOOK OR MOVIE?? dilemma. I was going to read the book first because with two movies I thought it might be nice to stretch out my time with the series, but the videos on the YouTube sidebar all look so very enticing and I kinda want to keep going with this shiny newfound Edward/Bella chemistry. Then again, the movies have all been better than the books, and will I really want to read Breaking Dawn after I know the exact level of ridiculous it is?