Things I liked:
1, K Stewart emoted Bella's extreme dependency on Edward without sacrificing the character's introverted dignity. It was a surprise to me because I kept reading reviews about movie!Bella being greater than book!Bella but they're the same creature - right down to the nervous breakdown in the hospital when Edward tries to ditch her for her own good. I wonder how much of this is due to Katherine's directing and if a male director will be able to imitate this because Bella's kind of heroine goes against the male fantasy of what a SFC is supposed to be.
2, The multi-ethnic high school. There's a bonus material documentary where Katherine explains that she made the casting call for supporting characters as diverse as possible to reflect/contain the great diversity of Twilight fans. I wonder, again ;), how this movie would have fared if the original studio, Paramount of Avatar White-Washing infamy, had kept their license. *shudders* Forget Bella's classmates: Maybe Jesse Whathisname would have played Jacob Black.
3, Rosalie Cullen. (Why do all the bonus material refer to her as Rosalie Hale? Am I missing something there?) I loved that little glare that she gives Bella in the baseball game. She's such an adorable bitch. And if I didn't heart Rosalie/Emmett already because of the role reversal in the sire/mate cliché, I'd have fallen for them when she says "That's my monkey man" and smirks! If there's one aspect of Breaking Dawn that I like, it's Rosalie and Bella becoming allies.
4, Bella/Charlie. This is the only "real" change from the book that I noticed and it's a vast improvement. Book!Charlie is bland blur whose sole function is to serve as stumbling block to Bella/Edward. Movie!Charlie is too like his daughter (a loner) to be close to her, but they still bond in their own way. And the running gag of the pepper spray? Love.
5, The Nomads. They make an appearance much earlier in the movies. In the book, they only appear in the second half of the third act. For plot/pacing and Requisite Big Bad reasons, the movie version works better.
6, Stephenie Meyer's cameo. Maybe it's just because this was the one thing I wasn't spoilt for but I loved it. Totally adorable.
And last, but not least:
7, The Romance. It works in all its dysfunctional glory.
Great DVD extras: No silly blooper reel. (Why oh why do so many believe that the audience is interested in that?) Deleted scenes and expanded scenes. A "Making Of" documentary that was really fun to watch. I sniffed when Katherine said "Future Nurse" might be her next career if this job didn't work out. She appeared to practically float with enthusiasm all through out the whole process. Why oh why did they fire her again? It certainly wasn't because she didn't do a good job.
Things I didn't like:
1, Cinematography. I mostly liked the pacing (slow, just like the book), and artistic camera angles but there's this moment in the meadow scene where the camera pans round and round Bella/Edward and I literally started getting dizzy.
2, James/Alice. It's kind of weird that they played up the nomads more than in the book and cut this out completely. Especially after Alice is the one that does the Big Kill. Which leads me to:
3, James vs Bella vs Edward vs The Cullens. The Pepper Spray finally got some action (which was love) but after that, it went downhill. Edward comes to rescue Bella and there's this moment when the camera spins (see 1) and Edward just has this expressionless look on his face. Why? He's supposed to be spitting mad/extremely worried about Bella. I was also disappointed that we don't actually see Alice yanking off James's head.
Summary: I enjoyed it but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read the book and was constantly comparing scenes in my head, instead of just watching the film. I certainly won't have gone twice to a movie theatre to watch it.
In related news: my Jack Bauer/M Schofield/Jason Bourne fan-boy of a husband has completely fallen in love with Twilight!!! It's the cutest thing ever. *g* I am now compelled to shield him from all the anti-Twilight meta on cyber-space.
The Finish-a-thon voting polls have been closed. Thanks to everyone who voted!
Thwarted Fate won! I'm totally surprised about this because over the years, it's gone into obscure territory where my stories are concerned. But I'm totally pleased about this, too.