found it an interesting take and fun fluffy writing. I never read anything else in the series but heard that it had some fun rides.
Then the movies came out. The trailers seemed pretty laughable and I wasn't impressed with the acting I saw. Eventually my wife rented the first movie and watched it. She admitted that it was a moderately faithful representation of the story but that it certainly wasn't Oscar-worthy. Still, she eventually convinced me to watch it with her.
I'm not sure if the actors matured or if the directing was better, but the acting did seem a little less constipated than in the first movie. There were still a lot of vacant expressions and "intense" pregnant pauses, but for some reason the characters and their motivations felt a little more believable. Some of the characters were absolutely ridiculous, but that could just be their natural characterization from the book.
Not having seen the rest of the movies (or read the rest of the books), I can't really speak well to the violence and intensity of the movie as compared with the books. It's nothing slasher-movie "blood and gore" worthy, but there were some pretty intense segments as they set up the main conflict in the book…the conflict being the existence of Bella & Edward's child.
Overall I found that I enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would. The acting and presentation seemed better than in the first Twilight films I'd seen. The storyline is interesting and has some compelling conflicts and character development. I haven't looked at other reviews but I suspect there is a degree of polarization: on one hand the uber fans who will praise it wholly (though they might complain about the battle sequence) and on the other hand the uber haters who hated it before watching and still hate it.
I'm somewhere in the middle. It's not going to be my "movie of the year" by any stretch but I wouldn't run away screaming if somebody suggested watching it (though I may or may not actually stick around to watch, depending on what else is going on). It seems like a well crafted and pretty fulfilling and exciting conclusion to an interesting premise for a story.
3 out of 5 stars