I've seen it twice now and am itching to go a third, fourth, fifth time. I really liked it. It was far from perfect, but who is???
I went into the movie with the steel resolve to view it as an adaptation and not take it as gospel which really helped, otherwise I would end up like the girls sitting behind me the second night and spend the entire time picking it apart. I thought it was a fair adaptation. The additions were great, bringing in the nomads earlier in the story worked swimmingly well; the biology field trip was great; I can even forgive them for not mentioning Bella's lullaby...
...however, as much as I loved the scene in the forest (which was supposed to be the meadow), I missed the intensity, tension and the sweetness of the meadow scene from the book. Don't get me wrong, the scene they did in its stead was great and it caused some swooning in the audience, but I felt cheated. The meadow is the pinnacle scene for the entire series.
Although there were some pretty cheesy moments and you could really feel the low budget constraints, I was fully able to look past them because Rob played MY Edward to a T. MY Edward, the one who lives in my head when I read the books, is angsty, manic-depressive and tormented. Rob was everything I hoped for (even though I haven't reconciled that he doesn't look like MY Edward) and so much more. The first biology class scene was PRICELESS! The rare moments of levity were brilliant (baseball game, 'spider monkey').
Kristen did okay with Bella. Some critics said she was too wooden, but Bella is kind of a no-nonsense girl who thinks a lot. I have no complaints when it comes to her performance.
The Cullens needed to be in the movie a lot more, but really, they weren't in the first book all that much either. I adored Jasper's quiet Edward Scissorhands-esque bit at the Cullen home, and loved when he finally opened up at the baseball game.
Bella's friends were FANTASTIC! What a great secondary cast. Jessica was spot-on.
Really though, it was Charlie who surprised me. Billy Burke did an amazing job of being the uncomfortable, loving father. I can't wait to see more of him in future movies. I have a whole new respect for Charlie.
Can I just say that the kiss was probably one of the hottest moments i've seen on film in a long time. Both nights I saw it the audience simultaneously inhaled as it began, held their breath through it, and heaved a collective swoon when it ended. The first night people cheered and clapped.
Being a 30-something in a sea of screaming tweens was an experience i won't soon forget, nor will Twilight be a movie i'll soon forget. Great job by everyone involved. Bring on New Moon!!!!