Now, what was it again... Something to do with someone who carries bags with a big beard I think.
So, the first 5 films seem to have basically been formulaic Holywood blockbuster, take the book and emphasise the dramatic battles and magicy stuff type films. The first 2 were just a bit of fun really, 3 kind of fell apart at the seems, but then they got it back again with 4 and 5 and managed to add a bit more drive.
This one however is a completely different beast. Out of all the books, the 6th one is probably my favourite as it's a lot darker and opens up a lot of unanswered questions, so I was a bit unsure about getting more of the same treatment. However, they've actually done something interesting with it and as a result this film adds so much to the original story.
WOW, THEY MANAGED TO PUT SUBTLETY INTO A HARRY POTTER FILM! *dies of shock*
For all you can say about JK Rowling, it doesn't appear to be her forte, that one and perhaps it's a little easier to bring in on screen then it is in text for these stories, but it certainly benefits from it.
I was particularly impressed when they cut the fight in the castle at the end entirely. Daring, but it paid off.
They had the powerful opening with the Millenium Bridge collapsing at the beginning. I saw it at the IMAX and we had the glasses for the first few scenes (up to the point where Harry goes to the Weasleys), so the 3D effects were really strong on these opening scenes. However, they didn't seem to work very well with the Millenium bridge bit, which made the effect a bit lame in comparison with the flying around the streets of London immediately before it. Then again, having seen the trailers once I'd realised we were going to be in the glasses for that bit I was looking forward to the bridge coming to get me.
From then on, the magic and special effects all take a back seat for most of the rest of the film, which is just the most amazing thing they could have done with this and as a result makes the film even darker than the book was.
The casting of Jim Broadbent as Slughorn was spot on. He made the role his own and it just suited him. I don't normally think of him as a particularly strong actor, but he actually pulled off the best performance I've ever seen from him.
The only real disappointment on the casting front is Luna (who is clearly the best character in any of the books), who's still very wooden, but it's the same actress carried over from the previous film which does give continuity at least.
In short, I was utterly impressed.