I liked it, despite some flaws. I think I felt the same way about this that everyone else felt about the wretched Star Trek reboot a few months ago. It was a well executed genre flick, not changing my life in any way but entertaining me more than competently for a few hours. Let's do top 5 best and worst list, shall we?
Worst things about the new HP movie:
5. There were a few slow moments. I'm at a loss now to remember them precisely but those are the moments when you realize you have to pee and it might be a good time to sprint to the restroom.
4. The characters most definitely do not look like they are only 6 years older than they were in the first movie. Draco has some serious crow's feet. It's not horribly bad and I know movies take time to produce, but you can't ignore it.
3. Helena Bonham Carter's teeth were made up to look bad, presumably because she's evil and evil=bad teeth. Or something.
2. The major secret of the movie is revealed in an off-hand way and we have no idea what it means or why it's important. Oh how I wish good writing and consistent plots were correlated with the financial success of movies.
1. Sir Ian McKellan called. He wants his Gandalf wig back.
Best things about the new HP movie:
5. Harry's adoptive parents do not appear. This is the first time that's happened I think, and it really helps to cement the idea that we've moved from the whimsy of childhood to the serious struggles that the characters have to face.
4. The Hermione/Ron relationship. I really liked what they did in this movie. In a way it was all over the top, but for a sublplot in a movie that's the only way to do what they wanted to do. These characters feel very, very real to me, in fact everyone in this movie felt that way to me, even Harry Potter himself for the first time in all the movies (even if his only thing is the difficulty he has dealing with his fame).
3. Special effects. They were not overstated, silly, or fake looking. I thought this movie, visually, was simply amazing. I'd like to identify my favorite moments but I'm afraid I'd give things away if I did.
2. Helena Bonham Carter. She doesn't get a lot of screen time, but for some reason when she plays a character like this I find her irresistibly (yes that's spelled right :) ) attractive. What I like about her character here is the same thing that I like about Tatiana del Toro, guess that says more about me than the movie. Anyway she gets one really tremendous special effects scene where she's on a rampage in Hogwarts that was just about worth the price of admission all on its own for me.
1. Dumbledore (played by Michael Gambon). The first actor who played him put me to sleep. This guy is great though. He keeps reminding me of Kevin Spacey minus the smugness. His character got a lot of screen time this time around.