I just got back from the first midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I, and as I am in New Zealand, I am officially the first person to see it in the cinemas. Entirely thanks to my sister, who gave me her ticket as she couldn't go, and I may even pay her back for it XD
...well, fine, me and five theatres full of people at that cinema, as well as goodness knows how many over the rest of New Zealand!
I'm all awake now (it's nearly 4am) so I figured I might as well write about it. How was it? Well, I hadn't reread the book since it first came out, and I liked the last one the least (too much drama, death and whining) so I was well-placed to enjoy the film.How much did I enjoy it? Well, I never got the bar of chocolate out of my bag that I brought! (Fair trade chocolate, of course).
The teenage angst was toned down a bit, and made believable, Ron got over himself believably, Hermione was all around awesome, some of the events seem to be skipped past a bit fast early on, and the whole 'quest for the Deathly Hallows' and the Horcruxes made a lot more sense (in the book it was '...okay. So they've decided that They Must Do This Quest' whereas in the film it made slightly more sense, as they were bounced around by events, and were often very much alone and/or the only ones free to act.) The soundtrack was again very awesome and at one point there's a feature from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds over the radio and a brief attempt at cheering up.
Definitely one of the better films in the series though, and I'd happily go watch it again. And it was long, so I wasn't too sorry when it ended, but it was good enough that I rather wish Part II was out already!
Some gory bits - lots of darkness (death of Bathilda Bagshot, and the muggle-loving teacher, George's clever catching of a curse with his head was played for both gruesome drama and laughs... ). When Bellatrix tortured Hermione was very intense as well. Dobby turned into a Deus ex Machina, but the film quickly fixed that. Also a lot of regular tension relievers and laughs. Ron getting splinched was pretty ick.
Summing up the entire series best was the ending... Voldemort hovering over (dead) Dumbledore, reaching for the elder wand... perfect moment to end the film (and lead on to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II). But no, we have to have a couple more minutes in order to have a dramatic magical lightshow, which wasn't half as impressive and creepy and as much of a 'hook'. That's what most of them have been like - something really well done, followed up by a cheesy whizbang ;D