Brain Storm's Review
First off, I want to point out the obvious by saying that the book is very very long. It's impossible to fit in all the scenes, no matter how important they may be to later books--and how unimportant the scenes not in the book may be.
The mood in the beginning is brilliant; first, there's a moment of cheerfulness with the mother and her child, but once Harry looks at them, the sky is noticeably darker. Although this is artistically very effective, the scene jumps on ahead way too fast. From then on, from Dudley and his lackies, it's a given that the movie will, for the most part, be fast paced and exciting. Whether this suits one's taste is really up to the viewer.
The order breaking into the Dursely's homes is exactly how I imagined it, with them peering in with curious and/or disgruntled looks on their faces and the eery glow of their wands. Mad-Eye-Moody is, once again, amusing even with his very few lines. Tonks, one of my personal favorites, is much too mellow than her book counter-part, although she does have her moments.
The broomstick ride was short but sweet, so was the time spent at the Order of Phoenix's headquarters, and funny in some spots. Sirius is cleaned up and is finally able to show his loving and caring side towards Harry, and also his daringness in the train station. It's a dissapointment that he didn't visit Harry during Hogwarts as a dog[though he did make an appearance in the fire place], but that obviously would've taken too much time.
The trial at the Ministry of Magic[maybe a little too huge and fantastical]was just as frustrating and unfair as it should be. You could actually feel the heavy relief of the theater audience when Harry is proven innocent by a large portion of the wizard jury.
Loony--I mean Luna, is possibly the best characters in all five movies. Her voice is airy and she's very hilarious and thoughtful and a little odd, even if she doesn't realize it herself.
Umbridge...everyone hates her, or loves to hate her. I found myself bashing the book, literally, while reading the evil, manipulative things she does all in her pink clothes and sweetly evil smile. It's no wonder there was a few chuckles in the audience when she got dragged away by centaurs.
The middle of the movie is mostly just fillers of all the characters, the hints of the plot, and other things. It's more subtle than the rest, but every little thing happening to Harry[the dreams and Snape trying to get rid of them]have huge significance at the climax.
It's hard to recall every single detail, but the most memorable moments were Harry's first kiss--and the immediate, "WET!" after Ron asked how it was. And also when Fred and George set off the fireworks. And many other things
[you see how unorganized I am?]
FINALLY, the ending. The wand battle was climatic and emotional, and of course Sirius's death...it wasn't such an impact as the book, but then you might feel relieved because if it was, then it would send everyone into bawling uncontrollably. Probably, I guess.
In other words: OH MAN IT WAS SO FREAKING COOL. It had me at the edge of my seat! I didn't even notice some dude talking to his mother the whole time through the movie. Or a cellphone going off. The shiny wand effects were rather captivating, and the very, very end of the fight with Voldemort...seeing Voldy controlling fire and Dumbledore water was...symbolic, in a cool, non-Da-Vinci-Code way. I was totally rooting Harry on to get Voldemort to stop possessing him.
When Fudge finally uttered: "He's back!" There as a collective: DUH! from the audience. Honestly, that pretty much sums up the stupidity of the media lying and twisting the truth.
When compared to the book in events and detail, this movie would loose hands down. But it was an awesome movie all around, with great actors, music, sets, etc. etc.