Beware of spoilers!
Okay, guys - just got back into the country having been to the Order of the Phoenix screening and all I can say is "WOW SPOILERS AHEAD!"
This is probably the most detailed film yet and is exactly how I hoped it would be.
The film opens as the book does with Harry sending the Dementors fleeing with his Patronus curse and the Dursleys giving him a hard time. Both Fiona Shaw and Richard Griffiths are in top form although they are in it all too briefly.
The first new character we meet is Natalia Tena (Tonks), who is suitably off the wall, yet there is
something about her that doesn't quite gel with the character... She is far from the Tonks I'm sure most of us have imagined.
For those who were hoping for some scenes with Lupin, you are in for a disappointment. Lupin doesn't get half the screen time he deserves and little is made of his relationship with Tonks.
The flight through London is awe-inspiring, although the effects were not complete. Moody on his specialised broom is something not to be missed.
Grimmauld place is grim and the Black family tapestry is enormous. Sirius (played to perfection by Gary Oldman) is great in this movie and I'm so pleased more screen time is given to his growing relationship with Harry.
Evanna Lynch's Luna is just the most perfect casting one could hope for. Her interaction with Harry and the others is straight out of the pages of the novel.
Imelda Staunton's Dolores Umbridge is simply one of the most evil creations you will ever wish to see. Staunton has the mannerisms and the voice down to a "T" and I found myself feeling exactly how I felt whilst reading the book: a sense of sickening sweetness. To be blunt - you just want to slap the b****, which is exactly how you should feel. Her detentions with Harry (which thankfully are exactly like the book) are delightfully evil. 'I must not tell lies' sent chills through me whilst reading the book, and whilst it may not have the same impact on screen, Staunton's smug expressions give a whole new vista to that scene,
something which is later bestowed upon the entire DA to menacing effect. The DA scenes are handled superbly as is Harry's kiss with Cho. But it's the scenes before and after that made the audience howl laughing: Rupert Grint again delivering comic timing to perfection.
Scenes with Hagrid and Grawp were a tad long but even from the unfinished effects, you can see the CGI creature will be something to rival 'Gollum' in terms of realism.
"Snape's Worst Memory" is so perfect. The actors have nailed the performances. Alan Rickman is again great as Snape but has so little screen time it's hard to appreciate.
Quite possibly the best scene for me was the Twins exit from Hogwarts; watching Umbridge run ragged as fireworks explode around her head is delightful. Her interaction with both Filch and Malfoy is brilliant.
A new Scene which works well is the DA uncovered in which Umbridge makes a rather explosive entrance into the Room of Requirement (which is probably the most disappointing set).
Another big difference from the book is Grawp saving Harry and Hermione from Umbridge and the centaurs but Imelda's face as shes flung into the trees in a picture.
The BIG fight is a masterpiece with Helena Bonham Carter providing the "Hiss, boo" element. She is amazing in this film. A tad OTT but you can forgive all that when you consider it's exactly how Bellatrix is supposed to be.
The major death in this film is handled well too. Although not having quite the impact it does in the books, Dan Radcliffe's expression as he realises exactly what has happened is devastating (he's come a long way, believe me).
Michael Gambon has calmed Dumbledore right down and it works; I'd go so far as to say it's remincsent of Richard Harris.
The big battle at the end with Voldemort is probably the scene that sticks more faithfully to the books.
OVERALL better than Goblet, slightly less good than Prisoner but quite simply an amazing vision of the novel.
Standouts have to be Evanna Lynch as Luna and my favourite Imelda Staunton as the most perfect Umbridge you could imagine