Last night, while the Worlds Greatest Mom and Nana rode heard over our two children AND prepared two pumpkin pies and a pecan pie, SWMBO and I snuck off to go see the first movie based on the 7th Harry Potter novel(Guess we can call it movie 7a?)...Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows, Part 1.
If you aren't a Harry Potter fan, either of the books or the novels, I don't recommend jumping right in at the 7th movie. Duh. You wouldn't have tried jumping in at the last book of Steven Kings Dark Tower series, would you? And no...I don't think I'm crazy drawing comparisons.
Due to life scheduling issues, I completed reading the 7th book of the Dark Tower Series within about 2 weeks of finishing the Harry Potter series. The Dark Tower series was better...but I had the same sad 'what next?' feeling upon completing both series, meaning that the Harry Potter series hit me way harder than I ever thought it would.
I was a little late to the Harry Potter party. I don't think I started reading the books until the 4th one was already out...and in reflection, it was probably a good thing. The first book, while a well written, neat idea, was a little young and squeaky clean. SWMBO convinced me to stick with it, and keep reading the other books, and I am glad I did. J.K. Rowling did a very good job of increasing the maturity level of the books as the characters themselves aged. By the time you get to the end of the 4th book, I was comparing the darkness of the books directly to Eye of the Dragon, by Steven King.
So...if you have never read the series, give it a shot...and do yourself a favor and give it at least through book 3 before giving up.
The big deal with the final novel, is that to give the epic, series closing story-line Full Attention(and milk every last shekel from the franchise that they could), Hollywood split the final book into two movies. First movie out now, the last movie of the series to come out next summer, about 9 months later.
Book to movie conversions being what they are, they are NEVER able to get all the story lines in the movie...and with the last few Harry Potter books being in the 600-800 page range, the movies have stripped the story to the bare bones minimum. As exciting and neat as the movies have been, it's like a big plate of spaghetti with no Italian sausage, and french bread without garlicky butter...and unfulfilling experience.
I was hoping that the by splitting the last book in two haves, this problem would be reduced...but it didn't feel that way...the movie focused purely on Harry and his friends trying to find the horcruxes, then learning about the Deathly Hallows. It totally skipped of the two main subplots of the last book...Harry's falling out with Lupin about Lupin's concerns with being a father, and Harrys growing frustration and feeling of betrayal the more he learns about Dumbledores past.
Now, leaving these out now don't really hurt the 'Search and Destroy' storyline...but it's going to rob the ending of the movie of considerable emotional punch.
That's not going to stop from spending money to see it...it's just going to mean you have to hear me complain about the same stuff 9 months from now.