I saw this movie two times before I was able to properly understand the glory of this movie. There are two basis for forming an opinion of this movie. First, one can measure this movie against the book or, two, allow the movie to act as it's own entity. I choose to do the latter. A movie can never stack up when compared to the original book, ones imagination is far more powerful than anything depicted on the big screen.
All I really have to say is that the movie was great. The Interactional triangle between Ron, Hermione and Harry is much more realistic than in the previous movies. I would have liked to have seen more of the adult characters more but there is only so much that can be fit into one movie.
I cannot wait to see it again, and again, and again.
When I saw it the first time I was comparing it to the book. The point of the movie that I did not agree with were points that were not congruent with the book. However, the second time I saw the film, I watched with no comparison to the book. While I can usually exemplify why I did or did not like a movie I do have a hard time fining specific reason why I loved this movie so much. What it boils down to is that while watching Harry Potter I felt as if I was really there. I was able to feel the excitement at the World Cup, the anxiety of the the match with the dragon and the heart pounding anger and fear when Voldermort came back to life. The characters played off each other better than they ever have. I want to eat them up - not in a Hannibal way.
Whatev. I think it may be more of a case like Serenity was for me, regardless of how good or bad the movie is, our emotional attachment to the characters and the project leads us to love it. Although, I would argue that Serenity was vastly superior to this.
You still didn't really address my question regarding understanding the movie without the book.
And I argue that a movie can be better than the book. "Fight Club" is an awesome book, but I think that the movie is better. I would argue the same about "The Wizard of Oz" and "Jurassic Park."
Maybe because Serenity is better. Definitely had better acting and music. I would also say tighter pacing and superior writing. The special effects were largely similar, but Serenity accomplished them with a far smaller budget.