Who knew when JK Rowling released the first Harry Potter book in 1997 that the world would have 7 books, 8 movies, and a theme park area by 2011? This is the one case where “synergy” is an appropriate term. I do not feel that the books would have gained popularity without the movies, and I do not think all of the movies would have been made had the books not been so good. What is also unique about this time is that we have a book series and a film series that has appealed to everyone and that has a whole generation that has grown up with it. This an amazing phenomenon.
What has also been good is that the movies have matured as the characters have matured. This has led to more dynamic movies with complex plots. Had all seven books been the same level as the first one, this series would not have made it past three movies. So it is fitting that with the final book we get the darkest, most complex of movies.
Many other have indicated how this is the “Empire Strikes Back” of the series and I agree. The main characters are on the run and each victory they have incurs a great price. Emma Watson has been getting a lot of notice for her acting in this movie and rightly so. For a movie that was essentially a set-up for the explosive final movie, there is a lot of action and a lot of good imagery.
My advice: pay full price, but no need to pay extra for IMAX or (when it is released, 3-D); the movie is big enough on normal screens to satisfy any moviegoer…