To my surprise, I actually really enjoyed this installment. Having missed the last few outings, I was shocked at how dark the series has become- although, to my understanding, the series (both the movies & the books) has gotten progressively darker with each subsequent entry. A couple of sequences in the film are very intense, and I'm actually somewhat surprised this managed to squeak by with a PG rating. There's one scene, involving scores of sea creatures intent on dragging Potter to a watery grave, that was downright creepy. Also- the final scenes with Dumbledore are extremely powerful, and intense- and may upset some younger audience members. However, for me, this new dark direction was a welcome surprise, as this is the first time in the series that I was truly gripped by what I was seeing onscreen. While initially I figured I'd be completely lost in the Potterverse, I surprisingly never had any trouble following the fairly complicated plot.
For me, what really made the film work were the top notch performances- especially from Daniel Radcliffe, and Emma Watson, both of whom have matured into damn fine actors. I was especially impressed by the way Radcliffe was able to hold his own opposite heavyweights like Michael Gambon (who returns as Dumbledore- for his meatiest role yet), and Jim Broadbent, who plays the daffy, yet tormented new addition to the Hogwarts staff- Professor Slughorn. That said, no one can ever really complain about the HARRY POTTER cast, which has always featured a who's who of British actors- including one of my personal favorites, Alan Rickman, who returns as the sinister Professor Snape.
Next, some behind the scenes footage with Close-Up with the Cast of Harry Potter, and One Minute Drills which is a feature that has the central actors try to some up their character arcs up to this point in sixty seconds.
POTTER fans will eat up the next feature, which is J.K Rowling - A Year in the Life which takes an interesting look at the woman behind Potter and her process. Next up, What's on Your Mind? where the kid who plays Draco plays interviewer with the cast, followed by The Wizarding World of Harry Potter which is a look at an upcoming Universal Studios Theme Park attraction based on the films. Finally, some additional scenes , a digital copy, and a standard DVD version.