No, I haven’t read the entire series in the last 12 hours. I have, however, read an excellent article that explains how much of my disappointment in the finale of the movie is taken care of nicely in the book.
The article describes how Christian themes wound into the book are removed from the movie by comparing the final confrontation across the two mediums. Even if you don’t buy the Christian interpretation (though I have to say the guy makes a great case – at least to me, but remember I haven’t read the books), the description of how the finale plays out in the book vs the film lays plain that the differences are staggeringly important.
If I hadn’t already decided to read the books, this article would have convinced me to do so.
And if I had read the books already, this large of a departure would tempt me to calling this film an abject failure.
As it is, I still contend that the movies are entertaining, though it’s disappointing that the ending felt a bit flat. It is evident, however that… as always… the books are better.
And when you’ve got a few minutes, head over and read De-Theologizing Harry… It’s a really interesting article.