(Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
Saw it. On opening night. A week ago. And I'm still trying to decide how I felt about it. The book is darker, yes, so I should have expected to be scared. And I was. (Feet up on the seat, anyone? Oh, just me then?) . Then again, I thought that E.T. was scary. Of course, I was four years old... Nevermind.
The book is sad, yes, and that was most definitely reflected in the film. Ask those sitting around me how hard I was bawling. (Answer: Like a little girl).
I guess my main problem is not being able to get over the "feel-good" whimsical touch of the first two films/books and then the excitement of the third. This is the first book/film to actually get inside the mysteries of Harry's life and bring the horrors out into the open. Maybe I wasn't ready for that, I don't know.
I do think that the humor in the film was very well placed and executed quite well. Additionally, the whole "teenage angst" portions were fabulous. And hilarious. And slightly painful - now that I've gone through it all and know what the characters must be feeling!
I do not like Michael Gambon's portrayal of Dumbledore. And the makeup department has made him grungy and dirty and I am SO not a fan. Richard Harris was perfect - anyone playing the Big D in the future has a hard role to fill (and I hope someone else is slated for the fifthe film).
Of all four books, the viewer would benefit most greatly from reading GOF before seeing the film adaptation. The first three films allow the viewer to be slightly oblivious to the background and inner thoughts of the characters. Because there are so many important clues in the fourth book that aren't captured on screen, reading the series would be beneficial. Don't get me wrong, I think that prior to seeing the films, reading the entire series of HP books is the best mode of attack (as for any movie adapted from a book - might need to read P&P again before seeing the most recent adaptation, for example).
Anyway, see it and make up your own mind!