Got to see HP 3 today - totally rocked! A new director makes a huge difference and really freshened up the series - my favorite of the 3 so far. I also think this is Williams best score out of the three as well - freakin' genius!
I thought the film sucked. The casting was totally at odds with the way I'd envisioned all the characters, except Madame Trelawney. But I agree that JW was at his best. I particularly loved the jazz number for the spectral bus. It was incredibly close to the final movement of John Adam's Chamber Concerto, which is just one of my favourite pieces of all time.
I can only hope Chris Columbus takes back over the reins in future.
The casting was totally at odds with the way I'd envisioned all the characters, except Madame Trelawney...
But Pingu, the only other new characters were Lupin, Black and Pettigrew. I can see how you might not like Lupin, but I doubt that many could play Black as well as Oldman, and the actor who played Pettigrew was certainly rat-like and only briefly on screen. All of the other major characters were cast during the Columbus reign.
I see how one can take issue with Cuaron's direction, but not with his casting - except maybe for Lupin (who I thought was pretty solid - especially with the scars).
Saw it yesterday, and felt it was as good as the first two in its own way. Cuaron added some dark humor and a bit more general angst, which was interesting. Some major explanations were left out, obviously for the sake of time (what else is new?), but curious nonetheless. And the score was brilliant and different in response to the different look and feel Cuaron added. Williams is not a one-trick pony. I agree that the flute solo for the bird was brilliant. (did I say "brilliant" again?) Interesting about the harpsichord---during the movie my five year old asked specifically what that instrument was. Guess we don't listen to enough concerti grosso around here.