Enjoyed reading all the comments. You guys touched on my two biggest beefs with the film franchise: Sucky Fake Dumbledore Gambon and the unfailing need to change the source material.
Now, I get that they were trapped when Harris died, and in Gambon's defense, I wouldn't have liked anyone else in that role either, but he really is a piss-poor Dumbledore. He lacks all of the warmth and whimsy of Harris. Harris was just so superbly cast, it literally diminished the whole of the franchise when they lost him.
Imagine LOTR without the real Gandalf, or Star Wars without the real Obi-Wan. Just not the same.
That said, I can live with casting changes made out of necessity, but the rampant plot changes and exclusion of important details just became too irritating and distracting to ignore anymore after the first movie. I forget which was the longest book, I want to say 3 or 4, but they cut so much out it was like watching a completely different movie.
I honestly don't know how you make sense of it all without having read the books. You certainly miss quite a lot.
I am trying to make an effort to watch the movies again now as I never even saw the last 2 or 3. I'd like to get caught up so I can still catch the last one in the theatre.
Oh, and just so I can get the frustration out ahead of time, what exactly did the change about this last installment? Nobody lives who dies or vice versa hopefully?