The same friend and I, plus a few more amazing people, went and saw the midnight showing of the movie based on the book. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Usually I feel this huge backlash to movies based on books. First of all, I typically make myself read the book before I see the movie and then I spend the whole movie pointing out the differences to myself...depressing! This movie was different though. Of course they changed many aspects of the story line to both make it more understandable to someone who had not read the book and to make it fit in the allotted time. There were few aspects of the change that I saw negatively though. I won't go into to much detail here, because I know some of you haven't made it to the theatre yet.
I also think that the young actors did an amazing job in this movie. Not only did they portray the characters amazingly, but it didn't seem forced. Many movies based on books have to look so hard for young actors to fit parts, that sometimes the craft of acting can be sacrificed, and I do not feel like it was in this adaptation.
The trilogy is a great set though. I am always happy when people read together and can bond over a book, or when something like this can just bring more people to read. At any rate, I would highly recommend these books. Keep in mind though, there is a lot of violence and it does get dark in some places.