Yep, I will sacrifice my pride to discuss the movie with fellow H.P fans.
Soooo, what do you think (you that have seen it)
NB! I cannot guarantee there won't be spoilers here, though I will try not to.
As with all Potter movies, my feelings are so-so. Definite good sides, definite bad. There's more material this time, which is also more demanding.
While there were no Oscar-winning roles, I think the trio (Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Em. Watson) improve each time. They mature with there characters and this time Harry actually became a person, not just a look-alike on screen. Ron was great. Watson still needs to balance Hermione's character; she's either too prissy or too sappy. She has to develop that acerbic, astute wit that becomes more and more Hermione's trademark. All the old minors were good, but Fleur and Krum should have been more prominent, especially Fleur; where's the hauteur? She has maybe five lines in all.
The post-Richard Harris Dumbledore is a disgrace. His accent slips and slides along with his moods. His clothes are flimsy and effeminate. I didn't like Harris' hoarse voice at first, but I came to respect it. Where is it now? Where are the rich robes and authority that define Dumbledore... at least the way I imagined him?
I accept that liberties must and sometimes should be taken with a text adapted for the screen. But Newell (director) expands the unimportant action scenes at the expense of the story which establish the atmosphere of brewing chaos outside Hogwarts. It happened to Jackson's LOTR too and I HATE it.
Endings are generally difficult, but here I did not feel that Harry's life was in danger. Sure, the right person dies and Harry fights bravely - but I think he got away too quickly and with too few scratches. You need to feel how helpless he is before Voldemort's evil before you can really appreciate the "coincidences", courage and daring that ensure his survival.
There's a ways to go, and were it not for the books, I don't think these movies would survive the public. But they improve on the whole and if anything, SEE THEM ON A BIG SCREEN.
PS. What do you think of the atmosphere and soundtrack? Personally, I liked the darker aura - excellent foreshadowing technique.
November 26th, 2005, 03:48 AM
Heh, I was gonna start a thread, but then just mentioned it in another thread instead...
I liked it, but I'm sort of a sucker for any fantasy movies. I didn't have as many problems with it as you did, and I'm growing to enjoy the new Dumbledore the more I see him. Ron was good, very funny, as were Fred and George. Hermione, on the other hand, is such an over-acter, I honestly can't believe all the praise she gets. She needs to learn to act! Snape and McGonnagall were good as always, Mad EyE Moody was a great new addition (I love Brendan Gleeson)... overall, lots of good stuff, and some pretty nice effects this time around.
But even though I might rate this my favorite Potter film so far, I also feel that a lot was lost in the adaptation. So much was cut out. SPEW (although I'm not too sorry to see it gone), Percy, and Ludo Bagman (forgot all about him until I flipped through the book last night). Still, I got to see Voldemort, which made me very happy. Yes there could have been a bit more emphasis on the danger and evil of Voldemort, but I think people worried the movie was already too dark. I personally really wish that afterwards, when Harry is back at Hogwarts, that they had spent even 1 or 2 more minutes, discussing what Harry saw. It would have been so easy... Sirius could have been there, like in the book, and Harry should have named Lucius Malfoy as a death eater, and Dumbledore could have told Fudge his bit about removing the Dementors from Azkaban.
The more I think about it, the more it felt like a happy ending. Even when Hermione was saying "everything's going to change now, isn't it?", they all had these big smiles on their faces. I remember things differently, and darker, in the book. I also remember being so excited to see what would happen next, after Voldemort had returned. I think they slightly messed that up in the film.
November 27th, 2005, 12:33 PM
Thanks for your reply, "Evil Agent" .
Yeah, I sound very formal and critical, don't I. I agree with what you said about Watson's acting - but I hope she'll learn as time goes by.
They did cut out a lot, didn't they? That's why I was so frustrated with the extended actions scenes - they could have added more to the story rather than Harry doing all kinds of crazy things on a broomstick.
Anyway, hope other people think of replying. I'm interested in hearing what other people think - usually people imagine Rowling's world very differently.
November 27th, 2005, 01:34 PM
I enjoyed it.
Some absolutely fantastic visuals- the quiddich world cup, for example, and subsequent raid by Death Eaters.
After Guillermo Del Toro's stint in the Potter director's chair, I thought the series could really get no darker: His gothic, wispy mist visuals were superb. However, this time around the tone remains dark and earthy. Dumbeldore's soundbyte in the trailer ("Soon we must all face the choice ... between what is right ... and what is easy...") is appropriate.
So: On the upside, this is compelling young adult cinema that will likely appeal to many adults, and most especially fans of SF & Fantasy.
However, as this is an Ouroboros review I feel compelled by my inner rabid baboon to also give you the downside.
Radcliffe remains extremely wooden as Harry Potter. His monobrow does wiggle impressively as he ranges through his limited repetoire of expressions, though. Spends the bulk of the movie alternating between looking blank, doing a kind of surprised-forest-animal expression, and occassionally raising his voice and bunching his fists to signify anger. He does seem a tad more assured, a likely byproduct of having banked five million sterling so far. Oh ... And being a better actor than the ginger guy who plays Ron. Which really means I don't need to mention his performance.
Emma Watson continues to grow into a pretty elegant young lady, and distinguishes herself from her male co-stars by actually seeming to know a thing or two about acting. She breathes a humour into her dialogue that entirely eludes Radcliffe in particular.
As with previous installments, the various adult actors remain potent forces- in particular Brendan Gleeson is excellent as an unhinged dark arts teacher who is more than he appears.
November 28th, 2005, 11:40 AM
Guillermo Del Toro did not direct a Harry Potter film. You are probably thinking about Alfonso Cuaron director of Prisoner of Azkaban.
As for your comments Ouroboros, well we are apart yet again. :)
The acting has not been great, in that we are agreed, but as I mentioned in another thread I do not think the paler hues are appropriate for most of the film. In that aspect if not much else I think Columbus got it right. The protagonists are still young and the magical world is vibrant and alive---there should be more color in it. Are the last two Harry Potter films horror or Halloween movies? The color does not seem to fit. I was disappointed in the backgrounds even if Cuaron did improve on the cinematography in the third movie. Now when in book five a darker palette is more appropriate we must endure even more monochromatic images. What a dreary prospect.
I wasn't enthused with Gleeson's performance either. I guess he just wasn't what I pictured as Mad-Eye. I thought Mad-Eye should have been darker and more imposing, or something like the guy playing Filch.
November 28th, 2005, 03:18 PM
Ouroboros: Emma Watson continues to grow into a pretty elegant young lady, and distinguishes herself from her male co-stars by actually seeming to know a thing or two about acting. She breathes a humour into her dialogue that entirely eludes Radcliffe in particular.Completely disagree with you. While Radcliffe isn't great, he's okay and passable as Harry. Ron/Grint is the funniest actor of the bunch. Hermione/Watson however is one of the worst over-actors I've ever seen, since WILLIAM SHATNER! After 4 movies, I think there is little hope of her reigning in what increasingly seems to be her style.
Guillermo Del Toro did not direct a Harry Potter film. You are probably thinking about Alfonso Cuaron director of Prisoner of Azkaban.Yeah, Del Toro was apparently offered the job, but was busy directing Hellboy.
Bond, I disagree about the colour thing... I haven't found the last 2 movies to be dreary or pale, I still find them rather colorful, although they go for more of a dark or gothic approach. I thought the last one was very visually pleasing. I also liked Gleeson as Moody.
November 29th, 2005, 11:14 AM
Thanks for correcting me about the director, I've been thinking he directed it since I saw the bloody thing!
The protagonists are still young and the magical world is vibrant and alive---there should be more color in it. Are the last two Harry Potter films horror or Halloween movies? The color does not seem to fit.
A reasonable argument.
I would suggest that the reason for the increasingly dark coloring (and indeed overall vibe) is that it is a visual manifestation of the darkness that threatens to engulf Harry's world, in the form of a resurrected Voldemort. As Potter grows, he loses innocence and must harden to face the forces arrayed against him. I quite like the leeching out of color to reflect this, but to each his own.
If it this purely a film aimed at children one might expect more color, but its notable that we perhaps overlook that, particularly in times past, entertainment for children has always had its bittersweet and dark examples: The old 'ring a ring a rosie' nursery rhyme, for example (with its subtext of plague and death), susan cooper's 'the dark is rising' (a chilling book for a child or an adult to read) and indeed much of our hand-me-down fairytales and folk stories, which are often, at their crux, dire warnings against stranger danger.
I also think it appropriate that art imitates life in this installment, with the death eater attack on the quiddich world cup. Like it or not, in NY, madrid, london, cairo, bali and baghdad (and in other cities) our children have come to appreciate that terror attacks on innocent populations do not occur purely in works of fiction and on the big screen.
November 30th, 2005, 12:33 PM
unlike the rest of you im not going to make a big long essay about the movie. IMO it wasnt worth spending my money going to see it. Also the trios acting continues to be just as crap as ever. As for emma well shes an aweful actress. And where was dear old dobby? i miss him! i did however like the weasley twins and ron.
December 1st, 2005, 11:06 PM
I kinda love that Madame Maxime ate Rita Skeeter... but she shows up later disheveled.
December 2nd, 2005, 01:19 AM
I never realized that! Is that that part where she takes something out of Hagrid's beard and eats it??