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Banger
July 13th, 2007, 09:49 AM
Has anyone seen the latest Harry Potter movie?

I saw it a couple of days ago in IMAX (3D!). It was a fun movie, but middling in terms of where it stands among the other HP movies. Imelda Staunton was perfect as Umbridge, and the film's increasingly darker tone worked well. The 3D version I saw was in 3D for about 20 minutes during the climactic Ministry of Magic scene. It was my first 3D moviegoing experience, and while it was neat in some respects (for instance when they're flying to the Ministry), I actually got a bit confused as to what was going on during the chaotic magical shootout. I would recommend those who can see it on IMAX to do so, but those who can't get to an IMAX theater aren't missing out on too much.

As for the criticisms...

The movie's omissions, which are a necessity to keep the films at a reasonable duration, were more glaring in how they deviated from the series's plot. For instance, if you blink you might miss the fact that they're taking classes and studying for the OWLs. Also, Neville's character, which Rowling really developed in the fifth book, got passing treatment but not enough, in my opinion. His connection to Harry was one of the most interesting things in the book to me.

Also, there were a lot of things from the book that were included but their significance might be unclear if you haven't read the books. For instance, I'm not sure what a non-reader would make of Harry's (very brief) invasion upon Snape's memories.

It was also a bit unfortunate that for all of the great actors in the film, there was very little for many of them to do. Daniel Radcliffe has definitely improved from the first movies (in which he was rather poor), but his emotions are limited by the script so that he has some moments of brooding and little else. Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleason, David Thewlis, Robbie Coltrane and Maggie Smith got about 4 minutes of air time each, it seemed. Ron and Hermione didn't have any character development, just there as sidekicks and heavy-breathers (someone get Emma Watson an asthma inhaler!). Gary Oldman didn't seem to have the same energy he had in Prisoner of Azkaban and Sirius Black had in the book, in part due to the script toning down his character, I think. Michael Gambon has definitely taken ownership of the Dumbledore role, such that I couldn't imagine the much more soft-spoken Richard Harris Dumbledore in many of the scenes in this film. Ralph Fiennes was menacing, but only in it for brief flashes and the fight at the end. Helena Bonham Carter was batty and little else - hopefully they'll give her the character development LeStrange deserves in the 6th film. Alan Rickman was great as usual, although his occlumency lessons with Harry were a bit underdeveloped in the film, I thought.

In fact, underdeveloped is probably the operative term for just about everything in this film. It has the makings for a better film, but they removed certain things that seemed really important in the book, and what they kept in should have been expanded upon.

Overall, it's a fun movie and the franchise is still in good shape, but it's a let down from Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire.

Bond
July 14th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Saw it on IMAX as well. The Harry Potter movies disappoint me in general because I find them tonally flat. The majority of this movie was Harry being mad but it had no texture and the context was muddled. I felt no emotional momentum or sense of escalating danger. Considering how important it is to remind the audience as to why Harry is perpetually angry I think the recap of Cedric's death should have been clearer but I don't think the fourth movie offered very good flashback footage. Also I always seem to notice the HP kids hesitating over their lines whereas with other movies I hardly ever get that feeling.

There were parts of the movie that I felt were good in isolation but they didn't gel. Luna looked great but the way I imagined her she should have been more loopy. Umbridge was portrayed well but for some reason I didn't feel satisfied with her storyline. It lacked something. I was expecting the musical score to parody her for example but I don't think it was as playful as it should have been. The action finale was one of the best so far in the series with possibly only the third movie's extended ending sequence being better.

Power to the J
July 14th, 2007, 10:27 PM
Now I feel like I'm not cool because I saw it on a regular movie screen...:(

Anyway, yeah, it's too much book for a movie. it was more of an action movie than anything else, and just about all character development was cut because of that. Ron said maybe 10 lines in the entire movie, and Sirius' death happened so fast I hardly could feel anything (emotions, I mean). It was still enjoyable, however, and I think the adaption of book 6 will be far superior.

JBI
July 14th, 2007, 10:38 PM
Fire the director and get a new one! Nah, just kidding. But when Cho said "Anyways" I just lost it. That is not a word, she should know that.

Anyway, the movie was a little flat up until the end, but the big fight scene was well worth the money. The visual effects were top notch on that, and Bellatrix was brilliant.

Bridie
July 15th, 2007, 03:32 PM
i liked it. But emma watson cant act. In anyway! it annoys me. The visual effects were stunning and i really like whoever it was who played Umbridge. she was creepy. I think they underplayed Bellatrix. I love Helena Bonham Carter and think in what little screen time she had she did amazingly! hopefuly next movie we will see more of her. I also liked Luna, the actress was very convincing in that role. Would have loved to see it in imax but my friends wouldnt shed out the extra 2 so i settled for normal cinema. My brother went to see it in imax though and enjoyed it but thought it somewhat unnessary.

U-Borat
July 16th, 2007, 08:32 AM
I found it to be quite underwhelming....
Having seen it rougly 10 hours ago...nothing stands out....it was a 'meh' film at best.

Shackleton's accent cracked me up.
Kreacher didn't do anything in the film, either.

Wulfa_Jones
July 16th, 2007, 11:27 AM
I'm a fan of the books and have enjoyed the films, so I'm planning to see it sometime this week.

I do expect there to be a great deal of plot missing, the book is rather on the chunk side and detail was bound to be lost. They could make two films based on the length of the most recent books. While I know it is necessary to trim the books down and the films should only really be seen as an acouplement to the books, I do think it is a shame that so much of the characterisation is lost in the big screen traslations.

Wulfa_Jones
July 16th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Double post!

Abby
July 16th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Double post as well. Something's up with the forum.

Abby
July 16th, 2007, 08:22 PM
I thought they did a better job with this one than they have with the previous films, because they allowed some of the character development to come through. Harry had an actual character arc! He went from doubting his own innate 'goodness' to realizing that his friends set him apart from Voldemort.

But like all HP films, they left out a few crucial details that would leave a non-reader feeling mystified. For instance: Why were the Death-Eaters searching for Harry's prophecy? This was explained in the book, vaguely (Voldemort had never heard the prophecy), but not explained in the movie. And the invisible horse-things appeared to be visible to everyone in that brief scene where the kids flew to the Ministry of Magic (in the book, Hermoine and Ron were freaking out because they couldn't see what they were flying on). The movie never explained why they couldn't just ride their broomsticks. And the movie never explained why Sirius Black mistreated his house elf, Creature (in the book, the elf was a traitor).

Little details like this could be added in 2 minutes of screentime, and would have left the audience feeling much more satisfied.

I think it was a better adaptation than Goblet of Fire, though. Goblet had a lot of character development that they just chucked out the window.