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Old 07-25-2009, 01:37 PM   #106
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I didn't like what I'd heard over the past two years about how they were adapting the story (this might be my favorite of the books, and the memory/backstory part has a lot to do with it) but as it turns out it didn't bother me. I'm a big fan of the books, but I'm a bigger fan of talented film-making that stands on its own. POA is my favorite film not only because its visually sophisticated, but because it was really riffing on the plot and brought heart/emotion to the acting and darkness to the proceedings earlier than the books did. Cuaron and Kloves weren't afraid to streamline the plot for fear of Pott-heads that don't know much about movie-making, and Yates did his best to be in that same vein with OOTP which I liked a lot, but here he takes that influence and with the help of Delbonnel as DP, really comes into his own as director of the series. The cast all do an exceptional job (although to be honest, I've only ever found Rupert Grint as OK, mostly because he doesn't seem to fit the character from the book at all, but that's also partly because of the way they've written him), Yates strength comes from his great work with actors and the tightness he brings to his films/series, and this is more of that. The very end is a tad rushed, but I'm talking about everything after the wands-up scene, they let it be a cliffhanger instead of tying it neatly together despite all intent to continue the way the others did, but the way the rest of the plot is condensed is just fine. I thought everything from Felix Felicis to the wand tribute was executed extremely well and a lot more emotional than I found it in the book, and I didn't miss the battle at all, we'll get enough of it in the final film, and it would have taken away from the tension the scenes in the tower had. The biggest bold move that paid off, Nicolas Hooper basically ignoring all the musical cues from the early films, . No offense but I much prefer scores that compliment instead of draw attention, and its such an easy cop out to use old music when working in a franchise. I like Williams themes, and don't get me wrong I love his work, but film fans and film-makers alike seem to think that everything post-Star Wars needed a huge orchestral score that'll have you whistling instead of remembering what else went into the film, the more noticeable a score, the more instant-drama they add to a film, either subtracting from what was a great acting performance, or covering up lazy acting. So kudos to Hooper, I liked his work on State of Play (Yates' series, not the movie) and OOTP, but this one was excellent.

Biggest surprise? Tom Felton hitting it out of the park with more than just his usual skulking, the range he executed was killer, if he can make you feel bad for Malfoy and think, well after all that he wasn't evil, you know he's done a good job.


Here's how I would rank them:
POA, who cares if Cuaron switched up the continuity, he made it look bold and exciting the way it should have in the first place, and you can tell which director in the series knows how to work with actors, and which knows how to stage children's movies. Interesting that he and Kloves seemed to hint at Ron/Hermione before the books really made it clear.
HBP
OOTP, impressive to turn the book that has too much subplot and lagging into the most streamlined and breezy film, more in line with Cuaron's style, great effects.
GOF, from the maze scene on this film is an absolutely perfect adaptation, and Ralph Fiennes is the ultimate coup for the series, but the rest of it is hit or miss, there's a lot of bulk to the story and clearly they weren't as decisive in terms of what should stay and what should go, the result is very choppy (the disappearing World cup scene? keeping in little bits of parts in the book like the reporter character instead of fully committing to leave something in or out). I still like it a lot, but the other 3 are a ways above it for me
COS, huge improvement on the original in terms of acting and bringing the story to life, but still lifeless. I fucking love Dobby though, he's the only thing I was disappointed over getting cut in the subsequent films, the importance of which wasn't really noticeable until the last book, now they have to bring him back but his connection with Harry/the audience will be a lot weaker given his absence.

Stone, did a good job with casting, but the art direction/costumes were really uninspired, and the screenplay is just goes through the motions, I call the first two audio-books with visuals.



Can't wait to check it out in IMAX.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:54 PM   #107
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Also, I think I really get why they showed more classroom/boarding school stuff this time around, its been awhile since the movie series has really shown that, and in fact we've never gotten that feel as much in the movies, and this was their last chance to do that, so I don't mind. You really feel like you're living and growing up there with the characters in the books, who still have to deal with being directly surrounded by their teachers and peers in spite of live-changing drama and delving into mysteries, they have to balance that and school work, and when to bend the rules, and you don't get that overall atmosphere as much in the films, even in this one. We have cast members for a lot of the background cast, but the rest of the students never quite feel like a part of the trio's lives. So I see the intent to make HBP as more of the school-age movie that the rest weren't, and for that intent I liked it. Sure I would have liked to see at least one more memory, but as a narrative device in a movie it would have been hard to pull off more, I did want to see Riddle's family though, I think having them wouldn't have spared too much from the rest of the book.

The one unfortunate thing about the cutting in these books, which I usually praise, is that Voldemort is a lot more 1-dimensional than he turned out to be from Rowling's writing in the last 3 books (and somewhat in GOF), his crippling fear of death to a sociopathic degree, his pureblood obsession (given his own background which we don't know as much about in the films, it has a kind of Hitler subtext, and given he's halfblood and the potions books' scrawlings dark-side it really makes you wonder whether the prince is Voldemort)/fear-mongering in the real world. His actions and the actions of the followers' during HBP also aren't felt as much as I thought they should be, we really got the Hogwarts isn't the safe-haven you thought it was feeling in the last three, but despite all of what's going on outside the Hogwarts in HBP feels safer for some reason, it wouldn't have required a lot of screentime to show the students reading the Daily prophet a little more, showing the presence of the aurors at school a tad more.

That's all I lament, that atmosphere is missing a bit, and Voldemort while brilliantly portrayed by the actors who contribute to his character, isn't as developed, perhaps the attention to detail in Deathly Hallows will fix that a bit, but the 'let-down' of an ending really fit his character to me, which I don't know if audiences will feel the same way in the movie given the previous installments)
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:19 PM   #108
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The bad:
- The Burrow getting attacked, which will look weird considering it's a hideout in DH.

The ugly:
- leaving out the fact that Horcruxes are the Hogwarts Founders' items (see above re: Riddle memories), which will look weird in DH later
Yes to both of your points!
 
Burning down the Burrow was totally senseless, and made no sense at all, since it plays an important role in DH. Why'd they insert that scene but leave out some of the more important memories?

I agree, the bit with the Hogwarts Founders' items is probably the second most important of the memories (after Slughorn's correct memory) and they totally left it out. I know they decided not to reveal the idea of Horcruxes until near the end of the movie, unlike the book, but they could've had Dumbledore show this memory to Harry and say, "Tom was fascinated by the relics of the Founders, I'm not sure why. But these two went missing shortly after this happened."


Tom Felton's performance was wonderful, you could see he was feeling so important at first, then getting stressed and terrified as the movie went on. I almost -- almost -- felt sorry for Draco.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:22 PM   #109
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I finally saw it today. I absolutely loved it. It was much funnier than the other movies. Rupert was hilarious in the scene after the love potion. The cinematography was amazing. There were certain scenes where you literally feel like you're in the movie. All of the actors have grown a lot, especially the main 3. There was some parts of the book left out, but it covered all the main plot points well. And yes, I did cry when Dumbledore died. His death scene and the aftermath, with everyone raising their wands was beautifully shot. After this, I can see why DH is being made into 2 movies. If it wasn't, it would literally be 6 hours long.
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Old 07-30-2009, 09:48 PM   #110
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Finally saw it today Definitely the best one yet, IMO! I was disappointed with some of the things left out and adding in the destroying of the Burrow....what was with that?? I agree with everything Sue DeNym said

Definitely still not as good as the books......of course.....

Overall,


ETA: I'll admit to jumping out of my seat when the inferi appeared out of the water
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:26 AM   #111
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ETA: I'll admit to jumping out of my seat when the inferi appeared out of the water
My friends and I all did that too. I almost dropped my popcorn.
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Old 07-31-2009, 01:19 PM   #112
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ETA: I'll admit to jumping out of my seat when the inferi appeared out of the water
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My friends and I all did that too. I almost dropped my popcorn.
That was the best part!! I knew it was coming, so it didn't scare me, and I was looking at the people around me to see how they'd react. It was hilarious watching everyone scream bloody murder. My poor friend was so terrified, she didn't let go of my hand for several minutes after that scene.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:05 PM   #113
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That was the best part!! I knew it was coming, so it didn't scare me, and I was looking at the people around me to see how they'd react. It was hilarious watching everyone scream bloody murder. My poor friend was so terrified, she didn't let go of my hand for several minutes after that scene.
I knew it was coming because I remembered it from the book, but I didn't think it would be that loud.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:33 PM   #114
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I wish I had re-read the book prior to the movie. I needed a refresher, as it has been a while since I read it. I couldn't remember anything that was coming (a few things seemed familiar) :Phail:

May have to re-read again soon
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:55 AM   #115
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Going with a date to see this for the second time on Monday night. Is it a bad thing if I'm on a first date with a girl at the movies and I'm staring at the screen literally drooling over a 19 year old British actress? Probably. This won't work out too well.
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:11 AM   #116
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I think the rule in general is typically not to do movies on a first date, period. Let alone ones filled with some-what creepy objects of lust on your behalf.

However, as far as date movies go, I'd imagine this Harry Potter is one of the better choices one could make.
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:48 PM   #117
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Though he's probably always lusting after someone on the big screen, no? After all, you're talking about GAF!
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:08 PM   #118
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That was the best part!! I knew it was coming, so it didn't scare me, and I was looking at the people around me to see how they'd react. It was hilarious watching everyone scream bloody murder. My poor friend was so terrified, she didn't let go of my hand for several minutes after that scene.
I jumped up and held onto my friends arm for a few minutes. Luckily there was no one else in the theater besides us!!
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:13 AM   #119
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I was *SO* disappointed with the movie, parts of it were wonderful and great but on the whole it seemed really flat and morose rather then as epic as the book is.
One thing they changed that really annoyed me was not freezing Harry when Dumbledore is on the roof. No way would Harry let snape walk past and motion for him to be quiet because Harry fully doesn't trust Snape and wouldn't just stand there and let him kill Dumbledore.
Also the part in the book of when the spell breaks as Dumbledore dies is fucking HEARTBREAKING. That would have been wonderful on screen nwing ths pell has broken because Dumbledore is gone. *wail*
I also am cross because they've totally gutted Voldemort. While i think both actors playing him were great and creepy, they left out a lot of his backstory, which i think is going to be hard to then explain the restof the horcruxes in DH.
Also, i think they should have shown more of the Tonks/Lupin storyline, and less on the whole Lavender/Ron pretend, which I did enjoy but felt it went on too long.
And no battle scene? Why have the death eaters there if they do nothing? I wanted to see the battle scene at hogwarts!

anyway besides those few quibbles, and the changes to the story line, it was an ok film, just very flat thats all.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:13 AM   #120
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I was *SO* disappointed with the movie, parts of it were wonderful and great but on the whole it seemed really flat and morose rather then as epic as the book is.
One thing they changed that really annoyed me was not freezing Harry when Dumbledore is on the roof. No way would Harry let snape walk past and motion for him to be quiet because Harry fully doesn't trust Snape and wouldn't just stand there and let him kill Dumbledore.
Also the part in the book of when the spell breaks as Dumbledore dies is fucking HEARTBREAKING. That would have been wonderful on screen nwing ths pell has broken because Dumbledore is gone. *wail*
I also am cross because they've totally gutted Voldemort. While i think both actors playing him were great and creepy, they left out a lot of his backstory, which i think is going to be hard to then explain the restof the horcruxes in DH.
Also, i think they should have shown more of the Tonks/Lupin storyline, and less on the whole Lavender/Ron pretend, which I did enjoy but felt it went on too long.
And no battle scene? Why have the death eaters there if they do nothing? I wanted to see the battle scene at hogwarts!

anyway besides those few quibbles, and the changes to the story line, it was an ok film, just very flat thats all.
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