?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
OotP review - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
OotP review
Well, I finally had time this afternoon to catch Phoenix at a sensible hour, so I popped down to Loews and checked it out. Lowering expectations helps a bit--I knew that OotP would be flatly impossible to film--so I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed PoA (though not going to the midnight showing meant there were fewer hardcore fen to see it with, so the "way fun" factor was a little out).

Anyway...

The things it did right, it did very right. Imelda Staunton and Evanna Lynch were awesome additions to the series, as was Helena Bonham-Carter... though if you've seen the trailers, you've quite honestly seen all but one of her lines. Maggie Smith's part got reduced--naturally--but Dame Maggie definitely remembered how very much McGonagall rocks in this book, and did her two major scenes accordingly. The second best added line was hers, when Umbridge asks if McGonagall has something to say, and she says that she has any number of things she would like to say. And it was good that they decided that one or another of her students did tell on Umbridge about the quill, and she specifically went to the mat to defend the students against Umbridge's "medieval" methods.

The rest of the cast, in what little we saw of them, were also perfectly good. Kudos to the screenwriter and director for letting Rupert Grint give Ron a bit of depth this time. Emma Thompson didn't have much to do as Trelawney, but she was, as always, awesome. The Phelps twins managed their screen time better, not having to do the traditional twin act as much, and just doing the brother act. They were even given a little tiny scene comforting a non-existent character named Nigel, who must have started his life as Dennis Creevey, since he's obviously too young to have been at the Hog's Head. Where Colin was is a great mystery (perhaps Hugh Mitchell was otherwise occupied), but Nigel is too cute for me to hold it against them overmuch. Melling's Dudley was suitably bullying.

The possession of Harry--I suspect because the screenwriter and director looked at it in despair and gave it a lot of thought--actually came out clearer than it was in the book.

I want to get back to Imelda Staunton, though. She is pitch perfect. I'm not sure how a cardigan morphed into a suit, but whatever. It's still very pink. No little black bow like a fly, though.

The cinematography was good, the direction was good. The newspapers were well-used to tell stories quickly. Umbridge's office was just right.

The Patronus scene, as seen on every late night talk show, is awesome.

Added stuff I like:
The decrees all falling down when the twins leave.
The best added pair of lines: "Potter, tell them I mean them no harm!"/"I'm sorry Professor Umbridge, but I must not tell lies."
A motivation, somewhat sympathetic, even, for Fudge being totally deranged on the subject.
Sirius metaphorically donning the pink hoodie long enough to punch Malfoy.

I'm not sure what to make of the smoky moving around in the Department of Mysteries, with the DEs smoking around in black, and the Order smoking around in white. Visually stunning, but still kind of silly if thought about too closely.

Stuff I get losing, and just sigh that it couldn't be there
Okay, yeah, we didn't need to hear details about the giants or Hagrid's home life. There was enough to introduce Grawp, and that's really all they needed.

The full sequence at the Dursleys, with the constant owls and time passing. There was no time to get a little nervous, nor did we find out until after it was over that Harry hadn't had any news. (In general, the lack of emotional build-up is a real flaw, more than just an "Oh, well," but more on that later.)

Bat-bogey hex. I just wanted a visual on this, because I can't quite see it in my head. But, well, not exactly a major alteration, and I'm just as glad they showed Ginny mastering something more useful.

Dobby and the hats. Oh, come, give the little house elf a break. And how is it that Neville came to be the new Dobby? Did anyone reading the books ever think, "You know, Neville could fill all of Dobby's useful roles..."?

The St. Mungo's scenes. I loved them, but they were losable, I guess, except for... well, we'll get to that further down.

Stuff I get losing, but intend to bitch about anyway because... well, yeah.
I'd love to compliment Natalia Tena on being a great new addition along with Staunton, Lynch, and Bonham Carter--she seems competent enough--but who the hell knows? Not only did her part get pared down to a single line and some screen-shots (I think they only put her in at all because there'd be a Tonks-fan revolt if she wasn't there), but she lost her back-story from Sirius as well.

Which, well... Excuse me, the only thing we get from the family tree is Bella's name and Sirius's removal? Okay, I'm sure there are more important things that mean this is cuttable, but sheesh. Also, while I've seen decorative family trees like the one they showed, they're damned hard to follow, and that was most definitely not what was described.

The other rooms at the Ministry. Oh, fine. Okay. We didn't need to see them. I'll still be ill-tempered about it if I want to be, so there.

No Fidelius of any sort on 12GP. How can we continue arguing about whether it hid the house or the Order's presence in the house if the filmmakers don't give us anything new? ;p

No "Who do you know who's lost a buttock, Mad-Eye?" line. I mean, really.

Walburga's portrait. I was looking forward to this. Of course, given that they had to be told not to cut Kreacher, I suppose this was too much to ask for.

The detailed flashback to Marauder-era Hogwarts. Yeah, I get the way they did it, but still, it wasn't very satisfying.

Totally inexcusable losses and changes
Because they cut St. Mungo's, they lost Harry getting worried about being possessed, and therefore lost Ginny knocking some sense into him, which is when their relationship really starts to change, which has some implications down the road.

In fact, there's hardly any emotional work-up to [i]anything[/i] in this movie. It's obviously taking for granted that people have read the books, because otherwise, very little of it would make sense.

Lupin... excuse me, but when you have a well-loved character come back, he at least deserves to be mentioned by name once. Thewlis had a single line (granted, it was longer than Tena's single line). He was, for utterly inexplicable reasons, cut out of the Advance Guard. Maybe Thewlis was ill. They seem to have interpreted Remus looking worse as making him look drunk and on the verge of throwing up in the scenes he was in. Harry doesn't acknowledge his presence, despite the fact that, canonically, it was Lupin's presence that made it possible for him to trust Moody! (I suspected that R/T would either be prematurely played up or ignored, and the more I heard about the lack of screen time the grown-ups were getting, I strongly suspected it would be ignored, and, lo and behold, it was. This is not a change that's problematic, as there wasn't much to change in OotP.)

Back to the family tree scene--er, aside from the Tonks issue, which was minor, there was the little matter of Sirius's brother, which is likely to bite them in the ass in film 7. It would have taken maybe ten seconds of screen time to drop the first cookie crumb. Was time so precious that ten seconds couldn't be spared to set up R.A.B.?

Any set-up whatsoever with Cho, pre-kiss. We didn't even get an awkward reminder that she was Cedric's girlfriend until the kiss scene itself. Except for Hermione mentioning that it was good when Cho couldn't take her eyes off of Harry, there was no indication that Harry liked her, unless you count her going off in the carriage and him looking sort of vaguely in her direction. Come on--it's one thing to ignore things that lead into other movies... ignoring things that lead into scenes in the current one is just bizarre.

Umbridge breaking the wall into the RoR. Guys, excuse me, but you need a functional RoR for the next movie, kthnxbai. Think in the fourth dimension, here. You could have saved some effect money by filming it faithfully.

Skipping the situation with Percy right up until he shows up at Dumbledore's sacking. WTF? If you're going to skip him, skip him. If you're going to put him in one place, explain why he's there.

Other stuff
I'm not sure which category to put Marietta's loss in. It's a perfectly understandable thing and I don't have an especially emotional reaction, but the issue of her making a choice (as opposed to being fed Veritaserum, as Cho was) loses a major thematic point.

Why on Earth did they move the family tree discussion from summer to Christmas? I don't imagine it did any harm, except that it made it look really artless, like "Oh, better introduce Bella now, because we're breaking her out in two scenes," instead of making her part of the world before it became necessary, so that her escape was part of the fabric of things. The same amount of time would have been taken at the earlier point, and it would have made the beginning of the movie feel less rushed. (That was a serious problem--it felt like they were skipping a stone across the book at the beginning and I kept wanting to scream, "Hey, slow down would you? I'm trying to watch a story here, and I'm getting whiplash!")

Why was the Little Whinging playground apparently somewhere in Kansas, and however did Harry get home from there so quickly? Every other time we've seen an aerial view of the neighborhood, it's miles and miles of houses. Where did the fields come from? I mean, there's no real problem with it, but, you know... continuity. Maybe there are dried out barley fields in Surrey, and maybe that is a common place to put play parks--it's not a cultural question I ever thought to ask--but we've seen swoop-down aerial openings for several movies now, and that particular field was never there before. Where did it come from?

Since they removed all tension after the DoM scene and the Voldemort/Dumbledore battle, I was sort of expecting them to cut in a bit of snide humor when Fudge said "He's back," by having Dumbledore dryly say, "Well spotted, Cornelius."

The veil... kind of sucked. Just not a good set, not a good effect, very weird.

I'm not sure why the twins decided to escape during O.W.L.s. I can see the sense of having Harry's nightmare happen during the euphoria (in a visual sense, anyway), but I guess I'd have been more inclined to skip the O.W.L.s element than the actual motivation for the twins' departure. Of course, they skipped a lot of emotional motivations, so...

Bleh.

I bitch because I love. This was never going to be an easy movie to make--it's long, complex, and emotionally based rather than action based--and it certainly was better than it might have been.

I was reading vintage reviews of the first movie the other day, and someone mentioned the fact that HP is a classic in the making, and these will hardly be the last adaptations, so maybe future versions will fix the problems and make lots of new ones.

Tags:

61 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
minoukatze From: minoukatze Date: July 14th, 2007 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Myself and everyone I know who has seen it feel pretty much the same way. It just kind of zoomed along the story, touching lightly on the things that required mentioning but not lingering anywhere so that anything would stick.

This was never going to be an easy movie to make--it's long, complex, and emotionally based rather than action based--and it certainly was better than it might have been.

That's why I wasn't as disappointed as I could have been. When my friends and I were discussing it, we were wishing there were more of certain aspects, and my one friend asked "Well, what would you have cut?" And that's the thing...you couldn't really cut anything to make enough room for something else. I wish they'd have an extended edition like the LOTR movies.

I was reading vintage reviews of the first movie the other day, and someone mentioned the fact that HP is a classic in the making, and these will hardly be the last adaptations, so maybe future versions will fix the problems and make lots of new ones.

Deja vu:) I mentioned that to my husband last night- hoping that maybe in 20-30 years they'll perfect them:)



fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 03:22 am (UTC) (Link)
hoping that maybe in 20-30 years they'll perfect them:)</>

Seven-season series. Only way. :) They'll have to add stuff to the first two years, but adding is always better than subtracting. I say at that point, we pull in DanRad to do a fun turn as Lockhart.
(Deleted comment)
darkthirty From: darkthirty Date: July 14th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC) (Link)
My rambling long review isn't even done yet, however, you've got it absolulely right about the direct, for some crazy reason, seeming to make choices that reduce tension, instead of build it. Example - the wasted time with Arthur's "inexperience" with muggle transport - Arthur should have been giving advice while this went on, so that when they reach the part where he says "I can't come with you", it would feel to us like abandonment, and we'd "get it" better than Radcliffe having to mug it for us. A 3 minute boggart scene at Grimmauld Place would have built tension nicely, after that little spat with Sirius. Why didn't they do it? Another 5 minutes in the ministry, through the brain room and so forth, would have also built tension. Also, the widespread use of levicorpus was just weird - but then, Yates has to deal with that particular amundism.

There were so many scenes that dissipated tension instead of built it, and I hated the damn mistletoe - overdone, that.

People complain that OotP had too much exposition - I have never understood this complaint - I loved, revelled in the exposition, in what cannot, won't, and probably shouldn't be filmed - it should be alluded to, incorporated in other, cinematic ways, they way Cuaron did in PoA, but it exists as leisurely, pleasant "existing" in the world JKR created, loving the story of it, the colour and feel. It would take real vision to get much of that into a movie, and, well, not much made it, really.

Nevertheless, the movie was really fun, and operated as a kind of shorthand for the HP story - it was more fun than the almost literal, and rather banal, shorthand of the first two movies, but it was always going to be the most emotionally charged movie, with that sense of passionate idealistic youth facing incipient totalitarianism - where to go wrong
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
See, I vastly preferred the first two movies, and loathed the third--talk about skipping the stuff that was actually important!--but yes, you're right. It's shorthand. But as with shorthand, I can't imagine how much sense it makes to people who don't know what the allusions are!
dramaturgy From: dramaturgy Date: July 14th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Massive fail for setup of RAB. Massive, inexcusable fail.

Although I will say, from what I saw of the English countryside driving along a motorway out of London (albeit in the opposite direction of Surrey) it is quite possible that that's what it looks like in the middle of a drought. >_> Although really, you're right about it being surrounded in houses before.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Right. For all I know, Surrey's main economy is dried-up barley farming. I never really set anything in Little Whinging, so I never did real research on the setting. But where has it been? Since we've at least seen that Harry's house is surrounded by miles of other houses, that was quite a walk home carrying Big D.

(It did, however, seem an odd place for a park, just sitting there in the middle of someone's field. We know there's a local park from the PoA movie. Why not go back there?)
victorialupin From: victorialupin Date: July 14th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I pretty much agree with you completely. I thought OotP was marvelous in terms of acting and actually making people in-character, but there were a few things that they really needed to include and didn't. Like you said, leaving out Regulus was a huge mistake, but I think they'll have time to establish him in HBP -- the more pressing problem with the Black family tree, IMO, was the exclusion of Narcissa, who is the catalyst for so many important things in HBP. I really hope we don't see Lucius doing the Unbreakable Vow instead.

If you're going to skip him, skip him. If you're going to put him in one place, explain why he's there.

I felt that way about so many things. Like, why bother filming Snape's Worst Memory if it's going to be cut to 15 seconds and never referred to again?

But, aside from those problems, I really did love the film. And I think it's important to remember how difficult it must be to do the film when important elements have been left out of previous films. For example, I thought Mrs. Figg was out of place and poorly explained in the film, but she had to be there for the hearing and it's not the current screenwriter's fault that Mrs. Figg and squibs have never been mentioned before.

And, yeah, the veil sucked. Pretty much the most disappointing thing for me.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Eep, you're right. I was busy fuming about Tonks and R.A.B. and I forgot... the Malfoys are a pretty darned important thing Harry learns about the family tree!

On Snape's Worst Memory--yeah. Sure glad they bothered looking for cast members for that! I feel all Yoda-like: Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try. So do it or don't do it, but don't do a half-baked version, 'kay?
scarah2 From: scarah2 Date: July 14th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Sry2say, but Remus/Tonks doesn't serve any larger purpose in the books (so far) than Percy/Penelope did. It explains a behavior of a character that otherwise appeared suspicious, just like Percy/Penelope. Penelope actually got attacked by Tom Riddle's agent, and look at how much screen time she got.

I'm not saying this to try and sink it or anything, it's canon yay. I just don't see how it's important to the plot, any more that Filch/Pince. And I'm certainly not saying it because I ship Lupin with anyone else. I actually hate him and want him to die :D :D :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yeah, it hasn't so far served much of a purpose; totally agree. If I were the one choosing the cuts, that's absolutely what I'd choose, and I expect it will be cut in HBP as well. It was the lack of the two individual characters more than the ship that made me go, "PLEASE!" I had a thought that if they were going to spend time on the grown-ups, they might decide to prematurely tip their hand on it, but I was more expecting them to cut it entirely.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
singingtopsy From: singingtopsy Date: July 14th, 2007 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Annoying Quibbles

1. They didn't bring up Regulus or show his name on the tapestry even though the tapestry was obviously based on the more expanded Black Family Tree that JKR auctioned off (meaning they actually went beyond book canon in attention to detail). Even if they didn't want to waste thirty seconds talking about him, the fact that they didn't even let hardcore fans spot his name next to Sirius's is just plain sloppy. (Another tapestry error: I spotted the name "Sirius"--i.e. the ancestor Sirius--in two different locations o.0)
2. Harry taught the kids Levicorpus. In his fifth year. Why on earth would they do something that obviously wrong?!
3. Dumbledore (and at least one other character) referred to Voldemort as "the Dark Lord." Okay. Not only is that a Death Eater-specific title, but Dumbledore is opposed to using euphemisms for Voldemort anyway. So altogether OOC.
My theory about the gratuitous Percy Weasley is that JKR told them to keep him in...because he'll die in DH.
I love this movie. I think it's the best one so far. But I have no idea how they're going to pull off HBP now. If I were a scriptwriter I wouldn't even start a draft of it till I had read DH and had some idea of where I had to go in the end...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Annoying Quibbles

Well, there are at least two, other than "our" Sirius--Phineas's older brother, who died as a child, and Phineas's eldest son, who was an ancestor.
ashavah From: ashavah Date: July 14th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Most of the things that vanished I wasn't too upset about. More Tonks and more Remus would have been wonderful, so that annoyed me, and like you I am pretty sure the vanishment of Regulus is going to turn around and bite them in the behind come book 7.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC) (Link)
It definitely could have been worse. They could have done something equivalent to the PoA issue of skipping a major point of the story (like, Harry goes to retrieve the prophecy, but no one ever hears it and he never discusses it with Dumbledore... but no, they'd never do that! That would be like trying to tell PoA without the Marauders' story. Oh, wait. ;p)
alkari From: alkari Date: July 14th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC) (Link)
It wasn't so much that Tonks was absent, it was just that we never understood 'who' she was! The fact that she is an Auror working with Kingsley in defiance of the MOM; plus that she is Sirius' cousin, and that her dear aunts are Bellatrix and Narcissa, and yes, that there 'was' another Black brother called Regulus. Why couldn't the tapestry scene have been expanded by a couple of minutes to explain those aspects? All they had to do was have Harry peering at the details and talking to Sirius, just as he does in canon. Harry finding that Sirius is related to Draco Malfoy and Bellatrix was quite a shock, after all.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right--it was that revelation of how closely related all the purebloods are that, I think, was the main surprising revelation of the scene. How tied they are to everything, and how the war is very, very personal in many cases.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 14th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fern I agree on every point you made. Here's a thought though. Like so many "epic" movies the director comes out with a director's cut. This could be a possibility. They may have filmed all of those important scenes but had to cut them due to time constraints. Weren't there pictures of Maggie Smith in a wheelchair? I never saw those scenes. I guess I'll keep my fingers crossed on this....
~sam
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
(I nuked the duplicate comment.)

We may see the McG stuff; I don't remember a wheelchair shot, but you're not the only one I've heard mention it. But the deleted scenes would have to set some kind of record to cover most of it, and I don't see how they could do things like put Lupin back in the Advance Guard. Does anyone know if Thewlis was ill? That seems like the only reasonably good excuse for him to not be there.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Expand
gloryforever From: gloryforever Date: July 14th, 2007 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
You want to know what really pissed me off? The Daily Prophet gets more screen time than Thewlis and Tena put together. It's like, yeah, WE GET IT that the Prophet is lying. But my real problem was the "Dumbledore and Potter vindicated" headline. Hell, there are things in fan fiction that are less out of character.

Your thoughts on the Dumbledore/Harry scene after the Mom?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, the Prophet's actual article was more along the line of, "Why Nobody Believed Albus Dumbledore"... which, given the self-justifying approach, was probably a re-hash of the same erratic behavior they'd been noting all year, with the "reasonable" conclusion that they couldn't have been expected to take him seriously, after all.
jedirita From: jedirita Date: July 14th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Pardon me for butting in, but I'm always interested in your reviews of the movies.

I'm not sure which category to put Marietta's loss in. It's a perfectly understandable thing and I don't have an especially emotional reaction, but the issue of her making a choice (as opposed to being fed Veritaserum, as Cho was) loses a major thematic point.

I disagree. The movie had an obvious theme of isolation vs. standing by your friends, and I thought the switch to Cho fit into the trust vs. exclusion thing very well. It even has a nice echoing of the whole Remus/Sirius/Peter suspicion from the first war to it (granted, not that you'd know from the movie, but....) I just felt that emotionally it fit with the themes much better.

Similarly, I thought the tapestry discussion fit right into that theme of isolation vs. belonging and was a great set-up for Sirius' death, even though the "We'll be a family after this is all over" line was a giant red shirt.

And in keeping with the theme, Hagrid's reappearance immediately after Harry had one of his down moments (I can't remember now what the specific scene was) was just the emotional affirmation we needed at that point. Even the emphasis on "I'm the only family Grawp has" fit into the theme, and made me like - or at least tolerate - Grawp more than I ever did in the book.

I'm totally with ya on the Kansas thing, though. When we saw that playground, I leaned over to my friend and said, "How did England end up in Kansas?"

Oh, and Tonks? D00d, there was SERIOUSLY not enough Tonks.

I am curious to know your reaction to the Sirius/Harry hugs. I seem to recall you commenting on the Hagrid/Harry hug back in CoS, and all the ways in which that was wrong. If that was indeed you, what did you think of all the Sirius/Harry hugs? I don't recall them hugging in the books.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 14th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think they fit Sirius, actually, but, as I said, like, 30 seconds ago on SQ, they would have been a whole lot more effective to show how special Sirius is to Harry if Harry hadn't been engaging in promiscuous OOC hugging since the second movie!
lyras From: lyras Date: July 14th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for this. I've been saying since I saw the film that when they messed about and gave characters extra screen-time (Sirius with Harry, Neville) to make up for the things they couldn't fit in, they ended up oversimplifying, but I couldn't quite put my finger on why. As you say, it's the characters' emotional motivations that suffer in order to keep the plot whizzing along.

That said, I enjoyed it a lot, which was a very nice surprise!
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: July 15th, 2007 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I really enjoyed Order of the Phoenix. They did a pretty good job adapting such a large book. They moved scenes around but I thought that worked for the most part.

I think you definitely have to start with the acting first. Daniel Radcliffe has gotten better and better in every film. His intense "Look at me!" scream at Dumbledore caught me by surprise. Evanna Lynch was terrific as Luna and really brought the character to life. The Harry/Luna chemistry was so good that it made me wish the two would end up together in the books. I hated Umbridge as much in the movie as I did the book so that means Staunton did her job perfectly. Michael Gambon still plays Dumbledore with less of a twinkle in his eye than he should but we do get to see more of that Dumbledore in this film thankfully. I pictured Bellatrix Lestrange as more of a "hard woman", someone who was never glamerous. That being said, I enjoyed Helena Bonham Carter's "mad witch" routine. Movie Ron finally is portrayed like Book Ron for the first time since The Sorceror's Stone. He's funny without being stupid and is a loyal friend to Harry. He's even endearing in his attempt to "rescue" Hermione from Grawp. I suspect this change is due to Steve Kloves not writing this script. Unfortuneately, he'll be writing the script to the Half-Blood Prince. Bah!

Tremendous action and special effects. Cutting the audio during Harry's screaming anguish over Sirius was particularly effective. Even some attention paid to the book with the goat behind Aberforth Dumbledore. The lack of Lupin and Tonks was disappointing and I was sorry to see McGongall's best scenes were not in the film. I like what they did with Neville although it would have been more emotionally effective to have seen his parents at St. Mungo's. Complaints aside, I think they did a really good job this time.
darth_pipes From: darth_pipes Date: July 15th, 2007 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I didn't actually realize that Cho had been slipped Veriserum. I definitely understand having her be the one to reveal Harry's location as opposed to Marietta. Harry and Cho definitely needed another scene together to end the relationship. Maybe in Half-Blood Prince but I doubt it. It ended up like the Marauder's Map backstory ended up in the films...

Having Harry go into Snape's mind and see Snape's worst memory made sense storyline-wise. My problem with it is that it was too short to have the desired effect. Basically, you sympathize with Snape and realize that James and Sirius could be major pr*cks sometimes.

Speaking of new scenes, any thoughts on seeing Azkaban Prison for the first time, Fern? Seeing as it's never appeared in the books, I thought it was cool to finally see it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 15th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed! Azkaban looked like a seriously scary place to be imprisoned. Good job on that!
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 15th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Prophecy

IMHO, the movie had a HUGE plot hole wrt the prophecy. They never really explained WHY Voldie wanted to get the damn thing so much. So he just wanted some random ball of glass and that's what the whole fuss is about?

I think the fact that he half-knew the prophecy and Dumbledore wanted to keep it that way was the main point of Book 5, wasn't it?

I also wonder if that means that the prophecy is not gonna be that important in Book 7.

Yeah, the veil. It was supposed to be like a curtain (which connects it to the DH cover art, according to most theories). Well, maybe those theories need to be rethought.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: July 15th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just saw it, and my personal peeve not already listed is the lack of Sirius-Snape confrontation. Neville was every minute awesome, though, even without the St. Mungo's scene.

Really looking forward to Bonham-Carter as Mrs. Lovett.
ladylavinia From: ladylavinia Date: July 16th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here is a link to my review of ORDER OF THE PHOENIX:

http://ladylavinia.livejournal.com/45101.html
tunxeh From: tunxeh Date: July 16th, 2007 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure why the twins decided to escape during O.W.L.s. I can see the sense of having Harry's nightmare happen during the euphoria (in a visual sense, anyway), but I guess I'd have been more inclined to skip the O.W.L.s element than the actual motivation for the twins' departure. Of course, they skipped a lot of emotional motivations, so...

And having the O.W.L.s supervised by Umbridge, and having all the kids cheer at having the exam that determines their whole future disrupted (with, given the political situation, little chance of any kind of makeup). Looks good on screen, doesn't stand up to much thought.

I bitch because I love. This was never going to be an easy movie to make--it's long, complex, and emotionally based rather than action based--and it certainly was better than it might have been.

Well said.

I was reading vintage reviews of the first movie the other day, and someone mentioned the fact that HP is a classic in the making, and these will hardly be the last adaptations, so maybe future versions will fix the problems and make lots of new ones.

I'm not at all convinced that a sequence of movies is the right format for a visual adaptation of these books. But then, I would have said the same about LotR, and I thought those movies worked a lot better.
61 comments or Leave a comment