Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Jedi_Master_Conor, Jul 11, 2007.
I hope it's better than Sirius' death scene.
Bollocks, says I! The scenes I've watched here and there, coupled with the overall sense conveyed by the numerous trailers, mark this as the best Potter yet -- or at the very least, on par with the others plus the added bonus of lush, luminous cinematography. I'll not hear a word from these negative Nellie critics.
FOX News has a feature called Maxim Mondays. This week is [link=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,532062,00.html?test=faces]the Hotties of Harry Potter.[/link] They even found an old "cheesecake" shot of Maggie Smith
My wife and I were a little underwhelmed by the finale, which is considerably pared down from the book, but overall HBP has an emotional resonance that marks it as unique in the series. It's very funny and entertaining, with luminous cinematography, and probably the best performances in the series so far. But it is uncharacteristically slow-moving, and feels like a long build-up to a climax that does not happen the way it feels like it should. That said, taken as a series of 8 films, this one probably needs to be a build-up, as the filmmakers do not want to repeat themselves in the one-two-punch, mother-of-a-blowout finale "duology" to follow.
I loved it. Every minute of it. There are some things that I would change but it's been a long time since I've left a movie feeling satisfied that's been adapted from a book. Just love it. Once the gushing has passed I will write up a review but right now just in awe and yeah.
I went in dreading this one, but overall I really quite enjoyed it. I went to the 12:01 last night with my sister and some friends. My sister and her group got their around 9:30 and got great seats in the back of the theater. So no neck craning for us! We had all the fans dressing up. People had the robes, school uniforms. We had a dumbledore and I saw one guy with Moody complete with the eye and staff. I had a t-shirt my sister made me that said "Snape Kills Dumbledore" which I kept covered until after the movie so as not to ruin it for anyone who hadn't seen the movie. Overall we had a great experience.
As to the movie itself:
Alan Rickman was fantastic and it was nice to see more screen time for him, McGonagall, Hagrid and even a speaking part for Flitwick (which hasn't happened since movie 1 it seems)
The increased roles for Malfoy and Ginny were quite good and the girl playing Lavender did a wonderful job.
This was definitely one of the funnier movies and I think a lot of that has to do with the cast having been together for 6 years that their chemistry is so great. The stuff with Harry and Ron, Hermione and Harry, and anything with Snape was great.
Absolutely loved the twins' shop in Diagon Alley and Umbridge doll screaming "I will have order!"
The scene with the burrow attack still felt forced an unnecessary.
One thing that does irk me and has ever since Movie 4 is Michael Gambon's Dumbledore. I'm not sure if it's the director, the screenwriters or Gambon, but he just does not personify the Dumbledore from the books. He seems less sure of himself. The brilliance demonstrated in the books is not there in the movies. I can not understand why they changed Slughorn's memory to remove the word "horcrux" as well as not even alluding to the possible horcruxes (cup, locket, snake). The diary and ring were also extremely underplayed. Instead, Dumbledore seems to not know about the horcruxes and only the magical items and he has no idea what the objects are. Without those extra memories, what do Harry and Company have to go on toward finding the others in the next movie?
That's really my only complaint. Everything else was great. I liked the Avanda Kedavra scene because Rickman's Snape has always seemed far more kind then the one in the book and this one was no exception. This movie pretty much made it clear that Snape didn't want to kill Dumbledore and he also saved Harry from harm. He never lost his cool or raised his voice. That slow drawl "You dare attack me with my own spells?" and "I am the Half-blood Prince" were so much better delivered in Rickman's slow voice instead of being shouted in the book.
The only other thing worth noting is that Greyback was extremely useless in this movie and was not once mentioned by name. Only a poster was there to identify him.
Does anyone else find it amusing that after nearly killing Malfoy, Harry isn't even reprimanded by Snape or McGonagall?
Increased screen time for Malfoy, Snape, Dumbledore, Ginny, Luna, and even Ron makes for a really nice treat with this film. There was a lot for the filmmakers to juggle this time around.
I personally love Gambon's interpretation of Dumbledore. When he is quiet and calm he sounds very kind and thoughtful; when he is assertive he sounds like he won't take any **** from anyone; and when he is weak and vulnerable he is very sympathetic. I don't really understand the issue some fans have with his performance, which I think is masterful and much more subtly done that R. Harris' one-note, Merlinesque good guy.
As to the [hl=black]horcruxes[/hl], I agree with the screenwriter that the important idea at this point is simply to establish that such things exist, and that they will be the key to Potter's ultimate victory. It isn't necessary at this point to overload the audience with TMI. Especially now that DH has been split into two films, the next movie can spend more time detailing what the [hl=black]horcruxes[/hl] are, what specific form they are in and how [hl=black]they can be destroyed[/hl].
As to Potter's nearly [hl=black]killing Malfoy[/hl], yes it would have been best to show him being reprimanded for it, beyond Snape's glare. In the book it was a much bigger deal as I recall, but even in the context of the movie story alone (irrespective of the book), there seemed to be a disconnect here.
I thought this was one of the best Potter movies, I know they left a lot out from books, but I haven't read the book in so long I kinda forgot what's been left out. It was definatly the funniest one out of all them and for the first time: [hl=black]I was actually interested in the Ron and Hermione romance, I just couldn't get interested in it in the previous films, but here they finally focused on this aspect.
Also, everything from the Cave part to the end of the film was just perfect. Even though they changed the ending, I still think the new ending was a good addition.
Also, after seeing this film, "The Battle for Hogwarts in the next film has to last at least a half our more, I can't wait to see that.[/hl]
Overall I felt that HBP was absolutely fantastic, but I did feel that the ending seemed slightly anticlimatic without the big battle. I think they also did a great job of adding all that humor which really did lighten up such a dark movie, without stealing from the drama of the movie.
$22.2 million just from opening midnight sales in America!
Yeah, the midnight showing we attended was a five-auditorium magnum opus with standing room only and jammed seats! No wonder it made a jillion dollars.
Great, great movie. The focus was really on the characters this time, and other than the waitress/Burrow scenes, very true to the book.
Ginny is really her own character now, more depth to Hermione and Ron, Lavender was great, Draco was great, Dumbledore and Snape were great, McGonagall and Hagrid were back, Flitwick was there, Madam Pomfrey was there, even Sprout's greenhouse was shown even if she didn't appear, and of course Harry was great.
They really are all superb actors and actresses now.
[hl=black]It even included Aragog's funeral and the speech, which I thought would have been cut!
It was also nice to see the class of First Years! And Dumbledore remembering Harry as the boy from the cupboard.
They also threw in Dumbledore's portrait, and talk of Regulus Black, which is very good.
I only wish there had been more shock and surprise at Snape's "betrayal." For Harry and Snape to have more anger in them during that confrontation.
I see why some people may think it seemed anticlimatic, but I think it was very artfully well done.
I also did not once think of it as a "kid movie" in any way, it was dark and humorous, but overall a very adult movie, especially in the way they handled the ending.
I was HOPING to see a Harry Potter themed banner up by this time. I asked Conor and he said he'd fix it.
I won't be seeing it until next week.
If this is the spoiler-allowed thread, why are folks blacklighting the spoilers? Anyway, here are my thoughts. caveat: I've not read any of the books, and don't plan to until after I've seen all the movies. Overall I enjoyed HBP, but have a few nitpicks:
The movie felt...choppy, for lack of a better word. It was like a series of skits patched together, rather than an overall story. However, in the movie's defense, I did drink a crap-ton of coffee beforehand and had to make a bathroom run several times
Death Eaters, WT[censored]: They destroyed the bridge...why? Likewise, at the Weasley farm, given that Arthur Weasley went on about how Molly never leaves the house for fear of attack, the Death Eaters got through all the trouble to separate everyone from each other in order to...burn the house down? Why not just go ahead and smoke Molly instead?
What the deuce was up with Dumbledore's hand?
Like I said, I enjoyed the film and will likely see it again if the opportunity arises, but I was a tad bit disappointed after OotP, which is my favorite after PoA.
What was the soundtrack like? The same old trusty score, or anything new that stands out?
Similar to Order of the Phoenix soundtrack, perhaps a bit darker and more emotional. Certainly nothing like the old John Williams scores.
In the book, this happened off screen, during a scene where the British Prime Minister is speaking with the minister of magic. It's used in a way to show that Voldemort is attacking the muggle world as well as the magic world.
This wasn't in the book, and I agree that the whole scene feels wrong.
His hand was cursed by the ring Voldemort used as a Horcrux. In the book it really has more of an effect on Dumbledore, and he seems weakened by it.
Speaking of Dumbledore, I'm glad they showed more of his "dumb blonde" side with this film, like the scene with the knitting magazine. In the books he reads more like Yoda in ESB. Like a crazy old man that shows flashes of genius, and just so happens to be the most powerful wizard alive.
On the other hand they don't play up Dumbledores wizarding abilities enough. After reading each book, during the epilogues where Harry would explain what happened during each adventure to Dumbledore, it always felt like even if Harry had failed that Dumbledore could have stepped in and fixed things. He just always allowed Harry to do the dirty work, because he felt that's how it needed to be done. So when I first read the scene where Dumbledore dies, for the first time in 6 books it really felt like something bad was going to happen. I just don't get that feeling with the films, because they've never really shown how wise or powerful he was, and most importantly how much he protected Harry.
With all that said, I rewatched the first three films, and let me just say thank goodness for Michael Gambon. I never liked Harris' rendition.
It did feel a little choppy at times, but it really had everything, although a few more memory scenes were cut showing Voldemort's parents and grown Voldemort.
His witch mother Merope Gaunt was abused by her father and brother, the father and brother (Marvolo Gaunt and Morfin Gaunt) were sentenced to Azkaban leaving Merope free to do what she wants, she later used a love potion to seduce and marry the wealthy Muggle Tom Riddle (who had been engaged to a Muggle girl before the love potion, think of what it did to Ron), but took him off the love potion when Vodemort/Tom Marvolo Riddle was born, and she died after giving birth to him in an orphanage because she lost the will to live. The father Tom Riddle lived in that house near the graveyard in Goblet of Fire. Voldemort found the ring in the Gaunt's old shack, his grandfather was dead but his uncle Morfin was still alive. Tom Riddle was 16, just having learned about horcuxes from Slughorn, when he then killed his Muggle father and Muggle grandparents and made the ring into a horcrux with his father's death, and framed his uncle Morfin for it, who then died in Azkaban.
There was also an important memory that showed Voldemort coming to Hogwarts and trying to become the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher , new headmaster Dumbledore rejecting him, and Voldemort then cursing the teacher position so no one would ever last more than one year in it.
The book also explains the horcruxes more, including what Dumbledore thinks the other objects might be. But I won't ruin it for you here!
Yeah, the bridge scene and Burrow burning scene, as well as the waitress scene, were not shown in the book. But it is told in the book that the Death Eaters have been targeting Muggles, killing and torturing them. Remeber, Death Eaters think Muggles are subhuman, and like hunting them for sport. The Muggle news reports a bridge went down because of a hurricane, but Harry reads in the Daily Prophet that it was a Death Eater attack, and I believe giants were involved in it too. I'm interested in how they'll do a certain scene in Deathly Hallows that takes place at the Burrow...
As for Dumbldore's hand, the Gaunt Ring was cursed, Dumbledore found it in the Gaunt's old shack and was tempted by it and tried to put it on, Snape contained the curse to his hand, making it dead-looking and blackened. There is a lot more to this too, which is an important plot point in Deathly Hallows, so I won't tell you about it here.
Chosen one? Last time we had a chosen one he wiped out the entire order!!!
Malfoy is closer to being the chosen one--he was at least chosed by someone for his mission.
Speaking of Malfoy, the actor is way too old looking to be playing the part. Yes, I know it's the same actor as the rest of the movies, but the simple fact is most of the "children" are way too old.
Why aren't they wearing their school uniforms for most of the movie? I thought all the characters were supposed to be in uniform while at hogwarts, and only in mod clothes/civis when in the muggle world.
Harry's scar is invisible for 99% of the movie. Even when he points at it. Did make-up forget, or is it a combination of lighting and camera work that made it disappear?
Overall, while the beginning of the movie made me feel like I'd somehow missed an entire film, the ending was very much "The Empire Strikes Back", where the chapter ends, but the story isn't finished.
As for the trailers:
Where the Wild things Are--based on a beloved childhood classic, desecrated so that we could make a buck.
Sherlock Homes--the victorian action hero running arround with asian martial arts and rediculous exploding buildings while investigating a vampire... um... Is this a Tim Burton movie? Seems about as much to do with Sherlock Homes as Sleepy Hollow's Icabod Crane.
Lightning Theif? Why couldn't it have been a preview for Thor?
Shorts--waste of David Spader's time on something that looks like an incrediblly stupid nickelodian/kid's movie. I pity the poor parents who haveto suffer through this.
Mr Despicable: interesting CGI movie. almost looks like pixar. filled with Voice talent I've neaver heard of.
The movies have always shown the kids wearing Muggle clothes when they're not in class. HBP doesn't have anything new in that respect.
Tom Felton was 21 playing a 17-year-old. The other main actors tend to be about 18 or 19 playing 17-year-olds. This mild discrepancy is mostly due to the production cycle, which has averaged 1.5 years per production, supposedly depicting a time span of 1.0 year(s). You can hardly fault the filmmakers, or Tom Felton, for not churning out a movie a year. Films of this level of production and craftsmanship take time to create. And anyway, 18-21 playing 17 is not "way too old". You're clearly exaggerating for effect.
Wild Things doesn't look "desecrated" to me; it looks unique and engaging, even visionary. Jonez is not exactly known as a sellout, as you might have noticed.
Plus, Malfoy's appearance had more to do with the situation he was in more than the actor's actual age. Someone who had to endure that much stress over a period of 8-9 months definitely wouldn't look good.
I know the Potter movies likely won't ever win any acting awards, but if anyone deserves a Best Supporting Actor nomination, it would be Tom Felton. He did a phenomenal job on HBP.
Felton truly acquitted himself beautifully in HBP. We'll be seeing more of him in future, methinks.
Fine, he is way to old looking to me.
I was not criticizing his acting ability, simply commenting on the look in the movie. For all I know, it's make-up's fault.
And yes, teenagers are almost always played by people in their early 20s. I understand this. No biggie. But they usually cover for it with make-up, hair-styleing, wardrobe, etc.
Well, as I have no idea who Jonez is, what his relationship is to the movie, or to the book, No, I haven't noticed. What I said is based on my impressions while watching the preview. Seriously, though, WTWTA is what, 300 words or less? How are they going to get a 90 minute move from that? What's next, "Goodnight Moon, the movie"?
They did it with Jumanji.
Spike Jonze (I misspelled it "Jonez" the first time) is an acclaimed director known mainly for Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. He does not make populist, commercially-geared films, but challenging, high-art, philosophical pieces. The buzz about Wild Things is that it's anything but a desecration, rather a celebration, even a consecration of the material. You look at the trailer and see desecration, what can I tell you about yourself that you don't already know? You hate 99% of all movies, so what's the point in my trying to sell you on it? But the answer to your question is "imagination and artistry".