Friday, July 17, 2009

So I got to go out with my wife and watch the latest Harry Potter movie. Years ago my wife and I watched the first film and then started reading the books. I have read all the books more than once and seen every movie. I probably know more about the series than all of my bloggity friends combined. Before we start any who knows more about you know who wars, let me just say that on my side I have an unreal memory for useless facts and there are an obscene number of useless facts in the series.

Anyways, on to my review.

The movie opened with a scene that is not found in the books. In fact it was pretty different from the books when you get right down to it. 3 death eaters blast into Diagon Alley and into Olivander's shop before flying into a footbridge causing it to collapse while full of people. These events are alluded to in the book, but it is stated that there was no sign of a struggle when Olivander disappeared leading many to guess that he went into hiding, was a DE, or was captured by the DEs. Of course, those that have read the last book know what happened to Olivander. Actually I think that this opening change was better for the movie and takes advantage of the fan knowledge that is already in place.

Think about it. In the book there is a somewhat whimsical scene where the Prime Minister is introduced to the new Minister of Magic. This wouldn't make a good scene for film, much less an opening scene for film. The alternative is to show us exactly what happens to Olivander, even if the event is somewhat blown out of proportion to the books. It was made bigger and more appropriate for film.

The reason I think this made for a good opening scene is that it basically showed me that the book was a loose guide for the film, much as the previous entries had been. The film makers kept to the basic plot and held to the biggest plot points while making their own film based on the book.

That said I do have a couple of big complaints. There is a scene right in the middle of the movie that was not in the books and resulted in something that will significantly alter certain scenes in the following movie. I am concerned for what the plans are, but I think this scene was put in because of something they want to do in the next movie.

My next big complaint is the end of the movie lacked the big fight scene. I can only assume that the film makers wanted to drop the fight within Hogwarts (yeah if you didn't know about it I'm not giving anything away since the fight doesn't happen and if you did know about it, well then I can't really spoil anything for you can I?) because it would feel too familiar when they spend so much time with fighting in Hogwarts during the final film. It doesn't matter though, I wanted to see that fight.

Now on to the things I liked the most. I loved the interaction between the characters as the whole relationship thing sorted itself out. I work with teens and it felt really … well … real. Emma Watson is becoming a great actress. She seemed to really like Rupert and he honestly seemed thick. The film almost spent too much time on the relationships. If they hadn't done such a good job I would have felt the neglected the major plot for the minor one, but in the end I felt that it was perfectly handled.

Finally tally, the book was better, but this movie was better than the previous movies except the first one in my opinion. I feel like the characters are becoming more real and that is great. I wish they had given more time to some of the minor characters like Neville and had not changed the actors for some of the others but overall I give it a big recommend.


Helen said...

I hope to see the movie this weekend.
I've read all the books, and have seen all the movies except the latest so far, but I will bow to your greater knowledge.
It's a shame they don't pay more attention to Neville though. That could cost them...

Holly Brennan said...

I went to go see this movie last Friday night with a friend. At the end, there was a grown man down the row from us sobbing. You know, not the silent tears discreetly running down your face, but the kind of sobbing that tears through a box of tissues.

I agree with your review. I loved it, and think it was one of the better of the series.

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