Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Harry Potter: A Duo of David Yates

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: 4/5
It was this movie that started the career of the man who is now known to have directed half of the Potter films. His first one in the series was really controversial, if that. This is when I started hearing complaints from fans of the books most, however not much from people who had never read the books. However, there is no doubt in my mind that this one is good. I think this is a combination of the fact that this one came out on days before the final book installment, and not only that but I was getting into film at around this time and I was starting to comprehend how much it takes to create this movie.
At first, I admit, I was very much upset. The longest book in the series had the shortest amount of screen time, and not only that, but some of my favorite parts were cut out. What in the name of Merlin's pants is this?! However, I will always stand up for this film, the least liked among the series because of these reasons:
1. It really does stick to the main points of the book. You see Harry going through personal pain because Dumbledore is ignoring him, the place he once called his home is now overtaken by the evil Umbridge, his love growing for his godfather Sirius, and his fear that his friends will n
ot understand what he is going through. All these main points really shine through in this film, and for that I am pround of what writer Michael Goldenberg has done (and by the way, this was the only film not written by the writer Steve Kloves).
2. Umbridge was phenomenal. They could not have cast anyone who fit the role more perfectly. From her annoying little giggle, to her insincere smile, she was hands down the best choice for the film's villain.
3. Luna Lovegood was also more perfect than words can describe. She really was the Luna I imagined, and further I could relate to her on so many levels.
4. The little easter eggs that were put in before the 7th book always make me happy. Especially the one with Aberforth at the Hog's Head with his goats :). That will always have a little nostalgia for me. I remember not too long after my finishing of the 7th book, I went and saw this one in IMAX. When the WB logo popped up, with Hedwig's theme playing behind it, I almost cried.
5. It kept things from the books that were important to me, even though they didn't make the biggest appearance at the end of the day. Kreature talking to his Mistress' portrait was very hard to miss upon first viewing, but now I pick it out instantly. Also, Tonks falling over the troll umbrella stand and her making faces at the dinner table are very sweet reminders of the little things in the series that make us all laugh.
So at the end of the day, I really loved Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, even if you didn't. Sure, it was disappointing to have the Department of Mysteries scene pretty much cut out by a lot, but at least it kept the battle, unlike its predecessor.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: 3.5/5
Now, this one is hands-down my least favorite Potter film, but I'm not saying that I ha
te it or anything of the like. It's just the one that disappointed me the most, and to be honest it still does after re-watching it. I will give it the benefit of the doubt that there was a lot of information in the 6th book, but I feel like the fact that they twisted around the chain of events, and also eliminated a lot of the sacred memories, was a tragedy that Steve Kloves should have foreseen. Upon reading the 7th book, this film should have been the best out of the series. He knew what to put in it, and what to not put in it, yet I feel like he just disregarding it all and made a film that ended up making me feel like he maybe he was still bitter from not being asked to write the 5th.
Here are some of the very important scenes Kloves left out:
1. The memories. The two more important ones being Tom Riddle asking Dumbledore to have a position at the school as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and Hepzibah Smith showing Riddle Hufflepuff's cup. I can understand why Steve Kloves wrote out the Gaunts, though I really don't want to. Their story was easily missed, seeing as all the chain of events in the film can make sense without it. It's a really good story, no doubt, but if there was one memory that should have been cut, that was the one to go.
2. Dumbledore not putting a body-binding curse on Harry at the top of the tower. I really disliked this because it made Harry seem almost like a coward. And Harry not one second EVER trusted Snape in the books, so why did he trust him to waltz on by him and Avada Kedavra Dumbledore in the movies? It doesn't seem right, and I dislike the way this was done.
3. They didn't show the diadem in the Room of Requirement. This really angered me, more than you can know. I have searched high and low for that diadem during that poor kissing scene between Ginny and Harry (which by the way the never even mention that Ginny's broken off with Dean). They should have, and now that he hasn't seen it I can only wonder what they're going to do with the final film. Also, how will Harry know about Hufflepuff's cup being a horcrux? And Voldy's passion for Hogwarts items?? He doesn't, and to me this causes a problem. I blame Kloves for this lack of information.
4. And what was up with Quidditch? I was actually fine with it when they annexed it from the 5th movie. It was never a key plot point, so it was easily looked over. However, there is one scene of Quidditch in the 6th film and if they were going to put it back in, at least do it right and show all the matches, not just one. And speaking of, since when was Katie Bell in Harry's year? It really made me angry that they shoved her into his Potions class when she has no business being there.
5. Madam Rosmerta was not in this film, and therefore was not imperiused by Malfoy doing all his bidding, like giving Katie the cursed necklace and Slughorn the poisoned mead. It's small, true, but it played a big enough role to make me twitch with frustration. Also, there was no presence of the Ministry of Magic.
and finally 6. The first battle at Hogwarts. The Death Eaters glide so easily through the school, it's sad. The audience doesn't know that Bill got his scars from Greyback, nor are they aware that Fleur has fallen in love with him. We do not see the teachers fight for their school, and show their devotion to Dumbledore. We are also unaware of Neville, Luna, and Ginny's devotion to Harry and their second encounter with Death Eaters.
All these things may frustrate me to no end, but all-in-all I still like this movie. I am moved when Dumbledore dies, and I love the build up for Ron and Hermione's relationship.

"Anyway, my mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end. If not always in the way we expect."

See you in the end Sirius, James, Lily and Dumbledore :)

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