Harry Potter fever is again sweeping the nation with the fifth movie in the series having opened and the final book due for release on July 21.
Here is the latest selection of Your Reviews:
A good introduction to the occult for children.
As excited as I was after queuing for an hour for my ticket, I was very disappointed in the new Harry Potter movie. While the cinematography is outstanding, the clothes cooler and the music very contemporary, the story was weak. Being a huge fan of the books, the lack of character development in the minor characters was evident and will affect the next two movies, as characters such as Tonks, the Weasleys and even Snape are lacking in the depth that gives essential shape to the story. The lack of Maggie Smith was a shame, as I think young Emma Watson still has a lot to learn.
The group I went with agreed on one out of five, Hopefully the book out this weekend lives up to our expectations.
So, tucked safely in the abyss of my mind is another instalment of Harry Potter. From the great mind that gave us "muggles" (which, aren't we all secretly at heart?), Order of the Phoenix takes Harry to his darkest place yet. Abandoned by all except his truest friends, he must undergo numerous struggles including a fluffy pink reminder in Dolores Umbridge that not all believe him that the dreaded Lord Voldemort has returned. This, so far, is my favourite book. Not having read the seventh and final instalment, I love what Harry must go through and I feel that his greatest loss yet gives him the strength to go on and continue fighting.
That being said, yes I'm an avid fan and thus a little disappointed that they couldn't get every little bit of the book into the two hour and a fifty minute movie, but hey, when have they yet? However, I feel that this is a great adaptation. Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have grown so much as actors in the last five movies. I truly believed in their peril and, for once, Hermione isn't that bossy, annoying voice in Harry and Ron's heads reminding them what's right. I loved their performances and found myself entranced by the performances of the so-called "side kick" characters of Neville and Looney, excuse me, Luna Lovegood, played by (Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch respectively). I found myself wanting to shout aloud "Go Neville" several times. His progression as a character has really developed and Lewis' acting matches beautifully.
I loved to hate the unbearable Dolores Umbridge, played by the talented Imelda Staunton. She drove me insane. She played the epitome of an over the edge believer and happily wrapped it in a pink package. And I was, of course, floored by Gary Oldman's performance. He Is Sirius to me and always will be. As for Dumbledore, I really feel that his character has finally been played justice in the movies. Yes, it's the same actor from the previous two movies, but the character has finally leaped off the page and onto the screen.
I did miss certain portions. I looked forward to (non-readers avert your eyes to the next paragraph) George and Fred's fit of rebellion. Don't worry, loyal fans, it's there, but, in my opinion, not to the full spirit of what it could be. I also wanted to see a certain character at a certain hospital, but because of time constraints, it was unfortunately cut. And what happened to Ron and Hermione becoming Prefects? Then again, when something's not too terribly important in the grand scheme of things, it usually does get cut.
But that's it. Apparently David Yates got the memo on Goblet of Fire. We didn't need so many heavy handed CGI scenes or pointless action scenes. We love Harry for the characters and the pacing of the story, which to me, these always interrupted. So, thankfully, Yates trimmed them down and left us with glimpses to give us just enough of an idea about what's going on and pushed on with the story. Yay! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the big action scene as much as anyone, but when it goes on for a full five minutes of pointless flying over a forest when that five minutes could be filled with actual dialogue scenes from the book, I'd take the dialogue. When he does action scenes, however, he does them right. In the big confrontation at the end of the movie between two certain wizards, it is huge, powerful and doesn't at all make you wonder who has the biggest wand. The kids' battle is succinctly perfect, and although I would have rather had a little more than we got, I was happy with it as is. Grawp is awesome, literally. He's a sight to see and I actually felt something for a voiceless CGI character.
I must, for publicity purposes, say one thing about The Kiss. It was sweet. It was nice, it was what it should be for the two characters. But I feel that the subsequent scene following the kiss was much more important and much more worthwhile to the story on whole. And, I did love all the little foreshadowing moments that JK couldn't write in without being too blatant because they are all about a certain look or subtle interaction that only a visual performance can give.
All in all, I have to give this one an A-. It was beautifully performed, wonderfully adapted (as best as possible for the longest book of the series), and amazingly pieced together but I still didn't feel that "thing" that's impossible to describe. There was still a film (no pun intended) between me and the action on screen that made me not feel it as much as I wanted to. My favourite movie in the series is still, by far, Prisoner of Azkaban and I think it's because of the directing. It was funny, but not many people in the theater (or theatre, as I am in New Zealand) laughed. There were moments to cheer, but not many people cheered. There were definitely moments to cry, but I didn't see too many discreet sleeves meeting eyes. But will I see it again before I buy the DVD? You know it. I'm probably going next week.
I agree with the previous writer, and would also sit through any amount of time to see a thorough movie including the whole book. Personally I think the whole movie trilogy should've been avoided, it really went off track with the main themes of the book, and somewhat tainted the original charm of Harry Potter. In this particular movie, I didn't feel the crucial bond between Sirius and Harry. The book thoroughly describes the relationship between Harry and Sirius and what it means to Harry in particular. The result was that Siruis' death in the movie did not have the impact it should have had on the viewers. A disappointment.
I thought it was really great - a lot more serious than the previous movies, a bit more adult. The fight scenes were really well done.
However I still think the books are better, because you can't fit that much depth into a movie or it would be 10 hours long. There was quite a bit missing. But I think those who haven't read the book will still pick up the main idea.
On par with the Goblet of Fire.
Matt and Deidre
As a mature Harry Potter fan, I felt the movie did let down fans in a few places. As younger viewers noted there were differences between the book and the movie. While the characters are older and reflected this in the movie the kissing scene was overkill for those of us wanting to see more action. Obviously the direction a director takes the actors impacts on the overall visual impact. With this being the 5th in the series it is pretty hard to continually develop characters and plots within a given time frame. For me personally I would sit through any length of time if the whole book had been depicted throughout the movie.