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July 12th, 2007


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05:43 pm - I really need an new HP icon, honestly...
So, I had a weird day yesterday. Went to work--went home an hour later with a migraine headache. A bad one. Fortunately, it only lasted about four hours total (most of which I spent sleeping it off), and since I was already out on a sick day, I took the rest of the afternoon and mostly finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Still my favorite of the books, I think.

It's weird how much attention I find myself paying to Snape in this re-read (the first complete re-read I've done since Half-Blood Prince came out). Trying to see if his behavior fits "Voldemort's man" or "Dumbledore's man" better. Not that I actually believe he's anything but Dumbledore's, through and through.

I was feeling fine by evening, just in time to don my homemade Ravenclaw scarf (blue and bronze!) and head off to a showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.


I thought that Harry and his friends were well-developed, mostly. Even though Harry was his broody OotP self (with less capslock), the Trio's friendship just shone, for me. The entire series of scenes involving the D.A. were also fantastic.

Imelda Staunton is amazingly nasty and sugar-tongued as Umbridge. The scene in class where she tells everyone that Harry's story is lies was...horrible. And the further along we got, the more creepifying and sugary she got. *shudder* I'm deeply impressed.

Dangit, there should have been more Lupin. What, could they only get David Thewlis for two days? What there was, I really liked, mind. I'm just peeved that Lupin didn't go along on the rescue-Harry mission at the beginning.

Best moment, as in most like what I saw in my head, and the one that choked me up completely: the aftermath of Sirius' death, Lupin grabbing Harry and holding him back from the Veil. OMG. *tears up again*

Almost made up for the sort of anti-climactic actual death. Bellatrix did not AK Sirius in the book! Hmph.

The other thing that helped make up for the weirdness of the death is the bit in the battle when Harry and Sirius are fighting side-by-side. That was splendid and wonderful and better than it played in the book, even. (Heresy, I know.)

A lot of people are peeved about one line during that fight. After Harry gets off a good shot at Lucius Malfoy, Sirius shouts, "Good one, James!" Now, I get why this is bothering people--Sirius actually seems a good deal more sane in the movie than the book, and it's not at all clear that Sirius ever confused his best friend and his godson anyway. I didn't mind, though, because the whole fight it's pretty clear that Sirius knows who he's fighting with. If his tongue slipped (he's used to fighting next to James, not Harry), it's not a huge deal. I think it even makes sense as a character thing.

Overall, I enjoyed the direction. It's an attractively shot movie, very realistic in its way. The plot cuts were made for expediency, and even where I found the transitions or time-swapping a little jarring, it makes for a tight, well-paced film, and I can appreciate that.

EXCEPT. Oh, boy. I've been looking forward to the fight in the Ministry for a long time. Don't get me wrong; there's some excellent stuff, and the Ministry itself looks amazing. But there wasn't enough peril for the kids (no Hermione almost dying), there wasn't enough fighting from the kids, and once the Order showed up, the action became very muddled. I hate that. I want to SEE the action, kthxbai. Which is one reason I loved the Sirius-Harry dueling team. :-)

The Voldemort vs. Dumbledore duel felt off, as well. Too much pyrotechnics, not enough dialogue to explain what's going on. Also no Fawkes swallowing the AK! WTF, Yates? We'd already seen Fawkes with Dumbledore in the movie, would it have killed you to include that here?

I did, however, like the way Harry's possession was handled. I had no idea how anyone could use a visual medium to get across that moment where Harry flashes on Sirius' death, and his love drives Voldemort out of him. It was managed by including not only Sirius, but Ron and Hermione and everyone else Harry loves, and I felt it really worked.

Weasley twins rule, of course. And I liked Luna very much.


More later, possibly.


This film continued
Current Mood: okayokay

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Comments:


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From:trinityday
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
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I'm just peeved that Lupin didn't go along on the rescue-Harry mission at the beginning.

That part made no sense. I mean, he was in the movie. He was in the next scene, with most of the same characters that were at the rescue, so I don't really see how it could be a matter of who's available on what day. But then, I have very little idea about the whole filming business.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 13th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
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He was in the next scene, with most of the same characters that were at the rescue, so I don't really see how it could be a matter of who's available on what day.

Movie filming is often broken up by what set they need to film on that day (because of the time it takes to get all the cast and crew there, and to set up sound and lighting and tracks for the camera if it needs to move, etc). So it's possible that Thewlis wasn't available when they were shooting at Privet Drive, but was available for the days they worked on the Grimmauld Place set.

Doesn't annoy me any less. More Lupin, plz!
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From:jhall1
Date:July 13th, 2007 09:45 am (UTC)
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I saw the film yesterday too. I enjoyed it, but not as much as the last two. I think the main problem which they had was that the book's so long that a lot of significant characters and scenes had to be reduced to hardly more than subliminal appearances. The film looked magnificent, in particular some of the internal and external shots of Hogwarts. The actress playing Luna was brilliant and for me she stole every scene that she was in.
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From:jn_oscargrouch
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
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Yes! I completely agree. I giggled every time she was in frame, "look, Looney Lovegood!" LOL! She was perfect.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
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I agree that they had to cut a lot out, but the "subliminal appearances" you mention is something I enjoyed in Goblet of Fire, and in this film as well: things in passing or in the background which are in the book. Not necessary to be explained in dialogue for this film's story to function, but still there, not cut completely, not outright contradicted. (The Skivving Snackboxes, for instance.)

And Luna was indeed brilliant. :-)
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From:jhall1
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
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***spoiler alert***
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When I talked about "subliminal appearances" I was thinking of characters such as Tonks (who apart from her great "don't call me Nymphadora" line hardly had any dialogue), Lupin and Ginny (who is in a lot of the scenes but hardly has anything to say). Also we had the big kiss between Harry and Cho, but after that the film didn't show us how their relationship was progressing (or regressing!) at all. Given that, one wonders why they included the kiss.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 13th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
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Well, since Tonks doesn't have a huge role in the onscreen plot of this book, I didn't mind that her role lost lines (at least we did get to see her morphing!). I agree that Lupin and especially Ginny should have had more lines and/or real screen time (though Ginny's Reductor curse is pretty freakishly impressive).

Re: Harry/Cho...I thought the romance got a similar treatment as it did in the book, if slightly less screen time. And I was initially thrown by Cho being the tattle-tale rather than Marietta, but given the condesed needs of the plot, it made sense...and it was one way to push her and Harry apart, even if it did become clear later that she'd been questioned under Veritaserum.
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From:feliciakw
Date:July 13th, 2007 01:13 pm (UTC)

Spoilers for the uninitiated (is there any such person?)

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I have not yet seen the movie, and I have no intention of seeing it until after I've read HP7. I've read a review or two, though, and I'm of two minds.

On the one hand, the review I read said that the movie was too dark, that "Harry Potter has lost his magic," etc., etc. The reviewers point--having not read the books--is that the movie has to stand on its own, as a movie. Which is true, from a movie-making standpoint. And I can appreciate where he's coming from.

HOWEVER . . .

This movie is based on the darkest book in the series up to that point. Harry is broody? Well, duh!!! He's a 15-year-old boy who has the most evilest wizard in the world out to kill him, he's got a teacher who purposely makes him torture himself . . . And he can't figure his girlfriend out. He's extremely popular and well-liked--in an underground society he was cajoled into creating. Things are both very good for him right now, and very bad for him right now. It's a dark story.

It's interesting to me that I'm becoming one of those people that when I hear someone talk about how great a movie is, if it's one I've read the book upon which it's based, I'll say, "Read the book. It's much better." There are some movies that do stand well on their own, minus the book (I saw Gone with the Wind before I read the book, and I still haven't read the LotR series yet. Narnia was very good, from what I remember of the book), but more often than not, the source material book is much better. I think that's why, in a lot of ways, I've found the HP movies to be something of a let-down.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 13th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Spoilers for the uninitiated (is there any such person?)

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Ha! Word to pretty much everything you say here--a lot of people hated this book because it's so dark! I loved it, for that reason, because of the realism it seemed to add to Harry's journey, for the way it brought us with him through the transition from childhood to adulthood, with its knowledge and responsibilities.
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From:jn_oscargrouch
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
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I'm re-reading "Half-Blood Prince" and doing the same thing with Snape, and I still haven't been able to tell. GAH!!! He plays both sides SOOOOOOOOOOOO WELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! I kinda have this theory that he's not on either side and is trying to become his OWN side, which makes sense for Snape, because he really is an outsider to both. Now, weather his motives are good or bad, I don't know. However, I REALLY hope that theory is false and that he's on Dumbledore's side and that he was acting on D's orders, not V's orders at the end of Half-Blood.

If you haven't read my post, I agree with you on almost all of it. :-) I think it's the second best, thus far, of the movie bunch, behind Azkaban of course.

I liked that Bellatrix used the AK on Sirius, because, him accidentally falling behind the curtain in the book was SO LAME!!! It drove me bananas! I actually thought the fighting in that sequence was much more interesting in the film than the book. To me, the book read like wizards shooting lasers out of their guns-er-wands. This felt more like wizards in combat. But that's just me.

Anyway, I digress...
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From:rose_in_shadow
Date:July 15th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
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Agree, agree.

One thing I really wanted to see more of was Snape's worst memory. Just tantalizing glimpses were all we got to see!
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 17th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
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True about Snape's worst memory--though I have to say I was very pleased with the casting of Young Snape and the Young Marauders, what we did see of them. :-)
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From:kalquessa
Date:July 17th, 2007 06:18 pm (UTC)
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Imelda Staunton is amazingly nasty and sugar-tongued as Umbridge.

Bill spent every scene with Umbridge in it making a fist in my pant leg and grinding his teeth. I knew he hated Umbridge (don't we all?), but I had no idea it was that bad. I agree, she was perfect.

The other thing that helped make up for the weirdness of the death is the bit in the battle when Harry and Sirius are fighting side-by-side.

That made me really happy, too. Was the bit where Sirius shouts "Nice one, James!" in the book? I can't remember, I only read it once. I thought it was cool, anyway, and made perfect sense as a slip of the tongue.

The action at the end, I agree, was kinda off. I was really looking forward to all the weird stuff they encounter in the Department of X-Files and we really didn't get much beyond the prophecies and the curtain. And more kids vs. Death Eaters would have been nice. Once the adults showed it was all smoke effects in different colors. Weak!

Also Neville's possible connection to the prophecy was skipped, but I'd expected that so... *shrug*

But Luna was awesome, so yay. The little gal they got to play her was channeling Ernie the whole time and it was great.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 17th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
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Bill spent every scene with Umbridge in it making a fist in my pant leg and grinding his teeth.

There was a lot of squirming and clenching my hands, too--I mean, I hated her in the books, but watching her onscreen was just nasty. The detention scene? I wanted to throttle her.

Was the bit where Sirius shouts "Nice one, James!" in the book?

It's not, that's film-only added dialogue (as is Harry's "I'm sorry, Professor, but I must not tell lies," which got a huge cheer in my theatre). But as you say, it makes perfect sense as a slip of the tongue, especially since this is Sirius' first time out fighting since Azkaban (as far as we know). And I loved that Sirius' first move in the battle is punching Lucius Malfoy. Oh yeah. *grin*
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From:kalquessa
Date:July 17th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
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The "I must not tell lies" line isn't in the book? Huh. I could have sworn I remembered reading that. It seems so very JKR (a little contrived, yet a lot satisfying). It got a bit of a cheer in my theater, too. Mr. Bill said something very intellectual like "Yeah! And the the horse you rode in on!" or something like that. Have I mentioned his pathological hatred of Umbridge? Yeah.

Yeah, the punch was very satisfying. If there's one thing wrong with the wizarding method of one-on-one combat (zip! zing! zowie!) it's that there is not enough good ol' fisticuffs. If I were Sirius, I would totally go for the old fashioned knuckle sandwich before anything else.
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From:izhilzha
Date:July 17th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
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The "I must not tell lies" line isn't in the book? Huh. I could have sworn I remembered reading that. It seems so very JKR (a little contrived, yet a lot satisfying).

It is *very* JKR, isn't it? I'm pretty sure it's not in the book. I guess I'd have to actually check the scene to be completely sure, but I think it's just in the movie. (I love it, though.)
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From:scorptilicus
Date:August 2nd, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Dangit, there should have been more Lupin. What, could they only get David Thewlis for two days? What there was, I really liked, mind. I'm just peeved that Lupin didn't go along on the rescue-Harry mission at the beginning.


I know! I loved him in Prisoner. He's one of the reasons that I realized I liked that movie (and the character) so much. He finally comes back and he barely gets a cameo. Arrgh.

Also no Fawkes swallowing the AK! WTF, Yates?

ITA. I figured we'd see him again after he already showed up (right before Kingsley's nice line, hee). I wanted to see that onscreen.

Still, great movie. On to the next!!

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