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