Thursday, July 12, 2007

Visual Review

OK - I hope that I have at least a few visitors from the Hogwarts Sock Swap visiting my blog, and I'd like to open up a discussion of the movie here on my blog! I doubt that anyone involved in the swap is unaware of the actual events that would be in the movie, but just in case, I want to have this discussion here instead of there, to avoid "spoiling" any movie happenings for those that didn't rush out on opening day like me. Sorry, it's a tradition for me - I've never not seen the movie the day it opens! Wasn't about to start now.

So, I saw the movie with my cousin and her 12 year old son yesterday aftternoon. It was excellent! It appeared very dark, though, and I'm sure that was to keep the mood of the book. I made sure this time to review the book before the movie came out. I actually listened to it on tape in the evenings while I knit on MS3. And I remembered that when reading it the first time, I kept thinking - man, Harry's having a bad year! So much stuff was taken from him this year - privileges, the knowledge that his idol/mentor Dumbeldore was supporting his efforts, quidditch and his broomstick, his godfather to top it all off in the end, etc, etc, etc. So, it was a tough year for Harry, and I think that's why the majority of the movie was so dark, visually.

I also noticed, having read the book very recently before seeing the movie, that they changed a few vital points in the story! Most notably to me was that they made it Cho Chang that betrayed Harry by telling about the secret, DA meetings! I thought that was very interesting, and wonder what Rowling herself had to say about that, and also how it might fit into later movies/books. I guess in the long run it all works out in that the main thing - the secret club being discovered did happen, is all that matters!

What else . . . I keep thinking how dang lucky Rowling was to have chosen the people she did to play these characters - not only the kids, who get more gorgeous each year, but the adults as well. Snape/Alan Rickman gets me every time. I love his timing, and his attitude, and the way he plays his detest of Harry, Hermione, and Ron so well! He's really a brilliant actor. Every word he utters, every gesture is 100% right on!

The only change I would have liked to have seen was the Umbridge character. I really didn't like her. Maybe that has something to say about her being a good actress and all, but I was really hoping for Judi Dench. For some reason, she was who I kept picturing as I read the book, and well, I don't like my visual ideas being changed like that. I wanted Dame Judi!

Anyone else have any comments? Did you like something I didn't? Did you completely hate it? I know someone on the sock swap blog said she didn't think the movie was the best one she'd ever seen. So, what is YOUR favorite one? Do you think this one ranks highly, gets good marks, etc? Or what?

I loved it, as usual. Besides Dame Judi, I wouldn't have changed a thing! Well, maybe seeing a litte more of Ron's side of the story and the fact that Ron and Hermione were supposed to have been prefects this year . . . that kinda was forgotten 100% . . .



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw it yesterday :). My review of it: it was a great show. Entertaining, explosive, and kept to the story-line for most of the part. I was a little sad that they made Cho the "bad guy" but I realize that it is a way to get her out of Harry's eyes and get Gini in. It would have been better to have kept her as one of the group, but not much we can do.

I would have liked the movie to be longer though...I felt that it was rushed at many points. But then again, I would sit for an 8 hour HP movie :).

I am planning to see it again in a week or two when the crowds have dwindle a bit :)

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it's hard to keep all of the things in the book in the movie; this book was the biggest yet. So I can make exceptions for the same things you mentioned, except I didn't like that they blamed Cho for the betrayal, even under Veratiserum. Also, Harry never handed the prophecy over--he'd rather have died than done that. Still, I liked the movie. I figure I'll like it even more once it comes out on video & I watch it again.

And yes, aren't the kids growing up beautifully? I just love that. It's funny how perfect the cast is, especially because they were so young when this whole thing started & maybe had no idea they really wanted to pursue acting.

I didn't have anyone in particular in mind for Umbridge, but I did expect her to be fatter & grosser, for some reason.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I agree, I agree, ladies! I thought about the whole issue with Cho being the "first" girlfriend and Ginny needing to come into the picture with the next movie, and I was very happy to hear that she only told under veritaserum (although in the book, Snape gave Umbridge a fake serum, didn't he?).

1:05 PM  
Blogger T&J Baadmedicine said...

Heather - it's T. from Hanami Knitalong - can you email us at to get you added correctly?

2:43 PM  
Blogger Kadiddly said...

I saw it opening night, too!

I don't think they changed anything really vital - I don't think they could, really. I've never really liked Cho in the books, so it didn't bother me in the slightest that they made her the rat instead of trying to introduce a new character so late.

Unfortunately, Rowling can't get the credit for casting - she has nothing to do with who gets what role! I do agree, though, that all the roles are incredibly well cast by the studio. Although I adore Dame Judi Dench, I just really can't picture her being so sickenly sweet for the role. Although I hate the character, the actress (can't remember the spelling of her name right now) did a great job creating someone you love to hate! I wanted to throttle her!

The kids were great - I think these movies are far more interesting now that they are actually learning to act and grow with their characters. They just have more depth now than the first two movies.

Alright, back to knitting, and I still have to reread HBP before next Saturday!

~Kadiddly, aka Narcissa Skrewt, Hogwarts Sock Swap First Year

1:54 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

kadiddly - I was of the understanding that Rowling has a LOT of control over this. I recall reading articles about how she insisted the child actors be "unknowns" in the beginning, and how she also insisted the actors all be English-born, not US stars/wannabees! I may have to look this up again, but that was my understanding, anyway!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Rowena Butterbeer said...

Hiya, Acro! Thanks for offering up this post to us sock swappers! It's nice to see other people's opinions outside of the ones you usually read.

I've got to say, wow! Dame Judi is much more like the Umbridge I imagined as well! Versus Staunton, I'd probably pick her! (Now I've got an itch to see Shakespeare in Love. XD)

I went to go see it in IMAX on saturday, and I loved the 3-D part (from the thestral ride to Harry in his dorm room). The falling prophecies and the group of five wandering around them really stood out. The battle also benefitted from this.

I really thought that Harry being quidditch captian had some of the more funny points in the book, and showed his good capabilities as leader (not just for D.A.). I missed that. Also, his shouting at Ron and Hermione was something I was expecting, and was very sad to see it not there.

I'd have to rate this one my second favourite, right after Philosopher's Stone, as it's the movie that got me into this mess. (:

I also saw it at midnight when it came out and dressed up for it. One of three who did... sad. ): (Oh, well. It gave me an excuse to wear my finished scarf!)

5:36 PM  

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