sprezzatura: (DH Poster Snape)
[personal profile] sprezzatura
Not exactly.



Well, I didn't hate it. I haven't quite made up my mind what I did think of it and I definitely need to go and see it again, but it was a million times better than Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Some of it I loved. Hermione's reading from The Tales of Beadle the Bard is illustrated by an absolutely gorgeous animation of the story of the three brothers, which may have been my favourite bit of the whole film. Many scenes looked exactly as I had imagined them, and it was a LOT more faithful to the book than any of the previous films.

Performance wise, no-one really dropped the ball. Emma Watson has finally cut back on the desperately annoying gasp thing and was mostly understated and not annoying. She reminded me a bit of a young Keeley Hawes in this film, which made me hate her a bit less. Rupert Grint was brilliant, much better than he's been in any of the earlier installments, and Daniel Radcliffe his usual excellent self. Bill Nighy channelling Winston Churchill worked well as Scrimgeour, though I'm not sure why he made him Welsh. Rhys Ifans was absolutely perfect as Xenophilius Lovegood, but I expected nothing less. The only newly introduced character that really didn't work for me was Bill Weasley, who looked and sounded all wrong, and made me doubly glad that Charlie was left out all together.

It was better paced than the sixth film. I was expecting the camping trip to be as ploddy as it was in the book, but I actually thought it was quite smooth and it felt more comfortable than some of the earlier scenes. From the Order's departure from Privet Drive to the trio's visit to the Ministry felt incredibly rushed, and suffered the most significant cutting casualties. The biggest disappointment for me was that Harry's argument with Lupin in the Grimmauld Place kitchen was left out, though plot wise, the worst omission was Kreacher's tale of Regulus and the horcrux. I'm not sure the film would make any sense to someone who had not read the book. Also, Wormtail didn't die in Malfoy Manor, which annoyed me, but I imagine they're saving him up for the final battle.

My least favourite bit was the flight from Privet Drive, and the ensuing battle. The bit where the six volunteers all transform into Harry was hilarious, and the Weasley twins particularly good, but the battle was rubbish. There was no "expelliarmus" and Voldemort's identification of Harry was explained by Hedwig, who died trying to protect her master. George's injury was kept in, but there was no mention of Snape, and Bill's announcement of Moody's death was really anticlimactic. Everything between the aftermath of the battle and the wedding reception was dropped.

Snape only appeared in one scene, but naturally, he owned it, and it was one of the best. :-) I loved Malfoy Manor and, though it was heavily cut, the scene in which Charity Burgbage died probably kept more closely to the text than almost any of the others. All the most prominent Death Eaters were fantastic, and the lack of Alan Rickman was made up for slightly - and highly unexpedly - by Nick Moran as the Snatcher, Scabior. He doesn't normally do anything for me but he was very pretty in an Adam Ant-y kind of way.

There were far fewer bizarre non-sequitur made up bits than in some of the earlier adaptations. The only really glaring one occurred just after Ron's departure, and involved an impromptu dance between Harry and Hermione in the tent. This probably would have bugged me a lot more if the music they were dancing to, which was playing on the wizarding wireless, had not been a Nick Cave song! Ed and I disagreed a little over this scene; I suppose it was good as a spirit-lifter but by a look they shared, it seemed to be trying to introduce some UST between Harry and Hermione, which would be ew ew ew wrong! Harry's explanation to Ron that he loves her like a sister is left out, which reinforced the inappropriateness of this scene.

The film ends with Dobby's burial at Shell Cottage, and I will put my hand up to totally blubbing like a baby when he died. The closing scene shows Voldemort breaking into Dumbledore's tomb to steal the wand. It did feel unfinished and made me want to see the second part RIGHT NOW, but on the whole was probably as good a place as any to split the story.

So, yeah, overall it was alright. Much better than I was expecting, really. I'll definitely go and see it again and might post a more coherent review then.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jinx1419.livejournal.com
it seemed to be trying to introduce some UST between Harry and Hermione, which would be ew ew ew wrong!

Agreed. But not as wrong as the topless snogging scene. *Vom*. Only bit of the film I had to watch from behind my hand.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
The nudity was gratuitous, but at least the kissing was only Ron's horcrux paranoia, and that scene was in the book.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 09:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jinx1419.livejournal.com
Ah, I wasn't sure if it was specifically in the book or not. I tend to avoid the books when a film is due out so that the omissions aren't so obvious (having the memory of a goldfish helps).

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
It's quite icky in the book too, there is talk of "writhing".

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 10:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supertinks.livejournal.com
your opinion of the film is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be!

I actually found myself re-reading the book last night, just to confirm or deny the cuts/changes to myself (I am not as familiar with the texts as you!), and I agree that Kreacher's tale about the Horcrux should have stayed in.

And the animation of the story is amazing!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
I didn't realise I was so predictable. ;-)

I don't think the film will have made any sense at all to people who had not seen the previous instalments or read the books, but then again why would they be watching it?

I loved the animation, they should do all the Tales of Beadle the Bard the same way.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silverixnay.livejournal.com
I really liked it, but then I wouldn't miss Snape so much ;-)

The 3 brothers story was seriously well done, Dobby's funeral was really good, but I missed how they did it in the book, and he buried him 'properly' in sand...


The Harry / Hermonie thing was more than a little wrong, apparently Rupert was asked to leave the set as he couldn't stop laughing!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lackofgravitas.livejournal.com
[hi, bimbled over from the loos]

The entire cinema erupted laughing at the beginning of Harry and Hermione's dance - it was AWFUL. It did get a little bit better, when they started not dancing like, I don't know what, but pretty bizarre generally.

Dobby's death was a good example of what books do that cinema can't - all the internal narrative about how Harry wanted to bury him properly, and wouldn't just magic up a grave, and the actual description of his death, all the 'stars reflecting in his unseeing eyes' (*sob*) stuff. Made me well up in the film, makes me HOWL in the book (as does Hermione explaining what she's done with her parents, which again just made me a little moist of eye in the film, and that mostly because I remember it from the book).

Three brothers I thought, uh-oh, this could be done really badly ... oh no, really good. I thought Bellatrix torturing Hermione was really well done, quite different from the book, but quite seriously nasty. The sobbing ... it's actually this scene more than the scary/jumpy Nagini stuff that's making me question whether or not to exercise my parental guidance and take my daughter to see it (she's only 6, but has been utterly unphased by watching 1-6 on DVD).

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
Hello. :-)

I agree about Dobby's death, I was blubbing more because I remembered the passage in the book than because of what was happening on screen.

I normally hate Emma Watson but she hardly bothered me at all in this film. I liked the way they handled her obliviating her parents, and the torture scene was quite convincing. I was a bit worried about it from the point of view of letting my daughter see it, but I think the horror was mostly implied, it didn't bother K at all. The "mudblood" obviously recalled Umbridge's quill, and in many ways I think that scene from the fifth film was more disturbing.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lackofgravitas.livejournal.com
I clicked through to your review of The Half-Blood Prince, and your description of Emma Watson "gasping and tossing her artfully backcombed head like a Tourettic My Little Pony" did make me hoot, very ... evocative, heh.

I'm reading my daughter book 6 at the moment - should be interesting when I get towards the end, I'm not very good at reading books out loud when they get a bit emotional!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
My mum babysat my daughter on the night book 7 came out, but we had to pick her up fairly early the following morning. I stayed up all night reading and had finished before we had to leave, but my husband fell asleep. As this was before we had got hold of the audio version, I agreed to read aloud to him as he drove. Unfortunately the chapter I had to read was the escape from Malfoy Manor, and Dobby's death. I had never even liked House Elves, and I still couldn't make it through a single sentence!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lackofgravitas.livejournal.com
Heh, the things we end up doing! Fortunately (?) my husband couldn't be less interested, so I've had the books to myself until now. However I have ended up with three copies the first book in the house. I bought them as a set, having previously been resisting the call of Harry. Read them, hooked, bought the others as they came out. Then I wanted to re-read 1-6 before 7 came out - couldn't find 1-3. Borrowed my friend's copies. THEN wanted to read them to my daughter - couldn't find my friend's copies. Oops. Bought 1 and 2 in charity shops, 3 from Amazon Marketplace. Only then did my friend realise I had actually given her back 2 and 3, I found her copy of 1, and about a fortnight ago I found my copies of 1-3. I need to give my friend her book back, but for now I have three copies.

My colleague was telling me that she bought two copies of number 7, and her husband thought she was mad, but their son had REFUSED to do what they'd done with the last one or two, to wait until she'd read it, so they had to have their own copies.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
Crikey, that sounds like a GCSE maths problem!

I resisted them too, quite scathingly in fact, until I found out that Alan Rickman was in the films, so I watched the video of the first one, got hooked and bought the first four books. We have at least two copies of all of them too, husband had his own copies before we met, and the ones which have come out since we've bought two of so that we could read them at the same time! We have all the audio versions as well, no-one reads bedtime stories quite like Stephen Fry. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lackofgravitas.livejournal.com
My parents had the first three or four as audiobooks, on tape, I listened to them in the car and thoroughly enjoyed them. The words 'Harry Potter' always sound in my head in the voice of Stephen-Fry-as-Dobby - and fair play to him, speaking that squeakily is PAINFUL after a while, and my natural register is a lot closer to Dobby-squeak than Stephen's is!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-22 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
I always picture Stephen Fry as Slughorn. I liked Jim Broadbent in the part, but Stephen Fry's obsequious Slughorn voice is exactly what the character should sound like.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
The Harry/Hermione snog didn't really bother me, it was in the book anyway and was pretty well sanitised, obviously, being a kids film and all! I have read a couple of paranoid comments from people expecting *gasp* sex scenes! In Harry Potter! I know it has been said that the films are like bib budget fan fiction, but that really would have been taking it too far. The dance was definitely more wrong, IMO.

On the whole I liked it and I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-20 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] puzzled-anwen.livejournal.com
I chose to read the Look as more 'uh... oh heck, you're not about to try and kiss me are you?? because that's what would happen now in a film and THAT WOULD BE WEIRD!' on both their parts ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
The whole audience burst out laughing at it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] literaryrose.livejournal.com
I saw the film Friday and you've summed up so well pretty much what I felt about it too! I loved seeing Malfoy Manor.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-21 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
The thing with the chandelier was exactly the way I pictured it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-23 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kittenista.livejournal.com
Finally commenting on this! I agree with a lot of your intepretation, especially the whole Privet drive through to Moody's death. Seriously, what was that even about? They announced it like you'd announce that the weather had turned. Total anticlimax.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-23 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
I really didn't like Bill. I think the announcement of Moody's death would have been better if he'd have been more suited to the part, but he looked younger than the twins and seemed to be playing for comedy whereas I always saw him as more serious and thoughtful. I know he's only about 27 in the book but as all the others are now older than the ages they're playing, they needed him to be older as well. I assume the only reason they didn't show Moody's fall was to retain the impact when Bill says what happened, as per the book, but as it was, it would have been better if we had seen it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-11-30 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clarithmetic.livejournal.com
I put off reading this til I had seen the film as I didn't want to spoil it! Only thing that jumps out at me - you cried at Dobby's death scene?! I thought it was AWFUL! The only truly dreadful bit of the whole film. 'Dobby is happy... to be... with his friends... with Harry Potter... Dobby is with his friends... Dobby is happy to be with Harry Potter...' Yes we GET IT! I love Dobby and found his death in the book very sad, but I thought they totally overdid it in the film. Nauseating.

We all thought the camp snatcher was very good looking, didn't realise it was him from Lock Stock! He looked completely different. Malfoy Mansion was brilliant.

Can't beleive you didn't mention Bathilda Bagshot! I thought that scene was really creepy, and the moment when they turned round and she was suddenly standing right by them really made me jump; I was huddling up with my sister's friend who I had only met that day! Scary stuff.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 10:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
My tears for Dobby were in anticipation of what was going to happen, because it was so sad in the book! I saw it again on Sunday and didn't cry, but I did laugh at "only to maim or seriously injure". ;-)

Bathilda was very creepy indeed, brilliantly done, though it was so obvious that it was intended to be 3D.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] clarithmetic.livejournal.com
Ooh, do you think? Do you know why none of it was in 3D? We went to see it at the imax, and were expecting some of it to be, since it was in the last one!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-12-01 02:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inbetween-girl.livejournal.com
They cancelled the 3D release all together because they couldn't get it finished in time. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11506354
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