I realized as I was about to post this that this OBVIOUSLY contains spoilers. I'd think you would realize that since it's a REVIEW, but I don't want to make anyone mad. So:
*funny noise John makes on PotterCast*
THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE NEW HARRY POTTER MOVIE. DO NOT READ IT IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE AND/OR DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE.
*end funny noise*
So, I hoped to write this after I had first seen the movie at midnight Wednesday. Well, not RIGHT after, but after I'd gotten my 3 hours of sleep. However, since I saw it for a second time last night, I think a lot of my opinions will be better processed now, without the excitement of seeing it at a midnight premiere and only 3 hours of sleep. Wow. Okay, long introduction to why I have yet to write this...ON TO THE BLOG!!!!
Overall, I very much liked it for what it was: A Harry Potter movie. I think a lot of people judge them too harshly. THEY AREN'T THE BOOKS. And they'll never be the books--be as good or as thorough or anything as the books. I like both the books and the movies, but as ENTIRELY SEPARATE entities. I love the books more (obviously), but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the effort and the fact that they are very good movies as far as movies go.
I agree with people who say it's the best Potter yet. They included the most important IDEAS from the book. Not necessarily details or scenes, but they got across the ideas and themes of the book much better than they have for any other Potter movie. By this, I mean:
They got across the fact that Malfoy is not really a Death Eater. He hesitates, doesn't really want to, and really just wants to save his family. I LOVE TOM FELTON.
They got across the Harry/Dumbledore relationship very well. Congratulations, Michael Gambon. FOR ONCE, you didn't screw it up.
They included Hermione's jealousy.
They at least included how much Harry liked Ginny. I didn't like how they portrayed Harry/Ginny very much, but more on that later.
They got across the Half-Blood Prince thing. And left you wondering if Snape was good or evil.
Mmm...Horcruxes. Well, at least they talked about it. But...they also left a lot of loose ends that I have no clue how they're going to tie up in the next movie.
I mean, there are some things I'm confused about and that I didn't like. But I think I have to wait until the last movie--because they might tie up these loose ends and I just can't figure out how, but they have figured out how. My only REALLY big one is:
How the heck is Harry supposed to know what the Horcruxes are and where to look for them?!
Dumbledore quote from the movie: They could be anything. The most commonplace of objects.
NononononononononoNO. *shakes head vigorously* That is the exact opposite of what Dumbledore said in the book! The Horcruxes are very specific things, that Tom Riddle/Voldemort chose for a reason. And Harry's supposed to be looking for things from the founders--the cup and something unknown from Ravenclaw. I mean, I could care less whether they include the specific memory Harry saw to show him these things, but Dumbledore could at least MENTION "Oh, and I believe Voldemort chose things from the founders for his Horcruxes because he felt a special connection with Hogwarts." That took me 5 SECONDS TO SAY. It's not hard to include!
So, I don't know how Harry's going to know what to look for in the next movie. How does he know the snake's a Horcrux? How does he know about the founder thing? Jokingly, I said that Hermione will probably just figure it all out because that's what they do in the movies. And maybe they will do that. I just think that was a very big thing to leave out of the movie, and I'm really not sure how they're going to "fix it" in Deathly Hallows in a non-stupid way.
One other thing I was confused about was how they're going to establish that Harry now owns Kreacher and Sirius' house...I mean, this one is easier to fix with some finding of Sirius' will or mentioning of, but...I'm just not sure.
Now, on to my comment about Harry/Ginny. One big criticism I have is that the movie was too Ron/Hermione oriented, and not enough on Harry/Ginny.It did a good job establishing how much HARRY liked Ginny, but they never really started their relationship, and they never ended their relationship...you know, since it never happened. And, I mean, I know the book talks about both relationships...but in the book really all that is shown is Hermione's jealousy and how much SHE likes Ron. Ron doesn't really come to realize how much he likes Hermione until he leaves during Deathly Hallows. I mean, really, Half-Blood Prince was very much a Harry/Ginny book (with Ron and Lavender's obnoxious relationship in there too) and Deathly Hallows was when Ron and Hermione's relationship REALLY finally was established as fact.
But, I suppose this isn't something that is a huge deal in the grand scheme of the movies and the next movie. It was just something that very much bothered me... :D And I think...unless I want to get super nitpicky, those were the things that really bothered me about the movie.
I thought Michael Gambon finally did a rather good job.* I'm not entirely sure if this is because Michael Gambon decided to act better, or because the screenwriter wrote Dumbledore better in the script so that Gambon would play him better, but it doesn't really matter either way. The ending of the movie was wonderful. He did an AMAZING job in the cave, drinking the potion, and later on top of the tower. The casual chatting with the Death Eaters was PERFECT. It really did seem just like someone who knew they had to die.
And Tom Felton was PHENOMENAL. He's such a lovely actor, and he did such a good job as Malfoy! The crying in the bathroom, the dueling scene with Harry, the scene on the train, and the scene on top of the tower were all perfect, and I am so thankful that he's the one who plays Malfoy, because he's wonderful. =)
In general, all the actors have grown so much both as people and as actors. The movies keep getting better, and I've heard wonderful things about Deathly Hallows, including that Bill and Fleur's weddding is there, Umbridge is there, and the Battle of Hogwarts is 30 minutes long. Certainly, I'm not going to make any harsh criticisms about the movie series until I've seen the last Deathly Hallows movie and see how they finish out the series. :)
And, yes, I've already seen it twice.** I'm seeing it at least twice more--once with my friend Colleen on the 27th, and then in IMAX for my friend's birthday. If you have yet to see it, and for whatever reason you read this entire blog post despite the spoiler warnings, GO SEE IT. NOW.
Finally...yeah. Sorry it's been so long. So much for BEDA teaching me to write more often. ;) I'll really try to write more blogs--I'm considering trying BEDAugust, but it depends how that goes once school starts up again halfway through the month. We'll see.
*I'm not saying he was amazing. But he didn't screw things up, and actually managed to seem like Dumbledore from the books.
**I needed to process everything without the excitement of a midnight premiere. Plus...I just wanted to see it again. =)