We drove down to Riverport. It's a very sneaky way to go to the movies...it basically feels like you are driving out into the middle of nowhere, except, for some reason when you get to the middle of nowhere, there's a giant SilverCity movie theatre. We didn't take the option of IMAX, because it's super expensive....but, anyway, on with the review....
Book vs. Movies: What Changed and Did I Like It?
I suppose the first thing they changed was that they took away the goodbye between Harry and the Dursleys. I can see why, they've hardly been in the films. I did miss Dudley's confusing slightly-redemptive line though...but only because it was one of my favorite bits of the book, because you get a sense of how absolutely messed up Dudley must be mentally. But anyway, like I said, made sense to skip it for the movie.
I liked the rushed introduction of Bill to make up for him not being in the sixth film at all - personally, I don't think they scarred up his face enough. I did like the actor though, he was suitably attractive, though I always pictured Bill a little broader than that. The Seven Potter's scene was really well done by Dan Radcliffe, I thought.
I can understand skipping Andromeda and Ted Tonks' house too - though it makes me wonder...obviously their still going to have Teddy exist, but it makes me wonder if they're going to kill off Remus and Tonks still...I mean, will there be a rush to explain that the kid can be raised by his Grandmother? Will Tonks still show up at Hogwarts and say "Oh, Teddy is at my mother's house"? I guess that's simple enough...we don't actually have to see Andromeda.
Anyway, I got off track there...I guess the next major thing they left out was Remus and Harry's fight. I can understand why they did that too - although it's an interesting character event, it's not a plot event. The movies really have to distill the books down to plot events only.
Now, interestingly enough, my sister has never read the books, so she was rightly a little confused with what the hell Hermione was doing to her parents in the beginning. Now, that being said, she never did comment on the inexplicable appearance of the broken mirror that Harry seemed obsessed with...I thought that was interesting - the fact that they just stuck in the mirror with no explanation - the fact that you obviously saw someone else in it, but unlike the book, Harry never voiced outloud that he thought it was Dumbledore.
What shall I talk about next? What else was vastly different?
I thought it interesting how Harry never said the line about only loving Hermione like a sister. I also feel somewhat cheated by not actually seeing the hug that Harry and Ron have when Harry is completely naked LOL...I'm not a shipper, I swear..and there is already a lot more hugging in the films than there ever were in the books. In the books I always thought it was hilarious how Ron and Harry NEVER HUGGED except you know, that one time when Harry was completely naked....hahaha...ok, sorry, so funny.
Speaking of Funny:
I thought that some of the humour fell a tiny bit flat, but then, other parts certainly made up for it. I liked Harry poking fun at how absolutely cheesy Ron's story of the light touching his heart was - especially as it came right after the scene where he told it and there was all that swelling music, and I was sitting there thinking "my god this is cheesy."
Movie Additions that I Loved:
The dancing scene between Harry and Hermione was excellent. I really liked it. It was humourous and also very touching. Also, speaking as someone who likes to subvert gender roles, I liked the fact that they took turns "leading."
This whole scene inside her house was done awesomely. I love how they didn't translate the parseltongue...and man, the way they CJI that snake in scared the crap out of me. Really well done.
I thought that the Charity Burbage scene was done excellently. It was horribly creepy and distressing.
I still stand by my original assessment of the scene in which Draco has to try to identify Harry - they could have used a beat or two more of stillness and silence there. But that's being extremely nitpicky. I think you COULD tell that Draco recognized him...and personally, I think the "What happened to his face?" line was delivered very cleverly by Tom Felton in a tone that actually had concern in it. I'm crossing my figures for the second part that we'll get the idea that there's a possibility for redemption for Draco.
As for Hermione's torture scene, I described the scene in the book to my sister afterwards, and she said it sounded too intense to pull off in the movie and it was probably better the way they did it. Personally, I would have liked to see the torture curse and Ron going insane with distress in the dungeon...but, I guess I understand that the way they did it was more cinematic.
I also understand why they had Wormtail die by Dobby instead of by a rebellious silverhand. It would have been pretty difficult to do the silverhand death on film and have even people who hadn't read the books understand what had happened.
Also, it gave Dobby more off a badass scene before he's ultimate demise.
Nearly made me cry, which is saying a lot because my heart is nothing but an engine formed from the remnants of a dead star.
At first, I wasn't sure whether I liked Dobby's added final words - mainly because it seemed to indicate that maybe Hermione SHOULD have rushed over with the essence of dittany (sp?)....I thought Dan Radcliffe did a good job being sad though - I'm not sure if Dan still can't cry on command, but it sure looks like it - because they just get him wet and then have him make sad faces...or come up to him when he's already been crying such as in the graveyard. That sounds like I'm criticizing him, but I'm not - I thought he did a good job.
1. As my sister pointed out: Harry and Hermione really carried this film. Both actors did an amazing job.
2. Rupert Grint was also amazing - I love how expressive his face is, how believable everything he does is...he's a really fine actor that dude.
3. The guys who played Harry, Hermione, and Ron when the were polyjuiced as Cattermole, Albert Rancorn (sp?), and umm...that lady....were awesome! They did an absolutely fantastic job. The guy who was playing Harry was especially amusing, I loved the way he walked around so awkwardly.
4. The scenery was beautiful
5. There was an odd directorial choice to seemingly use a handheld un-steady camera when shooting certain dialog scenes - most notably the one between Harry and Ron just outside the Weasley home...it really bugged me. Use a still shot! There's absolutely no reason for the feeling of a handheld there - I just found it annoying.
6. It was odd not to have a resolution - even odder for my poor sister who doesn't know what happens next. I thought that the end point was nicely ominous for the next film, but at the same time, I liked the part in the book where Harry SAW it happen...also, it's basically taking away the debate he has about whether he should go after the hallows or the horcruxes...which I guess, again, is a matter of character, and not plot, so I understand why they left it out.
7 The animation of the 3 Brothers was really cool! I really liked the animation style...very interesting choice, and very well done.
Alright, I guess that's it...let me know if there's anything you wish to discuss that I didn't touch on!