In Which The Latest Harry Potter Movie Fails To Fulfill The Promise Of Hermione-Ron DVDA That Most Of Us Were Anticipating

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The new book comes out on July 21. The UK cover looks pretty lame.

We are big Harry Potter fans, by which I do not mean the editorial “we”, because Molly probably hates Harry and is like Tom Riddle’s biggest fan.

The first book kinda sucked but it was way better than anything done in that time period (mid 90s?). It doesn’t hold-up, but the world that surrounds it does. J.K. has the best initials, and she’s a fine plotter and not a horrible writer. She is no Philip Pullman, but we will take it.

We will be discussing the upcoming last book and all previous books soon enough, but for now we will focus on the films.

The first film was actually quite good. The second, based off the worst book in the series, was no great shakes. Prizoner of Azkaban, the best of the early books, was pretty OK. It didn’t blow me away. And Goblet of Fire had its moments, there’s no doubt about that. No matter what you thought of the previous ones, they allll blew Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix right out the door.

This wasn’t exactly the greatest book of the series, as it builds towards nothing too interesting and has an ending that could easily have been screwed up–that being the out and out warfare that occurs at the Ministry of Magic.

“Breathe In (DJ Encore Remix)” — Frou Frou

“Watching the World” — Patty Keough & The Boys

“Eyes of the Sun” — Patty Keough & The Boys

“But Not Tonight” — Depeche Mode

The marketing people got it right:

 

There were three very awesome things about this book–(1) Ron’s Quidditch storyline, which would have added 30 minutes to the running time and was thus excluded fairly early on in the process,  (2) the organization and training of Dumbledore’s Army, a good idea in theory but one that just seemed tedious and boring in the film, and (3) Ron and Hermione sex. Now granted, that last bit never happened in the book, but this is film. We want our characters to have emotional story arcs, and they should have them. A mistletoe joke wasn’t going to satisfy me.

Also, you have an interesting group of young people here. Neville I liked, Luna’s screentime was all funny, and Cho Chang interests me at least on an aesthetic level.

Yates filmed Potter’s lingering kiss with girlfriend Cho Chang, played by Katie Leung, more than 30 times. Yates cleared the set of all but a few veteran crew members to help the young actors relax.

“You really want the actors to lose themselves in each other,” he said. “It was just very sweet and fun and tender.”

Yates was hiking in Cornwall, England, when his agent, Jenne Casarotto, called to say he had been offered the film.

“She said, ‘What do you think about doing Harry Potter?” Yates recalled. “I said, `You’re kidding me. Why would I want to do Harry Potter? That’s a kids’ film, isn’t it?””

He finally agreed to read one of the books and think about it. Soon he was hooked on the series and agreed to direct Order of the Phoenix and the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, scheduled for release in November 2008. Filming starts in September.

Yates said he plans to change direction in Half-Blood Prince, which will involve more comedy and romance for Potter and his friends.

“The next one’s quite warm, actually, because it’s dealing with the sexual politics of teenagers,” he said. “I’m very proud of Order of the Phoenix, but I’m looking forward to something sweeter.”

The problem is, we’re only given much reason to care about one of them, and somehow the woman who plays the Ministry stooge got an hour of storytime. Who cares about her? The audience didn’t even clap when she was (spoiler alert) dragged off by centaurs. I mean, WTF. She’s the big villain of the story and it’s no big deal?

“Born Normal” — Dispatch 

“Headlights” — Dispatch

Plus, the fact that she’s evil and the Ministry is dumb is fine enough for a book, but when you develop that idea in a movie, and it just gets torn down at the end when Minister Fudge is like, “Voldemort is back, yo,” you didn’t need as much exposition on this issue as you thought. In a book, it’s interesting if no one believes Harry because it colors every scene. Here, we know Harry’s telling the truth and we only have so much time, so let’s skip the disbelief and focus on the characters we like. I mean, if Ron wasn’t going to put it in Hermione, what about a Viktor Krum cameo?

Also, did Helena Bonham Carter really need to invade this series? Will they be recasting the role of Harry’s father as Clive Owen? Does every semi-famous British person in Hollywood need to be in these movies?

And please God, someone put Ian McKellen in a coma, because that’s about as much energy as he’s bringing to his acting roles these days. They should have just recut in LOTR footage because he had a lot more energy back then. Bore me more, please. (Note: an LOTR fangirl has informed us that this was not, in fact, Ian McKellen and the part of Dumbledore was played by one of his doubles. We regret the error.)

When you think about it, what the hell. Rowling’s biggest strength is plotting–I’m pretty sure she didn’t write a book that had absolutely nothing happen in it. Don’t even get me started on Hagrid’s brother, who I will be calling CGI. I usually don’t hate on bad special effects, but this movie had a budget, the Giant should not look this bad.

This movie, directed by newcomer David Yates, wasn’t really that dark. It also wasn’t particularly interesting, either.

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“Drops of Jupiter” — Train

It’s cheesy music week, didn’t you get the memo?

“People Are People” — Depeche Mode

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6 thoughts on “In Which The Latest Harry Potter Movie Fails To Fulfill The Promise Of Hermione-Ron DVDA That Most Of Us Were Anticipating

  1. In the UK, the Harry Potter books have different covers for the “children’s” and “adult” editions. While you are correct about the lameness of the children’s cover, the adult one rises above the level of its US counterpart, as do most book covers in the UK, where they apparently consider the cover of a book to be a place for artistry worthy of literature, as opposed to a place for movie tie-ins.

    Unfortunately, the “adult”-ness of the book ends with the cover, and you will not get any more Hermione-Ron action then in any other version.

  2. Why do they spoil a good book with a rotten film? Did the director read the book? Did he need to make so many unnecessary changes? Boy were we disappointed!!

  3. No offence to any of you but I don’t think your being very fair..I mean these people put in alot of effort to put the main parts of the story in. They can’t put in every single think that JK Rowling wrote because that would go on forever.

    I for one think they did a good job and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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