Thursday, July 21, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

       As you could have guessed from my post about literature, I was SUPER excited to see this movie. I was hesitant though, because I didn’t want it to end. I have so thoroughly enjoyed this era of Pottermania, I was bummed to know that it is over.
       Honestly, not all of the Potter movies are great stand-alone movies. They all are only really good, in my opinion, if you’ve read the book. They complement the book well, but simply aren't great films in and of themselves I don’t think. The third movie was actually bad enough to turn me off to the franchise as a whole for about 4 years because I made the mistake of not reading the book before I saw the movie. When I read all of the books back-to-back after the last one was published, I realized what a missed opportunity movie #3 was because it’s actually probably my favorite book; then my potter-love went into full gear.
       As for my thoughts on the final Potter installment, my overall impression was that it was amazing. Truly fantastic and epic in every meaning of those words. Honestly though, Rowling crafted a near-perfect ending to the series, so it would have been hard for them to make a crappy movie of it.

Parts I liked (includes spoilers):
  • Most all of the changes they made to adapt the book into a movie were really appreciated. They took what was written and amped it up to fit the big screen.
  • The directing, cinematography, costumes, and CG effects were by far the best of any Potter film, and most films in general.
  • The film’s interpretation of Hogwarts coming to life to protect itself.
  • The amount of times I either had chills or tears overcome me. Seriously? I’ve NEVER been as continually emotionally involved while watching a movie.
  • Professor Mcgonagall’s line: I’ve always wanted to use that spell.
  • Their ability to age Harry for the epilogue and de-age Snape for the pensive scenes. They did such a great job, I was seriously impressed.
  • The dragon at gringott’s was SO well done! They made such good choices on how a dragon in those conditions would look.
  • Ron and Hermione’s first kiss.
  • Filch and Slughorn's small, but hilarious appearances in the film. Slughorn's "Hi Harry" in the lull between battles was just too funny.
  • Abeforth’s patronis that fought off thousands of dementors was awesome. It was like a subtle shout out to Dumbledore’s memory.
  • The sheer magnitude of the battle of hogwarts was even more than I could have imagined.
  • They integrated past subcharacters well. Lavender Brown (though that was sad), and that snatcher from part 1 having cameos was cool.
  • The acting was superb. Seriously? Ralph Feines OWNED Voldemort and brought an element of reality and personality to the character that I would have thought impossible. Alan Rickman was also truly fantastic and Daniel Radcliffe really outdid himself. Essentially everyone was at their best.
  • Can I just point out how unexpectedly hot Neville is now? Because he is. I have always and will always love him to death as a pudgy little beaver-esque adolescent, it's true, but the new Neville is not too shabby:
Parts I disliked:
  • It was more graphic than it needed to be. Voldemort walking barefoot through a blood-soaked Gringot's while surrounded by hundreds of maimed goblins was pretty intense. The huge number of dead students was hard to see as well. Snape’s death scene was also a bit more than I would want anyone under the age of 17 to watch. I’m not offended for having watched it myself, I’ve seen plenty of movies with worse content than that. I just wish they would have dimmed the gore back a bit so that 10 year olds could watch it comfortably and their parents not have to worry about their sweet spirits being negatively affected as a result.
  • I would have really liked to have seen Kreacher emerge with the house elves behind him ready to fight. That is SUCH a great moment in the book, I’m surprised they didn’t optimize it. I guess that they didn’t have the time to really portray the relationship between Kreacher and Harry grow in part I, so they didn’t continue it into part II. The should have done both though!
  • King’s Cross station is one of my favorite chapters of any book ever, and this movie’s coverage of it was simply lacking. I totally understand why it couldn’t be as great as the written book, but it still was really a let down for me. I needed that full conversation between Harry and Dumbledore. I wanted Dumbledore to have his guard down more and to really be emotionally-invested in Harry’s triumph and choices. I wanted him to just really be vulnerable in that moment, but it was just kind of stagnant for me. I wanted the whole story to come full-circle as beautifully and satisfyingly as it does in the book. There simply wasn’t the connection I needed from Dumbledore. I suppose that I’ll just be that much happier that I’ll always have just one more reason to read the books more than watch the movies, right?
  • Where was the original Crabbe in the room of requirement? It was really weird to see Malfoy, Goyle, and Zabini in there instead. I know that the original actor for Crabbe was arrested for marijuana possession a few years back, but couldnt they have just recast him? All they needed was a tall, overweight caucasion boy with a buzz cut and I dont think anyone would have noticed it wasn't the original actor. You just can't separate those three, it doesnt work any other way!
  • I think they could have easily made it a half-hour longer and it would have benefited greatly. It seemed a bit short for me, or like it moved too fast without enough gravity being given to huge themes, such as Harry’s quest for understanding where each of the hallows are and his weighted decisions as to if he should obtain them or the horcruxes first. I could have done with a bit more there.
  • I wanted Harry to fix his old wand at the end, I don’t see why they didn’t.
Though I did have minor things I’d change, I just can’t take the time to write down all of the things I loved about this movie. It was really just so well done and I loved every minute of watching it. Harry, Ron, Hagrid, Snape, Luna, Neville, Mcgonagall (my favorite characters)… I will really miss you. Watching you in these movies has made my heart a happier and fuller one.


1 comment:

Jenn said...

I had forgotten about Kreacher! THat would have been awesome. Like I said, I think my biggest qualm is they could have dug deeper into snape's memory. And you're right- snape's death didn't have top be SO disturbing. Yikes. There were young kids watching next to us.