Sunday, August 07, 2011

Top 10 Thoughts On Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

10. I thought it was good. I didn't think it was great. I don't think any of the Harry Potter films were great.

9. I was glad to see the Slytherin students were put in the dungeon. I wonder if they had to drink from different magic water fountains. And use different magic bathrooms. Separate but equal, right Professor McGonagall? Racist.

8. I find it both admirable and regrettable the various Harry Potter filmmakers kept a fairly consistent cast list over the course of 8 movies. There are wonderful actors like Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Jason Isaacs, and Ralph Fiennes who are always good to see again. And then there are actors so ill-suited to their roles you really wish the directors would either hire a different person or just kill the character off and live with the Harry-Potter-geek anger. My personal just-get-rid-of-them target is Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood. There were times I couldn't even understand what the hell she was saying. She sounds like a younger child who is trying to fake an English accent while falling asleep.

7. While I think Ralph Fiennes is marvelous as Voldemort, I also think Voldemort is a fairly flat and uncreative villain. I spoke with my girlfriend about this on the way home from the film and she suggested that's part of the point of Voldemort; that he and the other bad guys aren't as important as the fear they inspire. Maybe. I just find it regrettable that the Big Bad of a series with huge cultural impact is completely indistinguishable from every dome-headed warlock Doctor Strange took 3 pages to bitch-slap in the back half of Strange Tales.

6. It was wise to move Harry's viewing of Snape's memories in the pensieve to right before Harry's "death" rather than after the final battle. If they'd kept the book's sequence, it would have been anticlimactic.

CORRECTION: I was quickly informed in the comments section that I was wrong; that, in fact, the sequence here is the same as in the book. I have kept #6 intact however both as an admission of guilt, and an admission of laziness since I could have probably come up with a new #6, but hell. I already hit "Publish Post." No do-overs.

5. I also felt the ways they altered the final duel between Harry and Voldemort made sense. In particular, I was relieved they saved the explanation of the Elder Wand's ownership until after the battle was over. In the book Harry explains it to Voldemort as they're fighting, and it ruins the scene's flow. Voldemort is supposed to be one of the most vicious creatures, if not the most vicious creature, in the world and yet he allows Harry to deliver a freaking thesis on genuine Elder Wand ownership while they lock horns. Saving the exposition for after the smoke cleared felt more natural.

4. Alan Rickman's performance was easily my favorite of the film and Snape was overall handled wonderfully. He's my favorite character of the series and I think the filmmakers did his story justice.

3. My girlfriend when Filch walked in with Mrs. Norris: "Aww, lookit the kittie." Pfft. Chicks.

2. When I read the books, it was difficult to not picture Ian McKellen as Dumbledore. Considering all the English talent that appears in the Harry Potter films, I find it interesting McKellen never shows up. It makes sense to keep him away from Dumbledore's role but there are other shoes he could fill. I wonder if they did approach him and he just said, "Dude. I'm Gandalf. I'm Magneto. If you put me in a Harry Potter movie, that'll be it. No one will invite me to anything but geek conventions. You may as well give me the Starfleet uniform now, because you know that'll be my next job."

1. Did anyone else notice in the final battle between Voldemort and Harry Potter, they reversed the Star Wars colors? The good guy's spell was red, the bad guy's spell was green. Put them together and you have...Christmas.


Crispinus said...

Great list, Mick. Re. the Snape memories, the movie did adhere to the sequence of the book: Harry views Snapes' memories in the Pensieve, then goes off to the forest to die.

Mick Martin said...

Gah, really? You know, I thought to double-check on that but I was like, "Pfft, no I'm right about that, my brain works and shit."

Unknown said...

This was the most irritating of the Harry Potter movies since Alfonso Curon decided that Prisoner of Azkaban needed more OMFGSYMBOLISM. And all of the Harry Potter movies have been aggravating in the way they abridged the source material to the most convenient Hollywood scenes. But having Neville's finest hour be tainted by giving a sappy speech about the power of friendship was just too much.

My wife hopes that someday, they redo Harry Potter as a TV series with extreme attention to character detail a la Game of Thrones. I have no optimism that it would happen, but it'd be really neat to see, and certainly better than the movies' treatment.