Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Impressions of Potter (the movie, not the book)

In honor of Potter Night, msmemory and I went out to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. A few impressions follow -- no significant spoilers, but I'll cut-tag on general principles.

I must say, I'm curious how people who haven't read the book react to the movie. I think it was about as good an adaptation as could have been made, but it still comes across as the Cliff's Notes version of the book. Whereas Goblet of Fire was an extremely fatty book, so the movie could get all the good bits in, Order of the Phoenix is much denser. As a result, many key scenes are very brief, and a number of the ones that I particularly remember from the book are simply missing. (Including Harry's agonizing first date.) So the movie itself is kind of impressionistic -- but at least the impressions are pretty faithful.

They nailed Dolores Umbridge perfectly -- from the first moment she opens her mouth, she had me cringing, just as she did in the book. It says something about me that I find Umbridge far more offensive on a gut level than I do Voldemort. Pure and simple evil I can deal with, but she makes my skin crawl, both from what she does and how she does it.

Special effects were excellent, as expected. I specifically noted that the special effect of "person being picked up by a giant" is improving. In the first movie, I noted that at the time there was a particular weakness animating human figures being held or carried -- the scene of Harry being swung around by an ogre just didn't work. This time, it's not too bad: still not perfect, but not as glaringly wrong.

ETA: How could I forget the trailers?
  • "Get Smart" looks good -- Maxwell Smart may well be the role that Steve Carell was born to play.
  • "Enchanted" looks like it has real potential: a live-action movie with all the funny snark of Shrek, as Disney makes fun of themselves this time.
  • "Stardust" looks like it might just live up to the book: the trailer seriously kicks butt, and the cast is remarkable.
  • I haven't actually read "The Dark is Rising", but the trailer has potential, albeit in a pretty generic boy's-adventure coming-of-age hero's-journey kind of way.
  • And just to ensure that I don't have to see *every* fantasy movie, "Fred Claus" looks like the greatest waste of time to come down the pike in some while.
    Tags: hp

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