Warning: Contains spoilers!
I saw the new Harry Potter movie at a midnight showing on Tuesday (or rather Wednesday morning). It's been a long time since I've been to a midnight movie...and being a school night, I had to take a nap before I went (so sad getting old). Anyway, here are my takes on the movie and the midnight movie experience:
I have a total crush on Daniel Radcliff. Who knew that geeky, bespeckled kid would grow up to be a rather cute teenager. He's about to turn 18, which makes him legal. Mr. H. has yet to give me permission to pursue him.
I really was expecting more movie goers to be dressed up as wizards and witches. I saw a couple that had on long robes, but they also had a goth look about them, so this could be their daily garb. I did notice a man who was sporting a Ravenclaw scarf. That was kind of cool. It would have been neat for the producers/movie theaters to hand out scarfs to everyone who attended a midnight showing, and then you would have to sit and watch the movie depending on which house scarf you were wearing. It would have been a fun way to get the audience more involved and really make it a group experience.
Order of the Phoenix is the longest Harry Potter book thus far. So it's no surprise that they would have to cut a bit out of it to fit everything into a 2 hour 18 minute movie. However, while the part of me that was happy that this movie was only just over 2 hours because I was seeing it at midnight, the part of me that wanted the movie to be a little more true to the book was disappointed. The director and screenwriter consolidated quite a bit of material and left a couple of subplots out. I wasn't all that disappointed that we didn't get to see Herminone's efforts to knit scarfs and hats for the house elfs, though I do remember on my recent rereading of the book that it would be fun to watch her magically knit a scarf. But some of the things that I felt were integral to the plot and feel of the book, were included but quickly, so as not to take up too much screen time.
I didn't really get a feel for how angry Harry was that no one talked to him all summer or that Dumbledore pretty much ignored him during the school year. When Harry finds out about Snape's past and his interactions with Harry's dad, you never really get a feel for how awful Harry's father was to Snape, how that colors all of Snape's dealings with Harry, nor do you see the outcome of how conflicted Harry is because of this new information about his father - who up until now, he's pretty much placed on a pedestal. These new revelations also inform Harry more about Sirius's past and other than seeing how much Harry loves and depends upon his godfather, we don't really see his character developed more (which is a shame since he dies at the end of the movie).
Some of the less important plot developments, but things I would have loved to see more of include the relationship Cho and Harry and Cho's conflicted feelings about liking Harry; Neville and his parents and how they are currently confided to the hospital because they've been driven crazy; the twins, George and Fred, efforts to thwart Umbridge; and how important the O.W.L.'s are to the students and the toll studying for them took.
Finally, I was disappointed in the final battle scenes. We didn't see anywhere enough of the Ministry of Secrets and what it took for the children to get to the room with the prophecies. When the children are fighting the Death Eaters, no one gets seriously hurt (quite a difference from the book) and it is all just flashing wands rather than a real battle. Finally, the fight scene between Dumbledore and Voldemort is so much more exciting and cool in the book. I was really looking forward to seeing the statues come alive and protect Harry.
Overall, I wanted to really like this movie. I thought the Goblet of Fire was a great movie and stayed true enough to the book. But as a fan of the books, I was let down. I also have a sneaking suspicion that maybe the movie skimmed over so much that it might be confusing to a viewer who hasn't read the book. Of course, I can't know this for myself, because I've read the book (and in anticipation of the movie and the final book, I reread them quite recently). So I'd love to hear from someone who hasn't read the book and what their thoughts on the movie are. Until then, I'll probably see the movie over and over (when it comes out on cable and DVD) and may even venture to the IMAX theater, because even though the last fight scene was as good as it could be, you get to watch it in 3D at the IMAX and that's got to up the cool factor, and I'll keep hoping that Mr. H. will suddenly turn into Daniel Radcliff just for a day.
PS - Thanks to Abby for the idea about the scarfs.
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