Mark Finn (finnswake) wrote,
Mark Finn
finnswake

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Some thoughts on the Fifth Harry Potter Movie

Do I really need to give you spoiler warnings? I mean, you're reading the books already, right? Right?! If you aren't, just skip this whole thing and get back to me when you're caught up.

Okay, now.

For the rest of us...

This being the fifth movie of seven, I found it to be as exciting and interesting as the fourth movie, wherein we are forced to jettison all of the sub-plots, side trips, and tangents, as well as the world-building bits of business, to concentrate on the Main Plot of good versus evil. Is that bad? No, not really. But watching Four and Five so soon after reading Four and Five really drives home how much condensing and tightening the filmmakers are doing to get this book series on the screen.

One of the things that interests me is how the movies have informed my re-reading of the books--Gary Oldman, for example, filling in handily for whomever I originally saw as Sirius Black, and with the re-reading of book five, I was expecting some great scenery chewing between him and Alan Rickman in THIS film, but apparently, there just wasn't time. Seems like there was a lot of those types of scenes excised in the interests of time. And the movie is over 2 hours long, at that. Draco gets two scenes, and for god's sake, don't blink or you'll miss them. Actually, what did work well was the montage scene, wherein we get a lot of info in short order. Unfortunately, doing it that way cuts short the first MacGonagal/Umbrage fight. In fact, it doesn't really happen. Not like in the books. Sigh.

By the way, Gary Oldman pulls off one of the best winks in the history of the universe. His eye doesn't even close! Watch for it. It's breathtaking. And may I just say that I have a new wizard crush: Tonks is a RoboBabe, and I'll fight anyone who says different. Helena Bonham Carter is note-perfect as Bellatrix, and really, did anyone think she wouldn't pull it off? Please.

All that aside, there's a shoe waiting to drop that never quite does so. I can't imagine how they will make that mess of Book Six into a film. Flashbacks are SOOOO entertaining, after all. At least this movie begins with a dementor attack and ends with a big honking wizard duel. Overall, this movie (and the last one) more than anything accomplish the goal of acting as highlight reels for the books, and don't quite stand on their own two feet as films. The only thing that saves them is the fact that everyone on the planet knows they are chapters in a seven part story that WILL (hopefully) make sense when it's all said and done. If the filmmakers are smart, they will film six and seven back to back and release them nine months apart.

Maybe I'm just antsy waiting for the seventh and final book.
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