Finally, the first hit to satisfy my summer-long Harry Potter withdraw arrives, albeit a little late due to vacation issues. As I watched the movie, I was coming off an extreme Potter high. I re-read the fifth and sixth book, and have had several countdowns going for both book #7 and movie #5. I was so bladder-burstingly excited, that I will most probably watch the movie again so that I can attempt to view it objectively and not like such a geek.
First impression, however, was very good. I was very pleases with the amounts of the book they kept in the movie. As always, there were a few parts of the book I was excited about seeing set to film which left me wanting(i.e. The swamp the Weasley's create, any kind of storyline explaining Percy, more Tonks, and more Kreacher) But for the length of the film I thought David Yates did what he could translating the fairly long book.
Probably one of my favorite scenes was the opening sequence with the dementors. The guerrilla camera work and eerie feel of the setting make dementor attack that more creepy and scary. Everything that they did include in the movie looked awesome. The Department of Mysteries exceeded my imagination, and the legimens and occlumency scenes utilized the medium of film perfectly. Flashes of thoughts and memories that are hard to articulate but easy to relate visually.
The acting, overall, was an improvement. I think the kids have all gotten better with each movie, not as much over-acting as before. Even though, I can't imagine a more stiff or awkward kiss than the one between Harry and Cho Chang. It is like she is his creepy cousin who is blackmailing him by threatening to reveal where he hides his porn to his parents unless he teaches her how to kiss. Yikes.
Gary Oldman was brilliant, as usual, as was Alan Rickman, who is one of the reasons I don't know how I will wait until the sixth movie, he hasn't really had a chance to show what he is made of, and in #6 he has such a major role.
My only complaint would have to be Michael Gambon, who, while proven to be an excellent actor, ruins each movie for me. It can't be the director because there have been three different ones and he still delivers the same performance. Besides having absolutely no chemistry with any of the other actors, I doubt he has even read the books!! Dumbledore is never flustered or stressed or shouting at students. Dumbledore is calm, polite, and omniscient above all. Even if he doesn't know what to do, he never lets on. What are you huffing and puffing about Dumbledore #2? Why do you feel the need to pace and rub your forehead at every bump in the road? And why doesn't anyone say this? Am I alone? Insane? Three different directors, whom I assume have read the books, let this pass? No notes?
If this keeps up, the 6th movie is guaranteed to blow, even though David Yates is set to direct again. Hopefully, he’ll get to business.
Remember: 2 days until Deathly Hallows. I’ll try and hold out until then!!!