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I told you so!
my initial feelings on the film 
12th-Jul-2007 01:09 pm
I was surprised and delighted to discover that OotP opened a day earlier than expected here, so my eldest and youngest sons accompanied me to the first session at 9.30am yesterday. I was shocked to find the cinema FULL, but then remembered it was school holidays. ;~P

First impression - I liked it! (Certainly more than GoF!) And I'm really looking forward to seeing it on IMAX this Saturday!

OotP was my favourite book of the series (so far), so I was a wee bit concerned how it would translate to the big screen. Well, I have to say my initial reaction was not "Argh! That sucked!", which is a very good thing. I didn't fall madly in love with it, as I did with PoA (and desperately wanted Cuaron to direct OotP), but I do think I liked it! Yes, I was disappointed with what was left out, not so much stuff like Quidditch (which I knew had been cut), but things I had seen clips of that had obviously been filmed and then edited out since. I saw a clip of Harry congratulating Ron on becoming a Prefect that is no longer there. McGonagall in the wheelchair after beign attacked by Umbridge. Young Lily and James. And there were a few other bits like that, that I can't think of right now.

I bought the game for my kids at the start of the holidays and was delighted with Mrs Black's screaming portrait in that (though sadly you don't see her, she's just behind the curtain), so I expected her to be in the film and was sad she wasn't. That said, I liked the portrayal of Grimmauld Place. It was perhaps a little more cramped than I'd originally envisioned, but I know my imagination is tempered by the sort of space we're used to having in our houses here in Aus, and that's what those old London houses are like!

I was delighted to see Padfoot at the train station! ( so glad they used a real dog this time, even if it wasn't the sort of 'bearish' dog described in the books and that I'd imagined!!) But I don't like the thing about an animagus losing his clothes in the transformation. When Pettigrew transformed from Scabbers in the Shrieking Shack, he was fully clothed. They should have stuck with that.

ABERFORTH AND THE GOAT in the Hogshead!!!!!!!! The cinema was FULL and I was the only person who laughed. I thought it was completely hysterical and a definite nod at we obsessives. I laughed loudly (and alone!), and heard the little boy behind me ask him mum what was funny and her answer 'I don't know' and thought, "OMG! I am the only book fan here!!"

I need to see it again, but did Sirius and Remus have an arm around each other when Harry arrived at Grimmauld Plc? Cos I thought I caught a glimpse of that and had a little squee for all the puppy fangirls. ;~)

I'm probably in the minority here, but I really liked the way they did the veil! I loved that it was a creepy sort of see-through thing. And I have to say I liked they way they made sure the audience knew Sirius had been Avada Kedavra'd before he fell through. It saved having to explain WTF the veil was, and clarified that he was actually dead. The silence with the slow-mo visuals of Remus holding Harry back etc. I wasn't so sure of. Yes, it was poignant and made sure the audience realised that this was a BIG thing that had happened. But, as my 10yo son pointed out as soon as the film finished, that's exactly what they did with Frodo and Gandalf in LOTR. :~\

Luna was ABSOLUTE and TOTAL PERFECTION. If I hadn't read the books I would be a total Harry/Luna shipper right now.

Grawp was much less annoying and WTF than he was for me in the book.

Umbridge, was fantastic. Her only flaw was that she was too good looking for Ron's toad comment to make much sense, except in a random derogatory way. I LOVED the small scene with her and the twins and the little boy she'd been torturing. That made her look even more vile and sadistic than when she was inflicting it on Harry, which is saying something.

Filch and the Room of Requirement. Much love!!!

Did not like that Umbridge and co were able to blast their way in. (and sniggered that she used 'girlpower' Hermy's spell from PoA!)

I missed capslock!Harry, though I really liked Depressed!Harry and thought it was appropriate considering the end of GoF. I missed seeing him trash Dumbledore's office, yet thought they covered that info quite well.

I was initially shocked that it was Lucius who dropped the Prophecy, but in hindsight - and I'm assuming this is why they did it! - that will work well as the explanation for Voldemort's anger at Lucius in the next film, and why he therefore gives Draco the impossible task of killing Dumbledore.

Did anyone else notice how powerful Ginny was? All her spells were kickass, which I suspect was deliberate.

Alan Rickman's Snape. So perfect. "Ob. viously" = me - puddle of squeee.

Was it sick of me to want to see Dudley throw up?

I'm sure I'll be able to say much more about it after my 2nd viewing on Sat!
12th-Jul-2007 03:29 am (UTC)
Ginny was pretty amazing in the movie, and my friend kept noticing how she would subtly glare at Cho whenever Harry was near her or something like that. I didn't notice (because I was so desperately searching for the R/Hr moments), but I wouldn't be surprised.

I think the reason why I didn't warm up too much to this movie is because they cut out Quidditch all-together, ultimately cutting out my favorite part of the book: "Weasley is my King" and the kiss on the cheek. :\
12th-Jul-2007 03:58 am (UTC)
I was disappointed with the loss of 'Weasley is our King' too, but not surprised. I find myself looking forward to a BBC production of the series in yrs to come. One that would run for 7 seasons and cover 1 book per season. Imagine 13 or 20 episodes for each book! (actually, you could probably cover books 1&2 in one season! ;~P)
12th-Jul-2007 03:31 am (UTC)
I think you and I are the only 2 people in fandom who like what Cuoron did with PoA. I would have loved for him to direct OotP, and I'm still holding my breath he'll do DH. It's my favorite movie so far, although I haven't seen OotP yet. We're going tomorrow.

So, what's been killing me...and I'll probably see it for myself before you answer this, but what's Ginny's patronus? Is it a horse like it looks like in the clips or a phoenix that's been rumored? I've been reading everyone's reaction posts, and no one's mentioned it, argh!

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie tomorrow, which I definitely wasn't based on past history. Great review!

And Alan Rickman = LOVE!
12th-Jul-2007 03:43 am (UTC)
Butting it - it looked like a horse to me! The clip looked just the same as the one online.
12th-Jul-2007 03:32 am (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better (or worse) I was the lone laugher with Aberforth and the goats as well. They've got to throw these little gems in for us book readers!

Being a book reader, though, means you must see the movie more than once becuase the first time (well for me anyway) is all about getting the movie and the book sorted and separated =)
12th-Jul-2007 03:33 am (UTC)
Prepare to stay at Grimmauld Place in Aug. Grimmauld Place sans crampiness. We have a house elf here somewhere, probably buried in dust bunnies under the bed.
12th-Jul-2007 03:46 am (UTC)
OMG!!! *squeeeeeeeeeeeee!*

I cannot wait!!!
12th-Jul-2007 03:45 am (UTC)
...that will work well as the explanation for Voldemort's anger at Lucius in the next film, and why he therefore gives Draco the impossible task of killing Dumbledore.

Ooh. Good point. I was bothered by that bit and thought Harry should have been the one to drop it rather than handing it over, but this reasoning works for me. Yay!
12th-Jul-2007 04:07 am (UTC)
IMAX 3D is going to blow your mind!
12th-Jul-2007 04:29 am (UTC)
I rather loathe 3D; it makes my head explode. So I'm hoping the last 20 mins won't be intolerable for me. But I am looking forward to seeing HP on the supersize screen. I've never been to IMAX! :~D
12th-Jul-2007 04:25 am (UTC)
No, because I wanted to see Dudley throw up, too, LOL.

I missed the goat and Aberforth, and I was looking for it, too! There's another spot that ours skipped. Stupid piece of crap theatre. Must see again to watch the things it skipped over.
12th-Jul-2007 08:30 am (UTC)
Weeee! Great comments! You make me even more excited to see the film. :D I think I'll agree with you about a lot of it, too.
12th-Jul-2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
"OMG! I am the only book fan here!!"

Me too. I laughed at the goat and was the only one and before the movie started I asked people about the book and most of the people hadn't even read it.

I was aghast!

But yea, I felt the same way.

And oh yeah, the Harry/Luna action was all over the place. I was even rooting for it, when in the books I never got that feelings.

And Snape's obviously... I really wanted more Snape... but then, I always want more Snape.
12th-Jul-2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
About the animagus clothes thing. Curaron was very inconsistant with this therefore not leaving a great example for his successors. When Peter changed into human, he had clothes. When he changed into a rat, he left his clothes behind.

That PLUS in the FIRST scene of movie 1 McGonagall keeps her clothes when she changes into a human in front of Dumbledore.

Additionally, JKR would have mentioned how Sirius was dressed shortly after transforming from Padfoot in the cave in GoF. They keep their clothes. I pretty disappointed with the inconsistancy of it all. I'm sure Jo wouldn't have minded answering that question way back in the beginning (and maybe she did) so who's ignoring it? RAR! Sorry... *steps off soap box*

I LOVED this movie and (after only seeing it once) think it's the best yet. I adore most of the changes and agree with an earlier poster that this film goes to show how much could have been edited down in book form.

I wanted either Dudley or Harry to throw up too. Right after Harry has the vision of Arthur getting attacked he's supposed to to be sick with the pain from his scar. I WANTED IT!!!!! They down played the scar pain significance, but really up-ed the psychological pain he goes through. I thought it was masterfully done. Dan is sooooo good!
12th-Jul-2007 07:07 pm (UTC)
Nope, wasn't sick of you to want Dudley to throw up--I was waiting for the same thing. I guess at least letting us see him sit there with the bucky (ala Ron post-slug spell) was a toss to us, though. (no pun intended)

I laughed at the goat, but TOTALLY missed the Aberforth connection. I am a loser.

I commented a lot in my own journal and basically came away with the same feeling you did--that overall it was very enjoyable and true to the book despite having to be gutted to fit the time of the film. I originally hadn't planned on seeing it more than once in the theater (the last one wasn't worth it and I had low expectations this time), but I may end up going again. (Technically I've already seen half of it twice since I had to run out of my first showing to pee and then snuck into the neighboring room to rewatch the last hour! lol)
12th-Jul-2007 10:09 pm (UTC)
Luna was ABSOLUTE and TOTAL PERFECTION. If I hadn't read the books I would be a total Harry/Luna shipper right now.
If I wasn't a LUna/George shipper, I'd be right there with you.
Alan Rickman's Snape. So perfect. "Ob. viously" = me - puddle of squeee.

Snape wins at life.

13th-Jul-2007 03:09 am (UTC)
Lol, I wanted to see Dudley throw up too! He was green enough. I also wanted Harry after his dreams. Alas no vomit. I laughed at the goat too Kate *high fives* and was squinting to look at Aberforth. I swear it was Michael Gambon with padding ;)
Filch and room of requirement was such a laugh!
14th-Jul-2007 02:14 am (UTC)
My daughter and I laughed at the goat, but mostly, we were thrilled that Aberforth was wearing a kilt. It takes so little to make us happy.
16th-Jul-2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
Although they left out loads, I liked the movie a lot. I thought it was really funny (all the cats on the wall, ABERFORTH AND THE GOAT, voldy licking his lips, Snape's obviously...so much funny) and I thought they summed up the very important parts well enough for "non-readers". A lot of my friends hated it, but I thought the sets were great, the casting wonderful (umbridge and luna!), and it moved along smoothly and quickly, leaving behind the fluff we love, but making a great film. and it basically quadrupled my excitement and nervousness for Deathly Hallows!!
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