Pop Culture Shenanigans

My Short and Non-Spoiler Review

First of all – I truly love seeing the Harry Potter movies at a midnight showing. You are always surrounded by intense Potter Maniacs who cheer, clap, and yell at the best parts of the movie. Many may hate that – but I find that kind of group mania incredibly comforting. That said – on with my thoughts –

First of all, Order of the Phoenix was my least favorite book. That said, it is the movie I walked away from missing the least in the adaptation. In other words, all of the four previous movies left me feeling sad that certain points from the book were left out of the movie. I understand this is a necessary evil when translating such monstrous novel into 2-hour scripts, but it doesn’t take the pain of losing my favorite parts. Last night, I honestly didn’t truly miss anything. As I thought about it later, there were certain parts I decided I missed, but my first thoughts walking out of the theater? That what was left of the book was perfect.

Also – some of the characters were brilliant embodiments of what I saw in my mind when I read the book. Namely? Dolores Umbridge. She was EXACTLY how I pictured her in my mind. The actress that played her did so with such precision that I almost feel I should thank her. Also – what little time Bellatrix LeStrange spent on the screen gave me a taste of the exact character I built in my mind of her. Perfect mix of insanity and evil. LOVE HER.

The three heroes were great, as usual. However, I was reminded of what I don’t like about the actress that plays Hermione. She tends to deliver her lines like she has just run a marathon. She sometimes seems out of breath and exhausted with her dramatic sighs and exhales. I always forget she does that and learn to ignore it after the first few scenes she’s in.

Daniel Radcliffe was fantastic – and has truly matured and improved through the series. He showed a lot of intensity and anger and if I were a teenager – he would totally be my new celebrity crush.

My only complaint after the first viewing (sometimes I find more issues after seeing it again) is that some of the dialog towards the end was SO CHEESY. JK Rowling doesn’t contrive drama, she doesn’t need to, but parts of the script just seemed so forced I almost laughed. It may not be something someone who hasn’t read the books would notice, but I almost laughed out loud at one scene towards the end that was supposed to be very serious. I understand (partly) why it had to be done like that – but I just found it a little disappointing the few times I noticed it.

And the visuals? Amazing. Truly amazing. I would like to watch the fight scenes over and over again because they were stunning in detail and effects.

So – did you see it? What do you think?

32 thoughts on “My Short and Non-Spoiler Review”

  1. oh my gosh. i can’t wait. i am going tonight. i couldn’t talk my friends into the 12:00 show.

  2. I just can’t stay up that late on a work night, but we have tickets for tonight at 9 and it’s all I’ll be thinking about all day. I can’t wait!

  3. I’m not seeing it until tomorrow because by then I’ll be in San Diego and my mom can watch the kid. And I will go to the movies BY MYSELF and not have anyone talking to me about how they saw it differently in their head. Although then I won’t be able to do that either, so we’ll see how it goes. [/digression]

    OotP was my favorite of the books (I can’t possibly be alone on this, but it seems I may be), and I just wanted Umbridge to be more…massive? I just really kind of expected her to look more…more. However, the brief snippets I’ve seen she certainly has the right characterization.

    Did everyone clap when Fred and George [insert spoiler]? Because I believe I will. Even if I’m the only one.

  4. I don’t like to see movies made from books that I’ve read because I don’t know want the movie to ruin the picture I have in my head, as Bethiclaus says. What can I say? I’m a party pooper.

  5. got my tickets for the 7:30 showing this evening!! so freckin excited!!! πŸ™‚ then next weekend??? holy moly….I am stressing about my amazon order and the post office messing it up….delivering late….I may just go to a book party anyway.

  6. We have tickets for the 10:40 am show today. Thanks for the no-spoiler post. Cannot wait to see this!

  7. We’ll soon be out the door to go see it here! I’m hoping, when El Boyfriend is home this weekend, to go see it in Imax, but we have to go up to Branson, MO for that (over an hour’s drive), and I don’t want to wait that long to see it, heheh.

    A week and a half until the book! Wheeee! πŸ˜€

  8. trying to score Imax tickets so we can see the end in 3D –
    if that doesn’t work out I’m thinking Thursday matinee which will be our little secret from my boss.

  9. I feel the same way about Hermione’s, the cheesy dialog (in past movies) and the feeling of sadness when stuff is left out.

    having said that..two things.

    How was dumbledore?

    will you come over and watch my kids so I can go too?

  10. I reread the book last week (mistake, I know), and I didn’t even feel like it was the same story! I know, being the largest novel, they had to make concessions, but so much was left out and changed in subtle ways. I was distracted by it. I felt like this movie left the more story out than any other movie has. But I think that might be my fault for rereading the book before the movie.

    Umbridge? PERFECT. I hated her with the fire of a thousand suns. πŸ™‚

    But I was way disappointed in Tonks. She is kind of my favorite..and doesn’t look anything like the actress portraying her.

    And the first few lines from Hermione, when Harry arrived, I totally thought the marathon thing.

    I could go on, but I’ll spare you. πŸ™‚ Unless you want to email about it. *lol* But it was a good movie, definitely.

    How tired are YOU today? We got home at 3am and I had the hardest time falling asleep. I think it was 4 or 5 before I drifted off.

  11. I am so jealous! Everyone gets to see the movie except me. I am stuck being 36 weeks pregnant and miserable. I can’t sit through movies anymore, too uncomfortable.

    I love love love Harry Potter. πŸ˜€

  12. I’m going to send you what I’m going to post soon, cause it has tons of spoilers and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone!

  13. Went to the premier and LOVED IT! I, too, thought it was the best book-to-movie of the 5 so far. Can’t wait til next week!!!

  14. I loved it. They captured the book probably the best since the first movie. I was sad to see certain scenes eliminated, but I understood. I cannot wait until HP 7 comes out and we can finally see what happens!

  15. I already bought my tickets, we see it in half an hour! EEEEEEE I can’t WAIT!

  16. Oooh, I can’t wait to see it, but it will have to be in a couple of weeks. I’m so preggo that I can’t stand in line these days for any amount of time, and I don’t want to sit in the front row!

  17. We saw the midnight showing in an imax theater. I agree with you about Umbridge. She was so amazing. I wanted to just get up and punch her right through the screen.

    I missed seeing much of all the teachers though. I wish they had been able to have more of a roll, but something has to be cut, I know.

    What I was most happy about was that I left the movie with a positive feeling and didn’t want to cry through the whole thing. Reading book 5 was so depressing. Everyone was angry with Harry. Harry was angry with everyone, and the angst was nearly unbearable. Even though it appeared in the movie, it didn’t feel like a central theme like it did in the book.

    Didn’t really like the 3D part at the end, but then again, I don’t really ever like 3D.

    Overall? I loved it.

  18. It doesn’t come out here until tomorrow so I’m going at 8PM. I decided TODAY to start re-reading book 5 to remind myself what happened… I’m so not gonna get it read. I won’t even get half way.

  19. be very happy we weren’t together to see the movie for the first time this year…..very, very happy. πŸ™‚

  20. I thought it was one of the best adaptations so far….and I happen to love the book as well. There was a lot left out, many things changed….but watching the movie, I really didn’t miss it. Umbridge was absolutely fantastic. Some of the dialog was cheesy…but with everything that has to be left out to make the movie an appropriate length, well sometimes you just need a little cheese.

  21. I saw the movie last night in the Omni theater at our local science museum. The way it’s set up, the theater screen is literally 360 degrees around you. The seats lean back, so you’re laying down and looking up at the screen.

    The movie seemed to be great (we saw the IMAX version), but every time that somebody or something would move on the screen, I had to close my eyes because of the intense dizziness that occurred.

    I’m going to go see it again tonight at a normal theater with a flat screen. πŸ˜‰

  22. I’m only on book four and already saw a ‘spoiler’ on a t- shirt that has me reeling. I’m the kind of person who ALWAYS likes the book better than the movie, so I haven’t actually seen any of the movies yet. I figured I’d wait until I was done reading the whole series and then I’d have a movie-watching orgie.

  23. I loved this movie and I loved Michael Gambon’s Dumbledor in this movie too. Didn’t like him in the others. I loved Luna! She was so well cast.
    My favorite of the movies is still #1 but then I have to say that this one may be my new second favorite.
    Least favorite is #3.

  24. we saw it tonight; my husband loved it, i was lukewarm. i was so sad about all the cuts they had to make (i know, i know, longest book ever does not translate well BUT it was my favorite book!). i thought the ending/fight scenes were done fabulously, the direction (LOVED LOVED LOVED the use of the newspapers) was amazing and daniel radcliff? my new favorite young star. i was so impressed.

  25. I did the midnight showing as well – great, great movie. Best movie and worst book, odd showing that. I kept explaining it to people as, in the book you want to tell him to grow a pair. Yes, life is sad and unfair, but you don’t have the rights to use your hormones as rhetoric. In the movie I sit there going DAAANG YO, this stuff is messed up. Have a cookie or four.

  26. I don’t know if this comment will post (I’ve been having issues with that on your site recently) but I saw the film last night, and this was funnily enough the only one of the films I walked out of disappointed that they’d missed so much stuff out and therefore had to change so much. Possibly my own fault for having read the book again just 2 days ago (getting ready for Book 7). I enjoyed the film as a film in itself, but not as a filmed version of the book if you see what I mean.
    I agree with you about Umbridge, and whoever said Luna was good too…

  27. I really wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as I did, but I spent so much of the movie just “feeling” everything… more so than in the other movies. Every time Harry was with the Weasleys, or Sirius, or any of his friends who were his real family, I just got all misty-eyed. I suppose as someone who lives far away from all my best friends and family, I could relate to Harry’s loneliness. I think they captured the mood perfectly in that respect.

    Luna was perfect. Hope to see more of her next time. Loved Fred and George and wish we’d seen more of them this time.

    My 15yo resident HP expert and movie critic didn’t like this one as much as the others.

  28. I went and saw it twice on opening day, once in IMAX 3D and once in a normal theatre. I thought the 3D part was SOOO good. I honestly felt like I was there. It was also really cool ’cause my friend Chris plays Percy in the movies and so seeing him in 3D was kinda crazy.

    But overall, yeah – it was really really good, but not my favourite book so therefore I’m not sure it was my favourite movie. I’m looking forward to 6, and 7 haha. But I have to agree about Hermione, I really really don’t like her portrayal – she just can’t act!

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