Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kiss of Death

I don't think I've ever waited over a week to see one of the Harry Potter films.  But promises were made to see it with certain folks; and then work and personal travel complicated that - so here we are.

We have made seven movies in seven months. We are right on track for my never successful goal of 12 movies in 12 months.

Now that above intro is over - I can talk about the movie - The Deathly Hallows pt 2.  For those planning on seeing the movie (whether you've read the books or not) and don't want my opinion  - stop now.  There will be inadvertent spoilers most likely.  At best, I could tell you what makes the cut and what might not.

First off - there was nothing at all wrong with the cinematography, the music, the costumes, lighting or acting.  I rather enjoyed the music a lot - and said so even two minutes in.

All the actors did an excellent job - the "kids" on up.  Daniel Radcliffe did a great job in his last outing, and as much as Rupert Grint and Emma Watson had to do with last movie, their parts seemed diminished with this one.  That is understandable considering the story arc.

It was great seeing that all the Hogwart students were back this time - if you remember last, there was no school in that movie, however, I liked seeing Neville and Seasmus.  But the adult actors did a great job,  and I'm always a big fan of Alan Rickman's Snape, so I can't complain about his performance.  You never can - he always hits it out of the ballpark. Ditto with Maggie Smith.  Ralph Finnes did an outstanding job.

Don't blink or you'll miss Emma Thompson's 4 seconds and the guy who played Ron's dad. 

The movie was really good, but still lacking.  My opinion of course.

With all the other movies, I heard people complain about what was missing from the books, which is not unusual for any movie adaptation - and usually those gaps didn't affect me or how I thought the movie turned out.  This time, it did.

One part was material that was missing.  With one sentence - one! - they skipped about 70 pages of the book, all having do do with Dumbledore and his relationship with his family and one Gellert Grindelwald. It was big point in the book about the search for the Deathly Hallows and the grasp for their power. ....and that whole implied gay thing.

Neville also mentions the Carrows and needing to watch out for them, and while I saw their names in the credits, I'd almost dare you to pick out which scene they were in.  

There was another part missing for me as well:  the passion.  (and there are spoilers if you have not read the book.)

I wasn't looking for gratuitous violence, but all the talk of this being a big battle movie, I did kind of think you'd see the deaths of Fred, Remus and Tonks.  It was all after the fact and barely a blip. Where was the connection to their deaths after having been with Fred for 10 years and the other two for the last few?  A few seconds of film to show Ron's reaction to his brother's death didn't really tie me to that emotion.  I think it was a missed opportunity to put some heart into it all. The director does it (to a degree) with Harry and his parents and Sirius, but they don't really allow it with others.

And I wanted and needed more of an exciting demise of Bellatrix LeStrange.  Maybe I read the scene with a different sense than was conveyed in the movie.  Her fight scene with Molly Weasley was way underplayed....and done much better on Julie Walter's part than Helena Bonham Carter's.  Actually, it must have taken Bonham Carter longer to get into make-up than she was in all of this film.  (Side note:  I did enjoy Hermione's voice coming out of her as she tried to portray Bellatrix early in the movie, but there was a flaw with that when going to Gringotts - I'll let you see if you catch it.)

The last point was the epilogue.  There was a point in the book that described Malfoy at the train station that should have been more poignant.  It wasn' least for me. 

For all the hoo-hah about having to reshoot that epilogue, my first thought was - 'wow, how bad was the first version?"  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't tear inducing or anything.

Overall, it was still one of the better Harry Potter movies.  While I know people thought part 1 was bleaker, it may have ranked up there as one my faves. I like part 1 better than part 2.  But I also really like The Half-Blood Prince and I know many did not.

I am planning on going to see this again, in IMAX & 3D.  Yesterday was just saw it in 3D.  As with all the Harry Potter movies, we normally see them with our friends David & James and then with my nephew and niece. If it worked out with timing, it could have been all of them, but in some ways, I wanted to do it with my nephew, since I have seen all of them with him.  From the time he was 8 until now - right before he goes to college.  The circle has been completed.

So if for nothing else, it was totally worth it.

Still a good movie and maybe another viewing and time will give me a better, or different, perspective. 

Song by:  New Order


tornwordo said...

I remember loving the book but of course can't remember much about it. I think I've had pre-alzheimers all my life. I didn't catch the flaw at Gringotts, but then I don't look for such things either. I just liked it and when it comes out on DVD, I'll enjoy watching parts one and two together.

Anonymous said...

When the war started and I realized that I had yet to see Hagrid or Gwarp, I spent the next 15 mins wondering how different Harry's end would be and hating the prospect.

cb said...

Yeah- I didn't even want to go onto the Grindlewald stuff in my review. Although if you were gonna trim something to make a movie, it made the most sense. Although it was intrinsic to the book, the audience already knew about the deathly hallows story...

I still have a much bigger issue with deleting all of the pensieve memories of Voldemort that Harry saw... And used

Ray's Cowboy said...

I can not wait to see this one. It has to be better than Harry goes camping part one.


Jonny said...

Just sawr the movie today. Not sure about the flaw in Gringott's except they never explain who Ron is supposed to be.

RE: Leaving stuff have to remember, everyone learned a lot from George Lucas: lots more will be revealed in the "Extended DVD version" come Christmas and then the "re-edit" containing never before scenes for the box set in 2012...etc.

They should have divided it better...part one has too much camping and part deux didn't have enough fightin'!

I still like it tho..

Ur-spo said...

I think I enjoyed this one more than the last few; it seemed to move well/kept me on the edge of my seat.
I did not mind the editing; what they cut seemed to help keep the pace going

I am sure there is some director's cut waiting to materilze !

Birdie said...

I haven't read any of the books, so I don't know what was cut. I will say that I remain confused about exactly what happened in this movie. The basic plot was easy enough, but there were lines and references and long close-ups that meant absolutely nothing to me. I had many "what?" moments. Still, I enjoyed it. I suspect I'd either have to watch them in close sequence or read the books, neither of which will happen.