Thursday, November 18, 2010

Random POTTER Thoughts: Films 4 thru 6

Harry Potter Madness continues! I have practically been living and breathing these films all week long (I’ve even dreamed about the films at least once). As much as I’ve loved these films over the past decade, I love them even more now after watching them in succession like this. Collectively, it’s really one of the great cinematic achievements of all time. Now, here are some random observations that I jotted down while watching films 4, 5 and 6:

• That Fleur Delacoeur is one piece of ayshe. I know from experience, dudes.

• Mad-Eye teaching the kids the Unforgiveable Curses is such a tremendous scene. The look on Neville's face as he watches Moody perform the Cruciatus Curse is wrenching cinema. (Granted, it's not really Moody... but still.)

• Cho Chang is a hussy!

• "Why do they have to travel in packs? And how are you supposed to get one on their own to ask them?" I feel Ron's pain -- I failed to ask out a girl in college for this very reason. Damn her ever-present gaggle of girlfriends! (Of course, Ron was only 14 years old when he made this observation, and I was 21... but still... it never gets easier!)

• Hermione's arrival at the ball was more potent in the book, where she had never been cute and was suddenly hot. In the movies, she's always been cute!

• Moaning Myrtle is a saucy little minx!

• That tongue-flicking thing that Barty Crouch, Jr. does is really damn creepy.

• Cedric Diggory would kick Edward Cullen’s sparkly ass.

• The graveyard scene with Voldemort is just as disturbing and jaw-dropping on the screen as it was in the book. Brilliant stuff.

• ORDER OF THE PHOENIX is the Potter film I saw the most times on the big screen (3, including twice in IMAX). Could be my favorite of the series depending upon the time of day.

• PHOENIX probably has my favorite opening sequence, too. Love the starkness of that weird playground where more-cruel-than-usual Dudley taunts Harry. And then of course the dementors... *shudder*

• Most grossly underused character in the films: Tonks. Not even a single “Wotcher, Harry”… such a waste. She’s like the Darth Maul of this series!



• “I must not tell lies”… God, Umbridge is so friggin’ evil.

• Love when McGonagall and Umbridge exchange choice words. What a confrontation of acting titans that is.

• Love the subtle shots of Ginny looking at Harry whenever he's paying attention to Cho. Happens a couple of times... so good.

• Dumbledore laying waste to the Ministry agents who come to arrest him rules. “You seem to be under the impression that I will go quietly.” So awesome. But again... Gambon's Dumbledore has always been a loose cannon so you could kind of see this coming with him. Gotta wonder how Richard Harris' soft-spoken Dumbledore would have been in this scene -- would have been such a great reveal, akin to the first time Yoda whipped out his lightsaber in ATTACK OF THE CLONES.

• Fred and George striking back against Umbridge is the best! Love all the decrees falling to the floor and the giant victorious “W” in the sky. Go Weasleys!

• The entire sequence in the Department of Mysteries and the ensuing battle is brilliant, ominous, f'd up, crazy. Love Bellatrix taunting Neville. Harry fighting alongside Sirius, and Sirius reflexively calling him "James." Mad-Eye kicking ass. And of course, Dumbledore vs. Voldemort smackdown!

• I could totally watch HP5 again right now. Really, really tough to pick a favorite between PHOENIX and AZKABAN. Both equally perfect, clearly superior to the other installments (so far).

• I like the idea of Harry hanging out in train stations to take his mind off things (as per the beginning of HALF-BLOOD PRINCE), but where and when exactly was he hoping to take out that Muggle waitress? C’mon, Potter!

• Harry and Ginny sittin’ in a tree… can’t wait to see some S-N-O-G-G-I-N-G! Y’know… the chick who plays Ginny is not a very good actress, but she IS cute… in an odd sort of way… and cool. I’d probably be into her, too, if I was Harry.

• Greyback is one scary motherfucker.

• Kudos to the filmmakers for bringing back the old joke of Seamus always blowing stuff up in his face! That’s good continuity.

• Li’l Voldemort? Also scary.

• “But I AM the chosen one”… that’s funny. I’ve heard people condemn this movie for all the lovey-dovey-dating stuff, but I think it’s great.

• Frankly, I like the scene of the Death Eaters attacking the Burrow. I know, blasphemy, because it wasn’t in the book… but this is a MOVIE. Can’t just have two hours of flashbacks and budding romances… you need a LITTLE action to break things up!  So I understand and agree with the decision.

• Harry vs. Draco! Sectum Sempra! Craziness!

• When young Tom Riddle first mentions Horcuxes… so intense.

• Dumbledore wielding the fire against the Inferi… f’ing awesome. That whole sequence is one of the best in the entire series.

• Snape kills Dumbledore! Death Eaters wrecking shit! “Fight back, you coward!” “I’m the Half-Blood Prince!” The Dark Mark over Hogwarts! God this movie is harsh. And for the record, the mini-Battle of Hogwarts in the book? Completely unnecessary and takes away from the power of the big battle still to come, so it makes sense that they cut it.

• In the end, I think that all the haters can kiss my arse because HP6 is outstanding and a tremendous lead-in to the grand finale…

…and on that note, off I go to Loews Lincoln Square to fight the crowds and get in line for the 12:01 a.m. show of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 in glorious IMAX! YES!

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