miscellaneous commentary

Harry Potter film series

with 4 comments

Last week Dad and I saw the final Harry Potter film. It was actually the second time for me, having seen it the prior weekend w/ Katya. The movie had its highs and lows: the battle scenes were engaging, Ralph Fiennes is fantastic as Voldemort and they didn’t puss out with the final showdown, but so many scenes dragged on unnecessarily (particularly the chat w/ the ghost of Ravenclaw) that for large chunks of the movie I felt like I was just biding my time.

They split the seventh book into two films so the second one would be an exciting climax to the series, right? If so, someone should have reminded the director and editor that. No, on second thought, the producers should have hired a better director and editor. I didn’t care for how Yates handled the climaxes of the fifth or sixth films — choppy camerawork and a complete disregard for focal points. But the series has reaped its billions in profit, so who wants to talk about technique?

I read the book series earlier this year and enjoyed it, particularly the third and fourth books. And the Department of Mysteries from Order of the Phoenix. Katya lent me the first six films when she came back from China so I could refresh my memory ahead of 7.2. This was the second time I had watched any of the films. None of them really stood out. None of them were better than their source material. It’s almost a shame the films were made at all — future generations of children will opt for the cinematic versions over the text simply because it’s available.

I liked the latest movie. It was good summer entertainment, but it wasn’t good filmmaking. I don’t see myself watching it too many more times in the future. But it’s worth repeating: Ralph Fiennes makes a great villain. And the series wouldn’t be what it is without the acting strength of Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith or David Thewlis as Remus.


Written by camcarlson

August 1, 2011 at 9:12 PM

4 Responses

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  1. I agree that the future generation will opt for cinematic versions, but i think they would enjoy the books more.

    Jeyna Grace

    August 1, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    • I agree. I hope all kids born post-Potter opt for the books first, then follow up with the movies.


      August 1, 2011 at 9:40 PM

  2. I did like how they handled Snape and his story in the final film, but I agree with you about the ghost of Ravenclaw. That was weirdly long.


    August 2, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    • Snape is one of the best things about the films (and the books) and Alan Rickman played the role perfectly. I loved that opening image of his silhouette in the giant window frame, lording over the students. Very gothic, and befitting a man of his complex nature.


      August 2, 2011 at 6:13 PM

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