Log in

No account? Create an account

Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
So I saw Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows 2 Destroys Twilight Box Office, Biggest Single Day Ever: New Moon's opening day and Eclipse's midnight record. Obviously I derive some conflicted enjoyment from sparklepires, but... GO GET 'EM.

So. I had to sleep on this a couple of nights because two hours of standing, one hour of waiting in seats, two hours of movie, and not going to sleep until 4 am wiped me out, for some reason. I'm also having trouble getting rehydrated, as a result of 1) sweating out on the street for two hours in line and 2) not drinking enough to compensate, since I didn't want to have to bolt out of the auditorium mid-movie or die of a burst bladder. So... I'm going to blame dehydration for the fact that I did not have one single urge to cry during Deathly Hallows. And here I literally broke open a box of Kleenex, pulled out the whole stack of tissues, and stuffed it in my purse. I had actually cried through the possession scene in Order of the Phoenix (omg you guys the flashbacks, look at the kids, they were babieeeeees) both times I saw it in the theater, so I fully expected to bawl through the entirety of this one. And yet... for some reason, I felt very detached from the whole experience. Maybe because if I had started crying, nothing but table salt would have sprung from my tear ducts. It was probably better this way.

These are my thoughts. These are not All the Thoughts, just mine. (In fact, having spent two days on this entry, I think I'm going to just cut it off here and save some of My Thoughts for the podcast that we're recording on Sunday.)

1) If nothing else, David Yates can film an action scene. I think his take on the wand duels--to shoot them like crack-bang gunfights--is really wonderful, and they were my favorite parts of the first Deathly Hallows movie. I was also kind of distracted from an emotional connection (maybe, personally) by how beautifully shot and framed the whole movie was. Or that was what I focused on instead of making a connection myself. I don't know--keep in mind, I have been trained to watch with m15m in mind. That might be the reason for my emotional distance.

2) I was a little surprised, though, that the Final Confrontation was so expanded. (I had purposefully tried to avoid as many clips and trailers as I could.) I had always liked the simplicity of that scene in the book--yeah, Harry talks at Voldemort forever, and I'm okay with less of that, but it's one spell, one shot, and the spell each character chooses is so emblematic of their personalities and their story arcs. But in the movie, it's dueling all over the place, it's running around the ruins of Hogwarts, it's the snake chasing everyone around, it's Neville showing up at precisely the necessary moment to kill Nagini and weaken Voldemort--I understand in terms of storytelling why they drew it out like that, why they pushed Neville's big moment as late as they could, but I was still struggling with that fangirl sensation of NO IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS. (Which I don't actually have that often, Half-Blood Prince aside.) I think I'll enjoy it more when I see it again.

(My mother, hearing about the movie the next day: "So what was the part with the pact with the devil?" "What?" "The part with the back and forth and the spells, they cast spells at each other!" "MOM! IT'S LIKE GUNS!")

3) There's a lot that retroactively colors the previous movies, particularly the Snape flashbacks--and it was interesting how those were interwoven with memories that could only be Harry's, as if we're getting to see not only Snape's memories but how Harry is processing them. Alan Rickman generally got really funny yet one-note moments to play in the previous movies, but now that we actually have the visuals of the final movie... watching, say, Order of the Phoenix again is going to be a different experience.

(I was talking with Kevin last night about this--the interesting thing is that, while Snape is played more for reliable humor in the movies, Alan Rickman generally plays him as having more gravitas. Because... Alan Rickman. The thing about Snape in the books is that he is just filled with childish rage, stunted and consumed by it. And you really see the difference in that HBP I complained so much about, the part where the Death Eaters run away in triumph. Book!Snape is all frothing "HOW DARE YOU USE MY OWN SPELLS AGAINST ME!!!!!1!" Movie!Snape brings forward the element of "I'm trying to knock you down for your own good so you don't get your ass beat." There's a genuinely protective, more mature quality to the movies' Snape that you don't really have in the books--like that bit in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie where he actually puts himself between Lupin and the kids, and it looks like sincere, paternal instinct. I just really can't visualize Book!Snape doing that. I like both versions, but the memory sequence in this movie fleshes out the "sincerely protective" interpretation pretty consistently. So both versions have a nice complexity: One is a childish, spiteful man, mentally stuck in grade school, who still manages to spend his life doing incredibly patient, heroic things, even if it's for selfish reasons. The other seems to have some genuine maturity and goodness that is just completely poisoned by his hatred of Harry's father and bitterness at what could have been. The key to both is the idea that a bitter jerk can still do great things, while still also continuing to be a bitter jerk, and that's what makes Snape such a great character. TEAL DEER; IN CONCLUSION, ALAN RICKMAN.)

4) I completely convinced myself that there was supposed to be a boathouse, so I didn't miss the Shrieking Shack at all. Even though that was... kind of thematically important for Snape. Uh. But it was a really well-chosen location, because we were able to see so much more of what was happening through the glass--and yet also less. Also-also: dear God, that was creepy.

5) Speaking of creepy--Jesus, poor Lavender Brown. I love that scene with her on the train in HBP, but I don't think I'm ever going to be able to watch it the same way.

6) Still speaking of creepy--man, Ralph Fiennes is having the time of his life. "There is only one more chance for me to play a fungus-green snake-nosed dude in a black magic hospital gown. This is my time." I mean, God bless an actor who's willing to fully commit.

7) I was okay with Fred not getting a full death scene. I just really hated the way he died in the book--which I'm sure was the point, to have a joke interrupted by this sudden tragedy, but I just really didn't think it would work in the movie. Apparently they didn't either. And, in a way, it made the reveal of poor Lupin and Tonks less throw-away, because they were given as much/little time as Fred. It was more about people Harry loved dying so senselessly in general, rather than, "Also, those guys."

(I realized that I never got the first movie on DVD, so I haven't seen it since it was in theaters--did they even mention that Tonks and Lupin had a kid before Harry was like, "Sorry you got dead and stuff"?)

8) You know... I'm either really, really generous and forgiving with adaptations or I'm a total backseat driver. Because that scene in the forest, I really wanted a specific shot of the four adults walking together behind/around Harry, and we just... never got it. They didn't even stand next to each other. Look, I understand Gary Oldman's busy and what-all, but even if you have to film the actors separately, composite that shit together!

9) I am not a Slytherin fan. As written/filmed, the Slytherins are two-dimensional and almost comically blatant in their evilness. That's not great, but I also don't read more into them than we're given. They're two-dimensional villains because that's how they're intended to function. I mean, you can read more--I just wouldn't mistake that for what is actually there and try to argue that the Slytherins outside your own head/fanfic/forum are so wonderful.

That said? That shit at the beginning of the battle was cold. "Lock them in the dungeon"? Damn. I don't know, maybe they just didn't want to spend time on the questionable logistics of evacuating kids who didn't want to side with Hogwarts, but DAMN. Couldn't you at least have the Slytherin kids just go, "But Hogwarts is important to us too and that's why we're still here! We're going to fight! *HEARTWARMING MOMENT OF AWESOME*"? and deal with it that way? ("Well... fine. But stick Pansy in the broom closet anyway.") That whole business just really underlined how stupid and counterproductive and self-fulfilling-prophesying it is for a school to have The Evil House and not take the "united we stand, divided we fall" theme to its logical conclusion.

Sorry. I'm just saying, that shit was cold.

10) Neville is a BAMF. I mean, we all knew that. And it's really helpful of Matthew Lewis to have obligingly grown up into a young Clive Owen doppelganger, to that end.

10b) I'm really pleased that they went against JKR's final relationship plans for Neville. (Or with her original plan, if I remember the first things she said right after the last book came out.) That was really kind of how I'd wanted it to end up. BAMFness aside, there's a certain courage and gentleness they both have in common, I think.

11) You know what? I LIKED the epilogue in the book, because I'm sentimental like that. But we got to it in the movie and I literally facepalmed myself in the glasses. It just does not work visually, unless you get older actors who look like the characters, and then we're robbed of ending the movie with the actors we watched grow up for ten years, so we can't do that. I will say, I think the aging was most effective on Daniel Radcliffe, fortunately enough. Although, yeah, I smacked myself again when I finally heard "Albus Severus Potter" spoken aloud. Jesus God, I could have dealt with just plain "Severus Potter" better. At least that's less of a verbal speed bump. Besides, "Severus" is kind of badass. Oh! Oh! You know what? Mashup name. Severdore Potter. With that English pronunciation where they partly wouldn't say the R in the middle? Think about it.

Anyway. The thing is, I STILL like the epilogue. I was mulling it over again today, and I think I've figured out why. People tend to hate the epilogue because it's cheesy, I guess, but also because it takes away a lot of their fanfic license (if you can say such a thing)--it decides things they'd rather decide for themselves, and differently. But to me, at the end of this movie, it wasn't really about the main characters' futures and how many kids they had and what they named them and which ones got the red hair. It was about us. I was in college when I first read the books (the first movie came out when I was 22), so I didn't exactly "grow up" with the Harry Potter series the way a lot of fans did. But I grew older with it, and I grew up as a writer, if nothing else, and in part by watching what I thought Rowling did well. The movies, certainly, have been with us for ten years, and each fan has taken a different journey, in some way, with them. They came to love reading fantasy, or just love reading again, or just love reading for the first time at all. They made new friends in fandom, maybe they began writing or drawing or making music in a way they hadn't ever before. And this is the end of that, its completion, and we're standing on the platform, in the middle of other, different, separate journeys now--but we're on that platform watching all the young kids coming up and getting on that train for the first time. And they haven't taken this journey yet; they still have it in front of them, generations of kids to come. Almost all of my college friends and friends-of-friends have babies and toddlers now, and those children haven't gone to Hogwarts yet, but all their parents have, and someday these kids will be reading their parents' worn hardbacks under the covers after they're supposed to be asleep, the hardbacks we stood in line for ten, fifteen years before. They don't know what they're in for yet, or what the stories will bring to their lives, what books will bring to their lives, that magic, but we do. And thinking about that was the first time tears actually came to my eyes. That's why I like the epilogue. What can I say? I'm sentimental.

Site Meter

"Obviously I derive some conflicted enjoyment from sparklepires, but... GO GET 'EM."


In 7.1, jsut before the scene of the Seven Potters, Tonks and Lupin are smiling at eachother, and Tonks says, "We have some new-" and has her hand on her belly, and then she gets interrupted and there's no other mention. There's barely a mention of them being married. (my roommate and I did the Great Potter Project, which was watching a movie a week started seven weeks ago and ended last night. Over Christmas break we will do all the movies in a weekend and invite people over. My point is, we watched 7.1 on Tuesday.)

I maintain that Rickman deserves an Oscar nomination. So well done.

And Maggie Smith was clearly have So Much Fun! "I've always wanted to use that spell!" Hee!

Edited at 2011-07-16 10:38 pm (UTC)

I was initially kind of sad that they didn't have all the professors find out Harry had come back when the Carrows found him in Ravenclaw Tower, but Snape and McGonagall having a duel was worth it.

I really didn't like what they did with Neville. He came off as less BAMF than the books, more like he was bumbling into his bad-assery in the movie. I thought it was important to show that someone who started bumbling could end up in a good place, but instead they kept the bad character trait that made him seem just lucky.

I'm sure someone has gotten to this before me, but no, they never mentioned Lupin and Tonks having a kid. Tonks is *about* to say it when they pick Harry up at Privet Drive, but Mad-Eye interrupts her. I'm not sure how Harry found out they eventually had a kid and that it was a boy. I'm just telling myself that they caught up on stuff while staying at Shell Cottage and ... we just didn't see it.

I'm glad they at least mentioned it in the forest scene and let Lupin do pretty much exactly what he does in the book.

I forget, did Harry and Ginny take in their kid after they died? I was thinking their kid was the boy who ran into the wall at the station before Severdore and the girl, but now that I think about it Lupin's kid would have been much older. So confused.

Excellent review. Agreement on all points.

Oh, Potter.

Oh! Oh! You know what? Mashup name. Severdore Potter.
Oh god new headcanon.

I agree. The entire concept of Slytherin house- having an ~eeevil~ house for all of the ~eeevil~ children with their ~eeevil~ wands- makes no sense to me at all. (And "the wand chooses the wizard" completely nullifies any "our choices make us what we are", Rowling. Bellatrix Lestrange's stone-cold killer finger-bone wand chose her at the age of eleven.) A lot of problems would be solved if they didn't segregate everything by House so completely. You eat, sleep, take classes with, and spend recreation time with only your House. Is it any wonder kids- who have been put there exactly because they have personality traits that swing that way- grow up to be little assholes when their formative years are spent in a self-sustaining environment encouraging them to do so? And then they wonder why all Slytherins become Death Eaters. AGH. Wizards are DUMB.

"the wand chooses the wizard" completely nullifies any "our choices make us what we are"

Wands aren't the spells they cast. It was Bellatrix's choice, Voldemort's choice, &c. to go down that road. The wands reflect the individual, I think, but not their choices.

I was confused about whether Teddy ever actually got MENTIONED in the movies too. My sister, who hasn't read the books, was like "WTF, they had a kid? WHEN?" So I think that little moment where she touches her stomach is the ONLY mention, and that it's easy to miss/forget.

I really wanted the shot of the four of them following Harry, too. Also for James to look a bit more engaged. He looked like he was thinking about when he was going to have tea.

I went to see the movie yesterday with my friend, who hasn't read the books, and just the way they did the Prince's Tale flashbacks and then in the forest where James is all, "dude. Remind me why I showed up for two seconds' worth of screentime?" meant she turned to me as we were driving back and said, "Wait, so was Snape Harry's father?!" James, try to look a bit more concerned that your kid is going off to die, I'm just saying.

I didn't like the epilogue because I really didn't buy it. I didn't buy the characterization. I REALLY didn't buy the fact that after this massive war, the weren't more signs of repercussions or change at least. It was all, 'and everyone was a-ok!' and I'm sitting there going, wth no. No PTSD, no comments about rebuilding, no signs of the changes that would have HAD to have happened. You had a massive amount of people dieing- entire families, teachers, the basic people who makes things run at the ground level. You had massive country wide destruction. And here comes the epilogue where not only did things go back to exactly the way they were in the very beginning, all of the growing up the characters had done were all forgotten.
/still angry

If you don't mind me asking, what characterization? All we see is that the cast has grown up and is able to be happy even after all the events of the series. It's been 19 years and society is returning back to normal.

I teared up reading your last paragraph because yes. Yes, that is exactly what the epilogue is about.

I...don't really have anything else to say other than well put.

Good post. I liked most of the movie, and most of the scenes at Hogwarts were great. I particularly liked how they fleshed out some scenes that happened "off-stage" in the books, like Ron and Hermione getting the basilisk fangs.

I loved the Epilogue in the book, because it shows that Harry finally got the happy, loving family that he himself never had growing up. But I agree that it really doesn't work at all in the movie. I think they all looked very cheesy in "older people" make-up. The movie should have ended with the group-shot of the Trio after Harry's final pre-Epilogue line about the Elder Wand: "That wand's more trouble than it's worth. And quite honestly, I've had enough trouble for a lifetime."

I'm not too fond of the movie before they make it to Hogwarts. Almost all of the pre-Hogwarts scenes (aside from the start at Bill's cabin) felt very rushed, particularly the Gringotts scene.

There were also some scenes that were good in the books, but which didn't work in the movie because they cut out the back-story. The whole sequence with Aberforth Dumbledore didn't work at all for me, because the movies have given us almost nothing about the back-story involving Dumbledore's sister, his estrangement from his brother, and his relationship to Grindelwald. If I hadn't read the book, my reaction probably would have been, "Wait, Dumbledore had a brother and sister?"

I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT. Yeah, taking all the business about Ariana out made it kind of weird, but I also see why they didn't want to touch that. Rowling had hundreds of pages to develop what happened to her (and the quasi-Nazi Grindelwald stuff) between the lines; you know the movie people just didn't even want to deal with that.

At the same time, the lack of that really changed the tone of the King's Cross scene. What I liked about that was that, in the book, Dumbledore actually seemed humbled; in the movie, he was just the distant, cryptic mentor all over again.

(Deleted comment)

Mrs. Weasley's moment

That was one of my favorite scenes in the book too, but I was just a taaaad underwhelmed in the movie. In the book, it gave me shivers when she shouted at Bellatrix and in the movie she didn't shout at all, just stated it while stepping in front of Ginny. I wanted her to tell it with conviction! Petty thing to dog on, but there you go. ^^;


OK so let me try to re-create my comments, apologies if they make no sense

-The way they repaired the damage from HBP's lack of information is flawless, it is so simple and logical and works perfectly and makes me so happy! I still will rage about the HBP movie but probably not as hard

-The Kiss is awesome! the angle is a bit wonky but that doesn't change the fact that it works so perfectly! They have all this tension built up for YEARS and then after a near death experience (again) they just...POUNCE on each other! =oD

-Snape vs McGonagall showdown and it is EPIC AND AWESOME! McGonagall was pretty awesome in general though so....

-Molly Weasley is awesome and has a cool sweater

-I started crying early in the movie. When i saw that dragon...that poor bb! he is rubbed raw under those chains! Get him to Hagrid for some tlc STAT!


I so agree about the dragon. I was so upset and I thought, "ok, I AM a Hagrid, I guess." Then the dragon flamed a few goblins and that made me feel better--not because goblins died, but because it kind of evened things out.

That entire last paragraph made me cry. All that, exactly. One of my greatest regrets about my current choice not to have children is that I won't be able to bring them up with all the things I love. But I guess that's where I'll volunteer to watch all my friends' children and turn them into little geeks.

Matt Lewis was awesome, Maggie Smith was amazing, but all my awards, like so many others', are belong to Alan Rickman.

I was bothered by the Slytherin treatment, but it's really not all that much worse than what was in the books, come to think of it. There was a shining moment when, with Draco, I thought they were going to change that up, and my budding inner Draco-fangirl was hopeful, but then what they did was much closer and truer to the books and where the Malfoys were at the end of the battle.

I was actually really bothered by not seeing Fred's death. I think mostly because I was expecting it, and almost *wanted* that catharsis, but then it felt almost swept under the table. It was the most emotionally impactful scene in the book...after reading it, I had to put it down and cry for a half-hour...and it was just thrown into a big long half-hour of crying throughout the second half of the movie that had less to do with the actual event than it did to do with the mood I was in at the moment. If I hadn't just seen Snape's, and if I weren't just about to see Harry's, I don't know that I would have cried at it at all.

(So I'm just gonna leave this here.)

I liked the bit where Draco clearly chose his mother, not Voldemort. I also liked it that he and his mom left together while Lucius stumbled along behind. It didn't exactly redeem Draco, but it was very human and understandable, plus Narcissa was giving off waves of "yes, thank you, Lucius, I think you've done enough for this family."


(Also, Alan Rickman for best Alan Rickman.)

What do you mean about Lavender Brown's scene in this? Because they changed her fate from that of the books...?

Ralph Fiennes... he was fantastic, but man, he was hamming it up.

(Also, please tell me I'm not the only one who thought Neville's speech about Harry always being in our hearts was totally directed toward the fans.)

Although, yeah, I smacked myself again when I finally heard "Albus Severus Potter" spoken aloud. Jesus God, I could have dealt with just plain "Severus Potter" better. At least that's less of a verbal speed bump. Besides, "Severus" is kind of badass. Oh! Oh! You know what? Mashup name. Severdore Potter. With that English pronunciation where they partly wouldn't say the R in the middle? Think about it.

I would have mashed it up as Alverus.

I did sit and think about it a moment. Severbus? Alberus? Snapedumble? Severumble?