I cried myself to sleep…

…after watching Harry Potter 5 on the big screen. Why? Because it ruined everything that makes the books work. Let’s just go in order shall we?

(with Harry Potter 6 being released this weekend, I had a friend ask me about my old review of HP5.  So here it is restored)

1) Nothing too wrong with the beginning. Until Dudley shows up. The scene has him taunting Harry in front of his [dudley’s] friends. When in the book we were told that Harry likes to torment Dudley in front of said friends (because Harry can get away with more “cheek” than anyone else because of Dudley’s fear of magic). Also the taunting exchange between Dudley and Harry comes off completely wrong. Harry is supposed to get mad and threaten Dudley with his wand but it’s so rushed in the movie we don’t get the feel of building anger.

2) Dementor attack – Well I see the nazgul won their lawsuit, the dementors are completely redesigned. Still this attack is sooooo typical of horror fare. In fact the attack plays by the numbers SO much, you can close your eyes and predict what’s happening on screen. The book’s scene was more nerve wracking because it touched on a nerve which a lot of lifeguards, policemen, etc deal with as their greatest fear: the victim fighting. Like them, in the book you have the hero/rescuer in a perilous situation only to have the victim/resucee make things worse by attacking the one trying to help them. (in the book, Dudley hits Harry, knocking the wand away and almost gets them both killed) Nope, instead the movie has to make this scene run in accordance to the cliche union rules.

3) Yay Ms. Figg! Totally endearing and heartwarming on screen, you can’t help but love her. Except… no explanation about her. No mention that she’s a squib. To anyone who hasn’t read the books, it appears that there’s just this random muggle involved with everything.

4) The scene in the dursley’s house… Blink and you’ll miss it (and man what’s up with uncle Vernon?). Which is a shame because in the book this is one of the most dramatic and emotional
scenes in the entire series. There’s also a touching moment of real connection between Harry and his aunt as she mentions her knowledge of dementors and realizes what it means with Voldemort’s return. It’s also Petunia that gets a howler, not Harry, and the howler gives us our first clue of how Harry’s residence in that horrid place (for him) has a real purpose. The bastardization goes downhill from here.

5) Yay tonks! I love her on page and on screen. Too bad she barely ranks about “set piece” in this one. I still think Mad-eye Moody looks completely wrong around here.

6) So in order to maintain secrecy of their flight, the Order of the Pheonix not only NOT bother with disguising Harry or any of them, but decide to fly through the busiest section of the most populist section of Britain???? In the book there’s constant cries of Moody to swerve to avoid even a busy highway, yet here everyone has to buzz a boat going down a canal – a boat obviously full of people that undoubtedly saw all these wizards and witches… Verisimilitude? What verisimilitude?

7) Number 12 grimauld place. Now here is exhibit A of how the movies just destroy everything Rowling does. MOST of the magic in her stories is of a subtle kind. You see some houses in a row – blink – hey look! there’s another house in between them! Not this slow grand show that’s on screen. Plus, why have mad-eye stomp the ground 3 times? We can’t replace those seconds with Harry reading the secret paper. I guess the secret and security of the Order is cheaper in the movie (just tap the ground 3 times to get into their base)

8 ) Wait! The twins just apperated? There’s supposed to be an obvious, loud “CRACK” when someone teleports. Argh! The magic’s that suppose to be subtle is too obvious, the magic that’s supposed to draw attention is too subtle! Did anyone involved in this film even read the books?

9) They’ll throw in a scene of the extend ears and crookshanks for no purpose but to show off. Too bad they didn’t bother using these minutes to show us more about the house, cleaning it or even finding a certain locket that will be VERY important in book 7. Despair is overwhelming me.

10) Ministry of magic scene. Not too bad, except it feels like a protracted advertisement for the set piece. The trial is almost word for word from the book. But what’s up with dumbledore? Where’s his half-moon glasses? (a defining feature) And what the deuce is up with those stupid bells wrapped around his beard? See, it’s just the culmination of all these tiny changes that MAKE NO SENSE. (I still have trouble dealing with how wrong Harry’s scar is in these movies) At least the film gives you a real sense of how off putting it is with Dumbledore ignoring Harry.

11) Now they’re leaving for school and Sirius has a going away moment with Harry. This is NOT a bad deviation from the book. In the book Moody in his insensitive way gives Harry the photo of the old Order of the Phoenix and tells him about it. This does work better to have Sirius give Harry the pic instead. It gives them more of a bond and develops the relationship between them even more which aids the shock and drama of this story’s climax.

12) Hey there’s Luna! She’s very pretty. The actress playing her does such a good job. She alone almost redeems this whole thing. No talk about her dad owning a tabloid nor will Harry’s “redemption” of said paper (and reporter) have any part in this film. Which I guess is something that can be taken out, but if you do then you should cut out the plot line of the “mainstream” newspaper bashing Harry all the time. The contrast between the two papers and the resulting destruction/salvation of Harry’s reputation by them is great. If you leave out one, then just cut out the other.

13) Umbridge is spot on. I think she’s not as wide in the movie as I think she is in the books, but she still makes your skin crawl and really makes you hate her. I do hate the one scene she has with McGonagall. In the book it was a battle of wills that Minerva clearly won. On screen she’s too easily defeated. (plus the entire scene plays out on a set of steps with the characters moving up and down a step as the argument goes in an effort to beat us to death with subtlety) But why did they change the hand that torture quill cuts into?

14) The spinning papers are annoying and a poor vehicle to give us a sense of what’s going on. They should have found another way of conveying these ideas (heck even a narrator).

15) My brain just hurt again with another one of these pointless changes. In the movie, Mr Weasley is attacked OUTSIDE the department of ministries, in the movie, he’s attacked inside the prophecy room. This SLIGHT change completely alters the way the story works. First, I wonder how in the world a snake opens a door. (seriously, how does it) Now let me explain how the whole McGuffin worked in the book.
So there’s a prophecy. Voldemort tries to control someone into just fetching it for him, but the thing is enchanted such that only the people it’s about (in this case: Harry & Voldemort) can retrieve it. This is mentioned in the movie. So why doesn’t Voldemort just go in and get it? Because of the ministry’s security! He literally cannot get through the first door there on his own without ruining the secrecy of his return.
But in the movie, if his snake (that can open doors apparently) can get into there without much trouble, why then doesn’t Voldemort just walk in and grab what he wants? There’s NO indication on screen that there would be ANY difficulty with him doing this. Thus the entire crux of the story (Voldemort tempting Harry to get in and get the prophecy for him) completely falls apart.

16) No scene in the hospital I see. Yet instead of taking us there and SHOWING us the horror of Neville’s family, they have the actor give an Oscar scene later in the movie. Ugh, at least there’s another good touch of Sirius and Harry. Though we could do with a little more (such as the fact that Tonks was also ‘burned off’ the family tree, and that Sirius is related to the Malfoys).

17) Once again, they violate Rowling’s magic with the room of requirement. No I’m not talking about Neville finding it vs Dobby, that was ok. In the movie the room has a grand dramatic entrance as if it was a major character. But in the book the idea is that you’re just walking along and suddenly there’s a door you don’t remember being there before. It doesn’t take 10 minutes to fade or appear and Umbridge didn’t have to blow it up. In fact in the book it was terrifying how undiscriminating the room was. You need a place to practice magic? There’s a place. You need evidence that students have been breaking the rules? Look! There’s the room. (just happens to be identical to the former)

18) The montage of Harry teaching is well done. But they should have just dropped the stupid “relationship” with Cho and used the time to show MANY more plot-relevant items.

19) “Hi I’m Ginny. Please don’t forget about me. I’ll be very important in the next movie!”

20) Once again a powerful and dramatic scene (Umbridge in Dumbledore’s office) is butchered for… I guess to give us more time to show “wow” things.

21) ALL the students have detention? Ok it’s believable that Umbridge could use that torture quill on Harry because he is socially and politically vulnerable but I cannot buy her getting away with using it on ALL those students without there being political hell to pay. Again, not in the book.

22) If you’re going to screw up the Weasley’s grand rebellion that bad, just don’t show it. Too bad they didn’t take all that time of paper montages and apply it into a school rebellion montage. Where the students are openly fighting back and the teachers are passively aiding them. Instead we get to watch the gnome quietly cheering. *sigh*

23) I had someone asking me about the flying thressal scene. Yes in the book Harry & Luna have to help the students find the invisible flying mounts. The movie apparently hopes you won’t remember that the other students can’t see them.

24) You’d think the ministry would have built their prophecy room better so that the entire thing wouldn’t fall apart after one small explosion.

25) The arch is supposed to have a BLACK curtain hanging there. It’s part of the hint that the arch is THE doorway to death. Which of course alters the scene of Sirius’s death.

26) Ok, the wizard battle is pretty nifty, though I notice they all seem to have undergone a power boost. However, notice how the evil wizards can “swoop in” and carry children away but they can’t pry a globe out of Harry’s hand? I was disappointed Dumbledore didn’t bring the fountain statues to life to aid him in the fight.

27) Now I might be able to forgive the movie BUT THIS IS THE LAST F’IN STRAW! The book had an ending COMPLETELY unique to it. But no, we have to change everything around and get as many rip offs in a row as we can.
Sirius dies
Movie: Let’s remind everyone of when Gandalf died in LOTR.
Book: The death is so shocking that Harry doesn’t even realize what happens at first and believes his godfather will be back at any moment.

Harry gets the upper hand on Bellatrix
Movie: “Strike her down and take your place by me on the dark side!” – Return of the Jedi in case you don’t know
Book: Bellatrix laughs at Harry (noting that “righteous fury” doesn’t work with the unforgivable curse) and manages to get the upper hand on him!

Voldemort possesses Harry
Movie: I haven’t even seen the exorcist and I could still see this scene coming from it. Everyone just stands there and stares at Harry who manages to repeal the invasion.
Book: This reviewer of the movie made a very important point of a key phrase from the book being left out of the movie’s script.
“A more problematic failure has to do with the film’s elimination of an exchange, toward the end of the book, between Dumbledore and Voldemort concerning the evil of death. After informing Voldemort, “merely taking your life would not satisfy me,” Dumbledore adds, “your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness.” The cutting of this bit of dialogue makes potentially misleading the subsequent discussions and battles.”
See, in the book Voldemort took over Harry in an effort to bait Dumbledore into killing Harry in an effort to get the great evil, turning Dumbledore’s words back at him. (“If death is nothing, then kill the boy.”) No, we have to cut this intriguing dilemma out.

28) Another VERY important feature of the book was when you realized that Professor Trelawney was the one who made the prediction about Harry and Voldemort (thus adding another layer to Dumbledore’s efforts to KEEP HER INSIDE THE SAFETY OF HOGWARTS). The movie gives us NO clues or indication of any these dynamics. Here’s an idea filmmakers! Instead of having Harry listen to the prophecy in the hall of mysteries, have Dumbledore show him the memory of the prophecy LIKE THEY DID IN THE BOOK. In fact, the conversation at the end of book 5 is arguably the most important closing conversation of the entire series. So of course the movie decides to trim it down to one of the shortest. If Rowling wants to go kick their… well, I’ll back her up.

29) *sigh* Yet again I find Harry and Luna have amazing chemistry on page and on screen. I really wish they had ended up as couple more than him and Ginny. There is so much sparkage and potential there…

30) THE MOVIE’S OVER! THE PAIN IS ENDED!

There was a discussion board I was on that I think hit the nail on the head. Harry Potter would work a thousand times better as a 7 season TV series than as 7 movies (and Rowling has enough money to finance a high quality show). Here’s hoping I get to see the wrongs of these flicks corrected in my lifetime.

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3 thoughts on “I cried myself to sleep…

  1. As a general rule, never go into the theater expecting to see the book on screen. Directors like to change things, not for the sake of change, but for the sake of translating a very long story into a smaller, more manageable form (one that people don’t mind sitting in a theater for a couple of hours to watch). Many scenes were trimmed down, switched around, and yes, some changes were made that the Director believed would make the story more ‘movie-friendly’. Also, the original cut of the movie was over 3 and a half hours long, which means the theatrical version is over an hour shorter than the director originally intended. Of course, that’s really a moot point because the movie could have been 4 hours long and still not done justice to the book. Still, if you could try to watch the movie from an outsider’s perspective, I think you’ll see that the ‘damage’ isn’t as bad as you make it out to be.

    That said, I agree with much of what you are saying. I’d like to address each of your points individually:

    1) Yes, Harry in the book is a bit angrier and looks less like a bully victim and more like an actual contender. But every single movie thus far has played up Harry to be the victim of the Dursleys and perhaps they just didn’t feel the need to complicate Harry and Dudley’s relationship considering how little screen time the Dursleys get. For the movie, it works just fine to have Dudley be the mean kid and Harry be the nice-yet-slightly-pushed-over-the-edge kid.

    2) It’s been awhile since I saw PoA, but I don’t remember the Dementors looking that much different; they just have their hoods down now. I figured they’d shorten the attack scene, but I admit that seeing Dudley slide waaaay across the floor was a bit comical.

    3) In the books, Squibs have been mentioned a couple of times, so there was no need to explain this again. In the (theatrical version) movies, the word ‘squib’ has never been mentioned. So they decided not to bother with it now, what with Harry just been attacked and his enrollment at Hogwarts on the line, now might not be an appropriate time for a lesson in Wizard sociology. And what do we lose by not knowing that Figg is a squib? Yes, the book’s version of Figg is more interesting since she’s been around for awhile and we are now finding out something new about her, but the movies have never included Figg before, so there’s no need to include that information. This movie lets us know that she works with Dumbledore and has been watching over Harry on his instructions for some time, and that’s all we really need to know. (On a sidenote, it’s possible Figg will play a bigger role in book 7. For that movie, they’ll either write her out, or, if necessary, explain her background there.)

    4) Yes, the Dursley scene is regrettably short, but haven’t they all been, save movie 1? Also, I don’t think that the letter Harry received was a howler. It didn’t shake uncontrollably, threaten to explode, rip itself into pieces, or…well…howl. Petunia may or may not turn out to be important in book 7, though if she was going to, I think that JKR would have MADE them put that bit in, just like she MADE them introduce Kreacher. (Yes, they almost cut Kreacher out completely.)

    5) She was more than a set-piece in the books? Seriously, neither of these characters do anything really important in this book anyway. (And Moody technically never did anything important in book 4!)

    6-7) I was reminded of the wall behind the tavern in Philosopher’s Stone that opens up into Diagon Alley, with its overly elaborate transformation in the movie version. They really played the up way Wizards hide in plain sight in the movies, and how silly the Muggles are to not notice them. I wouldn’t call it a flaw so much as an unnecessary design change for the sake of dramatic effect.

    8) I agree here, apparition was not shown correctly in the movies. Didn’t bother me that much though.

    9) The locket has not yet been confirmed to be in the Black mansion (though I agree, it probably is) but why hint at something that isn’t going to be important for another 2 movies? People who have read the books will already know about it, and people who haven’t read the books will never remember it by the time the locket actually becomes important. Besides, they really need to play up how inventive the twins are, and the extendable ears are one of the few tangible evidences of this (the others being Skiving Snackboxes and the custom fireworks).

    10) Dumbledore hasn’t worn glasses since movie 2. You just now noticed this? And you’re complaining that they added little touches to the character to make him more distinctive in the movie, which relies heavily on visual elements? I can understand being upset about the glasses and other character attributes that are specifically mentioned in the books but left out of the movies, but there is no reason to complain about additions to a character’s appearance to make them stand out a bit more.

    11) Agreed, this was a good scene to add. It covers a lot of ground in a few minutes what the book took several conversations to do.

    12, 14) Agree 100% about Luna. But the whole point of the Daily Prophet’s bashing Harry is to show how mistrusted he and Dumbledore are by the wizard community. Yes, it would have been fun to have the Quibbler ‘fighting back’, but in the end the Prophet is used to show Harry and Dumbledore being acknowledged as in the right and Fudge now being highly criticized, thus serving its purpose. Cliché? Maybe, but it works. Besides, these papers don’t just spin, they form a virtual ballet of paper and magic ink!

    13) I’d agree that Umbridge could have been played just a bit more over the top. But in the books she’s portrayed as being almost frog-like. How are you going to find an actress willing to play a character described that way? I also missed her showdown with McGonnagal, though I suspect that had to be cut since they never addressed Harry’s ambition to be an auror in the movie, which is the very context in which that showdown takes place.

    15) Um, I’ve seen the movie twice, and I’m pretty sure Arthur isn’t inside the prophecy room, he’s in the hallways outside. Besides, and this may be a stretch, the prophecy in the movie only had Harry’s name on it, which indicates that ONLY Harry could retrieve it (not Harry or Voldemort, as in the book) which simplifies things for the filmmakers, even if it isn’t totally accurate.

    16) I’m kind of glad St. Mungo’s was cut out, because that’s just one more new location they’d have to set up and give proper attention to, only to show only a few scenes worth of narrative in it. It’s unnecessary in the books, and they trim it up nicely in the movie, though I do wonder why they had Neville just sort of spill the beans to Harry for no apparent reason, rather than have Harry ‘accidentally’ come across the truth about his parents. Time issues, I suppose, though that’s no good excuse.

    17) I often thought it was odd in the books how none of them had come across the room before. I’m guessing here that the filmmakers thought that the audience would have the same problem and decided to make the room seem much more secret and difficult to get into. Again, this is a change that was made for dramatic effect and doesn’t really change the function or purpose of the room.

    18) After book 5, Cho just sort of fades away. It’s true, she’s a red herring of sorts; a fun character to have in the books, but ultimately unimportant, and it would have been better if she’d simply been cut from the movies altogether. So why put her in? The short answer is, the fans demanded it.

    19) Hehe, so true. Ginny doesn’t get many lines in this one, but she gets to blow stuff up. The one good thing that comes out of the Harry/Cho bit is the few glances from Ginny that let you know she isn’t pleased, which will of course pay off in the next movie.

    20) I agree here, the whole scene could have been a bit longer, a bit more suspenseful, and, dangit, why didn’t Dawlish get knocked out? Isn’t that a running joke in the books? 😛

    21) True, except that after their big kiss, Harry needs a REALLY good reason to be upset with Cho, enough to break up with her. Her apparent betrayal of the DA is a good enough replacement for the whole Cedric bit, and while you can argue that having her be the ‘sneak’ isn’t true to the character…it’s Cho. Frankly, I couldn’t care much less about her.

    22) Personally, I liked their big scene, though I agree it would have been fun to have the whole rebellion intact. Again, time issues.

    23) On the one hand, we miss something from not having the scene where Ron and the others are ‘introduced’ to the Thestrals. On the other hand, the audience have been given all the information they really need to know about the Thestrals to figure out how it would have worked to have the other 4 kids riding the invisible horses. I guess they just trusted the audience to take 2 and 2 and get 4.

    24) Then again, their security measures depended on one door that apparently 6 teenagers had no trouble getting through. I could write a book about how much the Department of Mysteries scene got shafted, but again, time issues, and again, I’m willing to bet that the original cut was much longer.

    25) My problem was not with the arch itself but with the way Sirius sorted of ‘floated’ into it, rather than falling backward after getting hit. His death was distorted in a number of ways, imho. The appearance of the arch was pretty cool, and Luna telling Harry that she can also hear the voices, when they have previously established Harry and Luna’s connection through death, was enough of a giveaway to what was behind that archway.

    26) I got the impression that Malfoy figured that taking the orb by force would trigger whatever defenses were on it, whereas getting Harry to give it to him –might- not. Obviously, if that was his plan, he was wrong. And again, the DoM scene was shafted. Dumbledore vs Voldemort should have been EPIC.

    27) Ya know, I totally understand what you’re saying, but consider this: the ending of the book goes that the object the Death Eaters are after is destroyed, DD and VM trade spells for awhile, then VM goes inside Harry for a few moments and leaves for apparently no reason. A bit anticlimactic, honestly. It’s all explained why it had to happen that way in the book, but they decided to ‘spice things up a bit’ for the movie version, to make Harry out to be more heroic, give VM a better reason for coming into the Ministry, etc. Accurate to the book? Not really. And they walked a dangerous line with the whole “you have to want it” bit, but the book ending just doesn’t work very well for a movie ending, or at least I suppose that’s what they were thinking.

    28) If you’ve seen movie 3, it’s not too hard to guess who made that prophecy. Besides, Dumbledore has to have a reason to let Trelawney stay? He can’t just do it because he’s a nice guy? Come on. Come OOOON! But yes, Dumbledore’s conversation with Harry at the end was WAY too short and WAY too calm.

    29) For once, I agree with you 100%. Harry/Luna all the way! There’s 1 more book, it’s still open!

    30) Well, the 5th book is widely considered to be the least satisfying of the series. You expected the movie to be different?

  2. As a general rule, never go into the theater expecting to see the book on screen. Directors like to change things, not for the sake of change, but for the sake of translating a very long story into a smaller, more manageable form (one that people don’t mind sitting in a theater for a couple of hours to watch).

    I agree with the above miles. My very post is about A) Things they DID change for no discernible reason than for change’s sake (like harry’s scar from the beginning) and B) that their efforts to break down the story was a singular failure. Instead of donating time to scene 1 they should have cut that and put in more story-relevant scene 2. Or they’ll make changes which don’t make the story “more manageable” but completely alters the very meaning and point of the story. (as if the makers of LOTR in an effort to save time decided to take out that little plot line of Aragorn being a king)

    Still, if you could try to watch the movie from an outsider’s perspective, I think you’ll see that the ‘damage’ isn’t as bad as you make it out to be.

    Except I applied a lot of conversations I had with people who were “outsiders” and had me explain so many plot points they did not understand at all. I think the problem has been that not enough people have been watching these movies from an outsider perspective. Now individual replies…

    1) I’m not complaining about him not being “angry enough” but the set up. They have to group a lot of contrivances together in a short time. The movie folks could have had a smoother intro that was more faithful to the book.

    2) But the book does have their hoods up (I checked), and actually the movie makes the scene last LONGER by having “tension” of harry being pinned, having him scramble for the wand… if they went with what was in the book it would have been shorter. And again, I had a problem with taking a scene that was truly unique in the book churned through the cliche-o-matic.

    3) Because then to “outsiders” it starts becoming very confusing. So… the magical world is secret from the muggle except for random instances? Rules of magic-muggle separation are apparently about as ironclad as the federation’s “Prime Directive”. Dumbledore can just involve any random civilian he wants.

    4) Name one other piece of mail that talks in any place in Harry Potter. ALL post in Harry Potter is written with only ONE exception: Howlers. Plus from an “outsider’s perspective” (remember that?) they have to be wondering now why in the world Harry keeps returning to these horrible people. (which I’ve had some ask me about)

    5) Now I know you didn’t actually read anything I wrote. I just complained about how I think Moody still looks completely wrong. Nothing about things he does.

    6) Yeah… dramatic effect… Someday I really hope Hollywood learns “less is more”. Also it’s not that I don’t understand why they may have done things, it’s that I find the alterations completely wrong and a violation of the “spirit” of the work. I can accept a lot of changes as long as the spirit remains true. (see: LOTR)

    8) Yeah… it’s just another pile on the endless bastardization of this beloved work. Seriously, they couldn’t get their Foley guy to take 1 extra minute to produce the crack? (which by the way, would have no impact on the movie’s timing) If you’re going to have to alter a lot to make the movie work, then it’s all the more important to get the things RIGHT that you can without any extra cost.

    9) So they don’t need to show an item that will be important later but they do need to play up how inventive the twins are which is important… never. You helped make this movie didn’t you. Did I see your name under the “Best Boy Grip” in the credits? 😉

    10) I care about additions that make him look pretty gay. Although you think him being the only adult that wears color (well, until Umbridge) would be pretty distinct. And what’s up with him being the only character that never changes his clothes? (because you know Snape has 20 different black robes)

    11) See? I’m willing to give the movie props when it makes a wise choice that maintains the spirit of the movie.

    12) Yeah… except the students turning on Harry could have conveyed that very idea just as well (if not better). Plus being in a private school kind of makes Harry immune to the wizard society’s general opinion except as much as he allows it to affect him (which you already noted in point 1 is being completely removed in this movie). So once again: they could have completely removed the paper crap and there would have been no effect on the story.

    13) Yeah, I said despite the look being a little off, she was still very well done. However as I pointed out, they DID have a confrontation scene with McGongall & Umbridge in the movie. So apparently context didn’t matter to them one wit.

    15) No, let’s go watch it again: Arthur is inside the prophecy room. (we can also check the name tag) Also, even if he is inside we then have the problem of HOW DOES A SNAKE OPEN A DOOR? I’m going to contact mythbusters, I’d so pay to see that.

    16) Mugo’s is nothing more than a hospital so they could have just run over to grey’s anatomy and shot the scene in a week. Not everything in the film has to be mind blowing. Once in awhile the audience needs to take a moment to rest and breathe else the endless assualt of “wow!” images becomes mundane (see: Star Wars prequels). As for time, they could have just replaced the scene of the Weasleys saluting Harry at the christmas table, put that and the Neville confession scene in the hospital.

    17) Except in the book they DID come across the room before, several times in fact. It just didn’t always register with anyone that the room was anything extra special. Also keep in mind how everything they’ve established for this movie is going to have an impact for the room in the next. (having a huge hole in the side… a slow disappearing door that makes Malfoy’s plans more obvious)

    18) Yeah, and I’m sure fans also demanded the true Fred/George scene, the peeves scene, the…
    In short “the fans demanded it” is a poor excuse because you can use that for EVERY scene in the entire flippin’ book. Didn’t you just point out at the beginning that movies have to make cuts? So some fan demands are met and others aren’t… I wonder what method determines this decision… crap shoot?

    19) I know it’d make all the little girls cry, but do you realize how much more we could get ‘relevant’ stuff into these films if they’d cut out Harry’s pointless romances? (this is just a general conversation statement, not anything against you 😉

    21) Ok, so we have a behind-the-scenes reason for harry to break up with Cho. Now rationalize through what we saw in the movie (and movie alone) for the reason for Cho to be there. Which is my complaint. By having Filch & Co pretty much ‘know’ where Harry & Crew are hiding just unable to catch them then there’s NO story reason to have a sneak. Making up reasons for something to appear on screen isn’t enough, you HAVE to justify it within the story (see: The ship scene in Jurassic Park 2)

    22) Yeah I know time issues, which is why I say, if they are going to do it half-assed then just don’t do it at all. I mean there was no indoor swamp! (instead we’ll rip off LOTR movie again)

    23) Ken’s Rule of Plot Holes. Heck why even SHOW the flight? Why don’t we just have the kids show up at the ministry and let the audience figure out that they use brooms or threstals or… whatever?

    24) You know, I think the entire magical community just gets shafted in the movies. From some of the things I’ve seen on the internet, some people are NOT picking up the books because they watch the movies and find them to be too stupid to bother with the books. (c’mon people, the books are SOOOO much better and intelligent)

    25) Yeah, I hated Sirius’ death too. Still, as I pointed out, if you’re going to change a lot, then you need to take extra care to get the little things you can right. Plus, can you imagine the money they could have saved with that special effect they could have had… why they could have put in the hospital.

    26) *cough* Ken’s Rule of Plot Holes (for those who have forgotten: “This rule, formulated with the help of fellow Bad Movie aficionado Andrew Muchoney, stipulates that if a viewer is forced to construct (or attempt to construct) an elaborate framework of suppositions in order to cover over some hole in a film’s plot, then somebody on the production side of things hasn’t been doing their job.”)

    27) Sounds to me like they needed to get a different director. One more capable of conveying and showing internal conflicts (and willing to leave in the D/H exposition scene at the end).

    28) Once again, they made a change that was COMPLETELY unneccessary with absolutely no justification. Plus, yeah someone MIGHT be able to figure out who made the prophecy if they think about, but the movie plays the scene so that nobody bothers asking that question in the first place. To reach the answer, the viewers have to ask the question, yet so far many that I’ve talked to have never given a 2nd thought about ‘who’ made the prophecy, not because they figured it out, but because it doesn’t strike them as having any point or reason. Which again, cheapens everything the book’s about. Plus, any writer worth his salt will tell you that giving a character just 1 reason is sloppy. The narrative becomes much much better if you can layer reasons upon rationales for a character to do any action. Dumbledore need another reason? Not if you don’t mind 2 dimensional characters.

    30) I expected the movie to be aware it was going to start with a limp and work all the harder to be better. Not to start the race at a disadvantage and then proceed to shoot itself in the foot every yard. A man said about making a movie: “Continuity has absolutely nothing to do with budget. And if you’re going to make a no-budget film anything that has nothing to do with budget must be executed perfectly.” Well it’s the same in a lot of respects. If you’re going to make a movie of the most hated book, then you need to work your ass off to make it the single greatest book adaptation of all time.

    Thanks still for your comments, they still proved my point that there’s no excuse for these travesties. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to watch the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. THERE is a flawless film adaptation.

  3. It’s weird that although they keep changing directors, the HP movies keep making the same mistakes over and over – leaving out crucial moments in plot and character development and replacing them with ‘let’s show off our CGI skillz’ (isn’t that more expensive?). I didn’t even bother seeing the latest one. Maybe if I could see it for free, but not worth my money 🙂

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