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  #221  
Old July 7th, 2011, 8:59 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

In my city they've been showing one film per week since the last week of May, with an option to go to one of two showings during the week. I bought tickets to all of them (for only $25!!) and on Monday I'll be seeing DH1. I thought it was a great idea because not that many people would do the full marathon in one day. In fact, these showings were far from sold out, but had plenty of enthusiastic fans that have applauded at the end of every. single. film.


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  #222  
Old July 7th, 2011, 9:10 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

ABC family is having the their HP marathon, so I'll be watching them all this weekend
I cant believe its almost over!


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  #223  
Old July 7th, 2011, 3:47 pm
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

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Originally Posted by chunky_monkey View Post
In my city they've been showing one film per week since the last week of May, with an option to go to one of two showings during the week. I bought tickets to all of them (for only $25!!) and on Monday I'll be seeing DH1. I thought it was a great idea because not that many people would do the full marathon in one day. In fact, these showings were far from sold out, but had plenty of enthusiastic fans that have applauded at the end of every. single. film.
That's really awesome, I wish a theater near my house had done the same thing. Lucky you!!


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  #224  
Old July 10th, 2011, 2:20 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread




DIRECTING
Chamber of Secrets is definitely a lesser film than Sorcerer’s Stone to me. This is where subject matter is introduced that cuts deeper – a moment like seeing, “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir beware,” written in blood is terrifying – but the whole thing lacks the proper punch. A moment like that, and some others in the film, need a more palpable menace – not as much menace as Voldemort’s upcoming rebirth, but I wish the mood of this movie was more vividly felt. I’m glad that Columbus basically got out of the way in Sorcerer’s Stone and stayed so true to Jo Rowling’s voice, but here I wish there was more directorial presence. There are times at which Chamber of Secrets feels like a reenactment of the book than a film adaptation, and the pace is much too sluggish. It’s not that there are so many sections or events that I would cut – I actually don’t know if there are any – but out of all seven/eight, this one feels the least alive as a film. All that said, I do really enjoy this film. I love how the wizarding world is growing and showing that it’s far more complicated than we knew, I love how this clearly builds to Voldemort’s return and whatever fallout may come from that. It’s just not the film it could be.

WRITING
I don’t have much to say about this screenplay; I think it’s fine, but perhaps too literal in its “adaptation.” The biggest departure is not including the Deathday Party, which is a very obvious scene to cut – it’s fun, but it lifts right out. It would shock me that so many fans have complained about that change, but for every scene, event, or thing in all of the Harry Potter books, there are people attached to it. My gripe here is that Kloves’ favoritism for Hermione shows here in an annoying way, and we all know what I mean: There are a few lines that were Ron’s in the book, that should still be Ron’s in the film, because they make more sense for him to know and say. It makes more sense for Ron to tell us what a mudblood is (even if it is in between vomiting up slugs), or tell us that hearing voices isn’t normal even in the wizarding world. Not a major drawback, but irritating. It detracts from Ron’s character just a little bit.

ACTING


DANIEL RADCLIFFE AS HARRY, RUPERT GRINT AS RON, and EMMA WATSON AS HERMIONE

I won’t say that these three have devolved into one-dimensional characters, but they do feel more like caricatures in this movie than in any of the others: Harry the unquestioning, blank-slate hero; Ron the comic sidekick; Hermione the source of all knowledge in the universe. That sounds like I hate the way these characters are rendered here, but I don’t – however, it’s somewhat of a letdown, partly because of the writing, partly because of the acting (and, of course, the direction). Dan Radcliffe was not the most dynamic presence the first time around, but his performance had far more life to it then; he’s pretty flat through a lot of this movie. Harry’s turmoils are more internal here (Harry’s turmoils seem to be more internal in the even-numbered installments) – it’s not the wonder and awe of being brought into a world of magic and endless possibilities of Sorcerer’s Stone, it’s not the drive to repay the man who betrayed his parents of Prisoner of Azkaban, it’s not the all-encompassing angst of Order of the Phoenix. It’s, foremost, a worry that everything he doesn’t know about his family/past could come to something terribly destructive, something he can’t even control. (The only scene that was cut that I wish hadn’t been is the one where Harry confides in Ron and Hermione about being able to do something you don’t know you can, and what else that means.) It’s more difficult to make that really compelling, I’m sure. It’s not a failure of a performance – Radcliffe is still engaging and likeable – but you want more from it. As for Rupert Grint’s Ron, when I remember Ron in this movie, I mainly remember a lot of irritating mugging and squealing. Yes, we do have the scene with Harry and Ron trapped in the car as the Whomping Willow is attacking it, and the scene with the two vastly outnumbered by acromantulas. Yes, Ron’s terrified of spiders going into that. Yes, his wand breaks early on. Ron doesn’t have much to do in this story anyway, and again, much of his dialogue is given to Hermione, so Ron comes off as a simple scared second banana in this case. Grint has not lost his charm or comic ability, but he’s kind of annoying this time. Emma Watson, however, improves noticeably. She’s more poised, more confident, funnier as a Hermione who’s the brains of the bunch, obviously, but also now willing to break a few rules if there’s a real need.

KENNETH BRANAGH AS GILDEROY LOCKHART
I can see Tim Roth playing a very effective Snape, but Alan Rickman is too great an asset to seriously conceive of anyone else in that part. In the same vein, I can see Hugh Grant playing a great Gilderoy Lockhart, but Kenneth Branagh’s is perfect, so there’s no missed opportunity here. This is one superb comic performance; Lockhart is charismatic, overwhelmingly conceited, and detestable.

JASON ISAACS AS LUCIUS MALFOY
Lucius is the real villain of the second film. And Jason Isaacs gets the character – he gets that for all the plotting Lucius does to open The Chamber of Secrets, it comes down to the scary, deeply troubling fact that what we’re dealing with here is a racist. He’s a cold, cruel, vicious figure, and we see that Draco’s apple does not fall far from Lucius’ tree. He is one-dimensional, and Isaacs’ performance is over the top, but not in a pandering way. He gets it, and he has a great deal of fun with it.

CHRISTIAN COULSON AS TOM RIDDLE
I think Coulson makes for a very good Tom Riddle, although I’m not as positive on the performance as I once was. He certainly has the sinister, cunning edge, and a good deal of charisma; I wish there were a little more nuance to it, I guess.

JULIE WALTERS AS MOLLY WEASLEY and MARK WILLIAMS AS ARTHUR WEASLEY
Who wouldn’t want Molly and Arthur as their parents? The Weasleys vs. the Malfoys is not a full contrast yet, because we haven’t met Draco’s mother, but we all know that the differences are huge and what those are. Walters (who we met briefly in Sorcerer’s Stone) and Williams bring wonderful energy to their parts, Walters’ Molly the more stern, Williams’ Arthur the more easygoing. Molly and Arthur are Harry’s parental stand-ins, and the Weasleys are the great true family unit that he didn’t have, but ends up being brought into.

TOBY JONES AS THE VOICE OF DOBBY
Oh, Dobby, it’s…it’s hard to like you. Look, Dobby is annoying, I’m not going to deny that. And we all know he’s supposed to be. He’s also pitiable and sympathetic, then likeable in his childlike sincerity. I still can’t believe that there have been any comparisons to Jar Jar Binks, because, if nothing else, at least Dobby has some value as a character; he’s not an (horribly failed) attempt at comic relief alone. Toby Jones’ voice acting is great; he doesn’t try to make the character any cuter or easier to take, he is somewhat shrill, but Dobby’s too good and sincere to not embrace.

SHIRLEY HENDERSON AS MOANING MYRTLE
Speaking of annoying…Moaning Myrtle is a grating presence, but Shirley Henderson is hilarious. The fact that she was 36 when she shot Chamber of Secrets doesn’t matter, because she’s so vivid as this teenage girl who can’t let go of her own resentments and traumas, so she’ll hang around and haunt whoever comes into her territory (hard to resist using the word “emo’ about Myrtle). Her scene in Goblet of Fire is a tour de force of inappropriate behavior, too.

MUSIC
It’s not as outstanding or distinctive a score as Sorcerer’s Stone or Prisoner of Azkaban, but there’s some great stuff here. The “Fawkes the Phoenix” and “Gilderoy Lockhart” themes are the best and most memorable.

ART DIRECTION
This world is getting bigger, richer, and more textured, and it’s great to watch. Environments are larger and more convincing, even if they don’t feel lived in really. The scale and detail is impeccable, it really can’t be said enough – from the new Burrow set to the new Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom (a virtual shrine to Lockhart) to The Chamber of Secrets – it’s all spectacular.

BITS AND BOBS
-It’s the tiniest thing, but if I’m not mistaken, in the book, there’s mention of Harry, in his detention with Lockhart, tuning him out but occasionally catching a platitude like, “Fame is a fickle friend,” and, “Celebrity is as celebrity does.” They’re not together. But in the film, those two lines are simply one after another, and that makes it even funnier.

-The picture of Lockhart on his broom might be among the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

-“Blimey, Harry’s got himself a rogue bludger!” I find that so cheesy it’s hilarious.

-Right after that is my favorite Ron moment in the movie: His sort of attempt at bravely taking action, raising (what’s left of) his wand and declaring, “I’ll stop it!” before Hermione kills the moment.

-How much importance “expelliarmus” has in the final movie I actually don’t know, I'm not sure how much they've kept there, but you have to love that Snape is the first person Harry sees perform it.

-The fact that just about every spell in that scene does the exact same thing – blast your opponent across the room – kind of bothers me. “Expelliarmus” is inconsistent in that – sometimes it blasts your target across the room, sometimes it does just disarm them. I guess the explanation is it depends on the force of whoever fired the spell.

-Favorite Malfoy moment: “I didn’t know you could read.” I love Tom Felton’s timing on that – it’s not a joke, he takes it as interesting trivia.

-The scene where Harry first communicates with the diary doesn’t work for me, because it feels so awkward. Harry only starts talk-writing to it because the plot says he has to, and besides, I just hate the convention of people reading aloud whatever they write as they write it (I don’t know anyone who does that). I guess the scene has to be that way, though.

-JKR has that terrific knack for introducing something, like the diary say, using it perfectly well initially, and then making it far more significant than you knew in a way that makes perfect sense – building on it in a way that makes perfect sense and makes perfect sense along with what it was at first. Before Half-Blood Prince, you don’t think of this as a part of Voldemort’s soul exactly, but once you find out that’s what it is, it fits perfectly, and makes Chamber of Secrets more interesting in retrospect.

-The spiders in this movie don’t scare me at all – spiders aren’t a fear of mine anyway, to be fair – but the scene in the acromantulas’ den is a standout.

-The last great scene between Harry and Dumbledore for a while, and the last where Dumbledore properly explains anything. Radcliffe has fantastic moments with Gambon, but he and Harris had a different rapport, and one that I think is more effective. Among the other reasons it’s a tragedy that Richard Harris passed when he did, it’s a shame these two actors didn’t get to grow their portrayals of these two characters together over the entire series.

-Ron sidestepping the hug with Hermione and going for the handshake is such a fun bit of foreshadowing.

-Yeah, that last scene is hard to watch. Harry saying, “There’s no Hogwarts without you, Hagrid,” is fine because for him, it’s true, but the way it builds is just ludicrous sentimental excess.

-Chamber of Secrets is the longest film in the series, at 2 hours and 40 minutes (that is, if unless you look at Deathly Hallows as one massive film), which is sort of shocking.

ON THE WHOLE
It's a flawed adaptation, but Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets has far more strengths than weaknesses. It's exactly what you want from a sequel: It takes the world and the characters established in the first film, and expands on them, makes them richer adds more dimension, makes them more complicated. It takes on more mature, complex subject matter, and has the mixture of excitement, heart, and humor that made Sorcerer's Stone successful.


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  #225  
Old July 10th, 2011, 9:57 pm
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

I've been watching them on DVD one a night, just finished with POA and on wednesday I'll be seeing HBP at the cinema with my brother as that's the only one we missed (so glad we're getting another chance to catch it!). Might see DH Part 1 on thursday too if we feel like it.

Definitely want to do a proper marathon when all 8 films are out on DVD/Blu-Ray.


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  #226  
Old July 10th, 2011, 11:52 pm
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

Mom and I are watching all the movies on Blue ray...on POA right now then GOF tomorrow, OttP, Tuesday etc etc then DH 1 & 2 Thursday at 9 and MIDNIGHT!


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  #227  
Old July 11th, 2011, 1:01 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread




DIRECTING
Here's where things get interesting. Alfonso Cuarón was probably not a predictable or safe choice (although, yes, I know he'd made A Little Princess), but he was the best choice. Sure, I wonder what it would have been like to have a single director over the course of the whole series, but as well as the series comes together as a whole, each book does have a different sensation to it, so it's fitting that we've had different filmmakers lend them all different approaches. Cuarón gives the franchise a shot in the arm, a wonderful new energy and vitality. He is a director with a strong presence - he doesn't lose or betray Jo Rowling's voice, but he adds his own, and while not every artistic flourish works, he understands precisely the tone, the spirit, and emotional depth of this installment.

WRITING
Here we are with the first Harry Potter book that can't be basically reenacted in live action, without just droning on and on. There's one significant cut that's problematic, and we all know what it is, and I'll get to that later, because I've never read a Prisoner of Azkaban script, so I'm not sure if it was a decision from Kloves or Cuarón. For the most part, this is a great screenplay. With the sheer volume of detail, the number of scenes where characters sit around and exchange information, this must have been a challenge - it's all compelling information, but not exactly scenes that present potential for compelling cinema. The scenes inside The Three Broomsticks and The Shrieking Shack are streamlined so well, and the pace is just right. Kloves zeroes in on what's really important here, and that's true of the entire film.

ACTING

DANIEL RADCLIFFE AS HARRY, RUPERT GRINT AS RON, and EMMA WATSON AS HERMIONE
Wow, what an improvement! Sure, by this point, these three know their characters well, but the performances from each of them (especially Dan) are far better than what we saw in Chamber of Secrets, so Cuarón must deserve some credit for that. (Those essays must have paid off - well, except for Rupert.) Watching Dan Radcliffe in Prisoner of Azkaban is watching the birth of a proper actor - not every moment is golden ("HE WAS THEIR FRIEND!" has become sort of infamous - 'though I think it gets too much hate), but he is great, a very soulful, deeply felt performance. This one lives or dies based on him much more than the first two, and he carries it. And yet...It's not really accurate, but this kind of feels like Hermione's - and therefore Emma Watson's - movie. I'm really rooting for her to go on to great things as an actress post-Potter, because this is a star turn. Watching Hermione take charge, think on her feet, and improvise rescues of both Buckbeak and Sirius, but not as the perfect, always-in-control, "Well, of course, haven't you read '__________'"? type, is incredibly fun. Ron's kind of left by the wayside this time, that's just the nature of this one. Rupert's good, he's not just the comic sidekick this time; he just doesn't have much to do (he has the funniest moment of the movie, though: "Spiders! They want me to tapdance. I don't want to tapdance." Love Harry's response of, "You tell those spiders, Ron," too).

MICHAEL GAMBON AS DUMBLEDORE
Of course it was strange to have a new Dumbledore – it was jarring, and it took me a while to fully appreciate this performance. I always liked it, but I didn’t initially see how fantastic it is. And it is fantastic. It’s not Richard Harris’ Dumbledore, and yet everything Harris brought to the table is present here – the warmth, the charm, the wit, the appearance of having all the answers and wisdom in the world – and added onto that is a new kind of whimsy and irreverence. Harris had a sense of humor, but this is different. And all of this is with not all that much screen time, but Dumbledore is such a vibrant, multi-dimensional character that the slightest moment can actually carry great depth. (My favorite Dumbledore moment in this film is actually the line, “But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,” and the way he puts out-and-then-on the fire of the candle. Harry tries it himself later on, and it's a gesture that speaks volumes.)

GARY OLDMAN AS SIRIUS
You have to admire this one. You have to admire how Oldman is utterly believable as Sirius Black the servant of Voldemort, Sirius Black the boogeyman, Sirius Black the traitor, and then utterly believable - pretty much turning ion a dime - as the betrayed, someone we should empathize with, something who's actually looking out for Harry. He's positively magnetic as an actor and screen presence, and Sirius' rapport with each character he interacts with is unique and compelling. Ultimately, Sirius' scenes are truly touching, in particular his moments with Dan Radcliffe.

DAVID THEWLIS AS LUPIN
Again, touching; that seems like the most appropriate word to describe David Thewlis' portrayal of Remus Lupin. I love the intimacy and tenderness of the scenes Harry and Lupin share - the heart of this movie is in those scenes. I know Lupin's not among the most important characters after this, but you have to wish Thewlis had more of a chance to shine, because he is so, so very good here.

TIMOTHY SPALL AS WORMTAIL
The dirty rat! (It's not often you can say that literally - unless you're actually talking to a dirty rat, of course.) Spall's terrific as the utterly despicable sniveling little coward Wormtail (I'm not a fan, can you tell?). You can see him as the member of the group who'd just be trailing the others, just happy to be there, but resenting, to himself, that he wasn't treated like a real part. It might be a backhanded compliment toward Tim Spall to say that he's very convincing as a man who's spent the last 12 years living as a rat, but he is.

EMMA THOMPSON AS PROFESSOR TRELAWNEY
She makes it look like the easiest thing in the world, Emma Thompson. The character's slightly different from the book - a little dimmer, a bit less your typical hushed-tones psychic - but Thompson's a perfect fit. She's the ultimate seer who cannot see; she'll blather on about "the beyond!" and then stumble at a table right in front of her. And yet, she does actually have a gift, she's not a complete phony - but that gift possesses her, she's not even aware of when she does demonstrate her ability as a seer. My favorite Emma Thompson-as-Trelawney moment is her completely condescending tone to Hermione when she dismisses her potential ("...your soul as dry as the pages in the books to which you so desperately cleave"), and the honest obliviousness to why Hermione might be upset by it.

MUSIC
I'll wait and see (er...hear) if I still think this is the best of the Harry Potter scores, but so far, it still is, and it's also one of John Williams' best period. There's great variety of sounds and moods, and you can tell just by listening to a track like "Aunt Marge's Waltz" or "The Knight Bus" that he's having a lot of fun. And then there's "Buckbeak's Flight," which is exhilarating and moving, and hits Williams' knack for writing great themes of flight. And "A Window to the Past" is, in my opinion, second only to "Hedwig's Theme" as the greatest piece of music created for the series (again, so far - but it seems unlikely that that'll change in my mind). It's absolutely beautiful.

ART DIRECTION
Not everything about Hogwarts - interior and exterior - has changed, but it all looks so different. We have a new director and a new D.P., though, so that's to be expected - different filmmakers are going to shoot the same locations in different ways. The environments in Prisoner of Azkaban have far more texture; this is a world that seems not just vast, but lived-in. Things aren't so shiny and new anymore; some places are shabby, or filthy, or messy. All of it goes to making everything more convincing. The drastic changes in the way Hogwarts looked - new exterior environs, the relocation of Hagrid's hut and The Whomping Willow - bothered me at the time, but not so much anymore. I'd appreciate greater consistency, but the changes were made because they worked for the needs of this movie.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
The darkness has arrived, and it's not going anywhere. This is a beautiful-looking film, and it's "dark" in a different way than the next four/five. The Dementors do bring a certain bleakness to the proceedings, but the atmosphere here is more fairy-tale fright than the more grounded horrors to come; "playfully macabre" might be a good way to describe it. I'm not trying to sell it short, because there is real tension here, and the cinematography from Michael Seresin brings a lot of that.

BITS AND BOBS
-I still hate that opening scene. I get it - Harry's a teenager now, the whole movie is itself a bit of a teenager, and as far as jokes about Harry playing with his wand go, it's a good one. The problem for me is that, in a few short minutes, Harry's going to be afraid that he'll be expelled or worse for accidentally inflating his aunt, and here he is not so accidentally performing a rather noticeable spell that even ends in a "maxima." It's a nitpick, and that's why it's in this section, but the inconsistency bothers me, because it's just that: a joke about Harry playing with his wand.

-That Knight Bus scene would be perfect if it weren't for that damn shrunken head. Puns are painful, even when delivered in a zany Jamaican accent. So annoying.

-Why is Tom a hunchback now? Not just a hunchback, he's Igor. I wanna know what happened in between movies one and three.

-The very concept of Dementors is a chilling one, and the film's execution of them is amazing; they are truly terrifying. All the shots of the way the Dementors affect what's around them are pretty powerful, my favorite being the flowers freezing and dying as they glide over them.

-I don't quite believe that Dumbledore would actually bring in a choir to sing "Double Trouble" right before warning the students not to let darkness overwhelm them. Maybe you could chalk it up to Dumbledore's whimsical, slightly twisted sense of humor, if you want to think of a reason for it.

-Parvati's "funnier" boggart is SO MUCH WORSE.

-Lupin interferes with Harry's turn in the boggart lesson because he assumed Harry's boggart would take the shape of Lord Voldemort. Okaaaay, that made sense on the page, but here, Lupin sees Harry's boggart, and it's a Dementor. No mistaking it.

-Only Alan Rickman could make a line like, "Turn to page 394," which is just a sentence, it's nothing special, and turn into a moment. The first trailer (or maybe it was the second) opened with that line!

-I love Ron and Hermione's awkward, pre-flirtatious moments in this movie.

-I remember how excited I was when I first read the book and came to Hermione slapping (in that case) Malfoy. I love the punch even more. Plus, it has the automatic benefit of us seeing it.

-"What would you have done?!" "I would have died! I would have died rather than betray my friends!" So powerful.

-Okay, so it's kind of the elephant in the room with this movie: Who are the Marauders? We don't find out, and what that means is that (A) the Marauder's Map is just a prop, a neat object, and a bit of a plot point when it could be more, but, more importantly, (B) we don't have a really great illustration of their friendship that we could use. Here's how it should go: Harry insists, "The map lied, then!", Lupin responds, "The map never lies," and then Harry asks, "How do you know?" to which Lupin replies, "Because I made it - along with Sirius, and your father - and Peter Pettigrew," and then the scene proceeds as it does. In Lupin's final scene, have a couple of lines telling us that James, Sirius, and Peter stood by Lupin in the worst time of his life, and became animagi so Lupin would have some support. It would not add much time at all, but it would add some more resonance to those relationships, and a little more depth to the film, with just a few new lines.

-The banter with Sirius and Snape is hilarious. ("As usual, you've put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and, as usual, come to the wrong conclusion." "Severus, don't be a fool" - "He can't help it, it's habit by now." "Why don't you run along and play with your chemistry set?")

-I'm not sure how I feel about that final shot. I've gone back and forth on what I think of it over the years.

ON THE WHOLE
Prisoner of Azkaban isn't my favorite film in the series, but it is very satisfying. It marks a huge leap forward in emotional richness, and a leap forward for the series as a film series.


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  #228  
Old July 11th, 2011, 6:07 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

I'll be starting a Potter marathon this week. I'll be spreading out the movies between Monday and Thursday then going to see the midnight showing of DH:P2. Woohoo!!


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  #229  
Old July 13th, 2011, 10:52 pm
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

This local theatre offered a special HP marathon this week- 8 movies in 4 nights with the final film showing at MN on thursday.

I thought there was no way I could possible do this but I finally couldn't help myself and bought the tickets. I caught the end of SS and then saw CoS, PoA, and GoF. It was incredible to see these movies back to back on the big screen. It just made me appreciate them that much more and the individual characteristics of each one. I loved the innocence and colorful palette of the first 2, the more mature artistic take of the 3rd, and the exhilarating triwizard tournament sequences of GoF. There is actually a lot more continuity than I realized despite having 3 different directors spanning across the 4 films.

Everyone cheered as soon as the WB logo showed up for each movie, when Dobby first appears in CoS, when Sirius shows up at the end of PoA, and at various points of each movie. It was great! Tonight they are showing OOTP and HOP. I can't wait to go!

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Originally Posted by chunky_monkey View Post
In my city they've been showing one film per week since the last week of May, with an option to go to one of two showings during the week. I bought tickets to all of them (for only $25!!) and on Monday I'll be seeing DH1. I thought it was a great idea because not that many people would do the full marathon in one day. In fact, these showings were far from sold out, but had plenty of enthusiastic fans that have applauded at the end of every. single. film.

I really wish that is how my theatre did it. Instead it is 8 films and 4 nights which is fun, but has made me completely exhuasted :lol


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  #230  
Old July 13th, 2011, 11:31 pm
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

My husband and I have been having our own HP movie marathon at our house this week. It's a good way to celebrate the release of the final film.


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  #231  
Old July 14th, 2011, 2:57 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

I just finished Half-Blood Prince.

Tomorrow at 9PM I will go see Deathly Hollows Pt. 1 followed by Deathly Hollows Pt. 2


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  #232  
Old July 14th, 2011, 5:49 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

Currently watching OOTP and then I'll watch HBP next.


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Old July 14th, 2011, 8:31 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread




DIRECTING
Mike Newell has a very diverse range of films – from Enchanted April to Four Weddings and a Funeral to Donnie Brasco to Love in the Time of Cholera – but the man is no director-for-hire hack. Newell brings a very different energy and sensibility to the proceedings than Alfonso Cuarón, but he tries to do some of the same things: expand this world, broaden its boundaries, make it more realistic and more lived-in, give our core characters more dimension, and raise the stakes to where you feel every threat in a much more visceral, palpable way. But then, any director would want all of that. Newell gets the boarding school atmosphere and camaraderie; Hogwarts is far more believable and alive as a school. Newell also takes Cuarón’s lead and presents the younger cast as authentic teenagers, and the movie is kind of a teenager. It’s a challenging (for the filmmakers, I mean) mixture of thriller, action-adventure, and romantic comedy – the overarching threat of Voldemort’s return, intensifying with new “dreams” Harry’s having, the question of who entered Harry in the Triwizard Tournament, and the suspense of seeing who will make it through the tournament and how, are interspersed with the painfully awkward first steps into dealing with the opposite sex, the first serious fight with your best friend that feels like it’s the end of that friendship, and the strange combination of hopelessness and limitless possibility that can come with being a teenager. Goblet of Fire could certainly be a more effective mystery, and Newell’s strategy for directing his actors is, almost across the board, seems to be to keep them at an overcaffeinated pitch of anxiety or anger, which can be frustrating. He gets some great performances out of some people, some bad ones out of some people. In general, Newell does a great job; the fact that he captures the tone so well is his greatest achievement.

WRITING
Again, I think this is a very good screenplay. I’m impressed that this movie doesn’t feel like it suffers much under the weight of all that it has to compress, all that it has to do. I love what he does with the first, but especially third tasks; I came out of my first viewing preferring Goblet of Fire the movie to Goblet of Fire the book because the tasks were so much more exciting as cinema. You could argue that the chase scene with the dragon is nonsensical because, well, why would the dragon leave that egg that it’s supposed to be protecting? Because if that turns into an aerial chase around the castle, it becomes thrilling, so we sacrifice logic a little bit. The third task is totally fresh, it’s going for something different than the book, it’s trying to be a mental and psychological challenge rather than another magical-creature extravaganza. That notion alone is more successful than the execution of it – the sequence is isn’t all that interesting – I get really tense when the third task starts, every time I watch it, but that’s because I know what’s coming at the end of that maze. Kloves had the unenviable task of simplifying the elaborate Barty Crouch Jr. plot, but he’s pretty successful. There’s not a lot to it in the film; Barty Crouch Jr., a Death Eater who’d notably tortured Neville’s father (more on that in the next one), was sent to Azkaban by his father, he later escapes and takes on the identity of Mad-Eye Moody to enact the mission Voldemort’s given him. There’s one problem with that: The previous year, Sirius escaped Azkaban and it was huge news, because no one had ever done it. This year, Barty Crouch Jr. escapes and no one notices. Such lax security. The Dementors really have checked out of that joint. This is the point where the books are so complicated or intricate that whole characters and storylines have to be cut, and Ludo Bagman was a very obvious character to lose; he’s fun, he’s amusing, but that character doesn’t contribute anything that would have justified his inclusion in the film. The removal of the S.P.E.W. subplot has always been a much more controversial choice, and I understand that, because that is big character development for Hermione on the page – but I don’t miss it in the film, not at all. It’s a fairly significant subplot, but one that doesn’t affect Harry, so it had to go. It means that Dobby isn’t reintroduced here, though, which will prove to be a bit problematic, later on. I absolutely love that, instead of Dobby, it’s Neville who suggests Harry use gillyweed; we heard several times throughout the books that Neville’s a gifted Herbology student, but I don’t recall that it was ever really utilized. In the movie it is.

ACTING

DANIEL RADCLIFFE AS HARRY, RUPERT GRINT AS RON, and EMMA WATSON AS HERMIONE
An exponential improvement from two out of these three. Dan Radcliffe knocks it out of the park; he expands his emotional range in a big way. It’s a performance of real substance, it has nuance, it’s full of subtle little touches that say a lot (for example, stopping himself before the word “normal” when he’s telling Ron that he didn’t put his name in the goblet). He’s particularly strong in the two best stretches of the movie – the buildup to the Yule Ball and Voldemort’s graveyard resurrection; perfectly awkward in the former, perfectly terrified in the latter. It’s an impressive turn all around, great pleasure to see Dan’s development from film to film. Meanwhile, Ron finally gets to be more than either comic relief or charming best pal (he got to show more than that in the climax of Sorcerer’s Stone previously as well), which gives Rupert his own opportunity to stretch, mainly in the first act. Ron handles his jealousy and resentment pretty poorly, and he’s not especially likeable during that time, but you can see where he’s coming from, because Ron up until this point has occupied a limited role – again, I wouldn’t say he’s one-dimensional, but still, it’s easy to underestimate him. Rupert walks that fine line nicely. His best moment is surely that look on his face when Harry starts to walk up after his name is called, such a feeling of hurt and betrayal on that great face. Surprisingly, Emma is the one who doesn’t noticeably improve this time. Newell just works her up too much at times – particularly in the Defense Against the Dark Arts scene, where she’s too upset too quickly. I’m not saying it’s a bad performance, far from it. I think she’s good, just not as good as we’ve come to expect. She’s at her best in the Yule Ball scene.

RALPH FIENNES AS VOLDEMORT
Now we’re getting somewhere! I can only bow down in complete adoration and admiration for Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort. He’s not exactly the Voldemort of the books – that’s a more consistently calm, reserved personality, whereas the Voldemort we’re introduced to in this film fluctuates, in such a captivating way, between that reserve and a live-wire ferocity. You’re never entirely sure how he’s going to move from one second to the next, so you’re never entirely sure where you stand with him. I think that was a brilliant choice. Voldemort is an amazing role, but it’s also one that could allow an actor who can demonstrate any menace at all coast. It’s very easy to say he’s evil incarnate, but if you’re an actor on the level of Ralph Fiennes, you have to go deeper. You have to strip the scene down to its essence and recognize that this is a killer with no conscience or capacity for mercy capturing a 14-year-old boy and trying to kill him. That’s brutal stuff, and, by Newell’s lead but also his own marvelous instincts, Fiennes does not pull any punches, and he allows the scene to be as intense as it needs to be. And it is nightmarish. The most effectively chilling line Voldemort has said in the films has to be, “Don’t you turn your back on me, Harry Potter! I WANT YOU TO LOOK AT ME WHEN I KILL YOU! I WANT TO SEE THE LIGHT LEAVE YOUR EYES!” And it’s the words themselves, not just that they’re shouted. Truly chilling. Voldemort’s resurrection scene, top to bottom, marks the turning point of the series, and a huge progression in emotional and thematic maturity.

BRENDAN GLEESON AS MAD-EYE MOODY…er…BARTY CROUCH JR. IMPERSONATING MAD-EYE MOODY
Brendan Gleeson’s a fantastic Mad-Eye, or…well, you know who he is. He’s a bit over the top (again, Mike Newell directs his Goblet of Fire cast to be a bit big), but that fits to me, because it’s Barty Crouch Jr. playing Mad-Eye, so I like that he exaggerates it. Gleeson nails it, making Fake Mad-Eye menacing, intimidating, funny, and, seemingly, a compassionate teacher and protector. I don’t think he gives away the big secret, not even with that tongue thing and the consistent swigging from that flask (really, you should just assume that the man’s a functioning alcoholic before you assume anything more villainous). There’s a good connection between Brendan Gleeson as Fake Mad-Eye and David Tennant as Barty Jr., though, which serves them both well.

MICHAEL GAMBON AS DUMBLEDORE
Oh, Lord. What happened here?

Oh, right, Mike Newell happened. I have to believe that Michael Gambon is one of those actors who relies almost entirely on his director, which is not necessarily a bad thing…but here it is, because Newell’s choices with Dumbledore are all wrong. So he’s modeled after Mike Newell’s own schoolhood teachers or Headmasters, fine – but the warmth, the wit, the sense of humor, are entirely absent (minus a crack about – accidentally – setting curtains on fire late in the film), and it’s sad to see Albus Dumbledore turned into a stock gruff Headmaster with a chip on his shoulder. The problem is not so much that it’s a drastic departure from the book, the problem is that it’s a drastic departure from the previous film (even from Gambon’s own Prisoner of Azkaban characterization). I don’t recognize this guy, even at the beginning, where he’s prattling on about eternal glory and standing alone should you be entered in the tournament. Now, Goblet of Fire the book does show us a Dumbledore, who, for the first time, does not appear completely in control at all times. The thing is, that’s supposed to build as the story goes on. Dumbledore loses all control straightaway after he picks Harry’s name out of The Goblet of Fire, and there’s no development – it’s not only that infamous shoving-Harry-against-the-trophy-stand moment, although that is the hardest to watch – he’s short-tempered with Maxime and Karkaroff as he charges (really, charges) into the room, he’s short-tempered with Cornelius Fudge when Harry walks into his office. There is one moment where he should be as out-of-control angry as he is for so much of this movie, and that’s when he goes after Barty Crouch Jr. at the end. That moment doesn’t register, though, because it hits the same notes we’ve been seeing. This is an endlessly frustrating performance for me, (A) because Dumbledore is my favorite character in the books and was up to this point my favorite character in the films, and (B) because Michael Gambon is so winning in Prisoner of Azkaban. What’s worst is that I feel no connection between Dumbledore and Harry in their scenes together, and not enough trust from Dumbledore to Harry. That, “DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE?!” moment may be just that, a moment, but the aggression of it goes against the point, which is ostensibly that Dumbledore will simply trust Harry’s word, where the others are more suspicious. If you have the same words, delivered with authority but concern, instead of outright suspicious anger, that intent would have come across. Michael Gambon is a fine actor, and this is not an example of bad film acting, but it is an example of a poor performance as this character.

MIRANDA RICHARDSON AS RITA SKEETER
It’s not a role of complexity or more than one dimension, but the Rita Skeeter character does allow an actor to come in and have fun, and boy, does Miranda Richardson have fun. She really makes the most out of every second she has to make an impression, and she does indeed make an impression as your worst nightmare of a headline-hungry, fame-seeking, fake-news-is-good-news tabloid reporter. I wish there was a spin-off just for her. Or I wish that Rita’s Deathly Hallows plotline was one that gave her a chance to actually appear. Or both. I wish both.

AND THE REST
Goblet of Fire brings in so many new faces, so I want to mention some more even if I didn’t think I had a paragraph of things to say on each. Frances de la Tour as Madame Maxime is an excellent bit of casting, and she and Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid are truly adorable together. Katie Leung’s actually kind of adorable herself in this one; you see why Harry develops such a major crush on her. She’s so painfully sincere when she’s turning Harry down, it’s hard to watch, but very well-played. I can’t not think, “Hey, it’s the Tenth Doctor!” when I see David Tennant as Barty Jr., but I do like what he does with the part, the manic, rabid-dog energy he has. As Barty Sr., Roger Lloyd-Pack is usually grating to me, with the exception of his conversation with Harry just after the second task. That’s a fine bit of acting; he really comes across like a broken man. As Cedric, Robert Pattinson is fine; there’s not much “there” there with Cedric, we don’t get to know who he really is, even if we’re told he’s a lot of things in Dumbledore’s eulogy. If we feel sorry that Cedric dies, and not just that a student dies, then that’s due to Pattinson investing him with some charisma and an air of basic decency. Finally, Jeff Rawle as Amos Diggory, who demonstrates the truth of the phrase, “There are no small parts, only small actors.” Amos’ wail of pain and despair after seeing his son lying dead is agonizing, and it’s a standout moment.

MUSIC
I was so uncomfortable with not having the musical presence of John Williams the first time I saw Goblet of Fire that it took me a while to come around and realize how wonderful Patrick Doyle’s score is. It’s a beautiful, memorable collection of music, from “Neville’s Waltz” to “Harry in Winter” to “Rita Skeeter” to “Potter Waltz” to “Voldemort” to “Death of Cedric” to, my favorite, “Hogwarts Hymn,” it’s one terrific melody after another. Doyle’s work really supports everything onscreen, and never becomes too manipulative. It’s outstanding. You gotta love the songs created for The Weird Sisters, too (or, at least, you should) – “Do the Hippogriff” is pure goofy fun, but “Magic Works” is by far the best of the three, a genuinely good song, and one that, if you pay attention to the lyrics, is actually a kind of summation of Ron and Hermione’s relationship.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Pratt’s a great D.P., and this is his second go-round in that role, after Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. He’s allowed to do a lot more this time, both because of having a story that calls for darker, more evocative visuals, and because of a director who has a more distinct presence. The cinematography plays a huge part in keeping the tension as high as it throughout. The art of cinematography is one that I haven’t learned to discuss as well as I’d like to; I can never quite articulate exactly what I want to say about why it works or doesn’t. But I do know that Pratt’s camera is a big contribution to the feeling in GoF that we’re on the edge of some huge, terrible change.

BITS AND BOBS
-I still stand by the widely derided – or shall we go stronger, “infamously hated” – “I love magic” line. Yes, Harry is 14, but Book Harry could still stand back and appreciate something new and awesome, even at 14. Don’t we all have moments sometimes when we have to stand back and say, “This is really cool?” Even with something we’re very accustomed to. I certainly know I’ve had plenty of those moments with Harry Potter. I still do. That’s what that moment is.

-“Well, the devil with Barty!” Maggie Smith, you are one awesome Dame.

-I love the way the Pensieve looks: entrancing, ethereal, slightly menacing.

-There are two stretches of this film that are absolutely perfect to me – seriously, would not change a frame – the Yule Ball and buildup before it and Voldemort’s graveyard rebirth. I would list my favorite funny moments of the former, but that would turn into me simply transcribing.

-Harry, drifting oddly far away from Hagrid, Ron, and Hermione, comes across Mr. Crouch lying dead in the middle of the forest. Harry goes to Dumbledore’s office, presumably to tell him of this, but we overhear Dumbledore barking at Fudge about it. Okay, so they know. And that’s the last of that. Boy, was that poorly handled. There’s a nice deleted scene with the trio reacting to Crouch’s death, that I believe would have taken place in between these two scenes. It shouldn’t have been deleted.

-Another scene that shouldn’t have been deleted: Harry overhearing Snape and Karkaroff talking outside at the ball. We do have a very brief exchange with Harry stumbling upon Karkaroff showing Snape his Dark Mark, but that barely registers.

-Boy, Harry’s really numb at that point, huh? Not even finding out that Snape was a Death Eater who (allegedly) turned spy for Dumbledore fazes him. No reaction at all…

-Dumbledore’s eulogy for Cedric has no business being as powerful as it is – because we don’t know that Cedric is any of those things Dumbledore tells us he is. We’ve had no evidence of any of them. And yet, largely due to Michael Gambon’s delivery (he's excellent here), it is rather moving.

-Either explain what “Priori Incantatem” is and/or why Harry’s and Voldemort’s wands connected that way or don’t bring it up at all. “Priori Incantatem…You saw your parents that night, didn’t you? No spell can awaken the dead, Harry, I trust you know that,” is not a satisfying answer.

-The final scene is too upbeat, it is, but I don’t have as much of a problem with it as I think most do. The last line of the book, if I’m not mistaken, is Harry recalling something Hagrid had said earlier in the chapter: “What would come would come, and they would meet it when it did.” That’s not entirely upbeat, but it’s not entirely bleak either. There’s a spirit of false hope to it, of trying to keep that darkness at bay while you maybe still can, and the final scene of GoF the movie goes for that same thing. It doesn’t entirely succeed, but it doesn’t entirely fail.

ON THE WHOLE
In spite of some severe shortcomings, Goblet of Fire was my favorite Harry Potter film for quite a while. It holds up. It finds that tricky balance of moods, and, as grandiose as this may be to say, it feels like adolescence. It's a divisive movie among fans, but I think it's pretty great.


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  #234  
Old July 14th, 2011, 4:55 pm
faruss  Female.gif faruss is offline
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

My fiance and I are in the midst of a movie marathon! We will finish with Pt.1 tonight and head straight to the theaters for Pt. 2!

It's been so much fun to re-watch the movies straight through!


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  #235  
Old July 14th, 2011, 4:58 pm
Dobby138  Male.gif Dobby138 is offline
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

I'm currently doing a movie marathon to make my screening of the last film better, as the films will be fresh in my mind. However, since, I'm seeing DH2 on Wednesday, I'm doing a movie a day, so:

-Yesterday, PS
-Tonight, COS
-Friday, POA
-Saturday, GOF
-Sunday, OOTP
-Monday, HBP
-Tuesday, DH1
-And finally, Wednesday, DH2 (Of course)


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  #236  
Old July 14th, 2011, 8:37 pm
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

I didn't see this thread. I watched two yesterday and two the day before. I just have DH today which i will be able to squeak in before the midnight showing.


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  #237  
Old July 15th, 2011, 12:57 am
SBNB  Female.gif SBNB is offline
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

I watched them all in the past month or so, but I wouldn't call that a marathon. If any of my friends were as Harry Potter obsessed as I am, I would gladly do a 2-day marathon of all eight movies.


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  #238  
Old July 15th, 2011, 1:17 am
decarus  Female.gif decarus is offline
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

Okay i finished DH Part 1. It was good to do a rewatch before the final film coming out. It really gets the filmverse in my mind and reminds me of what i love about the series. Just a few more hours until Part 2.


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  #239  
Old July 15th, 2011, 1:58 am
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

I saw ootp and Hbp last night at the theatre. I still have fond memories of watching ootp back in 2007 when it was released. I had just finished dh and was so sad that the story was over, so I kept going back to see ootp as a reminder that we still had the movies to look forward to. It made me feel so much better. I can't believe four yrs just flew right by. Rewatching ootp made me really appreciate Dan. He did such a great job in this film showing how tortured Harry was by everything he was going thru. It is probably my favorite performance of his. I still wish the dept of mysteries part was longer, but I still love the battle between voldemort and dumbledore. I wonder if we are in for something as epic as that with dh pt 2.

Hbp was still enjoyable, but for some reason I still feel shortchanged with that movie. It felt very choppy at times, and I always wished they spent more time on Harry and dumbledore's investigation into voldemorts past. Also, seeing ootp and hbp back to back I actually felt Dan did a better job showing harry's grief towards sirius' death than dumbledore's. I still found the movie entertaining though.

Well, tonight I go back to see part 1 at 9pm and then the finale at midnight. What a week it has been!


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  #240  
Old July 15th, 2011, 2:17 am
Daniel_Potter  Male.gif Daniel_Potter is offline
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Re: The Harry Potter Movie Marathon Thread

Now that I have seen the DHPart2, I started my own marathon, now watching PoA!


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