Mike and I braved the madness last night and headed out to see the 12:01 AM showing of the latest HP movie. I love the excitement - you can feel it in the air and you're bound to see some kick ass HP shirts and wands flailing around and groups of kids in their favorite school colors. I wore my faithful Gryffindor shirt of course.
The second that first all too familiar orchestra note hit when the Warner Bros. logo sculpted of dark stone appeared on screen with the dark ominous sky behind it, the crowd went wild with applause. At last we were seeing the next installment!
The next two plus hours went by with a few laughs, a lot of hooting when Harry finally braved his first kiss, and a lot of tear shed near the end due to an amazingly well done flashback type scene where Harry lays in AGONY. He really did some good acting in this one although I cannot say the same for anyone else.
So how do you take an 800 page novel and make a kick ass movie? Well, you can't.
It's quite clear that the writers and directors know their audience - at least 80% of them read the book - so it's alright to cut corners and chop some stuff out. Unfortunately it's all that filler stuff and the scenes between major action that make Harry Potter the story we love and cherish so much.
Much like Lord of the Rings, the first 200 pages in Book 5 took up about six minutes in Order of the Phoenix. Yeah, they got all the big stuff but I left feeling like I was rushed through what should have been an amazing experience - seeing a story I love so dearly on screen! For those who didn't read the book, I feel that they could have blinked and missed Sirius' death and possibly not even fully realized what happened to Mr. Weasley. Furthermore, there was so much going on that Harry and Umbridge were the main characters in this movie. Two minutes of Hagrid on screen? Unacceptable! So little Snape? Disappointing. I know they're not around too much but I even felt like Ron had hardly any lines.
But alas, they did their best most likely and I'm sure it was no easy feat. 800 pages is a lot to work with. It was still a Harry Potter flick though so, ya know, it was great for that!