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Chapter-by-chapter discussion of the DH films (6: The Will)

PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 2012 in General
It's time to be specific about what we liked and/or disliked about every individual scene, discuss how they work on their own and in the context of the film and the adaptation choices that were made. Basically you can discuss anything you want; cinematography, editing, acting, favourite lines etc.


Chapter 1 - These are dark times/obliviate montage

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A rusty WB logo accompanied with eerie scratching sounds from the horcrux signify right away that this is a completely different Potter film than what we have become accustomed to; it refreshingly breaks the formula of the traditional school year narrative of the previous six films. Likewise, the rusty WB logo (in contrast to the other films) symbolizes how the wizarding world is falling apart and slowly falling into the hands of Voldemort. As a little side note, it was slightly disappointing that the WB logo didn't burn in part 2 as I'd expected, but alas.

David Yates, having proven himself a master at crafting interesting opening scenes, turns the sound up to maximum and denies the audience any pictures. It's highly effective to pique the interest of the audience in what they're gonna see. The first actual shot we see is an extreme close-up of two eyes. Interestingly, Yates started HBP with a similar close-up of an eye, but this time they are not Harry's. I find it appropriate for a film that is so much about uncertainty of what do to next and asking questions without receiving any answers to open up with a shot that makes the audience go "who the hell is that guy?" The audience is left in the dark for some seconds until it becomes clear that it's some authority figure in the wizarding world: The Minister of Magic. He is played by Bill Nighy, who worked together with Yates on an acclaimed TV-series called "The Girl in the Cafe." Some have critisized him for overacting in his role here, and sure it is an exaggerated speech, but rightfully so given the dark times he speaks of and his own motivation to maintain his respect and credibility as a leader. As a politician he would naturally want to give off the impression that everything is under control. Another reason I think this is intended overacting is because Yates uses a direct straight-on shot during the speech; he stares into the camera as if he's speaking directly to us, which makes it feel quite personal. His nervous facial expressions make it clear that the minister himself doesn't believe the words he is saying to reassure the public. These are just empty words. For information about straight-on shots, check out this excellent video essay on OotP that I discovered a long time ago:



Long story short, it's an appropriate intro that the filmmakers added which establishes the political undertones of the story. As I guess there isn't too much to say about this short little scene, we will also include the obliviate montage as part of the first chapter. Now is the time to add your two cents to the discussion! Also feel free to post stills you like.
Post edited by aaron on
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Comments

  • IsaiahIsaiah Posts: 3,330 mod
    I thought Bill Nighy performance was spot on but the scene was wrong for DH 1. To me, that scene should have opened HBP then go to the bridge sequence.
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  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting suggestion. I would have agreed if Kloves and Yates had decided to focus more on the "darker" aspects of HBP and told a story about loyalty as the book did.
  • nick_hansennick_hansen Posts: 2,244 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I remember the first time watching this at the cinemas. As soon as the WB Logo popped up and started rusting it just felt different to the others as you said. I definitely knew it was going to be different from the other films just from that. It was exciting yet sad seeing this. Exciting because it was DH1 and was really looking forward to see what the film was like but sad because I loved watching these movies and just feeling safe at Hogwarts with Dumbledore there and all that. Anyway, I think I'm going off track. I was definitely surprised at first by the start but I was happy with it. I thought it really set the mood for the movie and was a bit scary in a way. It was a solid start to the end in my opinion.
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  • BraveheartBraveheart Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭
    I thought the opening scene of Part 1 was fantastic. It totally wrong-foots you with the extreme closeup, though I would perhaps have liked it better if the camera had slowly moved out to reveal his entire face, instead of just the straight cut to the wider shot. I also quite like the Welsh accent, but I think there were definitely some opportunities to channel Winston Churchill that were missed. Scrimgeour always seemed to be to have traces of Churchill in the book anyway, and while I'm not surprised this never crossed Kloves's mind, I'm surprised Yates never pushed the reference.

    This is more an observation that a criticism, but I always imagined Scrimgeour as much more grizzled, with a scar or two. He doesn't look quite as powerful and lion-like as I imagined.

    On a final note, I've heard some suggest that they should just have kept Fudge as the Minister for Magic. While that would have immediately have registered who the character was without need for introduction, I like the uncertainty of an unfamiliar character opening the movie. They should probably have established Scrimgeour as the Minister for Magic at this point too, and referred to him by name, because later in the movie Hermione mentions "Scrimgeour" even though the name has never been mentioned before (on a sidenote, she did the same with Yaxley).

    Overall a very interesting opening which a bit of tweaking could have perfected.
  • Martin1Martin1 Posts: 7,787 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't think Scrimgeour is at all like Churchill. Harry is the one that compares to Churchill, not Scrimgeour.
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  • Martin1Martin1 Posts: 7,787 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Fudge is definitely a Neville Chamberlain but I don't see Scrimgeour at all like Churchill. They're quite different to me.

    Nevertheless, this opening is spectacular. Yates is the master of movie openings, gotta say, he knows how to get you involved immediately. The Oblivate sequence, uh, just sheer genius. It in the script it was like the book with Dudley and Ron had a separate thing, but if it was Yates or whoever that decided to make it a trimmed down montage, thank you. That was great.
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  • Martin1Martin1 Posts: 7,787 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I thought Bill Nighy performance was spot on but the scene was wrong for DH 1. To me, that scene should have opened HBP then go to the bridge sequence.
    Yeah, I think that would be interesting, but I can't imagine getting rid of the Dumbledore and Harry in the press. That's just too spectacular of an opening :p
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  • IsaiahIsaiah Posts: 3,330 mod
    I thought Bill Nighy performance was spot on but the scene was wrong for DH 1. To me, that scene should have opened HBP then go to the bridge sequence.


    Yeah, I think that would be interesting, but I can't imagine getting rid of the Dumbledore and Harry in the press. That's just too spectacular of an opening :p
    I would keep it but find a to make both of them work.

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  • BraveheartBraveheart Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2012
    Fudge is definitely a Neville Chamberlain but I don't see Scrimgeour at all like Churchill. They're quite different to me.

    Nevertheless, this opening is spectacular. Yates is the master of movie openings, gotta say, he knows how to get you involved immediately. The Oblivate sequence, uh, just sheer genius. It in the script it was like the book with Dudley and Ron had a separate thing, but if it was Yates or whoever that decided to make it a trimmed down montage, thank you. That was great.
    I never thought of it until I heard Nighy's slightly warbling voice in the trailer, and then it made perfect sense, because Scrimgeour's speech is perfectly fitting with the tone of the speeches Churchill used to make. Scrimgeour was obviously a man of action which Churchill wasn't, but they both had the grizzled hardy aspect of them, something Churchill exploited pretty well with the "bulldog Britain" spirit. I know Rowling was going for Chamberlain with Fudge, and since so much of her writing alludes to the Nazi-era, it only makes sense that the "tough wartime leader" be a reference to Churchill. I don't know, I thought more could have been done there.

    As for Obliviate, thank God for Yates. It would have been horrendous if they had followed the script on that scene. All those stupid "sugar free" jokes and Hermione's dad calling her "kitten" like a creepy paedophile from the 1980s. :| Again, Kloves has little understanding of how British people talk. Or just people in general.

    The movie really gives the sense that things are irreversably changing. However, more could definitely have been done for Ron's side of things. We saw the sacrifice being made by Harry and Hermione, Ron just kind of stands there awkwardly. It's like they had these great scenes with Harry and Hermione and then realised they'd forgotten Ron and just shoved in a shot of him standing there. Obviously the ghoul in pyjamas would never fit with the tone of the movie, but couldn't they think of something alternative? Have Ron dig a grave for himself and pretend he's dead? I dunno, just something.

    And I would have liked them to have put the Petunia and Harry scene in right after Scrimgeour's speech. If anything else it felt off-kilter cutting to Hermione first. Then we could have had the rest of the montage play out. They were very wise to cut that cringe-worthy handshake scene though. I might have liked them to end with Harry standing alone in Privet Drive watching the Dursleys drive away, because the sequence felt too Hermione-centric, as if she was the main character. These are nitpicks of course and I totally accept that the overall scene is a fantastic sequence.

    The music definitely makes it. That and Emma's surprisingly muted performance.
    Post edited by Braveheart on
  • TheDoctorTheDoctor Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭✭✭
    With Ron I think they were trying to show how he had a normal family life that he was going to have to give up to go with Harry. I think they semi-succeeded with this, I thought Rupert's expression was good after Mrs. Weasley asked him to tell Arthur supper was ready, sort of reflective. But yeah, I agree that it would have been nice to see something a bit more from Ron.

    The Petunia and Harry scene after Scrimgeour's speech is a potentially good idea, though I would miss the cut from the cameras flashing to the newspaper that Hermione's holding.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2012
    I like the first shot of the Burrow with the camera moving upwards to highlight the haphazard architecture of the house and to reveal Ron to the right. I think it was necessary as a reminder that it is now repaired for viewers recalling that it burned down in the previous film. Ron eventually becomes the focus of the shot as the "lines" in the picture point towards him to the right. Then it cuts to shot of Molly and Ginny cooking in the kitchen and the camera pulls back to reveal Ron's face, deep in thought. Although the blocking is a little stiff the way he just stands there awkwardly, I like the notion that he isolates himself from his own house and family, whom he is going to miss dreadfully on the upcoming journey he's mentally preparing for. This shot of him looking into distance basically represents the uncertainty of the trio's mission and Ron's doubts about it. I would say that him distancing himself from his beloved family is some subtle foreshadowing for the trio's isolation from the rest of the world later on and Ron eventually leaving the other two in the woods to come back to his family. I don't think we needed to see more of Ron here, but from reading the script they originally wanted to set up the connection between the radio and his family. A bit of a pity to lose that connection, but it was not worth a scene of its own to keep that idea. Ideally, that could have been incorporated during a tent scene, preferably by showing a picture of his family on the radio.


    However, the theme of the importance of family is handled very well in the film. Something I love about this montage is how it focuses on their relation to their families; Ron being forced to leave the stability of his family to go on this unpredictable mission, Harry saying "goodbye" to the Dursleys (love the slow pull-back shot on Harry there as they leave to communicate how lonely it makes him feel) and Hermione making the hard, yet right choice in erasing herself from her parents' memories. Such a lovely, lovely adapted scene.


    As for it being Hermione-centric, I found it appropriate considering her choice was the most interesting and thematically relevant for the story told in the book about wrestling with the greater good (which the film only managed to communicate to a disappointing degree). I like the surprising way the montage started off by showing Hermione when you expect to see Harry, but I do agree that a bit of the conversation with Petunia should have been kept. At least theoretically speaking; we definitely needed a bit more of Harry in the montage, but it is at the very least consistent with the lack of desire to explore him throughout the film. They might have tried to include Petunia for all I know and discovered that it didn't work with dialogue there. The unfortunate result of that omission is that the shot of her pondering in the car is rendered meaningless outside providing a wonderful transition.

    But overall an emotional, visual and promising opening.
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2012
    The Petunia and Harry scene after Scrimgeour's speech is a potentially good idea, though I would miss the cut from the cameras flashing to the newspaper that Hermione's holding.
    Here is a good compromise: Keep the newspaper transition, but have Harry read it. Admittedly, I love the surprise factor of seeing Hermione first, but considering it's not called "Hermione Granger and..." it would be better to opt for starting with Harry and Petunia. But again, I see why they cut it considering they chose not to develop Harry as a character throughout the film.
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • aaronaaron Posts: 20,939 mod
    Deathly Hallows - Part 1 definitely has the best opening of all the films. The bold, daring opening, the masterfully edited scenes of the trio, with a definite emotional stimulus--it makes for a very nostalgic and fitting opening to the final farewell. I liked the filmmakers choice to keep Snape's flight and the Malfoy Manor meeting until after the title. It opted for a more fitting introduction to the corrupt and confusing times (Minister's speech), and the gravity of the situation the trio were about to set out on (Hermione's obliviation, Harry saying goodbye to the Dursleys.) Definitely a stellar opening scene. Beautiful cinematography and score as well.
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  • BraveheartBraveheart Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭
    Really? I thought Part 2 had the best opening. So simple and so powerful without any words. But Part 1 is a great opening too.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Opening post updated with a still of Nighy's eyes. :ar! Again, if you have a favourite still, feel free to share it.
  • chesterchester Posts: 4,306 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2012

    The music definitely makes it. That and Emma's surprisingly muted performance.
    What does muted mean? (English is not the language i speak)

    Post edited by chester on
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  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2012
    Chapter 2 - Malfoy Manor meeting

    On my first viewing I thought that the musical transition from the "obliviate" track into the bombastic Zimmer-esque title track was too abrupt, but I've gotten accustomed to it. I think it was quite fitting to ditch Hedwig's theme this time around in favour of something darker that sounds quite like Desplat's score for The Golden Compass. I like the aerial establishing shot of the Manor following the black smoke formation to the gates, although I think it's lit a litle too darkly to the point that you can hardly see anything when the smoke turns into Snape. I like how he elegantly just walks through the gates with a flick of his wand and the determined look on his face. There is no doubt that Rickman's impact on these films goes beyond his limited screentime.

    We then get a chilling close-up of Charity Burbage hanging in mid air and a restrained reaction from Snape, clearly recognizing the woman. We see a supposed friendlier side of Voldemort as he welcomes Snape, but make no mistake (too many already have, I'm afraid); behind the friendly mask there's an underlying threat that he better not be late again. I appreciate Fiennes' nuanced portrayal of this monster of a sociopath that has been hiding the shadows for so long and planning his next steps. It is interesting to follow Voldemort's journey for these two films as he goes from a powerful leader in control of the world to a wounded animal desperately fighting for his own life.

    Moving on, Snape sits down two seats away from Voldemort. Ideally, sitting down on his right side would right away communicate that Snape is one of his most trusted followers, but compositionally speaking it's certainly better to have some space between them.

    image

    Also notice the cross-shaped window to his left. It's hardly intentional, but if we decide to overanalyze it could be interpreted as a symbol for Snape's true allegiance.

    The Death Eaters seem a little more doubtful about Snape's loyalty than Voldemort, as seen when one one them objects to his "news". I'd preferred it to be Bellatrix instead of a random death eater considering she doubted him last year and developed that throughout the two films, but that's just a minor preferance of mine. That being said, something that is unclear here is Snape's motivation here for handing over information about the boy's whereabouts to Voldemort seeing as he wants to protect the boy. The audience doesn't know this yet of course, but knowing the outcome in DH 2 you would think that Snape would be a little more careful about not putting Harry's life in such danger. I am not suggesting that he should lie to Voldemort because he would eventually find out. He could simply pretend not to know the day when the Order is moving the boy. Having murdered Dumbledore, he has enough respect as it is to be appointed as headmaster. So, if I were to rewrite the scene, I would have had Snape tell Voldemort that Harry would be moved within the next week, have Bellatrix ask why he doesn't know the exact day of the flight and have him respond sarcastically that it's not as easy as it was to access information from the Order after he killed Dumbledore.

    I'll be going to see The Hunger Games now, but I'll comment more when I get home.
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2012
    Why is it that you can't edit your posts after an hour anymore? It's frustrating to registrate your own writing errors and not being able to fix them. ~X(

    Plus I'd like to update the title of the thread to inform you all which chapter we are currently discussing. At the moment I won't bother commenting on the rest of the scene, which leaves more for you guys to discuss and analyze.
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • AllStar87AllStar87 Posts: 1,157 ✭✭✭
    This scene was one of the best. When I saw dead Charity Burbage with a tear rolling down, I knew from that point that this is a whole different Harry Potter movie.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2012
    In addition to that shot of dead Charity Burbage, seeing Voldemort arrogantly sit down in his chair burned into my head for conveying his power, superiority and disgust towards muggles in just a few seconds.
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2012
    Chapter 3 - Privet Drive

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    This will be a short chapter intro. Following the nightmarish flashback of Dumbledore's death in slow-motion, we see Harry brooding in his room. The mirror shard he is holding probably confuses any viewer not familiar with the books. I even know people who have read the book who didn't remember it, which is a sure indicator that Yates and Kloves simply assumed too much prior knowledge on the audience's part. This is the first time we see the mirror in the film series, as opposed to the books where he got it from Sirius in book 5. Harry doesn't seem too shocked of seeing Dumbledore's eye in it, which implies that this isn't the first time the eye shows up. What I would have done instead to fix this problem is to have Dumbledore bequeath one mirror shard to Harry and the other to his brother.

    I like the nostalgic throwback to PS when Harry takes a last look under the cupboard and sees those chess pieces from that film. Him turning the light off is symbolic in a way for him putting his childhood behind and moving on.

    What follows next is an incredibly rushed scene filled with badly delivered exposition. Bill and Fleur should in my opinion have been cut, especially the mention of the scarcs on Bill face and the reference to Greyback. You don't set up a gun in the first act unless you're gonna fire it in the last act. I almost expected Bill to take out Greyback in DH2, but he didn't which means that it was completely unnecessary.

    Tonks' "wait till you hear the news..." is the only reference we get to her pregnancy before Lupin randomly mentions having a son in the forest. A couple of lines telling them about her pregnancy wouldn't have taken up too much time, and then Moody could have interrupted her saying that there will be more than enough time for the cozy chit chat once they arrive at the Burrow.

    Otherwise I find the transformation scene well-handled and funny. The scene ends with Harry letting Hedwig go -- a suitable deviation from the book. After all, why lock her into a cage when she can fly to the Burrow herself?
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • NumberEightNumberEight Posts: 1,574 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can't stand that scene to be honest. It's so ridiculous and another instance of stupid humor in the film. Mood is fine, but I could have done without seeing them all transform with terrible CGI and the bra stuff.
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  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I like all the polyjuice potion scenes in the series, and I think Dan does a good job imitating the other characters here. That being said, something I find odd is that their voices don't change like it did in GoF. It's quite revealing for other wizards when one uses polyjuice potion otherwise. Did their voices change in CoS?
  • NumberEightNumberEight Posts: 1,574 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yeah. It's stupid, especially in DH2 when Hermione is Hermione while being Bellatrix.
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    So Crucify the ego, before it's far too late, to leave behind this place so negative and blind and cynical. And you will come to find that we are all one mind, capable of all that's imagined and all conceivable.
  • IsaiahIsaiah Posts: 3,330 mod
    I found the scene too comedic, it was funny the first time, but when you watch over and over, the funny diminishes. And I was pissed off when Kloves didnt mention Teddy.
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  • BraveheartBraveheart Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2012
    I think I like the little things in this scene most. The toy soldier in the cupboard, Hagrid making references to bringing Harry here in the first place, all really nice. The visuals with the 7 Harry's are neat too, but the effects when they start transforming are just weird.

    The Polyjuice Potion in GOF is when I found it most effective. It looked as painful and horrible as it was described in the books. It was the only time in the series it wasn't used for comedy laughs. This is another mistake I think the made with Polyjuice Potion. Every time somebody took it before and after GOF, they always had the same old schtick. I remember Heyman enthusing on how fresh this gag was back when Part 1 was coming out, as if we'd never seen the "oh how hilarious he's someone else look how awkward it is for him" gimmick before. Welcome to 2002, Heyman. The gag was stale for me even back then. Having it repeated not just once but many times in DH is flogging a dead horse. It's just a painfully bad joke.

    Speaking of the scene as a whole, I get that they were going at this scene from the point of view of squeezing as many laughs out of it as possible, but it came off as one of those bad comedy movies where every line is a quip and every line without fail is NOT funny. How long will it take Kloves to realise he is NOT. FUNNY. :|

    It doesn't help that the scene is awkwardly acted out either. I know Yates likes comedy, but it is his weakest suit, really. He can block and film drama and action really well. Comedy and light-hearted moments, not so well. The characters just all seem so self-conscious during the little entrance of the Order scene, or maybe they are just all so very conscious of the garbage spewing out of their mouths in the form of words and cringe-worthy phrases. Not only do I feel sorry for myself watching this scene, I feel sorry for the damned actors who have to endure it without wincing. I get that they played this for comedy, but it becomes far too much far too fast. It's like the whole scene is just one big joke. The odd bad quip here and there, all right, but when every line is a failed attempt at eliciting a laugh, it becomes painful. I think the moment Fred's (or George's?) joke falls so horribly flat just epitomises this scene. He never got any reaction from Mad-Eye, and for those in the audience who are not children with insufficient IQs or Steve Kloves, I doubt his or many of the others got much more than that awkward self-conscious titter where the audience know they are supposed to laugh so they give a consolatory spasm to the filmmakers for trying.

    I completely agree Bill and Fleur should have been cut. They served no purpose in the movie. It reflects a larger problem with the later films especially, where they tried to please everyone and pleased no-one. Well not no-one, of course, it's just a phrase and that sounds ridiculous, but the often tiresome pandering to fanboys and purists with pointless fan-service caused the movies more damage than it did good. We could have had a very fulfilling and satisfying story-arc for Lupin and Tonks in DH if they'd cut the other two. We'd have seen their joy at being married, at having a baby, maybe had some of Lupin's doubts about being a suitable father, then their death in Part 2 would have been more affecting than a simple "Oh, it's that dude who we've seen for like 10 seconds since the third movie and...and...who the hell even is that chick beside him?"

    Look, this has turned into something of a tangential rant, but I think it shows how decisions even this far back can have a massive effect on Part 2, and it's not even Part 2's fault.

    The mirror, I'm not even going to get into. We all know there were multiple ways in which it could actually have been introduced instead of awkwardly inserted with assumed prior knowledge. This isn't a slideshow of the book, folks, it's an adaptation. So adapt.

    This is the low point of the first act for me, without a doubt. There is so much wrong with it. I'm glad to say the movie largely picks up from here.

    Post edited by Braveheart on
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2012
    Braveheart said: "It reflects a larger problem with the later films especially, where they tried to please everyone and pleased no-one."

    The purists always craved for more "accuracy" rather than appreciate the attention of details given to them while the general movie audience got confused because the filmmakers weren't willing to adapt properly. The sad truth is that the films don't work 100 % on their own outside the books because Kloves weren't willing to let go of some trivial details.
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • mattStrelowmattStrelow Posts: 3,183 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're jumping chapters too fast!
    How often do you want me to post?

  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Feel free to add your thoughts to old chapters if you missed any.
  • aaronaaron Posts: 20,939 mod
    I love the scene of Harry alone in his cupboard, but I honestly can't stand the Polyjuice scene at all. I thought the seven Harrys would be a nice little bit but the screenwriting is absolutely awful in this scene, and the VFX need some work done. I mean you can't exactly make a bubbling transformation into someone else look realistic per se, but it needed to be done a little better in all. I just didn't like the screenwriting, and it made the acting seem pretty bad. :|
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  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Seems like I am in the minority for finding it entertaining after the awful exposition dump is finished. Not all of the lines are good of course. It's still Steve Kloves we are talking about, but there were some funny moments there, like Hermione's comment about Harry's awful eyesight, which was so in-character, and everybody answering when Moody asked for Harry.
  • BraveheartBraveheart Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭
    Seems like I am in the minority for finding it entertaining after the awful exposition dump is finished. Not all of the lines are good of course. It's still Steve Kloves we are talking about, but there were some funny moments there, like Hermione's comment about Harry's awful eyesight, which was so in-character, and everybody answering when Moody asked for Harry.
    I suppose those bits were all right, but to be honest by that point the awful comedy of the scene had already sickened me and I could take no more. :))
  • Pensieve SeekerPensieve Seeker Posts: 2,916 ✭✭✭✭
    I like all the polyjuice potion scenes in the series, and I think Dan does a good job imitating the other characters here. That being said, something I find odd is that their voices don't change like it did in GoF. It's quite revealing for other wizards when one uses polyjuice potion otherwise. Did their voices change in CoS?
    No, their voices did not change in CoS-

    Ron/Crabbe: "Bloody hell."
    Harry/Goyle: "We still sound like us. You need to sound more like Crabbe."
    Ron/Crabbe [in a deeper voice]: "Bloody hell."
    Harry/Goyle: "Excellent."

    I think the reason why they had Brendan Gleeson speak as the fake Moody in GoF was because it would've been too tedious to dub in David Tennant's voice for the entire movie.

    Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive.

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  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the reason why they had Brendan Gleeson speak as the fake Moody in GoF was because it would've been too tedious to dub in David Tennant's voice for the entire movie.

    Not only that, but you don't want to give away the twist 30 minutes into the film.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the reason why they had Brendan Gleeson speak as the fake Moody in GoF was because it would've been too tedious to dub in David Tennant's voice for the entire movie.



    Not only that, but you don't want to give away the twist 30 minutes into the film.
    And furthermore, it would make Dumbledore look extremely dim for not noticing his change of voice.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2012
    Chapter 4 - Head for the Burrows

    image


    Nope, the chapter title is not a typo on my part, but rather a recitation of Moody's reference to the Burrow in plural before he sends them off. I'm not bringing it up for the movie mistake alone, but mainly because I want to highlight an efficient adaptation choice in skipping the idea that the Order split up and went to different hiding places in favour of having all head for the "Burrows". While it's something any competent screenwriter would do, I am just glad Kloves didn't mess up the pace by delving into any of this. That's all.


    The countdown to the flight is executed fairly well. Moody seems to have done these kind of "operations" countless times before, Harry looks slightly nervous but at the same time determined about getting through with it, and it is nice seeing a thestral again, although I'd wished we saw more of them. I find it suitable that Yates decided to shoot it from Moody's perspective as the squad leaves the place to reinforce his authority within the group and in turn make it more impactful later on when we find out that he, out of all people, was the one who ended up dead. However, the scene calls for an aerial shot IMHO when the motorbike takes off into the air (and towards the audience) in order to make it more dynamic and to convey a sense of speed from the get-go. I think that the last shot of Moody looking up at the sky should have been cut because it makes for a bad transition when he appears seconds later alongside Harry in the air. His broom is cool, however, but the shot doesn't really linger long enough for you to take notice of it. I'm not fond of that shot either. I would rather have preferred a wider shot showing us the city in the background and some of the other Order members as they separate and leave Harry and Hagrid alone in the fog. While the clouds and thunderstorm nicely build up to the dogfight, it could have been even more suspenseful had Yates contrasted this fog with the clarity of the sky moments before. That being said, I do like the emphasis on Harry's scar as the wind blows up his hair.


    The sudden appearance of the Death Eaters is an intense moment and emphasizes how they were waiting for them. You don't see who's fighting who, but I support Yates' choice to focus on Harry and put us into the feelings of chaos and lack of control he undergoes. As such it strengthens what he says to Hagrid that they should go back for the others, and Hagrid's reply reinforces that their main concern is to keep Harry safe.


    Then follows a cool moment with Hagrid's bike spurting out flames, but what could have been a unique aerial fight soon turns into a standard car chase scene we've seen a thousand times before. The contrast of showing us magic performed in a Muggle setting, while neat per se, falls flat because the magic ironically doesn't feel magical enough. They just shoot generic blue spells we have become so accustomed to over the years that it feels oddly natural, even when contrasted against an unmagical setting. Interestingly, the wands sort of resemble guns in this film, which partially goes to explain why the magic performed in such ordinary environments doesn't feel as special and odd as it should.


    The actual car chase is intense enough until the stupid tunnel moment in which Harry falls out of the motor vehicle, but somehow Hagrid doesn't. Speaking of Hagrid, he gets stunned by a Death Eaters who naturally doesn't risk using the killing curse in case he misses and hits Harry instead, but why not stun Harry as well? How else do you plan to catch him? As they are flying into the air again, the DE finally realizes this himself and nearly hits Harry, but then Hedwig comes to protect him in a heroic moment where she sacrifices herself. This is accompanied with a slightly different version of Hedwig's theme that marks the end of that theme in the film. Quite a clever way to link the owl and the music. Radcliffe's reaction didn't sell it however and something else I found odd was the inconsistency on the DE's use of spells. Now he suddenly decides to use Avada Kedavra on the owl, whereas he didn't dare when he aimed at Hagrid in the tunnel out of fear of hitting Harry instead. If only Voldemort knew how risky he was there when he aimed at the owl flying towards Harry...


    Hedwig's sacrifice makes him recognize that this is the real Harry, which was a great adaptation choice, and he vanishes to alert Voldemort. Radcliffe is luckily much better at expressing curiosity and pain when his scar hurts and a black figure enters the scene. I love the way it is shot by having the camera follow the motorbike from behind, as if we are Voldemort chasing Potter, intercut with a couple of slow-motion close-ups of Harry that once again emphasizes his scar. While he clearly senses the presence of Voldemort, it seems as if the wand acts on its own as it did in the book. No explanation of why is given, however, nor why the spell collision happened once again. It was probably not explained because Kloves figured that the audience would have forgotten about this incident by the time Dumbledore explains it at King's Cross in Part 2, but rather than limit himself by being a servant to the source material, he should have considered to move the explanation to part 1. My suggestion is that Ollivander tells Voldemort about it in one of Harry's visions afterwards just to get it out of the way and provide the audience an explanation in a film filled with more than enough unresolved threads as it is.


    All in all a pretty ordinary action scene which had much more potential, but at least it ended on a high note.


    Things of note:
    - There is a Death Eater who screams, "we'll kill you!" I think I even heard someone ask where the real Potter was, but maybe that was just my imagination.
    - Good shot of the spell collision, the golden flames look cool and Voldemort seems genuinely scared when his wand cracks. However, could anyone explain why the spell didn't infect his arm like when it backfired in DH 2 and killed him?
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're jumping chapters too fast!
    And I'm jumping even faster now. :p
  • BraveheartBraveheart Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2012
    A much better chapter than the previous one by far, and probably the best action sequence in the movie. I loved taking the fight down to street level, and I think there could actually have been more of the carnage affecting the muggles than a spinning caravan. I guess Heyman would not have tolerated showing the demise of innocent Muggles in nasty crashes. I also know they cut one of the Death Eaters having a head on collision with the bus, as was shown in some pre-vis stuff. Notice Harry only blasts away one of the three, and yet there is only one pursuer when they emerge from the tunnel. Also worth noting is the lack of fatality in the sequence. Of the human combatants, possibly one Death Eater died, and that was implied largely. I seem to remember from the script Hagrid's motorcycle fire burning up some Death Eaters, and there were some who got entangled in the powerlines and electrocuted. None of this in the movie, naturally. We wouldn't want this to end up like Saw now, would we?

    Personally, I don't think the focused enough on the other fighters. They could easily have had a nice 30 second sequence right at the start of the chase, with the Order battling with the Death Eaters. Then we could have had Harry and Hagrid escape the fray and make off away from it. They had the opportunity to do something really unique here, and what they came up with glossed over a lot of the potential.

    I also think they should have shown Mad-Eye's death. It's not in this chapter, but the revelation of his death is totally underwhelming. Maybe it's because it's delivered by that new kid nobody knows. Whatever the reason, when Mundungus turns up later, people are much more likely to remember him abandoning Mad-Eye to his death if they showed it instead of had the new kid mumble it in a false accent. It would also have given the chase a much needed bite if we were to see this rough warrior go down so suddenly at the offset.

    I do like Hedwig's death though. I like that it's not lingered on. It conveys the brutality of the situation (though Mad-Eye's death would have more strongly conveyed that). Also, let's remember, she is an animal. I get that Harry would have been pretty cut up about her biting the bullet, but somehow I think he'd be too worried about the safety of his actual HUMAN companions to address the loss of his pet right at that moment. That's why his reaction feels much more genuine than any contrived crying ever would. He just doesn't have time to mourn right now, beyond a basic "AW SHIT!" which is essentially what is "NO! NO!" shout was. And at least that felt real. It could always have been some hideous protracted NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO affair. I'm sure that would have pleased some of the animal lovers more. Some of the creepier members of the fandom seemed convinced the chase should have halted in order that Harry could deliver a tearful eulogy. You need only look at the Hedwig's final moments on youtube to discover some of the more inane and creepy inhabitants of this fandom have deluded themselves into thinking Hedwig's death should take precedence over Dobby's, and many of the human ones. Look, I'll be totally blunt about this; Harry has friends. Many of these people seek friendship exclusively in the animal kingdom, so they don't understand the idea of being more worried and emotionally affected by human interaction than animals. It's weird to me but I guess I'm just not one of these crazy animal people. Thank God. I never get why people love Hedwig so much. I mean, she sits in the corner, never talks, occasionally hoots and shears the skin off Harry's finger, delights in the saddistic torture and graphic murder of tiny mammals. If anything, it's suitably Darwinian that feathery savage got the chop. :>

    All the adaptation choices you mentioned are right and correct. It would have complicated things far too much to have them flying anywhere but to Portkey/safehouses business, and we'd have to spend time with more non-essential characters we'd never see again. And the "Expelliarmus" revelation was basically one of the dumbest excuses for recognising him ever. Clearly Rowling didn't put much thought into that, or maybe she rushed over it so fast the use of Hedwig never occurred to her. Whatever, I'm glad the stupidity is ironed out in the movie. A shame more of the book's problems weren't ironed out while they were at it.

    I like the way the wand connection happens, but I don't like what follows consequently from that thread of the storyline. Again, the problems lie in future chapters, but this is something of an unresolved plothole in the DH movies. Again, it's a slideshow of the books and can't stand up on its own as an adaptation. It's clear from the way things are shot that Harry's wand acted of its own accord, so why did they not bother explaining this? It's the genesis of one of the more botched plot threads in this movie.

    I love the little details, like the pylons collapsing and the city lights going out. I also love how the camera shudders as Harry and Hagrid descend out of the sky. The shot of Molly with the dishes could probably have been cut since it takes away the breathless momentum, and I do not at all like what I thiiiink is the last shots of this scene? It's where the bike comes to a halt and Harry and Hagrid exchanged glances of wry amusement. Really? Everyone they know could just have been killed and they're looking at each other as if to say "that was fun". I half-expected a generic quip along the lines of "Let's not do that again!" or "Another happy landing!" but thankfully for once we are spared.

    Overall a nice action scene, and probably the best in the movie - though that might go to the fight with Nagini.
    Post edited by Braveheart on
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It's where the bike comes to a halt and Harry and Hagrid exchanged glances of wry amusement. Really? Everyone they know could just have been killed and they're looking at each other as if to say "that was fun". I half-expected a generic quip along the lines of "Let's not do that again!" or "Another happy landing!" but thankfully for once we are spared.
    I interpreted that exchange quite differently. Harry looked sort of relieved that it was all over, but Hagrid seemed disappointed that it didn't go according to plan, which perhaps made him think that someone betrayed them.

    I do agree about showing Moody's death scene, though. However shoot it from Harry's POV.
  • BraveheartBraveheart Posts: 1,910 ✭✭✭✭
    I would have preferred it to be more serious relief from Harry, rather than the small smile, and Hagrid's reaction seems almost sarcastic, like a roll of the eyes wouldn't be out of the question. Maybe if they hadn't lingered on the moment so long, but it felt like one of those protracted reactions they sometimes do in movies which is basically there for laughs. I don't know, I've seen far too many movies where there are moments like that immediately following intense scenes, in order to leaven the tension. I do remember seeing it in theatres and people laughing loudly every time. One of the more successful comedic moments in the movie, whether it was intended or not. I just don't like it.

    I always liked that shot of Moody flying alongside Harry at the start of the chase. I'd like them to have shot Moody's death from that angle, maybe not right at the start of the chase but during the fighting, so we could have Moody blasted backwards off-camera and Harry's horrified reaction in the same shot.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2012
    I would have preferred it to be more serious relief from Harry, rather than the small smile, and Hagrid's reaction seems almost sarcastic, like a roll of the eyes wouldn't be out of the question.
    Yeah, like "what the hell are you smiling at, Harry. Someone betrayed us, we were almost killed and our friends are still in danger." I would have reacted the same way I think. Harry's smile was indeed out of place.

    I like your idea for Moody's death. Have him come alongside Harry and Hagrid to protect them when he suddenly gets blasted backwards to emphasize the point that even the greatest warrior can go down faster than the blink of an eye in something as unpredictable as a war. It doesn't have to be Voldemort who takes him out. In fact, a random death eater would prove the point even better because while Voldemort is superior to Moody, a random DE would probably be less experienced and skilled. There is still a problem of what to do with Mundungus, but in my ideal film he wouldn't be included at all. And I just recalled that he wasn't with Moody before the fighting kicked off. Where did he go?
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • IsaiahIsaiah Posts: 3,330 mod
    I think the scene was too rushed. That was perfect time to show character development, Mad-Eye getting killed, the whole shebang. I think seeing George getting chased by a DE later to be revealed as Snape in TPT would have made a great scene. But it all goes back to what I have been saying, the filmmakers were too focused on the Trio, and instead of the other characters, but i digress.
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  • mattStrelowmattStrelow Posts: 3,183 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I absolutely LOVE the traffic segment, where they travel through the cars and the tunnel.
    It's just so thrilling!
    image

  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think it was quite pointless. As I said, it could have played on the idea of magic exposed in the muggle world, but it just fell flat. I'm glad others liked it more.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2012
    negative nelly.
    It's called honesty. Maybe I'm harder to please than you and maybe that makes me negative at times, but so what? I have always prided myself on my ability to be nuanced in my observations about films and I'm certainly not going to change because of empty statements like that.

    Plus you can't label anyone positive or negative on the basis of film tastes. For the record, I think DH 1 is a mediocre film, which means you can hardly label me as neither positive or negative. Ah, gotcha!
    Post edited by Pumpkinjuice on
  • NickNick Posts: 20,507 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,301 ✭✭✭✭✭
    :-? good point im sorry.
    Apology accepted.
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