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Ray

I saw HP and the Order of the Phoenix with a group of eight people. Three were die-hard uber-fans of the Potter books, and they hated the movie because of everything that was left out or glossed over. Two had read the books when they came out, but they didnt remember much from the books and they thought the movie was fine. Three of us, including me, had never read any of the books and had no plan to ever read the books, and we thought it was really good.

Ken Houghton

Shira is raving (which I mean positively). Best script--not difficult; the competition was and will be Kloves, who thinks Chris Columbo is competent. (The six-year-old made it through, didn't understand everything, and--unlike the fourth--never turned to her mother and said, "Now I understand why you didn't want me to see this.")

Short summary of why she's so positive: longest book, shortest film (to date). And virtually nothing lost of any substance.

A director who actually knows how to use film isn't unique (Cuaron, after all, is no slouch), but the combination worked really well. And Yates will be doing HBP as well.

We're going to Lincoln Center tonight, because the final scene really is made for 3-D, and should be seen that way.

merciless

Let me just say at the outset that Lance Mannion is teh wow for putting up these threads. My head was exploding yesterday from reality-overdose.

Haven't seen the new movie yet; my patience with crowds is not what it used to be in the halcyon days of 8-hour waits to see Star Wars (the originals). But my boss took his kid last night. His remark was that the movie was too short, and there was not enough Ron in it.

Linkmeister

I was startled to learn that the first showing of the movie was at 9:00am today.

Ellie

Going tonight at 8:15, but I have to say the scenes I've caught in trailers and on Yahoo Movies certainly have met expectations. Although I suspect I'm going to be torn between lusting after Alan Rickman (a perennial favorite, the fact that he can make the word "Obviously" into a toe-curler is more than enough reason to love him), an even scruffier David Thewlis (the man who managed to make a frumpy cardigan look sexy) and the scenery-chewing, bat-shit crazy Bellatrix as played by the stunning Helena Bonham Carter (who just gets more gorgeous with every passing year...there really ought to be some sort of law about that).

In short, I'm going to have a very hard time finding things not to like about this film.

Ellie

Going tonight at 8:15, but I have to say the scenes I've caught in trailers and on Yahoo Movies certainly have met expectations. Although I suspect I'm going to be torn between lusting after Alan Rickman (a perennial favorite, the fact that he can make the word "Obviously" into a toe-curler is more than enough reason to love him), an even scruffier David Thewlis (the man who managed to make a frumpy cardigan look sexy) and the scenery-chewing, bat-shit crazy Bellatrix as played by the stunning Helena Bonham Carter (who just gets more gorgeous with every passing year...there really ought to be some sort of law about that).

In short, I'm going to have a very hard time finding things not to like about this film.

Ellie

Going tonight at 8:15, but I have to say the scenes I've caught in trailers and on Yahoo Movies certainly have met expectations. Although I suspect I'm going to be torn between lusting after Alan Rickman (a perennial favorite, the fact that he can make the word "Obviously" into a toe-curler is more than enough reason to love him), an even scruffier David Thewlis (the man who managed to make a frumpy cardigan look sexy) and the scenery-chewing, bat-shit crazy Bellatrix as played by the stunning Helena Bonham Carter (who just gets more gorgeous with every passing year...there really ought to be some sort of law about that).

In short, I'm going to have a very hard time finding things not to like about this film.

Tim S.

Second best movie of the five (I still love the third despite the crappy werewolf). It keeps a lot of Cuaron's great touches of kids in school being kids, and makes Hogwarts a believable place. Umbridge is terrific and the acting generally great, and I agree the script is pretty tight. Also some really breathtaking visuals, and nothing that looked as...don't know how quite to express this other than "fake"...as some of the scenes in the first two.

However, I read the book recently (April) and I felt a little cheated by the lack of texture in some areas. Would've liked to have seen more of (no spoilers really) Harry's sense that everything would be okay once he was back at Hogwarts--the whole Umbridge thing felt menacing enough but not as personally devastating to him as it was in the book. Also I thought the dreams should've been handled better. No real quarrel with most of the other stuff left out, although I do think Yates is wrong when he says (in EW) that people don't want to sit through a long movie. I think people would've happily sat through another twenty minutes. It's more likely the theater chains that don't want a three-hour movie. And this one did move very quickly.

Overall thumbs up. Hope it'll do well, and hope Yates does as good a job with HBP, which is a more compact story.

(Note: several of the people I saw the movie with said it was the best of the five, and we're all die-hard fans, so take that into account as well--also I was pretty tired and maybe not in the best frame of mind to watch it.)

merciless

Tim, I sympathize completely with the sorrow at "lack of texture." I appreciate the movies for the visuals and the little extra clues here and there, and use the movies to appreciate the books more, rather than the other way around.

Works for me, anyway.

Still think I'm going to wait a few weeks before venturing out, though.

Also sympathize with Ellie, on which piece of delicious manflesh to drool over. She mentioned the most delectable ones, except for Jason Isaacs. To quote Janel Maloney, he is a stone-cold fox. But Rickman's voice...

*toecurl*

Ellie

Oh gosh Merciless, you're so right, Jason is to die for. He's like one of those beautiful baddies from manga. And I know it's downright sinful of me to admit this but the gal playing Luna is definitely not hard on the eyes either.

Also many apologies for multiple posts above. I swear I only hit preview and send once!

merciless

No sweat, Ellie. And since you're bringing up those who I really shouldn't be lusting over but am anyway, I saw an interview with the young man who plays Neville, and without the goofy clothes and fake teeth, he has grown up very nicely...and then there's Fred and George...

But I am far too old, not to mention too serious and sensible, to allow such things to enter my mind. Serious and sensible, that's me.

Sabutai

One of the better things about the book coming out is that after I read it, I can finally watch the movies.

I've avoided the movies thus far because I don't want them to, er, infect my imagining of the books. I have them pictured the way I like them, and don't want to forget my images under the assaults of the movies "conceptions". Brief glances have already told me that Hermione in the movies isn't nearly mousy enough, Viktor Krum looks like a soccer roughneck rather than the brooding rugby player he is, and Hogwarts is...simply wrong. All wrong.

So after finishing Potter, I'll start going through the films.

shayera

Saw the movie Thursday. And my parents ruthless teased me for having to wait until the second day to see the movie. They saw it Wednesday.
I enjoyed it very much. They got in all the critical material and introduced all the new characters.
I am one of the people firmly in the "Snape is evil camp." But seeing Snape in the movie moves me slightly away from that. And not just because I secretly lust after Alan Rickman. He's always said that he's spoken to Rowling about Sanpe's motives and what his role will be, so Rickman plays Snape knowing things we don't about Snape.
I actually came away with a slightly more positive opinion of him after.
Imelda Staunton as Umbridge scared the heck out of me. There was one point in the movies where her action towards Harry caused a huge gasp to go out across the theater. She was really quite brilliant in the role.

Still sooooo excited about the book release next week. By the way, Bloomsbury will be streaming Rowling's midnight reading live from their website.

Dave G

"Imelda Staunton as Umbridge scared the heck out of me. There was one point in the movies where her action towards Harry caused a huge gasp to go out across the theater. She was really quite brilliant in the role."

Oh, indeed. Particularly that one moment, which I won't spoil.

Overall this is probably the first of the films that could have been LONGER. The first was an interminable 2 hours 20 min., and this was a choppy 2 hours 20 min. The first 2 were really begging for 1 hour 45 min adaptations, cutting a lot of the chaff including the boring bit about Hagrid's baby dragon and the like, stuff that just wasn't needed. This could have used a bit more texture, a slight lengthening of a number of scenes. That's my major complaint. The special effects have improved markedly, Ralph Fiennes remains letter-perfect, and what a sight that girl playing Luna Lovegood was. Dead-on.

So, who should play Horace Slughorn in Half-Blood Prince? I still see Jim Broadbent, even though the character is meant to be shorter in stature.

Ken Muldrew

At the end, you swear the movie was only 20 minutes long. It just flies by. An extra 30 minutes would have been just right. I wonder is someone who hasn't read the book will understand any of it. The 3D scene at the end is spectacular, but still kind of gimmicky. It has nothing like the seamless quality of The Polar Express. But seeing the movie in IMAX is exhilarating.

merciless

Well, it's Sunday now, and the husband wants to go see it this afternoon, so I'll let you know if it happens.

Good question, Dave G. My choice is Bob Hoskins.

merciless

Ok, my last comment. Saw the movie this afternoon. Ugh. Too short, too choppy, nowhere in the area code of a cohesive story line.

Imelda Staunghton was perfect, too-sweet on the outside, utterly black on the inside. The wand fight at the end was pretty cool, but so many wonderful characters and performances wasted, like going on a tour without enough time to look at the exhibits.

Now it's time to dampen expectations for next week. No way in hell Rowling will be able to tie up ALL the stories and plotlines.

Again, Lance, thousand thanks for putting up the thread.

Brian

Haven't seen it yet, but I'll be happy as long as all the actors aren't yelling all thier lines, like they were in GOF -- that was really annoying. Worst book should make the best movie, 'cause you can just cut out all the [expletive deleted].

And Merciless, I am so with you -- no way she can do a satisfactory job of it...

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