Personally, at the moment I have no complaints. Many times during the movie I was blown away actually. Granted this is the first time I've seen it and I tend to need to get over the awe before really taking it in. But, I've obsessively read DH over and over again... and I really didn't pick up on anything to prudent to be missing.
Only thing what so ever I can think of is... what about the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black?
I thought it was pretty good, definitely in the better half of the series, but not as strong as the sixth. David Yates definitely has a great visual sense, and the filmmaking is often very strong, but in a lot of ways this film is kind of a disaster.
The biggest problem is that it is of course only one half of the whole so you know from the outset that their isn't going to be any resolution or satisfying ending and that robs the film of any sense of purpose.
It's awkwardly paced: it is breathless and ponderous in equal measure. It both feels like its in a hurry but doesn't go anywhere. Its very episodic and scenes seem to just happen rather than follow in a logical, continuous narrative. As with most of the films, it lacks the texture of the books, but can't make up for it with visceral thrills.
That said, there are plenty of moments to like in this movie. It is in many ways the most daringly artistic, and the freest of any of films. The one plus side of having two parts for the last book is that more can be included in the film and they can give the elements of the book the appropriate amount of attention that they deserve. There are a couple great action set pieces, in particularly the snake attack. Writer Steve Kloves who I normally don't like gives us probably his most sophisticated screenplay. This is a film adaptation that offers a genuine interpretation of a source material that is true to the book while at the same time clearly original. Much of what he adds that wasn't in the book is consistent with the sensibilities of the book. ONe character's death scene is particularly poignant, which i was not expecting, and tonally, the film is more compelling and confident that the earliest entries.
To sum up...
meeting hermione's parents
The "rape" scene (did not expect the film-makers to pick this up from the book)
The snake attack
Foot chase from Snatchers (a la paul greengrass)
Alan Rickman's performance (for the whole 2 minutes he's on screen)
Dobby's Death scene
Ralph Fiennes's performance
Characterization of Bellatrix
Scenes at Malfoy Manor that open and close the film
It's split in two parts when it's not supposed to be.
Ginny's "zip me up"
Daniel Radcliff doesn't have enough to do
New cinematographer and composer can't equal the work done by their predecessors (6th film)
Opening chase with the 7 Harry's
Hedwig's death (here she is and there she goes)
Harry and Hermione naked
Harry and Hermione dancing
The shadow puppet sequence (i'm glad it was in there though)
Most of the scenes in the tent. (Not bad, but reeaally ugly, like twilight ugly)
overall, i'd say it was about a 6/10. An example of good film-making, but not a good film. Again, the biggest problem is that it's going nowhere and it takes forever to get there (2 1/2 hours? Really??)
__________________ christmas... christmas dinner...dinner means death... death means carnage... CHRISTMAS MEANS CARNAGE!!!
Gender: Female Location: When in Doubt, Go to the Library.
This film is perfection.
Although minus points a bit for the let's make a point that the locket is Ron's deepest fear.
Because really? Did they need to be so obviously naked? And the minute of full on snoggation. And extremely awkward few moments with the "Zip me up?" Thank God there was George there, with [was that a spoon?] sticking out of his ex-ear.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
Gender: Female Location: When in Doubt, Go to the Library.
The rape scene was never shown, in book or film. In fact, it's just guesswork and intuition, so that may not be what happened after all.
It has to do with Ariana, who is Albus and Aberforth's younger sister, the youngest of the Dumbledore family. Her magic is not fully explained, it's just said that, as all wizards do, young wizards go through a period in which they gain their magic, and because it's tied with emotion and skill, it can be really, really unpredictable. Ariana turned out to be really powerful, but didn't have the will to control it, so she was kept back from school and forced to live at home with her mother. So she gets more and more frustrated, and her magic keeps going haywire, and one day she makes a rare visit outside - and does magic. This happens when she's... like.. eight? And two Muggle preteen boys are walking by and see the magic and are like... WHOA COOL!! but freaked out at the same time. So they "do something" to her, something which is so horrible, and inhumane that Dumbledore's father kills the two boys. So a lot of people [readers] said that it must have been that the boys raped Ariana.
Which is not necessarily what happened, it's just what most fans leapt to.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.
Part One was definitely a pretty good film. Fiennes has finally mastered his character; Voldemort is terrifying here. The atmosphere evoked helped communicate the story superbly; I honestly felt as though Harry, Hermione, and Ron were outclassed and fighting the odds in a very realistic war (magic aside) in which they could, at any point, lose. The writers managed to incorporate the wide spectrum of emotion that you would expect from such a scenario.
For me it was mostly like a love story. The first part is the appetite and now I am eagerly waiting for the next part to come out in 2011. The movie has followed the events in the book to core and even when smaller changes were made. A perfect ending with huge expectations of better things to come in the final installment.
Gender: Female Location: every which way but loose
I watched it last night on my laptop (yeah yeah, shouldn't download, blah blah) alone in my front room and I literally shivered through most of it. Ralph Fiennes is superb as Voldemort and the scene with Bathilda Bagshot/Nagini had me lifting my feet off the ground in case the snake appeared beneath my couch. I couldn't take my eyes off it from beginning to end. Cannot wait for the second installment.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
“These are dark times, there is no denying” says Rufus Scrimgeour with a hint of quiver in his voice at the start of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. That line sets up what is the penultimate Harry Potter movie, in the long running and popular franchise. With Dumbledore dead, Voldemort quickly rising to power, the wizarding and muggle world are under threat and the only one who can save them is Harry Potter who may have found a way to destroy Lord Voldemort forever. Right from the start, this movie felt quite different than any other prior Harry Potter movie. Gone is the sense of wonder, the school boy antics and coming of age story that permeated the other movies.
In its place, we are replaced with a movie where danger is lurking around any corner, the stakes are high and the world has become a whole lot bigger to the three main characters. The movie is directed by David Yates who has two other Harry Potter movies under his belt, these being “Order of the Phoenix and “Half Blood Prince” respectively. While his previous endeavours have been a mixed bag for me, Deathly Hallows is his best directed Potter film and I think that is because this movie finally plays to his strengths as a director. Coming of doing mostly dramas for the BBC, Yates`s strongest point is doing projects that are very earnest in tone. And in previous movies that did not really fit with Harry Potter, as the movies needed to be whimsical and charming. But because of the nature of this film, Yates`s direction is spot on. His decision also to split the adaptation of the final book into two movies was a bold one as it allowed for making Harry Potter`s send off on film that more spectacular.
So this being a Part One movie, how does it hold up as a standalone movie? In my opinion it is the best Harry Potter movie since my favourite movie in the franchise, “Prisoner of Azkaban” which was just a cauldron of charm, wit, great characters, story and underlying darkness. It is what a Harry Potter movie should be. While this movie does not have the charm of that instalment, with its intriguing premise and the way the whole Potter universe is shaken up. It manages to deliver a wholly satisfying movie experience that by the end you will be clamouring for more as opposed to feeling cheated that you’re watching essentially half of a movie. While the movie does have a few weak performances, its pacing, new musical score, direction and story elevate it to being an essential watch.
Daniel Radcliffe, I have always had a slightly split opinion on. In some of the movies such as “Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Order of The Phoenix” he gives pretty good performances. However other movies, I feel as though he is not even trying and this being the second to last movie, he was just okay. This is unfortunate because since most of the film lies on his shoulder, I was expecting a much better performance from him then just average. I am not writing him of yet, because he may deliver a knockout performance in Deathly Hallows Part 2, but he was probably the most disappointing aspect of this movie.
The one performance that I say carries this movie is Emma Watson as Hermione. Right from her first scene when she makes that a heart breaking choice, I was invested in her character. She is an integral part to the journey that Harry takes in this movie, and along the way she has some great scenes. Ranging from good dramatic scenes where you can feel she is really caught between Harry and Ron. She also has some great comedic moments, some quite early on in the film, during the scenes in the ministry and some along the bleak trek where she explain to Harry how her thinking works.
Rupert Grint as Ron has always been a consistent actor for me, however too much throughout the series; he has primarily been a source of comic relief. I am glad to say that is improved upon in this movie. While he does have some funny moments, he is allowed to flex his dramatic muscles a bit more, which results in his best performance. He has some great scenes during the long trek and you can feel his frustration and anguish at being considered a third string and his overcoming jealously of Harry and Hermione.
As this is a very different movie from the prior Potter films, we do not get to see as much of the great supporting cast complied of some of the best talent Britain has to offer. This is a somewhat weakness of the movie and the two British actors to enter this movie did not really leave a mark for me. Bill Nighy was pretty good but he was not in the film enough. Rhys Ifans started off really good, however his major acting scene near the end, was a little disappointing and he was merely average. The film did not a really good major Brit actor that stole the movie like previous Harry Potter movies, such as Gary Oldman in “Prisoner of Azkaban” and Jim Broadbent in “Half Blood Prince”
One of the best things about this movie was the score. French composer, Alexandre Desplat has big shoes to fill given that the first three movies were done by John Williams and the other composers did pretty good jobs to follow suit. He does a magnificent job, creating a new theme that appears at the opening of the movie that signifies a theme for the three main characters. He also captures the sense of doom and gloom that is needed in this film with themes that he has created, just a solid score.
Overall, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the best film in the franchise since the “Prisoner of Azkaban”. This is due in part to Yates`s direction who deals with the material he is given very well. The sense of pace is excellent; the tone which was one of the things that plagued his prior Potter films is very well done here. He also gets the best performances out of the two leads. He also does some stylistic things that are to be commended, such as the origin of the Deathly Hallows done in a wonderful animated sequence. However with a very mediocre performance from Harry himself and no new stand out British actor, the movie falls down a little bit, as well as few scenes that feel like they came out of nowhere. Despite these problems, this is an essential watch that will have you excited for Part 2 which comes out summer 2011.
"You thought we could be decent men in an indecent time. But you were wrong. The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance"