Thursday, July 16, 2009

HP6 review

Yes, I did go in costume:

I was one of many costumed dorks there, and I loved it. That's a Ravenclaw tie, Hogwarts pin and ring, and lightning bolt earrings, FTW. Woot eBay.

First of all, the theater. Simon and I purchased tickets a week ago for the 12:05 am showing at the AMC Loews at Liberty Tree Mall in Danvers, MA. When we showed up at about 10:45 pm, there was a line all the way through the theater. We got in it. We heard people walk up to the ticket counters, only to be told it was sold out. Well, duh! A man walked down the line asking if we had tickets, and when I showed him my Fandango ticket (which is really a ticket, you print it out and skip the box office, I've done it before), he made me get out of line, go to Guest Services, and get tickets printed up. Annoying. So we did that, and got back in line. Occasionally we heard someone on a loudspeaker announcing which theaters were seating, but we could never tell what he was actually saying. You couldn't hear anything over the crowd.

New lines formed, and it began to resemble a line less and less. People went into their theaters, and we kept hoping they hadn't just called ours. Finally around 11:30, we heard them say that everyone remaining was free to enter their theater. We got into ours to find it full except for the very front. I didn't even care at that point, and we took two seats alone off to the left in the 4th row. Of course we then had over half an hour to wait until even the previews started. I began to yawn, and Simon braved the crowd to buy me some sugar.

FINALLY the movie started, and all was forgiven. I'm going to try and do a non-spoiler review, which means this will be very short.

Yes, as you may have heard, there is lots of teenage drama and angst in this film. The kids get jealous, and they snog, and they have break-ups, and it may feel a bit silly to the adults. However, it is not the main theme, and provides some much-needed levity to a dramatic story.

Ginny's character gains importance, and while they may not have known where her character would go when they cast the little girl in HP1, she pulled it off well. Ginny is not overly dramatic, so her acting is very understated. Some may have thought her performance was weak, but I think she was just being true to the book version of the character.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione are growing. Ron is very much the teenage boy: hungry, quick to fall in love, obsessed with snogging, overprotective of his little sister, and utterly clueless. Hermione hits puberty and has a few crying jags, and a little vindictive side as well. She pulled this off beautifully. Harry, while I love him to death, continues to annoy me a bit with his "too cute" look. Harry is supposed to be disheveled, frumpy, and a bit odd. I know this isn't the actor's fault, but they try to make him a typical male romantic lead: well-groomed, handsome, and neatly dressed. Ron is exactly like his book character; Harry is just too perfect.

Dumbledore provides his usual amazing performance, along with the other teachers. All in all, I was very pleased with the quality of the acting. I did miss a few things while the audience was laughing, so I'm looking forward to watching it again under quieter circumstances.

The movie was overall true to the book. I did not get a chance to re-read it prior to the movie as I would have liked, so I may discover more discrepancies later. As usual, they had to cram a very large book into a very short film, so many things had to be left out or changed. I agreed with their cuts for the most part, but some events were slightly changed in a way I did not love, for no apparent reason because they did not make the scene shorter. One more thing I will just have to live with.

The effects were, of course, amazing. The Death Eaters especially, in their swirls of black smoke, were very creepy. The Quidditch matches were breath-taking. A particular adventure scene with Harry and Dumbledore was jump-out-of-your-seat scary. I was utterly enthralled and believed everything I saw.

This may seem biased; I love Harry Potter and everything to do with the franchise. I will probably never give a bad review of any of these movies. I do think though that any fan will enjoy this movie as much as I did. Non-fans may be bored. It's just the way it is. In conclusion...two thumbs up!

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