Let's see. OotP.
As always, it was visual eyecandy - when it comes to props and visuals I figure anything's fair game. It's understandable because the books leave everything to our imagination really, but the movies need imagery that not only captures the magic of the books but also makes us go "Oh. SHINY."
So, seeing the playground in the middle of a giant field and houses so far away? I could swallow. Was impressed with the dementors who were really cool - and the way the kiss doesn't just pull out one's essence through the mouth but seems to lift it out of our very being so facial features blur and it looks scarier...was it like that in the previous film? I can't remember.
Ms. Figg's "put your wand away Harry" seemed off - I felt I saw watching the first movie for a sec, complete with stilted lines.
The Dursleys were simply there - didn't quite blend for me. The set for the house looked way too different from previous versions IMO.
The nightmare sequences kind of worked, except every single time we had a close up of Harry writhing, my mind went straight to the gutter and I'd start to snicker.
Tonks was good. Her hair changing color was even better.
The entire scene of flying through london - and the later trip through the Underground made me want to see/read an AU with magic being done in the midst of racing cars and actual back alley streets of london.
The revealing of Grimmauld Place struck home that the movies were very much alternate canon - focussing on visuals rather than words to create a world for the audience.
LOVED, loved the decor - the books don't really convey how creepy the house is but the movie totally pwned in that area. I loved the wallpaper family tree complete with paintings and actual branches. Kreacher was perfect. Just. Perfect. Wished we actually saw more of him - oh wait, that's what HBP is for XD
Sirius and Remus looked so *comfortable* together. When Harry ended up running after Bellatrix at the end and Remus just stood there unable to follow and stop him, I was like, hell - he was so. Argh, no words.
HERMIONE NEEDS TO DIE IN THE BOOKS SO I CAN SEE HER DIE IN THE MOVIES. I always liked Hermione in the books - in the movies? I couldn't watch her. My mind went KILL KILL KILL. Which is odd because in the books, I kinda hate Ron and Ginny and the Weasleys. In the books, the twins seem a bit like psychopaths. Before the movies came out, if you'd asked me if I'd like Ron shafted and Hermione given his lines - I'd have been happily pleased. But Emma Watson cannot act - or at least she hasn't developed in the way Rupert and Dan have (the roles they played outside the HP movies must have helped). So.
In the movie..I liked Ginny. I really like the twins. Ron has grown on me so much. Hermione makes me want to stab my eyes out. I can't even think Harry/Hermione shippers are happy because the trio's relationship seems so...off.
Apparating!twins was shocking and cool. Crookshanks eating the ear made me think of Rain (our kitty is eating EVERYTHING IT BLOODY FINDS AND CAN EAT). Um, back on topic. Sirius looks awesome in the film and I can understand why so many people fangirl him. But the movies definitely tone done the edges on characters - Harry hardly ever CAPSLOCKED and Sirius didn't really get very bitchy about being house bound.
Movie!Dumbledore is not Dumbledore - he's this stand-in for a character that few actors can really capture the essence of. In the HP world, there are two people who belong to JKR - Luna and Albus. Finding authors who really write them and actors who can capture them on screen is difficult. But Evanna did a lovely job. Dumbledore only impressed me in the finale!showdown with Teh Big V.
Umbridge was evilly fun but I agree with most peeps in that her Quill!punishment should have been kept behind closed doors - it loses impact when everyone faces it together and it just makes her seem like a poor authority figure rather than a really cruel one.
Did anyone else find it odd that the Ministry of Magic was as crowded as the streets of New York City? And the department of mysteries had way too many crystal balls - the wizarding population isn't THAT big - and really, there can't be that many seers either.
Movies always need to make you like a character so that when they die it feels worse. I get that. All the scenes with Sirius made sense. But when he died? I wasn't really moved. Actually, since I already knew Bellatrix was going to AK him, the moment didn't generate any WTF-ness but rather my mind went "Bella is so f*cking cool". Then they had to show Harry's crucio *work* and Bella whimpering on the floor - which does NOT happen. I can't see any version of Bellatrix - even furiosity's car - whimpering like that. Someone needs to be spanked for that blunder.
But generally Bella was very, very cool - in the azkaban scene and even in the floo. And the mist!wizards were total eyecandy again. Made me wish I'd seen the movie in IMAX actually.
Draco, Greg and Vincent in all black next to the train - and Voldie in the suit? Not to mention Lucius' pimp!stick (which was fantastic as always) and was that leather? HOW CAN WE NOT BE HAPPY WHEN WE SEE THEM? But it felt so wrong that we saw more of Greg and Vince than Draco during the length of the movie. I wanted the Weasley is our King chant and Draco and Harry having a mini!showdown. Except. The way Draco is in the movie? He'd be cowering like Bella instead of getting in Harry's face like he should. But anyway - they need to do a magazine spread of the Death Eaters and the Slyterins instead of the Trio.
The thestral!calf eating the meat instead of the apple was awesome.
Cho Chang and her accent was pretty and nothing much else. Even the kiss lacked any real chemistry. I saw more chemistry between Seamus and Harry - though of course seeing Rupert and Devon talk made me realize how Ron is actually pretty cool. At least in the movies :)
Dean and Ginny is going to be interesting since again, I'm not seeing any chemistry.
The twins are definitely soft in comparison to the books - something I adore. They were fun throughout the movie. And the fireworks work much better for movie format than the swamp - the swamp held more impact in the books but the fireworks were far more visually flashy and just *worked* in the movie.
One thing I don't get if why Harry did not go back to Cho after finding out about the Veritaserum. Honestly, I didn't like that change. It felt like a cop-out where instead of Harry's relationship failing like a regular person's, our hero is tragically betrayed only to find out his love was innocent and used as a pawn...bah. And so there is no reason for why Harry didn't go back to her.
Snape was very...pretty. Canon!snape feels a bit more raw and his bite feels sharper. And when I first saw heard Rickman mumbling, my first thought went to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and my mind yelled "MARVIN, I LOVE YOU" *headdesk* Though I loved the way Alan said "Out." He was fun in any case - entertaining as always.
The lack of the pensieve scene did piss me off though.
Oh and how much do I love the short hair on Neville's mom? IT WAS MADE OF WIN.
I give the movie props for actually getting me to not mind Hagrid and to find Grawp adorable. The centaurs were cool too. Though when they shot at Grawp I kinda wanted to be in that scene protecting the poor giant. Freaky? Why, not at all.
The Hogwarts dining area seemed very vibrant and bright while the castle and scenery seemed...cloudy. I really liked the mist - a bit more than all those artsy scenes in PoA.
I need a list of the various animal!patronus that were there. Couldn't see all. And who the hell is that Nigel kid? I heard that they're casting two other original characters (a young boy and girl) for HBP - and what the hell is their point? It's not like we don't already have way too many characters who don't get enough screentime.
Speaking of which, I wanted more of Padma, Parvati and Neville. Neville hair was such an obvious attempt to make him look idiotic, it was aggravating. And the lighting was rarely kind to the Patel girls but they were still cool in my eyes.
The adult like Minerva and Severus don't really get used to their full potential. Even Trelawney. I love Emma (THOMPSON not Watson) and while she's a bit odd as the prof, I'd have enjoyed seeing a bit more of her.
Draco agravated me because as much as I love him to pieces, every time he smiles in the movie, I want to shake him down and stomp on his face. If I'd never read the books and only watched the movies - Draco would be less than a 2 dimensional character to me - yes, not even a cardboard cutout.
Lucius pwned EVERYTHING. Let me say it again: E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. He better be back in the last book because I can't stand the thought of this being Jason Isaacs' last film. And seeing Lucius and Sirius together had me frollicking in the gutter again. They are *hot*.
I couldn't really find Harry hot - the hair completely ruined everything, making his features too sharp. Seeing Neville and Harry together, I couldn't help thinking Dan looks like a parrot in certain situations. Plus I kept wondering - what would it be like if it were Neville and the Order instead of HP & the OotP? I mean, it could happen, in an alternate universe...
The last scene with Luna and Harry brought back why I was so convinced without a doubt that the two of them would get together in book 6 or 7. They just sort of click and it feels...right to me. I'd definitely prefer Harry/Luna in canon to Harry/Giny, whether it be in the books or movies.
Overall though, I can't help wishing the scripts for the HP movies were better - smarter, sharper and funnier, a bit more subtle too. Maybe someone in fandom could write something like that. And looking back on it all - I wish they'd made the HP books into a mini series instead of movies. We'd have gotten a couple more hours for each book, could actually fit in most scenes and still make it all spiffy.
One can dream though.