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Why can't they make a GOOD movie??

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Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? Empty Why can't they make a GOOD movie??

Post  Elanor Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:33 am

Why can't they make a GOOD movie??

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

Rob Weiss - Dec 23, 2005 6:16 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Feb 25, 2006 12:57 pm
Why are the movies so bad? The first one was the best so far, mostly because at the time I saw it, I hadn't been reading the books, so there was this really nice sense of discovery about it. But since I've been reading the whole series like it was the talmud, I now recognize how many flaws and needless flourishes had been added to it.

The GOF movie had a few things going for it. There were often times as I was watching that I could think this was what the book would have looked like. But then they would force in a scene that wasn't in the book and was completely unneccessary (that stupid and clicheed dance class) or someone would do something so completely out of character (Flitwick getting viscious and calling Hagrid "idiot", the Weasely twins fighting eachother), that I would sit there for 10 minutes, gnashing my teeth in stunned anger.

But the worst movie of them all was PRISONER OF AZKABAN. You know, this years movie of HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE very nearly knocked that one off the top of the heep for worst screen adaptation ever, but in the end, Cuaron's messterpiece-of-quap holds tenaciously on to that distinction. It could well be in my top 5 worst movies ever seen.

I mean, it hardly even seems like he read the book. It's like he purposely refused to read any of them and even had contempt for book 3 in particular. He traded in all the sense of menace for a lot of CG symbolism. The example that sticks out best in my mind is what happened at the quidditch match. In the book, Harry just has to catch a glimpse of Sirius in dog form sitting in the stands. Just the slight mention of what Harry alone saw was perfectly scary, even before the dementors showed up. But the movie cheapened the whole thing by making the clouds turn into a dog. It went from being an actual physical entity for the characters to deal with to being a meaningless visual effect solely for the benefit of the audience. Hey, Mr Cuaron----we're not stupid! We read the books. We don't need YOU to tell us how to react to things.

And the werewolf was too cartoonish to be worth looking at.
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Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? Empty Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? (Post 1 to 50)

Post  Elanor Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:35 am

Finn BV - Dec 23, 2005 7:02 pm (#1 of 227)
Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
Rob, I respect your opinion of the movies very much. While I enjoy them a great deal, I certainly understand they are not necessarily to be well-liked to a devout book-fan. What I pose to most people who are revolted by the films is to try to view them as a separate entity from the books, because they are, essentially. (See my full advice in the third paragraph here: Finn BV, "# 4th movie: HP & the Goblet of Fire discussion (Part 2)" #883, 19 Nov 2005 1:52 pm.) The movies would have to be at least 6 or 7 hours – at minimum – to really get every single plot detail in.

Therefore, when you watch the movies, did you enjoy the plot? Did you enjoy the scenery, the props, the costumes, the music, the acting? If you answer no to these questions, then your original question – "Why can't they make a good movie?" – is valid. If you answer yes, the movie was enjoyable AS A MOVIE, not as a relation to the Harry Potter books, then I can't say I find your complaint reasonable. I'm guessing from your description of the werewolf as cartoonish and the Weasleys and Flitwick at times out of character (I disagree on your view of the Weasleys in GoF, but that's for another time), that the answer to some might be no, but still take this in mind.

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Choices - Dec 23, 2005 7:21 pm (#2 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Rob, lots of people share you opinion of the movies or at lease some of your opinions. I think Finn is right in that nobody could make a film that was absolutely faithful to the books and leaves out nothing. It would be virtually impossible. What I try to do with the movies is to look at them as better than nothing - I do think they are better than nothing and sometimes they are pretty good. I am a hard core HP addict and I think any chance to visit Hogwarts and the characters I love (even though some are not perfect) is time and money well spent. I adore most of the actors portraying these characters - they are how I picture them and they move and talk and are really quite good in my opinion. I love the HP music, I love the castle and the grounds and I love seeing the magic. I am one of those HP fans who would gladly leave the Muggle world and go live at Hogwarts, so the movies are a chance to visit this place (and the people) that I love. For a couple of hours I can be a part of the magic and I wouldn't miss that for the world. They may not be perfect, but by golly they are better than nothing.

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Rob Weiss - Dec 23, 2005 10:01 pm (#3 of 227)

If I have to choose between Cuaron's vision and nothing, hello nothing. Yes, he screwed it that badly.

It is a legitimate argument to ask if I didn't like evry single aspect of the movies. Costumes? They were functional and appropriate for the most part. I would expect Dumbledore to look and dress more like Richard Harris than Michael Gambon. And believe me when I say, I will get more into an analysis of those two. Sets? Nice Northern English country side. What's not to like? Music? It's John Williams, so what are you going to do. You never listen to it outside of the theatre, but at least you know if the movie has him doing the music, the producers spent some money on the whole movie.

I certainly wouldn't expect the movies to fit in evry detail of the books. We would need a really good TV cartoon series to do that. And yes, there are lots of things you can edit from the books that would not be missed. Peeves has been a good example. While the idea of a school poltergeist is a good one (poltergeists are said to be connected to children who are just starting puberty), JKR's creation has been too frivolously executed to be really effective. But the problem arises when the directors and screen writers cut out things from the book for the sake of their own ideas that have no connection to or even are in conflict with the progression of the whole story. Why would Hogwarts need a choir? What was the point of the dance class, other than to give hard core Maggie Smith fans something to laugh at? Why did Cuaron have Harry remember something about his parents back when he was an infant to produce his patronus when it had always been an important point of the book that his only memories of them were just very vague images of them being killed? And how are they going to explain the conflct between Dumbledore and Fudge in the next movie after in GOF they have left Barty Crouch alive?

GOF could have been saved somewhat if they had just spent the 3 minutes wasted on the dance class, using that time to show Dumbledore making his plans and sending evryone on their respective tasks.

Up next: a devastating analysis of the poor casting choices

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TwinklingBlueEyes - Dec 24, 2005 1:43 am (#4 of 227)

"Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking"
Well said Choices. We all perceive things in different ways.

...toddles off for eggnog...

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TomProffitt - Dec 24, 2005 6:42 am (#5 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
When I was in college I wrote a one act play for some function or other. When the faculty advisor asked me if I wanted to direct it, I deferred and asked him to do it, as I was confident he could do a better job.

What happens with the Harry movies is very similar. The screen writer has to determine the essential plot points, get the clues that can't be left out from Jo, and then go back in and add all of the required exposition for those people who haven't read the books. Then the producer and director (among many others in the production team) put forth their interpretation of the various characters and so on.

What your hated dance class scene did was combine all of the exposition from about four or five scenes in the book. Check out those scenes you thought were unnecessary and I bet you'll find that they are telling the audience something important that was trimmed out somewhere else for the sake of time. e.g. Hedwig flying about in the first movie was a way to convey the passage of time.

A movie script generally turns into a 100 page novella, not a 600 page novel. Harry could have been done (more or less) in its entirety for the little screen as a sequence of mini-series, but that wasn't what the public wanted. I also like what it says about Jo's character that she is unafraid to allow someone else to put their views of Harry on the screen rather than hold tight to the reins and demand strict creative control. (Not to mention all of the time that would take away from her novel writing.)

A GOOD movie is a relative thing, if you want 100% compliance with the novels you may as well forget it, it cannot be done.

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Finn BV - Dec 24, 2005 10:37 am (#6 of 227)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
Rob, you didn't answer my question. Apparently you mildly liked the costumes and music, but not the casting. I would hope you would have at least enjoyed (some of) the plot as a Harry Potter fan. Therefore, the components of a movie were (for the most part, I gather) enjoyable. If this is not so, then your not liking of the movie is perfectly within reason.

The filmmakers have to also create their own settings to comply with their abilities. Consider that JKR has read over each draft of the script and OKed it before production began. The dance class scene, though in part played for some laughs in a mainly dark movie, also shows Neville's bravery at dancing.

I feel that movie-Harry's memory, that really isn't a memory, is just as powerful (if not more, I daresay), than that of the book-Harry's. Hogwarts needing a choir is not necessary, naturally, but Cuarón said that he wanted to have a 17th-century-like piece to set the mood of the movie. It also was a chance to introduce a new theme to be associated with the HP series.

And I'm sure that they've come up with some logical way to have the row between Dumbledore and Fudge, if it's included in OoP. We'll just have to see. I'm sure JKR had some concerns about that, and I'm sure she's found out how it will be resolved.

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Choices - Dec 24, 2005 11:18 am (#7 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Rob - "Music? It's John Williams, so what are you going to do. You never listen to it outside of the theatre"

Even on this minor point, I beg to differ....not a day goes by that I do not listen to the HP soundtracks. The one from POA plays constantly in my car stereo and when I am on the computer you can bet an HP soundtrack is playing in the background. I love the music John Williams has created for these movies. Listening to it is like having a little bit of Hogwarts right here at home. :-)

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TomProffitt - Dec 24, 2005 2:08 pm (#8 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
One of the problems with adapting a book to the screen is that a large number of viewers will have already formed opinions about characters, scenery, etc.

I get my enjoyment out of those movies by trying to understand how the director came to different understandings of characters and importance of events than me.

If someone likes something I don't it isn't like I can convince them not to like it. Taste is relative.

Heck, I wanted them to use Flogging Molly for the Weird Sisters, but there you go.

A book turned into a movie is like a pot luck buffet, pick through and find the things you like and leave the others for those with different tastes.

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Weeny Owl - Dec 24, 2005 2:11 pm (#9 of 227)

As adaptations of books, the HP movies are horrible in quite a few ways, but what movie from a book isn't?

I don't go to the movies hoping to see a specific book come to life, but to get a feel for certain scenes in the books. As Finn said, the costumes, the props, the scenery, etc.

I picked apart PoA like mad, yet I still bought the movie and have watched it numerous times... same with the first two, really. I'll be buying GoF when it comes out as well.

The movies are separate entities from the books. They're more stories set in the Harry Potter world, and it's different interpretations of that world that I like.

As for the casting, well, before every movie, we discuss the actors and actresses we feel might work well for each character, and no one ever agrees one hundred percent on who is best.

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TomProffitt - Dec 24, 2005 2:31 pm (#10 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
Right, Weeny, that's what I was trying to say earlier. What I respect about Jo's approach to the movies is her willingness to let someone else put forward their interpretation of her stuff.

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Finn BV - Dec 24, 2005 8:09 pm (#11 of 227)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
May I add that if they make OoP with Bellatrix an 80-year old woman with red hair, who wears a porphyrous, fustian, ooidal sari (went crazy with my adjectives, I know, Merry Christmas if you've been looking for adjectives ), and it is clearly Ancient Egypt as the Hogwarts backdrop, and the music sounds like something out of a Cartoon Network TV show, and Voldemort tries to make amends with Dumbledore instead of trying to kill him, I would say this is a bad movie. I know this sounds a bit extreme, but that would not be enjoyable as something trying to pass off the name of Harry Potter nor any movie trying to be anything. It would just not be worth my $7 admission ticket.

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Rob Weiss - Dec 25, 2005 12:14 am (#12 of 227)

Well, Finn, this is exactly how I felt about PRISONER OF AZKABAN. It was not the book. It was a movie based on a 2 page summery written by the friend of a secretary of an agent who knew Alphonso Cuaron. Just in passing.

And actually, JKR's power of approval, I'm not sure how complete it actually was. I know she had certain stipulations that a number of things could not be mentioned at certain times because they would have given away things she was saving for later. And she also had some degree of veto power. Cuaron had wanted to cut out Trelawney all together and have Hogwarts being overrun by some kind of little creature, but JKR told him he couldn't do either of those.

The upshot of my complaint is, you don't screw around with icons. What if they did a remake of STAR WARS but decided Han Solo wasn't very important to the plot? Hey, that rotten HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE movie practically already did just that with Ford Prefect. And maybe I'm a bit spoiled after seeing Kenneth Brannaugh's HAMLET. Now I can't imagine seeing another production of it that isn't full length. So do you think I'd put up with a new version of HAMLET wherein Fortinbras has been cut out, but they've added a whole new subplot about some guy named Skippy trying to find a free bathroom?

So I guess that's how I feel about the HARRY POTTER story. I can understand things will need to be cut. In fact, I could even see how Lockhart could be deleted entirely from the second movie and I wouldn't even miss him. But I like these stories as they come from the mind of their creator, JKR. Is it right that her vision should take a backseat to a group of studio execs and their hired guns? Even for the most practical of reasons, are their ideas more important than hers? All I can say is, I went to see JKR's HARRY POTTER, but got stuck with someone else's.

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Sticky Glue - Dec 25, 2005 3:50 am (#13 of 227)

I agree with you Rob,

I have been disapointed with every Harry Potter movie, but I think the worst was Gof. I can't undertand why the movies have to be less than 2 1/2 hours when a few more seconds in a couple of places would string the whole plot together better.

A friend of mine went to see GoF, he hasn't read the books. I asked him what he thought the scene with Harry finding Couch Snr uncouncious was about - he had no idea why it was in the flim - I explained breifly what happens in the book, and he said why didn't they put any of that in, it would have made the whole thing make much more sense.

But I was realy disapointed in the maze. Where was the giant spider and the spinx - would they have realy taken any more time then a whole lot of grabing hedge plants.

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TomProffitt - Dec 25, 2005 9:52 am (#14 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
"All I can say is, I went to see JKR's HARRY POTTER, but got stuck with someone else's." --- Rob Weiss

I understand the let down, Rob. I was disappointed with PoA. On the other hand I knew going in that I was going to be seeing "someone else's" PoA. Movies are produced by groups of people, not single individuals.

Even if Jo had the expertise and talent to write the screenplay, produce, and direct the movie you will still have the subtle variations portrayed by actors. For example, Emma Watson didn't come close to fitting my vision of Hermione, but Jo is reportedly quite pleased with her.

I suppose that many times the visions we pull from the pages aren't exactly the ones the author intended to place there. So, to answer the question put forth by the title of your thread, by the narrow definition you have given us for a "GOOD movie" you will never be satisfied with a movie produced.

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freshwater - Dec 25, 2005 10:03 am (#15 of 227)

Connections, speculation, discussion: the best part of HP reading! Check out the on-going HP Lex Forum series re-read! Currently reading GoF...
Although I don't agree with you completely, Rob, you do make some excellent points. PoA has many enjoyable bits, but those talking shrunken heads (!%*&&&%$!)....I don't CARE if JKR liked them or not. They DON'T belong in a stuck-in-the-Victorian-Era-British-Wizarding-World, and they were distracting and annoying every time they popped up.

On the other hand, the whomping willow inserts were annoying when I first saw the movie, but they grew on me. Still, there was no excuse for leaving out a few moments of explanation about the Marauder's Map....like many of the bits they tend to leave out, they may not be crucial to the plot at the moment, but they would leave the viewer with a richer, deeper understanding of the series as a whole.

As for GoF, I must admit that I was dismayed to learn that a lengthy dragon chase scene would be added.....but when I saw it on the big screen I loved it! (BTW, I am a 48 year old mom who is no fan of action, chase-scene movies.) However, yelling-angry-Dumbledore was gorssly out of character, IMHO. I know they explained it away in cast interviews as Harry seeing that DD is not infallible....but shouldn't that happen at the end of OotP? **rolls eyes, slaps hand to forehead, sighs heavily**

Anyway, perhaps it's best to take the same view of the movies as I take of your post: we don't agree completely, but they (the movies) do provide some great visual entertainment and another view --besides our own mind's eye when reading-- into the world of Hogwarts.

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Choices - Dec 25, 2005 12:35 pm (#16 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Although I do not entirely agree with you Rob, I did enjoy reading your interesting and amusing post #12 very much. You are obviously a very clever young man and I do respect your opinion.

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Finn BV - Dec 25, 2005 8:34 pm (#17 of 227)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
All righty, Rob, then I understand you entirely. I agree with Choices and especially TomProffitt's sentence "On the other hand I knew going in that I was going to be seeing "someone else's" PoA."

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Rob Weiss - Dec 25, 2005 11:17 pm (#18 of 227)

I'm not terribly young, I don't think. I'm 35. Old enough to run for president. And if I do, watch out. But that's another matter....

As I was meaning to get to, the casting is another matter. I have no problem with most of the kids, in particular D Radcliffe, E Watson and T Felton. In fact with Watson, it's almost too bad Hermione had to change so much, because her slow-burn reactions in the first movie were priceless. She was so cute and now she's stunning!

But R Grint is horrible. Ron is a lot of things----stubborn, short tempered, very hard on himself. But he is not the whiney slacker Grint plays him as. I mean it, he whines all the time! And do something about that hair, will you? He's starting to get the Danny Bonaduce look. And no-one wants that----not even Danny Bonaduce!

A Rickman, G Oldman and D Thewlis all do OK jobs, but they are just too old to play Snape, Sirius and Lupin. Follow the books, you know that if James and Lily were about 22 when they died, then so were their class mates around the same age. So Snape would be 32 when book 1 starts. Rickman's at least 20 years older.

Richard Harris looked exactly the way Dumbledore should look. Michael Gambon looks like your perpetually drunk grandfather. Unshowered and a little creepy. On top of that, he plays the part as if Dumbledore is entirely lost and without a clue what's going on. This is supposed to be the guy leading the fight against evil? Maybe the Order of the Phoenix should hire that crazy guy in the Times Square station instead?

The only criticism I would give Harris is that he's so dramatic that we lose a lot of Dumbledore's sense of humor. Harris is playing Prospero where we really need an Oberon.

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Rosariana - Dec 25, 2005 11:59 pm (#19 of 227)

"Michael Gambon looks like your perpetually drunk grandfather." Rob, that had me in stitches!

Nothing in the films makes me as angry as Michael Gambon. It's bad enough that he looks nothing like Dumbledore, but then there's his performance! He has NO respect for the depth and wisdom of the character. I read an interview he gave that makes my blood boil. He knows nothing about Dumbledore. He said he hasn't read any of the books and doesn't see the need, and basically he just puts the beard on and plays himself. Hello!? You call yourself an actor?

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

There's the link.

Dumbledore is the most admirable character, in my opinion, in all the literature I have read so far (and I read a lot). Richard Harris had him spot on. His death for me was the biggest tragedy in the Potterverse.

Of course it is not the filmmakers' fault that he died. But why did they give Gambon a completely different costume? And why do I feel like the two men are not playing the same role in the least?

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Gina R Snape - Dec 26, 2005 11:42 am (#20 of 227)

"The world isn't split into good people and death eaters"
I've got my fingers crossed that someone (BBC?) will do a mini-series for each book in some years' time. Then we will have to sacrifice some special effects for plot and characterisation. But I'm more than ok with that.

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Solitaire - Dec 26, 2005 1:06 pm (#21 of 227)

I agree, Gina. A miniseries is really the only way to convey the scope of each novel. The truth is that no fan who knows the HP books forward and backward will ever be satisfied with any attempt to translate the written word into visual media. It just is not possible.

I am a Jane Austen fan who has read all of her novels save Northanger Abbey at least ten times. I own every movie or miniseries adaptation ever made of the other five novels, too. I need hardly point out that I have been horribly disappointed with all but one attempt to translate her books to the screen. The single exception is the A&E miniseries of Pride & Prejudice that stars Colin Firth. While it was the best JA adaptation thus far, I still found all of the actors far too old for their characters (this seems to be a common problem with HP adults, too). The real problem, I suspect, is that I have come to know Austen's novels and their characters far too intimately. There is no way any director or producer can ever live up to my vision of the books.

I think it is the same with the HP books. Everyone who possesses a vivid imagination is capable of creating a "movie of the mind" that not even the biggest Hollywood budget or the greatest director can equal.

BTW, I agree with Rosariana that Harris nailed Dumbledore. He made the role so truly his own that it is just hard to accept anyone else in the role. It reminds me of when Donna Reed took over for Barbara Bel Geddes in the role of Miss Ellie on Dallas. I loved Reed in many of her roles, but she was not Miss Ellie, no matter how hard she tried. I've enjoyed Gambon in a lot of movies and TV shows ... but he just isn't Dumbledore.


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Gina R Snape - Dec 26, 2005 2:00 pm (#22 of 227)

"The world isn't split into good people and death eaters"
Well, who can resist Colin as Mr. Darcy? Heh, heh. And what about Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility? Many people I know have suggested that adaptation was more enjoyable than the book even if Kate and Emma were far too old for the roles.

And yes, adult actors have tended by and large to be too old in the Potter series. And Gambon is brilliant---just not as Dumbledore.

I enjoy the films as a lazy way to visit the wizarding world and fill in visual gaps. But we all have made our own mental images of the people places and things there and nothing can ever take that away.

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Nathan Zimmermann - Dec 26, 2005 3:09 pm (#23 of 227)

While, I disagree with some of the casting choices there are several that I find to be excellent. First, I have to say that Maggie Smith is exactly how I pictured McGonagall. Second, I also must admit that I enjoyed Brendan Gleeson's portrayal of Moody. I also believe Dursley's and Weasley's are well cast. The only thing that needs to be done is some slight tweaking on the part of the directors and writers in regards to the development of Ron's character.

In regards to Dumbledore I doubt there is a single actor that successsfully translate all the characteristics and mannerisms of Albus Dumbledore to the screen. In regards to Dumbledore I actually envisioned Dumbledore being a mixture of Richard Harris, Michael Gambon, Peter O'Toole, Michael Caine, Omar Sharif, Topol, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier and John Mills, Richard Burton, Sidney Poitier, and Yaphet Kotto blended in proper amounts to become Dumbledore.

The portrayal of Flitwick is an interesting case because, I think Warwick Davis is brilliant in the role. The only two actors I think that could have surpassed his performance are the late Billy Barty and the late David Rappaport.

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Solitaire - Dec 26, 2005 3:49 pm (#24 of 227)

Sorry, Gina. I was not as taken with S&S as you seem to be. I did like Rickman's portrayal of Col. Brandon quite a lot. He captured the gentle, brooding melancholy of Brandon perfectly, and even though he was more than ten years older than Brandon, he never looked it. But ALL of the others were WAY TOO OLD!!! Not only that ... what the director and actors did to the characters of Mrs. Jennings and Sir John was absolutely unforgivable. I find it hard to believe that anyone who truly loved the book could have liked the movie.

Alas, I have not seen GoF. I do not like going to movie theatres around here. People are far too rude with their cell phones and other misbehavior. I would rather wait for the DVD and watch it on my own home theatre.


PS Nathan, I can picture Gielgud as Dumbledore quite nicely. Alec Guinness and Peter O'Toole might also have made respectable Dumbledores. The others just don't seem to work in my imagination.

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azi - Dec 26, 2005 4:38 pm (#25 of 227)

Photo borrowed from Ardent Photography
Was Peter O'Toole the older Casanova in the BBC's adaptation? I may be wrong about that. He'd be quite good as Dumbledore though, can get tears in his eyes and make you cry very well. I also found him quite charismatic in the series so thats DD to a T. I personally didn't like Harris' Dumbledore, but I've never seen Gambon so I can't compare.

My main qualms are terrible acting on some parts and the way the producers changes things that could so easily be right, such as hair colour. I mean, why make Petunia have dark hair? Yes, I know it's petty and nitpicky, but I feel these things were the easy stuff to get right and they changed it for no reason. If they can't do the small things they'll never get the big stuff right.

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timrew - Dec 26, 2005 5:00 pm (#26 of 227)

Middle-aged Harry Potter fan
Yes, I have to agree. In the first two films, you can follow the plot, I'd say. But in POA and GOF, you really have to have read the books. And if you haven't - the why not!

Having said that, I enjoy the films for the CGI and the special effects, and will probably end up seeing all of them.

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Finn BV - Dec 26, 2005 6:55 pm (#27 of 227)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
But he is not the whiney slacker Grint plays him as. I mean it, he whines all the time! --Rob

Well, I'd hardly say Rupert made that up himself. There, I would address your problems to the screenwriters and directors.

I agree that Harris and Gambon bring two very different Dumbledores to the screen. Harris brings out the more wisdom in Dumbledore, and Gambon the humor. Nathan's perceptions of the many actors who could play Dumbledore are spot-on.

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Choices - Dec 26, 2005 6:59 pm (#28 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Solitaire - "I think it is the same with the HP books. Everyone who possesses a vivid imagination is capable of creating a "movie of the mind" that not even the biggest Hollywood budget or the greatest director can equal."

Bravo Solitaire - well said. You are so right, and even if your imagination isn't tip-top, JKR's brilliant writing and characterization make it so easy to see it all in your mind's eye.

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Chemyst - Dec 26, 2005 7:24 pm (#29 of 227)

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." A.A. Milne
I've seen each of the movies once when they were in theaters and haven't viewed them since. (except for portions of PS/SS) I'm pretty happy with the way my memories are fading and merging with the images of my imagination when I read the books. Alan Rickman has become Snape and Emma Watson has become Hermione, in part, because these were the two I had the greatest difficulty imagining before the movies came out. Most of the other characters show up as a comfortable blend except that the Sirius and Lupin of my imagination don't look at all like their screen counterparts. The one thing they nailed and got exactly right was the Great Hall of PS/SS.

The upshot of my complaint is, you don't screw around with icons. - Rob Weiss
Or... Icons are exactly what you can screw around with. Take Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol; there are dozens of versions you can watch. You can see Scrooge as the classic nineteenth century London miser, or he can be living in 20th century New York, or he can be a puppet, or an animal, or both as a muppet, or he can even be a she - from Cicely Tyson to Mickey Mouse. The thing I enjoy about the different versions is that I get a chance to see how someone else interprets a familiar story. And in most cases, seeing them once is enough. That is pretty much how I feel about HP movies too.

Harris is playing Prospero where we really need an Oberon. - Rob Weiss
I never thought of it in that way before, but now that you've said it, that is a delightfully succinct way of putting it.

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Rob Weiss - Dec 26, 2005 9:31 pm (#30 of 227)

One actor you should have mentioned who I always thought could be the definitive Dumbledore. Tom Baker! Like I said about Dumbledore's sense of humor, Baker would be able to get it across just right and still be a comanding presence.

Yaphet Koto is an interesting suggestion. But let's face it, his definitive character will forever be Al Giardello. While Giardello is a great commander and inspiring leader of men, I can't see him leading the Order or being a headmaster.

I was satisfied with Brendan Gleeson's performance as Moody. It should also be noted that he often argued with the director of GOF about scenes that got cut out and the director said he was often right. The scene where Moody turns Draco into the ermine was one of those scenes. Not being a UK citizen, I don't know very many Brittish actors by name, mostly by sight. So I always imagined Moody would be played by Steven Hill, if he did an English accent.

There is only one actor who has the right look for Sirius. Rufus Sewell. Those of you who saw him as Fortinbras or saw him in DARK CITY, you know what I'm talking about. Too bad he mostly gets stock villain roles in bland popcorn flicks.

As I was saying about Snape, Rickman is too old. How about Richard Grant? Sure he's kind of pushing the age limits as well, but I can see it working.

In your list of who could play Flitwick, you missed an obvious one. Kenny Baker. I liked him in TIME BANDITS. And I saw an interview with him where he talked about playing R2-D2. He is a brilliant, thinking actor.

As for Molly Weasely, I always imagined Jennifer Saunders. Imagine if Edina Monsoon had a conscience and maternal instincts? And then I'm sure you could get Adrian Edmonson to play Arthur.

OK, now the big question. Who plays Kingsley Shacklebolt? Samuel Jackson or Larry Fishburn?

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Nathan Zimmermann - Dec 26, 2005 10:06 pm (#31 of 227)

Some of the actors I would suggest for the role of Shacklebolt include Shaun Parkes, David Oyelowo, or perhaps Colin Salmon.

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The giant squid - Dec 27, 2005 12:49 am (#32 of 227)

Before Kip or Denise get around to laying the smack down, let's take future casting ideas to the Discussions about the Cast thread & keep this one to complaining about the already-filmed stuff.

I whole-heartedly agree with the Harris/Gambon comparisons. Harris was able to bring out that twinkle in Dumbledore's eye (whether literally or figuratively). Gambon has not only not done that, he seems determined not to tinkle in any way shape or form.

I also agree with Tim's assessment of the plots. With the books getting bigger with every outing they need to do the same with the movies or suffer. So far they've chosen "suffer" and assumed that moviegoers will either a) have already read the books and so know what's goign on or b) know someone who can explain it to them. A director/screenwriter who can't be bothered to explain everything is sorely lacking. No matter how much I like the GoF movie, it was only because I already knew what was supposed to be there. If not the whole Barty Sr. thing would have left me utterly lost.


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Solitaire - Dec 27, 2005 1:21 am (#33 of 227)

Funny ... ever since I first "met" Moody in the pages of GoF, I have always had a mental image of John Thaw's cranky, crusty, curmudgeonly TV detective, Morse ... except with a wooden leg and that creepy, spinning eye. Does anyone else know who I mean? I think John Thaw would have made a marvelous Moody ... if he'd been alive to take on the part.


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Honour - Dec 27, 2005 3:38 am (#34 of 227)

Yes Soli, I know exactly who you are talking about, I enjoyed the Morse series as well, love those British who dunnits, they are so refreshing, I especially like the easy and leisurely meandering pace, compared to the hard, blood, guts and body parts cop shows that are usually on Telly most nights.

Also agree with Rob about how the Ron Character is portrayed, He does seem to be more whinier on screen than he is in the books. What Hermione see's in him is beyond me! And yes, someone needs to take the boy to the barbers please! Even Harry (Daniel) is starting to look a little "girlie-ish".

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Mrs Brisbee - Dec 27, 2005 6:56 am (#35 of 227)

And yes, someone needs to take the boy to the barbers please! Even Harry (Daniel) is starting to look a little "girlie-ish".

I had this Uncle Vernon moment while waiting in line to see GoF: Looking at the movie poster just made me want to bark, "Get a haircut!" I also suggested that maybe the movie should have been scored by the Monkees ("Take The Last Train To Hogwarts..." "Me and My Firebolt..."). Alas, no one thought me funny.

I must say the hair looked better in the movie than on the poster. I guess a mop in action looks better than one at rest.

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haymoni - Dec 27, 2005 8:29 am (#36 of 227)

One look around my son's middle school - 6th, 7th & 8th grade - I can tell you, "The Rupert" is in.

I think some moms are having seriously unappropriate flashbacks to their first loves from the 1970's.

We have an on-going battle with Ungrateful Son over this every month. Hubby wants it shaved, I just want it kept neat. Son wants it over his ears and over his collar.

We usually compromise with the top left with some length but the sides trimmed so his ears show.

By the way, I saw some poor 10 year old girl with a Mullet at church last week. She had gorgeous wavy hair that is now forever ruined. Poor kid.

I really think we won't be happy until there is a total CGI version that shows every scene in great detail, including flashbacks and all dream sequences, completely narrated word for word by JKR herself.

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Rosariana - Dec 27, 2005 8:43 am (#37 of 227)

I agree, haymoni! Many devoted book fans would totally go for that.

As for the argument that Rickman, Thewlis and Oldman are too old for their roles, I don't think that matters much. In the Philosopher's Stone movie, Lily and James in the mirror looked around 30 years old. So in the films they are all going to be slightly older than their book counterparts. What matters is that they are all the same age.

I like all three of them. Rickman as Snape is fantastic, I can't imagine anyone better. Thewlis doesn't look like how I imagined Lupin, but he doesn't contradict Rowling's description and he played the part very well. We haven't seen much of Gary Oldman yet but I feel he did Sirius justice.

What bothers me more than casting is when screenwriters omit crucial information. How long would it have taken to mention in the third film that James was a stag, and that the four of them wrote the map? And how on earth will they make the fifth movie when we never even saw the Parting of the Ways? This is a huge problem for me.

A little thing that bugged me about the fourth film was the twins' haircolor. It looked almost blonde. I know they dye it, so why can't they dye it to be the same color as Ron's?

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Nathan Zimmermann - Dec 27, 2005 9:18 am (#38 of 227)

Solitaire, I agree I think John Thaw would have made a great Moody had he lived. Your idea also makes me wonder if Frank Longbottom was anything like Detective Seargent Lewis.

Your ideas also brought to mind another idea. I have never really been comfortable with Robert Hardy's portrayal of Fudge, he strikes me as too smarmy. I often see James Grout who played role of Superintendant Strange in the role instead of Robert Hardy.

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Solitaire - Dec 27, 2005 2:30 pm (#39 of 227)

I'm not sure about the Lewis-Longbottom idea, Nathan. I never felt Morse truly gave Lewis the respect he deserved, even though Lewis was a good detective. Frank Longbottom seems to have been well-loved and well-respected in the Wizarding community. Perhaps they are alike in their humor, warmth, and love of family.


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TomProffitt - Dec 27, 2005 6:00 pm (#40 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
The hair?!!!

Y'all complain about muggle clothing, but you want muggle hair cuts? Look at Dumbledore's hair and explain how you can expect the kids to get trims.

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Verbina - Dec 27, 2005 7:02 pm (#41 of 227)

Image by me. Base by Nefertiti at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
I learned a very important lesson about movies adapations when the LOTR movies came out. There was simply no way that it could remain exactly true to the books, which I love as dearly as the HP books. Did that mar my enjoyment of them? No. And it is the same with the HP adaptions.

The complaints about the hair...I must point out that the hairstyles Ron, the Twins and Harry were all sporting in GoF are not too far from hairstyles of todays teens. My son, who is 14, has a similar hairstyle to Ron's in fact. Tom Proffitt has an excellent point. Who here would look at Dumbledore and say he looks "girlie"? Or Hagrid for that matter? If you really want them to have straightlaced haristyles, then what of Tonks in all her technocolor beauty? Just as there are vastly different hairstyles in the real world, the same will appear in the HP movies.

GoF was lacking in details but...to get them all in, the movie would have to be at least twice as long or it would have had to be split into two movies. Which they may have been smart in doing but that is my opinion only.

And I have headr complaints about the wrong dress color for Hermione but yet I can understand the change there. As said, Emma Watson is not a plain jane girl. So they had to do something to make her transformation for the ball dramatic. So what could be more dramatic than proper, logical Hermione showing up in a frilly pink colored dress? Of course, the dress is not what I would have chosen but I can see the reasoning.

The thing about the movies is that as we each read the books, we form in our imaginations our own opinions of what this character looks like , how they act and what the creatures and landscape looks like. And those are formed by our own experiences. For example, I always thought that Lupin would be best played by Hugh Jackman but since he is not from England...that left him out. I was hestiant about Thewlis portrayal of Lupin because of previous films I had seen in which he a played spineless character or a villian. In the end, I was pleased with what I saw. My opinions were formed by my past experiences and my imgaination. Each of us bring something different to the movies, things we expect or believe to be right.

That said, of the movies so far, my favorite is PoA. Yes, there are flaws, but they are in all the movies. PoA is my favorite because it was in that book that the world that Harry was beginning to get comfortable in was expanded. He wasn't just in Hogwarts. He was in Hogsmeade and there was a great deal of talk about Azkaban. And Harry's world has been expanding ever since...plus the dangers that Harry was facing became much more serious and immediate. (Though I am not sure that describes it accuratly)

I could argue the casting or costumes or little details here and there but in the end...we have the books to go back to to bring back the feelings and thoughts we had when we first read them...with the movies perhaps filling in the details that we couldn't picture.

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Regan of Gong - Dec 27, 2005 9:11 pm (#42 of 227)

Self declared doctor of everything.
I agree with Verbina and Rob. I have thouroughly enjoyed every HP movie, the 3rd, 4th and 5th times, but all things considered, PS and CoS are definately the most cohesive in plot, and in terms of faithfulness to the book, they definately come out the best.

But based on enjoyment of the movies, PoA is my favourite, over GoF. I've seen them both twice at the movies, and I was keener to see PoA for the second time. PoA's tone was quite dark, and they were able to focus on things other than action scenes, which seemed to be the main objective for GoF. PoA opened us up to more of the Wizarding World, and introduced new characters and concepts. PoA was also able to develop characters more than GoF, which seemed to rush through Harry and Ron's spat and go to the dragon chase instead.

Both movies were not perfect by any means, and some of the casting choices were very...disappointing. I think, despite his age, Rickman is handling the character of Snape excellently, if a little lacking in malice. I had problems with Lupin's appearance, he nailed the character, but it wasn't at all like a imagined him. I thought he needed to look young, but well worn, thin, but not weak.

Maggie Smith has been, as always, excellent, and Dan, Rupert and Emma have progressed incredibly from PS, and seem to have really settled into their character. Ron is a little whiny, and lots of the fanfic I read on Mugglenet has Ron written that way as well, which is a bit sad.

Michael Gambon seems to have something like bi-polar acting, switching from twinkling eyes Dumbledore, to harsh, gruff Dumbledore several times through the movie. Setting the curtains on fire was something like Dumbledore, and the liquorice snack part was a little weird, but nevertheless, Dumbledore-ish. But things like seizing Harry round the shoulders should not be there. What ever will he say to Umbridge in OotP?

Finally, the hair. Dan seems to be going alright at the moment, but I'd prefer more untameable "just-off-the-broomstick" kind of hair. But Rupert and the twins should be forcibly restained and trimmed. Something like PoA is good for Rupert, while the twins scalps would still be well insulated at half that length. Being 15 myself, hair in my ears annoys me, but my hair grows out instead of down. Long hair does look cool, as long as its a reasonable length. One of my mates is nicknamed "The Turbanator" for his wooly mass, and has a moon tan on his forehead, as it hasn't seen the light of day for months.

Anyway, I can definately see the direction Rob is coming from, I agree with him, but I have liked all the movies. GoF is by far the worst in terms of follow-a-bility, but I did enjoy it.

Cheers- Regan

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Rob Weiss - Dec 27, 2005 11:17 pm (#43 of 227)

I'm not saying Grint's hair looks girlie. If my hair weren't thinning at the front, I'd have it long too. It frames my face better when it's long. I'm just saying, Grint is not good looking.

I remember an interview with Gambon and he said he was imagining Dumbedore as some kind of old hippie. It outrages me that he refuses to read the books. A lot of actors are that way. They want to interpret characters with no outside influence. But this goes to what I said about not screwing with icons. What makes an icon most? I would not consider Scrooge an iconic character. I would not consider Hamlet an iconic character. But I would consider Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Anikin Skywalker and Ford Prefect icons. Why them? Because their stories stretch over several books and/or movies. There was no HAMLET 2: ATTACK OF THE KILLER DANES. Hamlet----and a good half of the cast----were dead at the end of the story. But over 4, 5, 7 books, all the other characters grew and deepened until they become fixed in our minds to be a certain way.

So (and this will sound really paranoid, but bear with me) if some entirely disinterested party comes along and reinterprets our icons for their own ends----but only for one particular movie and beyond that one movie they have no interest at all, then this person could be perceived as launching a personal attack on OUR imagination. I know, sounds crazy. But the last 2 films personally OFFENDED me. Strong words, but that was the only way I could describe what I felt. I remember actually sitting there in the theatre durring AZKABAN and thinking, just kind of idlely, "this is so bad, it's offensive".

Now for another wild idea----Nathan Lane should play Umbridge!

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Solitaire - Dec 28, 2005 12:58 am (#44 of 227)

LOL@Nathan Lane for Umbridge! That would be a tour de force!

I have not seen GoF, so I do not know what you mean about Rupert not being good-looking. I thought he was cute in the first three films. Lots of adolescents go through awkward stages with their looks. Their skin may be blotchy and broken-out, and their features suddenly seem not to fit their faces.

As a junior high teacher, I have frequently been amazed at the difference a year or two can make in a teen's appearance. I've seen some some major ugly ducklings of both sexes graduate from junior high ... and return a year or two later as handsome or beautiful swans. Give poor Rupert another year or so ... he may surprise you.


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haymoni - Dec 28, 2005 7:19 am (#45 of 227)

I thought Rupert in COS looked pretty geeky.

However, I had a most inappropriate crush on him when he was roaring in POA.

GOF was when we should have seen a lot of the money issues that bothered Ron - clothes not fitting, the dress robes - you didn't really get that feel though. We knew his PJs were a bit short and that the dress robes were sent because that was all they could afford, but the non-reader wouldn't get that. Ginny's dress was fine and I don't really recall what the Twins wore to the ball.

I think this was Rupert's "cool" movie. The brooding, the glares from under the bangs. I think he looked just fine.

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Mrs Brisbee - Dec 28, 2005 7:20 am (#46 of 227)

Rupert Grint isn't good looking? I usually don't put much thought into how good looking an actor is, believe it or not, but since you mention it, Rupert looks okay to me . Why do you say he isn't he good looking?

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Diagon Nilly - Dec 28, 2005 10:41 am (#47 of 227)

Edited by Dec 28, 2005 9:41 am
While a don't like Gambon that much either, what bothers me most about his DD is that there's absolutely no chemistry between he and Harry. I just don't believe that Harry sees Gambon's DD as the adoptive grandfather that he is in the books. Honestly, Harry seems more intimidated by him than anything else. At least Harris's DD and Harry had a more friendly rapport. I would be much more accepting of Gambon's portrayal if it just looked like he and Harry liked each other a little bit.

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Rosariana - Dec 28, 2005 10:54 am (#48 of 227)

I agree Diagon Nilly. I can't imagine them together in the sixth.

On another topic I was reading PoA today and realized Ron is so much stronger than the movie makes him seem. I know what you mean, Rob, when you say you are offended by the film. The film made me forget Ron was brave. They gave his "you'll have to kill all three of us!" line to Hermione for goodness sake! What was the reason for that? It wouldn't have taken Ron any longer to say it or anything. And that one line would have helped develop his character so much.

The films make Ron look like such a wimp. What happened to the Ron who fiercely tells Hermione, after they'd been in a long-standing fight, that he would help her with Buckbeak's appeal? That was such a touching scene. I love Ron, but not movie-Ron. I don't think it's Rupert's fault, but the screenwriters'. Rupert does ok with what they give him.

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Steve of Ravenclaw - Dec 28, 2005 12:11 pm (#49 of 227)

Just to throw in my two knuts:

I've always viewed the movies as a more or less distinct entity from the books (if you've ever heard the overused - at least around here - phrase "a retelling of...", that's sort of what I have in mind). It's this that lets me restrain myself from drawing too many comparisons between the movies and the books, and thus what probably lets me enjoy the movies at all.

The movies, then, I view as being wonderful to watch - assuming you're doing your best to suppress comparisons to the books while watching them (otherwise your enjoyment will be ruined, as the previous complaints seem to have suggested).

You can apply this sort of mentality to basically any movies that are based on books - someone else had mentioned the LotR movies, which would be another wonderful illustration of my point (keep the books out of mind when watching the movies to get the maximum enjoyment).

That being said, go ahead and pick the movies to shreds if you want, if only to illustrate the point that the books are as wonderful as they are.

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Soul Search - Dec 28, 2005 12:15 pm (#50 of 227)

Seems to me there is a movie push to weaken Ron's character. In addition to points already mentioned, that stupid pigtail hat demeaned the character. I'm a little surpised Rupert would even wear it.
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Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? Empty Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? (Post 51 to 100)

Post  Elanor Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:38 am

haymoni - Dec 28, 2005 12:58 pm (#51 of 227)
I thought it looked good on him when he was roaring!!!

Not so much though when he thought a ghost was playing with him.

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Loopy Lupin - Dec 28, 2005 8:46 pm (#52 of 227)

I would throw in my two knuts as well here but Finn pretty much summed up my feelings on this entire topic, which I have tirelessly maintained in the film threads. Nevertheless, once again:

Film is a different medium from the written word. Movies carry with them many different considerations for telling a story than do books. Those considerations, more often than not, lead to a vision of the story that doesn't match what each and every reader of the book had in mind. (I, for one, would feel quite odd if a film adaptation was 100% how I had imagined the book.) I enjoy the films and have seen all of them several times. I am actually thankful that no attempt is made to include each and every plot point. Were it otherwise, I would still be watching Goblet of Fire. I could only suggest that if one is personally offended by the films, then stop seeing them. You can at least be happy in the knowledge that you'll save 30 bucks or more over the next few years.

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Rob Weiss - Dec 28, 2005 10:43 pm (#53 of 227)

Boy that sounds really condescending.

The problem lies in this. You recall I said something about this earlier. It would seem in the making of a movie such as this, a guaranteed blockbuster or moneymaker, the primary obligation for the studio is to make the money and keep the rights-holder of the source material moderately satisfied and quiet. The obligation of the director and screenwriter is to their own interpretations of the source material within whatever limitations the producers have imposed upon them. This means to hell with what the original creator and the most dedicated fans want. It's sad that so many people can be satisfied with these table scraps being thrown by people to whom art is just a means to an end and not an end to itself. Cuaron wanted to do a kids picture. He did it and moved on. All it was to him was a line on his resume. He didn't care about anyone else's opinion and he certainly didn't care about the fact that there were 7 books worth of story.

Well...I'm being a bit harsh. Been a bad day. But why aren't more people as outraged by this stuff as I am? I always wanted to see one of my favorite books, THE PLAGUE, made into a movie. But considering how world politics (like between the Arab world and the West {especially the French, lately}), I dread to think of what kind of editing it would be put thru. But then JKR kind of has a different (if not larger) audience than Camus. So let me say this...granted, there are somethings easier to do in the mind than the computer lab. But these directors must be warned. A legend is like a tall brick wall----the more bricks you manage to pull out, the more likely this wall will fall on you. Show respect to the story AND the fans

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freshwater - Dec 29, 2005 12:30 am (#54 of 227)

Connections, speculation, discussion: the best part of HP reading! Check out the on-going HP Lex Forum series re-read! Currently reading GoF...
Rob, first of all.....Hamlet II: Attack of the Killer Danes? ROTFLOL!!! :p That was definately spew-worthy! I'm thankful I'd just swallowed my soda or I'd be cleaning off the computer screen right now!

Secondly, I'm pretty sure that Loopy Lupin never intended to be condescending. We all need to remember how easily we can misread someone in an e-mail, given the lack of intonation/voice tone/etc. that provides us so much more non-verbal info during a face-to-face exchange.

Finally, while I am not quite as outraged as you,I do understand your point about the "obligation of the director and the screenwriter is to their own interpretation" and your point about Curon wanting to do a certain kind of pic, doing it and moving on with little or no commitment to --or vision for-- the larger series. That is undoubtedly the unfortunate result of having a series of different directors vs. one for all 7 movies. The pros for having different directors are that we get a variety of insights into the same world....the cons include the fact that those varied insights will, at times, be incongruent --talking shrunken heads, anyone?-- or even contradictory --prime example: DD's apparently bi-polar or splintered personality. No matter what we Tolkein fans may have been diappointed about in the LotR trilogy, at least we had a consistency of the vision of one director throughout the 3 films.

Anyway, your last post revealed a lot to me about just exactly what frustrates/offends you about the movies....it was very well put and I can definatley identify with certain of your frustrations.

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Elanor - Dec 29, 2005 1:27 am (#55 of 227)

Rob, I too was disappointed by the GoF movie, though I had thought that PS and CoS were quite good. PoA was, IMO, poorer, than the first two movies but GoF... As I wrote when I just came back from seeing the movie:
"I have the weird feeling that I just saw a beautiful picture book but nothing more. It is even not what is missing or was changed that bother me (and there would be a lot to say, I so missed the phoenix song in the graveyard scene for example) because I knew that already and I didn't expect more in that regard. No, what bothered me the most I think is that it seemed somehow "empty": nice images and nothing behind it. Yet the actors were great, all of them (well, DD excepted maybe), and there were some very good ideas, as the woman in the stained-glass crying near Neville, and some great scenes (Snape hitting Harry and Ron, etc).

But that wasn't enough. I wanted more than a picture book. I wanted to feel strong emotions when seeing it (though I knew there was no way those emotions could match the ones I feel while reading the book), and I didn't. " I will spare you the details that I posted here later.

I think you're right and that we have the right to be demanding and not to be satisfied just to have a HP movie. There is no way that the movies can ever match the books, and I don't expect them to be completely faithfull to them at all, but I expect the directors to at least respect the story, and the characters. I expect them to serve the books, not to use them as a career "booster". The series deserves it. We deserve it. Chris Colombus, IMO, showed more that kind of respect than the others directors and tried to hide behind the story and the characters; but it is only my opinion.

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haymoni - Dec 29, 2005 6:58 am (#56 of 227)

Didn't Alfonso do "The Little Princess"? Wasn't that a kids movie?

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Choices - Dec 29, 2005 9:55 am (#57 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Rob - I can definitely see what you are saying and I have to agree with Freshwater's post also. I guess I am too easy to please - I just treasure any chance to see the place and characters I love on the big screen and I think when I see the movies I tend to "fill-in" (for want of a better word) what is missing from the screen with what is embedded in my mind from reading the books through 13 times - so far. Maybe that makes me a little more accepting of what I see in each film. None of the movies was perfect - I tend to like the first two the best as I think Columbus captured more of what I think Hogwarts is all about and the kids were too cute at that age. I didn't care for POA because it just wasn't the way I pictured Hogwarts, but nevertheless I have watched it many, many times. GOF was certainly the most fast paced and exciting film so far, but again it left a lot to be desired. They may keep screwing them up, but wild horses couldn't keep me from plunking down my money to see them and be able to spend a little time at Hogwarts with Harry, Ron and Hermione.....It's worth the price of admission just to get a glimpse of Snape!! LOL

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zelmia - Dec 29, 2005 2:26 pm (#58 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
First of all, The Plague (La Peste) was made into a film about ten years ago.

I think we need to be extremely careful when making assertions or ascribing motivations we couldn't possibly have first-hand knowledge of.
As many - many - people have already pointed out, films are not the same as novels. And even though the script may be as faithful an adaptation of a novel as can be accomplished, there are some pretty significant story-telling rules and considerations that are simply required in order for the film to be:
A) successful
B) feature length - not a mini-series
C) entertaining and interesting to watch and
D) comprehensible to the uninitiated.
It is always these latter elements that enrage "the faithful". But the reality is that the writers cannot assume that the audience have read the original source material - although with a film series, they do have the luxury of assuming that the audience have seen the preceding episodes.

For example, the HP novels include several chapters that describe the various Quidditch matches. These are wonderfully good fun to read and imagine, but rarely do they actually move the plot forward in any way, so all but the most significant have been eliminated from the films.
The "dance lesson" scene in the GF film is another example of condensing the exposition. The scene, while humourous, in actuality lets us know - visually - that everyone is excited and anxious over this upcoming event and sets the tone for the next couple of scenes in which both Harry and Ron have been turned down by their ideal partners and (literally) at the last minute scramble to find someone to go with them. Something that took several chapters in the book is cut down to mere minutes of screen time.

Some plot elements are simply too intricate or complicated to include in a feature-length adaptation without the luxury of pages and pages to fully explain their significance or to properly build up the payoff. The distinct lack (in the GF film) of Madame Maxime's denial of her true heritage may be an example of this, as may be the omission of Winky and her story, as well as Rita Skeeter's animagus status.

And yes, one cannot ignore the fact that any film - especially one produced with such a gargantuan budget - is produced with the primary goal of a financial return for the investment. The bigger the budget, the greater the expected return. Like they say: it's called Show Business or, if you like the Movie Industry.
But that does not automatically preclude the producers from ignoring what makes the original story so fantastic in the first place. And while I disagree with some of the choices the producers of the HP films have made, I don't remotely believe they were thinking "to hell with what the original creator and the most dedicated fans want". They couldn't be. They are counting on that well-established fan base to come and see these films. They know that they are treading on very thin finanical ice, as are all producers of films made from popular novels. This thinking goes all the way back to such films as Gone With the Wind, which was produced less than 5 years after the original novel's publication.

Of course there are things that we wish could be different: casting choices, plot elements that weren't included, costuming, etc. But we are being given the opportunity to see these novels brought to life. To me that is worth the price of admission.

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TomProffitt - Dec 29, 2005 5:47 pm (#59 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
Well said, Zelmia.

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Verbina - Dec 29, 2005 7:08 pm (#60 of 227)

Image by me. Base by Nefertiti at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Edited by Dec 29, 2005 6:10 pm
A few posts ago it was said that Rupert is not good looking then someone pointed out the changes a young person goes through. And that is very true in the case of Rupert. I am a graphic artists of sorts and have tried to do a graphic drawing/painting of Rupert as he appeared in GoF several times to no avail. His features are changing! Compare a photo of him in CoS or even PoA to GoF and you can see what I am talking about...his nose, his eyes. If you do a similar comparison between photos of Emma and Daniel from thos e same movies and while you can see that they are maturing, their features are not changing as much as Ruperts yet. And I do stress yet!

I do agree that Ron comes across as annoying at times...funny but annoying. I can only hazard a guess here but I think that the studio and screenwriter is following an old proven formula. In each movie, there is a hero, a funny friend and a serious friend. Never mind what movie it is, this formula is the norm. There is also a slim chance that they are doing the same with Ron as I suspect they did with Hermione...only in a much more drawn out way. I said before that I suspected that the choice of dress for Hermione was different from the book because they needed to show a vast and drastic change...from plain to stunning. It could be the same with Ron....annoying at times and whiny now but later...strength.

Trying to convey something visually that was written with never a thought to the visual is not always easy. (I mean that JKR never wrote the books with movies in mind) It would be like trying to draw a picture of a song or a poem. Not easy. Not impossible but not easy either.

I do agree with you Rob about messing with icons. Robin Hood and King Arthur movies spring to mind for me. There are many versions of both. Some are hilarious and are made to be that way. Some are in all honesty annoying to me so I just refuse to watch them. But here and there amongst it all, there are gems...movies that are wonderfully done or specific scenes that catch your heart and your mind...I guess I am saying don't toss it all out as bad...not yet. Not until we have a chance to find the gems.

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TomProffitt - Dec 29, 2005 7:20 pm (#61 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
"I do agree with you Rob about messing with icons." --- Verbina

And I would like to say I disagree with you both. Icons, secular ones in particular, are made to be messed with. Through the various interpretations of the Icon, good, bad, and indifferent we gain a broader perception and appreciation of it.

If you dislike a particular take on your favorite icon vote with your wallet. Don't go to the movie or buy the DVD. Money talks.

Maybe in a few years someone else will have a go at the series. Better yet we may soon get the spin off TV series with all new characters!

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Rob Weiss - Dec 29, 2005 9:57 pm (#62 of 227)

Don't even say that in fun!

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freshwater - Dec 29, 2005 10:29 pm (#63 of 227)

Connections, speculation, discussion: the best part of HP reading! Check out the on-going HP Lex Forum series re-read! Currently reading GoF...
The horror....the horror......an animated cartoon of HP characters, complete with weekly politically correct moral such as don't litter, save the whales, etc.

As I said....the horror.....

Thank goodness JKR will never let that happen! **whew**

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Amilia Smith - Dec 30, 2005 1:05 am (#64 of 227)


I admit, I am a member of the small minority on this forum who loves POA. ***waves to Verbina and Regan*** ( I also prefer Gamdon's Dumbledore to Harris's. Possibly because I agree with Gamdon's assessment of Dumbledore as an aging hippie.) Even though a lot of the plot was cut or changed, there was quite a bit about POA that I thought was truer to the book than Columbus's flicks were. Harry's hair was actually messy. Hogwarts actually looked like it could have been around for 1,000 years. The twins finally acted like they do in the book (and they were even better in GOF). They finally got the portraits right. Magic was actually an everyday part of life that everyone takes for granted instead of going, "Look how cool this is!" Plus, once you start watching what is going on in the background, you realize that there was not nearly as much cut as you originally thought. You just aren't hit over the head with it.

That said, there are things about the film that bug me. I am totally with you about the werewolf, Rob. Also the dog. I'm not a big fan of CGI to start with, and then I almost felt that the effects team spent so much of their time and money on Buckbeak and the Dementors (loved the Dementors, BTW) that they were only able to do a half-baked job with the dog and the werewolf. Not to mention the whole concept of what a werewolf looks like. I am really worried about Pettigrew if he cannot tell the difference between a real wolf and a werewolf. The rest of the wizarding world as well, if this is considered a difficult enough dilemma to put on OWL exams.

Then there was Harry's boggart. Which Lupin lets turn into a Dementor, but then uses his book reason for stepping in front of Harry . . . that he thought the boggart would turn into Voldemort. ????

And I agree that Ron's character really needs to be beefed up to compare with BookRon.

But all told, I much prefer POA and GOF to SS and COS. I like the idea that the movies are a supplement to the books, not a replacement for them; that the audience is expected to come into the theatre with some foreknowledge of Potterverse. While I will always have a soft spot in my heart for COS as it got me into Potterdom, I can't go back and rewatch either it or SS like I can POA. I've tried.


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Regan of Gong - Dec 30, 2005 5:02 am (#65 of 227)

Self declared doctor of everything.
I publicly swear to murder the person who ever makes Harry Potter into a cartoon series. Slowly and Painfully.

With the formula that was mentioned beforehand, about the serious friend and the funny friend, the producers, screenwriters etc. need to realise these books don't have a formula. Main characters are being killed off everywhere, and there's a fair chance that the main character is going to die as well. That's wrong, applying formulas to something that's different from everything else. It's the same as in maths, using the formula for the area of a rectangle on a circle, you're going to turn out with something completely wrong. It would be close, but it's never going to be right.

What the filmakers need to do is go by the actual book. Don't mess around with characters lines, don't destroy one characters image to fit a "tried and true" formula and DON'T skip crucial bits of information to fit in 10 million dollar dragon chases. Steven Spielberg's come the closest so far with the HP movies, but there's still room for improvement. I don't mind some things being cut to make it under 11 hours long, but keep the crucial stuff in.

I have enjoyed the movies so far, but they would get a better result overall if they followed the book. I'd prefer to know why Barty Crouch ended up dead behind the tree than sit through 10 minutes of dragon chase that wasn't even in the book, if I was a non-Hp fan who happened to wander into the cinema.

Like Rob said, why can't show some respect and do justice to the books? IMO, they've done that with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the LOTR series, but they don't seem to have the same respect for HP, maybe because it's a "kids" book.

Anyway, way too much 11pm ramblings here.


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Solitaire - Dec 30, 2005 11:25 am (#66 of 227)

I don't think anyone who has read Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoneix, and Half-Blood Prince would still consider them only "kids' books." The last two, in particular, are almost too dark and scary in places for some kids I know. I still hope that, someday, the books will each be made into a miniseries--the kind of project that HBO or Showtime would handle. After all, many of their TV movies and miniseries are as fine as--and in some cases better than--a lot of what hits the big screen.

Just for the record ... there are animated versions of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Return of the King. Does this mean even Harry will one day be animated?


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haymoni - Dec 30, 2005 12:21 pm (#67 of 227)

I hate to say it, but I really think that it may be the only way to do the books justice.

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Steve of Ravenclaw - Dec 30, 2005 1:28 pm (#68 of 227)

That's assuming, of course, that an animated version would succeed in doing the books justice. I would not hold my breath - we probably each have our own detailed visions of how everything is supposed to be in the world and there will always be complaints along the lines of "That's not how I imagined it!" as a result. I should think that the books have reached a point where there are far too many people that have read them to please to make any sort of movie adaptation acceptable to even the majority of them...

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zelmia - Dec 30, 2005 2:34 pm (#69 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
A couple of counterpoints:

1) Steven Spielberg has nothing to do with the HP film series. His company is Dreamworks and the HP films are produced and distributed by Warner Brothers.

2) The books actually do follow a formula: the Hero Epic. Granted, Jo has made her own indelible mark on it, and we all adore her interpretation of it. Nevertheless, the HP saga is indeed following the age-old tradition of the epic tale; which is why, for example, many people (myself included) knew that Dumbledore would not make it through to the end of the series. His death is an integral part of the formula because it requires the Hero to stand on his own and face his destiny.

3) The animated versions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings etc were produced in large part because - at that time - the consensus was that a satifactory live-action version of that Epic could not be produced. This was the primary obstacle for Peter Jackson to overcome when pitching his live-action version to his financial backers.

4) On a related note (and not to burst anyone's bubble or anything), Rowling has signed over her rights to the series. So unless there is some contractual stipulation against it, Warner Bros. can indeed create an animated Harry Potter series if they so choose. Considering the amount of merchandising that accompanies the release of each film, an animated Harry Potter will undoubtedly exist at some point in the (hopefully distant) future.

5) I don't think the film makers are deliberately "dis'ing" the HP adaptations because they are "kids books" - - or at all, for that matter. The Narnia books are definitely children's books and were specifically written as such. Yet these have been repeatedly and quite lovingly crafted into much-loved cinematic versions.
Part of the reason the Narnia adaptations seem truer to the source material is simply because the entire story can be told during the time frame of a feature-length film. The Narnia stories are pretty straightforward. There aren't any additional subplots or backstories to consider when writing a screenplay adaptation.
This is not the case with the HP books, which are all quite dense with background material, characters and subplots - let alone the number of pages.

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TomProffitt - Dec 30, 2005 4:16 pm (#70 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
Artists being what they are I find it highly unlikely that anyone will make a version for the screen (big or small) which is completely faithful to actual words of JKR.

Artists just don't work that way. They interpret. They will put something of themselves into the script, production, set design, acting, what have you. it's what they do. For them to be denied the ability to interpret would be enough to keep them from signing up in the first place.

And just who is going to decide what is "completely faithful?" (e.g. Emma Watson is too cute to be Hermione, in my opinion. Not to mention I don't care for either Dumbledore as cast and portrayed.) Sorry, folks, you may as well quit holding your breath.

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Regan of Gong - Dec 30, 2005 8:58 pm (#71 of 227)

Self declared doctor of everything.
Sorry, Steven Spielberg. As I said, way too many 11pm ramblings here. Credit goes to Chris Columbus for that one, sorry Chris.

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Rob Weiss - Dec 30, 2005 9:11 pm (#72 of 227)

I wouldn't mind an animated (or anime) version, but again, only if whoever made it were comitted to following the books and showing a complete series over a number of years. It'd be very hard to find a studio or even a broadcast network who would be willing to make that kind of comitment.

If the point of the dance class scene was supposed to show the school was looking forward to the ball, it failed miserably. You got all the explanation you really needed in the scenes where evryone was trying to find dates (and to best effect when Fred asks Angelina). What the dance class scene actually was was a reference to some old Maggie Smith movie (correct me if I don't have the title right), THE PRIME OF JANE BRODY, wherein Smith played a dance teacher. So it's like I said a while back, it was a joke only hard core Maggie Smith fans would get. I only understood it because people who had seen that movie told me that's what it was. Incidentally, those people agreed with me that that scene was wasted film in GOF.

OK, I'm sure if I were sitting with all of you in a room, you'd be giving me the same look people give me when I explain to them in all seriousness how THE PHANTOM MENACE really was the best of all the STAR WARS films. But I never let looks stop me when I'm on a roll. So let me mention a few more things the last 2 movies got wrong....

Someone mentioned how Cuaron got the dog Sirius wrong and also agreed with me that the werewolf looked cartoonish. Absolutely. Hey, I watch the Westminster dog show evry year----sometimes I even go see it in person----and in my mind there is only one kind of dog Sirius should be portrayed as. The Newfoundland! A big, black bear of a dog that could look scary in the dark at first glance but if you get up close you see they are kind, noble and heroic. Just like Sirius! But what does that quap movie give us? Some hackneyed CG thing that looks like it has mange. And what should a werewolf look like? Like the one from AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. That looked like a real animal AND it was scary!

The pictures in POA were a distraction, although I did like what they did with the giraffe. But Dawn French was wasted as the new fat lady portrait. The whole routine fell flat.

And speeking of wasting the talent, Cuaron actually did something I never thought could possibly be done in any kind of production. To have Emma Thompson in a movie and give her nothing to do. Keep in mind he wanted to cut Trelawney out all together but was told he couldn't due to neccessities of the story. So he did as much as possible to make the part meaningless and trivial. If you're going to do something like that, why hire Thompson?

And in GOF, did any of you notice how many Deatheaters Voldemort called to him? What was it, a grand total of 6? Look out, world. The book said there were at least 30. So what, did they blow all the budget on FX, they couldn't afford to pay a few more day players?

And did you all notice how much jumping around they did for the first half hour of the thing? I don't know how anyone who never read the books would be able to understand what was going on with all that. The whole rhythm of the movie was kind of like, .......-----------------------------.., if you get what I'm trying to convey. It was impossible to get a good footing at the start, they settled into something that could be followed sometimes and then they ended a bit suddenly without any explanation of what we saw.

They also thought they could trade a lot of drawn out emoting for the real emotional impact of the situation. Basically, I got no sense of why we should be fearing Voldemort (and his army of 6). As my local newspaper said in the review, it was like the ENGLISH PATIENT having a bad day.

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Chemyst - Dec 30, 2005 11:20 pm (#73 of 227)

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." A.A. Milne
Trying to convey something visually that was written with never a thought to the visual is not always easy. - Verbina

How true! My best example of that comes from the Narnia movie though. When you read the books, Lewis gave a lot of description about how Aslan's fur felt and the deep-in-the-gut comfort and joy the children received from burying their hands in it. They were literally "in touch" with omnipotent love. In the movie, they were just walking along with their hand on his shoulder. No awe. The visual was true to the book, but the spirit was lacking.

Back to HP:
Starting with OotP, however, I think JKR was thinking a bit more about how some scenes might look on film. The kiss under the mistletoe is written with a "fade to black" built into it. And much of the battle at the DOM seemed to be "staged."

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schoff - Dec 31, 2005 12:23 am (#74 of 227)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
TomProffitt: One of the problems with adapting a book to the screen is that a large number of viewers will have already formed opinions about characters, scenery, etc.

This was one of my biggest worries about GoF, particularly the graveyard scene. Turns out, I needn't have worried. While the scene itself (and the movie as a whole) didn't match up 100% to my vision, it was awfully close. I don't think there was much they could have done any better. I thought even the maze was good, because having the Sphinx, et al seems awfully similar to putting Tom Bombadil into Fellowship of the Rings. Unnecessary and too light-hearted. Pulls you too much out of the moment.

I thought GoF was by far and away the best adaptation they've done. PS and CS, while faithful to the books, played out as if I *was* reading the books. PA was just an art film. It cared more about how it looked than what it contained. GoF: faithful to the books, consistent in the plot, and finally allowed Harry, Hermione, and Ron to be full-fledged 3-D characters with depth. They were fairly one-dimensional on the screen before, ie they were more humanistic and not as stylized/idealized as they had been before. (Yeah, the Ballroom scenes and the ballroom class scenes went a long way towards achieving this. It made the characters actual kids stuck in this situation, as opposed to the already heroes the other three movies made them out to be.)

I actually got the point that this is an overall, encompassing storyline, and not just a different chapter/event in the life of Harry Potter. The GoF movie was fairly effective in tying in the whole story and making you think about what's going to happen in the next movie, instead of tying everything up all up in the end--like the other three did. PS/CS/PA were self-contained. GoF is the like the Fellowship part of the three LOTR movies. At the end of that movie, you know there's more to come because the story's anything but done.

I attribute a lot of this to both Steven Klove's more cohesive screenplay (he addressed a lot of the mistakes from PA with missing or skimmed over information--particularly with the difficulty surrounding the Barty Crouch stuff which was a complete mess in PA with Peter Pettigrew), Mike Newell's attention to continuity details (such as MadEye/Barty Crouch's tongue thing), the darker vision and lighting, and the fact that the kids have now grown accustomed to their roles and are more at ease in the films. This was more than a good movie, I thought.

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zelmia - Dec 31, 2005 1:40 am (#75 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Again, may I strongly caution those who tout their personal opinion as if it were fact - especially "facts" they couldn't possibly have first-hand knowledge of.

As for my opinion: the "dance class" scene in GF was hardly any sort of "in joke" - unless perhaps you've gone to British boarding school. Similar scenes have been included in many other productions where the storyline is virtually identical. It is something of a tradition, I suppose, though a bit formulaic.

As others have said as well, I actually liked the way these last two films brought more realistic personalities to our main characters. I especially liked (in PA) the first night back at Hogwarts in the Boys' dorm, eating the candies. It was really great to see those guys just hanging out - the way people would really do. Neville's delight at being the last one to come back to the dorm in GF also perfectly encapsulated the growth of his character - again, something that took multiple chapters in the books.

By the way, it's The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, for which Dame Maggie won an Oscar. In it, she plays, not a "dance teacher" but a teacher at a girls' school who spends more class time filling her students' heads with romantic tales of her personal exploits than the subject she is paid to teach (which is Art History, if memory serves). It's a GREAT film, though it does have a bit of a surprise ending.

Ultimately, I would offer this unsolicited advice: If you are continually unhappy with the HP films, why continue to go and see them? That simply doesn't make any sense to me. If you don't like something, if it makes you unhappy, then walk away already.

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Solitaire - Dec 31, 2005 1:55 am (#76 of 227)

Funny you should mention The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Zelmia. I just pulled it out last week and watched it ... and it is as compelling today as it was the first time I saw it. Maggie Smith truly does disappear into the characters she plays. While I can think of a lot of actors I'd prefer for some of the characters, I can't think of anyone who'd make a better McGonagall!


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Choices - Dec 31, 2005 11:46 am (#77 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Zelmia - "By the way, it's The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, for which Dame Maggie won an Oscar.

Thanks for posting that info Zelmia - I thought it was Jean and not Jane. I was trying to do a search for it and couldn't find it.

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Verbina - Jan 1, 2006 7:47 pm (#78 of 227)

Image by me. Base by Nefertiti at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Tom Proffitt - I agree that Icons are destined to be messed with. That was what I was trying to point out in my post. My example of King Arthur movies was that I love the tales and while there are many adpations that are not anywhere near the true tale - ie teh recent movie version...that does not prevent me from enjoying them. I have seen many that have truly annoyed me to no end and so I avoid them. *shrugs* Someone else out there may like them so I can't say to trash them.

About the written word being transmitted into a visual format...another reason why this is difficult is for example, Quidditch matches. While reading the fast paced game, we are bombarded with details that we can go back over and re-read if we don't get it the first time around. In a movie, the action moves at such a faster pace that they have to make it clear what is happening. Not everyone is willing to pay to see it again to catch the detail they missed. Things have to be obvious at times.

I guess I look back at the GoF movie and think - it could have been much much worse. Think of it...the main plot of the movie was that Harry was entered into the Triwizard tourney not of his own will and that he had to take part. Someone in the school put his name in and was not who they claimed to be. In the end, Voldemort regains his body and returns to wreak havoc. Now imagine all the totally wrong ways they may have portrayed this same story line. It could have been much much worse.

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Rob Weiss - Jan 1, 2006 10:47 pm (#79 of 227)

It also could have been much, much better. That's been my point. If directors and producers didn't see these books as big money vanity projects and really tried to make something good, I wouldn't have complained in the first place

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zelmia - Jan 2, 2006 2:22 am (#80 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Speaking of "money grubbing":
They have just released a film of The Producers, which was based on the Broadway play - which itself was based on the movie! All three of which were written/produced by Mel Brooks. Ditto Hairspray (though not the Mel Brooks part)!
What's next? A film adaptation of the Broadway musical of The Lion King? How about Sunset Boulevard or Victor/Victoria?

Rob, be thankful that what you clearly deem exceedingly poor adaptations of the original HP novels hasn't yet reached the "ridiculous" stage, exemplified above.

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timrew - Jan 2, 2006 5:04 am (#81 of 227)

Middle-aged Harry Potter fan
Next up will be "Hamlet!" the musical - on ice; followed by the movie of the same, of course, starring Jim Carrey as the loveable, cuddly prince himself; who bursts into, "Ghostbusters", when he sees his father's ghost on the battlements..............oh, I could go on and on..........

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Rob Weiss - Jan 2, 2006 6:45 am (#82 of 227)

Or the afforementioned ATTACK OF THE KILLER DANES

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Kip Carter - Jan 2, 2006 7:31 am (#83 of 227)

co-Host with Steve on the Lexicon Forum, but he has the final say as the Owner!
OK now! I enjoy a laugh as much as everyone else; however let's get this discussion back on track concerning the Harry Potter movies. If the non-HP posts have caused a problem, I will be glad to either edit or delete them; however I feel that is not necessary at this time ... I hope!

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TomProffitt - Jan 2, 2006 9:24 am (#84 of 227)

Bullheaded empiricist
"If directors and producers didn't see these books as big money vanity projects and really tried to make something good, I wouldn't have complained in the first place." --- Rob Weiss

Well, that's the real problem isn't it, Rob? "Something good," is a highly subjective concept.

My overall impression of the movie was that it was produced in a way that did a pretty fair job of staying faithful to the books, covering the essential plot elements, and still be an entertaining reasonably lengthed movie. These things are never going to win Oscars for Best Picture, they just aren't designed that way.

I didn't in anyway see GoF as a "big money vanity project" (which, frankly, was what I was expecting). At the risk of being rude, Rob, I suspect you're taking your preconceived opinions of book, producer, and director and wrapping them up into something where you won't consider any final product "something good."

Lighten up and enjoy the movies for what the can be.

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Rob Weiss - Jan 2, 2006 11:53 am (#85 of 227)

Edited by Denise P. Jan 2, 2006 6:18 pm
That might be a fair point. The thing is, POA was such a disappointment to me that I lost all faith in whatever came next. Columbus did a satisfactory job and I expected/hoped whoever took over would follow his lead. Well, Cuaron sunk that ship. He made Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN (wich translates to "And your mother too"). It was a critical favorite and I always meant to see it but hadn't gotten around to it. But anyways, they anounced he was taking over the POTTER films after that and I just had no idea what to expect. You might guess what the first image to cross my mind was. Let me tell you, even that would have made a better movie than what he ended up pushing on us.

Edit I took out some information on Y Tu Mama Tambien since this is a family friendly forum. Denise P.

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zelmia - Jan 2, 2006 1:03 pm (#86 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
So what you're saying, Rob, is that, long before the release of PA, you had already made up your mind about what that particular director might do with a Harry Potter script - even though, by your own admission, you knew nothing about that director, nor had you ever even seen any of his other work. Hm.

Well I, for one, found it refreshing to have a sort of grittier, dirtier Hogwarts. It's been around for more than 1000 years, after all. And, as I said earlier, I thought Cuarón did a great job of bringing out the more realistic adolescent aspects of the characters. I liked the way he more or less brought them down off the pedastal a bit, and allowed them to come through as regular kids. I personally feel that is much closer to the original text.

This series, while visually exciting and action-packed, has the root of its appeal in the characters and their relationships. Cuarón strongly recognised and did a wonderful job in his rather herculean task of A) picking up the baton from the established Chris Columbus and B) transitioning these characters (and the young actors who portray them) from children to full-fledged adolescents.

Which made Mike Newell's job all the easier, I think. I really liked how Newell brought the focus back to the boarding school aspect of the saga - which, again, I feel is closer to the original text. Everything that has happened in the novels up to GF has happened at school. Rowling spends pages and pages describing the relatively mundane facets of daily life at Hogwarts: the mealtimes, homework, classes, studying for exams, changing into jim jams and climbing into bed. (She has described for us so many ordinary events that it leaves some readers to wonder about even more mundane elements, such as why Harry et al never bathe or clean their teeth.)
What Cuarón has established and now Newell has done a great job of maintaining, is the ability to relate so strongly to the characters - which makes the rest of the plot that much more exciting/terrifying/hilarious, etc. We all remember what our first crush felt like, our first real dance, the sheer terror the first time we were chased by a Hungarian Horntail...

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timrew - Jan 2, 2006 4:55 pm (#87 of 227)

Middle-aged Harry Potter fan
Sorry, Kip!

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Choices - Jan 2, 2006 7:07 pm (#88 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Zelmia - "Well I, for one, found it refreshing to have a sort of grittier, dirtier Hogwarts."

I could have accepted the run-down Hogwarts if Muggles lived there, but for goodness sakes, these are wizards - magical folk. Why do they have spells like "reparo" if they don't use them to fix up the castle? Hogwarts should look old, but not run-down. Someone needed to light a fire under Filch and those house elves in POA. Oops, I guess S.P.E.W. will hang me in effigy for that comment. LOL

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zelmia - Jan 2, 2006 8:48 pm (#89 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Well Filch is a Squib, so "reparo" wouldn't really help him there. Buildings do tend to get run down and since we have yet to be introduced to any sort of structural retro-fitting spell, there is apparently nothing to prevent even a magical thousand-year-old castle from being ravaged by Time.

I also think anyone who came along after John Williams to try to score the film had some mighty big shoes to fill. But Patrick Doyle is, I think, one of the few who is completely up to the task. I loved his score of GF and the way he sprinkled in some already-established recognisable themes. Well done, indeed!

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Rosariana - Jan 2, 2006 9:13 pm (#90 of 227)

The music has been excellent, I agree, for all four films. In my opinion, the best part about the books being made into movies is that we get a lovely score to listen to.

I can't fathom how these composers do it. It's amazing how they can conjure up such fantastic images of courage and heroism, of discovery, even humor. They seem to have such a good feel for this world that JKR has invented for us.

"Ah, music... a magic far greater than all we do here!" -Dumbledore

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Solitaire - Jan 2, 2006 9:20 pm (#91 of 227)

As far as Hogwarts Castle is concerned, we have already seen that its plumbing has obviously been updated over the years. This would indicate that the castle must have been repaired and refurbished magically from time to time. The differences between the castles in the PS/SS movie and the PoA movie do not really bother me. It's part of the "willing suspension of disbelief" to which we agree when we watch any fictional movie or read any fictional story.


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Rob Weiss - Jan 2, 2006 11:22 pm (#92 of 227)

"So what you're saying, Rob, is that, long before the release of PA, you had already made up your mind about what that particular director might do with a Harry Potter script - even though, by your own admission, you knew nothing about that director, nor had you ever even seen any of his other work. Hm." ----Zelmia

This is not what I said at all. On the contrary, I litterally had no idea what to expect. I expected a good movie, seeing as Cuaron had just gotten all these critical raves. And I expected the book to be followed as much as Columbus had followed the first two. Beyond that, I kept an open mind. I paid for my ticket, took my seat and waited to see what would happen. 2 and a half hours later, I left the theatre in a very bad mood. Hey, at least I didn't leave an hour earlier when I realized this movie was a lost cause. The cartoon werewolf and Gambon's drunken performance were pretty much the last nails in the coffin.

Does a "grittier" Hogwarts really help anything? I mean, the book said the castle is supposed to look like an old ruin to any muggle who passes by. So what, is showing us a shabby castle kind of like submersing us in the fantasy while reminding us that we aren't actually there? A kind of inside out cinema verite? What's the point of that? I would almost find that to be kind of condescending----the director is telling us how to feel about what we're seeing. Why not have little signs in the corner telling us, "laugh", "applaud" or "gasp" at the appropriate times?

Obviously, the setting is important to the story. But it is not what the story is about. It has to be believable in several different ways. Yes, we need to believe it had been around thru several hundred years continual use, so the wear and tear would be expected. But at the same time, if it's being continually used, it would logically be assumed someone's taking care of it. So shouldn't it be in better shape?

But as I said, the gritty castle is not what the story is about. It's the actions and the characters and the events. It's about Harry seeing a real dog sitting up in the stands, not Harry reacting to a funny raincloud. See, that's the kind of cheat I hated. Instead of characters reacting to the (at least in their world) very real dangers of the story, we get bad CG signaling the director's telling us, "be scared, n-n-now!"

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zelmia - Jan 3, 2006 1:45 pm (#93 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but as for "the director is telling us how to feel about what we're seeing" - that's precisely what a Director does. It's his or her job to do so. You must know this, or else every other film you have ever seen must have completely agreed with your emotional sensibilities about the scenes you were viewing.

Everything in a scene, from the lighting down to - particularly - the musical scoring (if any) "tell us how to feel about what we're seeing". Though it starts with the Writer, it is the job of the Director and Crew to bring the Writer's words - especially the mood or emotional aspects - to life.
Yes, at the very root, it is manipulation. But like it or not, films, by their very nature, are designed to manipulate us, to appeal to our emotions. It is simply the job of the Director to make that happen.

Think about films you don't like. Now ask yourself "Why". Very likely it's because you "couldn't get into it". In other words, you didn't feel anything. Or perhaps you didn't feel what you expected you would based on what you'd heard about the storyline.
See, this is the very appeal of films as a medium: they allow us to see and experience people and situations we never could in real life. And the biggest part of that experience is the emotions that accompany those situations. It is a necessary outlet for the human animal. If a Director is doing his or her job correctly, the audience will never notice that they have been completely manipulated throughout the experience.

But for the Harry Potter films, one must bear in mind that these are made for a decidedly less-sophisticated audience than say, The Constant Gardner. Let's face it: like it or not, the target audience for these films is children. Therefore, the cues will be much more overt, if not blatant. To the adult audience, it may as well be a flashing sign saying, "Laugh" "Be Scared" etc.

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schoff - Jan 3, 2006 5:20 pm (#94 of 227)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Does a "grittier" Hogwarts really help anything?

I would definitely have to say a big YES to that. It helps establish an overall mood, which is definitely getting grittier and gloomier the more the books and the films go on. Everything in the whole film has to be constructed in such a way that the viewer is pulled into the story, not pushed out thinking "Huh? Why is that object shiny and clean whereas everything else isn't?"

It would be completely jarring to see a spankin' clean and upkept Camelot in the middle of a story about the deaths of characters we love and a graveyard that held one the of the most traumatic experiences of Harry's life. Even the Quidditch match was filmed darker, with darker colors, and not as a bright and colorful event in Harry's Life.

the director is telling us how to feel about what we're seeing

Like zelmia said, that's pretty much what a director does. Then, if s/he can't - or feels the level of emotion wasn't achieved enough - then they'll add a musical score to help. Movies are all about viewer manipulation.

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Choices - Jan 3, 2006 8:04 pm (#95 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Schoff - "It would be completely jarring to see a spankin' clean and upkept Camelot in the middle of a story about the deaths of characters we love and a graveyard that held one the of the most traumatic experiences of Harry's life. Even the Quidditch match was filmed darker, with darker colors, and not as a bright and colorful event in Harry's Life."

That sounds like you are talking about GoF - I had no problem with the castle or grounds in GoF. It was the run-down, unkept look in PoA I hated.

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schoff - Jan 3, 2006 8:37 pm (#96 of 227)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Choices: I had no problem with the castle or grounds in GoF. It was the run-down, unkept look in PoA I hated.

Ah. Well I still stand by my statement. PA was also a run-down movie, so a run-down castle made perfect sense (ie, it played with the theme of the story, think of the Shrieking Shack, Sirius Black, and Dementor stuff). Which allowed them to continue with the run-down look in GF.

Actually, PA was probably the best point for the HP movies to move off the "happy daisy" innocent vision Columbus gave it. Between the lessons Harry learned from Wormtail's escape and Sirius not getting freed, PA is really where the story jumps off to start the darker tones of GF. I think it would be more jarring if PA had followed Columbus' vision, then we got Newall's GF. And I'm glad Columbus did eventually step aside, because he *really* would not have done GF justice.

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Rob Weiss - Jan 4, 2006 12:26 am (#97 of 227)

Think of all those political movies where all the offices are nice and clean. It always serves to contrast the sleaziness of the situation. This is part of why the "gritty" Hogwarts doesn't work for me. That the story arc starts to get darker is beside the point. Sure Wormtail gets away and Sirius is still a fugitive. But on the positive side, at least Harry now knows he has another familial figure looking out for him and Dumbledore now knows Sirius was innocent all along.

And I don't buy that the director's job is to tell us how to feel. Many directors like to let their audience make up their own minds. Sure you'll have your standard issue characters----hero, villain, love interest, etc. But sometimes you might find that the hero's point of view is less sympathetic than the villain's. If we were argueing about BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER I'd give you a whole laundry list about how Buffy is sometimes the least appealing character. But that's not for here.

Again, I would say, look at the book for POA. Or any of them, for that matter. Does Rowling tell us how to feel about all the characters or situations? If she did, we wouldn't have these in-depth battles over whether Snape is evil or not. And often, things we read in an early book that we feel positively or negatively about at first, turn out to have an entirely different meaning later on.

And to make the movie uniformly gloomy, as Cuaron did, is a disservice to both the audience and the story. Look at ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. That was a dark story, full of deceit, danger and sadism. But at the same time, there were often moments of victory and thrills. The students in the DA were very excited to be defying Umbridge. And almost evryone was entertained by the twins schemes to sabotage Umbridge's reign as Headmistress. To make that movie as dull and gloomy as POA would be to remove the sense of hope. It'd be like making whatever positive things happened into a minor footnote. Again, we would be told what to think. I like to do my own thinking. Maybe that's just me.

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The giant squid - Jan 4, 2006 3:51 am (#98 of 227)

I commented to my wife while watching GoF that even though the castle looked the same as in PoA it didn't feel the same... In GoF Hogwarts seemed old (as it should) but still vibrant, whereas in PoA it was dirty, decrepit and dank. (Sorry, got a little alliterative there.)


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schoff - Jan 4, 2006 4:52 am (#99 of 227)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
Think of all those political movies where all the offices are nice and clean. It always serves to contrast the sleaziness of the situation.

Then we should expect to see a shiny Ministry of Magic (just like JKR described), which will show the hypocrisy of the situation that's going on behind its walls.

And I don't buy that the director's job is to tell us how to feel. Many directors like to let their audience make up their own minds.

Yes, occasionally they do (although that's pretty much impossible for a pre-made blockbuster). But ultimately they are supposed to lead you to the decision you make. Conclusions are not pulled from the ether. Besides, GF already has a set conclusion. This isn't an open-ended story where you're supposed to wonder what happened and how best to interpret it. Snape is only a side-note to the main story, especially if we're only talking about the movies (and books 1-4) at this point.

And to make the movie uniformly gloomy, as Cuaron did, is a disservice to both the audience and the story.

Moments of glory are still moments of glory. They're just overshadowed by the overall tone. JKR does the exact same thing in her books. The only difference is that she can't do it visually as well as a movie can.

As happy as I can feel that the DA is going against Umbridge, I should keep in mind the behind-the-scenes context that's not overtly being mentioned at that moment (which is what the background/visual feel takes care of in a movie). Not all is going to end well for the DA. Umbridge is looking for them, the Ministry is against them, they can be expelled if they are caught. Not to mention the over-riding reason behind the DA: because Voldemort's returned and these kids need to know how to protect themselves so that maybe they won't die. And as funny as the twins' schemes were, that doesn't take away from the fact that there's a very real possibility that one or both of them may not make it to the end of the series.

I think directors have to go into the movie assuming that most of the audience hasn't read the book, or remembered every detail from the previous movies. In order to set a tone, they need to do it in other ways - otherwise we get exposition scene after exposition scene reminding us of what happened and why we as the audience should be so worried about what's going to happen. Cuaron didn't have to keep hitting us over the head with Lord Voldemort and "things are bad" in the Wizarding World. He let his sets do it for him. Those clock backgrounds really pounded in the concept of time - which turned out to be *very* important overall, and not just for Hermione's time turner.

I commented to my wife while watching GoF that even though the castle looked the same as in PoA it didn't feel the same... In GoF Hogwarts seemed old (as it should) but still vibrant, whereas in PoA it was dirty, decrepit and dank.

I just rewatched PA and had a different impression. It just felt more...empty to me. Like only 10 kids attended it. You're right, GF seemed more alive with movement (but not as alive as PS/CS), but mostly because I think they added more people throughout the scenes. Having two other schools join probably helped the illusion as well. GF really did a lot more with the background students (George, Fred, Neville, etc) than PA did. Heck, PA mainly used that one kid who pretty much came out of nowhere for exposition. I spent the movie trying to figure out who he was.

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Choices - Jan 4, 2006 11:05 am (#100 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Giant Squid - Post #98 - I totally agree!! Well said!
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Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? Empty Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? (Post 101 to 150)

Post  Elanor Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:40 am

zelmia - Jan 4, 2006 12:14 pm (#101 of 227)
Oh! And that's a bad miss!
And I don't buy that the director's job is to tell us how to feel.
Well, obviously you're free to choose to believe that. But it doesn't change the fact that it is the Director's job to do just that. It's simply that the better Directors are more deftly able to conceal it.

Sure you'll have your standard issue characters... Which are created by the Writer, not the Director. Though these are sometimes the same person.

Does Rowling tell us how to feel about all the characters or situations? Yes, she does. Through Harry. The story is told from Harry's point of view. We are given an "over-the-shoulder" viewpoint of the saga by seeing and hearing everything Harry sees and hears. We are given insight into only Harry's thoughts and dreams. Every other character's actions and responses are described from Harry's objective point of view. We are literally meant to see the world through Harry's eyes.
But because we are not Harry - we are the reader and therefore still keep our Universal Eye, as it were - we retain the freedom to explore other elements of the characters or plot. Like Snape's true motivation and loyalty. Or to notice things that Harry doesn't i.e. Ron and Hermione.

And this is precisely where the Director comes in. The little subtleties and nuances that are hidden in the subtext of the original novel - those that Harry himself cannot see, but we the Reader can - are brought forth through visual elements like Lighting, Camera Angle, Focus, Set Design and (especially) Musical Scoring.

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Honour - Jan 4, 2006 3:14 pm (#102 of 227)

Reading the last 20 or so posts of this thread I found your views Zelmia very balanced and logical, and your last post #101 rounded your whole argument up very succinctly, very well put indeed!

... and yes, I too remember the first time I was chased by an angry horntail ... Oh the horror! LOL, when I read this line in one of your posts I did LOL!Smile

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zelmia - Jan 5, 2006 1:07 am (#103 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Thanks for the compliment, Honour. I'm speechless.

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Nathan Zimmermann - Jan 5, 2006 9:08 am (#104 of 227)

Schoff, I would assert the look and feeling of the castle as represented in PoA versus GoF is due largely but not wholly to the differing visualizations of Cuaron and Newell both director's are radically different in terms of their vision.

Speaking on visualizations pne of the element that in GoF that I was least impressed with was the manner in which Mike Newell in conjunction with Steve Kloves developed the not only interactions between the characters in those scenes but also the set design I felt was lacking. Perhaps, someone like Cuaron ir better Norman Jewison who has experience integrating graveyards into their films should have been consulted with in order to improve those scenes.

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zelmia - Jan 5, 2006 1:00 pm (#105 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Oh, I agree, Nathan. The graveyard did seem a bit "stage-y".
These are the two characters who have both dreaded and awaited this very confrontation from the first moments of the series. Yet the whole thing just seemed so rushed and uninformed. By that I mean that it wasn't given the rightly earned status of "payoff" that it should have been.
This is not only the climax of the movie, but probably the most major plot point of the entire saga. Therefore it needs to have some pretty strong lingering effects if the beginning of the next episode is going to carry any weight.

Speaking of that transition, I have to say that I did not at all care for the complete disregard for the effect of Cedric's death on Harry in the last scene of GF. Harry is devastated, heartbroken by Cedric's death - primarily because he feels he is the cause of it. For the first time in his life, Harry recognises and deeply feels the burden that has been placed upon him.
Hermione says, "Everything's going to change now, isn't it?" At which point Harry responds, rather blithely, "Yes it is" almost as if he's looking forward to it.
Now, Kloves could have - should have - just let that be the last word. And then Mr Newell could have given us a nice lingering shot of Harry's determined expression as he stops for a moment to ponder the profundity of what he's just said, before he marches off to join his two companions as they leave Hogwarts behind for the summer - in more ways than one.

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haymoni - Jan 5, 2006 9:32 pm (#106 of 227)

A much, much better ending, zelmia.

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schoff - Jan 5, 2006 11:29 pm (#107 of 227)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
At which point Harry responds, rather blithely, "Yes it is" almost as if he's looking forward to it.

I got a simple, steely determination from it. An acknowledgement that yes, in fact, things will change. I was rather glad Harry answered it, and in that way. I almost thought they were going to go the old "Oh, no matter what happens, we'll always stay friends" let's-end-on-a-good-note yammering that happens most of the time.

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zelmia - Jan 5, 2006 11:36 pm (#108 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
I really wanted to hear that way, Schoff. And I actually do agree with you in that I do believe that was the film makers' intent. That was certainly the rationalisation I used. But I think due to the subsequent way the scene played out, it just didn't come across that way for me.

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schoff - Jan 5, 2006 11:59 pm (#109 of 227)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
But I think due to the subsequent way the scene played out, it just didn't come across that way for me.

Fair point. But I was really impressed with Daniel's portrayal throughout the entire movie, and that was another shining moment in my opinion.

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MichaelmasGal - Jan 27, 2006 2:13 am (#110 of 227)

The major thing I dislike about the movies is that the director/writer says "oh we can't include everything or the film would be 7 hours long". Well then how about not adding things that never happened in the books! That could save a great deal of time. They took very charming, witty, interesting, creative books and Hollywoodized them. I miss the great dialogue and characters, but could live without the LONG quidditch and action scenes.

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Honour - Jan 27, 2006 3:38 am (#111 of 227)

I don't mind that the movies are nearly 3 hours long, I just wish that in the case of GOF, that it didn't seem like a mad dash to the end of the story!

I also agree with MichaelmasGal, if they would stop putting in extras and leaving out the actual storyline I'd be pretty happy too.

Now, I think that the audience and the storyline is starting to become a little more mature, I really hope that OOTP remains intact, there are so many vital elements in this book that would be terrible if cut or worse still fabricated, added on, taken off or whatever... and if this happens my gosh! I will personally bombard Peter Jackson with emails until he says he'll direct HBP and Book 7! If he can breathe life into the Lord of the Rings Epic and make a giant gorilla seem more human than the humans, Goblins, werewolves, centaurs house elves and Giants will be a breeze!Smile

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Regan of Gong - Jan 29, 2006 3:21 am (#112 of 227)

Self declared doctor of everything.
OotP doesn't look good, with the fabled "Broom chase down the Thames". 'Spose it won't get much worse. BTW, will the first read-through of the script been completed yet?

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Finn BV - Jan 29, 2006 8:15 am (#113 of 227)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
Don't forget Regan, the "broom chase" down the Thames may just be getting to the Ministry via Thestrals, and broom chase was just the term they used at the time. It may also be the Advance Guard getting to Grimmauld Place. Think positive!

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MichaelmasGal - Jan 30, 2006 6:13 am (#114 of 227)

What would everyone here have done if they were the writer/director of all the films? Scenes you would have added or deleted? Things you would have written differently? Actors you would have cast differently? Different sets?

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haymoni - Jan 30, 2006 7:36 am (#115 of 227)

I would have included the Marauder's story in POA.

I would have left Harry's cheeky comments to the Dursleys in.

I would have made Snape meaner.

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Mrs Brisbee - Jan 30, 2006 8:06 am (#116 of 227)

Ditto what haymoni said.

The Marauder's story being included would have cleared up a bunch of plot holes in PoA.

Harry is a mouthy little twerp in the books. Wish that had come through in the movies.

Movie Snape isn't nasty enough. He is more amusing than hateful.

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zelmia - Jan 30, 2006 9:59 am (#117 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
If I had only one thing to change from Kloves's adaptations, it would definitely have to be to have kept Ron as the Wizarding World advisor for Harry and Hermione.
As anyone who's ever been an exchange student (or a field anthropologist) can attest: No matter how much you read up on the language and the culture (i.e. spells, Hogwarts, A History, etc) there is no substitute for actually living among it.
In the books, Muggle-born Hermione is quite ignorant about a lot of things - inlcuding the use of the epithet "mudblood" until it's used against her. In the films she has knowledge of things she couldn't possibly know unless she's grown up in the Wizarding World.
Meanwhile Ron has been relegated to bumbling oaf in the films, which is going to make it incredibly difficult to put him with Hermione in episode 6.

But I would also have included the Marauder's Map. That seemed a sorely lacking element to the film of PA. I would also have kept the original ending of GF (Harry in hosptial wing with Weasleys, etc). Gives his character more depth and compassion; and confirms his place as an adopted memeber of the Weasley family. Also, Dumbledore's rift with Fudge is a HUGE plot point that was omitted. Wondering how they're going to deal with that for the next film.

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haymoni - Jan 30, 2006 10:37 am (#118 of 227)

Yours are good points too, Zelmia.

How could I have forgotten the Molly/Harry scene????

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Choices - Jan 30, 2006 10:45 am (#119 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
There's not enough room here to list all the things I would change, but let me simply say I would begin by resurrecting Richard Harris. From there on, it gets complicated. LOL

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Esther Rose - Jan 30, 2006 11:22 am (#120 of 227)

Choices, We still have Ian McKellen. He was running pretty darn fast in ROTK. =) I would not mind Ian playing Dumbledore. Heck, even Christopher Lee could be a Dumbledore. (he would have to go through a Saruman cleansing process though.) I don't know, I always imagined Dumbledore to be a bit lanky. The way that I read him, he seems to be a bit too busy to even bother with eating a lot of the time.

For GOF, I was slightly disturbed at Crouch Jr. being in Harry's dream sequence. It is still unclear how Crouch Jr got out of Askaban in the movie and the adjustments made at Wisengamot did not help one bit. Crouch Sr. had no remorse what so ever sending his only son to Askaban.

Out of all of the HP movies, this one really needed to be a two movie deal. Everything went way too fast. Lightening speed really.

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Netherlandic - Jan 31, 2006 5:47 pm (#121 of 227)

Edited by Kip Carter Feb 5, 2006 1:22 am
This will be my longest post ever but there it goes:

What really annoyed me is that the four films are not consistent. The break was PoA.

1. Suddenly the landscape changes from a more plain site to a mountain landscape. Hagrid's hut has suddenly got two rooms instead of only one, and stands on a steep slope instead of on the end of a field, like in the first two movies;

2. The inhabitants/pupils change. In PoA, suddenly half the students of Hogwarts is black. I don't mind black actors; however I DO MIND CHANGES in the film;

3. The lady on the portrait-door to the Gryffindor common room changed. I thought the new lady ridiculous. I know she is a famous British comedian but that is no excuse to replace the door-lady. I also thought the scene with the broken wine glass repulsive.

Why couldn't Cuaron keep things the same!

On a more positive note: I love Alan Rickman as Snape. (Why they didn't think of him strait away...). I also love Daniel, Rupert and Emma. And Maggie Smith! She was born for this part.

In PoA I missed the explanation about the Patronus stag form and the Maurauders very much. It is not clear at all that Lupin and co created that map. Also the lovething between Ron and Hermione is too early; we really start seeing their future relationship in GoF (book) so why Cuaron found it necessary? The shrunken heads? Yak! Anyway, IMO the fourth film was a relieve compared to PoA.

I edited part of paragraph 2., including deleting some portions. - Kip

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Choices - Jan 31, 2006 6:36 pm (#122 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
I've got to agree with you Netherlandic - on everything you said. Those were definitely some of my gripes.

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zelmia - Jan 31, 2006 10:01 pm (#123 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Edited by Kip Carter Feb 5, 2006 1:23 am
Well, The Fat Lady is portrayed by an actor. She's not an actual painting.
So, there are any number of reasons why Elizabeth Spriggs might not have returned for an exceptionally minor roll. It might well have had nothing to do with Cuaron. It might simply have been a matter that she was unavailable for the scheduled shooting date(s).

Also, the film of PA has a lot of exteriors. In fact I would say that the bulk of the film takes place outdoors. At least, the interiors and exteriors seem to be about equal.
And Hogwarts is in Scotland so they shot the exteriors there. Maybe it's just me, but I think that makes perfect sense.

I deleted the previous last paragraph. - Kip

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Amilia Smith - Feb 1, 2006 1:32 am (#124 of 227)

I agree about the break in continuity being annoying. Even though I liked the changes (ie. I liked the new grounds better than the old ones), I didn't like the changes (ie. the switch to new grounds was very disorienting).


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Honour - Feb 1, 2006 2:22 am (#125 of 227)

Maybe Cuaron made a deal with the husband and wife team of Lenny Henry (shrunken head on knight bus) and Dawn French (Fat Lady)?

I also remember thinking what is Hagrid's House doing there?

But after watching the DVD a couple of dozen times the changes just grew on me...Smile

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haymoni - Feb 1, 2006 7:01 am (#126 of 227)

Well, the kid that won the contest that got to do the Grim bit and the Black=smoke bit was an addition - he could have been black, white, green or purple - it was a contest - anyone could have won.

For some reason, I have always pictured Lavender Brown as being black. I don't know why - I have no factual, canon basis for this at all. I just always thought that.

Being American, I think in the past I thought English = white. Perhaps Chris Columbus thought the same thing, while Alfonso would have a more of a multi-cultural view.

Reading Harry Potter has made me realize that Britain is a melting-pot very similar to the US, but with much cooler accents!!!

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zelmia - Feb 1, 2006 10:21 am (#127 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Since you mention it, I know a lot of people didn't like the Shrunken Head bit (Lenny Henry notwithstanding). Personally, I thought that - especially with John Williams's frenetic jazz scoring - it really captured the frenzy and the complete disorientation that Harry experienced in the book. Remember: The filmmakers have to make that kind of verbose description of a person's thoughts and feelings visually apparent and accessible. PA's Knight Bus did this very well, in my opinion.

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Choices - Feb 1, 2006 11:06 am (#128 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Edited by Kip Carter Feb 5, 2006 1:49 am
Netherlandic, I find your observation concerning more black actors interesting. It was no different than saying the grounds were more rugged or the castle looked different. It was an honest comment - there were more black actors. I think it is good to show the diversity of wizards at Hogwarts - there are black wizards, white wizards, Indian wizards, Oriental wizards, part Giant wizards, werewolf wizards, etc. A great mix of magical folks.

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haymoni - Feb 1, 2006 11:17 am (#129 of 227)

When I saw the movie, I was disappointed about the Shrunken Head because that ruined the dialogue between Stan & Ernie.

But I really grew to hate the Shrunken Head when I got the DVD and the stupid thing talked all through the interviews.

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Netherlandic - Feb 1, 2006 11:20 am (#130 of 227)

Thank you Choices. I like the mix as well. I am still hoping for a dracula though.

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Choices - Feb 1, 2006 12:02 pm (#131 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Dracula, huh? I think when they do HBP, one might consider the door into the lake area in the cave as a sort of Dracula - it requires a bit of blood to make it open. That may be as close to Dracula as we get. LOL

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Netherlandic - Feb 1, 2006 5:35 pm (#132 of 227)

I wonder how they are going to put that particular dracula in film nr. 6? haha.

Back on topic - In GoF, I liked the scene with all the tents at the Quidditch World Cup. I wonder if it has been created by computer or wether they set up quite a number of tents...

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MichaelmasGal - Feb 2, 2006 1:28 am (#133 of 227)

Things I would change:

The casting of Ron. Maybe it isn't Rupert Grint as an actor, but the horrible things they have been making his character do, but I have really grown to dislike Ron in the films.

I wouldn't have made the quidditch uniforms so slick and professional looking.

I would have them studying/plotting/talking in their common room not in the dining hall.

Stop giving Hermione Ron's lines.

Film 1: 1. Keep Neville in the forest scene.

2. Keep to only 2 houses in each class

3. Keep Harry and Draco's first meeting

4. Keep the Sorting Hat's song

5. Not have the Sorting Hat speak outloud for everyone to hear, just the wearer.

6. No Seamus constantly blowing things up

Film 2: 1. Keep Burrow's garden gnomes

2. I would have WAAYYY shortened the flying car scene to Hogwarts, it was just stupid and time wasting.

3. Moaning Murtle's bathroom looked all wrong

Film 3: 1. What's with the stupid choir?! Take it out.

2. An actual explination about the Maruder's Map

3. Ron and Hermione's fights over the Firebolt and Scabbers

4. Harry exploring Diagon Alley on his own, meeting Ron and Hermione, getting the cat.

5. Harry overhearing about Sirius instead of Arthur telling him

6. Keep Ron and Hermione in the Three Broomsticks scene where we learn about Sirius and James being best friends.

7. Take out the Fat Ladies singing/glass breaking bit

8. Keep from the book how they find out the Fat Lady was attacked by Sirius Black.

Film 4: 1. Sirius appearing in the fire looked all wrong

2. The final task should have been kept how it was in the book

3. The second tast didn't take place in the middle of the lake like that

4. Take out all of the pointless chasing by the dragon in the first task.

Lots lots lots more for film 4 that I just can't think of right now lol.

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timrew - Feb 2, 2006 4:22 pm (#134 of 227)

Middle-aged Harry Potter fan
One change you didn't mention, Netherlandic. They changed Tom, the landlord of the Leaky Cauldron, in POA, too. The fat, jovial landlord of the first film was replaced by an actor who was bald, hunch-backed and altogether totally different!

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Choices - Feb 2, 2006 6:33 pm (#135 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Yes, I hated the hunch-backed Tom. He sort of represents the guardian of the entrance into the Wizarding World and shouldn't look like such an idiot.

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hawick girl - Feb 3, 2006 3:16 am (#136 of 227)

I think that the things that they didn't do right was pretty much the end. How DD realizes that Moody is really Barty Jr. also the explaination of how Barty Jr. came to be there and how he left, and the argument and schism between Fudge and DD. The biggest thing that was a disservice to the book was what I thought was the saddest part of the book--the tribute to Cedric Diggory, that was just glossed over and we left the theater with a happy/determined feel.

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haymoni - Feb 3, 2006 6:28 am (#137 of 227)

I hated Deformed Tom, too.

It was silly.

Tom was somebody competent that the Minister relied on and now he's a joke.

Hitler-Flitwick was the worst, though.

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zelmia - Feb 3, 2006 10:12 am (#138 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
You know it occurs to me that Flitwick's look changed pretty drastically after the publication of JKR's clarification that Flitwick "is a short human with a touch of goblin blood".
Perhaps it's simply that the film makers had previously believed him to be more Goblin-like, particularly since Warwick Davis plays a Goblin as well in the Gringott's scene in PS/SS, and now wanted to rectify their mistake?

On second thought, I'm not sure whether the timing for filming and JKR's web site update works out or not... Still, she may have simply advised the producers on this point.

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Choices - Feb 3, 2006 10:51 am (#139 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
I could have bought a subtle change in Flitwick's appearance, but that was much too drastic.

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haymoni - Feb 3, 2006 11:00 am (#140 of 227)

Just take away the moustache, that's all I ask!!!

And actually make him the Charms professor and not the band leader!

(Okay, so that's 2 things I'm asking!!)

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Nathan Zimmermann - Feb 3, 2006 11:03 am (#141 of 227)

Choices, I agree the change in Flitwick's appearance was most disconcerting.

In Goblet of Fire one of the things I would have liked to see were trial of Bellatrix and a full and faithful interpretation of the Graveyard scene to serve as an introduction for Bellatrix because, it wwould have made David Yates work on OotP easier because he would not have been required to introduce Bellatrix.

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Netherlandic - Feb 3, 2006 11:04 am (#142 of 227)

You are absolutely right, Timrew. Stupid new Tom!

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Rob Weiss - Feb 3, 2006 5:44 pm (#143 of 227)

I go away for a little while and evryone starts agreeing with me about how bad POA was! Well, maybe you're just making better the points I was trying to.

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Amilia Smith - Feb 3, 2006 7:50 pm (#144 of 227)

Not to worry Rob. I think most people here agree with you. I know I'm in the minority with those who really really liked PoA.

. . . we left the theater with a happy/determined feel.

But we left the book with a happy/determined feel too. Maybe not quite as happy as the movie, but remember how shocked we all were with the change of tone in OotP? "How could Harry have become so depressed in just a few weeks!!?? Where is this war we are supposed to be fighting!!??"


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Nathan Zimmermann - Feb 3, 2006 9:54 pm (#145 of 227)

Of the four books that have been adapted to film thus far I can say that I have generally on the whole not been overly disappointed with any of the films. Having said that there are certain thing I would have altered in each film. Flim 1:

I would have put in Harry getting a wand sequence as written in the books.
I would have altered the ending to include Hagrid bursting to tears and Harry bellowing the Voldemort giving the photo album in the hospital wing.
Film 2:
I would have shortened the scene getting to Hogwarts.
Film 3:
I would have had open scene shift from Harry to Sirius muttering at Azkaban he is at Hogwarts.
I would have kept the original Tom instead of replacing him with the hunchbacked version that reminds me of Igor.
I would keep the dialogues between Lupin and Harry especially bridge scene.
I would have keept the scene where Harry produces the Patronus at the Quidditch match.
I would have included the background on the Marauders and Snape's grudge in a brief flashbacks during the scenes with Sirius and Lupin in the Shrieking Shack.
I would keep the ending as it is with the addition of the Hogsmeade permission slip.
Film 4:
I would have kept Molly and the Dursleys including the scene at the burrow with Molly confiscating all the trick sweets.
I would have kept Percy that way his conduct in OotP could be more easily explained
I would have included a scene where Moody is confonted by two DE's but the outcome is not certaim
I would have giving some coherence to Rita Skeeter's part because in the film as it is she disappears and provides no setup for OotP especially since her articles play signifigant role in the eventual placement of Umbridge at Hogwarts
I would have included more conversations with Sirius as a lead into the Pensieve scene
I would have included the Lestranges in the Pensieve scene in order to facilitate Bellatrix's introduction so that did not have to be done in book 5
I would have altered the graveyard scene to have wormtail cutting of the proper hand included the full speech and discussion with the DE's.
I would have altered the ending to include five things: first, the Foe glass; second, the meeting with Sirius in the Office; third the truce between Sirius and Severus; fourth, the confrontation with Fudge in the hospital wing; lastly the summoning of the Order of the Phoenix.
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Chemyst - Feb 4, 2006 3:21 pm (#146 of 227)

"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." A.A. Milne
The more I think about Nathan's Film 4, point 8, the more obvious it becomes: the summoning of the Order of the Phoenix would have been a stronger ending.

Also agree: should have kept enough of Percy to see his shifting loyalties; should have included more conversations with Sirius, even if they were limited to only a sentence or two; and should have shown more rising tension between DD and the Ministry.

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Netherlandic - Feb 4, 2006 6:33 pm (#147 of 227)

Thank you Rob. One could perhaps even say that Cuaron, by changing the cast the way he did to give the film a more dark and sinister look, isn't very friendly (if indeed that was his aim).

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haymoni - Feb 4, 2006 7:25 pm (#148 of 227)

So Steve Kloves isn't writing OotP???

I wonder if we'll see a change.

Ha - what if they try to stick dangling onions on Luna instead of radishes? I wonder if Evanna will revolt???

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Rob Weiss - Feb 4, 2006 9:50 pm (#149 of 227)

Edited by Kip Carter Feb 5, 2006 1:37 am
I wouldn't go so far as to say it was the cast that gave the film a darker, more sinister feel. (Now that would be a questionable statement!) Actually, I would't even say the film had a sinister feel at all. More like sinister lite. It was like, ok, be scared, somethings going to happen, wait, wait, not yet, oh no, it's Sirius Black...and he's a nice guy! Seriously, the in the book, there was a truly menacing presence to Sirius even when he was just a name in the news. Cuaron failed miserably to convey that presence, that danger, in the movie. And that was not the cast's fault.

But the big thing I hated about having that fat Griffindore----AND that skinny Slytherine, while we're at it----is that, why did Cuaron even add these 2 characters to a universe that already has hundreds of characters. He didn't even give these characters names but he gives them key lines of dialogue? What an artsy, high-falutin, so full of himself moron!

I removed two adjectives in the second paragraph. - Kip

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MichaelmasGal - Feb 5, 2006 2:10 am (#150 of 227)

I also didn't like the big clock.
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Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? Empty Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? (Post 151 to 200)

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Hermionefan(#1) - Feb 5, 2006 2:41 pm (#151 of 227)
missing my picture!!!!! *cry cry cry*
Rob, I totally agree with you about PoA, I think Cuaron added way too many random and stupid scenes. It really made me mad that they never explained anything. I mean, I could hardly understand what was going on the way it was set up, and I've read the book about fifty times. My dad saw it and he had no idea what could even possibly be going on on that screen.

I don't particularly care for the cast, either. Richard Harris was good, Micheal Gambon isn't. Alan Rickman is good, but he should be much skinnier and paler. Emma, Dan, and Rupert need to go. That was pretty much what my dad said when we first saw the movie, he said "I couldn't follow any of that and those three actors need to be replaced. Especially the red haired one". I pictured Johnny Depp as Sirius...yeah, don't know why though, but my friends agree =).

The fourth was the best though. I loved it. I despised the third one, they just left too many plot holes.

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Sticky Glue - Feb 5, 2006 4:32 pm (#152 of 227)

I haven't really liked any of the movies - but I think the 4th movie was the worst - it left out far more, and left far more plot holes than the 3rd movie.

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Choices - Feb 5, 2006 5:29 pm (#153 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Gosh, I hate to have to disagree...... but I will! I loved the big clock - POA was so much about time and the big clock was so symbolic.

As for Richard Harris and Alan Rickman - they couldn't be more perfect in my opinion. Emma, Dan and Rupert are exactly what I pictured the book characters to look like and I think they have done very well in their parts - they are young and inexperienced, but they sure bring Hermione, Harry and Ron to life for me. No matter how great an actor may be, he/she is not going to perfectly match the book character, but I think the actors so far have been pretty spot on and some are down right brilliant.

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Soul Search - Feb 5, 2006 10:14 pm (#154 of 227)

Choices, I agree with the Harry, Ron, and Hermione characters in the first two movies, but not at all the third. Fourth, maybe.

I think the problem in PoA was their direction. We saw good acting in SS and CoS, but the only dramatic mechanism in PoA seemed to be shouting. Had to be the director, we have seen the kids do better.

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Rob Weiss - Feb 5, 2006 10:54 pm (#155 of 227)

Maybe the MOVIE was about time, but the BOOK was about Harry worrying about the intentions of an escaped killer. If that over-idulgent sub-artistic half-wit Cuaron had read said book, he would have known that and made a decent movie.

And while we're at it, someone tell Gambon to start rading the books too. He refuses to let them interfere with his interpretaion of Dumbledore. Wich is why he's so bad. Better yet, tell him to hand in his robe and then evry one of us true HP fans can all go find Tom Baker, get on our hands and knees and beg him to take over the part! He would kick axx as Dumbledore!

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Mrs Brisbee - Feb 6, 2006 6:45 am (#156 of 227)

I would say that Time was a major theme of the PoA book. Or more specifically, how a choice can impact everything that occurs in the future, and impact our perceptions of everything that occured in the past. That was the point of the whole time travel gimmick, I think.

In the movie, I liked the symbolism of the Big Clock... Although for the life of me I can't figure out who would locate a hospital wing next to a giant noisy clock!

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haymoni - Feb 6, 2006 8:01 am (#157 of 227)

Wasn't the "skinny kid" added because the actor that played Goyle wasn't available for all the scenes? Hubby rather likes that scene when he makes fun of Harry fainting.

And again, the "fat Gryffindor" won a contest, so that had nothing to do with Cuaron. Wish I had won the contest.

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CatherineHermiona - Feb 6, 2006 11:40 am (#158 of 227)

My drawing... LOL
May I say that I love all HP movies as I don't look them like movies that are made by books, but as movies that are made without any book as a help. Then you'll like the movies. If you look the movies and think is that situation in the book, you can't really enjoy the movies. I hope you understand what I mean.

Narnia is pretty faithful to the book, but I read whole TLTWTW in few hours. And movie is 2 and a half hours long.

And may I add that I find Seamus' tradition of burning things funny. And lots of other things. Hey, it is a movie, not a book itself!

I'm still in the chat room. Kate

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zelmia - Feb 6, 2006 4:01 pm (#159 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
(Again with the belligerence. Not a fan of the belligerence.)

I agree so much with you, Mrs Brisbee. Very well stated!

And well said, CH. The HP movies - and any other adaptation you can think of - are only based on the books, not the books themselves. As such they will reflect only the main elements of the original novel, insofar as it is cinematically possible and, more importantly, visually interesting.

The other thing to remember is that the Director and the Screenwriter are not always the same person, as is the case with the HP films. Therefore to blame the Director for certain storytelling decisions is like yelling at the cat when the dog chews up your shoes.
Also, contrary to popular belief, the Director doesn't have anywhere near as much creative control as many people think - particularly on a super-sized budget studio film like Harry Potter. He or she must work in concert with the other Department Heads (i.e. Cinematographer, Production Design), as well as answer to the Producer(s) and/or studio reps, who really do have the last word on what goes into the final cut.

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Sticky Glue - Feb 6, 2006 8:03 pm (#160 of 227)

I think that most of the problems with the movies is the script writers - they are the ones that have given Ron's lines to Hermione and made Ron into an idiot on screen.

I don't think it is all Ruperts fault that he comes across as a stupid Ron it's the script writers that have done that.

In the first movie I thought that Rupert was more natural compared to Dan's quite wooden performance.

And if they can follow other books like LoTR and Narnia when making the movies why can't they do the same for Harry Potter rather than rewriting the story line - If they are going to do that they may as well start from scratch write their on movie and call it something else.

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zelmia - Feb 6, 2006 9:32 pm (#161 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Personally, I agree with you whole-heartedly, Sticky Glue. But I think Peter Jackson may have been something of an exception to the "screenplay adaptation" paradigm. As a fan of the novels himself, he made a firm commitment to making a film that he hoped would be worthy of Tolkien's own approval.
But if I may just point out that there was a slightly different dynamic with the LOTR movies, since they were not only Directed by Peter Jackson, but he also co-wrote the scripts and was one of the (of about a dozen) Producers. Ditto Andrew Adamson and Narnia
This is not to say that the HP Directors are not fans of the books (I think they've all said that they were). But it seems clear that they don't have the same level of creative control as Peter Jackson or Andrew Adamson.

Or maybe it's simply that Kiwi filmmakers are better at sticking to the original text.

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Rob Weiss - Feb 6, 2006 10:22 pm (#162 of 227)

I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, "I didn't say it was your fault, I said I'm going to blame you!". I will freely admit that I may be adhering to this philosophy when I routinely go about tearing Cuaron a new one.

See, Sticky nailed it. Why hide behind a pretense of basing it on a book if you have no intention of actually following said book? It's as if even getting the rights to make the book into a movie is just a formality so they won't get sued for plagiarism. The bottom line is, evryone involved in the making of these movies (the last 2 in particular) had the opportunity to do exactly the kind of thing Jackson did for LOTR----make a faithful adaptation of a series of books that litterally have changed the way people (not just kids) read fantasy. 20 years from now this series will have the same cultural impact Tolkien's had on my father's generation. These film makers chose not to do the series justice. Seriously, the HP movies are no labour of love----they're a way to make a quick guaranteed buck. We deserve better than that.

Oh and I don't care if that fat kid was a contest winner. You don't give contest winners significant lines of expositional dialogue. You make him a Ravenclaw (since they hardly get much screentime anyways) and give him throwaway lines like, "have you seen the new Thunderbolts?". Hey, they're just happy to be there. They don't have to do the "To Be Or Not To Be" speech.

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haymoni - Feb 7, 2006 7:15 am (#163 of 227)

I'd have that contest winner, who could at least deliver his lines, over Hunchback Tom or Hitler Flitwick any day.

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Choices - Feb 7, 2006 10:26 am (#164 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
LOL Amen!!

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zelmia - Feb 7, 2006 1:17 pm (#165 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
So did they write that character in after the contest? Or was the dialogue always there? Who was originally meant to say those lines?

Hm. I don't understand...

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haymoni - Feb 7, 2006 1:30 pm (#166 of 227)

I think the Grim bit was actually from the book, but I can't remember who did it. For some reason I thought it was Lavender.

I don't remember the smoke bit at all from the books.

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Choices - Feb 7, 2006 7:11 pm (#167 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Actually it is Tralawney who says the line about the Grim in the book. Lavender claps her hand over her mouth and looks shocked.

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bigearl - Feb 8, 2006 3:08 pm (#168 of 227)

before I knew about the contest winner in PoA, I thought he was suppossed to be Dean Thomas (I thought it was just poor casting), hahaha,

but, No Dursleys in GoF was my biggest disappointment, (I wanted to see the Weasleys come out of the Dursleys' fireplace soo bad)

they should release two cuts for each movie, a stardard length cut for the general public, and a verison thats an hour or so longer for us fans, (some of my favorite scenes are just seeing the miscellaneous background stuff going on in the Wizarding World)

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Hermionefan(#1) - Feb 8, 2006 8:52 pm (#169 of 227)

missing my picture!!!!! *cry cry cry*
I thought that contest guy was Dean too...

I have also read TLTWATW but when I went to see the movie, I realized that it was different but for some reason I didn't trash the movie for the rest of the week, which is exactly what I did with PoA. I guess I just like HP better than Narnia.

Did anyone ever add the wardrobe to this list of sucky movie qualities? 'Cuz that bothered me a lot. I made an icon that has a picture of the pink hoodie burning . Nobody has any idea what it's supposed to be but I like it ^_^. Also, Hermione's plastic rainbow sparkly belt--that was lame. I mean, Hermione would never seriously wear something like that in public! Emma, yeah, but it's not supposed to be Emma, it's supposed to be Hermione. I read tha Cuaron let them take stuff from their own closets for the movie, how stupid is that? I think Emma was fine in the first two movies, in fact I adored her, but now...no. Just no. I don't particularly care for Dan either. And couldn't they make Dudley a bit fatter?

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The giant squid - Feb 9, 2006 3:09 am (#170 of 227)

And couldn't they make Dudley a bit fatter?

Well, that goes along with Neville being too skinny...the kids they cast for PS/SS are growing up, and just aren't following JKR's guidelines. I suppose they could pad the kid (Dudley) since he's not on screen that long, though...

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Honour - Feb 9, 2006 3:18 am (#171 of 227)

With the POA movie there is an accompanying disc with cast interviews, I think (fuzzy memory) that the actor playing Dudders does confess to wearing a "fat suit" Smile

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MichaelmasGal - Feb 9, 2006 6:11 am (#172 of 227)

Dudley should definitely be blonde too!! And I'm still not sure of my opinion on the school uniforms under their robes. I think Neville looks just fine. I've never pictured him as fat, just slightly chubby in the face and baby faced.

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haymoni - Feb 9, 2006 6:44 am (#173 of 227)

I don't recall ever hearing about uniforms.

The kids bought black robes - we have no indication from the books that there is anything that distinguishes one uniform from another. The houses have their colors, but there isn't anything in the books that indicates red ties for Gryffindor or green ties for Slytherin.

I just thought the robes were like graduation robes - you wore whatever you wanted underneath, not a uniform.

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zelmia - Feb 9, 2006 10:32 am (#174 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
That uniform thing has always been confusing to me. Although she doesn't actually say that they wear uniforms in the book, she does make many references to Harry acknowledging or noticing students from so-and-so House. Since Harry doesn't know these people personally, how could he know which House they are in? There must be some sort of uniform - or insignia, at least - that allows the students to distinguish one another.

As for Neville being "too skinny" remember that the book doesn't describe Neville as "fat" only "round-faced". That's not necessarily the same thing.

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Choices - Feb 9, 2006 10:59 am (#175 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Good thoughts Zelmia. I like the uniforms, especially since in the movies they readily allow us to know who is in what house by the uniform color and the insignia on the robe.

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zelmia - Feb 9, 2006 1:12 pm (#176 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
I actually like the uniforms as well. Apart from the old sort of traditional boarding school kind of look, to me it fits perfectly with McGonagall's very we-may-be-teaching-Magic-but-that-doesn't-mean-that-any-shenanigans-will-be-tolerated personality.

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Sticky Glue - Feb 9, 2006 7:44 pm (#177 of 227)

Well I have to say that the uniforms have always annoyed me. In the books they wear their robes overs their jeans etc.

It was one of the few things that I liked about the 3rd movie - was that they took them out of the silly muggle uniforms for most of the time.

I always thought it would have been much funnier to see the strange clothes that full blood wizards may have worn under their robes - or maybe they are like true scotsman and wear nothing underneath.

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Die Zimtzicke - Feb 9, 2006 10:00 pm (#178 of 227)

I liked PoA best of the four films, because it was visually stunning, and that's what you need in a film. Did certain things in it drive me mad? Sure, but you can't do in a film what you can do in a book. They are two quite different mediums. I did hate the werewolf, and Hermione's wolf howl, and the dialogue they took away from Ron and gave to Hermione, and Harry's crying. But it wasn't a bad film for a film.

To make a good film, in everyone's opinion, is impossible. Because something has got to be cut, and every person has different favorite scenes. Someone will always be upset, no matter where you cut. You have to cast actors, and you will always have fans who say the actors aren't what they pictured in their heads. And they will be disappointed.

Even if you do a miniseries, after all seven books are done, and do every single scene, someone STILL will complain, and I guarantee that.

I am old, and a fan of old films besides. Nowadays "Gone With the Wind" is considered a classic,and everyone talks about how great the casting is, and how great the costumes are, and how fitting the music was. It is often called the best Civil War film ever, but at the time, people complained that an English girl was playing Scarlett, Clark Gable did not want to do the film, it took at least three directors to get it done, (Maybe more, I'm getting senile- at the moment I can only remember Cukor, Wood and Fleming) and the hardcore fans of the book wanted to lynch David O. Selznick for leaving out little Wade, and Rhett's mysterious ward, and a lot of other things.

This is nothing new. And it will never end. Ask the Eowyn/Faramir shippers how they feel about Lord of the Rings, and you won't get the same answers you'd get from a average fan.

No film can perfectly reproduce a book.

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zelmia - Feb 9, 2006 10:27 pm (#179 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Exactly! And like Harry Potter, GWTW's rights were purchased almost immediately after its publication. Yeah, Cukor (the "women's" director) had completed something like 80% of the film before Fleming took over - but it was Fleming who got the credit!

It's an old story in the adaptation game...

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MichaelmasGal - Feb 9, 2006 11:19 pm (#180 of 227)

Well when Snape is held upside down in the air by James his robe falls down and you can see his greying underpants. So I guess that means at least some students don't wear anything under their robes. I wonder if certain ones or more likely not to, like purebloods, or maybe just Slytherins lol.

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Sticky Glue - Feb 10, 2006 2:49 am (#181 of 227)

Maybe thats how they tell each other apart, by what they wear or don't wear under their robes??

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The giant squid - Feb 10, 2006 3:35 am (#182 of 227)

As for Neville being "too skinny" remember that the book doesn't describe Neville as "fat" only "round-faced". That's not necessarily the same thing.--zelmia

Okay, you got me there. For some reason I always equated "round-faced" with pudgy or fat. Now that I think about it, there's no real reason why...gosh, I feel enlightened all the sudden.


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Steve Newton - Feb 10, 2006 6:44 am (#183 of 227)

Neville is also described at one point as having pudgy hands. That Neville is overweight seems pretty clear.

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Mrs Brisbee - Feb 10, 2006 7:07 am (#184 of 227)

I always pictured Neville as looking more like the kid who plays Seamus in the movies. However, the kid who plays Neville is so adorable, I just don't care that he isn't a look-alike for book Neville. I care more about his ability to act Neville. Which seems fine to me.

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zelmia - Feb 10, 2006 10:11 am (#185 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Hm. I don't recall anything about Neville's hands. Even so, people - especially teenage boys - grow out of the pudgy hands stage. My own brother was quite a porker until he hit puberty. Shot up like a weed, losing all the "baby fat" but kept his same chubby cheeks (though they certainly weren't as chubby) that sort of run in the family.

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Choices - Feb 10, 2006 11:22 am (#186 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Sticky Glue - "In the books they wear their robes overs their jeans etc."

I don't remember reading that anywhere in the books - could you point me to the passage that says they wear jeans under their robes?

Sticky Glue - "...silly muggle uniforms"

Since when are clothes of any sort divided into Muggle and Wizard attire? Clothes are pretty generic - they fit magical folk and non-magical folk. Granted magical folk do tend to put clothes together in odd ways and are a bit out of style, but they pretty much wear the same things as Muggles - they just add robes or cloaks over the clothes.

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Sticky Glue - Feb 10, 2006 11:49 am (#187 of 227)

Choices - Philosopher's Stone (adult adition) page 82 Hermione "You'd better hurry up and put your robes on" pg 83 He and Ron took off their jackets and pulled on their long black robes. Ron's were a bit short for him, you could see his trainers underneath them. (my understanding is that trainers are what we in NZ would call sandshoes or sneakers, which are not the formal uniform type of shoe)

I can't put my hands on my other books just at this point in time - but I am sure that on each trip to hogwarts, they always just pull their robes over whatever they are wearing - and earlier in each book it discribes them waering jeans etc.

My reasons for saying they are muggle uniforms - is that it seems that it is mostlY pure blood wizards and families have a lot of control as to what happens at hogwarts - and if they can't dress themselves in muggle clothes for a quidditch match, how would they know anything about muggle school uniforms.

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Choices - Feb 10, 2006 12:08 pm (#188 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Yes, when they arrive on the Hogwarts Express, they do put their robes on over their clothes that they have worn from home. But, when they begin classes, I don't think they wear bluejeans under their robes - however if you find it in the books, I will certainly change my mind. I agree that the kids wear jeans on the Hogwarts Express and during the summer and during off time at school, but I don't think they wear them to classes.

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me and my shadow 813 - Feb 10, 2006 6:29 pm (#189 of 227)

Image Courtesy of Burgundyeyes at fanpop.com icons -- [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
This is quite a lively thread. I just wanted to defend Neville and say in first film he was appropriately chubby, the casting directors did their job. Consequently, he has done what many boys do, as zelmia said, shot up like a weed. I am glad they haven't replaced him with a chubbier version as that would seem silly and I like this actor very much.

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Rob Weiss - Feb 10, 2006 11:48 pm (#190 of 227)

You know, now you mention the school uniforms, something else that bothered me in the last 2 movies is the sloven appearance of the Hogwarts students. Hogwarts is supposed to be one of the worlds best wizarding schools and most of the students come from old wizarding families. The magical community, whether old family or part muggle or muggle born, is all a fiercely proud culture. So why do the students look like a bunch of lazy slackers from an underfunded, inner city, industrial district school? Even Gambon's Dumbledore looks like he hasn't bathed or washed his clothes for a few weeks

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The giant squid - Feb 11, 2006 2:36 am (#191 of 227)

On the muggle clothes vs. wizard clothes thing: Sticky Glue's quote shows that Ron (fully immersed in the wizarding world) wears trainers (aka sneakers or tennis shoes), not something usually thought of when imagining wizardly wear...


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MichaelmasGal - Feb 11, 2006 7:52 am (#192 of 227)

I think as you get older in the Wizarding world you abandon your muggle clothes and switch to just robes. Because the Weasley kids all wear muggle clothes during the breaks, but their parents don't. And they seem a bit confused by muggle clothes as well. So maybe wizard families wearing them is something that was started by a newer generation.

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zelmia - Feb 11, 2006 2:52 pm (#193 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Rob, you've apparently not spent much time around teenagers.

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Netherlandic - Feb 12, 2006 6:40 am (#194 of 227)

LOL, Rob.

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haymoni - Feb 13, 2006 11:49 am (#195 of 227)

I wore a uniform to school and we did everything possible to keep it from looking like a uniform.

Until a nun caught us!

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Snuffles - Feb 13, 2006 3:08 pm (#196 of 227)

I'm longing to ask what the nun did, but it's nothing to do with this thread!

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Hermionefan(#1) - Feb 13, 2006 8:55 pm (#197 of 227)

missing my picture!!!!! *cry cry cry*
Yes, I'm pretty sure that they just wear jeans and stuff under their robes in the book, at least thats what the US illustrations show and its probably mentioned a few times (Yeah I'm too lazy to go passage-hunting at the moment). However, I like the uniforms in the movies, just becuase I think they're cute. I love uniforms, I love plaid skirts and ties and knee socks and everything, I wear it anyway so I don't mind it in the movies. I think they did great with the Hogwarts uniforms, they don't scream their house at you but they have more subtle accessories, like ties and the trim on their sweaters. I didn't like them running around in pink hoodies!!

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Rob Weiss - Feb 13, 2006 10:28 pm (#198 of 227)

Edited by Catherine Feb 15, 2006 1:00 pm
Anyways, I just always imagined a clean and neat Brittish private school uniform with the old school tie----colours to correspond with the house colours. Girls would have the choice between skirts and slacks, depending on the weather or their fashion mood. However I never wondered if any of the guys wore kilts, if they were Scots, like McLaggen. Maybe for formal occasions. But when their classes were over, I figured they changed and wore what they wanted. The book always just said Harry was wearing Dudley's old clothes. But I imagined there must be a clothing store in Diagon Alley that had to sell something more than just robes, so Harry could have bought something there. Do the rest of them venture out to muggle shops?

I edited this post for Forum-friendliness.--Catherine

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The giant squid - Feb 14, 2006 12:54 am (#199 of 227)

Edited by Catherine Feb 15, 2006 1:02 pm

Do the rest of them venture out to muggle shops?

That's the thing that's getting me about Ron (for example) wearing sneakers. They go on so much about how wizards no nothing about the muggle world, but they can go out & buy trainers? Does Amazon.com deliver by owl?


I edited this post because it contained a reference to deleted material.--Catherine

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Sticky Glue - Feb 15, 2006 3:48 am (#200 of 227)

Edited by Catherine Feb 15, 2006 1:36 pm
I have to admit at this point that I'm really a very anti uniform person.

When I first read the books, I thought - great, they haven't put them in uniforms and they wear what they like under the robes - And the books never mention buying other uniform items except for robes, and it never mentions them being given uniforms - so I will continue to beleive they wear what they feel comfortable in under the robes. And I will continue to complain about the movies putting them in uniforms.

I edited this post as it contained a reference to deleted material--Catherine
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Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? Empty Why can't they make a GOOD movie?? (Post 201 to 227)

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Eric Bailey - Feb 18, 2006 2:38 pm (#201 of 227)
Well, JKR, herself, did make mention of the "Hogwarts uniforms" in OotP, so it would seem she liked the uniforms in the movie so much she made them retroactively a part of the books.

You do want the audience to be able to identify with the characters, and putting these kids in robes would have made everything a bit alien, taken the audience out of the story. In the movies, you get the feeling of this as a boarding school, just one where they teach magic. These kids also have to pass as muggles a couple of times a year, when they're at King's Cross Station, a very busy muggle transportation center in muggle London. The kids need to be able to blend in with the crowds, there.

And, well, check the interviews with the cast on the PoA DVD to see what the boys think of the idea of wearing, in their words, "dresses".

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Die Zimtzicke - Feb 22, 2006 10:45 am (#202 of 227)

Regarding this comment:

"Well when Snape is held upside down in the air by James his robe falls down and you can see his greying underpants. So I guess that means at least some students don't wear anything under their robes. I wonder if certain ones or more likely not to, like purebloods, or maybe just Slytherins lol."

Jo DOES live in Scotland, where it's a running joke about whether or not someone is "regimental" under his kilt. It's the traditionalists that are, is it not?

When Jo used the word uniform in OotP I was very startled, because it had never been mentioned before. They weren't on the supply list, and the kids on the covers of my books had on regular clothes. I had also seen an interview with Chris Columubs saying he added the uniforms to give Hogwarts a more "boarding school feel" to it. When Harry goes to fight the dementors at the Quidditch game, he pulls his wand out of the T-shirt he's wearing udner his uniform, besides the comment in SS/PS about Ron wearing trainers. I never thought the uniforms were canon, although I knew why they were used and never minded them.

Maybe she WAS thinking about the film when she said "uniform" as there were several movie references in the last two books. Hermione is said to have punched Malfoy, Ron was called Rupert by Slughorn and Romilda Vane is an anagram of "I'm a Dan lover."

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Vulture - Feb 22, 2006 10:51 am (#203 of 227)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
I haven't been in this thread before (mainly because I had only seen one of the movies till recently) _ sorry if I'm interrupting current discussions by this, which harks back a bit to the thread introduction.

Having now seen all except the Prisoner Of Azkaban movie, I guess I would agree with Rob Weiss, but perhaps not so vehemently. I ought to say also that the only bit of the Prisoner Of Azkaban movie I saw, I liked _ the first encounter with the Dementor on the train and Lupin fending it off.

I made a point of seeing Goblet Of Fire in the cinema, because (1) I had only seen Movies 1 and 2 on DVD, and (2) because, when I'm actually at a movie, my critical faculties go out the window (I can hear snorts of disbelief from anyone who's familiar with my stuff on other threads, but it's true !!) _ it has to be a really rotten movie if I don't get really into it at the time. Of course, the critical faculties do come back later, but how much later, and how likely I am to go back for a second look, depends on the movie quality. (To give you an idea, my 2 favourite movies of recent years were "Gladiator" and "Michael Collins", which I saw 4 and 5 times in the cinema respectively !!)

Anyway, I have to say that, though I didn't dislike the Goblet Of Fire movie, there were parts where it wasn't grabbing me (and bear in mind that this was in the cinema , crit. faculties absent, etc.). I liked Snape but there wasn't enough of him. I felt that excuses can be made for a director having to compress stuff and rush through 2 to 3 hours what JKR can do in hundreds of pages, but then why did we get Harry's fight with the dragon going on so ridiculously long and doing stuff that was never in the book (like demolishing half of Hogwarts !!)?

But for me, the most disappointing bit was Voldemort's return _ that's the one part that should NOT have been rushed.

I'm being logged out, but I guess ye get the idea.

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zelmia - Feb 22, 2006 2:34 pm (#204 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Yes, the painfully obvious video-game tie-ins are very much a sore point with everyone, I think. Even though I personally have defended the film makers and - to an extent - Warner Bros. itself, this is where I have to draw the line.

One can easily justify certain sacrifices, such as cutting certain elements from the book that might require too much exposition (i.e. Winky, SPEW) or cutting certain scenes that would make the run-time of the film too long (Weasleys collect Harry via Floo Network, perhaps; Quidditch World Cup).
But to sacrifice an entertaining section of the book that has real production value - such as the gnome tossing - for a scene that is not part of the original story (Flying Anglia nearly squashed by Hogwarts Express) for the sole purpose of having it become a level on a video game is abominable.

In fact, the only thing worse, in my opinion, is giving one character's lines to someone else. The reason for this is because it alters the characters too much; it changes their very essence. We only know a character through what he/she says or does. When his dialogue is taken away, we have very little to go on.

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Choices - Feb 22, 2006 7:14 pm (#205 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Yes, wouldn't we have a confused image of Voldemort if at the MOM battle he had said...."What you fail to understand Albus, is that there are worse things than death." We would all be going...HUH? LOL I agree - keep each character saying the right dialogue. Changing up sure can give the wrong impression.

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virginiaelizabeth - Feb 23, 2006 6:09 pm (#206 of 227)

SPCA : Society for the Promotion of Cat Attire!
The dragon scene in GofF movie did drive me a little crazy as well! Harry got his egg the fastest out of everyone in the book, yet the in the movie they had to drag it out over 10mins! They could have instead used 8 of that 10 mins to explain about Winky, or about SPEW. One other thing overall that drives me crazy, is that the movies portray Harry as being a bit cocky and emotional.

1.) When Harry has retrieved the egg, and goes back to the common room,in the movie, he is seriously showing off saying "do you want me to open it? do you?" or something to that extent. This bothers me because Harry is about as far from a cocky show-off as possible.

2.) In PofA movie, it was really annoying how they showed Harry running off and crying after hearing the news about Sirius Black betraying his parents. That soooo did not happen in the book, and Harry is not that sensitive! Where do they get this from??

Overall, I think that the directors need to do a better job of picking out the right things to put into the movie. If its too hard, then just make the movie 4 hrs long and include EVERYTHING!! They may think that know one will sit through a movie that long but (I don't know about y'all) I certainly would and I think that most true Harry Potter fans would!

Oh well, it doesn't matter because the books will always be 100x better than the movies!

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geauxtigers - Feb 23, 2006 6:32 pm (#207 of 227)

Yeah I agree with both of those things Virginia, what also bothers me is how in PoA movie, they say nothing about Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, no explanation, nothing, I read the book first, so when I saw that I was like if you hadn't read the book you'd have no clue what was going on. I think the first two movies were the best, I was disappointed in PoA and I understand why GoF was how it was, but I keep thinking about the 5th one, it's even bigger and thats one that cutting out vital info will really mess it up.

I absolutely think true Harry Potter fans would sit through a long movie... Titanic was somewhere around 3.5 hours (only guessing from memory and its on 2 tapes) and that was the highest grossing film of all time or something so obviously I don't think length is an issue. But then again I've always said the book is always better than the movie.

I wish I could direct them, then I could do everything my way and do it how I picture it (though thats already fairly accurate), and not cut important things!!

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Hermionefan(#1) - Feb 23, 2006 8:48 pm (#208 of 227)

missing my picture!!!!! *cry cry cry*
They should at least hire a bunch of Potties to help out on set ^_^

(Boy that would sound strange to a newcomer:Smile

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Rob Weiss - Feb 23, 2006 11:21 pm (#209 of 227)

MICHAEL COLLINS?? Liam Neeson, right? Wasn't that like 10 years ago? You don't get to the theatres much!

I hadn't thought of the video game tie in aspect, but you're absolutely right. All the cross promotion was kind of whorish. Why is it these movie makers can't have any faith that the simple words that kept us on the edge of our seats when we were reading could be very easily translated into action and still be true to what drew us in in the first place? Well, as I said before, these movies were not labors of love. Just a means to a quick buck.

And let me say this.... Yes, the truly devoted to anything will sit thru a 4 hour movie. Keneth Brannagh's production is the only way to watch HAMLET. George Lucas says the 6 STAR WARS films should all really be viewed as 1 film. And if he decides to reconstruct and re-edit them as such (PLEASE include as many of the deleted scenes as can fit into the continuity {as in the scenes with Luke and Biggs on Tatooine [obsessive fans know what I mean]}), bet your --- I'll be there to see it! So a HARRY POTTER film of several hours is not an unreasonable request, as long as you do it right. (Although if Cuaron directs it, it will likely be pure hell. You'd probably see me sitting there chewing thru my wrist like a mink in a leg-hold trap!)

TITANIC would have been a truly beautiful movie if only they had cut out all the scenes with DiCaprio in it. And I'm not being sarcastic! The bit with the string quartet was one of the best things ever filmed!!

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Amilia Smith - Feb 24, 2006 1:52 am (#210 of 227)

They could have instead used 8 of that 10 mins to explain about Winky, or about SPEW.

No! No! No!!! We are glad the House Elves were cut! GLAD I tell you! Ok, so I know I was the only one on this board who was dancing with joy when she heard the evil CGI House Elves were not going to be ruining GoF.

My short list of things they could have done with that 8 minutes:
The Hospital Scene
The Egg and the Eye
Slowed down the Graveyard Scene.

And, for the record, while I would love to see longer HP movies, I can understand why they didn't make them. I saw Titanic. Once. I saw each LotR. Once. I saw King Kong. Once. In fact, the only 3+ hour movie I have watched more than once (that I can think of off the top of my head) is Pride and Prejudice. HP I watch over and over. Even though all of those other movies were very good, they were not worth investing that much time in to see more than once.


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zelmia - Feb 24, 2006 2:23 am (#211 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Rob, it's pretty bad form to get so vehement when you don't agree with someone else's choice of favourite film. (Well, favourite anything really.) Not everyone's favourite films were released in the last couple of years.

And rest assured, Mills, that you are not the only one who wasn't sorry to see that neither Winky nor (especially) SPEW were recreated for the big screen. I wholeheartedly agree with all of your suggestions for better ways of serving the plot.

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haymoni - Feb 24, 2006 7:19 am (#212 of 227)

Add me to the Movie SPEW/House Elf Ban.

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Catherine - Feb 24, 2006 8:55 am (#213 of 227)

Canon Seeker
Add me to the Movie SPEW/House Elf Ban. --Haymoni

I'll join. Let me just say that if Kreacher is in OoP, that CGI rethinks the loincloth.

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Vulture - Feb 24, 2006 10:27 am (#214 of 227)

It's just my opinion, but I like it !!
MICHAEL COLLINS?? Liam Neeson, right? Wasn't that like 10 years ago? You don't get to the theatres much! (Rob Weiss - Feb 23, 2006 10:21 pm (#209 of 213))

I believe I said "my two favorite movies" _ I don't change favorites every five minutes. (Though, as it happens, it's true that I don't get to cinemas as much as I would like.) One of the great things about "Michael Collins", for an Irish person living in England, is that now, when asked what's-it-all-about-in-Northern-Ireland, I can dispose of it in 5 mins by saying "Watch 'Michael Collins' _ only bad point is that it's unfair to De Valera". Talking of Liam Neeson, I think he'd make a great Lupin _ admittedly, I don't know how Thewlis has been in the role.

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Choices - Feb 24, 2006 10:29 am (#215 of 227)

*Completely Obsessed With Harry Potter*
Rob - "MICHAEL COLLINS?? Liam Neeson, right?"

And let's not forget Alan Rickman!!

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Rob Weiss - Feb 24, 2006 12:33 pm (#216 of 227)

As usual, Zelmia has completely misinterpreted something I said. You know, we'd probably get along if we ever met in person. Then again, we'd probably break out the swords and recreate the battle of Bosworth Field. I made absolutely NO judgement about MICHAEL COLLINS, good or bad. Actually, I haven't even seen it yet. I seem to remember that I wanted to. My only point was that it was a loooong time ago. I think I was still in college when it was released. Can anyone tell me for sure what year it was released? 96? And yes, I like Liam Neeson. Qui-gon Jin is probably my favorite character from all of STAR WARS. And the original DARKMAN. SCHINDLER'S LIST, of course. So I have no ill feelings towards Mr Neeson. However, I don't think he'd work as Lupin. Too old. Lupin (as well as Snape, Sirius and Wormtail) needs to be in his mid-to late 30s.

So, again, I never denounced Vulture's favorite movies. Read the post yourself and you be the judge.

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haymoni - Feb 24, 2006 12:57 pm (#217 of 227)

As with email, trying to get the right meaning and tone out of our postings is sometimes quite difficult.

What may be typed in jest or with a bit of a sarcastic tone or even with no intent at all often loses itself in translation when the actual words are read.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...

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Nathan Zimmermann - Feb 24, 2006 2:47 pm (#218 of 227)

On the topic of the Goblet of Fire adaptation given the manner in which the movie was ended, how can the introduction of Umbridge and the actions of the MoM in the beginning of OotP be facilitated in a smooth, and flowing manner within the movie adaptation of OotP? Those actions and Umbridge's presence at Hogwarts are a direct result of Rita Skeeter's articles, and Dumbledore's confrontation with Fudge at the end of GoF. I tend to think that Mike Newell's adaptation will force David Yates film not only to encompass OotP but, the final chapters of GoF as well.

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Caius Iulius - Feb 24, 2006 3:08 pm (#219 of 227)

Nathan, I have no idea how Yates is going to tackle that issue. Probably a lot of explaining has to be done at the beginning of OotP film.

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Netherlandic - Feb 24, 2006 4:13 pm (#220 of 227)

Rob, I refused to even see Titanic because of Di Caprio.

Back to topic, Nathan, GoF did show some disagreement between Fudge and Dumbledore, so any Ministry doings in OotP would not fall out of the sky completely. As for Rita Skeeter, it was clearly shown what a type of journalist she is.

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Nathan Zimmermann - Feb 24, 2006 4:23 pm (#221 of 227)

Netherlandic, that is true but, will it be sufficient for the non-readers to understand that the roots of conflict which, characterizes OotP are rooted in GoF.

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Netherlandic - Feb 24, 2006 4:36 pm (#222 of 227)

No, it may not. Then again, will this be bothering anyone other than us, true fans? They didn't explain about Prongs, Padfoot etc in PoA, (which vexed me greatly) but it didn't stop the film makers. It is disappointing, I know, but there it is.

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zelmia - Feb 24, 2006 6:58 pm (#223 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
Unfortunately, I suspect they will downplay the "conflict" too much for it to make sense to those who haven't read the book.

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Rob Weiss - Feb 24, 2006 8:17 pm (#224 of 227)

Considering how Newell rushed the ending, we're going to need a 3 hour film just to explain the set up to ORDER.

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Finn BV - Feb 24, 2006 8:31 pm (#225 of 227)

Me kayaking, Niagara River, August 2006. I have been likened to Reepicheep in this photo.
While the current discussion on this thread, the beginning of OoP movie, should really belong on the movie thread, since now we're speculating that movie as opposed to debating "good" movies, I'll just chime in, in defense of the movies, that since the timeline of Story 5 can pick up right where Story 4 left off, the beginning of Movie 5 I can easily see starting with a Daily Prophet headline of the Ministry not believing Dumbledore or Harry.

I have lots of faith in the movies, even though they have sometimes used their time unwisely, so I am holding out for not a detailed explanation of the Order, simply that "Dumbledore is reviving the Order of the Phoenix – this group he organized back when Voldemort first struck, a group of people fighting against him" or something like that. It doesn't require a lot. Umbridge will be at the trial and her sense of nastiness should be easily apparent there.

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zelmia - Feb 25, 2006 12:19 pm (#226 of 227)

Oh! And that's a bad miss!
I hate to say it, but I think this Thread might have finally run its course.

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Kip Carter - Feb 25, 2006 1:53 pm (#227 of 227)

co-Host with Steve on the Lexicon Forum, but he has the final say as the Owner!
When this thread first begun, I had reservations as to how our members would react to this question and where this thread would venture. Being we have a very intelligent and compassionate mix of opinions that really digest the details of the books and strongly feel that the movies are only glorified fanfiction, I knew that some conflicts of views would surface and they did. I have no problem with differing views because those differences are the lifeline of a true Forum; however, I do feel that sometimes we have stepped beyond the bounds of good taste in comments or the way those comments are expressed. I had to step in earlier this month and edit some posts and I was not the only Host to have to be involved with edits.

I purposely did not originally move this discussion into the existing threads dealing with the movies because I felt that maybe having a thread to allow our membership to vent their emotions about the movies would keep most of those negative or conflicting thoughts, which could possibly be very disruptive, out of our regular threads. I feel this thread did allow that to happen.

I am closing this thread down. If you disagree with my decision, please feel free to contact me via email at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].
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