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Friday, December 21, 2007

Harry Potter movie #5

Delayed post (originally written 8/24):

Sigh. The movie of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix turned out to be a disappointing mess. I had carefully avoided all reviews beforehand, but maybe they would have warned me. Usually I read Ebert before choosing to see a movie, but of course there’s no choice in the case of Harry Potter; I knew I was going to see it anyway.

Actually, now that I read Roger Ebert’s review, I am convinced that he missed the main flaw in the film. Ebert focused on the unexpectedly dark tone, but that wasn’t what bothered me. Without discussing it with each other, Meredith and I independently reached the same conclusion: of course a huge amount had to be omitted in order to transform a long novel into a film, but so much was chopped out that the plot became completely incoherent. As a result, no one’s motivation was clear. Maybe the filmmakers assumed that everyone has read the book anyway, but that’s no way to make a movie. It needs to stand on its own, and this one didn’t. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon Magazine calls it “perfectly satisfying.” Feh. I’m looking forward to a better job of #6 and #7.

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