Saturday, November 20, 2010


To celebrate our (ninth!) anniversary today, Jeremy and I went out on a very special date: we went to see Harry Potter 7 at the theater.

I hereby declare UAE movie theater audiences (at least the one in Ajman today) to be the worst ever in my personal experience. First there was the listening-to-music-out-loud-on-the-cell-phone thing, but that was only during the previews, so whatever.

Then there were the cell phones ringing. And the cell phones beeping loudly to announce the arrival of text messages. And then the continued ringing of phones and then the answering of said phones and carrying on conversations on said phones at normal voice volume. During the movie. I don't understand it. Why did you pay 30 dirhams to talk on your cell phone with Harry Potter 7 on as background noise?

Anyway, HP7. My verdict: good but not great. I'm going to withhold final judgment until I see Part 2. There were a few important things that I felt were skimmed over too much, but who knows - they may get their due in the final movie. (Highlight to reveal possible spoilers: Specifically, I was wondering why the movie left out the fake/real part of the sword of Gryffindor plot and the Hogwarts students' role in its recovery, Dumbledore's history or at least more than a mention of his brother, and the kids' ingenious use of the invisibility cloak.)

Another weakness was the lack of humor. The previous two movies especially have been careful to balance all the dark and scary stuff with plenty of light moments. This movie, not so much. There were a few attempts but honestly they couldn't help but fall flat when you stopped to think that their safe little Hogwarts world was in tatters.

However, I loved the director's continued focus on relationships, especially that among the three main characters. That's really the best thing about the three most recent movies. HP1 and HP2 were mostly just astonishingly faithful to the books. I remember being shocked by HP3 because it took so many liberties with but was still faithful in spirit to the source material. HP4 was entertaining if rushed though the end was actually quite moving. But it wasn't until HP5 that I really started to feel for these characters beyond a surface-level interest in the story I loved from the books. I loved that the movies at that point became more than just a story about a boy. It was a story about a boy and his friends who stood together for good.

If I had to choose a favorite, it would be HP6 because not only did we get a brilliant and often hilarious movie with a strong central relationship among Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but Dumbledore was added into the mix for extra poignancy.

So again, I really liked HP7. But for now HP6 is, in my opinion, the better movie. At least until I see Part 2. I can hardly wait!


Aimee said...

Congratulations on your 9th anniversary! I love the review of HP7.1. That's pretty funny how people talked through the movie. Weird! I still need to see HP6, I never did, because I didn't want to watch it on the little airplane TV.

P.S. I have read Jacob How I Loved, and that was a contender to go on my list as well. I totally forgot about "Stepping on the Cracks"but yes I have read it. I have not read "Calico Captive" and will be requesting this from the library! Another good book by Hahn is called "Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story." Scary, but good from what I remember! In that genre, "The Dollhouse Murders" is also a scary book!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I thought about y'all this morning--9 years! It's about the same kind of November day as was when you got married. Good memories.

Melody said...

I'll have to politely disagree. This one was actually my favorite Harry Potter movie so far. That being said I do have to add the disclaimer that with every other Harry Potter movie I reread the book before I watched the movie. Because of that, I spent the entire time watching each one thinking, and sometimes saying, "Why did they leave out...?" I think that HP6 was actually my least favorite and I thought HP7 was funnier than HP6, but perhaps that had to do with the audience I was watching it with. When the entire theater bursts out into laughter, it's hard not to laugh along with them. I do need to go and reread the 7th book because some of the things you mentioned I don't recall very well. I am very anxious for HP7 II! We'll have to compare notes again then as well.

SPP said...

Agreed. This one was not my favorite, though I was thoroughly entertained the whole movie. I was mostly frustrated that they touched so lightly on critical parts of the story, as you already mentioned. I LOVED the forest chasing scene and the snake strikes.

Perhaps the worst movie-goer award today should go to my dear mom who...brace yourself...answered her phone in the middle of the movie!!!

Stacie P Palmer said...

Sorry, accidentally signed that last comment SPP.

AmandaStretch said...

I actually thought there were quite a few funny moments, and I'm really excited about the second half. Regarding your spoilers: I'm guessing that at least the family history thing will come up again. Hopefully. I don't know about the others. That's just my whole thing about books and movies, really awesome books rarely make similarly awesome movies. I love the Harry Potter movies, yes, but they'll never be the same.

Crys said...

Nine years!!!! Awesome!!!

Bridget said...

Melody, I wonder if that's why this one felt so slightly sub-par - I just finished reading book 7 a week or two ago so it was very fresh in my mind.

And there were quite a few funny moments now that I think about it. Just not as many, and there were one or two that were awkward (at least for the audience I watched it with).

Kathy Haynie said...

Bridget, I made a link to your blog from mine today. Thanks for your interesting posts!

sarah said...

I thought the awkward moments were hilarious! I thought it was quite funny at least for the first half or so, and then it turned more serious. I imagine the location/audience could make a difference though.

and Happy late Anniversary!


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