Harry Potter 3


I really enjoyed the movie (I laughed my butt off and felt for the characters), but there were some moments I didn’t quite approve of for which I blame only the screenwriter, whose responsibility it is to adapt the book. Actually, he did a really good job and got all the really important elements, but there were some moments that I was hoping for that were either lackluster at best or completely absent.

  • There was an appalling lack of history concerning Masters Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs. This leads to a movie full of inconsistencies. When Lupin confiscates the Marauder’s Map Harry does not volunteer directions to his favorite teacher on how to use the map. Then when Lupin shows up in the Shrieking Shack, the scene is too brief for me. That is the crucial moment where everything becomes clear. There is no explanation about the boyhood gang and the trick they played on Snape (which explains Snape’s hate for Potter), except for the short talk Lupin has with Harry on the bridge to Hagrid’s. It’s sad, really.

  • The Whomping Willow. It was totally inconsistent with the book. There is a knot that stops the Whomping Willow from gnashing and gnarling about, but it was completely ignored. It is supposed to burst into action whenever anything is nearby. Instead, Sirius can drag Ron right by it, but the instant Harry and Hermione try to follow, it wakes up. Then they miraculously maneuver their way into the tunnel. When Lupin finds his way in, he’s supposed to use a long staff to press the knot, and Snape follows Lupin’s example. That just disappointed me.

  • The whole thing with the werewolf. First of all, that was the weirdest looking werewolf I’ve ever seen. And there are plenty of cinematic examples to choose from (Van Helsing and Underworld to name a few). And when Hermione called it off, which was funny (“It’s coming towards us! I hadn’t thought of that!”), just didn’t work for me. Although I did love it when Sirius leaps out of nowhere at Lupin (dog vs. werewolf).

  • The Patronus. It was amazing watching Harry conjure it, but the stag was barely visible and only the first time he conjured it. This is probably due to their inability to mention about the illegal Animagus.

  • I really wanted Jason Isaacs to be present for the death of Buckbeak (or the not death as you will). That would have been fun. But he isn’t in the movie at all, which was weird. His price must have gone up. And no John Cleese! What the hell is going on here? Oh well.

  • There was no post-game analysis by Dumbledore, nor any mention of Professor Trewlaney’s second real prediction. This made me sad.

  • There was no ride home on the train, no arrival of Pidwigeon (the owl from Sirius to replace Scabbers), and no permission from Sirius for Harry to go to Hogsmeade.

  • And the saddest moment of all. They cut the line I love from all of the books. It’s my favorite moment in the world.

    • “‘What’s that?’ [Uncle Vernon] snarled, staring at the envelope Harry was still clutching in his hand. ‘If it’s another form for me to sign, you’ve got another -‘ ‘It’s not,’ said Harry cheerfully. ‘It’s a letter from my godfather.’ ‘Godfather?’ sputtered Uncle Vernon. ‘You haven’t got a godfather!’ “Yes, I have,’ said Harry brightly. ‘He was mum and dad’s best friend. He’s a convicted murderer, but he’s broken out of wizard prison and he’s on the run. He likes to keep in touch with me, though … keep up with my news … check if I’m happy…’ And, grinning broadly at the look of horror on Uncle Vernon’s face, Harry set off toward the station exit, Hedwig rattling along in front of him, for what looked like a much better summer that the last” (434-5).

    • I would have loved to have seen this on the screen. I was halfway through the credits before I realized they had forgotten it. I nearly cried.

    • They chose instead to end with Harry receiving the Firebolt, which I guess is alright, considering they didn’t have time to get it to him in the middle of things. And also considering that there was only one Quidditch match and it was only to emphasize the Grim and Harry’s fear of the dementors.

Over all, they took as much as was pertinent from the book to the script, but, I guess I just wanted everything, which is going to be increasingly difficult since the books are only getting thicker. I mean, I can’t expect for them to make a five hour movie for The Order of the Phoenix. So I guess I’m not one of those fans who hates any deviation (the voodoo head on the Knight Bus was awesome), but wants certain things from an adaptation. But what I want isn’t what everybody wants, so I loose. Oh well. The movie was really good. I really enjoyed a lot of the moments in it.

  • Hermione punching Malfoy.

  • Harry riding Buckbeak. Actually, the whole hippogrif concept was carried out brilliantly. I really liked what they did with it.

  • The Knight Bus. Stan was pulled off beautifully, as were the driver and the voodoo head (3, 2, 1 and 3/4).

  • I loved the Boggart in Lupin’s Defense Against the Dark Arts class. The music was beautiful, it was this swing-like rhythm and it was fun watching the students conquer their fears.

  • David Thewlis did a wonderful job as Lupin, although I always saw Lupin as a short, pudgy bald guy. So much for my dementia! Thewlis did a wonderful job.

  • Gary Oldman was very convincing as Sirius. He was crazy when he needed to be, and pleasant (even humorous) when he needed to be.

    • “They suggested I make the change permanent. I would have liked the tail. But the fleas were murder.”

  • The Patronus. I mean, I thought I got chills watching the trailer, the movie was ten times better. Just the power in Harry’s voice as he casts the Patronus charm is thrilling.

  • Marauder’s Map. When I had read the book, I had never really gotten a clear concept of it (in my minds eye I just saw this small square of parchment that showed where Harry was, but it needed to show the whole castle) and I really (really) liked the way they created the map.

  • I liked Peter Pettigrew. Except for his transformation. Apparently he can choose to morph with his clothes on or his clothes off. That’s a handy talent. But his mouse-y behavior was excellent.

  • And who can forget Ron (Rupert Grint). He did a wonderful acting job, delivering some of the funniest lines in the movie.

And despite my whining, a lot of the movie sounded just like the book.

  • The opening sequence with Aunt Marge

  • Everything on the Knight Bus

  • Fred and George giving Harry the map

  • Malfoy getting scratched by Buckbeak

So overall it’s a great film, but it (again) wasn’t the perfect book adaptation for me. So now I’ve got to go see it again so I can stop b!tching and just have a good time.

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