Monday, July 23
Potter Post: The Film
First, the movie...
Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix was enjoyable on many levels... unless you're one of those nitpicking nerds that are bothered by minor things... like me.
My biggest complaint was the director, David Yates. He admits in interviews that he set out to make the shortest entry in the Potter film franchise and his efforts are reflected in the rushed job that he handed in. I know that the major complaints about the first 2 films were Chris Columbus' close adherence to the books; I had no real problem with that. Still, even a purest like myself had to admit that Alfonso Cuarón's. and Mike Newell's less devoted entries came off very well (maybe not for diehard fans).
I think that Steve Kloves gets a lot of the credit for the first 4 movies; as the screenwriter for the first 4 films, Kloves seems to love and respect the original material. I wish the same could be said for Michael Goldenberg; I'm not sure if he read the book or was provided Cliff Notes. The scene that most irritated this nitpicker was the Umbrage meets the Centaurs scene; the Centaurs are presented as little more than natives from a 1940's Tarzan movie. In the books, the Centaurs are incredibly intelligent and offended that the wizarding world treats them as lesser beings; this scene could have been easily fixed with a bit of dialogue regarding this situation. Of course, this might have made the film a bit longer than David Yates could stand.
The good news is that Steve Kloves is writing the script for The Half-Blood Prince and may be able to assist Yates in making a better film. Early rumors have Kloves directing the 7th film; I would be happy with this (if not Columbus). I would be even more happy if the film runs 3 hours and does the final book justice.
In the effort to keep the film way too short, Yates/Goldenberg did make some very good integration of characters and events that didn't advance the plot. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to mind that the result, in many cases, caused the film to seem stilted and rushed. In many instances, a bit of dialogue (or even better dialogue) would have smoothed things over...and made the film too long for Yates.
Did I like Order Of the Phoenix? Yes. In spite of Yates and Goldenberg's careless handling of the adaptation.