Oh man. Lupin? Even though he's not what I imagined, Thewlis did a great job. The swing music was a great touch. (And I LOVE swing music, so I was really excited.)
I cracked up whenever he handed out chocolate, because *dude* it just seemed so random.
"Here's some chocolate. Eat it. No I won't explain that it's a cure to the aftereffects of the dementors. What? You want to know about the Mauraders. Silly boy. Mischief managed. Now let's all have a great big drink of butterbeer. Want some more chocolate?"
Hee. So yeah, the script could have included more history and backstory, but I've read the books, and I was just enjoying the visual experience. I enjoyed it *muchly.*
The thing about book-to-films is that everything can't survive in the translation. (A hard truth my younger self did not want to face.)
It's two different mediums. I've always hated watching screen adaptions of books I've loved because I've always found them missing the elements of the books I loved so much. LotR just blew me away and HP:SS was kinda 'eh'. I mean, it followed JKR's ideas, but it didn't expand on them.
The first two movies disappointed me greatly. There was a stiffness and a rigid quality, as if everything was moving underwater, with a very stop.stop.go.STOP.go.go.stop.go.stop kind of pacing that just sucked out a lot of the warmth and humor in the books. No one felt *real* to me, as they did in the books. I get Harry's actions in the books, the Harry of the first two movies was really underwhelming, and frankly, boring.
And while the first two movies followed the letter of the books, they didn't have the spirit. LotR was far more successful (and I know, it's an apples-and-oranges comparison) because the spirit of the books were followed and the text was retranslated to better suit a visual and moving format.
While some editing of this movie was a little sharp and yeah, that ending was a little goofy (Harry's flying, no wait, he's FROZEN! OMG TEH END!!11!!), this movie found the spirit of the HP-verse.
Yeah, I missed the backstory and some of it could have been quickly explained. Why couldn't there have been a short Lupin-and-Harry convo about the form of the Patronus, thus leading into the explanation of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, & Prongs?
But the spirit? Was there. The colors was gorgeous and the landscape of Hogwarts was really pretty. Excellent cinematography.
I want a hippogryff. Excellent CGI. Lupinwolf was not as good, he was too gangly and leggy.
The kids impressed me, Dan Radcliffe most of all. He gets the David Boreanaz award for Most Improved Actor. (Because DB, as much as I loved AtS, was pretty awful in the first season of BtVS. Terribly wooden.)
The scenes with the Dursleys were great, as was the scene with him and the guys joking around in the dorm room. He'll do very well with Harry's reactions and his behavior in OotP.
I could not stop laughing at this line: (Harry to Hermione) "Professor Lupin's having a hard night."
I mean. C'mon. Lupinwolf just nearly KILLED him. And it was delivered in a, "oh dear, we've run out of tea, perhaps you'd like some coffee?" A mild, kinda disappointed voice.
So I was cracking up, imagining other times where that line might be useful. "Oh Lupin's eaten some Muggles? He's having a hard time, isn't he?"
Hee. I'm laughing now.
Meanwhile the "old, married couple" line did not send me giggling, although I had to restrain myself from shouting, "OMG Sirius/Remus FOREVAH!"
Dammit, I love those two far too much. The hugging? TEH gay. The wonderful, wonderful hoyay of it. Sirius telling Lupin to be the man that he is in his heart while he's changing? Holding him oh-so-tight? That was beautiful. Thank you, Cuarón, Thewlis, Oldman, thank you all.
I still can't get over how pretty the movie was.
As I said to gatorjen, Lupin is my gay, werewolf, way-too-old-for-me boyfriend. My love increased, and now knows no bounds. I was intrigued by Lupin's speech about Lily. Hmm. But I know there is only one man for Lupin. ;-)
The scene about a 'house in the country,' it got me thinking about OotP, and I just went, "damn." Also with Sirius' line about walking into Hogwarts as a free man someday.
Ron's nightmare about the spiders and Harry's "you tell 'em"? Really natural and just a nice little moment.
I think what I really enjoyed, is that, despite the stuff that wasn't there, what was there, was expanded on in really lovely ways. Hermione's time-turner and the constant references to time in the movie, the clocks, the swinging pendulum.
The wispy and darkness surrounding the dementors and the chilling effect was lovely too. I liked the floating, although really, they're gliders, not fliers.
Lupin's throwback-ness, as seen in his dress, in his manner, in his music was a great visual touch. He's from the 'old school,' the time of Harry's parents, and he's the weary survivor of that time. That he's shown in such a way can almost act as a visceral link to Harry's past, what remains of it. (Ooh, and I loved the pic of Harry's parents dancing in his bedroom. And I will not bitch about there being any 'young' Sirius pictures.)
Dumbledore was perfect in my not-so-humble opinion. Richard Harris is an excellent actor, but his portrayal bugged the shit out of me. He played Dumbledore far too ooooold and without that spark and spirit.
Gambon captured the joy of Dumbledore and the only-suggested power. I mean, when Dumbledore goes all bad-ass with his powers, it's supposed to be surprising, because he's so mellow in spirit.
Peter Pettigrew was creepy, but I'm sorta on the fence about him. I *still* don't know why he was a part of the Maruaders.
Finally I loved the magic in the movies. In the first two movies, it didn't feel as natural as it did in this movie, I felt that Cuaron really got the sense, that this is a world were magic is part of it, without an 'ooh' and 'aaah' factor, which in turns, makes me want to see the movie again, because there was so much more going on. The toads in the chorus were a neat touch as was the light casually being flicked on and off by Lupin and Dumbledore, and also the locking/unlocking. It was a part of that world, and there wasn't any additional moments of awe, it was what it was.
So I enjoyed the movie. I went with my sisters Cuppy and K, and my mom. I had planned only on taking Cuppy, but my mom wanted to go, and my sis said she'd like to go as well.
We went into the first showing and although we had to break up (it wasn't THAT full, but I like sitting in the middle), so it was me and K, and Cuppy and mom, separated by just a row.
K was totally confused by my laughing at that above-mentioned "poor Lupin" line. And I was laughing too hard to explain, but I did once we got out of the theater.
The only bad was that we were sitting in front of a family with a little boy who just loved giving his 'precocious' running commentary. "Where's the dog? That's the Shrieking Shack," etc.
We both kinda rolled our eyes and focused on the movie.
Which was beautiful. I have to keep on repeating that, because I enjoyed Cuaron's understanding of how to present the feel of the tale in the movie medium.
Here. Have some chocolate.