Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Harry Potter Films: My Likes and Dislikes

So as  the final Harry Potter film releases in just over 24 hours (if we're going by GMT and the midnight release( I thought I'd share my top 5 likes and dislikes from the films. Feel free to chip in with your own lists in the comments, or make your own posts!


1. The cinematography

There's no denying it, the HP films are beautifully shot. Very artistic and aesthetically pleasing, the effort that goes into this aspect is definitely one of my favourite parts of the films. One of my favourite stills is the one where the Dementors are seen surrounding Hogwarts:

I also love the scene where Harry falls from his broom during quidditch, also in the 3rd film. I think the 3rd one is where the cinematography really comes alive, and, although it's my least favourite film, the sixth film is my favourite visually.

2. Tom Felton

I'll be honest, I think he's easily the best actor in this film. His character portrayal is perfect, especially in the sixth film. His Malfoy sneer is magnificent and he manages to portray the combination of arrogance and deep-seated cowardice that is Draco Malfoy beautifully. It doesn't hurt that he's also pretty gorgeous:

3. The Weasleys 

Some of the best characters in the books, it's the same for the films (with the exception of Ginny, she's possibly the dullest most boring and uncharismatic person to ever be in a film). The relationship between them is very well portrayed, especially the twins. I love Mr and Mrs Weasley who are almost perfect in my view and of course, there is Ron.

4. The Britishness 

I love that it's all british actors in these films (with the exception obviously, of the foreign characters such as Fleur and Krum). I think that stipulation of JK's was a very clever one, and I really enjoy that these films showcase the best Britain has to offer in terms of talent.

5. The humour

These films ARE fairly funny.Both in terms of one-liners and in humorous scenes/characterisation [Filch is pretty funny for example] I especially love the exchanges between Fred and George, which were very well done. Some of the lines are straight out of the books, others were added in. Each character has their own brand of humour. Harry's is fairly dry, Ron's is comical, Malfoy's is snarky, and each matches up to the character and the actor pretty well. One of my personal favourite Harryisms:

Ron: Oh look, Mum's sent me something. 
[pulls some frilly robes from the package] 
Ron: Mum sent me a dress! 
Harry: Well, it does match your eyes. Is there a bonnet? 


1. Dumbledore/Sirius/Lupin

These three were to me, 3 of the pivotal characters in the stories. Harry's father figures, and for me, none of them were up to scratch. Now I know obviously we all have our own ideas of how characters should be, but I'm not talking about just looks. Dumbledore for example, was often portrayed in the films to be a bit insane (we all remember that scene where he was sat on the floor, right?) and the relationship with Harry was just never THERE. Then Sirius. I love Gary Oldman, think he's a fabulous actor but again, the relationship with Harry wasn't accurately portrayed for me. It was too easy, too natural. In the books it's suggested that, whilst they clearly feel strongly about each other, there are certain aspects of their relationship that ARE awkward, and this was never expressed.

And Lupin. Sigh.If I'm honest, he just came across as smarmy. And that speech about Lily, WTF? Pointless. Plus, and I'm sorry, but he looks like a gay Hitler. Whoever styled him should be SHOT.

                                                                 see what I mean? 

2. The cutting out of important plot points to facilitate the addition of superfluous details.

I'm pretty sure this is right up there on everyone's lists of Harry Potter movie peeves.The adding of seemingly pointless filler scenes and the removal of stuff from the books that actually, the fans really would have enjoyed seeing! That thing, in the sixth, with the burrow burning down? WHERE did that come from? Now I don't pretend to be a filmaker, I'm not claiming I know which scenes will work on the screen and which wont. But it's very very frustrating, from my end, when certain parts of the books are disregarded in favour of made up stuff.

3. Shooting themselves in the foot with lazy casting.

This happens time and time again, and it annoys me on every occasion. They don't bother to include Bill when he's first mentioned (and then when he's mentioned again...and again..) which led to a last minute casting and intro which was far less than the character deserved. They didn't cast Cedric Diggory in the third film for the quidditch match properly, which again lost that element of rivalry and minor resentment from the 4th film. Again with Lavender Brown, Katie Bell...etc. I feel like if they'd just cast these characters originally it would have aided the story much more. I know obviously they can't cast every person individually, but I think when a character is mentioned by name on several occasions in the books, you should assume they might then have a bigger role to play later.

4. The sixth film.

There's not much to say about this other than WTF. And, this is a massive confession, I was actually happy when Dumbledore died. Because atleast they could no longer butcher his character. And that was a massive relief for me. Also, the whole Harry/Ginny thing? RUINED.

5. The way each film is more a series of scenes than a film. 

I dunno if this bothers you guys, but the films never flow very well in my opinion. It's just scene, another scene, another scene, there's not very much tying those scenes together. Now I know the books are large and contain lots of detail and to include it all would make a 12hour long film blahblahblah. It's just something that really bugs me when watching them.

So there we have it, if I'm honest, I could probably go on and on about my dislikes. I'm a very critical person, and Harry Potter is very important to me and, let's face it, it's never going to be perfect for everyone because that's the joy of reading a book. That we make it our own. That we imagine the characters in our own way, and no one will ever be able to capture that on screen adequately. So I've tried to stick to what I feel are the major errors, rather than pointing out petty little things that are personal to me, or whatever.

Feel free to share your likes and dislikes (or debate mine) in the comments, I'm really interested in seeing how everyone else views the films as it's not something I get to talk about often!

My Harry Potter linky will be going up at 8am EST (that's 1pm for all you UK natives) tomorrow morning, so please feel free to write your own Potter-related post (anything you like!) and link it up!


  1. I agree with every single thing you just wrote. I love the fact Tom Felton is like a separate category :P. I didn't like Sirius or Lupin much either, and though I likrf the first Dumbledore, the second one...meh. He seems too harsh to me. Thanks for the post! I'm having a Harry Potter Week on my blog to celebrate the release of the last film and I'm freaking out that HP is nearly over. What do we do now?!

  2. Haha gay hitler, couldn't agree more. Made me giggle. Great post, agree with most of it...although Snape! Alan Rickman is so good.

  3. Ooohhh, I agree there with what you said about Ginny. She was supposed to be more 'alive', ya know. It also bugged me about so many things that they added in that were not even in the books and excluding more important materials.

  4. I agree with you on all points, particularly on the leaving out important stuff to add nonsense. Agreed about Ginny and Lupin, gay hitler, hee hee.

  5. LMAO gay Hitler. Also (with the exception of Ginny, she's possibly the dullest most boring and uncharismatic person to ever be in a film). had me snorting.

    You're right. There are a lot of disappointments. I think we've talked before about the major let down that was Ginny. In the books she's pretty cool, and played a much larger role, but in the movies she's very, very boring. I'd rather watch Bella stumble around than watch Ginny awkwardly prance around Harry. But I digress.

    And seriously? What WAS that in the 6th film? I re-read the book before I saw the movie, naturally, and when I got home I had to re-read it again, to make sure that I'm not some lump with zero reading comprehension skills. They never burnt down the Burrough. WTF.

  6. Gay Hitler. *snorts* He's not how I always pictured Lupin, either. And I'll agree that Bonnie Wright isn't even a little bit charismatic as Ginny. But Malfoy and the Weasleys are great! Snape is one character who I like was perfectly portrayed by Alan Rickman.

    Hope you enjoy the movie! :)

  7. Who I *think* was perfectly portrayed by Alan Rickman, I meant. Brain not working :)

  8. Great post! LOL @ gay hitler, hahahaha. I love the movies, although they're nowhere near as wonderful as the books, so these things don't bother me TOO much about them. The one that most annoyed me was Half-Blood Prince, because that's my fave book, and I missed all the stuff that was cut out. But they're different mediums so changes are inevitable.

  9. I wrote a Harry Potter post yesterday. :-) And I agree with you on almost every point in your post.

  10. Very true! But I have to say I absolutely hated film number 5. It was so rushed. The book was big, it should have been split into two films, but they didn't so they completely ruined it.

    And with the Ginny/Harry relationship thing, you just coulnd't see any chemistry between them. There was hardly any interaction and then all of a sudden in number 6 they are kissing. And I hate that they have left out vital scenes that have stuffed them up later on in the films.

    Harry Potter would have been better as a tv series because then they could have fitted in nearlly everything over half an hour episodes and many seasons (though I don't know if it would have had the same magic to it)

  11. I'm very critical when it comes to the movies too because obviously, the books are very dear to me, so I can relate to all your dislikes for sure. I think what bothers me most is that they don't think ahead. Jo leaves such carefully laid hints of what's to come in earlier books but the movies make no attempt to do so. In some cases though, the later book in which said plot point is important may not have been released yet when they were making the movie. Like the mirror that Sirius gives Harry, for example. Not explained at all in the 7th movie. It must have been so confusing for the regular movie-goer.

    Also, the burning of The Burrow scene was just dumb. To think they could have saved millions of dollars and time by not filming that scene and instead used the money and time towards filming a scene that would actually advance the plot. Like The Gaunt House pensieve scene or similar. They never really explained the Horcrux hunt very well. Exactly what Harry is looking for. Argh, oh well, I guess.

  12. Totally agree with you, especially regarding the Britishness...Love the fact they've kept it like that and not attempted to make it more American...that would just ruin it!

    And I really hate them cutting storylines..I watched the last movie with the partner(who hasn't read the books) and getting highly upset that bits were missed out!

  13. I completely agree with you! I think you've nailed this one on the head.

  14. I also remember that when I watch these films with my husband (who hasn't read the books) there are always things that I have to fill in and explain to him, information that seems to be missed out of the films assuming wrongly that everyone has read the books.

  15. Thank you! I cannot STAND Ginny! I already didn't like her in the books, but in the films...I'm suddenly a Harry and Hermione shipper.

    LOLOL gay Hitler. Oh man. Great post.

  16. My favorite thing about the films: Rupert Grint. I think he is the perfect Ron.

    The think I hate/detest (not strong enough) the most: the inconsistency because of the changed in directors! Ugh!

  17. great points well made! I agree with all of them and now my WORST EVER thing about the movies is going to sound childish but I have to have it separate from everything else (even though it probably fits in with the cutting out of important scenes etc!)
    I think the biggest crime was in the last movie (as in Deathly Hallows P1!) right at the beginning... they missed one of my FAVOURITE parts of the book and yes it wasn't actually needed but I think it does change stuff for Harry. When the Dursleys leave Dudley doesn't want to go, hes worried about Harry and wants to know why Harry isn't going with them. Hes a PERSON rather than the horrible little boy that bullies and torments Harry and he overcomes every horrible thing hes done by that one scene...
    where was this in the film? nowhere! and that really bugger me! It was needed for Harry to understand that though the Dursley's weren't nice and they weren't good to him the life before Hogwarts was meaningful and Dudley wasn't just nice to him after he started Hogwarts because he was scared , but because he was intrigued and had grown up!
    Im sorry if this seems stupid but its one of my major peeves about the films that they miss out bits like this! I understand stuff needs to be missed but I was hoping that that bit wouldnt be!
    rant over!

  18. i couldn't agree more with the lazy casting, mine annoyance is not cedric though but the lovely luna. the way she's just thrown out there in the sixth film really annoyed me. i think the only reason they actually allowed her into that film was because she so pivotal in the end book. although she is seen in the early films it ercks me somehwhat how they treated my favorite character.


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