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Potterdom Film/Score Series Thread


John Crichton
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Using the LOTR example, I have not read the books and had a hard time following everything that was going on because all of the characters and places have strange and unfamiliar names. However, I was able to follow the main plot line and enjoyed the movies for what they were. I'm not a diehard LOTR fan, so I don't really care what they put in or left out. It seems natural to me then that the producers probably tried to deliver what LOTR fans wanted to see.

Being a "diehard LOTR fan" I was keenly interested in what would be left in or cut out of the films. Suffice to say, Peter Jackson considered the story on a cinematic level first, and a literary level second. Two of the most beloved sequences from the books -- one from FOTR (Tom Bombadil) and another from ROTK (The Scouring of the Shire) -- were wholly excised from the films, for good reason, it turns out. But doing so demonstrates that Jackson was concerned about making the films stand on the merits of "good cinema" and while he was deeply reverent of Tolkien's books, he wasn't trying make films that required a reading of the books as a prerequisite (whether or not that worked is, of course, up to individual viewers).

I think it is/was/would have been a mistake to create the Potter films solely for the Potter book fans. Doing so fundamentally limits the audience -- and pisses a bunch of them off in the process. The Potter films need to stand on their own cinematic merit, without requiring a great deal of support from the books. And to the extent that the films do that, they are successful. In the end, it doesn't matter what gets cut or altered, so long as the movies make sense on their own terms. That's why leaving out the explanation of Voldemort's name was an error (the film makes less sense as a result), but leaving out Hermione holding Ron's hand is irrelevant (they do show affection for one another in other ways).

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The film did not have to show their hands physically touching. When the camera presented them asleep on the floor, their hands were just a few inches away, as if one had just dropped from the other a few moments prior. It's possible both could sleep all night with their hands so close, but unlikely due to tossing and turning, and the arm getting sore being outstretched for hours.

It's also possible that the trio does not "know" that the name of Voldemort carries a jinx. While Ron insists on listening to the radio, in the film we only think it's to hear the names of the missing so as to not hear family members. "Potterwatch" is not mentioned, and the group of Hogwarts runaways and Tonks' father don't camp outside the tent to pass on more outside world information to the trio.

True, it does not explain why Harry changes his attitude toward freely speaking the name to using YKW on the cliffs of Dover, but either it got accidentally edited out or they meant for Bill and Fleur to explain in the beginning of Part II: "Do you know how you were caught? You said his name!"

If the movies carried every single detail of the books, they would be unbearably long.

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FOTR spent way too much time getting from the Shire to Rivendell, which are not that far away, and then speeds up the journey to get from Rivendell down to Parth Galen, which is a lot further away, in order to break the Fellowship.

The scenes of the Shire to Rivendell dwells on the barrows and their inhabitants, only to be saved by Bombadil. Now I know you don't have to spoon feed everything to film audiences, but you don't want to confuse the simple-minded majority either.

Here you have a group of zombies under the earth who are not allied with Sauron but still antagonize our heroes. That's confusing.

Now you have a really old, all-knowing and practically immortal dude who saves them, who puts on the Ring with no effect, but he is unwilling to carry the Ring to Mordor, even though he could probably teleport himself there and back again. Better that the audiences don't know that, and just concentrate on the hobbits.

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Now you have a really old, all-knowing and practically immortal dude who saves them, who puts on the Ring with no effect, but he is unwilling to carry the Ring to Mordor, even though he could probably teleport himself there and back again.

What a douchebag.

And those Eagles were no help either.

Really, Tolkien's book doesn't make much sense. It's rubbish!

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I've always thought that the films have been unfairly bashed on these boards. They will always be flawed adaptations, yes. But i think the positive aspects of the films greatly outway the negatives, they are still wonderful stories told in a compelling way with (for the most part) excellent production values and loving execution from the film-makers. When a film series reaches 7 films without a box office drop off and with every one of the films certified fresh by the critics on RottenTomatoes i think it is a remarkable achievement. What other series can boast that?

I honestly think if the films were as awful as many here make them out to be, then they would not have had the success that they have.

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I have followed "Harry Potter" threads with interest, and my comments are mostly directed toward the David Yates films.

I want to say, upfront, that I like all three, and that I am looking forward to "D.H.pt.2".

Technically, the films are above reproach, but I can't help thinking that Mr. Yates has given us three very good rough cuts, rather than fully-formed pieces of entertainment. The most recent three films all seem to have a dream-like quailty, which requires the viewer to somehow "trust" not what they see, but what they do not see.

For instance; Mad-Eye Moody is killed early on, but we do not see this. For my part, I did not notice his eye on Umbridge's door, if, indeed, it was.

Other happenings are quite hard to spot (I had to see "O.O.T.P." three times before I saw one of Umbridge's pictured cats turn and go through its cat-flap when Potter enters her office).

IMO, Yates expects the audience to take (rather large, sometimes) leaps of faith, in his narrative abilities.

Of course, dreams have quality that is mostly visual, and perhaps Mr. Yates is trying to tell the stories mostly visually?

I must admit that, as interesting as this approach is, I would rather have more straightforward "linear" storytelling, as featured in "P.S.", and "C.O.S.".

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I'm not sure that we "see" Mad-Eye die in the book, though I don't remember exactly. The book follows Harry as he makes it to Tonks' parents and then the Burrow, whereupon Mad-Eye never arrives and someone determines how he died. In this film, Harry goes straight to the Burrow, and then Lupin comes in and describes the events of Mad-Eye's demise.

And his eye is shown on Umbridge's door.

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No we don't "see" Mad-Eye die in the book. I actually thought that whole sequence was well done, it stuck with Harry's POV just like the book. Hedwig's death was quick and shocking, but it was in the middle of the fight so there was no time to dwell on it. All in all one of the best parts of the movie.

I was waiting for Harry's to take Moody's eye back from Umbridge's door, but it never happened. Yet we get a long scene at the start of Voldemort and Lucius Malfoy discussing in detail the makeup of Lucius' wand. Sometimes it really feels like that not much thought went into what to keep and what not to keep from the book in the scripting process, it's almost random.

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I was waiting for Harry's to take Moody's eye back from Umbridge's door, but it never happened.

When Harry recovered Moody's eye from Umbridge's door in the book, it had two effects. The first was of tripping the alarm that intruders had breached the Ministry. The second was in order to give Mad-Eye Moody a proper burial since his body was hidden by the Death Eaters.

In the film, the trio spends less time in the Ministry than in the book, and trip the alarm when they attack Umbridge. The hole in the door would prolong the sequence, which is probably why they don't show the trio rescuing the large crew of Muggles who were in line behind "Ron's" wife to be interrogated.

It would have been touching to give Moody a burial, but we didn't get to know the real him as well as in the books. And since the funeral of beloved Dumbledore was excised from either film 6 or 7 for perhaps extended footage later, to hell with funerals for the rest of the Order.

It's also strange how the incident at Lovegood's house shot straight into the capture of the trio and imprisonment at Malfoy Manor. Gone is the cover story of hiding Ron with a contagious disease, but also gone is the time that reunited Hermione and Ron try to bend Harry away from pursuing the Hallows instead of the horcruxes. That is a major internal conflict with Harry, one that he has to fight and win in order to succeed, but it'll probably be a good bit of Part II. Unless those two are being rewritten to just go along with Harry.

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It's also strange how the incident at Lovegood's house shot straight into the capture of the trio and imprisonment at Malfoy Manor. Gone is the cover story of hiding Ron with a contagious disease, but also gone is the time that reunited Hermione and Ron try to bend Harry away from pursuing the Hallows instead of the horcruxes. That is a major internal conflict with Harry, one that he has to fight and win in order to succeed, but it'll probably be a good bit of Part II. Unless those two are being rewritten to just go along with Harry.

They really haven't had time (or at least screen time) to digest the news about the Hallows, anything Ron learned while he was away (including the Voldemort jinx), and the unfolding story of Dumbledore's life. I think (and hope) all of these things will get covered more thoroughly in Part II. There's also Snape's history to cover, as well as deducing the nature and location of the remaining Horcruxes. Since the only major events remaining are the Gringotts scene and the Battle of Hogwarts, there should be enough time in Part II to explore some of these other questions.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Why on earth did they change the actors that played Hermione's parents? They were perfect in CoS!!

30084-25820.jpg

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How do you think Part II will start? Immediately continuing where we left off (Harry and Friends at Shell Cottage), or will there be some sortof prologue? IMHO it could be cool if it started with a flashback scene of Dumbledore's youth, that is interrupted at some point by Hermione interrupting Harry reading about it in the book, or something like that. Could be a great start to showing the backstory that estranges Harry from his former mentor and leads to him feeling completely betrayed before the finale.

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I'll be crushed, actually, if Part II doesn't open with Voldemort's murder of the Potters. They've never shown that full scene in the films, they cut it out of Part I, and starting the finale with the very beginning of the series would be the perfect opening. Not to mention it would allow for the two major Harry/Voldemort confrontations of the series to bookend the film, and it would set the somber tone for the whole movie. There's no way they can lose with it.

I also think it'd be kind of cool to see the Aeschylus and/or the William Penn quotes from the beginning of the book incorporated into the opening. Either of those in a nice, slow crawl would be great.

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Why on earth did they change the actors that played Hermione's parents? They were perfect in CoS!!

Because those were probably just extras?

potterav.jpg

This is not real. You almost felt that tingle in your groin didn't you?

I can't even make out what that's supposed to be.

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I'll be crushed, actually, if Part II doesn't open with Voldemort's murder of the Potters. They've never shown that full scene in the films, they cut it out of Part I, and starting the finale with the very beginning of the series would be the perfect opening. Not to mention it would allow for the two major Harry/Voldemort confrontations of the series to bookend the film, and it would set the somber tone for the whole movie. There's no way they can lose with it.

Good point. I had completely forgotten about that flashback scene. Would make one hell of an opening ;)

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Why on earth did they change the actors that played Hermione's parents? They were perfect in CoS!!

Because those were probably just extras?

Heather Bleasdale and Tom Knight are both professional actors. How difficult would it have been to hire them again? This feels just kind of odd, Hermione having two totally differently looking fathers and mothers. I think they just forgot they already had a scene with her parents in an earlier movie (CoS) (which is kind of peculiar on itself).

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Yeah, the filmmakers sure went out of their way to bring back long-lost members from the other movies. So maybe they asked those actors and they just didn't want to come back for another HP movie where they just sat around all day and didn't do anything.

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To be fair, though, when you cast a kid, you can't predict it will turn out to be one of the hottest muffins in the country.

Rupert Grint, however, looks exactly like I thought he would :thumbup:

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Yeah, Emma Watson looked the part in the first film and, to some extent, the second. Then the third film rolled around and she started getting hot, and it all went to pieces.

Not that I minded. :thumbup:

And don't call me a perv, I'm only a year older than her!

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Most girls even at 21 aren't that attractive. "Ain't got no swagga."

Around the 30s is where they become as the youngins say these days "smokin." She Who Must Be Obeyed is waaaaay more attractive now than she was in college. It's all the confidence. It's funny, you think after college it must all go down hill, but it's more the other way around, at least for the women. ;)

Me on the other hand? I find one grey hair and scream inside a little.

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Or why Ron and Hermione holding hands at Grimmauld Place was cut, even though the filming clearly indicates it most likely was there.

They never held hands in the book. Harry woke up and saw their fingers inches from each other, and then he wondered to himself whether they had fallen asleep holding hands. I actually thought the movie over-emphasized it.

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Why on earth did they change the actors that played Hermione's parents? They were perfect in CoS!!

30084-25820.jpg

I was wondering that too. Perhaps David Yates revisited that scene from COS and thought they didn't look young enough to be her parents? (Availability is also a factor too.) The two actors they picked to play Hermione's parents in 'Deathly Hallows' look around the right age to me.

And recasting Hermione's parents (especially since they appeared for like a few seconds in COS) is nothing new for the Potter series. They had an extra portray Lavender Brown in "Prisoner of Azkaban" but had a completely different actress play her in "Half-Blood Prince".

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Also, Angelina Johnson, Parvati Patil, and Katie Bell all were re-cast with new actresses once their characters became speaking roles. And Alfonso Cuaron completely revamped Tom the Bartender, re-casting him with Jim Tavare as a hunchback.

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And, on that note, the character Davis played from PoA was never confirmed to be Flitwick until Half-Blood Prince. Up until then Davis (and I'd assume most people) assumed he was an entirely new character; the choirmaster of Hogwarts. Doesn't help that he wasn't credited as Flitwick until then either.

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Yup! Wikipedia says:

Warwick Davis played Filius Flitwick in the first two films as an old dwarf-like man with gray hair. In preproduction for the third film, the producers told Davis there was no role for Flitwick, but that they would like to have him play somebody else, at least for a cameo. Davis played a much younger-looking man with black hair and a moustache who directed the choir at the Hogwarts Welcome Feast, and was credited as portraying "Wizard". During preproduction for the fourth film, director Mike Newell told Davis he wanted to keep his look from the last film, but make this the new look for Flitwick. Davis now considers the character he has played some relative of Flitwick, though he is still credited as "Filius Flitwick". In the sixth film Harry specifically calls him Flitwick.

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