Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: ***
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: **
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: ****
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: **
(wait for it...)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: * * * * *
Holy FUCK! Look kids, I don't like to go see movies from books. Even when it's good, I still feel a little sad at the end. It's so hard to capture the essence of a book on screen, especially if you feel like you have to put EVERYTHING in the movie. You can't go too far off on your own, inventing the world either to fit your needs. You can't just be adding characters and changing huge plot elements. Fine line for directors. I'm pretty hard to please. Well, no fear here children. This movie was stunning. I watched at least three-quarters of this movie with my mouth hanging open. None of the other movies have managed to find the spirit of the book like this one. The third one was great. We are all aware that Curan can direct and that he has a vision. I had never heard of this David Yates fellow before but, he totally got it. The third and fifth books are very similar in tone. Things are dark and tense and Harry is feeling alone, sometimes hopeless. Dumbledore shuts him out, Ron and Hermione *can't* understand. Harry is awash in these angsty teen-age feelings x10, as he figures it is he who must destroy Voldermort. Yates borrowed some of Curan's visuals as well, using Hagrid's Hut in a scene and the giant pendulum in another. I am not going to complain about there being no quidditch. I'm pretty glad they left it out. Harry doesn't play much in the 5th one anyway. There were soooo many subtle details for us long time Potterists. Ron and Hermione glance at each other a bit more. When Harry is about to kiss Cho, Ginny see what's happening. They are in the Room of Requirement. Ginny is leaving and has a moment of hesitation, when she knows what's going to happen between Harry and Cho and WE know that Ginny doesn't like this at all. Tiny looks that convey everything. The scenes at the ministry were phenomenal. The hall of mysteries was scary and dark (it reminded me a bit of the ship in Event Horizon) and seemed alive. Luna was amazing. Wispy and perceptive but aloof and silly. Umbridge was also portrayed wonderfully. I was worried that she wasn't fat enough but, regardless, her character was spot on. I was shaking at the end. I mean physically, I was so excited, amazed, and just utterly shocked by how good this movie was. Seriously, I felt like I had just gotten laid...and it had been a while....
Most of you who were going to see this would have done so without my review. I'm just glad America is going to see a movie that's worth it this time around.