Some scattered thoughts. I really need to see it again before I can put them in any order and I know there will be - probably already have been - several million reviews written that are better than this one, but since no one in my family is a Potterphile and no one is online *glares* I'm going to ramble instead.
So obviously a huge amount of material was left out. That's what happens when you take the longest of all the books so far and turn it into the shortest movie so far. Ron got a bit of the short shrift which is really so bad, because Ron has a lot of great parts in the book and I imagine Rupert gets a bit tired of being the guy who's always making quips and pulling faces that look like he's got indigestion. No destructive Valentines date with Cho. We don't meet the Longbottoms, or anything from St Mungo's. Snape's role was very limited. The actual discussion at the end about the prophecy was way truncated. Most of the scenes at OotP HQ were eliminated, and the rest were tweaked. Hagrid's tale about the giants was, thank God, glossed over. We don't get to see the Howler sent to Petunia and really, aside from the beginning and the very end, the Order is pretty invisible. Draco has very reduced screen time, not that I minded too much.
Other things were changed for the sake of storytelling, or the sake of time, or both. Time is rather compressed. Cho, not her friend, is the one who spills the beans and not her friend, although it was under the influence of a potion. As I said before, we don't meet the Longbottoms, but Nevile does get a nice scene where he talks to Harry about them. There was very little Tonks and Bellatrix... I wanted more of them.
The thing is, although there are parts of the books I wish they had left in, I really adore the way the movie as a whole was put together. And I think that's because it was put together as a movie, not as a mere retelling of the book... a book on film, as it were, rather than a book on tape or CD. The reason I found this movie as powerful as I did... well, part of it probably has to do with just having reread the book. But the directing and the editing, the sparing use of over the top VFX (in my opinion, at least), the fractured feeling of the dream sequences, the dark choppiness of the most frightening scenes, the dramatic silence of the most emotional... it was really just great. I'm very glad that this director will be back for the next movie. Or is back already, or whatever.
Kudos, also, in the way they referenced prior events (Cedric's murder, the first time Harry saw his parents in the mirror, etc) without it feeling like last time on 'Harry Potter'...
Some random scenes/lines I loved...
- Harry telling Umbridge, as she's carried away, that 'sorry, I must not tell lies'. Everyone in the theater clapped and hooted.
- Ron trying to rescue Hermione from Grawp. Aww...
- Ron and Hermione's duel. Heheh. Of course, you knew how that was going to end up, but everyone's reactions... heheh... Plus, Emma was right, there are several nice little looks and remarks between them, like with the Christmas sweater, and 'who are you and what have you done with Hermione Granger?' and the scene after the Harry/Cho kiss where Hermione scolds Ron for his lack of emotional range and then cracks up...
- On the Harry/Ginny front, there's a scene where he's hanging back to talk to Cho and Ginny pauses and looks after him for a couple of seconds. And was it just me or did her Patronus really pick up steam right after he walked by? Okay, obviously she goes through a couple of boys before the 'good stuff' in HBP, but as an accomplished projector I was rather proud of myself for picking those bits out.
- Was it just me or did Ron and Hermione both wear stripes a lot? Are big colorful horizontal stripes really popular in the UK or what? Cause ugh, not my choice.
- I admit, I was waiting for a 'subtle' pan to show Sirius' brother on the family tree. I'm sure it was there, because reportedly JKR gave them her own copy to work off of, but... I don't know. Too much thinking about those damn Horcruxes, I guess.
So, the final battle. I don't mind at all that they cut out the giant brains and the time room and what not. It probably would have made the VFX budget explode (not to mention the VFXers themselves) and it really wasn't necessary for the story. The room of prophecies was very different than how I imagined it, but very cool. (Ginny, you do realize you're going to have to pay for all those... *g*) I kept waiting for the Magical Brethren statues to join the fracas, and I was a little bummed that they didn't... but how cool was that whole scene? The white and dark... whooshing of the Death Eaters and the Order... Lucius getting his ass kicked by Sirius (sniff)... and Dumbledore calling Voldemort "Tom" always gives me a chill. Voldemort's possession of Harry on his way out, from what I remember, was relatively minor in the book, at least compared to the movie where it's a major struggle. And just... it was cool. And great. And it made me want to give Harry a hug.
Seriously, though... when did Daniel Radcliffe get so hot?
Ooooh one other thing I wanted to say, and this kind of bounces off something andveryginger said in this post...
I'm not going to pretend to know what JKR will do or should do or any of that crap. However, after seeing Harry as the leader of the DA, I have to say that the idea of him as the DADA (hmm, interesting use of initials there...) professor after he leaves Hogwarts is a brilliant idea. He's obviously good at it, and seems to enjoy it, and it's never even been hinted at as a career possibility (iirc) so maybe JKR's trying to pull a fast one there. And hey! Next series of books could be about another kid at Hogwarts while Harry is the professor there. Or even headmaster! Heheh. Yeah, that has soooo been done in fanfic before, but the idea is new to me!
Yeah, I'm a little hyper.