Last night, I went out with my wife to see the last movie in the Harry Potter series, and I must confess, I was slightly underwhelmed.
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed the Harry Potter series of books, unlike some other people I feel I know, who weren't blown away by the books. Rather, I can say I really enjoyed the last half of the series. I didn't startreading until book 4 was already out, which was a big help, because without my wife telling me that they books did get better, I might not have kept reading. Luckily, she didn't lie to me. The books did get better(and by better I mean darker and more interesting to a mature reader) and by the end of book 4 I was hooked.
The movies were always entertaining, but like movies based of most books, I found them 'lacking', but I still kept giving Hollywood my money. I don't blame them for having to leave out some of the many supplemental story lines that can pop up in a 500 page book...I blame them for changing stuff that doesn't need changing...it's messing up the way I had visualized things that pisses me off...and I felt the last movie was the worst about it.
Despite just saying that I am okay with leaving some of the minor things out of the movies, I feel they went too far with the Deathly Hallow's(Part 1 and 2). They had all the action, but they left out a major part of the books emotional resolution by not having Harry doubt, and then forgive, Dumbledore. In the last book, as Harry begins to learn about Hallows and Horcruxe's, he also begins to learn about all of Dumbledore's past...some of it quite shady....but they never quiet went into that in Part 1, meaning they didn't get to resolve it in Part 2, which lead to both the scene with Dumbledore's Brother, and the King's Cross Station scene lacking some of it's emotional punch...which was strike 1.
Also lacking in emotional punch was Snape's memories. They had all the facts, and data there, but there was not nearly enough of Snape's internal dialogue with the memories...especially the end, when Dumbledore ask's Snape to kill him, to protect Malfoy's soul. In the book, Snape reacts violently here, asking 'And my soul Dumbledore? Mine?'...and he has a similar emotional response when he finds out Dumbledore was keeping Harry alive just to die at the right time...again, a minor thing, but it greatly reduced the sympathy you feel for Snape, compared to the book.
Finally, there are two action scenes in the book that just didn't measure up in the movie. The first is when Neville Longbottom becomes the Hero...pulling the sword from the stone(or the hat) and chopping off Nagini's head. In the book, it happens at almost the lowest part on the battle. Voldemort and the baddies are torturing Neville, and he manages to break free, and strike of the snakes head all in one smooth motion, kicking off the final resistance, all while Harry pretends to be dead. The movie drags this out...Neville still gets to be the Hero, but he's not nearly as cool while doing so.
And then...and then there was the scene everyone wanted to see, when Mrs. Weasly comes to the rescue, and squares off against Bellatrix Lestrange. They get her line right 'NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH'...but the circumstances are all wrong. In the book, Molly bursts through the chaos, as Bellatrix is dueling against Hermione, Luna, and Ginny, and their duel is slightly more drawn out with insults as well as curses thrown back and forth. In the movie...it's just more...meh. 'Lacking' is the word that keeps going through my mind.
Oh well...guess I can start looking forward to The Hunger Game's movies now...