The whimsy is gone.
At least, that’s the way it feels. The books have been getting darker and darker. The movies are ever more just Cliff Notes essence of the books, retaining all of the darkness, and less of the light. The biggest obsession over this final book is over who dies and who gets killed. Magic has been replaced with voodoo.
Tonight we decided to see "Order of the Phoenix" again before we went to the party at Barnes and Noble. We decided on dinner at Salsaritas, which we forgot was right next to the Barnes and Noble on Woodruff. The crowds had already started to gather, and there was media aplenty. Fortunately, they were on one side of the shopping center, and the restaurant was on the other.
This second viewing of the movie brought to light more observations, prompting the opening comments. There was no Quiddich. There was no invisibility cloak. There was little or no academics. Basically, there was little of what defined Hogwarts. While I was impressed with the special effects of the duels at the end of the movie, other special effects went lacking. For example, when Sirius appears in the fire this time, it’s just a video overlay on top of flames. In "Goblet of Fire", the coals themselves took on his shape, which was exceedingly cool. A scene with Hermione and Grawp was so poorly generated as to look very unreal. It was almost as if they were trying to cut corners somewhere.
This morning’s Greenville News reviewers gave the movie a mixed review. Two of the reviewers had never read any of the books, nor seen any other movie. Needless to say, they were lost. One person sitting behind us was like these two reviewers, and had just tagged along with friends. I think it would have been interesting to get his take on the movie.
Despite its shortcomings, it’s still a good movie. Now, just a couple more hours, and we’ll have that book.