Overall, I liked it. Me watch again. Me watch again not just because of Daniel. Me watch again because it truly had great parts of beauty in it.
Most specifically, Gary Oldman now officially rocks my socks as Sirius Black and I will forever assoicate him with that character. I even found myself crying because his acting was so beautiful. I was upset because I was thinking to myself, what a shame he dies within the next two books! Wah. That's a good performance, man.
Some of the changes they made were not for the better though and anyone who has read the books will recognize this loss. I'd really like to read someone's opinion who has only seen the movies and not read the books.
I loved the Ron and Hermione moments and will watch certain scenes on repeat just to keep the warm fuzzies alive. I heart Rupert and although the movies have turned him into comic relief, I heart Ron Weasley with all of my body.
Daniel has come a long way; I read some review that said Daniel comes across as bland, which I think is completely unfair. The kid is 14. He's just now turning into a person. How do they expect a 11 or 12 year old to act? Especially as Harry friggin Potter, which is a completely difficult role, if you ask me, because Harry internalizes a lot of things. I think Daniel has shown great strides in his performance here and I can only see him getting better. I mean, I admit- there are some instances where Daniel does sort of have a blankness about him, but I'm not sure if that is because of a lack of talent or if that is how he reflects 'internalization'. An actor is only as great as his experiences allow him. Daniel is just now growing up and I think that with each passing movie he will definitely bring more of himself into the role, which is good, because I think Daniel associates with Harry fairly well.
Emma Watson, sigh. A part of me can see that she was good. But...But...BUT...okay, here is my bitch about what they've done to the character of Hermione Granger. In the book, Hermione is a swotty, nerdy bookwarm who thinks with her brain and not her heart. Yes, she loosens up, thanks to her association with Ron and Harry. But...come on. Girl power for Hermione? Hello? What is she? A Spice Girl? While some small part of me rejoiced in her punching Malfoy, I still wish they would have kept it a slap. It just seems very uncharacteristic...and out of character to have Hermione running about punching people and being 'rock and roll' as Miss Watson likes to describe her. Personally, I adore Hermione because she is a bit nerdy and swotty. I don't want her to be Wonder Woman.
Rupert. Ah...He was much better in this film- in the last one I always felt as though the only direction Chris Columbus gave to him was 'Make a funny face!'. I hate what they've done to the character of Ron Weasley in the films. Since they don't really give the twins the screen time they deserve (although Alfonso did try in this one, at least) their role of 'comic relief' has fallen to Rupert. So in essence, I think Ron always comes across as being stupid. Which is so not the case. Yes, Ron is thick, but in movie two Hermione got all his lines and in this one she did as well. What the hell? Ron is brave dammit and he is a loyal friend. Why have they reduced him to thick headed quivering mess that can only make funny faces? Sigh. But yes, he was much better in this film.
I read this article explaining how the head of Warner Bros had to pleade with Emma Watson to come back to do movie four. And you know, as I was watching this movie, I honestly felt that if she were to leave, my world would not be shaken as long as they kept Daniel and Rupert. Honestly, I don't see Emma being this great Hermione. I really don't. I think another actress could fill the part and succeed at it, so if Miss Watson does want to leave because 'I've just realized how big this is' then I wish her well. It would definitely be her loss.
Whoa. I didn't mean to turn this into an acting rant. Overall- the movie definitely had atmosphere- which is GREAT. The other two films feel static, and this one feels as though it's about SOMETHING. The new director manages to capture the spirit of the book, which I guess, in the long run, is what truly matters. Although I don't think I can forgive either him or Steve Kloves for cutting out the Marauder's back story. What they hell were they thinking?! Are we just supposed to believe that Harry invisioned a giant white stag because 'that's what happens?' Come on. That was bad storytelling, I'm sorry. And what the hell- do we ever get to know who Prongs, Moony, Wormtail and Padfoot were?! I mean...hello?
Out of 4 stars, I still give the movie three. It's better than the first two, but is it the best one ever? No. Not by a long shot.