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Saturday, July 18, 2009

We saw Harry Potter and the Title I've Never Really Cared For last night. I don't have time for an especially long review, but I'm curiously of two minds about it. Visually I think it's by far the most disappointing of the adaptations—David Yates gives every scene a washed-out, sickly color that, whatever his artistic intentions, is completely ugly, and there is almost none of the manic Hogwarts exuberance that characterizes the earlier films. (This time around Hogwarts is pretty much just a really old, dank castle with the Cloisters' unicorn tapestry inside.) The script, too, tinkers with the original book in ways that are almost always to the story's detriment, with foreshadowing so blatant it's practically trolling the film itself—and several of the child actors seem alternatively bored with the material or unable to pull off what is required of them. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the film? Quite a bit, actually; there are a few really nice moments that are genuinely funny (as opposed to kid-funny or Harry-Potter-fan-funny) that by themselves almost single-handedly drag the film back towards "good." None of the other films, for my money, have been able to hold a candle to Alfonso Cuarón's Prisoner of Azkaban—the only film in the series that I'd suggest is an objectively great film—but this one is good, or at least good enough.