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Old November 19 2010, 03:37 AM   #805
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Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2010

80. The Corpse Bride (B)
81. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (B+)
82. Beauty and the Beast (A+)
83. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (B)
84. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (B)
85. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (A+)
86. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (A-)
87. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (A+)
88. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (A-)

Prelude to Potterdammerung, Part 1: Film Series Rewatch: The Yates Years (Part 1)

The franchise gets its final director, who would outlast Columbus and do four films, as many as all the others combined. Yates' style owes a lot to Cuaron, but he flourishes the camera a lot less.

Of the two films, Phoenix is the better; indeed, it vies with Azkaban for my favourite of the series. It's probably the best job of streamlining one of the big books into something that distills the essential conflict down (though unlike Goblet, this one was a lot more about mood and character than plot, so it was undoubtedly easier). Half-Blood is in a bit of an interesting spot, since Yates has opted out of most of the exposition, which was arguably the biggest point of the book; we get the rudiments of the horcruxes, but that's it. Depending on how things go in the next film, that could work fine.

Both films play the character interactions among the students for all its worth, and these are often the strongest parts of the films - and not just the Trio, and even primary support like Neville, Ginny, and Luna (Evanna Lynch is, of course, perfect), but the other kid actors, many of whom have been hanging around the set since the first film. The whole crowd comes to seem so familiar. Both films have some very good comedy, particularly the latter one; though on rewatch there was a bit in Order that I had forgotten: after Harry talks about how Cho was crying while kissing him:

Ron: You kiss that bad?
Hermione: I'm sure Harry's kissing was more than satisfactory.
Harry makes a "so there" face to Ron.

On the relationship front, I think these two do a decent job of bringing Ginny's character into frame, given how little she had to do in the previous ones in preparation for her rather significant role in the series' denouement.

If Yates' work has fewer obvious stylistic tics than Cuaron's, he still brings a very clean, cool style to things. The depiction of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, for instance, is way, way cooler than how it is described in the books (the Death Eaters and the Order apparating in black/white smoke, for instance, and fighting in smoke form, is really neat).
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