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Quint interviews HARRY POTTER director David Yates about the new movie and his plans for the next one!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. This is probably my favorite of the Harry Potter interviews. I’m totally unfamiliar with David Yates’ filmography, a deficiency I’m going to remedy by hitting Virgin or HMV before I leave London. I’ve seen his work on this new Potter film, though, and while I can’t write my review until opening day, I will say that he did a great job and handled what I believe to the weakest of the books in a very smart way. Yates is a soft-spoken man, but his enthusiasm nevertheless is always bubbling beneath the surface. We talk a lot about ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and he opens up about his thoughts on HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, the next in the Potter line that he is in fact directing. Here’s the interview. Our conversation starts with talk about the site and ends up covering some major spoilers from the 6th book (and next movie) if you haven't read it… Hope you enjoy the interview!

David Yates: It’s quite influential, isn’t it? Sometimes I’ll log on just to see.

Quint: Thanks!

David Yates: It’s good, mate. It’s great. It’s really exciting. I love that democratization of everything. That’s what was brilliant about the net, you know? It opened the air…

Quint: Talkback?

David Yates: Yeah! That’s good!

Quint: I saw the movie yesterday and really dug it. I love that right at frame one you focus not on the magic of this world, but on the regular world we all live in, reminding us that all fantasy is happening alongside the world we know. And it’s quite a big moment then when the Dementors come in and the magic world steps over to ours.

David Yates: I love that notion. As a kid… and even now, as a 43 year old bloke, that notion that there could be this parallel world next to ours where there are wizards. That’s what got me excited when I first read the book because I just love the idea there could be a wizard just around the corner, or some extraordinary event. When I was preparing the film, I had all sorts of ideas that touched upon that kind of line between the real world and the magical world. Back when I was growing up you would always create these imaginative worlds. You just did. That’s what’s beautiful about Jo (Rowling)’s books is she takes you into this world where you can see this fine line between. I wanted it to feel a bit realer because I think it makes magic more extraordinary. If it’s all fantasy, then you kind of… the contact with the audience…

Quint: There’s a disconnect.

David Yates: Yeah, there’s a disconnect.

Quint: I think that’s why something like LORD OF THE RINGS works. It’s giant and a huge fantasy epic, but it’s grounded in some form of reality.

David Yates: Yeah, emotional reality. And there’s a real integrity to it.

Quint: Was it your priority when directing your actors to find and keep that realism? Because the kids have all turned in good performances in the past, but in this movie there’s a naturalism to the performances, just the way they hang out and interact…

David Yates: Good, because I love all that. For me it’s so important… it was an absolute priority for me to kind of get in there and work with them. Again, you talk about Peter Jackson’s work. What I love about that is I believe all those characters, I believe them as people. I believe once you get the script right, the next biggest challenge is to make sure that you really feel there’s an emotional truth and an emotional reality to it. You could be defending some great kingdom from whoever, but you’ve got to believe it matters to that person you’re seeing on the screen. Equally for Dan and Rupert. I know for me it was so crucial that they believed everything. That’s so crucial.

Quint: Another thing that I really loved about the movie, especially now that you’re coming back for the Sixth, that you laid so much bridgework. Just little things, like Ginny’s looks to Harry and Ron and Hermione’s relationship starting to show the first signs of growing to something more than friends… Was that intentional on your part to make sure all that was included?

David Yates: Yeah, no. Some of them weren’t really scripted. You’re on the floor and you suddenly go, “Oh fuck! As they’re all walking out, wouldn’t it be really really cool if…” you know that Ginny moment? I was just there and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great?” You always want to keep that tension alive. Actually, it seems that with a series of films one of the things that the audience kind of likes is setting up something that you’re going to resolve later on. If you’re going to make a series of films, it seems to me that that, therefore, gives you a liberty to do that. So, we started to do a little bit of it. It’s more for the fans because I think if the audience don’t really know the films or the books, maybe they’ll not get that moment, but the fans certainly won’t.

Quint: Well, it certainly doesn’t hurt the movie. The people that know them and catch it, to them it’ll mean a lot and to those that don’t know it, they won’t even register it.

David Yates: Yeah, that is for sure.

Quint: Was there anything you shot that didn’t make it into the final movie?

David Yates: Yeah, there’s a few little things. It’s tricky sometimes because you shoot a scene that you absolutely adore or seems to work really well and then in the flow of everything it just kind of suddenly log jams. I did this lovely thing with Imelda (Staunton) and Filch, because I love Filch, just after the fireworks where she’s standing with all these broken proclamations around and her hair is smoking. It’s about to ignite and she’s just standing there, like a still life, when he comes out. He can see that her hair is about to combust and he’s not quite sure what to do, whether he should warn her or whether or not he should put her hair out. So, he just kind of starts to gently blow, to try to extinguish her hair. It’s like a PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES moment. It’s just a really funny little comic tableau. You know, we all loved it in dailies and we all thought it was great and then, in the flow of the film, it just kind of fell out. There’s another lovely scene where Trelawney is being assessed by Umbridge, a big dialogue scene. I just ended up montaging the whole thing, but they’ll both end up on the DVD extras.

Quint: I want to touch on HALF-BLOOD PRINCE before I leave because it’s one of my favorite books of the series…

David Yates: It’s a great book.

Quint: I think one of the main reasons I love the book so much is because two of my favorite characters are focused upon. You have Dumbledore and his relationship with Harry, which is in the forefront much more than in any other of the books, and Snape and his story. Depending on what happens in the 7th book, of course, I think Snape could be the tragic hero of this series.

David Yates: Yeah, I know.

Quint: I don’t know how you’re planning on approaching it, but I’m hoping that the Snape story is very much… um…

David Yates: Forefronted, yeah.

Quint: Obviously you have to keep Harry the focus, but…

David Yates: No, no, no. It’s a very different film, actually, the 6th film. It’s Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘N Roll, a lot of it, because it’s so much about the sexual and emotional politics of those characters, which is great. One of my favorite films is AMERICAN GRAFITTI. In this one we dealt with teenaged angst and that whole rebellious stage and struggling with yourself in that kind of magical, metaphorical way. And in the next one, it’s going to have a very different rhythm. Snape is absolutely pivotal to it. I think he’s a great character because of the ambiguity.

Quint: And Alan Rickman plays him so well.

David Yates: And Rickman plays him brilliantly. And the ambiguity is so involving and exciting. I was saying to Steve Kloves, who is doing the adaptation, I was saying to him last night, “I can not wait to start directing some of this stuff. “ It just great, it’s really fun. And it’s much less Dan’s story in the next movie. Dan’s got a great role in it. He gets a chance to stretch his comic muscles because he’s got some very funny scenes. And Rupert is big in the next one… and Lavender Brown and that whole relationship. And Rupert and Emma’s relationship is foregrounded. It’s some really fun stuff. And the relationship between Dumbledore and Harry is really touching. Dumbledore’s quite interesting because it feels like he’s preparing for his own death in a really interesting way. It’s a very different dynamic this time because there’s a lot more between Dumbledore and Harry. I think we’ll be alright on this one. I’ve got a good feeling.

Quint: Would you consider coming back for DEATHLY HALLOWS?

David Yates: You know what? We’ve talked about it, but I think I need to get stuck into this next one, really. We’ll get there eventually.

That’s what I got. I really dug Yates. I think he’s got the passion and the talent for this series. If he can make a really good movie out of the weakest book of the series, I can’t wait to see what he does with one of the best. Alright, the only one left is my chat with Daniel Radcliffe. I’m not going to be able to transcribe it before I leave London, but I will make every effort to get it done and on the site early next week. It marks the triumphant return of my dirty joke question! -Quint

Readers Talkback
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  • June 22, 2007, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Dirty joke's return

    by CeeBeeUK


  • June 22, 2007, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Try Fopp on Totenham Court Road

    by Boba Fat

    It's cheap with big selesction

  • June 22, 2007, 4:07 p.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    My attention was diverted by Kraken : Tentacles of the deep on Sci Fi. Hope you had fun Quint it was good to meet you on Tuesday.

  • June 22, 2007, 4:09 p.m. CST

    weakest of the book?

    by ClarkWayne

    i actually thought this was one of the best books in the series...

  • June 22, 2007, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Great interview Quint!

    by Lando Griffin

    Yates sounds like a cool bloke.

  • June 22, 2007, 4:12 p.m. CST

    Dumbledore Dies?!?!?!?!

    by SuperBat

    That's it! You ruined the 6th book for me.

  • June 22, 2007, 4:14 p.m. CST

    David Yates gets to do two Potter films in a row?

    by newc0253

    lucky guy.

  • June 22, 2007, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Blockbuster picks Blu-Ray

    by jimmy_009

    Looks like High-Def DVD might be completely screwed now.

  • June 22, 2007, 4:36 p.m. CST

    The Book

    by TheDarkShape

    How is Order of the Phoenix the weakest book of the series? Yeah, there's a ton of bloat, but the writing and main story are still better than Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets.

  • June 22, 2007, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Harry Cooter is my favorite porno from the 70s

    by Admiral Kirk


  • June 22, 2007, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Quint, see Girl in the Cafe

    by oisin5199

    I know I harp on this on every Yates talkback, but that little HBO gem gives you a fantastic example of Yates' directing style and his ability to work with great actors on emotional and subtle scenes. And Bill Nighy should have been Dumbledore. And Kelly McDonald should have been Tonks.

  • June 22, 2007, 4:57 p.m. CST

    This was my least favorite book too.

    by jimmy_009

    There didn't seem to be that central 'thing' that the story revolved around. A McGuffin I guess.

  • June 22, 2007, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Weakest of the books?

    by The Ref

    Your mom is the weakest of the books.

  • June 22, 2007, 5:07 p.m. CST

    I wonder why so many people hate the 5th book

    by Ribbons

    It's slightly meandering, but I loved it. Tons of people have told me it's their least favorite of the series after the fact and that just leaves me completely baffled. Maybe because Harry's kind of moody? Anyhoo.

  • June 22, 2007, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Best book was "Azkaban", period.

    by Playkins

    It had the best pacing, the most interesting twist, and the intricately-woven finale was flawless.<p> One of my predictions for "Deathly Hollows" is that the time-turners show up again. Rowling made a point of bringing them up in book 5 again, if they are in the film version of OOTP, you know they have importance. So far, everything that's made the translation from book to film has been proven relevant in some way.

  • June 22, 2007, 5:51 p.m. CST

    I hope time-turners don't show up again

    by starlesswinter

    Time is such an easy way out of things. It was handled beautifully in Prisoner of Azkaban, but that was we weren't expecting it, and we didn't feel cheated because of all the great "rules of time" that Rowling invented. Using it for the finale would, however, feel wrong.

  • June 22, 2007, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Quint, Dude! How about a Spoiler Warning.

    by Cymbol

    Or some invisotext. That was a major spoiler for those who haven't read the books. You know, some people just watch the movies. I'd be really mad right now if I hadn't already read the books. You might want to do something about that. Just a suggestion.

  • June 22, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Sorry Quint, Didn't read carefully through the first

    by Cymbol

    part, I jumped into the interview. May want to highlight that part.

  • June 22, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST

    I actually like Order, it was Half-Blood that will not

    by Cymbol

    translate onto the screen. Anybody who has read the book may agree with me - there is almost no action. Especially after seeing Order, many people will expect more, and may be upset there isn't more. Who knows.

  • June 22, 2007, 6:14 p.m. CST

    Azkaban WAS the best book

    by Dannychico

    No doubt. People that say the 4th one are dumb and simply swayed by big set pieces. Oh, and it was EASILY the best of the movies, too (the 3rd one).

  • June 22, 2007, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Where the hell is Cuaron?

    by Dannychico

    I can't believe this nobody gets to do two films in a row. They best bring back Cuaron for #7.

  • June 22, 2007, 7:18 p.m. CST

    Blockbuster picks Blu-Ray; Blockbuster still irrelevant

    by Lamerz

    Really, screw Blockbuster.

  • June 22, 2007, 7:32 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    There WAS a spoler warning, at the beginning of the article. Did you just skip right to the questions or something?

  • June 22, 2007, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Very good interview

    by Turd Furgeson

    You did a great job of getting him to tell you the tone and feel he is going to set for movie 6 without actually telling you details... I can actually see it in my mind.. I get what he's saying. Great interview!

  • June 22, 2007, 7:36 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    The ironing is delicious.

  • June 22, 2007, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Dumbledore doesn't die

    by ajbopp

    Relax folks. Dumbledore does not die in the 6th book. It's only meant to make you think so. Given that the effect of the curse when cast by Snape is nothing like when it was cast by Moody on the spider in the fourth book, and that we hear a phoenix crying for three days, gives Dumbledore a pretty good chance for survival into the seventh book I imagine :)

  • June 22, 2007, 8:42 p.m. CST

    Order is NOT the worst book!!

    by performingmonkey

    Order Of The Phoenix is my favourite of the books. For me it cemented this series as an out-and-out all-time classic. It contains Jo Rowling's best writing (apart from maybe in book 1 where every line is pure genius, even though it's more of a children's book) The only reason people don't like it is that it's the longest and they probably never even got the end. After the brilliance of Order, much of Half-Blood Prince felt like...dawdling and messing around (at least it did to me). The Tom Riddle/Voldemort backstory stuff was GREAT, as were the last few chapters, but in the middle we get too much crap involving luck potions, love potions, bordering on fanfic-style material thrown in just to make up the pages. There wasn't a strong enough plot (you don't even get what the plot has been until the climactic scene at the end.). Even from the few illustrations we've seen from the final book you can tell it will be much better.

  • June 22, 2007, 9:02 p.m. CST

    re: Dumbledore doesn't die

    by zoltan42

    Uh uh. JKR confirmed last August in NYC the he is definitely dead and we "should not expect him to pull a Gandalf."

  • June 22, 2007, 9:30 p.m. CST

    I agree ranma

    by jimmy_009

    The third movie is really confusing if you haven't read the book. Looks great, but a little weaker on the story side of things.

  • June 22, 2007, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Order was a good book.

    by lost.rules

    But, after reading Goblet, which was action packed, the Order just felt too slowly paced. Loved Half-Blood Prince. Can't wait for Alan Rickman to kick some ass. Plus, they had better cast Bob Hoskins as Slughorn.

  • June 22, 2007, 9:55 p.m. CST


    by Pound Sand

    Well, actually, they're all kind of the same. Boring and Repetitive. And boring. Also, repetitive. And even though the Brits say, "brilliant," and "yeah," a lot, I'd rather watch Porky's because at least you know you're gonna get some tit.

  • June 22, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by lost.rules

    Yeah, go watch that Pond Sand. Where is the TB for Porky's anyway?

  • June 22, 2007, 10:32 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    Priorities, I guess. A lot of people like the third film because fidelity to the source material isn't necessarily as important to them. I'm a pretty big fan of the books and I enjoy the third film more than any other. People like Alfonso Cuaron's films because he's a good director (cue rant from anchorite telling me I'm lying...), not because he's Alfonso Cuaron. And I rate it much higher than 'Goblet of Fire,' which was arguably more faithful despite the fact that it dropped the ball on important subplots. Snape's history as a Death Eater wasn't explored and was barely even addressed (if you hadn't read the book and you weren't listening closely you might have even missed it), which is slightly more important than the identity of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs.

  • June 22, 2007, 11:11 p.m. CST

    I thought

    by Mockingbuddha

    the fourth book was the best, though, the movie was just okay. The Azkaban movie was just brilliant. So far above the other three movies made so far. Truly a stand alone great peice of work. I don't know why some people keep saying the Half Blood is better than Phoenix though, I felt the opposite. Harry leading Dumbledore's Army was very cool, and I felt real dread for the first time in the whole series at the end of Phoenix. Best thing about the Harry Potter books is that it has elevated books to the level of rock stars or blockbuster movies. They may not be great art, but when else do you see that many kids drop everything and just devour an 800 page book. JK Rowling rocks!

  • June 22, 2007, 11:32 p.m. CST

    GOOD JOB QUINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by ludmir88

    the movies are not masterpieces, maybe to some degre HP & POA in my opinion. But all of them are entertaining and enjoyable, no more and no less.

  • June 22, 2007, 11:57 p.m. CST

    anchorite, don't you remember Won Won & Lav Lav?

    by Jugs was pretty funny stuff.

  • June 23, 2007, 1:05 a.m. CST

    david who?

    by lavatory love machine

    maybe you should have ask him how the hell he got the job

  • June 23, 2007, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Order was actually my favorite book in the series

    by Freakemovie

    To me it was the most entertaining. I've heard a few people talk about how they think it's the weakest, but I absolutely loved it. There were so many themes in the book that I'm a total sucker for, namely the idea of all the mismatched kids banding together (in Dumbledore's Army) to fight their common enemies. The Grawp thing was the only part that felt out of place; other than that the book was just a total blast from beginning to end. The Weasley Twins "escape" from Hogwarts? Absolutely brilliant. Half Blood Prince, by contrast, felt a lot like a setup to me; I loved the stuff with Harry and Dumbledore, and especially of course with Snape, but it just wasn't as much fun as OOTP. Of course, I'm also a sucker for Harry/Ginny, so I enjoyed that, and the whole late-in-the-game sequence when Harry takes the luck potion is pure entertainment. Still, side by side, I liked OOTP a lot more. I think I'll read them both again to gear up for Deathly Hallows, though.

  • June 23, 2007, 1:48 a.m. CST

    re: 'Azkaban' being confusing

    by Ribbons

    It could be. I've only spoken with one person who hasn't read the books about it, and they said they followed it okay. I thought it was fine, but it's a little more difficult for me to weigh in on that issue because I'd read the book first. Was it just the fact that stuff was moved around, or was it something about the story itself?

  • June 23, 2007, 2:24 a.m. CST


    by amandaperry123

    Well, sorry to tell you, but Dumbledore IS most certainly DEAD. Just like with the rest of the dead headmasters and headmistress' his picture is hung in his former office. Also, his Phoenix would not be LAMENTING if he wasn't dead. Lament means to express grief, to mourn. He's not going to suddenly come back and make everything okay and be Harry's protector again. He's gone, it's finished. And also, right before Snape used the Killing Curse on him the book says "Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was REVULSION and HATRED etched ....." How do you possible think, with those facts, that he will come back in the 7th book? JKR even says plainly that Dumbledore is dead and isn't coming back. Given, he might help Harry from his Picture, but he'll still be dead.

  • June 23, 2007, 5:37 a.m. CST


    by Zino

    I still think there is more to Snape's story. I do not think it is as straightforward as 'Snape was evil all along'. We have never received a satisfactory explanation of why Dumbledore trusted him so implicitly. Dumbledore is no fool - I do not believe for a second that Snape managed to hoodwink him into thinking he was on his side. I still think Snape is working undercover for the OOTP, and his apparent murder of Dumbledore is just a way of gaining voldemort's complete trust. However if Dumbledore really is dead then my theory is on some pretty shaky ground.

  • June 23, 2007, 6:29 a.m. CST

    This Summer's Blockbusters

    by Mr Gorilla

    It's been brutally disappointing so far, and I really hope Yates has delivered what he seems to be after - something that's exciting but also has emotion etc. And please, for the good of us all, when it comes to the final scores, may the best film win. Because I don't know how much more 'this ain't Shakespeare, this is about BLOWING SHIT UP' I can take...

  • June 23, 2007, 6:44 a.m. CST

    How To Identify A Harry Potter Idiot

    by Mr Gorilla

    The HP Idiots are the ones who like the first two movies because they are 'more faithful' to the books. Simple as that. The rest of us can tell a good film from a bad one. (If you pop onto ROTTEN TOMATOES you'll see I'm not on my own here.) And I gotta say that it's those first two films that have turned a proportion of AICN talkbackers against this franchise. To those guys I'd say, try Azkaban and Goblet.

  • June 23, 2007, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Re: amandaperry123

    by ajbopp

    I would expect Snape to feel revulsion and hatred...for the act that Dumpledore was pleading for him to do, and which he did not want to do, because it was certainly dangerous. The spell Snape cast, however, was nothing like the killing curse demonstrated to the DADA class, and Rowling is not famous for that sort of inconsistency. Fawkes would certainly be lamenting, for at that stage only the tears of a phoenix could save Dumbledore, and it clearly took a lot of them to pull off the trick. Regardless of the false herring that Rowling stated (and I'll admit she's not famous for those either, but she evidently made an exception this time) you can certainly count on Dumbledore returning in book 7. Also, remember that although Rowling said he is dead, she also said the answer is in book 7. Perhaps death means something different when applied to Dumbledore. I don't expect him to just walk up, tap Harry on the shoulder, and say "I'm back!" But he's certainly not entirely gone.

  • June 23, 2007, 8:23 a.m. CST

    They should be getting Alfonso Cauron again

    by Drath

    Because his was without question the most magical of the Potter movies (the unpopular changes from the book I blame on the screenwriters and the inconsistancies with the previous movies I forgive because the previous movies made crap decisions). That they are getting some no name to make two Potter movies stinks of a Tim Story/Bret Rattner-style we want a maleable hack to control more easily sort of move that I wish Hollywood would wake up and get over already.

  • June 23, 2007, 8:29 a.m. CST

    How To Identify A Troll

    by lost.rules

    Your TB name is Mr Gorilla

  • June 23, 2007, 9:20 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla


  • June 23, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I agree with Drath by the way

    by Mr Gorilla

    Cuaron's film was wonderful, and it would have been good to have had him come back. Maybe for the last film? If tragedy etc. is on the agenda, he'd handle it brilliantly.

  • June 23, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    They should bring back Columbus for movie 7

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    ...and allow the franchise to go out strong like it started. The last two movies have flushed this series down the toliet.

  • June 23, 2007, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Um, that should have been toilet.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    Not toliet.

  • June 23, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla


  • June 23, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Quint: Get State of Play and Sex Traffic

    by Mickey The Idiot

    You will not be disappointed. Two superb UK minis by Yates. SoP is getting the remake treatment with Brad Pitt but go for the original - it's also written by Paul Abbott, THE MAN in British scriptwriting today. Trust me, you should then help yourself to a few seasons of Abbott's Shameless afterwards in HMV. Oh, and with Yates' works you'll figure out why Brits rave about John Simm.

  • June 23, 2007, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Drath, or possibly they finally realized the error of

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    ...hiring a prima dona director like Cuaron, who turned out more of a personal vanity piece than a Harry Potter movie.

  • June 23, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Oh, just one other thing.....

    by Mickey The Idiot

    Do not start watching SoP while you're still in London. You won't leave the hotel room until it's done and I'm sure you'd like to see some of the city. ;-)

  • June 23, 2007, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Why Order of the Phoenix is weak...

    by godric

    I just reread it, and while it is stronger than the first two books, it doesn't reach the same level as all the rest from 3 on (when the series hit its stride) for one reason: the core reason for the conflict and tragedy just doesn't quite make sense. The whole mess could have been avoided, and SB's life saved, had Dumbledore or anyone other adult communicated a little more clearly with Harry. I know they explained their reasons why the kept him the dark but...I never quite buy those reasons. It just doesn't quite add up or hold together logically as clearly as the other ones do. Other than that, it's a great book, but that lack of logic in the central conflict makes it kind of fall apart to me.

  • June 23, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST

    I think book 5 was about depression and angst.

    by lost.rules

    And J.K. wrote in such a way to reflect those horrible teenage years. As a work of art, it's very imppressive. As entertainment, it's very draining and dreary.

  • June 23, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    I feel like Eric Cartman waiting for the Nintendo Wii

    by lost.rules

    Come on. Come on. Get here already. Quint, you have to freeze me. When I wake up, in three weeks, the movie and book will be out.

  • June 23, 2007, 11:08 a.m. CST

    The Hermione Posts will be alright.

    by lost.rules

    In one year. Come on. Come on. Turn eighteen already! Quint, you have to freeze me!

  • June 23, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    lost.rules, I agree with you about the overall tone

    by CreasyBear

    of Order of the Phoenix. It was a real downer. Personally, I enjoyed Half-Blood Prince more than any of the other books. Regarding your Hermione post, though, I really hope you're twenty or twenty-one, tops. Not to join the cliche`, but passing beyond merely recognizing a pretty girl when you see one, into the realm of obsession is a bit creepy.

  • June 23, 2007, 11:59 a.m. CST

    If there's grass on the Quidditch field........

    by lost.rules

    It's O.K. to pull out your broom.

  • June 23, 2007, noon CST


    by 11dayempire

    ...for the love of the Jeebus, bring him back for the last film.

  • June 23, 2007, noon CST

    If the Cauldron is Hot, and Wet........

    by lost.rules

    It's O.K. to pull out your wand.

  • June 23, 2007, 12:15 p.m. CST


    by 7pointedstar

    Like someone said before, Order Of The Phoenix was one of my favorite books of the series, followed by Half-Blood Prince and Goblet Of Fire.

  • June 23, 2007, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Film Vs Adaptation

    by King Sweyn Forkbeard

    The first two Potter films were faithful adaptations, but a bit cloying and ploddingly directed. POA was undoubtedly the finest film of the series (although overrated), but as an adaptation it was a hackjob of the worst calibre. Huge chunks of story were missing, and as a result the climax felt oddly rushed. GOF was probably the best balanced between the two, albeit far from perfect. <P> Yates can set a mark here if he can nail this. OoTP is an underrated book IMO.

  • June 23, 2007, 1:04 p.m. CST

    Harry gets anally raped by a Walrus (Don Cheadle)

    by Lour Reed luvs Frank Zappa


  • June 23, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST

    No action in HBP (spoiler)

    by David Lazarus Long

    Ehh, how about the entire army of Death Eaters including GIANT CRAZY WEREWOLF MAN fighting all the DA and half the Hogwarts teachers inside the school, while the good guys will be slow-mo dodging curses left and right from that whatchamacallit "perfect luck" potion? <p> Yea. There's NO action in that one at ALL.

  • June 23, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Pheonix is the Best

    by johnnysunshine

    Order of the Pheonix really stands out for me as the best book in the series, so I'm really looking forward to this. These films sort of defy conventional logic in that each one really does get better than the last.

  • June 23, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Snape = Darth Vader

    by superninja


  • June 23, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST

    maybe I'm a little too emo..

    by David Lazarus Long

    but I liked the 5th book BECAUSE it's so dark and depressing. Writing lines that carve themselves into the back of his hand? Yea, that's what I'm talking about. Hope Radcliffe can pull off the kind of intense frustration/anger/apathy Harry is dealing with, especially in the final talk with Albus. And the 'flashback' pensieve scene is going to be monumental.

  • June 23, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST

    Bring Curaon back. I love what he did with that movie.

    by superninja

    Melancholy, joyous, beautiful, macabre. The mood and the music (!!!)are perfect. He made it feel like a real place whereas the previous movies made it just feel like movies.

  • June 23, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Well, I hope she changes it so that Harry and

    by superninja

    Hermione end up happily ever after. They remind me of Lily and James (Harry's parents) for some reason. I'm sure someone will be deeply offended by this. :)

  • June 23, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by David Lazarus Long

    that spoiler is rubbish. I could almost believe Hermione and Hagrid dying, but the whole "oh yea they die and then Harry wins and it's all good". What a bunch of crap. I guarantee this doesn't have a happy ending, not with the progression of OotP and HBP. DEATH DEATH DEATH. My vote goes to Hagrid and HARRY dying, while Neville actually defeats Voldemort as in the prophecy, and Ron and Hermione live happily ever after. Ginny tries to commit suicide, but is left with a curiously lightning bolt shaped scar on her wrist, hence the book ending with the word "scar". <p> Heh, I wouldn't be surprised that if there actually WAS a leak, they let it happen and leaked a bunch of foilers. 'Twould be the smart thing to do, eh?

  • June 23, 2007, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Eh, it could be that the only reminder left of all

    by superninja

    that had occurred was the scar. Because everyone lives happily ever after. That's why.

  • June 23, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST


    by David Lazarus Long

    EVERYONE WILL DIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE <p> o_o; (goes to take his meds)

  • June 23, 2007, 3:12 p.m. CST

    I don't have a Blockbuster where I live,

    by lost.rules

    But if Alec Baldwin does the commercials, does that mean he does the collections as well? You're going bring back that movie you little spoiled whore, or I'm gonna come over there and STRAIGHTEN YOUR ASS OUT!!

  • June 23, 2007, 3:21 p.m. CST


    by lost.rules

    Spoiler alert- oh, and Ole Gravy is full of shit.

  • June 23, 2007, 3:33 p.m. CST


    by lost.rules

    But they'll get alot bigger when she turns eighteen. Mysteriously.

  • June 23, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST

    the REAL ending

    by David Lazarus Long

    Turns out Voldemort IS James Potter, Harry can't kill his own father so SNAPE, his HALF BLOOD BROTHER kills him because he couldn't stand the fact that Voldemort/James was sleeping with Dumbledore, and then rapes Harry who decides to elope with Ron (because he's got a bigger wand). Hermione decides to run away with Ginny, and they live as happy lesbian witches forever more. THE END.

  • June 23, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST


    by amandaperry123

    Well, I have a couple of things to say. I agree with you on the fact that Dumbledore might still have something to add in book 7. HOWEVER, it won't be because he is somehow differently dead than any other characters. Death means the same to everyone, even someone as great as Dumbledore. He's definatly not a ghost, we can rule that one out for sure. Jo did say he wasn't going to come back like Gandolf did. He's dead. She put that to rest. Sucks though. I don't know and I'm not going to speculate on which side Snape truly is. He could possible have been horribly angry with Dumbledore and that is why he had hatred etched on his face. That wasn't my point, my point was that he got the killing curse, whether it was a bit different or not doesn't make it any less potent. Fawks can't bring Dumbledore back even with his healing tears. He can only fix living things, not already dead ones. If a Phoenix could do that, then I expect everyone would want to keep one handy just in case. Futhermore even if he was miraculasly saved by Fawks, why would they have entombed him? And you said that Jo isn't famous for having inconsistency but I disagree. She has plenty. One for instance, with the Felix Felicis she says that Slughorn gave Harry 12 hours worth but when he goes to use it he had managed to get 24 hours worth of the potion. I think, yes, in one sense you are right, Dumbledore will still have something to add in book 7. But I think you are wrong with the fact that he isn't completly dead or that he is differently dead than other Wizards. Anyway, LOL, I love debating Harry Potter, don't you? :)

  • June 23, 2007, 5:22 p.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    Nice one, gonna have to concede to you there. And the first one did have a bit of charm to it. Gotta admit that Columbus set a template that has worked well and he asembled a great cast. But I somehow wish he had knocked it out of the park. Child performances can be so touching - from 400 Blows to ET to This is England - but somenow the performances in HP1 aren't all that.

  • June 23, 2007, 5:33 p.m. CST

    Great reports Quint!

    by Evil Hobbit


  • June 23, 2007, 6:22 p.m. CST

    on the third movie being incomprehensible

    by drave117

    I was originally worried that PoA would be confusing to people who didn't know the story, and I was curious to see if my worries were valid. I took a friend to see PoA, and he hadn't yet read any of the books. He not only had zero trouble following the plot, but he successfully extrapolated the identities of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs just from the clues given in the movie.

  • June 23, 2007, 6:24 p.m. CST


    by JediWuddayaknow

    So, that means you'll stop watching them and we won't have to hear from you on the subject again, right?

  • June 23, 2007, 6:26 p.m. CST

    I agree

    by lost.rules

    Not everything has to be spelled out for you in these movies. Yet, don't go hating on the first two too much. I hated the first one, but if I hadn't seen Chamber, and been completely blown away by it, I would've never read any of the books. Chris Columbus made me a fan.

  • June 23, 2007, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Why complain about spilers

    by DamnYouMB

    when there is a maroon box around the subject that says "spoiler". Was it not there last night when I first read this? I don't remember. If it was there, you people have no right to complain about Quint not giving a spoiler warning.

  • June 23, 2007, 8:01 p.m. CST


    by DamnYouMB


  • June 23, 2007, 8:45 p.m. CST


    by Playkins

    quixote72 posted serious spoilers. If you don't want to know anything about "Deathly Hollows", true or not, don't go into the other talkback. If you're like me, even misinformation will ruin the enjoyment of the story.

  • June 23, 2007, 8:49 p.m. CST

    I know whats going to happen.

    by mrtwig48

    Harry gets raped by Vito and right before the money shot it cuts to black.

  • June 23, 2007, 9:24 p.m. CST

    About that *Spoiler* ....

    by ludmir88

    Since yesterday i've been reading or hearing a lot of that Hermione's death and Hagrid sacrifice almost everywhere in the internet so.. i don't know. I think maybe this is all bullshit. Or just another trick to lead us to wrong direction of who dies in the last book. Rumors, rumors.

  • June 23, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by Playkins

    I see it like when book 6 came out, and there were all the rumors of :::::::CODED SPOILER::::::::::::-agr-d dying::::::: (in case someone hasn't read book 6)<P> It doesn't make any difference if it's true or not, the whole book is colored with the belief that this character is going to snuff it by the end. So, anyone can call me a geek if they want, but I don't like to hear about a spoiler like that. A spoiler about a movie is a bit different IMHO because there isn't close to the same amount of time invested as in a book.

  • June 23, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by Sir Loin

    "...a world parallel to ours..." is exactly what the XANTH books had, even characters that each had unique magic talents. Piers Anthony was robbed, I tell ya.

  • June 24, 2007, 6:03 a.m. CST

    Missed chance

    by ROBE

    The Potter movie series while enjoyable are always going to fall short of the LOTR movies. Unfortunately directors egos were allowed to get in the way.

  • June 24, 2007, 7:57 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    Director's egos? As if the man who made King Kong doesn't suffer from an overblown ego? Don't get me wrong, Fellowship of the Ring is an amazing, miracle of a movie, but as the series went on it got less about Tolkien and more about Jackson finding things for Orlando Bloom to surf down - staircases, oliphant trunks.

  • June 24, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    After all that crap about Captivity...

    by Rightcouch

    You're advertising them on your site? Way to go, Ain't It Cool.

  • June 24, 2007, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Cuaron turned down Movie 4

    by Dannychico

    They wanted him to go into pre-production on GOBLET, but he was still working on post-production for AZKABAN. He wasn't going to sacrifice the quality of his film to rush another one into production.

  • June 24, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    Not only do I agree with you. I also think that if Columbus had continued to direct them, they wouldn't have made it through all seven books. They would have had to stop. Getting Cuaron on board was as good a 'reboot' of the series as Nolan was with Batman. But those Harry Potter Idiot fanboys think that they only good films have to have every single sentence in the book transcribed. I think they should leave here and make their way to or what-the-fuck-ever...

  • June 24, 2007, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Here Three!

    by Rebeck3

    Cannot agree more - Cuaron's chapter is so head and shoulders above the rest it's not funny, and it completely stands on its own as a great film! Except for the dragon sequence, I found the last one to be a jumbled mess and a big disappointment. I'll come into this one open-minded per the "new guy", but I just hope they didn't hire him simply because he was British. Those Brits get very nationalistic sometimes and Cuaron shows that up - just get the BEST guy. Oh yeah, and Columbus sucks so bad.

  • June 24, 2007, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Adding more support for ImpulseCaper's POV.

    by CreasyBear

    Cuaron added the details and deft touches here and there that lifted Azkaban (the weakest of the books) into the best movie of the series.

  • June 24, 2007, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Fuck off ImpulseCaper!!!!

    by ludmir88

    nahh just kidding. i'm with you: the third one is the best so far. The hipogrif's flight was touching really. I felt amazed that night at the cinema.

  • June 24, 2007, 7:09 p.m. CST

    They had the best director for the HP series - Columbus

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    His directorial style perfectly matched the pace, look, and tone of the books. It's just a shame they couldn't keep him around for the entire 7 film cycle, and instead had to hand the movies off to the B team. Well, I wouldn't exactly call Cuaron the B team; he's more down on the D or E team.

  • June 24, 2007, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Weakest of the series?

    by Judge Briggs

    It's not the weakest of the series. No fucking way. Chamber is def. the weakest. Order is when things finally get going on a grander scale... it's def. the funniest too.

  • June 24, 2007, 7:17 p.m. CST

    ah...potter tb's...

    by blackthought

    let's see... the third movie by the far the best... the first me in my soul... the fifth with yates sounds most promising... bring back cauron to finish or someone new...definitely not that hack colombus. and um... i'm watching this movie june 28th...word.

  • June 24, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST


    by Ribbons

    The fucked up thing is that guys like R0BE think that Columbus directing all 7 films would have been amazing, because then Hagrid's Hut would have stayed in the same location the entire time, and at the end of the day, isn't that really the most important thing? I liked Columbus' 'Chamber of Secrets,' but I'm glad Cuaron did 'Azkaban.' That movie was amazing from start to finish. I honestly don't understand how anybody could watch that film and go "Boy, I wish Chris Columbus had directed this."

  • June 24, 2007, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Columbus movies were slick, formulaic stuff.

    by superninja

    Has absolutely nothing to do with the supposed darkness of the material. Chamber of Secrets is pretty dark! <p> Curaon was the first to make the world seem lived-in. It seemed like a real place and magical whereas the first two just seemed like typical Hollywood movies with painted on atmosphere and stiff direction. <p> Curaon added something to it atmospherically, no doubt. I also like the Newell film for carrying on in the same vein. This chapter looks to do more of the same. Thank goodness Columbus is out!

  • June 24, 2007, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Columbus turn HP into Scooby Doo.

    by superninja

    I don't know how you can say it's preferable.

  • June 24, 2007, 8:55 p.m. CST

    The first two were alright

    by David Lazarus Long

    They set the tone of the series well, and were fairly respective of the books. But #1) Columbus was DYING at the end of Chamber. He couldn't have done another Potter movie (jesus, or ANY movie) if they paid him with all the gold in the national treasury. Even so, I don't think he could have gotten the same eerie vibe that Azkaban needed. And yes, it's true that the third book is a bit darker than the first two (actually, each book gets progressively darker and deals with more serious subjects- A murderer escaped from prison is trying to kill Harry? Yea, pretty dark.), which is exactly why Colombus would have been a terrible choice. And then there's Goblet, which.. well, unless they split it up into two films was always going to be a fucking trainwreck. There really wasn't much choice. I'm happy the dragons were really cool, that's about it. And Moody was well done, for the most part. <p> Based on the trailers and the fact that OotP is my favorite of the series, I'm damn excited for this. But no, please... Do not bring back Colombus for 7. Unless JK decides to screw off all the shit she set up and turns it into an episode of the Muppet Babies, please GOD don't let Colombus touch it.

  • June 24, 2007, 9:43 p.m. CST

    My main concerned with the adaptation of this

    by superninja

    film will be an attempt to make the characters seem overly rebellious or faux cool instead of just themselves. Harry is certainly more rebellious but they basically go against authority in every film, so I hope they don't get ridiculous with it. There is nothing worse than adults trying to make with teen coolness.

  • June 24, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST

    Concerned = concern.

    by superninja

    Also, just wanted to reiterate more Curaon fantasy films, please.

  • June 25, 2007, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Let's be honest, neither Columbus nor Cuaron are

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    coming back for movie 7, so it's a moot point. I just wish that the damage Cuaron wrought wasn't still lingering over the series for the remaining films. Slick and formulaic better describes PoA than it does the first two films. The books have both light scenes and dark ones. Columbus at least recognized that and modulated his films back and forth between them; whereas both Cuaron and Newell were stuck completely in darker and darkest modes which became incredibly monotonous.

  • June 25, 2007, 7:40 a.m. CST

    If Yates can translate the 5th book to a good movie..

    by just pillow talk

    then I hope he does the last movie as well. And, I can't believe I'm saying this, I agree with anchorite. Newell definitely made the best book (in my opinion anyway) the least exciting. That movie needed to be amped up and he made it so dreary and boring.

  • June 25, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    LAST WORD ON POTTER!!!!!!!!!!

    by lost.rules


  • June 25, 2007, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Columbus did not discover

    by superninja


  • June 25, 2007, 12:38 p.m. CST


    by jettcorrigan

    I absolutely LOVE Children of Men. It's my favorite film of last year. However, Cuaron's is the worst of the Potter flicks. Changing the established setting and feel makes it feel like some other series entirely. Plus - the marauder map backstory is so important, IMHO. Could give two shits about the fuckin' house elf liberation, though.

  • June 25, 2007, 12:52 p.m. CST


    by lost.rules


  • June 25, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Sorry Excalibur,

    by Frijole

    but (their fantastic elements aside) Cuaron's handling of the Boggart class and also the candy scene in the boy's dorm were the most natural, real and funny moments of the whole series as yet.

  • June 25, 2007, 2:52 p.m. CST

    exclusive review

    by drunkenmonkey73

  • June 25, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST

    The series will end....

    by BillyPilgrim

    With Harry Potter yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" while on his knees wearing a Death Eaters mask.

  • June 26, 2007, 4:54 a.m. CST

    jettcorrigan: I disagree about the marauder's map

    by Playkins

    Rowling herself has said that if you want to know what is most significant in the books, watch the movies. If it' not in the movie, or not significant in the movie, it won't be in the books, either. The maruader's map was just a plot point.

  • June 27, 2007, 4:26 a.m. CST


    by ROBE

    When I go to see Prince Caspian the sequel to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I will expect things to look different, as the novel was set(in Narnia)time over 1000 years after the events of LWW. When I went to see Batman Begins I expected it to be different from the previous movies because it was a reboot to year one. The public did not expect or want a HP year 3 reboot. POA had massive opening weekends around the world (so don't blame the CC movies) but then suffered the worse second week drops than all the other movies. Talking to friends who are not Potter fans and have never read the books, showed the reason for this. They found it too dull dark and colourless, arty and confusing. The classy Colombus Hogwarts had been replaced by a Chavy Cuaron Hogwarts. The least successful HP movie is POA because Cuaron's ego got in the way. Taking into account inflation the two Columbus movies are still the most successful of the first 4 movies. Movie 4 only gets 2nd place due to inflation. Certain snobs may knock CC but he knew what he was doing.

  • June 27, 2007, 10:21 a.m. CST


    by Mr Gorilla

    C'mon! Columbus did very good jobs setting up the team who star in and are behind the scenes of the series. But in terms of the directing... the young cast act badly in his hands, and his reverence for the book means his pacing is well-off: that mirror scene in HP1 was SOOO dull in the cinema, and for christ's sake at the climax of the action (the chess scene) he goes into a MONTAGE - totally taking you out of the moment. And, boy, the sentimentality at the end of HP2 - letting everyone off exams, I mean what kind of school is this?! Cuaron gave us poetry, and Newell made us believe they were actually at a school.

  • June 27, 2007, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Wait a minute, you're saying HP1 had bad pacing

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    ...but that putting in a fully played out chess scene would have improved it?!? Thanks for the laugh. It would have stopped the film's momentum dead in its tracks. Dead as the momentum in POA screeched to a halt every time Harry faced a dementor and the screen faded to black (a prime example of pretentious artsy style choices killing that film, by the way). Even movies about chess made with chess fans specifically in mind such as Searching For Bobby Fischer show the chess matches in montage because the game unfolds way too slowly to be cinematically appealing (and I say that as an avid chess player and chess watcher myself). I think Robe is on to something with his comment about a certain section of movie geeks holding animus towards the first two HP movies simply because Columbus' name is on them and not because of anything actually on the screen. I would add that the converse also seems be true with regards for POA. A certain section of movie geeks (often, though not entirely, overlapping with the same section who loathe Columbus) are so enamored with Cuaron's other film's that they automatically regard his to be the best HP movie, regardless of what he actually filmed. The AICN talkbacks stand as a testiment to this.

  • June 27, 2007, 11:59 a.m. CST

    What concerns me most about OotP is

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    ...that Yates is now running around giving interviews saying he was trying to make the movie darker and more full of emotional angst than the previous films. As if the two films preceding his didn't suffer greviously from a massive overdose of them to begin with.

  • June 27, 2007, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Natural? Real? The Boggart class was a music video.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    Complete with loud obtrusive Jazz song. I'll give you that the boys' candy scene was more or less natural (and charming even), but it was basically a throw away lasting less than 90 seconds and irrelevent to the rest of the movie. Not to mention, that the convoluted tracking shot that opens the scene makes it seem like just a big visual stunt.

  • June 27, 2007, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Ole Gravy Leg = @ss

    by DarthDooku

    You know, some people actually try to avoid spoilers. Regardless of the validity of the spoilers you posted, you are an *sshole for posting them, and just remember one thing: karma's a b*tch.

  • June 28, 2007, 3:30 a.m. CST


    by Silvija


  • June 28, 2007, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Cia kas nors sneka

    by Silvija

    Cia kas nors sneka lietuviskai?

  • June 28, 2007, 3:32 a.m. CST


    by Silvija


  • June 29, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST


    by Automaton Overlord

    Anyone who gives a flying fu'gun-shot about these stories, and has not found the time in the last ten years to read the books has spoiled it for themselves. Any Mr. Falcon Bozo who expects to not hear people talk about the most celebrated, multi-generational-fanbased, awards-out-the-wazoo, best-selling, international phenomenon, should be embarased to be in the AICN talk backs. SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sue-Elen shot J.R. -Automaton Overlord has spoken

  • June 29, 2007, 11:30 a.m. CST

    No, ExcaliburFfolks...

    by Mr Gorilla

    ...I'm saying that they should have cleverly figured out SOMETHING BETTER than either a montage (which ruins pacing in the climax of a blockbuster) or playing out a full chess game (clearly that would be boring too). But they were so beholden to the source material, that they didn't. I'm genuinely not being snobby about Colombus' name, but I do think that while he set lots of great things up, his tone gets horribly saccharine, which it doesn't with Cuaron and Newell. (The ends of the two Columbus films make me want to puke. The whole reveal of the house prizes, and the re-awarding of point, ugh.) And saccharine is something that surfaces all too often in Columbus-directed films: I give you Mr Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man, and - yes - the Harry Potter films.

  • June 29, 2007, 12:02 p.m. CST

    And while you're dissing Cuaron...

    by Mr Gorilla

    Let's remind ourselves of the positive thing he did. 1) He made the muggle world more real - thereby offsetting the magic to greater effect 2) He was the first to film on location in Scotland, which made Hogwards a much more tangible place 3) He got one of the best John Williams scored of the last 10 years, blending, as he says, jazz, baroque and modern, and somehow making it all cohesive 4) He stepped up the visual effects bigtime: Buckbeak is a miracle 5) He made the kids really inhabit their characters, from their performances to their casual clothes - it stopped feeling like a St Trinians film 6) He got a real sense of loss in there - establishing the fact that Harry is carrying an terrible burden 7) there are moments of real beauty and lyricism - for example the sequencs where the seasons change 8) he actually made Quiddich look like a real sport, rather than a horrible bluescreen demo 9) maybe most important, all the above combined to achieve a sense of genuine magic. HE GOT THE TONE RIGHT. The one minus point is that Cuaron's film doesn't exactly boast breakneck pacing, although I don't see him making any mistakes, in the way that Columbus did. But, you know, don't trust me, just look at the conversation between Cuaron and Rowling on the DVD extras - she's clearly DELIGHTED with the film he made.

  • June 29, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST

    'pretentious artsy choices'

    by Mr Gorilla

    OK, this isn't an all-out-attack, I promise, but I hate this criticism of yours, ExcaliburFfolks. What exactly is 'artsy' or 'pretentious' about a fade-to-black when a character passes out? Seems to me like pretty standard film-making grammar. And may I just say that my niece who is 7 absolutely LOVES Cuaron's film. There's no sense of artsyness getting in the way of a kid's enjoyment of the story. Peace.

  • June 29, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST

    We'll have to agree to disagree about the chess scene.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    I think it worked fine and didn't hurt the pacing at all. My only complaint about that part of the first film was that they skipped the troll and potions challenges, which left the Philosopher's Stone seem a bit underguarded. As for the saccharine - it's in the books. It's part of what makes them such charming kids stories. Harry and friends save the day, and they win the House Cup, too. Wraps each year up rather nicely, just as the opening scenes with Harry's Aunt and Uncle start them off each time around. Not everything has to be cold, bleak, jaded, and dark even if that's what's considered cool and edgy these days. One of the reason's Columbus was such a good match for this material is their mutual saccharine factor.

  • June 29, 2007, 4:19 p.m. CST

    An explanation about "pretentious artsy choices".

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    I consider that term to apply whenever the technique used to film or edit a scene overwhelms the content of the scene. If you are watching a movie and a scene gets you thinking, "Wow, I can't believe what the director did there!", then you've just entered pretentious artsy territory. Similarly, if you are watching a film and the way a scene is composed keeps distracting you from watching what's going on in the scene, then you've just entered pretentious artsy territory (either that, or you are watching a movie made by an incompetent director, but since Cuaron isn't incompetent that doesn't apply here). Good films are supposed to suck you in, enthrall you for a few hours, and tell a story without reminding you that everything on-screen is pre-planned and orchestrated. Cuaron, in the four films of his I've seen, has a consistent bad habit of doing unnecessary visual flourishes that completely spoil moments by knocking the viewer out of the movie (Baz Luhrmann is spectacularly bad in this regard too, incidentally). Take the dementor scenes from POA. Cuaron does a fine job setting up each of Harry's encounters with the dementors, building an appropriate sense of impending danger and dread; but then squanders all of it with a screech to a halt fade to black and resume after all the action is over. What a gyp. Instead of doing the sensible thing and leaving the camera rolling straight on through, we get a scene with the best stuff cut out of the middle and the climax replaced with a fancy iris closing. Why? Because the director apparently wanted to be cute. It contributes nothing to the scene beyond slapping you upside the head with the director's use of technique. By Harry's third or fourth encounter with dementors in the film, during the build up in anticipation of the pointless black outs I started catching myself thinking, "Good God, please no, not again." Iris shot close fade to black.

  • June 29, 2007, 4:29 p.m. CST

    For what it's worth, I think Cuaron has a lot of raw

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    ...talent. Though he needs to realize that directing consists of way more than camera movement, cinematography, and art design. If he can ever learn to reign in his natural urge for artist flourish at the expense of pacing and plot, then he'll probably start making some truly great films.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:07 a.m. CST

    The first two were more fun.

    by ROBE

    Columbus knows how to make better family movies, while Cuaron aims more at the arthouse snob. As for Cuaron being more realistic, yes if he was doing a story set in a modern trendy school. Hogwarts is based on a very old-fashioned and classy school. When Columbus did his movies he went to real old Public (US Private) schools an based Hogwarts on them. Cuaron simply saw how pupils at ordinary modern schools dressed in the street and reimagined Hogwarts as them. Sorry but he got the wrong schools.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:18 a.m. CST


    by ROBE

    Throughout the movie he just did weird things. Look at the shrunken heads? In the books they are owned by dark wizards, yet Cuaron just through them into normal wizard society, we are talking about human remains here folks. He then told the cast to wear their own clothing to look like themselves, excuse me but they are meant to be playing characters. Who ever heard of a bring your own clothes movie? Even when they were in uniform they dressed in such a scruffy and run down manner (during class and school hours)which in real life only a really crap modern comprehensive school would allow, not a distinguished school hundreds of years old. Hogwarts while fiction is meant to be based on the higher end school not the bottom end. Add to this is complete disreguard for past movie continuity and book plot points. The latest director it seems has left out the locket from movie 5 and it seems will recast Tom Riddle jnr for movie 6, okay they need another actor for the 11 year old one but the teenager? No doubt the latest movie will still do well, however as some early reviews seem to show it is a lot less fun than the others and POA takes some beating.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:18 p.m. CST

    In posh public schools...

    by Mr Gorilla

    Students have to wear the school uniform during classes, assembly etc, but in free time they can dress in their own clothes. Which I think is what they did in POA. Just wanted to straighten that out.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:48 p.m. CST


    by David Lazarus Long

    that POA was one of the first movies to feature scenes of students outside of the school, I thought it was nice to see them wearing REAL clothing. Something that, you know... a 15 year old would actually wear in MODERN TIMES. Despite being a "high end" school or whatever, these kids DO live in the real world. I see no problem with outfitting them in things they might actually wear in this century. Then again, I'm usually not paying attention to CLOTHING CHOICES in my WIZARD MOVIE. <p> And whatever, fuck you people. So the guy took a few liberties and made a movie in his own style. I'd prefer it over Cookie Cutter Colombus and his Total Lack of Imagination Squad.

  • June 30, 2007, 5:51 p.m. CST


    by David Lazarus Long


  • June 30, 2007, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Wizards don't wear normal teen clothes.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    They wear robes. They are wizards, not normal muggle teens. They would have uniform robes for school and casual robes for out of school. Blue jeans and shirts don't make sense. Wizards are their own sub-culture with their own dress code. It is part of who they are. Take away the robes and they stop being themselves. To use a different example, for instance, if this were a film about say Punk Rockers and the director said forget the bright colored spikey hair cuts, body piercings, heavy leather boots, etc. I'm giving them regular haircuts and the latest fashions from the Gap, it wouldn't make sense right? Eveyrone would cry foul, right? The characters would no longer seem like punk rockers, right? Thgey'd lose a huge chunk of their identity. Well, it's just the same with the wizards in the Harry Potter movies. Take them out of the wizard robes and they sure don't seem like wizards anymore. They seem like any other teen movie, except everyone has wands.

  • June 30, 2007, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Columbus noticed all the fine details.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    That was one of the reasons his movies were so much better then POA or GOF.

  • July 1, 2007, 12:18 a.m. CST

    Now, now David, just because we have higher standards

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    than you is no reason to get bitchy. Apparantly we are more observant, too.

  • July 1, 2007, 12:45 a.m. CST

    No one here is calling Cuaron a snob.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    Just artsy.

  • July 1, 2007, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Well ROBE, I suspect some of Roger Corman's

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    ...movies had the actors using their own clothes, but at least they had the excuse of really, really low production budgets.

  • July 1, 2007, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Mr. Gorilla, to address your points above at 12:02pm

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    on the 29th. Ironically, most of the things you mention as things Cuaron got right are many of the very same things I think he got majorly wrong. Since this will require some serious space, I'm going to address each point in a seperate post. (By the way: No, I don't consider what we are doing here as attacking each other. We are merely having an in depth discussion about the movies. None of this is personal.)

  • July 2, 2007, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Hitting the nail right on the head...

    by ROBE

    ... as usual ExcaliburFfolkes. "Wizards are their own sub-culture with their own dress code. " When wizards do adopt a muggle item it is usually something old-fashioned. So we have the Hogwarts Express an old-fashioned steam train or the Ministry of Magic using the old Red Telephone Box not the modern ones as their secret entrance. Cuaron seemed to totally miss the point. The UK childrens cover to the 7th book even has the trio in robes, Harry in black but Ron and Hermione in what look like non school robes. You always get somebody saying that is how modern school pupils dress but they are not attending a modern school. This is a school that still uses quills.