Note: For entertainment purposes. I’m a Harry Potter fan but I’m not one of those who thinks the films are perfect. I do believe each director was chosen to give a unique perspective to the series. They are so diverse it is impossible to like each and every film exactly the same, that being said here is my arbitrary ranking :)
Films [out of 7 stars]
Sorcerer’s Stone: 4
Do not let the fact that I gave this film 4/7 stars fool you into believing that I did not enjoy this film or that I do not enjoy this film now. I feel it is the weakest of the films [due to the budget, terrible special effects, and an over-simplified plot] I realize that it was targeted at children and as I was much younger when I first saw this film I was able to overlook many of the finer points. The one thing that destroyed the movie aside from terrible special effects and too-kiddish for my taste scenery was the music. I should emphasize the SAME SONG THE ENTIRE MOVIE. I wanted to kick Williams in the nads every time I heard the [very childish, though very distinctive and whimsical score of this and the second film] I do like what the theme has grown into but I am a big fan of music and for me it can make or break the spirit of the film. All that aside it did follow the plot but with the already simple plot of the first book the movie could have done so much more. Also I hate that this film minimized the role of Neville Longbottom, a favorite of mine in the books and the later films. This is where that blasted ‘trio’ came into existence because of other characters simply being cut out of story lines and scenes. I thought best the casting in this film was Alan Rickman as our lovable Professor Severus Snape. Honorable mention would go to the Dursley’s because anyone else playing “Big D” in #5 would just not be as wonderfully … wonderful!
Chamber of Secrets: 3 1/2
We meet Tom Riddle in the very creepy Chamber of Secrets what could be a better showdown than that? Loved everything except for the pet peeves from the first movie that kept creeping up and Dan’s hair. The car was a fun character but the whomping willow was… slightly less than scary? Whomp Whomp… yes it looked like a person in a tree costume, but the spiders were pretty well done and pretty scary to boot. It only got 3 1/2 but I still liked it. Best casting goes to Lockhart, Moaning Myrtle and Tom Riddle because I love when older people get to play teenagers. It was also fun to see the Slytherin common room but I did wonder when the hell Draco Malfoy developed kleptomania… I loved the showdown in Flourish and Blotts. I loved Lockhart soo much in this film … so much in fact that I am boosting the stars up to an even four…. oh but I almost forgot why it was so low in the first place… [let’s just say Dobby was so irritating I almost can’t stand to watch this anymore] better be safe and leave it at the 3 1/2.
Prisoner of Azkaban: 6
This is more like it! A film that did well with a complicated plot. It was adapted well [changed where necessary] and was visually stunning. The score gave us so much more and so did the sets. Alfonso was the second director of the series and he had an artistic lens that we viewed the story through. It was quite refreshing as someone who has read all the books. I don’t need someone to hold my hand and tell me the main plot points only, I want to see something new, something a little more abstract and thought-provoking! Lupin and Sirius were extremely well cast and while I wasn’t a big fan of the beginning of book 3 the scenes with the Dursleys were done well. I liked the Knight Bus even though it wasn’t what I expected. I was a little disappointed to not see my favorite lime green bowler but I survived [luckily] and got to enjoy the awesome time-turner scenes. It was still appropriate for young children but didn’t assume they are idiots. The best casting is very hard because as I already said I loved Lupin and Sirius but I think I will give the award to Dumbledore for being the “replacement” and going far above my expectations.
Goblet of Fire: 5 1/2
I loved this book because of the conflicts between the characters, my favorite scene hands down is the Yule Ball. Ron was wonderful in this film and showed a lot of range between funny and serious, jealousy and resentment. Best casting would go to him except for a little thing called Voldy-thing. It was as near to perfect as perfect could be and all the characters were… amazing. I liked the tasks, the other schools and the mood of this film. The director even managed in extra sequences that became some of my favorites. I loved Neville, he was finally important enough for a side story and how adorable was Matthew at dancing? The music was … amazing [yes even the cheesy wizard rock songs!] My favorite song was what else but, Neville’s Waltz. This film got 5 1/2 and that was only because of the replay value [the tasks are not as good after a few times] but as for characters and atmosphere this was one of my favorite films yet.
Order of the Phoenix: 6
He-Hem I do think that this is my favorite of the five so far and I’m not just saying that because it is new. It was practically directed by a name we had never heard of but he seemed to have some of the most brilliant ideas of all. Umbridge was nasty, horrible and perfect, from her detested little laugh to the kitten plates plastered on the walls. I loved the DA meetings and especially Neville [he has grown up so much] I will write a much more in-depth review soon because right now I am just too excited about it! I thought almost everything that was done wrong in the previous movies was improved [ex. when Sirius visits the common room with flu powder and the transitions between scenes] I loved the use of the newspaper and how ominous the Ministry was, it invoked nostalgia of propaganda, and showed how governments control their citizens. The conflict of blood purity was brought to the forefront by Professor Umbridge and the darker, more adult themes of Harry Potter were certainly not left out of this film. It is hard to pick the best cast character in this film so I will just say that [obviously] Umbridge makes the cut and probably ties with Bellatrix Lestrange unless you count Luna Lovegood because she just has to win… she was PERFECT! Helena Bonham Carter was simply evil as Voldy-things most devoted follower. She was downright livid and stole the very few scenes she was in. Of course it was also exciting because Helena is married to a certain favorite director of mine that I have been hoping would direct the sixth or seventh movie since the series began. Since Tim Burton has had his lovely wife in almost everything he has touched the past couple of years [who could blame him when she is so wonderful in her roles] I am still praying that he will direct and maybe bring Danny Elfman in to do a kick-ass score and for the hell of it just put Johnny Depp in it so I can have one GIGANTIC [orgasm]. All right so most of that is just a wild fantasy but hey… a girl can dream! And I shall continue to dream until movies 6 & 7 come out [be sure that when they do I will be reduced to a pile of useless nothingness and that I will probably be depressed for a good week solid like after I read book 7]
& so now you know what I think about the films… you may agree… you may think I am a lunatic but who the hell am I and who the hell are you and who cares! At least I got you to listen to my side of the story so HA!
UPDATE: That last one is amusing! I’m working on editing this batch of reviews (or possibly writing a few more in-depth ones for my favorites!) I will be getting film 7, Deathly Hallows (Part One) very soon so look for a review for that as well as an updated review for film 5, Order of the Phoenix, and a brand-spanking new review of film 6, Half-Blood Prince!
ANOTHER UPDATE: I have been lazy but I will review Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2 veerrryy soon!