Not sure what I think about the increasing trend of filming multiple film/sequels in one shoot... but I'll save that for another day.
I'm also glad this one wasn't in 3D. I'm not impressed by 3D... but I'll save THAT for another day, too.
Actually, it was a pretty good movie, all told. I've never believed novels translate well into movies, because there's just too much in a novel. Short fiction? Yeah. Graphic novel? Heck yeah. Novel? It's hard. And with Harry Potter, especially as the books got longer, it got harder and harder to fit all that junk into a movie, and some of the movies barely tried. The best Harry Potter movie was the third one, before the books got bloated. The worst one was movie 5, where they tried to fit almost 900 freaking pages into a two hour movie. They'd have had to make a miniseries to do all the plot points justice. Book five was a good read, in my opinion (despite it being the first step into Harry becoming a somewhat unlikeable protagonist: too sulky and Holden Caulfieldy for a fantasy book), but the movie was awful: it was like a rushed series of sketches meant to evoke the story, and had no room to fit in the little bits of color and fun that made the first three movies cool. The minor characters are part of the charm with HP - people like Neville Longbottom - but with so much plot, him, and Moaning Myrtle, and even Hagrid got short shrift.
That is why I think it was not just a cash grab, but good for the storytelling, to split book 7 into two movies. The story finally has time to breathe again... and while in the book, I thought it was poor storytelling the way the first two thirds of the book are a bunch of wandering in the woods and re-visiting all JK Rowlings' favorite characters and locations, the movie evokes the frustrated stagnation of that part of the book very well.
However, there's just one thing... and this is something that, the more I see it, the more I think is just a lame, lazy cliche:
The superpower battle. Let me explain. (with apologies to Alice and the Mental Poo blog, where I got the inspiration to use illustrations I drew myself.)
It seems that wizards like nothing more than to give their enemies magic high-fives. Especially if their magics are different colors. I think that if your magic is the same color as another wizard's, you have to be friends.
And if you're the opposite (fire and water, for example, or oranges and toothpaste)? Enemies for sure!
Also, it's not only hands that can magic up a wizard fight:
It's seen most often in fantasy and science fiction. Especially anime. It happens so often I can't even begin to list them.
From Harry Potter alone (screenshots: these images don't belong to me, but to their respective copyright holders - JK Rowling and Warner Brothers film studio):
Movie 4: Goblet of Fire
I wonder how many superpower/magic duels there will be in movie 7-1.
This is one area where George Lucas went really, really right: his Bright Side Jedi can't shoot magic hand beams, so even though the bad ones can, most Jedi battle is done with lightsaber duels -- the other absolute coolest feature of the Star Wars universe, because sword fighting is the awesomest kind of combat (with the possible exception of really good, Tony Jaa storming the castle/Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris level hand combat), and there are no hand-beam battles in the Star Wars movies.
This is as close as they get: (screenshot from a youtube version of the battle between Emporor Palpatine and Mace Windu. Property of George Lucas: Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith)
Oh yeah. Superhero and comic book stories also like having their cliche fights.
(X-Men 3: The Last Stand screenshot: property of Stan Lee, Marvel Comics and 20th century Fox.)
These silly cliche battles are everywhere.
So, readers, what's your favorite superpower/magic power-beam duel? Let me know in the comments.
Also: what are some magic fights/superpower battles that have COOL effects, instead of just lame power-beam showdowns? Tell me in the comments.