Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Slightly Worrisome Order of Phoenix Note

From AICN:

The movie isn’t flawless. It clocks in at 2 hours and 18 minutes, making it the shortest of the series. . .

The longest book becomes the shortest movie? Quint also writes, "Neville’s involvement in the prophecy is completely removed and the occulemency lessons with Snape are significantly pared down."

Those are two important things, no?


Anonymous said...

That's not enough information to be worrisome.

1. Sorcerer's Stone was essentially the movie version of a book-on-tape, a near page-for-page filming of the text. It is also the least interesting and re-watchable movie of the series so far. These two facts are not coincidental, so bully to the producers for not trying to cram everything in.

2. Snape's occlumency lessons were a big part of my memory of reading Order of the Phoenix. But having just reread the book, I was surprised by how little of the occlumency lessons we see. We only actually see about one and a half lessons take place. Big impact on the story, very little literary screen time. The movie shouldn't spend much time with the lessons, as long as it includes the five minutes or so of critical plot-advancement that's in the book.

3. Neville's possible involvement in the prophecy is the kind of confusing red herring of a detail that works well in a book but not so often in a film. "Wait, so Neville could be the chosen one and the whole series is about the wrong boy?" "No, once Voldemort heard the prophecy and concluded that the Potters were the threat, that made the prophecy about Harry after all." "So the actual prophecy has nothing whatsoever to do with Neville?" "Right." "So why did the director waste precious screen time talking about Neville and the prophecy?"

Running time is a zero-sum game. Spending the 10 minutes or more necessary to introduce and then dismiss Neville's possibly-but-not-really involvement in the prophecy would require cutting that many minutes of other things. Any suggestions of what to eliminate? Occlumency lessons, perhaps? (Hopefully, the first 50 pages of the kids cleaning a dusty house are already in the rubbish bin.)

Anonymous said...

I am a little worried about the film as well, but I'll be there tomorrow morning (going tonight, JVL?) One of the things that to me seems worrisome is how they are expanding Luna, and the whole, "I feel so angry all the time" scene just grates on me, for reasons I cannot explain. I disagreed with you on Goblet, because I thought too much plot was sacrificed for inconsequential fluff. For me, GoF is the least rewatchable (It's stylistically brilliant, but what I loved about Goblet never made it film, let alone the cutting room floor), and PoA the most of the four films, thus far. Hopefully, OotP will supplant PoA, but at this point, I'm nervous.