I was in the unusual position of NOT following the Harry Potter series for the last decade. I haven't read the books (though I plan to), and up until two weeks ago I'd only ever seen the first movie. I figured I needed to watch at least one in theatres (and I promised some friends I'd go with them to the finale midnight release,) so I caught up with the rest of the world and watched the others. And whaddayaknow, I really liked them. I think by not having read the books, I was immune to most of the complaints, which seemed to stem more from material that was cut or changed rather than the actual content of the movie.
A few random thoughts. Spoilers below.
- What's the point of Ravenclaw & Hufflepuff? I mean, Gryffindor is good and Slytherin is bad, and the other two are just kinda... there. Do they serve any purpose in the books, because I can think of one noteworthy student from Hufflepuff and that's it. I figure any student who winds up in one of those has got to feel shafted, because they know they're destined for a life of not mattering.
- If they openly admit that Slytherin is the evil house and that any wizard who's gone bad has been from Slytherin, why the hell do they keep training little snake kids? Yes, I know Snape wasn't really evil, but that doesn't excuse the rest of the house or explain why they train them all to be dicks (because they really do.)
- That said, do we really want to send a message that internment camps are a good idea? McGonagall schooling Snape was cool and all, but I do question her decision to send all of Slytherin house to the dungeons. Yeah, send the girl who wanted to turn over Harry, but at least give the others a choice before you treat them like the Japanese in WWII (because that worked out so well.)
- As long as we're on Snape, the flashback scenes were amazing. You go, Alan Rickman.
- Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have really come into their own as actors. Watson in particular really shines; she's definitely learned from Rickman how to say volumes with just a look. Can't wait to see what they do next.
- Did J.K. Rowling just completely ban Americans from being in these movies? I don't recall a single American actor in any of them.
- Why didn't anyone just try shooting Harry or Voldemort? You know... with a gun. Oh sure, it's not flashy, but it's damned effective. Just ask Tara.
- As far as deaths go, it would have been nice if we had actually seen more of the characters die. It always feels unceremonious to me when important characters die offscreen.
- Loved that epilogue. After following the trio for seven years of school, that's exactly the conclusion the series needed to give a nice sense of closure.