Harry Potter 4 Review.
Oh, man. What a disappointment. You've probably already seen the movie--or else you're the kind of person who's going to go no matter what I say.
Nevertheless. Don't go! Don't gooooooooo!
Ray and I tried to go on Saturday. We got to the theater at 10 a.m. Everything up to 9:45 p.m. was SOLD OUT. We went back on Sunday at noon and got tickets for a 6:05 showing. Lucky us!
The theater attendants led us in the wave. We watched ten minutes of ads and previews...and then, the movie. How do I describe it? This is the kind of book adaptation where a complicated plot, rich characters, and heavyweight themes are reduced to a few mis-timed facial flickers and sideways glances, while the bulk of the movie has been given over to SPECIAL EFFECTS!!! and COVER BANDS!!!
Ugh. Case in point: Alan Rickman, i.e., Snape, has maybe ten lines in the entire movie--and he doesn't bother to piss anybody off.
All right. That being said, there was some excellent acting: Michael Gambon as Dumbledore shows all the care and fear that will lead him into keeping secrets from Harry in the next movie; Shirley Henderson* as Moaning Myrtle captures all the ickiness of teenage ghost lust you could ever want to avoid; Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort moves so smoothly his gauze cape looks like CGI--and manages to show all the fear and pride that could drive a human being into becoming just his sort of monster. The three main characters could have done better, but I don't think they had the direction they needed to be up to their Harry Potter 3 standard.
To sum up: a generally clumsy adaptation of a difficult book. Poor script and bad direction. Good acting from some seasoned pros. Motto: special effects still don't justify themselves, even if they are top-of-the-line CGI.
*Who is older than I am.