Okay, here it is…. the Harry Potter review!! Are you excited? I am! So we went to the local Ubertheater for the midnight showing, d/h, a curtain climber, and myself, thinking it would be a marvel to be one of the first to see this marvelous film. Alas, it was not to be. The curtain climber got a headache 20 minutes into the film (just when it was getting good too…) and we had to leave. Take 2. An afternoon showing on opening day. Just d/h and myself this time (to prevent any further aborted viewings). Ah, the joy of the Ubertheater. Where else (besides home) can you have fresh pizza with your film? Not at the dollar 5th run theater, surely. Good pizza too, but I digress…. At the outset, I expected to have much of the book material cut out (have you seen it? It’s a tome….took me two whole days to read it!) Also, I am wary of the editing because I feel that you lose a lot of life when too much of the story is lost. HOWEVER, that was not to be the case with this particular film— just imagine my joy!!! Although they did cut much out, and there were scenes I had sincerely hoped to see on film that I didn’t, I feel that a fine job was done by all involved in this one. Truly, my vindictive side would have been served well to see Umbridge gibbering in the hospital wing after being accosted by the Centaurs, but I suppose that’s why I have the books. I was not initially impressed by the cast for Umbridge (too thin for one thing), but the woman in the role portayed her as she was– poison hidden, then just covered by saccharine- and did quite a nice job of it at that. I was quite excited to see Helena Bonham-Carter as Bellatrix (one of my faves), hope she’s in the next one when we’ll see more of Bellatrix. The kids did their jobs well, but I wish they hadn’t have cut Harry’s hair. I liked it unkempt. The director this time did indeed make it quite dark physically and did a good job with the contrasts, too. In the Christmas scene with the Weasleys I noticed it especially. Poor Harry, on the outside again– at least he had Sirius out there (for a while). I thought they should’ve kept the book version of the death gate for Sirius’ departure. A frayed, opaque, black curtain hanging in the arch would’ve allowed the disbelief on Harry’s part and I feel that that was a pretty major issue for this part. It took him a moment to truly accept that Sirius wasn’t coming out from behind the curtain. Ever. Although I don’t think anyone can ever be as good a Dumbledore as Richard Harris, the current guy is making the effort (I do wish they’d do a better job with his beard tho, it looks FAKE), and he did better in this one than the others. Oh how I wish they’d done the brain room!!! That would’ve been soooo cool! Ah well, can’t have it all I guess. Overall, I’d say they all did a great job though (much better than Goblet). The places where material had to be cut, they made an effort for it to be seamless and it shows. There are lots of things I wish had been kept in (have I already said this?), but for what they used it was a job well done. I don’t think it is my favorite (how could they skip the swamp??? And they downplayed Neville’s progress!!) but it’s not my least favorite either. I’d say…. B-. Go see it. It’s worth seeing at the theater (all the Potter films are….) Have some popcorn, maybe a slice of good pizza, and hopefully a lively crowd (nothing like having everyone around you cheer when the bad guy gets theirs….) And for the space of the movie, forget the books. Allow David Yates, Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, et al to lure you into a tale of danger and magic, and forget that any other story exists….. After all, isn’t that what the theater is for?