All Things Harry Potter
I am almost finished rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in anticipation of the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight tonight (although I won't be getting it until tomorrow). I also recently saw the movie The Order of the Phoenix. I thought it was okay but there were things I didn't like about it. A lot was cut from the book, not necessarily a bad thing as the book was quite long with a lot of things I could have missed. But this felt like a CliffsNotes version of the book with all the important stuff touched on but not really delved into. There were some great new characters but there wasn't enough of the supporting cast for my liking (oh, how I wanted more Tonks). The movie is called the Order of the Phoenix but we saw precious little of the Order themselves.
I loved Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge. She played this wonderfully awful character so perfectly. The way she dressed, her hair, her speech, the way she sipped her tea, those mewing cats on her office walls, all were brilliant. I've been a fan of Staunton for years. You may remember her from the movie Vera Drake or maybe from the series Little Britain but I remember her most from a British series I really enjoyed called "Is It Legal?" where she played Stella Phelps. I found it a bit hard to see Staunton as Umbridge first because I kept seeing her as Stella, but that went away and I soon came to dislike her as much as one should dislike the horrid Delores Umbridge. I also thought Luna Lovegood was well cast and well played by Evanna Lynch.
There were some slow parts in the movie and I felt it depended a lot on headlines from the Daily Prophet to explain things that they didn't have room for. This is the shortest HP movie but made from the longest book. The climactic scene was very good, if a little hard to follow at times with all the swirling going on. I'm glad I saw it but I'll say this. I have rented every other HP movie to watch again after I saw them in the theatre. I don't have any intention to do that with this one, at least not right now.
So, I'm all geared up for the final installment of Harry Potter, but I feel I must hide away from the world until I read it to the end. See, there are unscruplous people out there who put things in online forums like the name of some important character that has died (in the subject line, no less, so you just can't avoid it), even wear t-shirts with the important information on it: "Insert character name here dies". And the news will be filled with reports of reactions from readers. Someone on facebook will undoubtedly have their feelings about the book in their status section so I am staying away from the news and the Internet for the next little bit. I'll come back when I've finished reading. But don't worry, I won't tell you a thing. Well maybe I'll tell you if I liked it or not, but I've liked every HP book so I'm pretty sure that's a given.