Previews, mini-reaction version: Got there a bit late, but: whoever came up with Cowboys and Aliens should die swiftly, Green Lantern somehow looks stupider (did not think that was possible), I should not have been assaulted with more Yogi Bear when it already takes over TV commercials, I normally have no interest in Chronicles of Narnia but the big screen has the magic power to make fantasy look exciting, and I still don't get all the hate/mockery for "Red Riding Hood" because other than looking like it might have an uncomfortable and unnecessary amount of sexual content, it looks to have much potential in spite of its awful lead actress.
I think skipping the last movie broke the magic spell of the theater, because I spent a lot of this thinking that it would be just as good and a lot cheaper to watch this on DVD. Which I have never thought before about a movie in the theater. But! I went so that I could see the final one on time in theaters as well, and all things considered, it was better than the last film and very good in general. I only checked the time once, and that was only because I was trying to figure out how much more of the story was going to fit in part 1 once they got caught by Greyback & Co.
Actual Film Thoughts
-The opening, with eyes staring into the camera, was bizarre and uncomfortable. Why isn't that on the cutting room floor.
-The early scene at Malfoy Manor, however, yiiiiiikes. I probably hurried past it in the book, but this was really hard to watch (I mean that in the most complimentary way). SEVERUS, WE'RE FRIENDS. :'(
-Draco's face also did some excellent acting throughout.
-HEDWIG. :'( Pretty sure her death just got sadder.
-Still annoyed that Moody tramples over Tonks announcing her pregnancy. Have become OK with Lupin not making his chapter 11 appearance, though, since that means I can believe that in the AU that is the movie depiction of their relationship, they just have a nice, happy marriage. Also: post-danger hugging, yay! FILM HIGHLIGHT.
-I think everything about the various people returning to the Burrow was among the best parts of the film, though. Post-danger trio hug! And Fred & George, awwww.
-Casting of Bill Weasley: I approve. I almost hate Fleur less at this point as a result. I definitely approved of the wedding as soon as I heard the pretty music.
-Harry/Ginny, once we get past some super awkward dress-zipping (why is this film so much about the uncomfortable skin-baring), featured some lovely kissing. (with bonus Casually Random George on the scene: BEST.)
-Grimmauld Place, I see your "Ron had had a fit of gallantry and insisted Hermione sleep on the cushions from the sofa, so that her silhouette was raised above his. Her arm curved to the floor, her fingers inches from Ron’s. Harry wondered whether they had fallen asleep holding hands." visual. Good on you!
-Ron's splinching? Film highlight #3, #2 clearly being the above.
-The Long Slog of Wandering Times still drags down the plot, but to its credit it was a lot more fun to watch than it was to read about. The doe was particularly ethereal and beautifully done.
-Godric's Hollow was a really well done sequence, with a fine combination of heartache and HORROR.
-Movie Additions I Surprisingly Do Not Hate!: Harry coaxing Hermione up for a little dance to the music on the radio, dragging a smile out of her despite everything. Awww. That was just the most stellar, shining example of AMAZING FRIENDSHIP I have ever seen. Film highlight #4!
-Movie Embellishments I Unsurprisingly Hate A Lot: Here I thought Rowling was throwing everybody a nice bone by creating an excuse to have Harry & Hermione kiss without any complications, which I was actually sort of looking forward to a little, and then NO. GROSS. WHY. MY EYES. UNCLEAN. NINETY THUMBS DOWN.
-Prior to this movie, I utterly and completely forgot what the Deathly Hallows in the title referred to. I mean, not in the farthest corners of my brain did I connect them to the three objects, because that whole plot just went, whoosh!, over my head when I read the book. So thank you, movie, for making the plot accessible at last. I super-duper-enjoyed the visuals they used in depicting the Tale of the Three Brothers. Film highlight #5!
-Dobby was entertaining enough when he appeared, but his death still doesn't really affect me except in so far as it gives Ron excuses to hold Hermione. Priorities: I still have them, and they care way more about how Hermione was recently being tortured and still has a cut on her neck.
-Speaking of which! I am not blown away, but am content with how the torturing went down. My brain can never really envision the sound of bloodcurdling screams until it hears them, so that's helpful, and if we just combine that with Ron was half sobbing as he pounded the walls with his fists, and back to the movie version of Ron charging up the steps and catching Hermione when Bellatrix throws her forward, there is enough extra visual imagery to satisfy me.
-Also, I adore Bellatrix. Helena Bonham Carter is just amazing in this role, every time.
-Lastly, this is the first time I realized "Elder Wand" referred to the material it was made from. For the past 3 years I've read elder as in "older" without a second thought. Weird perspective shift.
Bring it on, part 2!