Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ranking the Potter films

Now that all the Harry Potter films have been made and I've seen them all, I've decided to rank them from my favorite to not so favorite. I've seen the last three in the last month and the rest I've seen in the last year, so they're all fairly fresh in my mind. I've decided to mesh Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 as one movie since they both are adapted from the same book. My ranking may surprise you - or not!

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 7th movie (Part 1 - 2010, Part 2 - 2011)
Since the last book got the advantage of getting two movies out of it, it's probably the most faithful to the book. Sure, they did leave out the Dumbledore backstory, but for the most part, I believe every scene in the book is in the film. I ranked this as my favorite because by now you've really gotten to know the characters and have become quite attached to them. It also helps immensely that Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have grown immensely as actors since the first film. There's something extremely satisfying seeing all these character arcs come to a conclusion, Snape's being a good example of this. I'll admit I like Part 2 a little more than Part 1 and if I were ranking them individually, I'd place Part 2 as #1 and Part 1 as #4. I do think of them as one big film (obviously) because if somebody started watched Part 2 without ever seeing Part 1, they'd probably be confused. Come to think of it, if they started watching Deathly Hallows without even watching the previous six movies, they'd probably be confused too! I really love the ending, which at first I was ambivalent to, but now that I've had to think about it, I really love how the camera closes in on Harry, Hermione, and Ron on the train station watching their kids (the next generation!) head to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express. They could have skipped the epilogue and just ended with 17-year-old Harry, Hermione, and Ron outside the torn-down castle. You would've known that Voldemort was defeated, but with the added epilogue you know that Hogwarts is still up and running. (Of course it is - they're wizards! All they have to do is point their wands at the rubble and say "Reparo!") And the scenes that made me cry both in the book and film is when we find out that Harry named his son Albus Severus (unfortunate name, but it's sweet they named him after Dumbledore and Snape) and how his son was worried about being sorted into Slytherin and Harry tells him he was named after a Slytherin who was one of the bravest men he knew, and oh my goodness, that gets me every time!

2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 4th movie (2005)

I realize this is a hugely unpopular opinion placing this movie so high when it seems like so many people don't like it, although of the eight movies it's the third highest ranked at Rotten Tomatoes. I really enjoy this movie, though. Of all the films, I think it's the most cinematically-friendly (thought Part 2 is probably tied with it in that aspect). This was the first movie where I liked the ending and I've had problems with Ron and Hermione's characters in the previous three films, but they feel more faithful to the book in this one. It's true that Robert "Sparkling Vampire" Pattinson as Cedric has tainted the film a little for me, but hey, now we can watch Voldermort kill Edward Cullen! Kidding aside, it was a sad scene when Harry brings him back and his dad breaks down. This movie certainly has its dark moments as we get to see Voldemort for the first time, but there's also some nice light scenes and comedic moments such as McGonagall teaching the students how to dance for the upcoming Yule Ball and asking Ron to be her partner, Snape slamming Harry and Ron's face into their desks, and I love the way Fred asks Angelina to the dance. And even though I don't think it's in the book and it's a little out of character for him, I always laugh when Harry is being cocky after he's mastered the First Task and is egging (PUN!!!!) the Gryffindor students on whether he should open the egg or not. Hell, I'll even admit that the long hair is kinda cute on him, though I don't know why Ron, Fred, and George have the same hair cut as well - must have been all the rage back then! (It worked better on Harry than on Ron, though). Also liked all the tasks, the Yule Ball, Mad-Eye Moody, Harry and Ron trying (unsuccessfully) to find dates to the Yule Ball, and probably the most unintentionally hilarious conversation in all the Potter films when Harry tells Ron, "Look, I don't know what happened last night and I don't know why, it just did." I had the most fun watching this one when I saw it in the theaters.

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 6th movie (2009)
I probably like this movie a little more than others because I am a H/G and R/Hr shipper, so of course I would like this one! I thought the Harry and Ginny moments were really cute even though none of them were from the book and I did enjoy Ron being jealous of Cormac and Hermione being jealous of Lavender, though I felt bad for Hermione when she saw Ron and Lavender snogging, as they say in Britain. Of course, Hermione ended up with Ron and Lavender ended up....dead. Poor Lavender :-( I really enjoyed Jim Broadbent as Slughorn - he 
was just so gosh darn cute! I believe this was the first movie since GoF where we didn't see Voldemort, we just learned about Tom Riddle's backstory and his quest to learn about Horcruxes which I found very interesting.

Bit of a gap here...

4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2nd movie (2002)
I wasn't sure which one to rank next, but I decided to go with this one, because even though it doesn't hold up as well as other Potter films after the first (or second, or third) viewing, I gotta give the casting people props for casting Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy. I only knew him as Colonel Tavington from The Patriot and I knew he would make a great Mr. Malfoy because, damn, he is EVIL in The Patriot. I mean, anybody who locks a bunch of people in a church and sets it on fire is one big bastard. I admit that I silently cheered whenever he hit Dobby with his cane because Dobby was so annoying in this! (I liked him much better in the 7th movie - too bad they killed him when I was just starting to warm up to him!) The movie is pretty dark with the whole Tom Riddle's diary trying to possess Ginny and I thought it was cute that Harry saved her from the chamber when we all know she's become his girlfriend a few years down the road. Also thought it was cute when Hermione hugged Harry after she was released from the hospital from being petrified, but she and Ron just shook hands. However, this movie probably has the worst ending of all the Potter films. It's so stupid - why is everyone gathered around Hagrid and cheering for him?

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 5th movie (2007)
The main reason I have this so low down on my ranking is because I can barely remember anything about the movie even though I've seen it about three times. I remember certain things like Umbridge (portrayed grandly by Imelda Staunton) and Harry giving encouraging words to his peers in Dumbledore's Army and Fred and George's final goodbye as well as thinking how it was weird that Cho was kissing Harry in front of a photo of her dead boyfriend.  Who died just last year. Who was murdered by Voldemort. Nice, Cho. I guess I remember more than I thought, but the rest I barely remember. I hardly remember seeing it in the theater, though I looked back at my LiveJoural and wrote that I wasn't very fond of it. I didn't like that Cho was the snitch and that the whole class received the same punishment that only Harry got in the book. I don't even remember how this one ends. (I know Sirius died, but that's only because I remember it from the book!)

6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 3rd movie (2004)
I know this is a very unpopular opinion because it seems this is the most loved of all the Potter films. I know most film geeks rank this as their number Potter movie because it was directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Now I love Y Tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men, but I can't say that I love this movie. There are certain things I like about it such as the time turner storyline and the subtle touches of magic in the background. However, I hated the characterizations of Ron and especially Hermione. I thought they were both out of character. Go back and read my review of this movie and you'll see why it drives me crazy. Sorry, Cuaron fanboys, but just because he directed this does not make it the Best! Potter! Film! Ever! (Though I blame Steve Kloves for all the things I really hate about this one). But I really hated that shrunken head on the bus which I assume was Cauron's idea.

7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 1st movie (2001)
Being this is the first movie, it doesn't hold up as well as the later ones and everytime I watch it, it seems to lose its magic just a little. As cute and adorable Daniel, Emma, and Rupert are as Harry, Hermione, and Ron (I just want to scoop them up and put them in my pocket!), my God, they are just awful in this! Now I understand they were quite young and this was their first really big acting gig for all of them, so I can forgive them, but yeah, I think even they knew they were bad in this. I will give Chris Columbus credit for the casting and setting up the world for Harry Potter. I may rank this as my least favorite Potter film, but I certainly don't hate it - I don't hate any of them; I just like some more than others!

No comments:

Post a Comment