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I still stand by it: David Yates killed it.

darthorcruxdarthorcrux Posts: 584 ✭✭✭✭
And in a good way. His films are still easily my favorite Potter films. When I read the last few books I felt like whoever was directing had a daunting job ahead of them, and I cannot but help admire what Yates and Goldenberg and Kloves achieved. They're amazing films that better damn well be fucking applauded for years to come. I rewatch HBP, DH1 and DH2 frequently and as a huge book fan myself I can't help but feel totally satisfied and elated with how the films were handled. I love Azkaban and I love Alfonso, but beyond its cinematography I just don't think it's quite as great as what Yates did. Obviously anyone is free to disagree, but I think the love for what Cuaron did is mostly driven by his other works as a director and not necessarily the film he did make. Gravity was awesome but very barren and empty, IMO. It was cinematically awesome but once it was over I felt like it was good but that Children of Men and Azkaban were better.

That being said, again, I think in years, no decades on down the line Yates' work should be well appreciated and acknowledged. He bit off a huge chunk that few dare to, and absolutely ran with it and nailed it.

Comments

  • chesterchester Posts: 4,331 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Couldn't agree more. In retrospect i don't think a harry potter movie franchise could be handled better. The franchise really had it all, great writing and story, mesmerizing cinematography and a good cast.
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  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2014

    Obviously anyone is free to disagree, but I think the love for what Cuaron did is mostly driven by his other works as a director and not necessarily the film he did make.

    Not at all. I loved Azkaban before I watched his other films. What makes it better to me is how much more complete it feels. Not only in terms of having a stand-alone storyline, but everything is well-thought out and put in for a reason. Not once did it feel like fan service like in the first two films or on the rare occasion in the last two. Not once did it feel compressed and rushed like Goblet and Phoenix did at times. Azkaban takes its time to tell the story without rushing through it nor delving far too much into details. The pacing is glorious as it flows smoothly from scene to scene and the visual metaphors in the film are a well-thought out addition missing in the source material.

    Granted, Cuaron and Kloves had an easier task on Prisoner than Yates and Kloves had on the last massive books, but on the other hand Yates was given better source material and heavier themes. I'll be the first to admit that Yates' films are more complex, but that's to be expected in a maturing series. Cuaron's direction outshines what the other directors did in my opinion. Columbus was just bland and Newell made several strange directorial choices with his film that seemed rather arbitrary. Yates came closest to Cuaron. He is a talented and versatile director, but not without his faults. Most importantly Yates lacks Cuaron's superior intuition of pacing. Take the scene in Order of the Phoenix where the trio are laughing after Harry kissed Cho. A fine spontaneous moment which highlights one of Yates' strengths, but then he decided to cut to a nightmare scene for no apparent reason. Where is the connection between the two scenes? The scene fades to black and suddenly we are back to one of those dark hallways at the ministry. It has this terrible episodic feel to it. Maybe the point of it was to emphasize the contrast between good and darkness, but the cut just feels jarring and gives off the sense that film finally picks up the pace again after a little breaker. Thus the editing somehow makes the kissing scene and the previous scene seem totally unecessary in the context of the film. Basically the snake attack comes out of nowhere. It's just as bad as the transition from the yuleball to Harry's nightmare in Goblet of Fire.
  • Darth LedgerDarth Ledger Posts: 6,590 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Pacing is an individual thing with taste. I think Yates switches were a strength. I love the transitions in DH2 when the cup is destroyed and we go from Voldemort and Harry feeling the pain to the kiss to Voldemort screaming and obliterating the forcefield.

    Half Blood Prince was masterpiece in my opinion. That film was just so... Damn... Amazing. Hooper crafted the most underrated score in the series and it could not have been better placed in each scene.
    "If you make yourself more than just a man... If you devote yourself to an ideal... You become something else entirely- A Legend."

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  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2014
    Agreed about Hooper's score for HBP. Certainly the pacing for HBP was better than OotP's, which was just choppy, but it didn't always flow as elegantly as I'd wished. For instance the repetitive shots of Draco brooding rather than actually trying to fix the cabinet (which he did in a scene afterwards) is just bad storytelling. It would make more sense to show him work on the cabinet and show him brood afterwards to convey that he doesn't know how to fix it. I'm not sure what Yates was trying to communicate with that panning shot from Ron and Lavender to Draco brooding at the astronomy tower; it seemed to be all style over content. If it was trying to emphasize Draco's isolation from the rest of the students who are kissing and having fun, it was a waste of screentime considering the same point was repeated later on in the film, but I guess it was a little bit of foreshadowing. I do wish there was some actual narrative or thematic purpose behind the shot though.

    I can't say I agree about the transition in DH 2 from the kiss to Voldemort's fury. It was awkward I thought. Watch this video from 1:45:


  • MattCatMattCat Posts: 372 ✭✭✭
    This reminded me that he has new material coming out this month with Tyrant.

    He was the most interesting/intelligent director on the series. Also highly restrained, it was a breath of fresh air to see a blockbuster movie that wasn't just trying to be 'full out' epic but actually gave attention to the nuance and poetry of the storytelling. He made a good film from a bad script - Part 2 - so he deserves a lot of credit for that.
  • PumpkinjuicePumpkinjuice Posts: 2,317 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MattCat said:

    He made a good film from a bad script - Part 2 - so he deserves a lot of credit for that.

    Why do you think the script is bad? I haven't read it in its entirety.
  • Darth LedgerDarth Ledger Posts: 6,590 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Voldemort had some terrible moments in the final battle but thank God they were short.
    "If you make yourself more than just a man... If you devote yourself to an ideal... You become something else entirely- A Legend."

    image

  • Darth LedgerDarth Ledger Posts: 6,590 ✭✭✭✭✭
    They also.... Conveniently happened.... (when the script deviated from the book)


    The laugh was just as bad as the 'Dehh!' Moment from OotP
    "If you make yourself more than just a man... If you devote yourself to an ideal... You become something else entirely- A Legend."

    image

  • NumberEightNumberEight Posts: 1,574 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can forgive Yates's shortcomings when he decided to work with Delbonnel.

    http://www.diyphotography.net/harry-potter-half-blood-prince-cinematography-bruno-delbonnel/

    Pottermore username: DustBlade76

    So Crucify the ego, before it's far too late, to leave behind this place so negative and blind and cynical. And you will come to find that we are all one mind, capable of all that's imagined and all conceivable.
  • Darth LedgerDarth Ledger Posts: 6,590 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That was a great read.
    "If you make yourself more than just a man... If you devote yourself to an ideal... You become something else entirely- A Legend."

    image

  • TheDoctorTheDoctor Posts: 3,940 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have to agree with PumpkinJuice that PoA edges out all the others for pretty much the same reasons he stated. It told the story from a plot and character standpoint very well, had excellent pacing/editing, and was visually really good.

    For me, dh2 would beat Azkaban if it weren't for the flat climax of the film (basically everything after Harry's fake death). There were pieces to a good climax in there, but the lack of meaningful dialogue to the h/v duel, the lackluster procession scene, the lack of a shot of the crowd seeing voldemort finished, and the awkward transition from voldemort's death to the great hall scene (there needed to be something good between them) made the climax lean to the rushed/empty side (I also would have liked the great hall battle with the full bellatrix scene and a little more to the r/hr vs. nagini fight).

    ootp told the story well (imo), but the poor editing, pacing, and cinematography knocks it down a couple slots for me. Hbp is much better in those respects and is fun to watch, but didn't do a very good job with the story.
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