Which (if any) of the films have made you angry because they've ignored important parts of the book?
OH DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THIS ONE.
No, actually this is the perfect time and place to get me started so let’s do this.
The first two films managed to more or less capture the books insofar as a movie adaptation can capture a book. Of course, there were a few minor things like Nearly Headless Nick’s deathday party but to be honest, I don’t give a damn about Nearly Headless Nick or his deathday so I’m willing to be forgiving for cutting such small things in the interest of saving time. HOWEVER, the one thing that did annoy me about CoS was Hermione crying because Malfoy called her a Mudblood. Not only did Hermione not know what a Mudblood was, she didn’t really care. Ron was the one to explain it in the book, but once you take a close look at the movies you see some Flanderization of the characters, namely in Ron who exists precisely for comedy relief. Hermione might be the genius of the group but she was raised in the muggle world—it makes a lot more sense for Ron to be the one to explain what “Mudblood” means given that it’s something specific to wizarding culture rather than something to be learned about in a book.
In the case of the third movie, they did a decent job of preserving the story but there were a few sacrifices made. For example, it never explains who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are, or why the map is significant in this respect. I also did not get the point of Sirius sending the broomstick at the end of the movie rather than at Christmas. I guess they wanted to avoid the whole subplot with Harry and Ron being mad at Hermione but shoehorning it in at the end there felt lazy (and Harry’s weird face freeze frame, oh Lord) and I felt like they were trying to avoid having to write in tension amongst the main trio since the only “fight” we see is some brief bickering between Ron and Hermione about Scabbers. It irritates me a bit once I look back on it since the characters are rather simplified from their book counterparts, and the complexity of the friendship suffers as well. It seems that the writers wanted to avoid interpersonal conflict whenever possible, perhaps since they didn’t think it would translate as well to film, perhaps for time constraint reasons, perhaps because they like plot-driven stories more than character-driven stories, perhaps because they didn’t think it’s as important as I do. I don’t know. Moving on.
The fourth movie is where this really became a problem for me. First of all--where are the house elves? The house elves were important, damn it. The entire twist with Winky was BRILLIANT. FREAKING. BRILLIANT. Not to mention Dobby because quite important in the last novel and was just one of the many things they had to randomly shoehorn in. (Like Bill Weasley—he gets his introduction in this book and gets an incredibly belated introduction, werewolf scars and all, in movie seven. Neither hide nor hair is seen of Charlie.) They simplified this movie. My best friend who had never read the books saw the movie and guessed the ending. Really now? Barty Crouch Jr. is disguised as Moody, okay. He has this little twitch that was added in there, I guess as their idea of foreshadowing since they couldn’t have it come completely out of left field now that they were dropping all the plot and everything. The best part, though, is Dumbledore’s comment that the dementors will find that they’re missing a prisoner or however that line went.
OKAY—so we have a guy who escaped from Azkaban—no, wait, didn’t we have that in the last book and it was such a huge deal because Azkaban was impossible to escape from? Isn’t that part of what made Sirius Black so dangerous supposedly—being the only one to escape this heavily guarded island fortress? But here’s it’s just given a passing, “Oh, well, you can exit stage left now.”
Order of the Phoenix was my least favorite movie precisely because of how much was cut. You could have called it Harry Potter: Abridged. Since there is just SO MUCH I would have to talk about to cover everything that made me grate my teeth I’m just going to hone in on one very important thing—Snape’s Worst Memory. I was so looking forward to seeing young Snape and young Lily and the young Marauders and just watching that brilliant scene play out—it’s my favorite scene from that book. I’ve often gone back just to read that one particular chapter. And they turned it into some thirty second insignificant clip. Why exactly was this scene Snape’s worst memory? Well you won’t know if you only watch the movies. There’s so much more I can address—Harry and Cho Chang and why he ended their doomed-to-fail budding romance (you’re an asshole for that one, movie!Harry), the introduction of the wonderful Luna Lovegood (why the hell does Hermione know who she is?), Fred and Harry being banned from Quidditch, the scene in St. Mungo’s, MORE ELVES (and why does Hermione know what the Room of Requirement is?) Sirius giving Harry the mirror which becomes very important in book seven, the brilliant scene with the Quibbler and Rita Skeeter, Molly’s boggart(s)…I could go on. They kept the one thing I wish they would have left out which was Grawp.
I’m going to be unique in my complaints for movie six and whine that they added in something—namely, that scene with the burrow. What the fuck. It wasn’t in the books. It served no purpose. It was never addressed again afterward. The only positive thing it brought to the table was to give Helena Bonham-Carter more screen time. They could have dedicated the time to much better scenes which were actually in the book. In particular, they could have done a better job with the Sectumsempra scene. Why does Snape just watch Harry run past him after he attacked a student? A student from Snape’s own house much less? What were the writers thinking with that one? Instead of having Snape righteously flip his shit, we’re treated to a weird scene in which Ginny and Harry go to hide the potions textbook in the Room of Requirement, make out, and then flout consequences. Given that I’m pretty sure Snape gets out of bed in the morning to punish Harry, he would not pass up an opportunity to get Harry expelled for attacking another student. He’s tried to get him expelled for much less. You really flubbed that one, writers.
Also: the entire battle at the end of that movie. They killed Dumbledore and were like, ‘lol bye ya’ll.’ I am very disappoint.
As for the last two movies, I’m quite okay with how they turned out. DH was my least favorite of the books and I don’t have much to nitpick beside the fact that people were WATCHING the battle between Voldemort and Harry and the whole Lupin/Tonks/Teddy thing. Why was Teddy thrown in there during the Resurrection Stone scene and literally never talked about before or again? Weirdest shoehorn of them all.