16 August 2007
This is the first of the movies not to contain any scenes of quidditch, the broom-flying polo-like game that was a motif running through all its precursors.
The fifth book in the series does involve some quidditch, but most of it doesn't involve Harry. If I recall correctly (it has been some time since I read it) Harry had to quit the team due to his detentions assigned by the despicable Dolores Umbridge. This meant that Ron had to step up and play a bigger role in upholding Griffindor over the playing fields of glory.
That was a subplot that, in the novel, shows Ron's increasing self-confidence.
But there is so much else going on that I can understand how the director found it dispensable.
There was other excisions that I found regrettable, though, some of them worked to diminish the importance of the character Luna Lovegood. One of the major themes in the book is that Luna's father is the publisher of a disreputable supermarket-style tabloid. Not nearly as prestigious as the Daily Prophet. Yet the Daily Prophet is lying about Harry (we get some sense of this in the movie, too) while the rumor-moongering tabloid is telling the truth about him (we get no sense of this in the movie at all.)
Indeed, Luna's father is reduced to a single bit of dialog. Luna tells Harry "my father and I believe you," but that his father might be a person whose credence matters goes right by us.
It turned out to be a perfectly decent movie, but not by any means as good as some of its precursors. As always: read the book.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.