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I can't tell you how much I loved this first episode of Tosh.0, I laughed so hard I almost puked! His opening monologue was just great - and his video slow-down of the guy trying to karate-chop coconuts was truly rocking! Yes, IMDb made me add the "G" at the end of that word. I'm going to have to make his show a regular thing! I've always thought he was funny and now a show that makes fun of the internet combining his sense of humor is just brilliant! The internet has been needing some dedicated fun-making for quite some time, and I think Daniel Tosh is just the comedian for the job. The redemption of the week looks like a good segment too... now I'm just stretching to fill the minimum comments length.
So while I wasn't amongst the insane group of fans that waited up for Midnight showings, I did wait in line today to see Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix with a lot of optimism and excitement based on my love of the book, the series, and some really great trailers.
My disappointment began as early as the opening scenes, and can be mostly attributed to poor acting and horribly bad casting.
The continuing travesty of miscasting is exemplified by Michael Gambon, series replacement for Richard Harris's brilliant portrayal of Albus Dumbledore. Gambon continues to almost single-handedly destroy the entire series. His lack of acting skill and any real understanding of the depth and playfulness of the character is truly appalling. In OOTP he is not nearly as bad as he was in Goblet of Fire but that is due mostly to his having less screen time. Can we please remove the ornament from his beard as well?
Due to severe space limitation I will only add a few words to each portrayal of character by actor and/or a note about the casting.
Vernon Dursley - Richard Griffiths continues to overact and gets worse with each film. Petunia Dursley - Fiona Shaw is moderately more tolerable here than previously - her worst by far was the first film. Severus Snape - Alan Rickman continues his brilliance despite hard limitations on screen time and screenplay adaptations. Sybill Trelawney - Emma Thompson continues to grace the screen with acting brilliance and humility to submit to such a small role. Minerva McGonagall - Maggie Smith, like Alan Rickman, holds these films together - she deserved much more room in this screenplay adaptation. Mrs Figg - Kathryn Hunter, BY FAR the worst new portrayal, is terrible and horribly miscast. Luna Lovegood - while Evanna Lynch is getting some critical praise, I think it is undeserved and that she is also miscast. Molly Weasley - Julie Walters has so much potential to be a great Molly but has never quite grasped the worrisome mother hen nature of the character. Her costuming in this new film is just embarrassing instead of funny. Arthur Weasley - Mark Williams is again underwhelming, and is only worth mentioning because his hair stylist did an even more humiliating job here than in GOF. Nymphadora Tonks - newcomer Natalia Tena is another severely miscast actor - do these casting directors even READ the books? Alastor Moody - Brendan Gleeson is again brilliant and a great fit. Bellatrix Lestrange - Helena Bonham Carter is just about right, hard to tell with such a shortened film adaptation and limited screen time. Sirius Black - Gary Oldman is a competent Sirius and shows us a bit more here than he did in POA. Voldemort - Ralph Fiennes is brilliant and as much a gift to the series as Rickman, Thompson, Smith and Coltrane are. Dolores Umbridge - Imelda Staunton is perhaps Oscar-nomination worthy in perhaps the clearest understanding and portrayal of a Rowling character since Richard Harris' Dumbledore.
I could go on and on, but am out of room. I thank God that I have the books and my own imagination to fill in the gaps of the movies and the poor casting and performances. You may have noticed that I have made no comment about Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville or Ginny. I just don't have room, but think basically that all 5 are doing well and are pretty well cast. Daniel has been better in previous films but still does well here. Rupert is doing much better and is past his hiccup overact in GOF's early scene. Emma is vastly improved and we're just blocking out how poorly she did in the first film. Matthew is finally getting to show us more than physical comedy. I can't wait to see how Bonnie Wright (the actress playing Ginny) breaks out in the next 2 films. She has definite potential.