Uncertainty can be a guiding light (?)

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

I am a movie snob. An unabashed, unashamed, unwavering movie snob. And movies made from books are one thing that make my nose tip up disdainfully higher than nearly anything else. (Except, of course, the people who say they’ve never “seen” Pride and Prejudice, or Lord of the Rings, or Possession… THEY’RE BOOKS. YOU READ THEM!!!)

I love Harry Potter. As an awkward pre-teen, I waited eagerly in line with my sister for each book, yawning in the dim midnight streetlights of the McNally parking lot, making hurried McDonald’s runs to fortify our long wait. When the fifth book came out, I stayed up until 5am reading as far as I could, only to get up at 7am for my aunt’s wedding rehearsal, where I was singing at the  reception. When the first movie made its appearance, my sister and I were again waiting eagerly in line, making hurried popcorn runs as the trailers slowly made their way off-screen.

But then… disappointment. The movies didn’t come close to the magic of the books. Worse, they dampened and diluted the magic of Hogwarts, chopping the storylines to tasteless bits and diminishing any character development to bright lights and big hair. In short: I hated the movies. And will loudly judge anyone who thinks otherwise.

But now? I have two respected creeters claiming exactly the opposite. Which is making me consider giving movie #6 another chance.

Erin- and Rachel-creeter, what have you done?!

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6 thoughts on “Uncertainty can be a guiding light (?)

  1. POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT

    I understand your stance of books turned movies, and it is a stance that is almost completely held up by not-so-wonderfully-made films of wonderfully-written books.

    Harry Potter is not a huge exception to that. If you did not like the first one, you most likely will not like the sixth one, or any other Harry Potter movie that has been released.

    As a former Film Major however, I will tell you that the direction, the cinematography, the acting, and the special effects are by far at their best in the Half Blood Prince. The actors have really come into their own, and the humor that came through from the director (most likely because he’s British) is brilliant.

    All of these factors make this movie the best of the series (expect for maybe the fourth movie, which held very true to the story and had a nice, steady flow).

    My parents saw the sixth movie and thought that it felt more like a checklist of events, rather than a good movie. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I can definitely see how it could be viewed as a checklist.

    But, and this is a big but, I didn’t expect the movie to be like the book. In fact, I NEVER expected the movies to be like the book. It must come from years of disappointment in movies based on my favourite books, but I have learned to accept that in no way whatsoever is the film going to do the book justice. You’re absolutely right. The thing I miss the most is the wonderful character development. It’s severely lacking in the movies, and it makes the tragedies seem dull.

    For example, my biggest pet peeve in the fifth movie was the little attention given to Sirius and Harry’s relationship. So when he dies in the end, it’s entirely anti-climactic and not as tragic as it was in the book. I mean…this is the only parental figure (besides the Weasleys, of course) that he ever had! The only person he felt connected to in that special parent way! Ugh. But then…I just decided to get over it and embrace it as a free-standing movie.

    I recommend doing that, because they are quite enjoyable, one you get over the disappointment.

    Anyhow…comment over…sorry so long.

    Have a good day!

  2. I agree with Erin. If you didn’t like the first ones, you probably won’t like this one.

    I do think Half-Blood Prince is a lot better than the first two movies, though, since the child stars have grown into much better actors (except Hermione, who turns out to only be able to do a few emotions; thankfully those emotions are actually present in this film, so it works out). The director is much more stylistic with the presentation of this film, too, so it’s easier to set the movies apart from the books in my mind.

    Because I started reading the books long before I saw the movies, I still picture the characters how I always did rather than as the actors.

    I watched the first movie after it was on DVD, and only because my friend told me Oliver Wood was hot (hahaha) so I didn’t feel disappointment from all the anticipation.

    Since the second one, I’ve seen every movie at midnight showings, more because I’m excited about the world of Harry Potter than because I expect the movies to be fantastic. They’re usually better than I tell myself they’re going to be.

    My favorites are the third (it’s directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who is amazing), the fifth (it’s my favorite book, and while the movie does not elicit the same punch-the-air awesomeness as the book, I love seeing Dumbledore’s Army, and Neville has a chance to shine), and the sixth (Malfoy, Slughorn, and Felix Felicis pretty much make the film).

    What’s interesting, is that Erin said her favorite is the fourth movie, and that one is by far my least favorite. I thought that one was choppy and went from scene to scene too quickly. I love it, still, because it brings to life the boarding school feeling of Hogwarts (there’s even a fashion trend, with the boys wearing their hair long).
    And because it has David Tennant (from Doctor Who) as Barty Crouch, Jr. (though even he is barely in it).
    But every time I watch it I get very upset at the dragon scene. They cut so much out in order to simplify the plot, and yet they took a minor scene and dragged it out just so they could have special effects of a dragon chasing Harry around the towers of Hogwarts. I mean, come on. Like the professors would really put the dragon on such a weak chain. It’s not even plausible that the dragon would leave her nest to chase Harry, when the whole purpose is to protect her eggs. I’m getting angry just thinking about it. Haha. They seriously blew that scene way out of proportion, when they could have used the time and money to keep in more important things, or at least expand the numerous short scenes they had.

    Aaaand, venting over. Haha.

    All that said, I have a rule not to read the books anytime before or after watching the movies, just to make sure I properly separate them in my mind. I kind of broke the rule this time, because I’m reading the books again right now. But it seems to be going okay so far. Ha.

  3. The fourth movie isn’t my favourite…I guess I did make it seem that way…but I thought that it was probably most true to the book. That is definitely due to the fact that it all revolved around the tri-wizard tournament…so if you get all the tasks in there, you’re pretty much set.

    I actually love the 6th one, but think the direction in the 3rd one may be the best. Plus…I LOVE Lupin.

    The 5th movie is also awesome (my favourite book also…or maybe the 7th…I still haven’t made up my mind yet)…but my favourite part about the 5th book (when Harry starts teaching them defense against the dark arts and he realizes he’s good at it…a moment where he really comes into his own as a wizard) was not done as well as I would have liked in the movie.

    Side note: Rachel…was it I who told you that Oliver Wood was hot? Cause that’s definitely one reason why I loved the first one. Hah.

    I am actually listening to all of the books right now on CD. It’s a great experience, and I HIGHLY recommend it. I am listening to the 4th one right now, and you’re totally right about the dragon scene. One of the best things about that part in the book is that no one had any great expectations for him to succeed…and because he used his broom, he was the quickest to finish the task, which gave everyone much more confidence in him, and, in turn, he had much more confidence in himself. I was quite disappointed in that scene as well.

    Anyhow. I love excuses for chatting about Harry Potter! Thanks!

  4. Erin, are you listening to soothing voice of Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter? I haven’t heard any of the audiobooks, but I really want to because I absolutely love Stephen Fry. (Speaking of, you need to watch A Bit of Fry & Laurie, it has him and Hugh Laurie! In the 80s! Doing amazing comedy sketches! Huzzah!)

    It was MaMu (Amanda) who told me to watch HP because of Oliver Wood. Haha. But I do remember you mentioning you couldn’t wait for the fourth movie to see who they got to play Cedric….and then being disappointed. Hahaha.

  5. Actually…it’s the wonderfully talented voice of Jim Dale that does the Harry Potter books. It’s brilliant. Truly.

    And yes, Cedric. Much cuter as a pale and brooding vampire, I’ll admit.

  6. Then I guess Stephen Fry just does the UK version. I didn’t realize they would do different versions for the audiobooks, too. But I guess that makes sense.

    I’m reading the UK versions of the books right now. I like them so much better. But then, I’m a fan of both British phrases and original versions of things. Ha.

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