Yes, I was a little underwhelmed with the ending, too. Snape's temper tantrum is one of the most memorable parts of the book, and his anger over the escape and his loss of The Order of Merlin haunts him, and thus Harry and the others, down the line.
I was nice to see them being kids. I heard a lot of people complain that Daniel and the other kids were too old for their parts! I can only guess that these people are missing the fact that the kids are all within the same ages of their characters, and that each book/movie represents a year. A lot changes in a year for kids, especially between the ages of 11-14.
After seeing it, I'm not too upset that Cho Chang was cut from POA, but I can't imagine GOF without her. I hope they don't cut her again.
There's simply too much in the books to fit in the time slot of a childrens movie. There were many complaints about The Sorcerers Stone being much too long for kids to sit through, and even that movie cut 50% of the books content out. Since then, the books have gotten longer, and the movies shorter, which makes it worse.
And it's not just the Potter movies. I don't think I've ever seen a movie that lived up to the book that inspired it.
Also, besides the amount of content that makes it to the screen, there's also artistic interpretation. What the director sees for the film may not be what the readers imagined from reading the author's words, and as far as I'm concerned, no amount of special effects can top my imagination. As fantastic as Hogwarts looks in the movies, it doesn't compare with my imagined version of it -- but they have a budget to make Hogwarts, and I don't. I just read Rowlings descriptions and build it from there
I do think the movies have never lived up to the quality of the Harry Potter books -- for all the reasons trisha stated.
But, I have seen movies that I think are better than the books they're based on. Movies like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN. It seems to be a truism that bad books make great movies, and I tend to believe it. Anthony Burgess' A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is awful, but Kubrick's film is brilliant. Same with Patricia Highsmith's STRANGERS -- just not a great read (though I know she's got her fans, and I think the Ripley books are better), but Hitchcock's movie is fantastic.
A bad book lends itself better, I think, to adaptation because it frees the writer/director of the film to truly reimagine the material for a new medium, instead of being bound to essentially "translate" the material as faithfully as possible for the fans of the novel.
The Harry Potter books are such fun reads, and so successful as novels, that they carry big expectations from fans of the books. And, what it means to "translate" the work is slightly different for every reader.
Yes, clockwork orange was good. (It was on Bravo here yesterday)
But I thought the Lord of the Rings would be as good a movie as it was a literary trilogy. I wasn't disappointed. All three of the books as movies were wonderfully imaginative and true to the essence of the story.
I guess I was expecting that such an imaginatively rich work as the Harry Potter's would lend themselves easily to a visual medium like film. After all with film you have the added dimension of 'reality'. At least New Zealand seemed exactly like the Shire in my head!
Yet all the HPs have fallen flat for me. I watched and really didn't care what became of Harry whereas I couldn't put the book down until I finished it.
I think this is more than the high expectations set because of the success of the book. It seemed like the movie lost sight of why the books were successful and focussed more on... well that is the part I haven't figured out yet. Maybe special effects. Maybe bad actors in the part of Harry and young Weasly. I liked Hermione though. Anyhoo, I still can't put my finger on why I JUST DON'T CARE if Harry escapes Voldemorts clutches.
Unlike the Jason movies. I watched Jason IV, yes NINE the other day. Even though they are BAAD on all artistic, grammatical and even human levels I always have such fun cheering for Jason!
oh well, the arts are a mystery to me!
Last Edit: Jul 15, 2005 21:40:12 GMT -5 by Sirenna
I plan to read it eventually. I like the stories. But I'm definately avoiding the bookstores until the clerks stop dressing like wizards. I mean really: minimum wage and THAT too!!!! The poor sods.
Strangers on a Train was terrific. I didn't know it was a book though. On another level entirely, The Thornbirds was on the Women's channel here last week at 1:30am. (When I finish work late it takes me a couple of hours to wind down so I channel surf) That was good. It's a good story and a well-structured mini-series. I've watched several times now and I rember the first time it was aired. It was one of the first TV shows, that I remember that caused a public stir. Everyone seemed to be priority watching it. Compare that to what we prioritize now: Survivor, Big brother - yeesh. Anyway, seeing again, twenty-odd years later made me go to the library and take out the book (even though I know how the story ends). I love that about the arts. Good stories make you want to seek out their connections.
I have to report that I was one of those minimum wage slaves working at the local Border's when the fourth book came out, and it was actually a lot of fun. Kids were reading the books while they were in line; one twentysomething wore a T-shirt reading "Hooray for Neville Longbottom!"
Border's was a decent place to work, at least for a part time job. Great discounts, management that understood that it had to treat the staff decently because the job didn't pay much. Certainly beat a lot of jobs I've had.
So, am I the only one here who read The Half Blood Prince? I liked it much better than The Order of The Phoenix, so if anyone is hesitating to continue Harry's story after that book, this one will not disappoint.
I was debating but I guess I'll go out and buy one. I was at the bookstore today and noticed a box load of HPs displayed prominently at the front of the store. Are the sales lagging or something? The buzz seems to have died down pretty quickly over here.
Last Edit: Jul 24, 2005 17:17:16 GMT -5 by Sirenna