Title: Just finished watching Harry Potter 6
Posted: November 02, 2010 (12:43 AM)
Don't know what everyone feels about Harry Potter. I can go into a lot of detail later if the subject takes off, but for now I'll be brief.
I read all the books, as they came out, and enjoyed them very much though I believe that the build up couldn't be matched properly with Rowling's writing ability. Actually, her descriptions are incredible for the amount of information they get across without falling into the old boredoms of descriptive literature. But her dialogue is terrible and her attempts at Romance are weak. I also have a special hatred for the ending of the series, which I won't go into right now except to say it's absolutely saccharine.
so that's the books. The films I have a lot of reservations about. I'm someone who believes (and has some working experience to back up this belief) that when you cross mediums you often have to make drastic changes. In the case of Harry Potter, every film after film 3 (which I thought was the best thus far) has not made enough changes. They have tried to cram 400-800 pages of book (most of it plot) into 180 pages of script. It just doesn't work.
They end up coming across as snapshots from the books meant for people who have read the books. Much like what happened with Watchmen, where only the surface-level emotions, characters, and plot come across. The subtler nuances, the deeper twists, are all gone. This is to be expected: while I'm very excited that the last film is being done in two parts, it was hardly feasible for EVERY one of the films to be treated as such, despite needing it, especially book 4.
The proper answer would've been, ironically, to cut more... but to cut the truly unimportant details. Part of the problem, I think, is that Rowling had such a large part in the scripting. She is not a screen writer, I'm sorry. I do appreciate her drive to keep the films as true to the books as possible, but this is often mistaken by writers to mean "true to the letter," when in fact film had entirely different beats than a novel. That kind of stubborn attitude only works for Cormac McCarthy novels. And that's because his novels are incredibly visual.
Sorry, that wasn't brief at all. It was almost a rant. Go film 7. I'm excited. There ya go.
Title: Re: Just finished watching Harry Potter 6
Posted: November 02, 2010 (03:52 PM)
Heh. I honestly didn't have much of a problem with the books except for the ending of Book 7, which, I don't think anyone likes.
The films, however, I've had some issue with, and actually tend to agree with a lot of what you say about them. I think as far as technical appeal and accuracy go, movie 3 was the best. The worst was probably the fourth film because of how rushed it was and how inappropriate some of the acting was. (I'm sorry, but I still don't think the new Dumbledore had the right character for the role.)
In any case, I'm not too sure what I felt about the sixth film in particular. I was disappointed that they didn't include more memories, because I thought those were the most important aspect (that and the cheesy romance thing going on, I guess) in the book. I also wasn't too sure what to make of the added scene that they threw in. It's going to make the seventh movies a bit confusing I think. But, then, maybe not.
SPOILER ALERT for those who haven't read all the books or seen all the films yet... though by now this is probably a very small minority of people)
The scene in question being the one where Ron's house gets blown up by death eaters. I don't remember if that or sometihng like it happened in the books, but I do know now that it kind of ruins the beginning of the seventh book for the film. At least part of it. Though, that wedding may not have been all that important anyway. So maybe "ruins" is a bit too strong.
Still, I was always disappointed about the lack of Bill and Charlie in the films. I thought the whole Fleur marrying Bill despite the disfiguring scars and and lycanthropy scare thing to be rather charming.
Title: Re: Just finished watching Harry Potter 6
Posted: November 02, 2010 (10:43 PM)
Yeah, those elements have been removed entirely, so I don't think we have to think about a wedding in the seventh film. To answer your question, no, the scene wasn't in the book. It was necessary to place it there in the film because of the way beats work in scripts, especially fantasy scripts. There was a need for some action at that point and, as action goes, I actually thought it was well done and sets up for the emotion they seem to be going for in Harry: guilt.
I don't think Daniel Radcliffe is a very good dramatic actor, though. He's having a lot of trouble pulling the emotions off. He's a great comedian, as is evident by some scenes in Harry Potter and also by his appearance in Extras. I actually think, of the children, that Draco is doing the best job. He was pretty amazing in film six and it was one way I thought the film improved over the book. Draco in the book kind of gets ignored, but here we really got to see him develop and break down over his actions. Also, he's been kept more at Harry's level of spell casting in the films, whereas in the books he got left behind somewhere during year four. I mean, after Harry fought Voldemort, Draco wasn't much of a villain... but the fight scene in the film, the bathroom scene, is actually pretty tense.