Wednesday, July 15, 2009

As a movie loving bookworm...

WARNING: Harry Potter 6 spoilers will appear in this entry. If you haven't seen the movie and you still intend to, stop reading.

I love books. I love movies. I love books more than I love movies. That being said, I feel that I am a relatively fair book-as-movie critic. I will admit when I enjoy the movie more than the book (the newest Pride and Prejudice, anyone?). I also understand when they cut elements out of the film that appear in the book: they cannot reasonably include everything.

Now, I have read all of the Harry Potter books, and I have seen all of the movies. I had my gripes when the directors and producers cut out minor characters (Peeves) and limited Quidditch scenes (or cut them out all together), but for the most part, I understood. I love it when they add witty one liners and comical scenes, when they change scenes to get an artsy shot or an angst-filled take. HOWEVER, what I don't like is when producers distort major aspects of a books plot line in the movie adaptation. It seems to me that if you want to adapt a book into a movie, it's because the book was good and people want to see it come to life. If you want to change the story, WRITE YOUR OWN DAMN BOOK AND TURN IT INTO A SCREENPLAY.

I saw the 6th installment of Harry Potter last night, and I must admit that if I look at is as just a movie (and forget the books ever existed), it was probably the best one of the movies yet. The dilemma here is that I can't forget that the books ever existed. I understand MOST of what they changed, but here are my qualms:

1. Harry was not petrified in the movie when Dumbledore died--That, to me, is a pretty major plot change because Harry could have chosen to step in and try to save Dumbledore, which the books make it clear he would have done. Doesn't that change things?
2. They cut out the Hogwarts battle all together- Bill never gets mauled by Fenrir, no one is injured, the school isn't destroyed, NOTHING. That was kinda the climax of the book, wasn't it?
3. They added a weird Ginny and Harry running through the forest/Weasley house fire scene, which, in my estimation, served no purpose except for to look dramatic.

All in all, the movie was funny and well done. My concern is that the producers seem to have less regard for the original story with each movie. This one proves that they don't even have to stick to the same plot line--what does that mean for the seventh ones?

I feel like the beginning of the first part of the seventh movie would have to be a running script (like a star wars intro) listing all of the things we missed in the sixth like

1. Oh, PS--everyone feels guilty about helping Snape reach Dumbledore because they all believed in him and cleared his path...
Also, Ron has a brother named Bill---he was mauled by a werewolf, but he isn't a werewolf. He's marrying that chick from the fourth movie--remember her?
Oh, you should also know Ginny didn't cheat on her boyfriend, they broke up before she and Harry got together....we forgot to mention that. Eeep, also: McGonagall is now headmistress.
Oh yeah...Harry and Ginny kinda broke up too...but wait, they were never really together so...

Aw, hell....just read the books.

I'm done ranting now. As I said, mostly well done, but if you're going to cut things out because you say it isn't possible to do the whole book, please don't take the liberty of adding major plot twists that simply didn't exist in the story.


Your loving reader and viewer.


  1. He was petrified. I had to double check it, too but he was. Dumbledore immobilized him and it wasn't until he was dead that he could move again.

    And doesn't the big fight happen in the seventh book? I mean there was a smaller one of people trying to stop the death eaters, but the castle wasn't destroyed until the seventh book with the HUGE fight.

    Maybe you can hate the movie a little less now?

  2. Lo—totally agree with everything you said (and I think your rant is now one of my favorite quotes.) I knew that they would have trouble adapting this book to the big screen. Mostly because I feared that it would be hard to translate the numerous adventures into the pensieve to exciting-plot movers for the movie. So their solution was to cut out a significant amount of those adventures (like what about the House of Gaunt, or dear Hokey and Hepzibah Smith, or how about the fact that Voldemort wanted to return to Hogwarts to teach!?)
    Honestly, I think they added the fire at the burrow scene to add more action to the middle of the movie-because the book didn’t really have action there (but then they cut out the action at the end!) I just think that the scene could have been done better. We really didn’t get to see Ginny’s character at all-like she could have been calling Bellatrix a cow or she could have done some impressive, powerful spells-it could have been a scene to help us understand why Harry loved Ginny -but she just kind of ran Oh and also-why wasn’t the burrow under protective enchantments?
    Ummm—and why was Harry train hopping at the beginning of the movie? I can understand not having the Dursleys in the movie (to keep up the pace) but why invent something ridiculous and unrealistic. Harry Potter could not have been hopping trains! Come on!
    For me-the movie really was great-and it did make me laugh. Lavender was engagingly ridiculous, Luna was enchantingly bizarre, Ron and the love potion was one of my favorite scenes, Hermione avoiding Cormac was highly amusing, and Harry being over confident with Felix Felicis was really entertaining! But the screenwriters did lose sight of the plot. Harry was supposed to be learning more about Voldemort so that he can understand the man-and have a better chance of defeating him. But does Dumbledore ever tell him that? And another important part of the book was when Dumbledore speculated what the other horcruxes were-without that, how can we have a 7th movie?
    So there is my rant. I did enjoy the movie and do want to see it again. But the books are clearly the best! I am excited that the 7th book will be two movies! Hopefully important stuff will be left in!