the harry potter chronicles: episode 1: harry potter & the time i re-read all 6 books, saw the 5th movie, and waited for friday night to come
seriously, these days it's all about harry potter. i know. i'm a geek. i started re-reading the books back in march or so (i, like kat, am a slow reader, as well, and no, i don't want to hear about how fast you can read) and, having successfully finished the 3rd book last week (i sort of read them of order), i'm all primed and ready for the 7th and final book to arrive saturday at midnight! and yes, i will be attending a midnight party, not because i really want to, but because i decided it would be a great way to get me out of my apartment during my sometimes long & presently sad & lonely weekends. and i'm sure there will be stories to tell. i worked at borders when both the 5th and the 6th books came out, and lemme tell ya about the crazies i encountered during the release parties. just sit & watch the crazies come out, and stories galore.
so. the 5th movie. i thought it was very well done, considering that harry potter & the order of the phoenix is the longest, most involved & character driven book. i felt (mostly) very satisfied with how the movie flowed despite the obvious fact that parts of the book were taken out and/or changed, and the little actors, who we have now been watching as harry, hermione, ron & the rest of the hogwarts gang for 7 years, are growing and simply blossoming into their roles and are terrific to behold! they are also growing up very nicely, which i found visually enjoyable while, at the same time, feeling horribly wrong that i found 17-year old daniel radcliffe attractive. anywho, overall, a great movie. the fight between dumbledore & voldemort at the end? incredible! imelda staunton's portrayal of dolores umbridge? incredible & practically perfect in every way. except she doesn't look like a toad. she's hateable and simply evil in the most foulest ways that you just can't stand her! but find her oddly intriguing and delectable as a villain at the same time. cheers to j.k. rowling for writing such a brilliant villain!
and now the issues i had with movie, specifically the ending. ***WARNING: IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE/READ THE BOOK, I'M GONNA BE A SPOILER AND SPOIL THINGS BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I DO AND I DON'T CARE, SO YOU CAN READ ON IF YOU DON'T CARE, OR WHATEV.***
first, the way sirius dies...umm, what the killing curse? that's taking a whole lot of liberty where liberty shouldn't be taken, in my opinion. you might remember sirius-dying from such times as when bellatrix hits him with a curse of some sorts (the book doesn't say), and how he then stumbles and falls back into the arch door way thinger. never does bellatrix avada kedavra sirius, and even if she did, he wouldn't have died the way he did! hello, the killing is called so because it, you know, kills kills you. one avada kedavra, and fllpbt. your dead. immediately. i hope jo rowling didn't like this either. seriously. when a main character dies, you gotta do that right in the movie. it was okay that they changed other minor plot points during the course of the film, but sirius dying? yeah, much more prominent in teh plot. get it right, film makers.
also, speaking of taking liberties, harry is never "possessed" by voldemort, as they portrayed in the end. voldemort briefly gets inside his head, as he has done throughout the book, but we're not talking about a full on exorcism-esque possession like they portrayed in the film, none of this "come back, harry. choose to be good" pep talk from dumbledore. it never happens in the book as harry falls into a epileptic conniption, his eyes looking all creepy and possessed-like. never happens. that's taking far too much liberty with that plot point, i thought. it's made very clear in the book that harry is not being possessed by voldemort, that voldemort's simply using that connection between them to get into his mind and vice versa, but not in a head-spinning, vomiting bile, "i-need-an-old-priest-and-a-young-priest" kind of way. too dark for what actually happens in the book. bleh. get that right, too.
and, finally, remember how dumbledore sits harry down at the end of the book and tells him everything that he's been keeping from him for the past 5 years? it's excellent! so many questions are answered, events explained, and harry leaves feeling the weight of all of it, but feeling empowered. great scene! funny how it lasted a minute & a half in the movie, and basically consisted of harry asking dumbledore to clarify the final part of the prophecy. yes, in the end, either harry or voldemort cannot exist together, and one must kill the other, however it goes down. the end...what?! what about all that rich & complete explanation about the power that harry possesses that voldemort lacks, about how voldemort chose harry to be his enemy, and, man, i could go on and on?! the movie was barely over 2 hours, shorter than the other 4. i know you could have spared another 5 to 10 minutes or so for some great, raw pieces of information that are quite vital to the series. idiots. i was on the verge of pretty much loving the movie up until that point, and then it was all "waaah-waaah", and i left very dissatisfied.
and i'll say it again: get it right! i'm not asking for every single thing in the book to be morphed into movie magic. just get the very important plot points and events right. that's all i'm asking.
i'm done. i promise.
but tune in next week when i'll chronicle my friday night adventures at the borders' harry potter party. it might be geeky or scary, but i promise it will be entertaining.