Thursday, November 25, 2010


So I saw HP7 part 1 again. I really feel like I should write about it. I'm such a ridiculous Harry fan. I don't have the money to go show it with nifty glasses and a set of robes and all the proper books like A History of Magic and a pet owl or anything, really, except the book themselves. But I think that's enough really.

But here lies the problem. As I got older, I had less time to myself. I, of course, made time to lock myself in a room for 8 hours and read the book the day it came out. The time scale went something like, go to midnight opening, get book at 12:10 after waiting VERY impatiently in a line at B&N, take book from person, throw money at person and hope its enough, sit on ground, read chapter one, go home at 12:30ish, reading chapter two by overhead light in the car, much to the dissatisfaction of my mother, who was trying to drive safely, get to room at 12:45, read until I pass out at 5:30, sleep for 4 hours, wake, go to bathroom, read, read, read, read, finish around 6, GO PEE, eat something for the first time all day, then SLEEP. That day was my own. There was no nonfictional human interaction. But again, as I got older, I didn't have time to do that multiple times, like for the first few books. I could reread them whenever I wanted. But with age came a proper social life, and my attention shifted.

In summary, I only read the 7th book once.

Call me a wannabe if you must, but I do consider myself a loyal fan. And as such, since seeing the movie, I have decided a rereading is in order, to get a proper and fresh perspective. I'm starting with 5, since that's when the social life started. I've only read it cover to cover twice, I think. The details are fuzzy, and that sucks. When I can't remember what happened and the book is exciting simply because I don't know what comes next (except very generally), I know I need to be reading it. I expect better of myself. I should know the books scene for scene, chapter for chapter, given my level of interest. These books are more to me than simple books. These (you ready for this?) are a seven part gateway to another world. To a place where magic is real. To a place where Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and all of the other characters, have perfectly realistic traits, relationships, and struggles.

These are the core things the movies fuck up so badly, by the way.

The reason I love the books is because the characters are so real. They act like teenagers. They ARE teenagers. Harry gets pissed off like a teenager. They have high school drama like real teenagers. They have that whole Voldemort thing and something about magic, but the inside magic jokes aren't what keep me reading. The way the characters connect with one another, the way Dobby cares SO much for Harry, the way Ron and Hermione fight for six and a half books before getting together, the way Harry tears apart Dumbledore's office in a few pages where the caps lock key was in full swing... these are the things that make the Harry Potter Universe real. The things they go through are completely plausible, just minus the setting and general plot, and I love it.

And the movies rely completely on the setting and plot. They miss the good stuff, nearly entirely. I'll give them some credit... they tried sometimes. They have scenes like where Fred and George bring a little piece of Hell to Umbridge, but even that scene wasn't what it was in the book. But somethings, they just really mess up.

And completely unnecessarily. Example time. So, sorry if you didn't know, but Snape kills Dumbledore. It really does happen. (I wonder if Jo added those names to her dictionary on Word...that little red line would get SO annoying. I'll bet she did it in the first few pages for Dumbledore.) And in the book, Harry is frozen in place under an invisibility cloak because Dumbledore froze him. He was fighting with every ounce of his body and mind to cry out and distract the death eaters, to make them follow him, to fight them, to stop what was happening. To ACT. To do ANYTHING. Because that's who Harry is. It's just in his nature. He has to act. He needs to DO something. So how did this translate to movie Harry? The invisibility cloak (a perfectly good prop that has been basically missing since the first movie - issue for part two, much) is gone; he might as well be in plain sight of the death eaters. Snape comes and hushes him, and he doesn't curse him with anything, which is unlike him. He stands and watches, silently and unrestrained, as Snape kills Dumbledore. Just all on his own. Now, I have to ask, DID THE DIRECTORS READ THE BOOK AT ALL? They completely missed it. And it's not something that would take more time. If it's not time that is being lost, is it just cinematic effect? Will da wittle awdeeunce membuhs not get it if wittle harry is undah da cwoke or fwozen in pwace? Aww, poor awdeeunce. Seriously? Is it too much to ask for a little intelligence from the audience? You don't have to dumb everything down. I can't wait for someone to come and remake these movies someday... properly.

Now, all that said, the first half of the 7th book-to-movie experience was not painful. It was pretty accurate, as far as I can remember at the moment (again, this movie made me realize I REALLY need to go reread the book), leaving out some details, but nothing huge. They're getting the emotions right, the relationships right, the scenes right, the damn story right, which, sadly, is something of note for this movie series... all in all, this one was very accurate to the book, I think. More so than any of its predecessors, anyway. They should have split up every book starting with the fourth one.

I'm sure I'll have something more to say about it after I'm done with the reread. I'll keep yall posted, obviously. (For a quick example, I'm on chapter 9 of book 5. Lets go over book to movie: chapter 1, done completely wrong. Chapter 2 was a grand 10 seconds with awful interpretation. Chapter 3, more stupid mistakes that could have been so easily avoided. Chapter 4, wrong. Screaming teen turns into perfectly calm person. Need a specific example of stupid? Jo makes a point to say there's no headline news about Harry, but there he is, front effing page, in the movie. Like he has no idea how to buy a paper. 12 Gimmauld? set is all wrong. Chapter 5? Another 10 seconds. 6? Absent. 7? Down right stupid how off they are. 8? Not bad, actually. One little mess up: they totally screw up Dumbledore's attitude. His argument didn't nearly seem as awesome as it was in the book. 9? Absent. This is just sad. It's downright pitiful. Of the 9 chapters, ONE of them was decently in line with the book, and even then they had a major character flaw.)

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving. :]


  1. I reread this week. This is hands down the most true to book movie by far.

  2. I completely agree with pretty much this entire thing.
    "You don't have to dumb everything down. I can't wait for someone to come and remake these movies someday... properly." I super totally agree with that. I'll probably cry in celebration when the remakes happen (assuming they're good of course)