Monday, December 5, 2011

Harry Potter

I had an internet free weekend. It was weird. I didn't write anything, again, weird. The teenager waltzed in and asked if I wanted to watch the Harry Potter movies this weekend. So we sat around and watched them. It took most of Saturday and Sunday to get through them all, so I did pretty much nothing at all. It was quite nice, and I can see why so many people like doing it. It was pretty awesome.

I had a few thoughts. First, the movies are better than I thought. I know, everyone loved them. I never did. I always felt that with having already read the books, a newcomer would be lost trying to follow the rather involved plot that runs through the series. Especially later, when the books got thick and there was lots of information the viewer needed to understand what was happening.

Having read the books, not such a big deal for me, but still, I just like the books so much more, The movies are mere shadows compared to the novels.

But, I've pretty much seen them in theaters and never again. So watching them together was nice, as the teen doesn't want to hang around with me as much as he used to. That it's been several years since I read the books means that I don't have that chronology running around inside my head at the moment either. I figured, why not?

So, for the first time, I watching them as movies, and nothing else. And I liked them, well, I liked them except for the first two, which seemed a bit too, um, I don't know, kiddie, to me. They smiled too much, there were too many wacky hijinks. I found I didn't really like Dumbledore much then either.

But by the time we got to number three things turned awesome in a hurry. The series got darker, the threat of Whatshisname got serious. I did the wikipedia thing to see what was written about the direction and learned that Chris Columbus directed the first two, and intended to do all of them. He got burnt out and said he'll just produce. That saved this series, if they'd all been in the same style as the first two I don't think I could have stuck it out.

But anyway, it's all history now. So, I've provided for you, my favorites, in order:

The Prisoner of Azkaban
Deathly Hallows Pt I
The Order of the Phoenix
The Half-Blood Prince
Deathly Hallows Pt II*
The Goblet of Fire
The Chamber of Secrets
The Sorcerer's/Philosophers's Stone

Happy Monday, for those of you that think Monday can be good.

*Confession, I didn't watch PtII this weekend. I was going to, but I didn't. I'll watch it thing week. I'm basing my enjoyment of that one on my movie going experience, and since I've already explained that I liked them much more this weekend, my opinion might change about that one.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Having never read the books, I thought the movies were good, but not great. First two were nearly done in by Columbus's direction. The Prisoner of Azkaban was definitely my favorite - Oldman was awesome - but Part I of the Deathly Hallows was definitely my least favorite. Too slow.
Take advantage of those times when the teen wants to spend time with you! Sounds like a good weekend to me, Rusty.

Christine Rains said...

Nice way to spend the weekend. I agree with you, the later movies were the better ones. Yet I'm a fan of the whole series. Bigger fan of the books.

L.G.Smith said...

Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the books and movies. And I've got a teenager who pretty much only allows me to see him at meal times, so yeah, if he wanted to watch a movie marathon I'd sit and watch it with him too.

Hot movie zia said...

I enjoyed laughing loudly in the cinema while watching this movie. It makes you put the troubles behind your head and just laugh. Nice one Add movie showtimes to iGoogle

Dr. Grumpy Bulldog, PhD of Awesomeness said...

Never watched the movies and read only the first book, but I don't have kids so no one's going to bug me to do any of that.

Rusty Webb said...

Alex - I hated Deathly Hallows pt I when I saw it in the theater, but was stunned at how much I liked it on the second go round. Go figure. I'll take your advice about my boy.

Christine - glad we agree. Thanks for stopping by.

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

The movies are about as good as a billion dollars could produce.

Tonja said...

I watched parts of a couple of the middle ones on tv this weekend with my teen too. And I didn't write a word either.

Andrew said...

Prisoner is also my favorite book and movie.

I've never liked Colombus. From what I can tell, any good movies he's managed to direct had more to do with the quality of the material he was working with rather than anything he did to make it that way. I was so relieved that he quit directing them.

The one I like least is Goblet. It feels too choppy to me. Granted, it doesn't feel quite so bad now that it's been years since I read the book. I also don't care for Hallows pt 1. It's a lot of nothing happening. Of course, honestly, the book is that way, too, so it's not too bad an adaptation in that sense.

Anonymous said...

I started reading the first HP book over the summer. Wanted to know how Rowlings used wormholes and parallel dimensions in her book. I was hooked from start and read all seven straight through. What an awesome series! I agree Prisoner of Azkaban was the best movie. And the best book.

Rusty Webb said...

LG - Agreed, it was very nice.

Hot Movie - Really? I didn't think it was a very funny series. Pretty heavy really.

Dr. Grumpy - I don''t think I would have read them if it weren't for my kid. Glad I did though, I actually started with book two. The first one was not very good IMO. Well, that's not entirely true, it was just too kid friendly for me.

Michael - fair enough.

Tonja - they were on this weekend. I was watching Chamber of secrets while I was cleaning up the bedroom when he walked in and asked for us to do the marathon.

Andrew - It was a choppy movie, and I think that book had too much material to really do as a single movie. That's the one they should have split into two.

Stephen - Funny how research can take you in so many unexpected directions. I'm glad you liked them.

Laura said...

That sounds like a perfect weekend to me... I haven't seen the Deathly Hallows Pt2 yet, looking forward to it, though I wasn't too keen on part one, I agree with Alex - it was a bit slow

Andrew said...

That's what I've said all along about Goblet. It's a long book, and there was too much left out. Hallows could have been edited down to 1 movie much more easily.

Chemist Ken said...

I remember thinking that the first movie matched the content of the first book perfectly. As the books became darker, so did the movies. I'm not sure how much of the change was to due Columbus. The current director mentioned that they started to darken the movies up to match where Rowling was going with the books. They apparently had some advance copies of the upcoming books at the time.

Goblet of Fire (the movie) was what really caught my attention. It reminded me so much of my college days that I found myself quite depressed that I hadn't gone to Hogwarts as a student. I'm still waiting for my invitation to teach potions.