Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter And The Movie Franchise

Harry Potter And The Movie Franchise

Even though I've talked so much shit about the Twilight franchise, I still am pretty unembarrassed by the fact that I am a Harry Potter fan. What can I say, it's something that, while I was already an adult when the first book came out, still was a good read for me. And before you get on your high horse about how this is a child's book, just remember that the first book came out in 1997. Those little kids who grew up on this have aged 13 years by now.

It's a little tough to believe that after two more films, the Harry Potter franchise will be dead and buried. Well, that is until we get another cash grab in the form of Harry Potter: The Next Generation books. Hey, it happened with Star Wars, do you think your little wizard is safe from it?

So we're left with the new Harry Potter film. Where were we? Oh yes, Voldemort now has control over the Ministry of Magic and Hogwarts. Which leaves Harry, Ron and Hermione to go out on an adventure to finish up Dumbledore's duties of finding the rest of the Horcruxes in an attempt to defeat the Dark Lord.

If you aren't aware from the marketing, this is the first part of a two part piece which makes up the final installment of the book series. My guess is that they'll stop right around chapter 8 and we'll get the second part in early summer next year.

Now you may be thinking that this whole splitting the films up into two parts is just a silly money grab. While I'm normally one to be all against capitalistic gains by the system, I do work in the industry and I find this far less offensive than the whole 3D marketing of any and everything these days.

Possible the best news about the film is that the whole concept of getting put out in 3D was dropped since the quality wasn't up to par after being converted into 3D. I have to say that this was a very smart choice for them. Now that's $5 you can put into your pocket and not have to blow on it. I also hate when shit is forced like this. If a film wasn't filmed in 3D, don't try to squeeze a few more bucks from me by up converting it.

Besides that, if any movie can benefit from getting split in two it's the Harry Potter books. I wish every movie since Goblet of Fire would have been split into two. Not only would they all benefit from not being terrible cliff notes of the books, but that's how they originally were planned to be released.

The first half of Goblet was to be released at Thanksgiving and the second at Christmas. It was such a good idea as well as an amazing way to make more money off half of a movie that I can't believe they blew it. I wouldn't complain that the films were butchered up versions of the books lacking so much important material that is important in later films and they would have made twice as much money.

Goblet of Fire was probably the worst film in the series. It was at best a clip show. The only scene worth its weight was the graveyard scene. Everything else was just total shit. The worse offense in the film was when Dumbledore charged across the room and slammed Harry up against the wall yelling "DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THAT CUP!?!?". The whole scene was so completely out of character and the complete opposite of how it played out in the book. But given the fact that Gambon never read the books and just plays Dumbledore how he thinks he should be played, I shouldn't be surprised.

Then the whole Quidditch World Cup match was summed up with a speech and a flash of light. Really? REALLY?! That's all you show? How about in Half Blood Prince there was an exchange between Harry and Snape that you don't really get and appreciate until you read Deathly Hollows, and they were almost entirely cut out in the film.

Though I do have to give them credit for this last film on one major thing. Take a look at the two following posters for the first film.....

And now for the last film..

They have a theme going on there for them. You get to see Hogwarts as it was when the kids first get there and how the remains look after they leave.. Goes to show you that kids these days can't take care of anything. I have to say that the poster really was well made.

Then we got the first look of the film during the MTV movie awards way back when.

After that first trailer came out I wondered if we could create some magic wand to have us go back in time and get David Yates to direct the entire series from the get go. Even if many folks were confused as to why in the teaser released back a couple of months they showed footage of what would be the final battle. The obvious answer there is that since they filmed both movies at the same time, they just stuck clips from part 1 and part 2 into it.

The trailer also made it seem like Harry let Hedwig go instead of dying. I really do hope that's the case as Hedwig's death was sure as hell shocking and it seemed like J.K. just did it to get the ball rolling in that book laying down the rest of the flow that it was going to be a dark as hell book.

So for no other reason other than she could. Fred's death also really struck me like that. As much as I don't want them to sugarcoat the books, I have to say, that last book was fucking brutal and dark for the first half. I'm seriously concerned that kids are going to want to kill themselves or at least listen to My Chemical Romance after seeing it.

Book 6th and 7th were over all a let down. Considering in the 7th book Rowlings felt she needed to kill half of the characters for no other reason other than to show how mature and adult the story has become. Like Lupin and his gal - was there really a reason to kill him off? You already killed Sirius, so with Lupin gone that takes out all of the competent wizards of the previous generation dead and buried.

But maybe the films being over is for the best. I really can't say I was a huge fan of the last movie. Much like the other films, it skipped a lot of stuff, and in fact, it felt like they glossed over a shit ton more than normally. It sort of felt like it didn't have any soul and was simply going through the motions of the events that happened in the book. But while still skipping a lot of it at the same time.

I mean, that's really the big fault I have with the films. The first few films skipped over a lot of smaller stuff that would in later books be really important. So by not introducing those pieces in them because at the time they looked like they could be over looked, they missed out on laying down the ground work for the future films. So you have a situation where you have to shoehorn in a lot of new shit because you're playing catch up. I hear Dobby's story gets a lot more stuff in this new film because he was glossed over in the previous films.

Then again, maybe the films are just visual candy for the people who did read the books instead of being a movie version of the book. It sure as hell isn't the route that Lord of the Rings took. How would you have liked that for Potter, having extended editions of each film that actually covers the events that happened in the book. I know that would have helped Goblet of Fire a great deal.

To be honest, my favorite Harry Potter character has and always will be Snape. Even if it's mainly due to the fact that I really like Alan Rickman, I think he's the most interesting character, possibly due to the fantastic job he does with the role. It's a shame that he's only been in about 20 minutes of the last three films. Especially given the fact on why the last book was named the way it was.

Just goes to show you how they gloss over the minor stuff in the earlier books and it effects the later films. The entire series they have Snape want to be the Defense against the dark arts teacher badly. Then in the previous book he gets it and in the movie they don't have one single fucking scene of him teaching it. Bull-fucking-shit!

Also, I have to complain about one more thing before I go on to some praise of the marketing aspect.. The magic in this wizard world. I always was annoyed with it. They never handled it well. You had this system of back and forth magic spells and what does J.K. do? She puts in these end all curses that end a wizard duel in two seconds.

Did you really need to put in Avada Kedavra's? First off, just because it sounds cool in Latin doesn't mean that you have to make every spell Latin sounding, if not specifically taken from the Latin translation. It seems that the only reason Voldamort was so powerful was because he aced his Latin class.

It really screwed up the dynamic in the battles. It would be like making a Star Wars Force power to instantly kill someone instead of fleshing out a light saber battle. Learn how to make a good battle system and then I'll actually care when two wizards face off. As it stands, it's the first person who throws the killing curse on the other.. and it's usually the villain who resorts to that so quickly.

So now that the franchise is done, it's only a question of what comes next.. or at least what the fans have to look forward to now that the series is about to be over. I don't know about you, but I look forward to one day going to Universal Studios Florida again. Let me just leave some pictures from the theme park opening in here.

I don't know about you, but it looks really fun. It's been a good eight or nine years since I went to Universal Studios: Island of Adventure. It was really fun and filled with a lot of Marvel theme rides but they sure as hell didn't have BUTTER BEER there when I went.

I sort of imagined it tasting like rootbeer and cream soda mixed into one. I wonder what it actually taste like and if it's how it's described in the book. Or maybe it's just cream soda labeled with the name Butter Beer. Here's hoping it's some sort of carbonated butterscotch.

At the theme park you can get real drinks at Hogshead, which I find entirely exciting and intriguing. Yes, I am a nerd. You knew that when you first started reading this blog. You have no one to blame but yourself for doing so.

So I'm sure that those who grew up with the book will eventually be able to take their children to these theme park attractions and relive the adventure and fun of Harry Potter. Then there's just me who wants to run around a theme park in Florida humidity like a crack head in a police evidence locker.

And while I'm sure the movie will leave a lot out and be horribly depressing, much like how the first half of the last book was, I'm still going to try to catch it this weekend.. Just not at a midnight release or in the crazy masses this weekend. Besides, it's not like there's a rush, the second part doesn't come out till Summer.

Which would be right around the time when Emma's shaved head will finally grow back to some respectable length.

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