Harry Potter: Book Vs. Film, Part I Comments - Mania.com


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heath0920 11/17/2010 11:21:18 AM

Although I would tell ANYONE to read a novel before using a movie in its stead (I teach English and am forever struggling to get my kids to read anything when they can just rent Twilight or Harry Potter or Shakespeare etc), the reason I love Prisoner so much is the use of tone. In none of the other movies except maybe Halfblood Prince do we get to see the dark side of the magic world.

I felt like Columbus caught on to the magical and wonderful, which worked for eleven year olds, maybe. But the tale of Harry Potter is a tragedy, and that involves darkness, despair, and yes death. His story begins with the MURDER of his parents. Rowling never shys away from that word, and the english teacher in me appreciates its connotation. They didn't "die' (impression that it might have been an accident), they weren't "killed" (maybe in the wrong place at the wrong time), no they were systemactically hunted down and deliberately eliminted in the most cold blooded way possible.

Her tone is quite similar to Roald Dahl. There can be joy and lightness, but it's always tempered by the overtones of pain and loneliness, which are the essence of Harry. He's who he is because he's not willing to allow those things to define him but they're still there and I felt Cuoron really captured that with the scenes, in the wanted posters in the background, the dementors. It just feels chilly and cold and dark which feels "true" to my understanding of the text. You have every right to nitpitck what gets left out, but that doesn't take away from what gets put in.

That's why it's my favorite so far.

flinshadytoo 11/17/2010 11:36:01 AM

 I'm glad that at least one other person thinks that the third movie was good & they enjoyed it, when others say things like I hated it full stop, doesn't make me get why they hated it. That said who am I to judge I really hate Watchmen but so many people loved it! Go figure

mac2j 11/17/2010 1:08:58 PM

For me they were fine - not ideal, but fine - until the last movie.


The adapation of Book 6 was TERRIBLE.  They wanted to avoid PG13 so badly they killed everything exciting from the book and the movie that should end in a stirring climax just falls flat.

ddiaz28 11/17/2010 1:36:54 PM

There is really too much here to comment about.  But I will say I am one of those people that loves the Azkaban film.  I don't think it's fair to assume anyone who likes the third film is some "Potter poser".  I've read each book at least 6 or 7 times and probably seen the films just as many.  I agree with Loco that one of things I loved about it was the art direction and pacing.  Also, it became more mature than the first two in its tone and content.  I also thought having them dress in street clothes made the film more, rather than less, immersive.  It made it feel like the kids were from our world.

Yes, obviously the books are better and there is always changes to nitpick about, some more serious than others.  I've definitely wanted to knock some sense into the writers from some blatant ommissions in certain films, especially scenes that are referred back to in other books, like finding and throwing away the locket in book 5 or Kreacher's involvement in Siriu's death.  But as a whole, I commend the various film makers for the job they've done in adapting these beloved books into films.  I'd rather have these films to watch in their imperfect form, than to never have had seen them at all.

The next two look amazing.  Can't wait!

ashamel 11/17/2010 7:20:07 PM

Prisoner of Azkaban is still my favourite of the movies, and yes, I have read all the books :-)

It is just so stylish and well paced, that agonsing over a lack of time given to the previous generation seems somewhat pedantic to me.

I also particularly like Order of the Phoenix (movie and especially book), whereas the movie of Half Blood Prince was far too incoherent for me, even though they continue to look great.

Tonebone 11/17/2010 7:30:03 PM

Walker, I guess its debatable to those who have read the books as to whether Harry's eye colors was important. I think of what is revealed in the last book, it is. It connects into a certain characters motivations for their actions

To me, I thought Prisoner of Azkaban was the best movie. I felt like they did a great job in what they cut and what they left in.

As for what I think is one of the most glaring omissions in the movies, I will wait to share it in the second half of this feature as it is a story thread that is introduced (or touched upon more) in the 5th book

AlexandriaKaplan 11/18/2010 1:10:25 AM

 Hey all. Thanks so much for the great responses, I appreciate the warm welcome on my first Mania article.

I see that my social circle is a bit limited (in comparison to the internet), and am surprised to see true Potterheads who really like the third film; and I am very intrigued by the thoughtful responses involved in these comments. In retrospect Potter-poser was inordinately harsh.

I tried to put together a fairly complete list, but had to edit it down to meet the word count for the article. Now due to the massive changes made in the subsequent films, what was originally planned to be a two piece article has become three.  Guess these concerns are not only met by Directors who are trying to not garner too many death threats from the Harry Potter fans out there (this refers to an actual incident where Warner executives were sent death threats after announcing the release date delay of The Half-Blood prince direct from the Wall Street Journal, Sept 8, 2008).

SarcasticCaveman 11/18/2010 1:34:49 AM

To answer the question as to why some folks dislike the Prisoner of Azkaban movie so much, for me it was because for everthing that they left out it seemed as though they put something that wasn't even in the book in.  That really bugged the hell out of me.  I thought the overall mood of the movie was spot on and workable within the HP universe, but plot ommisions and add-ins combined with drastic character changes (since when was Tom, propriator of the Leaky Cauldron a hunchback?) just kind of ruined it for me.

Tonebone 11/18/2010 5:48:10 PM

See, I don't take too much stock in the physical changes in some minor character changes. I mean, look at the drastic change in Fltiwick. He's old in the first two movies and then mysteriously younger in the last few (or something like that).

LocoLobo73 11/20/2010 8:53:35 AM

warrick  davis didnt want to be in makeup for 16 hours lol

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