And, whichever your answer, why?
I like the books far, far more. I don’t think the movies are all that good–they all feel kind of lackluster in comparison to the books. Especially starting with book 4, the corresponding movies had to exclude so much material that they lose a lot of the richness of detail and characterization that the books have.
I very much enjoyed the books and movies. My only problem with the movies is that my own image of Harry, Hermione, Hagrid and all the rest are utterly destroyed now. I know that I pictured each one differently, but I can’t remember what those thoughts were anymore. Now if I re-read the books all I see are the movie characters - except Charlie, Charlie doesn’t appear in the movies so he still rocks.
The first book is comparatively short, and so it was a good fit as a movie; ditto for the 2nd.
But by the 3rd book, it was difficult to cram it all into a 100-120 minute film, and by the 4th book (734 pages for the US hardcover), there was just no way to make that into a film of less than 4-5 hours without trimming a lot of things. Unfortunately, that meant whole characters, plot points, etc.
By the 5th book, I thought the film version had to leave so much out that it was a waste of my money and time and so I stopped watching them.
I’m entirely a fanfic fan. The books never appealed to me, but HP:MOR definitely does. I’m still trying to force myself to finish the books if only so I’ll get all the little references.
Primarily the books was my answer (although I also wanted to inquire about the cheesecake rumor – CURSE YOU, SKALD THE RHYMER, FOR NOT GIVING US THE ABILITY TO MAKE MULTIPLE SELECTIONS!) and my reasons are manifold.
I began reading and enjoying the world of Harry Potter several years before the first movie came out.
Although the movies do provide several very fine translations of many characters to the screen, there are also quite a few performances that diverge so widely from the ones that I made up in my head that they detract from my enjoyment of the films. Most notably, Dumbledore, who strikes me as far more frail (even in Gambon’s performances) than I imagined him to be while reading the books. I was also not impressed with the way the films handled the centaurs.
This is not to say that I did not enjoy the movies immensely; I did. However, even if I might have been inclined to call myself equally a fan of both, Voldemort’s death as handled in the last film would have disqualified the movies from that distinction. It was an extraordinary effect that they gave us, and that extra-ordinariness, IMNSHO, totally undermined the message that the author wished to convey with the event. To be honest, I’m rather disappointed in Ms. Rowling did not insist that her message remain intact, if only for the benefit of people who chose to limit themselves to the cinematic versions of the stories.
This. Prior to the last film, I genuinely enjoyed both formats equally. The ending retroactively messed up all of the films for me.
Well, I haven’t seen the last 3 films so I guess by default I’m primarily a fan of the books.
It is a fact.
Movies. The books got way too long-winded and way too much teeny-bopper stuff that I really didn’t care about. Plus there were lots of plot points I was happy that were dropped in the movies since they were just added in the books to establish tension and never really got any satisfactory resolution (Percy’s story being one of them).
Both. I love the books and have read most of them multiple times. As I wasn’t a kid when they started coming out, I prefer the later books as they are written for an older audience, but I like all the books, though I haven’t read the first two or three in a long time.
I also love the movies, though I much prefer the films from Askaban on, and really love the last four films.
Yes, I’d have preferred the final scene was a little closer to the books in the finality, but the actual battle I found much more satisfying.
They are different works with very similar storylines, but I like both quite a lot.
I would think that only people who have never read the books would be primarily fans of the movies. The first few movies by Chris Columbus were pretty good, but as the books got longer and longer, the movies had to take more and more liberties with the plot to fit them into the time frame of a normal movie. I will say that splitting the last book up into two movies was the right thing to do, and the last two movies did make up for the liberties taken with the Half Blood Prince and Order of the Phoenix. But overall, the movies left out a great many things which made the books great in the first place. And the pacing of some of the movies felt too fast and forced, as if the director was just trying to cram as many things from the books into the movies as quickly as possible.
i enjoy both the books and the movies. i guess, like with many avid potter fans, i lean towards the books, but i love the movies too. i watched the first few movies before i ever read past the first book, so i don’t really mind that my mental image of most of the book characters are the movie actors.
of course the books are more detailed and make a lot more sense plot wise than the movies. as we know, books don’t have the time constraints that movies have to adhere to, and considering that, and the fact that there were several different directors, i think the movies we got are about the best we could hope for. are they flawed? sure. are there things i wish had been handled differently? definitely. but i’m glad they exist; they’re just another facet of the HP-verse to enjoy.
I haven’t read the books, so I only have the movies for reference, but I adore the movies (mainly the later ones). I think they’re so beautiful to look at, and I often have them on as background while doing something else, stopping to watch my favorite awesome scenes (like flying down the Thames at night on their broomsticks - how cool would that be IRL?)
I think your project planning leaves something to be desired if you are allocating an entire week to making a cheesecake.
I agree with Snowboarder Bo.
The novels became much too unwieldy to become movies.
I was reminded recently that movies are ‘short stories’.
Novels are much too complex to be compressed effectively into movies.
There are exceptions, of course, but in general the analogy fits.
That having been said, I enjoyed the books a great deal.
The movies, somewhat less so, although watching the primary characters actually age as the years went by was quite entertaining.
Perhaps I shall watch the entire series again after this coming weekend.
I’m solely a movie fan. I went to see the first movie without having read any of the books, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to read the first book. I disliked the writing style of the book so much that I struggled to finish it, but I continued to watch the entire series of movies. I know that my experience of the Potterworld is limited because I’ve only seen the movies, but I have no real desire to read any more of the books. I have looked at them in stores (I remember reading the end of the final book in the store when it first came out, just to see what the fuss was about), but have not been tempted to read any further.
I’m not a fan of fantasy books in general, although I do enjoy some movies, so that may have influenced my perceptions. I had the identical experience with Stardust – loved the movie enough to check out the book; hated the book.
The books, definitely. The movies have never really goteen Dumbledore right, and he’s the key to so much about his whole society. His insistence upon fairness, his grim good manners in the face of enemies, his lighthearted enjoyment of the children’s spirit and the terrible figure he cuts when he truly gets angry. It’s all missing from the movies.
I’m not a giant Harry Potter fan in comparison to a lot of people, but I figure I qualify, since my wife and I read every book out loud with one another as they were released, and this summer I attended some lectures with a doctoral student writing her thesis on the sociological and literary implications of Harry Potter. I came away from the lectures, and especially from a second reading of Deathly Hallows, with some new appreciation for Rowling’s work.
Some good things about the movies:
-Cuaron’s movie was pretty good.
-In the seventh movie (?), the animated sequence was mad genius, and it was worth watching the movie for by itself.
-In the eighth movie, the Harry/Hermione dance was a lovely, lilting touch, exactly the sort of thing a good director adds to an interpretation of a book.
…and I think that’s about it. The Columbus movies were horrible, in my opinion, and the last two movies were a waste of time except for the two bits I described above. The three lead child actors were mediocre at best, coming across as line-readers most of the time, and the director didn’t know how to film an intimate conversation to make it seem like an intimate conversation or to emphasize power differentials or to create tension or anything else. The final fight, a high-noon showdown, was turned into a lightsaber battle, for no apparent reason–for God’s sake, people, high noon showdowns are cinematic! The deaths of allies in the final movie were glossed over far too quickly to allow any sort of emotional impact, in order to provide more time to show CGI effects.
So yeah, more of a book fan.
Movies. Hands down, no holds barred. I watched the first four movies, and everybody kept telling me the books were WAY better. So I read the first four books and was really not impressed with them. They seemed sloppily and sketchily written and the extra bits that were in them were left out of the movies for good reason. I read the fifth book and it totally spoiled the ending of the movie for me without being more enjoyable than the movie, so I stopped reading them at that point.