i do agree with you 100% TruCelt. the funny thing is, i think most of the hogwarts staff was cast perfectly, with the exception of dumbledore. richard harris had a little of the whimsical thing going, but that’s about the most i can say about his portrayal. gambon’s dumbledore is a big eh. one scene that really sticks out to me as being off is towards the end of GoF when crouch jr. is revealed to be masquerading as mad eye. in the book dumbledore is so angry that it’s terrible to behold, and harry finally gets why everyone says he’s the only wizard voldemort ever feared. in the movie dumbledore just pushes him against a wall and feeds him veritaserum. not intimidating at all.
The first few movies aren’t very good at all. And the last few are very good but felt like something was missing.
I do think the actors portray the characters really well, and it’s now impossible to read the books without imagining their faces and portrayals, but the books have a lot of funny and sweet character moments and story beats that I really like, which play out in my imagination a lot better than in the movies, if they’re even in the movies at all.
Actually I’m a fan of “the book,” the first book.
It was aimed at teens but interesting for adults; well written; suspenseful, etc… Everything that came after was barely a step above Twilight.
By the by, the best way I’ve found to consume the Harry Potter stories is listening to the audiobooks performed by Jim Dale. And I do mean performed. I’ve listened to a good number of audiobooks, and these are hands down my favorite.
The books mostly ranged from decent to excellent (though I’m not a big fan of Deathly Hallows). The movies, though… The first two movies were relatively faithful adaptations. And the third one had to cut a fair bit, but the cuts were made skillfully, in such a way that it still held together. By the fourth one, though, they had to cut so agressively that nothing was left but a contextless jump from one action sequence to the next, and so I had no interest in seeing any of the further movies.
And do you really expect those cheesecakes to last a week each, now that you’ve told all of us of their existence?
I started reading the books when there was just one book and hardly any fandom at all- I know it had already won the Smarties Prize, whatever that is, and of course it had been big enough to get published in the US and get sold at Costco, but it was still a feeling of having found something none of the other kids knew about that. My other classmates all got their Harry Potter books about 4 months after me, and didn’t even realize I’d already read it. Between that ego-stroking feeling and the books just being richer worlds than the movies from a character standpoint, I’m primarily a book fan. Some of the movies I’ve never even rewatched, or only rewatched through the lens of Rifftrax.
On the other hand: I’d watch the animated Deathly Hallows bit eighty gajillion times if allowed, and Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Robbie Coltrane, and Dame Maggie Smith are the most perfect casting I’ve ever seen in book-to-film adaptations. (Not to say any of the other casting choices were necessarily bad, just that those four were spot-on, Evanna most of all).
I had never read any of the books before I went to an empty theater to see the first movie more than a month after it came out. I really enjoyed it and I think a lot of it was precisely because I hadn’t been spoiled by the book and thought Snape was the bad guy.
It was after that I started reading the books.
Now when I look back on the first movie, it is one of my least favorite and pretty much only exists to set up the universe.
I have no issues with movies (HP, LotR, etc) deviating from the books. Well, for the most part. The last two HP movies bothered me in how they needlessly deviated from the whole master wand thing. But for the most part, I view the books and the movies as two separate interpretations of the same universe.
Chimera, could you expand on what you mean by deviating from the master wand thing? I’m curious.
I’ve never bothered to see the last 2 or 3 movies. I’ve read all the books at least once.
Although, arguably, I’m more a fan of the fandom than either the books or movies–between reading fanfic, and hanging out online with a group of fans of varying intensities who have other things in common . . .
Like, I notice, a lot of others I haven’t watched all the movies, only the first three and a half (I didn’t make it all the way through GoF before I lost interest).
The books are full of wonderful detail, and the plotting is very carefully thought through, as is the touchy feely growing up emotional stuff. As others have said, so much gets cut out of the movies that they become just action movie/cartoons.
Personally I can’t stand 90% of Hollywood style movie combat/action scenes of the last twenty years or more because they have become stylised, cliched and exaggerated to the point that I find them ridiculous, cartoonish and laughable, and they take me out of the movie. When I read the book I can imagine the scenes occurring in a way that bears some resemblance to reality* but when I watch the movies, not so much.
*Except for all the, yanno, magic and stuff
the movie adaptations of 4,5,6, and 7 spoiled the movieverse. it is one thing to have things adapted to the big screen, it is another thing when you change the core of the main characters.
most especially dumbledore and harry, they even messed a bit with voldemort. the endings of 5,6,and 7 could and should have stuck closer to the books.
I saw the movies first and after OOTP, decided to read the books. I enjoy the movies, but there is just so much more in the books, so I’d say 75% fan of the books and 25% fan of the movies.
I’ve done both. I really didn’t think the later books were all that good. I also almost never say a book is better than a movie. The camping trip alone was way too boring; also the Quidditch and the hogwarts cup match was really really boring to read about.
Books for sure. The movies are so shallow and insipid while the books bring the world to life. The movies cut out so much, the plot becomes almost non-existent and what little there is left is almost impossible to follow for people who haven’t read. The characters of the books are changed so much for the movies that the whole thing just rings hollow.
I watched and enjoyed the movies. Never read the books. I’ve told myself I’d get around to reading them but hasn’t happened yet.
And I don’t like cheesecake.
Movies. I forced myself to read the first book and didn’t care for it at all. I’ve seen all the movies.
The books, the books, the books. The first movie was pretty good, the second was not very, the third was awful. It wasn’t even a movie as much as a series of unrelated vignettes.
Somehow the GoF movie was better, but still it left out so much that if I hadn’t read the book I’m not sure I would have been able to follow it. I haven’t watched the other four, other than a few minutes here and there in OOTF.
I’m okay with most of the casting, and the movies look great, but I’ll stick with the books.
I love tournament arcs in stories, but Goblet of Fire is by far my least favorite book. I agree that, somehow, the movie did it better.
I’m also mainly a book fan, I haven’t seen a movie since OOTP, though (I wasn’t disgusted at them or anything, I was just so meh about it I didn’t bother).
ETA: I think part of what made the GOF book so bad was that they tried to make it an “intellectual tournament” of sorts, where they relied on their wits. That’s a great premise for a story, but unfortunately Harry isn’t exactly the kind of main character you want to do that with. It was nice seeing the expertise and comradarie of various other students like Neville were really explored for the first time, but it mostly just made Harry come off as inept, I think. The movie, placing more focus on the action, struck a better balance between Harry’s flaws (the planning) and his heroism (the action).
Movies. Haven’t read a word of the books.
Lots of my reasons have already been said upthread, but there are two big reasons I love the books more.
First is because JKRs writing style very closely mirrors my own. Very informal, lots of little asides and tons of parenthetical statements of comedy.
Second reason, and the biggest one, is that I got the first three HP books when I was ten(ish) and started reading from there. I was at the perfect age that as I grew up, Harry grew with me. So I could relate to the story and the emotions more because I just pretended it was me in the book. I think a lot of that relatability is lost on some of the readers if they started reading it while already in their 20s 30s 40s etc.