And the fact that the producers of the films were able to cast them so perfectly and keep the cast together (mostly) for seven films is even more remarkable. I don't know if you noticed, but three of the six Harry Potter films so far made it onto my 5 Star Cinema list the other day. I liked both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but they mostly felt like children's films to me. Then Alfonso Cuarón got his hands on the franchise and made the third film in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and I was hooked.
The next two films, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, were just as well-done, dark and...well...more grown-up for my taste. They were also the first films in the series that I saw AFTER I had read the books. Yeah, soon after the third movie I decided that I needed to give these books a try. And I found that I was enjoying them more and more as the series went on just as I was enjoying the films more and more. I think JK Rowlings became a better writer as the she progressed. And I think her talents especially came through in making us care about these characters.
So I was genuinely excited to see the sixth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when it came out last year. Especially since that it was my favorite book of the series so far. There was soooo much going on in that book. In fact, one of my very first blog posts over at Slyde's joint was a glowing review of this book. Like I said, it was my favorite and I just knew it was gonna be the best Harry Potter film yet.
Except it clearly wasn't.
Don't get me wrong. I still kinda enjoyed it. But I think the problem with it, and maybe with the previous film if I allow myself to look at it honestly, is that Rowling's books started to become more packed with important information to the reader than some of the earlier novels. There was some background filler, Qwidditch matches and general growing up stuff in those early books that were fairly easy for the filmmakers to remove while keeping the integrity and storyline of the series. Not so much with the last film. It just seemed like so much was left out. It doesn't seem possible for a film that ran 2 and 1/2 hours, but I just felt that it did. And it was a big letdown for me.
I found myself wishing that the filmmakers had made it into two films. Just to flesh it out properly. Harry Potter fans wouldn't mind. Hell, they would have loved it. And, knowing the immense popularity of the series, it would have made even MORE money for the studios. But I felt cheated. Cheated out of the proper adaptation of my favorite book of the series. The film series, which had been getting better and better, had crashed and burned.
Now I'm started to get excited again. Because the last book in the series is being handled EXACTLY how I wanted the penultimate adaptation handled. Two films. One released later this year (a day after my birthday, thank you very much), and the second released next Summer. In a lot of ways, I wasn't overly thrilled with The Deathly Hallows. I thought it was a great ending to the series and all, but it just didn't grab me like The Half-Blood Prince did.
But I'm hoping the film adaptations will make it all worth my while. Even if they are in freakin' 3-D.
___________________________________________________Note: Remember to play the Badgerdaddy Trivia Challenge every day. Don't worry...I'm still gonna make fun of all of you who read those Twilight books.