trinsy: (grin)
So a week later than the rest of the world, I finally saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday. It was pretty amazing. Way better than OotP and HBP. I thought it was kind of choppy, and there was one big thing I disagreed with, but overall I really loved it.
likes, loves, nitpicks, hates, and spoilers beyond! )
trinsy: (bovvered)
Day 27: What aspect of the books has been most poorly translated to film?

Harry and Ron’s relationship. Actually, relationships in general. Characterization in general. The film!Trio is nothing like the book!Trio. The film!Marauders are nothing like the book!Marauders. Film!Dumbledore is nothing like book!Dumbledore (well, Gambledore isn’t, anyway, but I do think Richard Harris, good as he was, would have become less like Dumbledore as the role became more demanding, and as I mentioned in the previous day’s answer, I do feel like Gambledore gets better with each film). I mean, I know they’re different mediums and whatever, but so many characters have lost those things that make them essentially that character. That’s why Alan Rickman is Snape, even though he’s a good thirty years older than Snape is supposed to be: he just has this air of essential Snape-ness, if that makes any sense. And so many of the actors either never had that or have lost it with each passing film, and I don’t know how much of that is the fault of the script or the director or whatever, but it’s really tragic and I hate it.

(I want to point out, as I already touched on a little in Day 26, I get really conflicted about this when it comes to the three actors who play the Marauders, because they’re all great actors, and they obviously care a lot about their roles, and it’s not like they don’t do a good job with what they’re asked to do, it’s just like … they’re not my Marauders, you know? Like, Gary Oldman isn’t my Sirius, but he does a great job with the Sirius he’s been asked to portray, and some of the stuff he does in OotP especially is just beautiful, even if I sometimes feel like it’s stuff Sirius would never ever do (the scene with Sirius’s family tree is gorgeous and heartbreaking, and the thing he says at the end about being a proper family when this is over kills me every single time, but I also feel like book!Sirius would never say that), so like… I don’t know. Even with the kids it’s like, okay, they’re not really like the book kids anymore, but you know, they got cast in this thing when they were ten. It’s not really their fault. And then I don’t even know how I feel anymore.)

[I’m also aware that this and Day 26 are probably supposed to be about Quidditch and magic and magical creatures and all the special effects that go into those things, but I don’t really care about that. I mean, I do, and their special effects really aren’t that great (Grawp in particular is very obviously a CGI character), but I care a lot more about characterization, hence why I’m talking about it.]
trinsy: (I can see that)
Day 26: What aspect of the books has been best translated to film?

Voldemort. Not in the first film, but ever since Ralph Fiennes came onboard. Voldemort is Voldemort, which I actually never expected, so good on them.

Also Snape. Obviously. Alan Rickman has never done anything less than deliver from the moment he entered that dungeon in the first film. He’s in a class all his own.

Actually, most of the Hogwarts staff translated really well. McGonagall, Filch, Hagrid, Lockhart, Trelawney, Moody, Umbridge, Slughorn…. Not Dumbledore, really, though I’ve grown fonder of Gambledore with each film. And not Lupin, but David Thewlis is a great actor, so um … you know, it’s not his fault he’s not how I imagined Lupin, or that somebody thought it’d be a good idea to give him a rape-stache in PoA. I mean, I like the guy, you know? I don’t want to bash him, it’s just … he’s not my Lupin. Anyway…

Hogwarts sometimes translates really well. It kind of depends on the movie/scene. Sometimes I don’t even know. Same with the Burrow.
trinsy: (bovvered)
Day 24: Rant about Steve Kloves something

Trust me, you don’t want me to. Where do I even begin with this man?

Okay, to start: He has a massive crush on Hermione, and it really shows. The bias is just … it’s insane. I mean, giving her Ron’s “If you want to kill Harry you’ll have to kill us too” line in PoA? Crossing the line. Majorly crossing the line.

It’s just like … I think it’s pretty obvious he ships Harmony, and frankly, I don’t care about that for the sake of Ron/Hermione, because as much as I love and ship Ron/Hermione, if Kloves doesn’t, whatever. Like I said before, romance has never been a particularly important component of the HP series for me.

But he killed Harry/Ron. He killed my favorite bromance, and I’m not okay with that. It was my favorite bromance before bromance was even a word and became the “in” thing, and Steve Kloves killed it because he’s in love with Hermione and wanted her to end up with Harry. He turned Ron into this horrible 2D “ahaha-I’m-only-here-for-comic-relief” moronic coward, and I really, really hate him for that.

If the books are about the epicness of any friendship … well, the books are about the power of the bond between all three of them, actually, and how they are strongest and function best when it’s the three of them working together. But if you compare Harry’s falling out with Hermione in PoA with his falling out with Ron in GoF, there’s no question: emotionally, Harry needs Ron far more than he needs Hermione. There are just so many little interactions and unspoken things between them… I know it’s sounding like I’m a Harry/Ron shipper, and that isn’t it. It’s just that their friendship is so epic and beautiful, and it frustrates me that that wasn’t translated onscreen because it wasn’t even translated into the script.

One of my professors pointed out that if Harry Potter had been written by a man, Ron’s character would be a girl and Hermione’s character would be a boy, because Ron is emotional and Hermione is intelligent, and I think that’s true, and interesting both psychologically and culturally, but that’s not why I’m bringing it up. Kloves writes all these scenes about how Harry and Hermione are totally BFFs OMG, but I would argue that in the earlier books especially, Harry and Ron actually have a much stronger and deeper emotional connection than Harry and Hermione. Hermione might be more aware of what’s going on when it comes to romance, but in general – and maybe without even being fully aware of it – Ron has a much better grasp of what Harry’s feeling and what to do about it. There’s this great moment in GoF when they get back from the World Cup, and Harry’s telling them about his scar hurting and stuff, and Ron asks Harry if he wants to play Quidditch, and Hermione starts to tell him off for not being sensitive to Harry’s emotional needs, basically, and then it turns out Harry really wants to play Quidditch because he figures it’ll make him feel better. Ron just gets Harry in a way Hermione simply can’t, and that’s what’s so great about his and Harry’s friendship. And Kloves took that and gave it to Hermione, and that really bothers me.

The thing is, I don’t feel like a lot of people appreciate just how complex Ron really is, and the movies don’t help with that at all because in the movies he’s just so 2D. Worse than that, from the very beginning they took away some of his best qualities. In PS/SS, Hermione is the one who panics when Harry and Ron get trapped in the Devil’s Snare, not Ron, which is what happened in the film. Ron is so incredibly brave throughout the entire series. Yeah, he may not be as awesome at magic as Harry and Hermione, but he’s not a total buffoon, either, and it never stops him from throwing himself head on into a fight if he thinks his friends are in danger. Ron is in Gryffindor for a reason, you know? And by taking all Ron’s awesome qualities and giving them to Hermione, film!Hermione ends up being something distressingly close to a Mary Sue, while Ron ends up being a 2D imbecile.

Anyway, I guess this has been long and ranty enough. Basically, I’ve learned to live with what got cut and what got altered and what got written in. But destroying Ron’s character will never be okay with me.
trinsy: (I'm always all right)
Day 14: Moments in the books/movies that made you cry

Books: Sirius’s death. Ron destroying the locket. Dobby’s death. The Resurrection Stone scene.

Films: In GoF, I always start crying somewhere between Harry’s parents coming out of his wand and fake!Moody pulling Harry out of the arena. If I’m on my period, I cry at the end of OotP when Harry is possessed and then all his friends show up and he remembers himself.

I should note that I’m defining “crying” here as “get a bit teary-eyed/maybe actually have a tear or two roll down my cheeks”. If by “crying” you actually mean “full on genuine crying”, then the only one of these that counts is Sirius’s death. (I was also fourteen, my hormones were severely whacked out, and I had a lot of emotional problems, so I’m not even sure how much of the full on crying actually had to do with Sirius dying (though I still got sad rereading PoA a few months ago just because I kept thinking about how Sirius dies, so it probably had a bit to do with Sirius dying).)
trinsy: (physics)
Day 12: Favorite movie scene

Probably Voldemort’s resurrection. Ralph Fiennes really takes the film to a whole other level. His performance is just … I mean, he’s so Voldemort that if you didn’t know Ralph Fiennes was in that movie, you would never guess Ralph Fiennes was in that movie. And it’s not just because of the CGI nose and stuff. It’s everything. It’s what he’s doing with the character. It could have been so cheesy and awful and over the top, and he made it so believable. I could gush about this forever.

And then there’s Dan, who, as I noted in the Day 4 question, is really at the top of his game in this scene. Dan has had some pretty cringe-worthy moments throughout the series, but man does he bring it when it counts. If there was ever a scene where he really needed to sell it, it was this one, and he totally delivered.

This scene is why I absolutely adore Mike Newell. This is the pivotal scene in the series, and it so easily could have been botched, but he really made it into something special. And, like I said before, I really think he’s the main reason Dan is so good here, because he was able to pull performances out of the young actors that no other HP director has.

I do have one tiny complaint about this scene, though. I don’t understand why there are so few Death Eaters. I don’t even know why that bugs me so much, but it does. There is this one wide shot in particular where you can see that there are only four or five Death Eaters (I’m not sure exactly, I haven’t the film in a while), and it’s always so distracting to me. I don’t know why, I just feel like there should be more of them. But aside from that, this scene is spectacular.

Also, this isn’t a scene, but Sirius telling Harry, “Nice one, James!” in the OotP movie kills me every single time. Every. Single. Time.
trinsy: (are you my mummy?)
[Okay, I’m doing three because I’m afraid if I don’t do several at a time, I won’t get through it. I’m so bad at finishing things. So yeah, three in one day. Deal.]

Day 4: Your favourite movie

Goblet of Fire. No contest. Yes, there was a ton of stuff they cut out, and yes, Gambledore is way too harsh and shouty, and yes, I think it’s really weird that there are only like five Death Eaters in the graveyard scene, and yes, Priori Incantatem makes absolutely no sense if you haven’t read the book, but overall, I think it really captures the spirit of the book. When I’m watching it, I feel the same way I feel when I’m reading the book, and that’s really rare.

Also, I don’t know how, but Mike Newell pulled performances out of the kids that no one’s been able to do before or since. I don’t think Dan has ever been better than he is in the graveyard scene and the scenes that follow. “He’s back. He’s back, Voldemort’s back. Cedric, he asked me to bring his body back,” is just on a totally different level than anything else in any of the other films. It’s so real. GoF is the only HP film where I don’t feel like I’m watching a bunch of people in costumes walking around saying scripted lines. So yeah, definitely my favorite.
trinsy: (I can see that)
You know, I always kind of forget how much I loathe the third Harry Potter film. Now I wish I'd just kept watching S1 of Gossip Girl. New low.

Speaking of which, Season 1 of Gossip Girl is so good. Jenny looks all natural and cute, Eric has a bigger role, and Chuck and Nate are all over each other. It's beautiful. I miss the epic Chuck/Nate bromance. :(
trinsy: (I can see that)
So yeah, finally saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday. I actually didn't hate it. It was pretty good for a Harry Potter film (because the Harry Potter films are not the same as regular films -- they're not Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean, and they never will be, and I think a lot of the problems in the films stem from the filmmakers not realizing this). I mean, every film the cast is always like, "Oh, this one is so funny!" and then you see it and the humor is totally lame and it's kind of a letdown. But this time it actually was funny, and not just because some of the lovelorn angst scenes were unintentionally hilarious, but the scenes that were meant to be funny were also funny! It was such a pleasant surprise!

Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers! )

The weirdest thing about seeing this movie, though, is that it made me realize how much I don't care anymore. And yes, I just wrote a ton of crap for someone who "doesn't care", but I'm usually such a nazi and I was just so incredibly forgiving of stuff this time. I guess I'm growing out of my Harry Potter phase? I don't know. It's been a huge part of my life for so long, and I think the weirdest, scariest thing is that it feels so natural not to care.
trinsy: (don't be so daft)
Dear Andrew Adamson et al,

Today I am going to rationally explain to you why I'm upset with you, and why you'd better take your cue from Peter Jackson & Co. when you make Voyage of the Dawn Treader, rather than from David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and the rest of the Harry Potter crew.  Granted, I'm not a hardcore Lord of the Rings fan, but I read the books, and I understand why the hardcore LotR fans are upset with Jackson, and I think that, even so, he and his team did a damn good job adapting Tolkien's masterpiece.  You could learn a couple things from them.

First, let me just say that I do actually get that book and film are different mediums, and that some things that work in a book just don't work in a film, and visa versa.  Notice that I say some things, not everything.  I'm sure that it must be hard to adapt a book of which about a quarter is backstory, and at least another quarter features people walking back and forth across a forest and bickering with each other.  (Oh, Harry Potter crew, you are going to have so much fun with Book Seven!)  That said, just because it's hard, it doesn't mean you should just give up and change the whole plot!  That's just lazy, and that's not okay.  Yeah, you might have to make a few changes to keep up the pace of the film.  I get that.  But you shouldn't change everything.  You need to make changes intelligently, and you need to make sure they aid and add to the story.  You didn't do that.  When asked why you put in the part where Caspian's troops try to invade the castle (or 'the night raid sequence', as you call it), you answered with this:

"Director Andrew Adamson felt that the concept of mythological creatures attacking a medieval castle was quite an interesting visual, and one that had never been seen before."

In other words, you decided to put in the night raid sequence because you thought it would be kind of cool (in much the same way I suspect the HP people decided to put in an attack on the Burrow in HBP because they thought it would be cool).  Frankly, that's not a good enough reason.  This is one of the things where I completely agree with the LotR fans' indignation.  You see, in the film The Two Towers, there's a scene where the people of Rohan are going to Helm's Deep and they get attacked by orcs on wargs.  To be honest, this scene is pretty awesome and probably one of my favourites in the film, but it pisses off Rings book fans because it didn't happen in the book.  As a hardcore fan of certain books myself, I can say with no reservations that hardcore fans will never be satisfied.  But in this case I think the fans have every right to be upset, because Peter Jackson actually came out and said that the reason he decided to put it in the film is because he thought it would be cool, and that's really not a good reason to mess with canon.  I forgive Jackson, however, because he did what you and the Harry Potter people didn't do: he made sure that his 'cool' scene added to the story, rather than just being in there for the sake of being in there.  Also, I respect that he had the balls to be honest, rather than making up crap to appease the fans.  (I'm not even going to get into the crap 'logic' you used to justify the night raid sequence because I'm trying to be calm, and that pisses me off too much.)   Doesn't make what he did right, but still.

Jackson made another change in TTT, and it was actually pretty huge.  I am, of course, referring to the change in the character of Faramir.  In the book, Faramir isn't even tempted by the Ring; in the film, Faramir is tempted, and he's also kind of an asshole.  This also pisses off LotR book fans, which I get, and it upset me at first as well because Faramir is my favourite character in the trilogy.  However, getting past my initial emotional reaction, I do understand how "I would not take this thing even if I found it on the wayside and Gondor were falling and only I could save her" works in a book in a way it could never really work in a three hour film.  When you have everyone in the story tempted by this object of evil, and then you get someone that immune, it's really going to throw the pacing off.  I get that, and Jackson & Co. got that, and that's why they changed Faramir's character; but they didn't do it lightly, and they did it right.  They realized that having film-Faramir start out as book-Faramir would throw off the films, so they had film-Faramir evolve into book-Faramir.  They didn't give Faramir a complete personality transplant; he just started out a little less developed than book-Faramir.  So in a bizarre way, his OOC-ness actually made him in character.  That's the correct way to do OOC-ness (pay attention Harry Potter!).

Look, I get that making Peter bitter about leaving Narnia the first time could make the film more interesting.  I get that having Peter and Caspian get along from the start could throw off the pacing.  I even get how the whole Susan hating fighting thing could make battle sequences difficult.  Changing one of those things is okay; but you changed all of them.  The thing is, if you need to change a character to keep the pacing of the film, that's okay; but you'd better make sure it's the correct character to take the hit, you'd better make sure the character evolves into being in character by the end of film, and you'd better make damn sure you work three times as hard to keep all the other characters in character!  You may even need to change two characters to keep the pacing (e.g. Arwen); that's still okay.  But if you have to change most of the characters, well, then you need to ask yourself why you think making this book into a film is a good idea.  And no, 'money' isn't a good enough answer.  If every character has to be out of character to make the film work, then this probably isn't a book that can translate to film.  That's okay.  There are plenty of other books that can work as films.  Just adapt one of those.

Honestly, I don't think Prince Caspian is a book that can't translate to film.  I don't think every character had to be changed to keep the pacing.  I just think you were lazy and you didn't care enough.  And if you don't care enough to work at adapting the book correctly, then you aren't the right person to be adapting that book.  So stop.  Plenty of people actually care.  Plenty of people want to do it right.  The Peter Jackson of Narnia is out there.  Leave it for them.
trinsy: (stubborn)
So I decided a few days ago that I would like David Yates a little, because despite that fact that he completely butchered Order of the Phoenix, he clearly ships Neville/Luna, and even though this is really further proof of his total disregard for canon, Neville/Luna is my OTP, so I can't really fault the guy there.  He also clearly ships Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny, and though this is as close to canon as his adaptations seem likely to get, it is really nice to have those elements reappear in the films (despite the famous R/Hr "hand movement" in the Buckbeak scene, Alfonso so shipped Harmony, and I think Mike was too focused on Voldemort's resurrection {and rightly so} to really care one way or the other).

However, any goodwill he earned from his shipping, he lost after this announcement.  Honestly, I don't care if JKR approved it!  JKR is brilliant, but as far as I'm concerned, she has made a lot of bad decisions when it comes to the films (PoA Shrunken Head, anyone?). But what really annoys me is this: the filmmakers always go on and on about how the books are so long, and they can't fit every storyline into a two-hour film (which, um, did you ever consider just making the films longerReturn of the King was over three hours, and it's not like it was hurting at the box office! Of course, Lord of the Rings had a huge following that would support it no matter what and in fact wanted the films to be really long, so it could pretty much be as long as it wanted, whereas Harry Potter ... oh wait...), blahblahblah!  But then they do stupid stuff like add extra scenes!  Um, gee, maybe you could fit in more from the book if you took out the scenes that weren't in the book to begin with!  You know, maybe if you hadn't spent so much time on the Shrunken Head, you could have explained about the Marauders!  Maybe if you hadn't had the kids in dance lessons, you could have explained Priori Incantatem!  Maybe if you hadn't put the D.A. in detention, you could have left in the whole prophecy!  Maybe if you didn't add this new scene, you could leave in the Gaunts!  Don't come crying to me, WB, about how you don't have the screentime!  You do not have my sympathy!  You are stupid!

Also, we can't cast the Gaunts, but we can cast Pansy Parkinson.  Because, you know, her character is pivotal in Half-Blood Prince.  Thank god they have their priorites sorted!
trinsy: (stubborn)
So I bought the Order of the Phoenix DVD as a going away present to myself before I left for Scotland. And watching the film a third time, I came across even more things that annoy me about it than I did the first and second time. Cut for your convenience (I get pretty in-depth). I really just need to exorcise these demons...

trinsy: (silver doe)
Okay, so I saw Harry Potter Five again tonight, and I have some thoughts to add to the ones I initially wrote back in July.  Don't worry, they're [relatively] briefer and more positive.  But everything I originally wrote I still believe.

trinsy: (resurrection stone)
Okay, I know this is over two weeks after the film came out, but better late than never, yes?

June 2013

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