Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Me + Harry Potter = Love

** Warning -- Harry Potter movie and book spoilers within! **

So many books just suck, right from the beginning, and I bail immediately. Life is too short and there are too many good books to waste time slogging through badly written junk. Some start off promisingly, but then let me down with lazy plot devices, unrealistic dialogue, not fully-realized characters behaving in ways that are psychologically inconsistent. But the HP books, in my humble opinion, are all completely wonderful, perfectly crafted from beginning to end. I loved the characters, I loved the wizarding world, and I love JK Rowling.

Of course, the movies must disappoint, given the industry's inclination to make movies that are less than 10 hours long. (sigh)

Worst Movie Omissions/Inaccuracies:

1) Mad-Eye Moody not saying "CONSTANT VIGILANCE", even once.

2) Who Moony, Padfood, Wormtail and Prongs are, and why they created the Marauder's map. That just broke my heart! Don't even get me started on how the patronuses often just looked like shields instead of animals.

3) The detail about the Weasley family in general. I feel like Percy's betrayal has not been shown adequately, poor Bill has been completely ignored (as well as his engagement to Phlegm), and Charlie has only been mentioned briefly (in relation to the dragons at the Tri-Wizard Tournament).

4) The house wizards in Hogwarts never having been shown in any movie, especially poor little Winky (sob!) and Hermione's SPEW initiative. I feel like house elves and their rights and powers are an important theme in the books and are a factor in the end, and at this point they'll have to take it out completely or show it in a way that lacks the depth and meaning of the books.

Best Movie Moments/General Movie Coolness:

1) The neato swirly smoky effect when wizards zip around, particularly with the Death Eaters. There is nothing like that in the books, and honestly, what is it? They are not apparating/disapparating, they are not flying, so... But still, it looks awesome, and I won't question it too much.

2) The appearance of all the characters. Pretty much every single character looks exactly like I pictured them in the books, especially Voldemort's weird snake face. Eeeek. My one nitpick is how Hagrid's size seems to be inconsistent, even within each movie.

3) The moviemakers really did justice to Fred and George's amazing departure from Hogwarts. Fred and George are rock stars, their leaving was legendary, and it looked GREAT in the movie!

Most Embarrassing Personal Harry Potter trivia:

I made my own Harry Potter t-shirt to wear to the last two book release parties. And if I do say so myself, it's SUPER. I took the lovely Mary Grandpre drawing from the first page of the first chapter of the first book, with the title under it: The Boy Who Lived. I added a tiny bit of color in Photoshop and used CafePress to have it made, and it's so cool. Stop laughing at me!

How to read a 900 page book overnight in one sitting:

1) Sit at a desk or table. 900 page hardback books are heavy after the first 8 or 10 hours.

2) Have plenty of caffeine handy. I prefer Diet Mt. Dew or Coke Zero. Actual energy drinks are bad, as most will cause you to crash at some point, and you need to be awake for the duration (up to 12 hours or more, depending on how fast you read).

3) Snacks are important, but any snacks that are going to leave ook on your fingers and get on the pages (like Cheetos) are bad. This is not the time for the fried chicken leftovers. Maybe some nice saltines... but make sure not to drop any crumbs in the book.

4) Your spouse/family/friends will try to talk you out of it. They'll say it's silly, that you are actually hurting yourself by depriving yourself of sleep, that you probably will be too tired to fully understand what you're reading. Do not listen to these "helpful" people. Persevere!

5) Know that you will need the next day, and possibly two, to catch up on sleep and recover. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, and bask in your superiority! Think of all those other silly people out there; why, the book was released almost 15 hours ago and they haven't even read it yet. Tsk.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” - Albus Dumbledore

Oh, the terrible dark future of a life with no more new Harry Potter books to read, EVER. :(