Pokémon Go Book Tag!

This is going to be such a random post but hey, isn’t that what blogging is all about – being random! So here I go, with my Pokémon Go Book Tag created by Read At Midnight, which I wasn’t tagged in, but found it on Big City Bookwork, and just wanted to participate anyway. By the way, I don’t play Pokémon Go either – so this is as random as it can get!

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# 242 – Harry Potter (magic special 2)

It was 41 posts ago when I posted the first magic special and since then I have yet not seen the final Harry Potter movie – which is sad and more sadder is the fact that I’m still on a dry-spell so the third magic special might take a long time.

Anyway, the first post focused on the first three movies so this one will continue with the next two – the fourth and the fifth one. Sadly this post is gonna start on a high and end with a sadder note – not thrilled about that but this is how the cookie crumbles (see what I did there, a movie reference!). Back to business, so before the fourth movie The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) came out and just one year later Potter was back on the screen.

The Goblet of Fire (2005) is no doubt my favorite from all the movies (not including the last one at the moment) and don’t dare to say it is because of Robert Pattinson. I liked his role, yes, I thought his story from all the wizard tournament supporting characters was the most interesting. Back then he was also unknown for the so called crazy-American-teen market and I am a bit disappointed about that because his acting skills are rather good – minus the Twilight Saga which is due to bad-book-material. But let me get this straight – The Goblet of Fire is not my favorite because of Robert Pattinson!. Now, enough about Robert, lets talk about the movie that I have seen countless of times because I like this one the best.

This movie is the real beginning of the return of the one who can not be named – his flesh-form which is brought onto the screen by Ralph Fiennes. He is lovely, I specially like him in Red Dragon – he seems sweet and kind but he knows how to play characters that are so evil inside. Still he manages to appeal to me as a bad character more than others villains – a skill beyond the regular actor. The return in the books was amazing, so it was the movie – in the end the movie didn’t really leave out anything that important and it followed the books quite nicely. Many might say the opposite because some things were changed from the books but for me they made sense and I wasn’t disturbed by them. So for me it is a great version of a book-to-movie situation.

In this case, talking about the graphics is pointless cause by then it all was done in a manner of near perfection. Talking about acting is also ridiculous cause they were still growing as actors and to be honest, by then they were pretty good already. But I would like to talk about the hair – every one of the main characters from Harry to Ron to the twins – what was the costume/make-up/style what ever department thinking with these haircuts. I would’ve understood one of them but all four boys had long hair – so different from their characteristics that it felt a bit odd to me. So in conclusion, The Goblet of Fire represents the bad-hair-movie, the beginning of the villain without he nose – and of course the amazing Wizard Tournament.

It took two years for the fifth one to come out, so in 2007 The Order of the Phoenix was in the movies and this is one of the most unsuccessful versions of the book-to-movie in my opinion. On one hand I think it is normal when you have a book that is literally too heavy to hold. Reading the reasoning why things were cut and scenes were altered makes sense too from the point of view of the movie. On the second hand it doesn’t really go with the book nor the story and there was too much altering next to cutting and leaving out things. Cause for me the fifth book was very important not only because of the fact that nobody believed that Voldemort was back but because it also pinpointed the beginning of Ron’s Quidditch playing – it was totally cut, all of the Quidditch was left out and that was a big no-no. I understand it, I totally get the reasons and everything but I still feel like the fifth book was about Ron a lot as well and not only the emotional journey of Harry. (If you check out the short facts you’ll see something disturbing about the length of the movie.)

It is no surprise that the fifth one lacks the entertainment level that the book was offering: the darkness of the movie was rather slow-moving and not pleasing. I consider the fifth movie as my least favorite book-to-movie but definitely not the worst of the movies from the visual side but this is mostly due to the fact that it was made in 2007. All in all, fifth one is the only movie I haven’t watched more than two times and it will probably stays that way.

Short facts about the fourth and the fifth Harry Potter movies:

  • The Order of the Phoenix was the only screenplay that wasn’t written by Steve Kloves. Michael Goldenberg wrote the fifth screenplay.
  • Budget for both movies was $150 million.
  • The Order of the Phoenix had a better box office – almost $ 940 million.
  • Although the fifth book is the longest, the movie itself is the shortest – only 138 minutes!
  • The Goblet of Fire has a 7.5 score and The Order of Phoenix 7.3 score in IMDb.

The third and final post of magic special is on its way and will be in the blog as soon as I get the chance to watch the final installment of the saga.

# 200 – Harry Potter vol 1 (magic special)

As the second (and the last) part of the 7th movie is making history, I have finally finished with my book/movie marathon. It is logical that I’m gonna do reviews on Harry Potter movies although I find it hard to be objective. If you have grown up with Potter and if you have read the books – you simply enjoy the movies for what they are. So this is more of an overview of the first three Harry Potter movies.

The magic begun in 2001 (4 years after the first book was published) – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (America has it called Sorcerer’s Stone but I’m sticking with philosophers all the way) marked the beginning for this saga that is to its core filled with brilliant English actors (something that J.K Rowling insisted). Not only did this movie bring the magic on to the big screen, it also showed us young talent that, like us, got the chance to grow up with Harry Potter: starting with Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Emma Watson as Hermione and Rupert Grint as Ron. Trying not to make this a post about actors, I’ll keep the rest of the actor list minimal – Tom Felton (Draco), Matthew Lewis (Neville), Oliver and James Phelps (George and Fred), Bonnie Wright (Ginny) along side with Maggie Smith (McGonagall), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Julie Walters (Molly Weasly), and Richard Harris ( “first” Dumbledore).

The first movie was rather by the book as far as I’m concerned. Of course the challenge wasn’t about fitting the book into 2 and a half hours – it was more about finding the right cast which in a long run was almost perfect. The special effects are rather funny though but what do you expect – it was 10 years ago! Philosopher’s Stone is that sweet children’s movie, I say children’s because that’s what it is. Later on it changes, from year to year, from book to book, from movie to movie – as the characters grow, as “we” grow, the story evolves into something much more serious and that is something I keep in mind when I watch the first movies. Besides, for those who have read the books, the first movie supports it and after a while you start to see those same faces as the characters when you read the book. I think Philosopher’s Stone embodies that – how a movie can just collide with the books and in the end they just are together rather than just co-existing.

Two years later, in 2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came out and much like the first movie, this one kept things simple. The actors had grown a bit and it seemed that they were still putting emphasis on the details (which is good). All in all the second movie in my mind still marks the beginning. Due to the fact that they are so close to each other (with only 2 years between) the look of the movie is still pretty funny but improved (I’m saying this as a comment to the fact that things have changed in special-effects during10 years not about the movie itself). The casting choices still prove that the actors are (not able to find a better way to say this) the characters – now after 10 years it is probably very difficult to see them in other roles (but we’ll see).

In my mind the first and the second are very similar, not much differences visually and it’s not a bad thing – but what these 2 movies have done (for me at least), is make the characters come more alive and they kind of are the perfect foundation of the saga as the story continues into the third movie.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came out in 2004 and this for me was very important – the third book is my favorite and as far as I know – many others consider the third one the favorite as well. But let me say this, the third movie isn’t my favorite because I think the ones that came after this one managed to have a bigger appeal but still the third is definitely a step towards greatness.

Now as everything had taken a huge step forward – the actors, the special-effects and the story – things got serious. Two new characters were introduced: Gary Oldman as Sirius Black and David Thewlis as Remus Lupin. It also brought Michael Gambon to be the new Dumbledore since the first one had past away in 2002. As the visual outlook of the whole movie had evolved (as it started back then) everything seemed a bit more colorful. This was by far the best version of the book to the screen back then. I also think that the first three movies (and the 4th) were easier for the writer since the stories weren’t as huge as for instance the fifth one (which is actually the only Harry Potter movie Steven Kloves didn’t write the screenplay for). But it might also be that Steven Kloves was that good with the first three that it’s hard to comment on what finally made it into the movies because the story-lines were fulfilled to their max.

Short facts about the first three Harry Potter movies:

  • With 7.7 score on IMDb The Prisoner of Azkaban is the best one (metascore gives it 82/100), The Philosopher’s Stone has 7,2 (64/100) and The Chamber of Secrets 7,1 (63/100).
  • The third one has the second highest score of all 8 movies.
  • All of the Harry Potter movies are in the list of 50 highest-grossing movies of all time – ironically the second best, the third, is the last out of the 8 – 32nd.
  • The Chamber of Secrets is the longest of all the 8 Harry Potter movies – it runs for 161 minutes.
  • The Philosopher’s Stone has the most Oscar nominations, which is 3 (not including the final part of the last movie).
  • Although being the longest of all the movies, The Chamber of Secrets has the lowest budget of a 100 million dollars.
  • John Williams (an award winning American composer) was behind the music of only the first three movies but his themes continued to be apart of the entire saga.
  • All the three movies (and the forth) have different editors.
  • In 2001 The Philosopher’s Stone was the highest-grossing movie of the year.

The second magic special on Harry Potter will be on its way soon after this one – stay tuned!