Jun 28 2010 8:25pm

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer

Working in publishing it’s hard to admit I’m a total geek for these movies without having read the books, but, I’ll say it out loud, I’ll be there opening night!

Tudza White
1. tudzax1
No worries, I have read all but the last book and it is my personal opinion that the movies are far better than the books.

All the books except maybe the first one were far longer than they needed to be, so cutting them down to movie length actually improves them all on its own. Also, the movies were made by people with actual talent crafting silk purses from the ears of bloated sows.
Brit Mandelo
2. BritMandelo
I may or may not go see this. The seventh book was my least favorite, as it consisted mostly of wandering around full of teenage angst and romantic tension, and... Well, let's just say the only thing that kept me from walking out on the sixth movie was my unfinished popcorn. I shrieked about how awful it was for days.

(Maybe if I hadn't read the books movie #6 wouldn't have made me want to commit terrible violence, but I did, and the gutting of half the plot and the entirety of the thematic freight in Half Blood Prince does not bode well for the seventh. That was the best, darkest, twistiest and smartest of all the books--the film was pretty with no substance or meaning or heft. Ugh.)
Alex Brown
3. AlexBrown
I've only ever seen the third Potter movie, and a handful of minutes of whatever one they always show at Christmas on ABC/ABC Family. The only reason I even own the first movie is because I borrowed it from someone intending to watch it then promptly forgot who it belonged to. The third one I saw approximately 8 million times because while I was backpacking through Europe it was the only movie showing in Italy, Germany, Austria, and France that hadn't been dubbed out of English. Even saw it in Italian while in Rome just for the sheer hell of it. And yet I still have no idea what actually happened.

I have no interest in these movies or books, but I am glad that kids are at least reading and I really like that actress who plays Hermione (I like that she's the anti-Lindsay Lohan), so no hate on my end. If it makes it way onto TV then I'll probably watch a few minutes before moving on, but I'm certainly not going to go out of my way for it.

Besides, someone told me the coda part so I'm good.
Adam R. Stephens
4. Adam R. Stephens
It seems to me a TRUE fan ought to chime in here! I watched the movies two years ago before picking up one of the books. In fact, their brilliance in storytelling (and the fact that I knew J.K. Rowling was highly involved in their making) forced me to pick up Rowling's books.

Not enough praise can be bestowed upon J.K. Rowling for (and you can test it if you wish) the BEST and most FLAWLESS plot I've ever read! EVERY scene written in those books supports another portion and section of the large plot extending over the course of those seven amazing novels! No series has been better written, more concisely plotted, and no writer has more careful a hand (except perhaps for Robert Jordan) than J.K. Rowling.

That said, I think the movies have cut what they should (not always wisely; e.g. Goblet of Fire) and done a PHENOMENAL job with translating the books into an entirely visual medium! Don't believe me? J.K. Rowling agrees! :-)
Irene Gallo
5. Irene
There are definitely good and not-so-good movies in the series. (They are a bit of a not-overly-guilty pleasure for me.) But I tend to see them as a whole. Typically I like to let series -- books, movies, or TV shows -- end before I start, and then binge on them. (My Buffy marathon was epic!) So the jury is out whether I’ll like them when all is said and done but, in the meantime, I always look forward to a new one.

I would like to read them after I left all the movies behind a bit.

Brit: Still trying to work out Reader Con. I think I’ll be up there Friday night. It’ll be great to meet you in real life!
Ellie Angel
6. Ellie_Angel
tudzax1, I think your criticism of Rowling is terribly one-sided. Yes, some of the later books are a bit bloated, but her genius for world-building (particularly in the details) is remarkable. I don't think the books would be so popular and loved if they were as bad as you imply. It's just becoming fashionable to rag on her.

For the films, the third and fifth were the best. I agree there were many nuances done away with in the sixth, particularly regarding the confrontation involving Snape. I hope this one stacks up with the third. The fact that they are splitting it doesn't bode well, though. I also hoped they would pare down the running through the woods sections.
Brit Mandelo
7. BritMandelo

Woohoo! It will be totally great. I'm flying in on Thursday. (Do you have a room? Email me if you need a space to stay; I think Nina and I have room still.)
Adam R. Stephens
8. Kim Kincaid
I couldn't agree more, Adam. And book seven was perhaps one of the most satisfying endings to a series I've ever read.
Maggie M
9. Eswana
Disclaimer: I'm beyond a fan... I'm a fanatic. I listen to Wizard Rock. I go to conventions (plural) each year. I'm in a Harry Potter musical (no, not the YouTube sensation A Very Potter Musical. The soon-to-be Youtube sensation The Final Battle).

The movies have always been "meh" for me. The books are where it began, and as entertaining as the films are I'm always, always, always disappointed.

But at this point, it's not about how they've altered the story or switched characters' line around or tweaked character development any more. For me and hundreds (thousands?) of others, Harry Potter isn't just about these books we love; it's evolved into a deep love for a our strange little fandom. A fandom that has a social activism wing (the HP Alliance, about which posts have appeared on this site), a very interconnected network of friendships between people from ages 7 to 70, and a common ground in a story so beloved we can quote large sections at length to one another.

So I don't so much worry anymore about the inaccuracies of the film, or if so-and-so's hairstyle is correct. These movie releases are events we attend together, as a fandom, whether in small groups spread out all over the country and then share later on the Internet, or at large events. The November release of Part I will be the former; most of us will see the film at midnight with our "IRL" friends in our local towns. But come next July.... over 1,000 of us will be gathered in Orlando for Leaky Con 2011 for Part II's release, and experience the very last midnight showing as a collective community, no longer separated by distance. That's what this has become about. The characters and stories became so integral to our lives growing up that they spawned an entire social sphere.

It is a night I will tell my grandchildren about. They won't understand, but they will know something special was there.

"Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it's not real?"
Alex Brown
10. AlexBrown
Eswana @ 9: Seems that the way you feel about Potter is the way I feel about Joss Whedon. And David Milch. And Tarsem Singh for that matter. I applaud you for your devotion. You even make me want to pick up one of the books. Once they finish with the movies. Maybe. :)
Irene Gallo
11. Irene
( Milo beat me to it. )

Eswana: I seem to have a soft spot for fandom in many colors. Maybe come November you can stop in a write a movie/event review for us?
Maggie M
12. Eswana
@Irene and @Milo It would be my great honor :-) Though I'll probably precede it with a write up about Infinitus, the upcoming July convention (16 days! 17 days til the musical!)
Marcus W
15. toryx
I'm one of those people who can't understand how you can watch the movies without reading the books first. And then, after reading the books, I can't understand how you can enjoy the movies.

But it's obvious, just from reading the other posts, that when it comes to Harry Potter there are just all kinds of different perspectives.

Anyway, I enjoyed the books (didn't love them, mind you, but did enjoy them) and I don't like the movies. Nevertheless, I'll probably see this one because my partner is one of those crazy people who has watched the movies but not read most of the books. :) I'm sure she'll be eager to see this last one.
Mike Conley
16. NomadUK
I've read all of the books. Out loud. To my entire family. Doing voices, accents, the works.

I didn't say I did them well.

And I've seen all of the films. The books are better; they're not Great, in that they could really use some serious editing, and some of the deus ex machina stuff is a little hard to take. But at least the plot is all there.

The films simply lack the time required to fully realise the content of the books, so a lot is left to the viewer's imagination or recollection. I, too, am unable to understand how one can see the films without having read the books. The films are fun, and it's interesting to see how the live action characters live up to one's imagination. Alan Rickman's Severus Snape is precisely the character as I imagined whilst reading the book — right down to the voice he is perfect in every way, and my only complaint is that he doesn't get nearly enough screen time. Nor does the wonderful Maggie Smith.

And, yes, I'll be there in November. And July. Quite a few pounds poorer, alas.
F Shelley
17. FSS
Love the books, like the movies. I think this pair of movies will be great.

That said - why 3D? What does 3D give these films thata normal film doesn't have? I know 3D is all the rage, but it's just not necessary!
Marcus W
18. toryx
NomadUK @ 16:

Alan Rickman is, for me, the best reason for seeing the movie(s). He is just fantastic for the role.
j p
19. sps49
toryx @15-

If I see a movie first, it is because it came out before I came across the book. Jaws was the first time this happened.

And I have to disagree. When you see a movie and then read the book (novelizations excluded), you discover subplots and nuggets that enhance the story told in the theater. When the book is read first, I am always disappointed by what is cut, what is interpreted "wrong", and what is changed.
jon meltzer
20. jmeltzer
When Snape says to Dumbledore

"Would you like me to do it now? Or would you like a few moments to compose an epitaph?"

you just know Rowling was writing that line for Alan Rickman ...
Tricia Irish
21. Tektonica
I loved reading these books to my son as he grew up. He's 20 now, so he's perfectly in sync with Harry. Watching his eyes light up and discussing the stories and characters with him was a highlight of his childhood for me. A unique bond, so yeah...I like them A LOT. But I didn't love them, as literature.

However, I think they did a great service to kid lit, and they got kids and parents reading again and enjoying Fantasy! Yeah for that! I hope it becomes a life-long pursuit for many. It will be good for our favorite genre.

Alas, the movies necessarily had to be truncated. Some were done better than others. Alfonso Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban was the best, IMHO. I wish he would've done all the movies. He made the whole movie magical. And there are some great actors and characters...Rickman, Smith, Branagh, etc.

I have watched them repeatedly while on the Elliptical machine....not too demanding. And yes....I'll be there in November and July, day one, probably. The last book was really moving. and I'm looking forward to seeing how Daniel Radcliffe handles it. He has most certainly improved and grown into his part.
Adam R. Stephens
22. RachelAKA
If I could backpack across Europe... a theater might be a nice place to nap between art museums.

NomadUK- I'm imagining your Hermione! Good point about films lacking "the time required to fully realise the content of the books". But how many sweeping/lingering establishing shots does a film really need? (Jackson's LotR films also come to mind- *sigh*) Hopefully 3D won't make it worse. Many directors seem to get hung up on the pretty visuals in fantasy, when character interaction makes better storytelling. (Another reason to wish Whedon would make more films)

Though I've only read book 1, I was pleasantly surprised by Rowling's confident voice and wry humor. I've enjoyed the films, although- rather like Roald Dahl's stories- many key plot events seem to rely on the irresponsible actions or inactions of the adults (wizards) in charge. Maybe my understanding is superficial. Or maybe wizards are just brutal? Like the dad who dumps his kid in the middle of a lake and says "swim".

I was honestly disturbed when Harry & co. put a freezing spell on their own Hogwarts friend to keep him from ratting them out, with little apparent hesitation or remorse aside from "sorry, it's for your own good"- which made most of the audience laugh. (Did that really happen that way in the book? And are we so callous? A freezing spell would really suck.)

All that aside- Whatever merits or flaws, Rowling's series has not only gotten many kids to read, it's created a legion of fantasy fans hungry for other books (great for us writers), and may spawn a whole new batch of writers (maybe bad for us writers...). It's just cool when something creative brings people together in such life-changing ways.
Adam R. Stephens
23. Lsana
I've always been fairly meh on the Harry Potter movies. My problem isn't that they have cut material; obviously they have to. My problem is with what they chose to cut and what they choose to emphasize. My enjoyment of the Harry Potter books was never about the big set pieces and great battles; it was about the quiet moments between the characters. I thought the most memorable scene in Goblet of Fire, for example, was not Harry fighting the dragon, but "Draco Malfoy, the amazing bouncing ferret." The movies, however, seem to de-emphasize the character moments in favor of putting flashy special effects in and drawing out relatively minor scenes of some sort of magic. If you want examples, I would go with the aforementioned dragon fight as well the first hippogriff ride in Prisoner of Azkaban.

The movies also seem to their portrayal of Hogwarts. Reading the books, I wanted my letter so I could go to Hogwarts too. Watching the movies, Hogwarts was kind of an interesting place to watch for a couple hours, but I definitely wouldn't want to be there.
Marcus W
24. toryx
sps49 @ 19:

I think it depends on the story. Some translate perfectly well from book to movie, others do not. In some respects the HP movies have done a reasonable job of that but I don't think they can stand on their own without the book.

There are two things that bother me the most about the Harry Potter movies:

1. The very best thing about the series was that it, as others have already stated, got kids to read again. Better than that, it actually got adults reading too. People of any age who might otherwise never pick up a book, much less a fantasy one, were suddenly reading these. Then the movies came along and a distressing number of people stopped reading. That upsets me most of all.

2. Due to all the things you mentioned, the books cannot be replaced by the movie. There's so much more character development, so many little plot points and details that cannot be taken up by film that people are missing out on. And ultimately in the case of HP (IMHO) that detracts from the enjoyment. The crucial moments, especially when it comes to deaths of certain characters, are diminished without the added depth that the books provide. So if you watch the movies first, you're going to know about some of the more emotionally compelling moments without being able to experience them in their fullness. It's like getting spoiled by reading the Cliff Notes. And I just can't understand that, especially when it comes to this series.
Thomas Jeffries
25. thomstel
Good Lord, even when I know they've color-corrected every scene, there's CGI in every scene, they've taken every dramatic headshot from the film for the trailer, they've overlayed two intentionally emotional trailer soundbytes over the whole thing, and it's part of a massive ad-campaign for (what I believe are) sub-standard representations of the novels...

...I still find myself grinning like an idiot and planning on how I'm going to get to the theater Day 1.

Kudos folks. You done good.
Fred Himebaugh
26. Fredosphere
Count me as one who read the first book, and definitely did not get what the big deal was. Much later (earlier this year, in fact) I worked my way through all the movies so far on DVD and loved them.

To me, the movies are the series. I still have little desire to return to the books. I know that's wrong. But, there it is.
Fred Himebaugh
27. Fredosphere
@thomstel: color-corrected? Oooh, yeah. That trailer sure has lots of teal and orange.
Ben Frey
28. BenPatient
one thing the movies did was retcon some of the continuity errors in the books, most notably the part in HPB where (in the books), Dumbledore freezes Harry with a spell while he is under his invisibility cloak to keep him from revealing himself when Snape kills him. The problem being that the Invisibility Cloak also blocks magic directed at its wearer (which we learn in the last book). So Dumbledore simply could NOT freeze Harry while he was hidden under the cape.

in the movie, harry is just hiding under the floor.
Megan Messinger
29. thumbelinablues
Deathly Hallows is the only book I've only read once (so. much. camping.), but in general I'm a huge HP fan, and not too picky as long as there are well-done CGI dragons, so I'll be there (with lots of tissues).
Adam R. Stephens
30. Juhan R
Worst. Trailer. Ever.

The HP series is not about "EPIC!" and all that. It is (or at least initially was) in a way, a cozy adventure for children. Wizards, ghosts, candy and all that. Perfect for kids. The books were all about the atmosphere.

Lately it's just been turned into a sweaty CGI-fest.
Mike Conley
31. NomadUK
RachelAKA@22: I'm imagining your Hermione!

I had to make her a bit ... breathy.

And, yes, I have no use for 3D either. Ridiculous marketing bullshit, adding nothing to the film but cost to the customer.

If I want 3D, I'll go see a play.
Arachne Jericho
32. arachnejericho
Oh dear, the chanting. Standard stuff for movie trailers, I know.

But I'll be there, for I truly do love the Harry Potter books, ever since the spidery closet.

(I liked the third movie the best, and from thence on the movies were just OK.)
Marc Houle
33. MightyMarc
The first two movies would have been far better if they'd been directed by Terry Gilliam. I totally wish he'd been chosen to direct the Harry Potter movies.

Having said that, the other movies complement the books well. If I hadn't read the books, I'd probably have enjoyed the movies more. Even still, there are many things the movies do better than the books, and I'm pretty sure the 7th movie can't be worse than the book on which it's based.
John Massey
34. subwoofer
The number one issue I have with all Hairy Potter movies- and like a sucker I just keep coming back for more punishment- Every single movie we have seen, my wife and I look at each other and say:

"That was it?"

The trailers are awesome but the movies themselves do not live up to the billing. I am going to have to crack these books to maybe get a better understanding of what the hype is about. Suffice to say, this series has been very aniclimactic for me. Anyways, I have come this far, and I am not a quitter soooo...
Adam R. Stephens
35. jmvreality
The books are not well written. They're wonderful stories, though.

I think Tektonica hit it on the head—the entire series is about Harry Potter maturing. So, the first book was be a cozy one about pre-teens starting at a magical boarding school, but he's clearly become an adult by the end. As he becomes an adult, the scope expands from the relatively quotidian to become epic—and thus I find it fitting that the movies should start out cozy and eventually become equally epic.
Terrie Schultz
36. tlschultz
I am a huge HP fan; I've read all of the books multiple times, and also own all of the movies and have seen them repeatedly. I think JK Rowling's plotting is stunning. The way every little detail in the earlier books is tied together in the last one is simply amazing. I also loved the movies, although I was disappointed by omissions and changes, most notably in the 6th movie. The 3rd movie is definitely my favorite. And I wholeheartedly agree about Alan Rickman being perfect as Snape. No one could do it better. Can't wait til November!

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