Harry Potter et al, et all…

My wife and I have a long-standing ritual of spending New Years watching a huge dvd series. Over the years we’ve watched Rome, we’ve watched all of the Friday the 13th movies, we’ve watched all of the Lethal Weapon movies, we’ve watched all of the Elm Street movies and many others.

Okay, so last night we finished the last movie in the Harry Potter series – having watched the first movie on December 30. There was a lot of good stuff in those eight movies – but I’d REALLY like to know why the last three movies in the series (Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows Part One AND Two) were so darned dark.

I’m not talking dark in tone – I’m talking dark visually.

For a good part of the six or eight hours we spent watching those last three flicks I kept wondering if the color on our television wasn’t busted. Did somebody leave their sunglasses hung over the camera lens? I felt as if the director (David Yates) had about three colors on his color wheel – black, white and brown.

I took a look at some of the critical websites – such as IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes and all I kept seeing was that – “Because these last three films were darker in tone the filmmaker felt it ought to be shot darker” – which is a little like saying all graveyard scenes ought to be shot from underneath the already-buried coffin!

All in all I enjoyed the series and was glad to get the chance to watch them one after the other and to enjoy the evolution of a fictional series. I don’t believe I am EVER going to get around to reading all of the books – and I understand that a LOT of the last couple of books were omitted and/or mangled by the film series – but it was still a very interesting experience.

I really enjoyed the flavor of the last couple of movies. I liked how they became more “adult” in theme – but I really missed the simplicity of the earlier movies story arcs. I felt a little muddled in the last two or three movies. I didn’t really understand what the villain Voldemort was attempting to do with all of this power he was acquiring. I didn’t feel he really lived up to his role as main villain. He seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time sitting at a supper table and playing with his snake.

In any case I am glad to have finally got the chance to see all of the movies in sequence. The books made a billion dollars and continue to sell. The movies likewise were successful and continue to do well. I watched with the eye of a writer – trying to learn just how a series can be created.

Any Potter fans out there want to shed a little light on this for me?

What other movie series REALLY turns your crank?

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

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6 responses to “Harry Potter et al, et all…

  1. Lord of the Rings + The Hobbit, Pirates of the Carribean

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  2. As a Potter fan, I’ve always looked at the books and the movies as a package deal. They are best enjoyed together. The books support the plot holes and weaknesses in the movies, and the movies provide readers with visuals and character development the books might skimp over. The films are significantly more rounded and better explained if you have read the books — but then again, maybe it’s just me.

    I do agree that the last three movies were shot with too dark of a palette…I get what they were going for, but it’s just hard to see!

    I love the idea of spending New Year’s with a movie-series marathon. I might have to try this. Happy New Year! 🙂

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    • That’s just it – I don’t think you should need to have read a book to enjoy the movie-version of it. They are two separate items – or they ought to be. If they aren’t then the director and the scriptwriter HAVEN’T done their jobs.

      That’s my two bits on the matter.

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  3. The first three Star Wars and the Indiana jones movies, except the last one.

    Cheers

    MTM

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