Monday, July 13, 2009

Harry Time!

Mikaela says:
Oh my. Feels like I can hardly wait the 2 days until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is here! But I hate crowds. I hate crowds of fans even more, so my wait is even longer. Add to that wait the factoring in of a viewing with audience small enough that I can risk taking my 3 month old! We're talking Monday night, now, people! Can I make it?

In preparation, I listened to the audio book again. Love that Jim Dale*! I will admit that I like the audio book more than reading it myself because it actually stretches the experience out longer. It took me about 2 weeks to get through the audio book, listening mostly on my way to work and on walks. Reading the book takes about a night. That would be all night, and now that my baby sleeps through the night? I want to, too!

I'm reading reviews, but you know what? Critics are too critical, and fans are too breathless. All fans care about is how much the film deviates from the book. All the critics care about is how slavishly the movies follow the books at the detriment of making a good movie.

Me? I see the movies as an added bonus to a literary and cultural event that's made me happy for 10 years. I'm even glad they're splitting the final book into two movies, just so the series won't end for that much longer. What on earth will I ever be this excited about again? We've gotten to build excitement and anticipation for 8 movies! That's incredible.

The C.S. Lewis Narnia series might work well as a movie experience, but they need to get their act together a little more. Actually, the first couple Harry Potter's weren't that great, either. The first installment in Narnia -- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe -- was pretty good, mostly because of Tilda Swinton (love her).

But the books? I read them as a kid and was a fan... right up to the moment I heard they were all a big Christian parable. Bleck! Even if you are a Christian, isn't THE BIBLE good enough for you? Why pollute children's books with MESSAGES? Harry Potter's got its share of morality -- the deadly battle between good and evil -- but it's somehow specific to itself and therefore not just a thin veneer for a deeper message. Aslan's a great character, but he's a pretty poor Jesus, if you ask me.

But that's neither here nor there. What matters is that Harry's almost here. And even after I finally see the movie, there will be 2 more installments to come! Woo-hoo!

(After that, do I have to stoop to reading the Twilight series? And yes, I know how that sounds. I was all uppity about Harry Potter, too, until my little brother's fan-dom forced me to read the first one, after which, of course, I was hooked!)

[Trivia via Freakonomics blog: Dale was given only 100 pages of manuscript at a time to read and then record, so he never knew what was coming; in order to keep track of the 146 voices he’d created for all the characters, he often pre-recorded a bit of the characters’ voices and then held a tape recorder up to his ear in the studio to remind himself.]