July 20, 2009

The Half-Blood Prince

I saw the most recent Potter film over the weekend and thought it was fine. There's a lot of younguns out there crying that, OMG they changed things from the book!

Get used to it, kids. It's a completely different medium and things gotta change. I can't remember who it was they were interviewing, but many years ago someone asked an author his thoughts on how the movies had ruined his books. He pointed to them up there on his shelf and said, "No they haven't. They're right there."

When I worked in the bookstores, I used to periodically enjoy making a display called "The Book Is Always Better" showing off many recently filmed books. (The non-movie book covers are usually better, too).

But I liked this movie. I'm like Harry in response to Dumbledore's "You're probably wondering why I've brought you here, Harry": After all these years, I just go with it. I was less than thrilled the first two movies because I thought they tried too hard to stick to the books and while they looked good--they drained the life right out of the stories. It wasn't until Alfonso Cuaron's Prisoner of Askaban and his unique take on things that I got more interested. Since then the movies have had their own flavor--this one being of a British horror film.

So kids, just because you like a book doesn't mean you'll like a movie (usually you won't). And if you do go see a movie based on a favorite book, remember that you're seeing someone else's version and let them have their way. It'll never be yours, but that's ok.

The books will still be there on the shelf when you get home.

(photo via flickr)