Movies: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
While overall I liked the first two movies well enough, I do hope they get better. They’re not bad, but they are only pretty fair adaptations in my opinion. I don’t mind changes that help speed things along, but I hate completely unnecessary changes, some are even downright awkward, like Draco and Harry having their first encounter in front of everyone instead of on the train. I noticed the director changes after the second movie, however, so maybe I will like the next director’s way of doing things better. A lot of the direction felt inconsistent, with moments that felt well-done like the invisibility cloak, but then there would be simple scenes, like in the second movie when Harry and Ron are hiding from Dumbledore, Mr. Malfoy, etc. in Hagrid’s cabin and the whole scene was just so poorly staged. I do like the actors and actresses though, but of course I’ve known of who was who in the cast for years now, so I already feel familiar with them. I’m also looking forward to continue watching them grow up (even between the first two movies Harry had a growth-spurt and poor Ron was going through puberty!).
Book: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
See my review of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone here
I don’t have too much to say about Chamber of Secrets, especially since I waited too long after reading this book to start writing this review, but it felt a little too much like it was trying to stick with the formula of the first book, and it didn’t really introduce very many new elements or character insights. I did, however, really like the chapters we got where Harry spent time with Ron’s family. It was nice to get more of Ron’s mom and to meet his dad, and I’m looking forward to more reading about the Weasleys (all of them!) in the future books. I’m surprised by how quickly Hermione was fine with breaking the rules (even suggesting it!), but I guess after everything that went down in the first book she realized things could get pretty serious at Hogwart’s. But still, why don’t these kids ever just tell the adults what’s going on?! But as mentioned before, I’m still really looking forward to continuing the series.
What are your thoughts on the first two Harry Potter movies and on The Chamber of Secrets book?
I feel pretty close to you on both the book and these two movies. The first two movies are the most comprehensive in how much of the book they choose to adapt but as a result a lot of scenes are rushed or awkwardly combined. The strength of these first two movies though is that they do at least convey the wonder of Hogwarts.
I prefer the later movies which take a more thematic approach (my favorite is Prisoner of Azkaban, followed by Order of the Phoenix).
Someone else had mentioned to me before that the Prisoner of Azkaban movie was really good, so I’m looking forward to it!
I don’t remember what I thought of these two films really, or even how I compared them to the books, but your views on them sound about right. Definitely the films get better as the series goes on, especially with the children becoming really great actors!
I figured they must! That’s good to hear though! And hopefully there won’t be a reason for me to laugh through the third movie at poor Ron and his squeaking voice!
Alfonso Cuarón definitely does a better job of directing the third movie. I remember thinking, the first few times I saw each film, that the transitions in time felt awkward. Like there’s a shot of something changing from winter to spring and then a snap cut and it felt jarring. I didn’t mind the changes from the books (mostly because by the time I saw the movies it’d been MONTHS since I read the book). But i always wished the compression had been handled more smoothly.
Yeah, I found that odd too.
I’ve only read the first 4 books and only watched the 3rd movie. >.> Because I’m so incredibly behind on all of this! I did love the 3rd movie! I was really impressed at how closely it followed the book…although my sister was whingeing about the effects the whole time, and I have to agree that they weren’t the best. 😉 I try to read a book and then watch the movie, right after each other, so I can mentally compare them. XD
Glad to hear that you enjoyed the third movie! Sounds like you have some catching up to do like me!