I don't understand the appeal of Harry Potter

Jon Baker

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I picked up the first DVD in this series after hearing rave reviews. I hadn't read the books, but I figured I'd give the movie a go just to see what all the hoopala was about. I tried, but about halfway into the film I lost interest. I don't think this was due too much to the story itself as much as the way this movie was made. I didn't see anything different in this movie that I'd seen in several other big productions - the special effects, the monsters, the musical score, the dialogue...I've grown so tired of it all that it's become boring to me. I was thinking that this movie might appeal more to children, but it seems that every adult raves about Harry Potter. I noticed on the back of the box that it is compared to the Wizard of Oz, but this is nothing like that. In fact, compared to so many films of today "The Wizard of Oz" seems more 'cutting edge' and fantastic in its dated special effects and overall filmmaking that it's more of an escape than Harry Potter. I just felt like Harry Potter was more of a special effects show than anything else and I couldn't get past that when watching this film, as if the director was thinking "lets see what we can 'wow' them with next". Maybe if I had read the book....I dunno. I've never cared for films like 'Shrek", "Ice Age", "Polar Express"...etc. and I think it's mainly due to the fact that these films are just carbon copies of each other and there are so many of them made. These films are so raved about, heavily advertised and commercial that I don't find much 'escape' in them. I can't even count the amount of times I've watched a film with some child actor (animated or otherwise) going "Whoa!!" everytime he see something levitating in the air? To me all that ended with the flying bicycles from "ET".

Is there anyone else here would could not get into Harry Potter who could explain their reasons for not liking it as well? Is there anyone else bored by the special effects of Hollywood movies today.
 

Douglas R

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I'm with you Jon. I haven't been able to watch any of the Harry Potter films for more than 30 minutes. I invariably find that films with constant action and computer effects become uninvolving and boring. Neither do I like having children as central characters. Definately not for me.
 

JeremyErwin

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The first two films are straight adaptations from the book-- and of course what works in prose, doesn't always translate that well into celluloid (and vice versa). The third film is done in a rather different style, and it's quite good. I haven't seen the second film, and I haven't gotten around to importing the sixth book.
 

TheLongshot

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Most of the appeal of the movies is bringing to life the words of JK Rowling. So, the movies may have more appeal to those who are fans of the books, rather than just standing alone.

That being said, there is more going on in the books than there is in the movies. There is a level of depth that is missing. It isn't a fault of the filmmakers, but the limitations of film.

Jason
 

David_B_K

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I've seen all the films; have read none of the books. Like some of you, I do not find them terribly compelling. I enjoy them while I watch them, because of the effects, art direction and atmosphere; but I never feel the need to revisit them.

I guess I liked the one with Kenneth Branagh the best. I thought he was quite amusing as the narcissistic matinee idol wizard. Still, I only saw that one once.
 

Ray_R

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I've seen the first two exactly once in theatres. The second one was more not of my own volition. I would've chosen to go see The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. To me, it's just far too over-hyped and I'm getting mightily tired of all the publicity it's been receiving. Like my signature says, I'm not going to care about the series until at least 2015-2016. It's also too new to me unlike The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, which have been around for decades. Figure what I'm trying to iterate is I'm going to give it more time before I feel comfortable watching them.
And I've never quite understood the appeal of it all except for the younger audience. Too bad the actor who's been playing Harry Potter will be type-casted for that sort of role for a long while to come. Perhaps he'll take a break after filming all the HP films then work on something radically different?
 

Malcolm R

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Typecast? Radcliffe’s upcoming schedule:

Radcliffe's most recent film is the independent Australian drama "December Boys," scheduled for a December 2006 release. Radcliffe will also appear in a revival of Peter Shaffer's play "Equus" as Alan Strang, a stable boy who has an obsession with horses. The latter role has generated significant media interest, as Radcliffe will appear nude in one scene in the play. Radcliffe has also signed on for the ITV drama "My Boy Jack" as Jack Kipling, son of author Rudyard Kipling.

I don't see any evidence of typecasting.
 

Qui-Gon John

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I have enjoyed all the HP movies, and have never read the books. I just found the characters and stories interesting. Was a bit disappointed that they changed Dumbledore's, how dare Richard Harris go and die like that. (Not being insensitive, just facetious). I think McKellen would have been a better replacement than Gambon, but oh well.

I also really liked LOTR. But as to Narnia, I gave it a chance, but it just didn't catch my interest like the others.
 

Josh Simpson

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The movies haven't done too much for me, but I caught on late with the books and have really enjoyed them. I really don't like the replacement Dumbledore at all, but I think the movies have gotten a bit better. I think part of it may be that there is just more in the later books that works well on screen, or maybe I just like darker stuff.

Basically, try the books. I think the books get much better as they go along, so read the first two or so.
 

JohnMor

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Hey, not everything is up everyone's alley. There's nothing wrong with liking Harry Potter, and there's nothing wrong with not liking it either. It's a big wide world with lot's for all.
 

Terry St

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My sister is a raving potterhead, so I heard all about the movies well in advance and had the books thrust upon me. I decided to read the first book before watching the movie, which I did. The book is okay. It's not some new age classic. It's basically this generation's hardy boys, except with magic rather than detective work. It's probably dumb luck that this particular series of books got all the global hype and another didn't.

The first movie is merely good. As you say, it's no Wizard of Oz. However, it's obsequeously faithful to the source material and was extremely well marketed. The experience of the first book and movie was good enough to prompt me to start reading the second book, but I got bored and quit halfway through. (By halfway through that book it seemed like Rowling was just marking time before she could stop writing filler and have Harry go defeat Voldemort again.) I mean to finish it before going on to see the second movie, but that might not happen anytime soon.

So, IMHO, Harry Potter is not a classic, but rather, a good children's franchise that's not quite so braindead as to be offensive to adults. The first book and movie are perhaps undeserving of their success, but they're inoffensive for the most part and not a bad way to spend time. I think you just went into them with expectations that were far too high.
 

MarkHastings

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Remember, the first movie did not have the budget of the others. They had to do a lot of "Fudging" in the first. The newer movies are definitely better than the first.

I've never read the books and I liked all the movies so far. The newest one looks really good, but as was said, why does it matter if you don't like it. Not everyone is going to. To me, they're just fun movies. No more, no less.
 

JeremyErwin

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The budgets:
Philosopher's stone: $125 million
Chamber of Secrets: $100 million
Prisoner of Azkaban: $130 million
Goblet of Fire: $150 million
 

Josh.C

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I don't understand why you park in driveways and drive in parkways. I'm not sure I see the point of your thread.

If you want to bash Harry Potter, why don't you just pull up one of the many Harry Potter Threads and share your opinion.

I love everything about the books, and the movies are pretty darn good too, and I'm not a kid. I don't feel the need to elaborate, because you have already stated that you don't understand HP appeal.
 

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