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HP and LOTR Film vs Book
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We went to see the final episode of the Harry Potter film series in the theater yesterday. I splurged a bit and we saw the 3D Imax version. I'm not sure it's worth paying extra to see it in that format. The film was bigger and the sound was outstanding, but I didn't notice any 3D effects making things THAT much clearer.

But the point of this post wasn't about 3D vs 2D, not really. I was thinking about how much I enjoyed the film. It's the only of the series that we have seen in the theater; the rest we have on DVD or BluRay, and that's how we've watched them.

Whether it had anything to do with the Imax or the 3D, I found watching this film to be a way better experience than watching at home. It had a lot of impact. The story was great, and the acting was top notch (especially Alan Rickman). The effects were outstanding, and the quality of the visual aspects of this movie were very high. Dare I say I liked it better than the book?

There is another film series that I liked better than the books, and that is the Lord Of The Rings trilogy of films. I saw all of them in the theater, and was bowled over by all of them. (My favorite was "The Two Towers".) There are similarities between the two: both are fantasies involving magic and wizards, both have a strong villainous presence, and both are set in worlds that are unfamiliar to us Muggles. Also, both are written by British authors.

I think there is something to this. The visualization by the directors and the creative digital artists who create the world we see on the screen IS a match for my own imagination. In fact, in both cases, it has surpassed the visualization I had in my own mind from reading the books. It may have something to do with the rather dry, "British" tone to the writing, but I never imagined the worlds as thoroughly as the films do.

There is also something to be said for the larger-than-life style of presentation of the characters on a big screen. I never had this reaction to any of the Harry Potter movies I've seen on my TV, either on DVD or BluRay. This movie made me want to go back and reread the book, with those images in mind. The LOTR films did the same thing, but I never was able to get too far in The Fellowship of the Ring. It seemed that again, my visualization (even after seeing the films) during reading was leaving something to be desired. I put that book down.

I wonder how the last book of the Harry Potter series will hold up to a reread, now that I have the movie in my head. I'll let you know.

One parting thought: I am rarely one who prefers the movie to the book. In general, with most mysteries and dramas, I've preferred to read the book. These two series (well, one series and one film) are the exceptions. Not sure if I NEED to figure out why, but if I do, beyond what I've already written above, I guess I have material for another blog entry!


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