Monday Morning Quarterback Part III
By BOP Staff
July 20, 2011
Here at WBOP, we're all Harry Potter, all the time
Kim Hollis: With the entire Harry Potter franchise now completed, what are your grades for the various books and movies? Also, where do you think Harry Potter ranks amongst the greatest film franchises in movie history?
Edwin Davies: I haven't read the books recently enough to really assess them, and my opinions of them are heavily clouded by the nostalgia of being at school and the communal experience of reading them at the same time as my friends, but based on these biased memories of them, I'd probably give all of them As, with the exception of Order of the Phoenix, which would get an A minus, and Deathly Hallows which, almost solely on the cringe-inducing epilogue, would get the worst grade imaginable; an A minus MINUS. So yeah, I like them a lot.
The films I've seen much more recently, so I can offer a more specific breakdown.
Sorcerer's Stone: B-
Chamber of Secrets: C+
Prisoner of Azkaban: A
Goblet of Fire: C-
Order of the Phoenix: A-
Half-Blood Prince: A
Deathly Hallows Part 1: A-
Deathly Hallows Part 2: A
I think that the film series stands alone in film history since I can't think of a series that remained relatively consistent in terms of quality, and undoubtedly consistent in terms of popularity, for such a long period and for so many instalments. I do think that Azkaban and David Yates' films in the series can hold their own as some of the finest fantasy cinema ever made.
The franchise as a whole is the Star Wars of my generation, which is more than can be said of the Star Wars films that actually were made for my generation.
Brett Beach: The books - I can't break them down individually all that well (I have only read them each once), but I want to elaborate on my personal feeling towards the series as a whole. Round about 2002, when I had heard enough praise from people I respected to want to read the series, I also knew that I would not want to wait a year between installments if I liked them as much as I thought I would. Thus, being the deferrer of pleasure that I am, I waited until the release date for Deathly Hallows was announced and then three months prior, I started in on Sorcerer's Stone and pushed on through to Half Blood Prince. I got the final book delivered from Amazon on opening day (I still have the awesomely cute packaging it came in hanging in my cube at work) and "spaced it out" over 48 hours, managing to avoid the internet and all spoilers for that period.
In sum, the book series was everything I could have hoped it would be. It made me feel like a kid discovering a world of wonder and magic again and then growing up along with the characters as they got older and their troubles became more worldly and overwhelming. Finishing Deathly Hallows, I was able to appreciate how beautifully Rowling seemed to have the entire series mapped out from the start, tying the threads together at the end both skilfully and emotionally. (I loved the epilogue and found it both poignant and appropriate).
For the films - I too am amazed at the consistent quality of all the films (haven't see DH Part 2 yet) but I find The Prisoner of Azkaban to be both the best of the series and one of the best films of last decade. Alfonso Cuaron managed to find a tone somewhere between his magical A Little Princess and his sultry Y Tu Mama Tambien (which shouldn't generically be possible). From the opening shot of an adolescent Harry "practicing magic" under the covers of his bed to the time-tripping wrap-up, it shaded darker and deeper than the first two installments and began the difficult process of helping the characters and actors grow up (which David Yates helped drive home during his reign).