I am, for one, a Harry Potter fan and have been one for years. I have read all seven books even though we were all made to wait an incredibly long time for the last one to show up at the bookstore. I have enjoyed the movies for the most part but also have to wonder why such important parts have been left out of the story when it went to the big screen.
The latest film, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”, left out a crucial element of the story. We were given a clue at the train station when Harry noticed that Dumbledore’s hand was blackened but the reason why was never touched.
Don’t get me wrong, the love potion that turned Ron to mush was cute and his obsessive girlfriend reminded me of a guy I dated twenty years ago but the silly filler in the movie left a gaping hole where information should have been.
Most people that know me are aware of my fondness for Harry Potter and a few of them have asked me what was wrong with Dumbledore’s hand. They know I have read the books and they have not, so naturally they would come to me for extra information.
Those of us that have read the book know what happened to the professor’s hand and we understand the tidbit shown about the ring that Dumbledore had in his office but if you didn’t read the book there would be no clue of what is going on. The ring and the discoloration of Dumbledore’s hand are key elements of the storyline and should not have been dismissed. To show both elements and not elaborate is as bad if not worse than not showing them at all.
The same was done in “Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”. People asked me how did Professor Lupin know what the Marauder’s Map was. How did anyone other than Fred, George and Harry know about it and what you could do with it? Instead of giving general audiences the answers to these questions, we were given comic relief by way of the “Womping Willow” being inhumane to the local birds. It did have it’s share of humor but if there is a choice between adding important information or comic relief, adding the important aspects of the story would serve the movie better. A third choice could be to make the movie 10-20 minutes longer and give us humor and information. I truly do not believe that audiences would mind a little more time for the movie.
I see mistakes in movies…I can not help it. A good example would be “The Fellowship Of The Ring”, the first of the Lord of the Rings movies. In the scene where Boromir dies, Aragorn tries to comfort him as he dies and there is a serious lack of continuity in the movie. Part of the scene was shot before lunch with all the camera shots for one of the actors. The second half of the scene was shot after lunch filming the second actor. If you are watching the movie you will see that Boromir’s hand magically moved from Aragorn’s shoulder when the close-up was on Sean Bean but Boromir’s arm was down when the close-up of Viggo Mortensen was filmed. I saw no more inconsistency in the second and third movie. Peter Jackson learned a very humiliating lesson by the lack of continuity of the first film.
“Bram Stoker’s Dracula” has the same problem. When the character of Lucy gives her party for her gentleman callers, at one point Jack sits on Quincy’s hat just after Quincy stands with his hat in tack. One second the hat is fine and the next it is misshapen after being sat upon.
Then you have movies which are meant to have things seem out of order. “The Mummy” with Brendon Frazier is a great example. When the warden runs into the stone wall, his shirt is open but when he falls backward to the ground his shirt is buttoned closed. In the scene where the mummy priests are exploding from the ground we see our three good guys lined up and shooting at the mummies. The camera pans to the mummies as they are shot, but when the camera pans back to the good guys they are lined up differently “The Mummy” was meant to have inconsistencies. It was meant to be satire in a sense and it adds to the wonderful content of the film. “The Mummy Returns” was a bit more serious but a very good movie. The third “Mummy” movie was a bit of a disappointment for me as I could not get over a different actress playing the role of “Evelyn”. In all seriousness, you can not make a series of movies and trade off on one of the principal characters. That shot the movie for me any many others. I liked the movie but would not buy it to add to my collection with the first two “Mummy” films.
That would be like comparing the second “George Of The Jungle” movie to the first one that starred Brendon Frazier…no comparison and not near as funny.
My point is that if a director is not going to give at least a small amount of detail on important events in a movie, as in the Harry Potter series, then they should not give any of the event away. Those who have not read the books are going to pester those of us who did for an explanation every time.