One month later and the ratings are already going up. According to BBC News, 45,000 fans picked “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” as the best book out of the seven in a poll conducted by MSN Entertainment. Accurate rating or the effect of post-finale glow? Difficult to tell, but I’d guess some people will be changing their ratings in the long run.
Here’s how the rest of the books stacked up:
1. The Deathly Hallows
2. The Prisoner Of Azkaban
3. The Goblet Of Fire
4. The Philosopher’s Stone (aka, the Sorcerer’s Stone)
5. The Order Of The Phoenix
6. The Half-Blood Prince
7. The Chamber Of Secrets
Of course, this begs the question: what is the best Harry Potter movie? Okay, true, not all of them are out yet, but before Steven Spielberg directs the final installment in 2010 (yes, yes, this is just my own personal dream and it probably will never happen – but wouldn’t that be awesome? That man knows his coming of age fantasy epics. Harry Potter 7 from the director of E.T. and A.I. and exec producer of Back to the Future and The Goonies? Box office gold.), I think it’s time to take a look at how the movies are doing so far:
The Prisoner of Azkaban – Alfonso Cuaron creates a haunting and truly magical movie out of JK Rowling’s pivotal third book. This is the book where, in my opinion, Rowling comes into her own and Cuaron does it justice. Both the light-hearted (the, uh, blowing up of an unfortunate dinner guest, or a supernatural snowball fight) and the serious (Lupin, Sirius Black, the dementors) are well executed and imaginative.
Goblet of Fire – Perhaps the most “blockbuster-ish” of the movies, it’s fun, entertaining and never slows down. I wish there could have been more of the actual Quidditch Cup, but what was shown was appropriately dazzling. There’s a lot in this book, and although certain aspects of the plot have been changed (Dobby, anyone?), the spirit of the book stays intact. Poor fans of SPEW though, your day may never come…
The Philosopher’s / Sorcerer’s Stone – By no means perfect (in my opinion), it’s still the first introduction to Rowling’s world and the film (or the production designer and cinematographer at least) has to get points for displaying it beautifully and in vivid detail. Plus, the first book is probably the book that’s most geared towards children in the series (perhaps apart from Chamber of Secrets), and the film reflects that.
Order of the Phoenix – Although the movie felt like it was on fast forward at times, and more a collection of strong scenes than one cohesive movie, strong acting carried the film to a solid finish. Newcomer Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) is luminous. And I always knew pink was the most terrifying color.
Chamber of Secrets – About the same quality as Sorcerer’s Stone, I believe, but without the novelty. Nevertheless, Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart is appropriately smarmy and cringingly fun to watch.
It’s the same order as the book list, you say? Not done on purpose, but coincidence? I don’t think so. And if that holds true for the following movies, then Deathly Hallows is going to be one hell of a movie, even if Half-Blood Prince is iffy. Spielberg, here we come!