Book-to-Big-Screen Bonanza!

August 8th, 2009 by

Nancy and I are huge Harry Potter fans, so we of course made plans to see the new movie on opening night. Then a miracle happened and we got tickets to an advance screening. (Yes, there was literal jumping up and down in joy. Don’t judge us.)

The only problem, as I learned later, is that by seeing an advance screening with no previews, Nancy and I missed out on what sounds like a pretty awesome book-to-big-screen pre-show: the theatrical release of the trailers for New Moon (based on the second Twilight book) and The Lightning Thief (based on the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series).

Thank goodness for the internet! When I realized that the trailers were out, I immediately dropped everything to search for them online (uh, please don’t tell my boss, since I did this at work). Well, not only did I locate the previews, but I also came across plenty of commentary from viewers.

The reaction to the New Moon preview was predictably fanatical. For example: posted a shot-by-shot recap of the trailer — even though the full video is less than 2 minutes long! (The re-cap even includes commentary on how impressive Bella’s gigantic birthday cake looks. Now I’m not saying that makes you obsessed, but… actually, yes I am.)

But I was surprised by the online response to the Percy Jackson trailer. Basically, lots of people thought it looked like a rip-off of the Harry Potter movies. What do you think?

Here’s a sampling of reactions from adult bloggers — plus my reactions to the reactions:

Complaint #1: Kyle Buchanan from Movieline said that the trailer basically hit HP fans over the head with this message:

“from Christopher Columbus, director of the first two Potter movies, it’s a film entitled, Waitwaitwait Don’t Go Anywhere, We Have, Like, An American Harry Potter Coming Out Soon.

My response: I’ve been looking forward to the Percy Jackson movie for a while, but I had no idea it was directed by Chris Columbus until seeing this trailer. As a rabid HP fan with my own particular opinions about the first two movies, I’m really glad to know! Maybe it means The Lightning Thief will be a more faithful adaptation of the book than the more recent HP movies have been?

Complaint #2: Some nice online person posted this comparison of Olympus and Hogwarts as depicted in the films, to show how similar they are:

Click to see it up close!

My response: Gotta agree on this one. I didn’t notice the likeness when I watched the PJTO trailer, but I totally can’t miss it now. AND I’ll add that this is not exactly how I pictured Olympus as I read the Percy Jackson books. I guess I thought of it as more gleaming white than eerie blue. But obviously, movie producers are not coming to me for advice on these things. If they did, then the werewolf in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban would have looked like, oh, I don’t know… a real wolf as opposed to a skinny, knobbly creature. Not that I’m bitter about it or anything.

Complaint #3: Devin Faraci at CHUD said, “I imagine that the book series upon which the movie is based was heavily influenced by Harry Potter anyway.”

My response: Okay, this just makes me mad, because Devin has obviously never read PJTO. Yes, there are some similarities between the two series, but Percy Jackson is NOT a poor imitation of Harry Potter. And I’m sure all of you who have read both series will agree with me here. I mean, no other books will ever equal HP in my heart, but PJ is a thrilling series and has its own set of lovable characters, tangled mythology (literally), and emotionally-rooted conflict. So all I have to say is: Devin may have posted on CHUD, but he sounds like a CHUMP to me!

Am I overreacting? What’s your take on the Lightning Thief and New Moon trailers? Tell me in the comments!

(And if you saw the new HP movie, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that too! Just be sure to put “HP MOVIE SPOILER” at the beginning of your comment” so you don’t ruin it for everyone else.)

— Karen

2 Responses

  • Parth writes:
    October 27th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    HP Movie spoiler
    I found that HP 6 was not the best Harry Potter movie of the 6, frankly. It didn’t follow plot enough. There was a random scene where the Burrow burns down. That never happens in the book. Also, when they show Dumbledore dying, they don’t really show any importance in it. They only glimpse at Voldemort’s past.

  • Nancy writes:
    October 27th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I totally agree, Parth! I was really hoping to see more of Voldemort’s past in the HP6 movie… hopefully the 2 parts of HP7 will redeem it!

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