After eight movies and 10 years, the Harry Potter saga comes to an end this week. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two opens on Friday, the boy wizard will finally have his showdown with Lord Voldemort. In celebration, we're taking a look back at all the movies. And who better to guide our journey than America's biggest Harry Potter fan? Steve Petrick, a 22-year-old Kent State University student from Pittsburgh, was crowned the title by Moviefone last year after he submitted a video showing off his mountains of Potter memorabilia ... and, yes, tattoos.
What's your favorite movie?
I loved [the first] Deathly Hallows for how accurate it was to the book.
What's your least-favorite?
Funny enough, my least-favorite is my favorite, cinematically speaking. I hated Prisoner of Azkaban and almost got kicked out of the theater because I was yelling at the screen. The movie is incredibly inaccurate and leaves out a ton of crucial information that the book introduces. Although it's the worst adaptation, the cinematography is beautiful.
What have the movies gotten wrong about the books?
I could go on about this forever. A lot of the characters are not in the movies what they are on the page. The movies also leave out a lot of information that made the books such a rich reading experience. They concentrate too linearly on Harry Potter instead of allowing the world J.K. Rowling created to be enriched onscreen.
What have they gotten right?
I think the first few movies really captured the odd, whimsical tone of the whole HP universe. They were epic and magical, but at the same time goofy and fun for everyone. For the most part, I think the tone of the movies matches the books greatly.
Which character from the book comes most to life in the movies?
Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood is the most perfectly cast. She is Luna. And Julie Walters as Molly Weasley, who is so good that when I'm reading the books out loud, I imitate her voice.
Which character did they get wrong?
Richard Harris in the first two movies looked exactly as I imagined Dumbledore, but he was too frail, too serious. Dumbledore was quirky, odd, full of life, and basically insane. In the third movie, Michael Gambon played him spot-on, but from then on, his Dumbledore became the least-recognizable character. He plays him as frustrated, arrogant, mean, and quick-tempered — no humor, no fun, no real feeling of love.
General thoughts on the series?
I love the movies because I love all things Potter, but they've fallen short of my expectations. If they can have four-disc DVDs of Lord of the Rings that make the movies four hours long, they should be shooting enough footage to do the same for Potter.