I'm a big believer in reading a book before seeing a film adaptation, the books being SO much better in most cases. So, in preparation for tomorrow's release of the sixth Harry Potter movie, I've been re-reading Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. If I didn't have to work tomorrow I would definitely be going to the midnight screening tonight, but as the movie is reported to be 153 minutes long, I decided against it-I just don't seem to be able to function as well on a few hours of sleep as I did in my university days!
The book is just as engrossing upon a second reading as the first- probably better if truth be told, as I'm not in a rush to find out what happens and can relax and enjoy Rowling's storytelling prowess. Darker than the earlier books, this book has more treachery and plotting by Voldemort's legions plus the promise of more romance between the characters. I just wish I had thought to check out the audio edition from the library a few weeks ago. I listened to the audio edition of the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and was incredibly impressed by the production, particularly narrator Jim Dale who was able to create a different voice for all of the characters. I don't have a long commute, so spent quite a lot of time sitting in the parking lot (and my driveway) so I could hear how the chapter ended.
Anyhow, based on early movie reviews like this one from School Library Journal, reading or re-reading the sixth book prior to seeing the movies sounds like a good move. From the review it would appear that this movie (unlike the last one) stays very true to the book. Many characters who were given short shrift in the previous movie do appear in this new one, which might be confusing to those just familiar with the movie.
Potter fans will have the added bonus of getting to see a trailer for the upcoming Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief movie, based on the popular series from Rick Riordan. The movie, which stars Logan Lerman as Percy and a host of well-known actors as various Greek Gods and Goddesses (Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean etc) is scheduled to hit theatres in February 2010. I'm going to have to re-read this one, as it has been many years since I've read it, and I don't remember an elevator scene...
Also coming to the big screen this October is Whip It based on Shauna Cross' book Derby Girl. This one stars Canadian Ellen Page (Juno) as a smart-mouthed teen who doesn't want to be a pageant queen (as her mom wishes) and rebels by sneaking off and joining a roller derby team. It is directed by (and co-stars) Drew Barrymore. A trailer was just released. The book came out in hardcover in Fall 2007, so copies should be available for those who want to read up before the theatrical release.
Also coming this Fall is the hugely anticipated movie adaptation of New Moon (November). The filming out in B.C. has been the fodder of many a tabloid lately, and the trailer seems to indicate that the new movie will have plenty of action and angst. Little Brown Books for Young Readers has released the cover image of the movie tie-in paperback. Looks great!