Monday, November 29, 2010

On Harry Potter

"Good moooorning…." Seriously, no one just appears like Batman in a scene except for
Batman. Props to actually
showing a dude sneak up and pose funny.

I saw the newest Harry Potter movie the other night.

I used to hate the franchise, but–while I still vow never to read the books–I have to admit the movies are okay and I can appreciate the idea of letting your characters grow up and take on their own lives, even letting them end.

I used to think nothing could get worse than replacing badass vampires and werewolves and Jedi with unintelligible British ginger wizards, but now I find myself almost begging for more Harry Potter news to overshadow the literary and cinematic plague that is Twilight.

Currently, my beefs with HP are pretty small. Is it annoying that *SPOILERS IF LIKE ME YOU DO NOT READ THE BOOKS AND KNOW NOTHING BUT THE MOVIES* Moody dies off-camera? Yes, but only because in all other theater dying off-screen means you're probably still alive in secret. I will not fault a movie for being unconventional in how they kill beloved characters. A sudden upset is a better effect, anyway.

No, at this point all my beefs are that Harry Potter, as a franchise, has given up on the idea of making a coherent series of films.

But that's actually kind of interesting. I have to tip my hat to a production that knows it's audience knows all these extra bits so there's no need to include everything (so long as it's not a detriment to the story). Hell, the Star Wars prequels were bloody awful, but Star Wars nerds will tell you that's only because you don't understand the finer points of pan-galactic politics and trading bylaws in a representative democracy. (Shame on you.)

When did everyone suddenly develop the ability to teleport around the Harry Potter world? Why does everyone seem to be aware of an impending wedding beside us? Why isn't the general populace confused by the world's greatest teen hero suddenly being branded an outlaw?

Who cares? 90% of people seeing this movie know what's going to happen already. I've already read the Wikipedia entries twice over. Even I'm pretty familiar with the gist of it. At this point, they're making a movie for a collective of rabid fans and the trick is just not screwing up the big stuff. No one's going to notice if the narrative itself is flawed, because mostly everyone knows why already.

And frankly, it's kind of cool to see characters referring to things they are aware of that we're not. There's a wedding? Well, yeah, if you've read the book there's a wedding. And Bill Weasley shows up after being casually mentioned a few times. However, Harry and Ron have been friends for more than 6 movies years now, though we've only been privy to just over 15 hours of that. Granted, they were the most exciting 15 hours, but I'm pretty sure Harry and Ron had a few conversations in that time that didn't quite make the grade in that time.

"Oh, by the way, 'Arry, I have like a half-dozen siblings. You might see my older brothers this year. Oh, and my little sister is a few grades behind us, but that'll probably never come up again, I'd wager."

Yeah, that seems like night-one bunk talk to me.

The "So … yeah, I'm sort of boning your little sister," conversation will probably get cut later too, actually.

Addition: Best line of the entire movie? Ron Weasley: "Twilight's good too, though. Better even."

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