Thursday, July 16, 2009
Harry Potter and the Half-Assed Movie
I'm assuming that you have either read the Harry Potter books or you never will. But to be polite- SPOILERS ABOUND.
I went last night to the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I had a fun time: got a free bucket of popcorn from a kind and generous friend, made someone fart from a joke I cracked about caretaker Argus Finch being played by Willie Nelson, and made friends with another trombone player. Still, I can unequivocally say that this movie SUCKED!!!
Even forgiving the fact that these amazing books are being Hollywoodified, the movie was still a flop.
First off, it lacked a good fight scene. They took out the entire epic battle that the book ends with and replaces it with a totally anti-climactic scene of Snape killing Dumbledore. It leaves the audience feeling a hint of sadness, but nothing like the despair or tragedy that drips off the pages. Instead they insert a manufactured scene of Bellatrix and Fenrir Greyback attacking the Weasley's. The scene was short and BOORRRRRING. I mean, come on, that scene ended with tghe Deatheaters suddenly flying away. Excuse me? How is that entertainment? I know they have the budget to make a kick-ass, all-out fighting sequence and it didn't happen.
Then there's the characterization of the kids. They did an ok job of showing Malfoy's inner conflict and dread at killing Dumbledore, but what about Harry?!? In the books, we see Potter's self-absorbed side. We see his emotionally illiteracy, common for so many adolescent boys. I loved that! It showed the imperfection of people, even heroes. It was a way for boys to be able to see from the outside how the inability to express one's emotions and empathize with others jeopardizes friendships and intimacy. This was almost completely lacking. There were shots of humorous teenage awkwardness, but nowhere the social shortcomings of Potter. In fact, there's even (also manufactured) scene of Potter consoling Hermione after Ron chooses to snog that one girl instead of her. THAT NEVER HAPPENED! And it never would have because Potter wasn't like that.
And then there's the complicated history of Severus Snape and Harry's mother Lilly. That was not even as much as mentioned in passing in this movie at all. This past is so foundational to Snape's approach to Harry and also an important key to why he is loyal to Dumbledore. So when we find out who the Half-Blood Prince is ( the freakin name of the movie) it's revealed through Snape bluntly telling Potter that is the Half-Blood Prince and for him not to use his spells. Whoa. Big deal. Damn that was disappointing.
So, in the end this was in fact a half-assed movie. It seemed the production team simply wanted to string along key events. Wait, not even that. They cut out key events...So just half-heartedly stringing along some key events to put together a movie. They must know that Harry Potter fans are suckers enough to go watch the movie regardless of quality. So, there you go- a painfully mediocre movie. My recommendation: save the money you would have spent on an absurdly large bucket of popcorn and go buy the book instead. Unless of course, you're a half ass.