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Hey, Things Must Be Looking Up- I'm Talking About Harry Potter! - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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Hey, Things Must Be Looking Up- I'm Talking About Harry Potter! [Dec. 4th, 2005|12:07 pm]
Tony Grist
We watched Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets last night- Ailz on her nine-inch bed-side TV and me on the wide screen at home. Afterwards we discussed it on the phone.

What did you think?

It was fun.

Yes- fun.

I like the Harry Potter films. Like not love. I don't find myself getting drawn into that world- enjoyable as it is- and I don't identify with any of the characters. As I've said before, I actually spent my teenage years at a faux-gothic boarding school in the middle of nowhere and- well- I find Rowling's vision a little starry-eyed.

God, but I bet all the other kids really resent and hate Harry and his chums for repeatedly saving the world and being feted and feasted at the end of the day!

Bloody, little, do-gooding teachers' pets!

And all the stories are exactly the same- and all the villains far too easy to defeat and that wimpy little Malfoy kid must be the least threatening (and worst-acted) screen villain in the history of the movies. All you have to do is look at him funny and he falls over.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-12-04 04:30 am (UTC)
The movies are fun - that's a good word. Hollywood's picturing of Rowling's books is much as I pictured it, and yet...

I never went to a boarding school, so I admit I lack that particular experience and prejudice. I personally find Malfoy (the kid in the movie) silly, but the character in the book pretty scary. Same with Snape. I guess what you can see is much less scary than what you are prompted to imagine.

I enjoy the books. I don't care who says they are badly written, I am of the many who say that it IS good that someone got American children reading again. They are fun to read...and yet, in the last one I found myself getting as teary eyed and upset as if they were real.

Yep, I agree with you - for the movies, FUN is the word.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-04 06:23 am (UTC)
There are two problems with little Malfoy. The first is he can't act. The second goes deeper- that every time he has a run-in with any of Potter's crew he comes a-cropper. For him to be a convincing villain he ought to be winning every battle except the final, decisive ones.
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2005-12-04 04:43 am (UTC)
I'd hate Harry Potter, too.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-04 06:25 am (UTC)
Every story ends with the total triumph of Potter. Wouldn't it be good if just occasionally he either lost, or won a victory so ambiguous it was as bad as a defeat.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-12-04 07:39 am (UTC)
That starts in Book Four.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-04 11:51 am (UTC)
Good.

I'm told the latest film is rather different from the first three. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-12-05 04:45 am (UTC)
I would advise reading the book first. There are several plot strands and some nuance that had to be sacrificed to streamline the 600-some page book to a 150 minute film. I found that bringing that to my viewing as backstory meant that I enjoyed the film immensely -- my husband, on the other hand, wasn't so sure, although he's willing to go with me to the IMAX to see it on the Really Big Screen.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-12-05 06:31 am (UTC)
It is, it's darker and more interesting. Have you read the books?
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-12-04 07:49 am (UTC)
The books get more richly textured, more nuanced, and darker as the series progresses. The books are also more complex than the films, and I think that reading the books first makes the films better -- they're faithful enough to the texts that one's mind fills in the blanks.

I've read forward in the thread and note your objection to the unambiguity of the Potter victories. That, too, changes as the series progresses. Partly, I think, it's because the characters age a year between books and are more able to understand conflicting values and ambiguities.. Additionally, I believe that Rowling -- whether by design or by happenstance -- pitches her books more and more toward the age group of the characters. Book 4 is considerably darker than Book 3, Book 5 darker still, and by Book 6 Harry ends the adventure with a great deal of despair, very little hope, and the fatalistic soldiering on that's the hallmark of the epic hero.

As an aside, I believe that critics consider Chamber of Secrets to be the weakest of the novels and the films.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-04 11:55 am (UTC)
I haven't read the books. Perhaps I'll give one of the later ones a go.

I think I'd agree about Chamber of Secrets being the weakest of the films. It adds very little to what we learned in the first movie- and, of course, it's not as fresh.

But I liked Moaning Myrtle.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-12-05 06:32 am (UTC)
Actually I think the books suffer later on because no one wants to edit JK Rowling and they are less disciplined and more unweady.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-05 12:00 pm (UTC)
It can be a bad thing if an author becomes untouchable. I seem to remember Iris Murdoch got to a stage where she was allowed to dispense with an editor and it's a pity- those enormous novels of her later years could really have done with some sharpening.
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[User Picture]From: qos
2005-12-04 08:50 am (UTC)
I remember watching the first HP movie on DVD and thinking "I bet that I would have really been into these movies if I'd been a kid when they came out."

As it is, I find the movies passable entertainment, but I don't rush out to see them. I started reading the books with my daughter, and ho-hummed through the first three. However, we ended up rushing through three and four chapters at a time (way too much for a sensible bedtime!) when we got to the climaxes of books four and five.

I'm not going to be standing in line at midnight at the bookstore for book six, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how Rowlings brings it to a conclusion.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-04 11:58 am (UTC)
I think the films deliver value for money. They're entertaining, inventive and very pretty to look at. I'm not going to rush out to catch any of them in the cinema, but I look forward to seeing them on DVD.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-12-05 04:48 am (UTC)
No, you're certainly not. The midnight stand-up for Book Six occurred last summer, and I was there -- but only because we went to the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, saw all the little Gryffindor wannabees in the audience, shrugged and said, what the heck. I won't do it for Book Seven, but I'm glad to have been part of the hoopla once.

As an aside, most of us wound up sitting down in the travel section until our numbers were called. Prior to that, we ate and drank in the coffee shop.
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[User Picture]From: qos
2005-12-04 08:51 am (UTC)
And I'm glad for the further confirmation of Aliz's recovery!
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2005-12-04 10:29 am (UTC)
You made me laugh! :-)))

*It's only fiction*
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-04 12:00 pm (UTC)
Yes.

That "review" came out more curmudgeonly than I intended. I did actually enjoy the movie.
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2005-12-04 05:56 pm (UTC)
The boy who plays Malfoy is a choral singer in real life, and also in real life all the girls have crushes on him because of his blue eyes and blonde hair...

I liked all the Potter films, but the best is the fourth, I think, which is much darker and allows Potter to show more depth, the beginning of adulthood.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-05 02:13 am (UTC)
Yes, he's a good looking little chap. Pity he has to speak. He'd be much more effective if he merely glowered.

I haven't seen the 4th film yet. I'm looking forward to it.
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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2005-12-04 08:15 pm (UTC)
read the books, you great curmudgeon! they start out simplistic, but around book four they really do become much more complex; book five has harry realizing that the authorities around him are corrupt and untrustworthy, book six is heading towards all-out war and most definately does not end with feting and feasting. books four, five, and six all end with a rather significant death. as someone else has noted, the increasing complexity of the books seems to reflect the kids' increasing awareness of the complexity of the world.

book/film #2 is really the weakest of them all: it's just another adventure like #1, with no series-level developments. interestingly enough, though, the events of book two do become rather significant in book six.

you don't even like snape? no?

not even just a little bit?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-05 02:18 am (UTC)
Oh OK- Snape is cool because Alan Rickman is cool. Why that man isn't the biggest film star in the world escapes me. He has infinitely more screen charisma than people like Brad Pitt.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-12-05 04:51 am (UTC)
My own guess is that he's always been cast as someone we don't much identify with -- although a heck of a lot of us really loved his Sheriff of Nottingham.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-05 05:55 am (UTC)
I guess he's not pretty in a way that contemporary Hollywood can engage with.

Contemporary Hollywood is so fucking stupid.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2005-12-05 06:34 am (UTC)
I (and many other females of my demographic) consider Rickman as Snape to be extremely sexy!
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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2005-12-09 07:24 am (UTC)
hear, hear.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2005-12-05 04:54 am (UTC)
"[I]nterestingly enough, though, the events of book two do become rather significant in book six."

This is very true, and I think that when all seven books/films have come out those of us who've read them all will be at a distinct advantage when it comes to deriving enjoyment from the films.

I had a lot of trouble with Book Six. I could smell the unhappy ending at the beginning, but that didn't make it any easier to take. I am expecting Book Seven to be almost unbearably dark, and if Harry survives he is hardly likely to be unscathed.
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