ha books! am I right folks?

ha books! am I right folks?

The 6th Harry Potter, here at last. I braved the hordes of dressed up preteens last night to witness this, the near zenith of the cultural phenomenon produced when J.K. Rowling tapped into a worldwide blah blah blah. At this point, you probably know the drill. Lots of books sold. Lots of money made.

But what about the movie? I’m going to skip the plot stuff, because either you’ve already read the book and know what’s going to happen, you haven’t read the book and so don’t want anything runined, or else you purposefully avoid all things Harry Potter. If it’s that last one I feel sorry for you.

this is the entire movie. right here.

this is the entire movie. right here.

The movie itself is alright. While I haven’t read the books recently, I’ve been told by those in the know that several plot elements were dropped. In general, yes, things must be cut from a book (especially books of HP’s girth) in order to be shaped into a movie.  But so much damn time was spent on the relationships and the comedy that they clearly could have fit more important plot into the story. Although judging by the squeals, ahs, and catcalls of the audience around me, they made a smart demographics call. (Seriously, if you wanted to get arrested as a pedophile your best bet was to go to a midnight screening by yourself. 90% children barely in high school.) Any kind of thrill I got from watching it seemed to come from my emotion memory dredging up what I felt when I first read the book and then saying yes, this goes with this part.

On a visual level it was a great movie. They apparently had to tone down the original color scheme, and it was the right move. Everything is bleached all the time, and is one of the few elements that really lends to the sense of foreboding that the movie needs, seeing as how it’s all leading up to the big finale of the 7th book (i.e. people die). Again this comes back to the problem of the focus on relationships, which means less focus on the increasing threat of death eaters. The few wizarding fight sequences were awesome and made me wish that there’d been more.

this is the entire movie. right here.

this is the rest of the movie.

And the acting! As one reviewer said, Hogwarts is a school blessed with a staff made up of the great names of English acting (except for Patrick Stewart, who is once more shafted for any part. What’s a Shakespearean starship captain got to do, Hollywood? When you going to respect?). They all do a wonderful job, but the kids come up short in such exalted company. The worst of the four is Bonnie Wright, playing Ginny Weasly. She really seems to be sort of operating in the “go and do what the director tells me exactly” school of acting. Radcliffe and Gint are both serviceable, and Emma Watson is the one that does the best. I will admit, it doesn’t help them to have  a script with some clunker or cliched lines in the teenage drama vein of “been there, done that”. And how many times must we have a close-up of moodily Radcliffe staring at something?

Wrapping up: it was okay, and surprisingly funny. But the movie also just sort of rolls along its path to the two-parter awaiting us at the end of this crazy train. As an ‘experience’, a part of the mythos, it’s worth seeing. Mostly, though, the movie just made me want to read the books again. Which I suppose isn’t such a bad thing, all in all.

signing off//

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OptimusPrime

Watch my movies

Spoiler free review:

I went into this movie expecting it to be awful. I didn’t read any reviews going into it, but i did see the average on Rotten Tomatoes, and it was at 22%. As I sat and waited for the movie to begin I kept trying to think up witty titles for this review that would reflect how sub par the movie was.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen- How to ruin something awesome.

Fortunately that was not the case. The movie was fun. If you enjoyed the first Transformers film then you would be hard pressed not to like this one. It has everything the first had, but more. More explosions. More transformers. And, unfortunately, a few more weaknesses that kept it from being as good as its predecessor.

First off, the movie is long. Over two hours long. With this kind of length they can’t have Transformers and explosions on the screen the entire time. The second half of the movie drags a bit as it builds toward the finale because of this. Thankfully the end battle makes up for it.

Secondly, there are some weird sexual jokes in this movie. Now don’t get me wrong, I love crude humor, but this is a Transformers movie. There were at least three jokes about testicles that I can think of off the top of my head. I’m not going to spoil them, but they feel awkward and shoe horned in to me.

The last weak point in this film for me was the lack of face time with the Transformers themselves. Besides the main villain and Optimus Prime and Bumble Bee, the other Transformers are put on the back burner while the movie plays out. And when they are onscreen, they’re too busy fighting to do much else.

On the positive side, giant robots and giant explosions. If these are two things you enjoy then you will like this movie. There were more Transformers and more fights than in the first movie. They really took the action up a notch for this one and it all looks great.

Bottom line: If you enjoyed the first movie, you’ll enjoy this one.

Pros: Great action, great special effects

Cons: Odd sexual humor, slow second act, wanted more Transformers characterization