"Harry Potter" Freak


#1

I can’t help myself posting this…

Last night I saw the much anticipated “Harry Potter” at Warner Village and would recommend it.
The sets were spot on. I loved Hogwarts and Privet Drive.

The kids were pretty good, especially the kids who play Ron Weasley, (Rupert Grint), and Malfoy and Dudley. I believe Harry and Hermione will grow into their roles more as the series progresses. Sir Richard Harris (Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Prof McGonnagall), and Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid)were excellent.
But, I wish they’d shown more of Snape (Alan Rickman)He just didn’t seem that awful. I also wish they’d shown more of the Weasley Twins (Fred and George), more about their lessons, and more Quidditch, because it was cool to see it come to life, although makes you a bit dizzy to watch.

The movie didn’t make me feel the same as the books, though. Even with the brilliant casting and sets, Harry Potter loses a little of its ‘magic’ on the screen, but is likely to win several Oscars this year anyway. Costumes, special effects, sets…

It sticks to the book, except in a few spots, where only us diehard “HarryPotter” freaks would be able to catch the inconsistencies. But when translating to film, I gather a continuity flow is more important and some details are glossed or changed to smooth it out for viewers.

Perhaps the subsequent films will be more interesting and detail the characters more, a bit like how the books progress themselves. I hope to see more Weasleys (especially Julie Walters as the mom)and baddies (Snape, Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle)next time.

All in all, it’s a film for kids, so don’t go expecting to find the ironic undertones that are so prevalent in the books.

I suspect “Lord of the Rings” will be better…
and not nearly the hype.

Harry Potter fans, what did you think?


#2

Well, I read the books, but thought they were drivel for the most part. In terms of kids authors, I’d prefer Arthur Ransome or even racist, sexist Enid Blyton, any day. I’m no old fart, by the way (quiet down there in the cheap seats!) – I felt this when I first read the HP books and checked my opinion 2 months ago when I visited my folks and dug out some of the books I read as a kid. I read “Swallows and
Amazons,” which must be what, 70 years old? and enjoyed every page.

I also have a far more fecund imagination than “Home Alone” (eeeeewwww) director Chris Columbus, which is not bound by budget constraints, either.

I’ll probably see it when it comes out on DVD, though.


#3

Yeah, well,I loved all the care she took with naming the characters, the spells and charms and curses…The whole Harry Potter lingo thing.
But I did think “Chronicles of Narnia” was a lot more interesting as a kid, and plan to reread them soon.
My thing about the addiction of “Harry Potter” has to do with the timing. In this day and age of hi tech, computers, etc, it’s fun to find a tale woven into another dimension of present day. The fun of magic as intertwined with Muggle technology, ala Weasley dad is part of the fun for me, and part of the delight for children.
I do think that sci fi was getting a bit out of hand where all kids were into for years was anything alien or spacelike. Now, they find joy in the world of magic, without laser swords and blasters. A wand seems much more fun by comparison, and can do a great deal more than a laser weapon.


#4

You do know that “Home Alone” was one of the highest grossing films ever, don’t you?
Chris Columbus isn’t my fave director either (that would be the Coen Brothers), but you gotta hand it to him and Spielberg for drawing in the crowds. And the bucks. And the talent.


#5
quote:
Originally posted by sandman: I also have a far more fecund imagination than "Home Alone" (eeeeewwww) director Chris Columbus, which is not bound by budget constraints, either.
Somehow I don't think Chris Columbus was bound by any budget constraints. IMHO, anyway... [img]images/smiles/icon_cool.gif[/img]

#6
quote:
Originally posted by Alien: You do know that "Home Alone" was one of the highest grossing films ever, don't you?

Yeah, and McDonald’s make the best burger! Since when has mainstream appeal been any indication of quality?
P.S. Enjoy your trip home!

Anyway, I have no argument with your other points, i.e. reintroducing the wonder of the occult – oops, I mean magic – to kids, as well as the point raised elsewhere that Rowling has by all accounts reintroduced reading to children. Pretty much everything connected with these books seems to me to be positive. I just think its been over-hyped and its that that sets my teeth a bit on edge.

PPS. Maoman, I don’t believe there’s a film ever made whose director hasn’t wished for more money than his budget will allow.


#7

I thought it was quite entertaining. A couple of things really jumped out at me though that in the book I hadn’t noticed. The whole concept of Slytherin house kind of irks me. The houses seem to be meant to represent a rough system of character classification. The bright and courageous kids in Griffindore, the stupid but well-intentioned kids in Hufflepuff, and the slimy evil bastards in Slytherin. (I can’t remember the fourth house, did it come up much in Sorcerer’s Stone?) Come on! I think kids should be encouraged to see moral issues a bit more subtly than THAT. Even though the Narnia books are a big Christian allegory they have all sorts of complexities regarding good and evil… maybe now that I think of it BECAUSE they are Christian allegory - remember how weird it was to see Aslan die, to think he had lost?

Also I had to wonder about the Goblin Bank. I can’t imagine Chris Columbus was aware of it - I really hope he wasn’t - but the goblins seemed to be little more than an aggregate of negative stereotypes of Jews. Hooked noses, old, miserly, ugly bankers, “as clever as they come but not always the nicest sort,” weren’t those approximately Hagrid’s words. This is weird. Hope very much it was accidental on both Columbus’ and Rowling’s parts.

And Alien you didn’t like Hermione? I thought she was hilarious, particularly her first scene. She played the part of a kid acting like an adult quite transparently. Ron was great too - in fact the movie did a great job of showing you, with many of the school kids, just how they would be when they got older, you know what I mean? You could tell what type Malfoy would be, and Hermione, and Ron… not Harry though. Maybe because he isn’t supposed to be a type.

Definitely keeping hopes up for the Fellowship of the Ring.


#8

Hermione was pretty and precocious, I liked her, but thought she overacted a little. We were wondering where her big front teeth got to…

I agree about the Goblin bank, the same thought crossed my mind when I was watching it, they’re supposed to be Jews!, which had not occured to me in the books.

I DO think Rowling has used stereotypes to define her characters.
Dumbledore wasn’t as wacky in the film as he is in the book, but he’s exemplary of the nutty professor. Hagrid, a big nature loving biker, Malfoy and his lot-one dimensionally bad. Crabbe and Goyle-big and stupid and mean(hope they’ll turn on Draco in coming books), Hermione-clever and studious, The Weasley twins-jokesters, Ron-the true and loyal compadre sidekick. But you’re right, Harry never seemed to fit a type, per se. Unless you’d catagorise him as the tragic, mistreated orphan ala Oliver Twist.
Some things I dread in next year’s “Chamber of Secrets”–Columbus will ruin my idea of Dobby the house elf (my fave magical creature), by making him into some sort of computer animated thingamajig like he did with the Centaur-Firenze, and the troll. He’ll probably do the same with garden gnomes at the Weasley’s, and Fawkes, Dumbledore’s phoenix.
At least the Goblins were real dwarves with hooked rubber noses…
Hope by books 3 & 4, another director will bring the Veelahs, Dementors and Mad-eye Mooney to life. A director with a little more imagination than the one who decided to employ red eyes on Miss Morris, and yellow eyes on Madame Hootch.


#9

I found the movie to be entaining enough. . The movie, as is the book, is great fodder for children’s imaginary play. The story itself, doesn’t seem that important and is not that engaging. In fact, I started to read the book, but wasn’t motivated to finish it. In regards to the movie, I was particularly glad to find that it didn’t over-rely on computer graphics like Star Wars-Episode One. (And if you want to talk about basing characters on stereotypes, that movie is prime). Retaining the dimension is what makes a movie come alive.

I, too, remember the Narnia books with nostalgia, but when I revisited them, I was surprised at the violence (some quite bloody battles) and negative stereotyping in the stories. For example, in the Horse and His Boy, the bad guys have dark skin and wear turbans.

Don’t even get me started on the protests that HP encourages “dark arts.” It is pure fantasy to be able to give a meanie a pig’s tail and to take classes in broom-riding instead of mathematics. Meanwhile, there is plenty of crap out there influencing children’s minds about the importance of sex and looks, the overuse of violence, and the coolness of disrespect.


#10
quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan1: ...the goblins seemed to be little more than an aggregate of negative stereotypes of Jews. Hooked noses, old, miserly, ugly bankers...
Wow, I didn't see that at all, and I was looking for it, having had the advantage of reading your post before I saw the movie. The noses of the goblins, while long and crooked, were [i]not[/i] particularly hooked or in any other way similar to the stereotypical "semitic" schnozz. I thought that the goblins were more reminiscent of Ebenezer Scrooge than anything else. Maybe we are all so hyper sensitive that we are looking for offense where none existed. Maybe it says something about our own prejudices that we would assume the producers / director / author were slyly referring to Jews just because they were "miserly bankers".

I remember that some people were equally indignant when Star Wars: The Phantom Menace came out, saying that Jar Jar Binks was a crude caricature of American blacks. I didn’t see that, either. Maybe I’m missing something.


#11

And what about this rumor that Austin Powers was actually making fun of British spies with bad teeth? I shudder to think that kind of prejudice exists!