Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Friday, October 19, 2007

You Get What You Pay For

I went to see the most recent Harry Potter movie last night. It was at the $2.50 theater (hmm, the price has risen four bits since last year), and I had a coupon, so it cost only a dollar. I thought the film was well worth the money I spent.

If you don't know already, you should strongly suspect that I dislike movies based on books because, in principle, the movies utterly ruin the books. The Harry Potter series is no exception.

First off, they cut out a lot. (What was the point of showing Kreacher at all?)

Second, I should have left after the first ten minutes. Either that, or I should have bumped the record player in my head. It kept skipping, and the needle was stuck on, "It didn't happen that way in the book!"

Third, England must be running out of actors/actresses known in the U.S. After Helena Bonham-Carter, who's left? (Side note to Betty: before the movie, they showed a preview for a children's fantasy movie whose name has something to do with a compass, and Derek Jacobi is in it. No promises about the quality of the movie, though.)

Fourth (and this is the bane of my movie-going life), the screenwriter (or director or producer or somebody) makes things up. What is the point of cutting out much of the book and then sticking in something that didn't happen?

Fifth, I am not a fan of action movies, but that scene in the Department of Mysteries was nowhere near as exciting on the theater screen as it was in my head.

Finally, I think that they could have afforded to include a lot more dialogue or some of the more subtle themes from the book if they hadn't spent so much on special effects.

The Harry Potter books were lauded because they got children to read. Many children don't need encouragement; they'll read anyway -- and they'll get far more enjoyment out of a book than they will out of a movie adaptation. Movies like this one are made for the video game generation: flashy and full of rapid scene or perspective changes (or just bad editing) but utterly lacking in content or plot.


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