Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So, I've been invited to participate in the blog here and, obviously, I accepted. Its possible that you know me as Abomb! Its also possible that you just stopped reading this. If not, thanks, I guess.
Anyway, when I was invited to post on this blog as an author, I thought to myself, "hey, cool!" Then, after I agreed, I started to get a little nervous. What can I talk about that will interest other people? Do I have anything to say that anyone else cares about? What if I total ruin the mood of the blog? I decided that I had to come up with something to talk about in my first post that would be non-confrontational and pleasant, so as not to immediately alienate everyone. I decided on a movie review.
But then the pressure was really on! What movie can I review to let everyone here know I am a a cool counter-culture philosopher? Then it came to me...
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out last week and I saw it with the wife and sis. I also have read all the books (killed em off over a week in the summer a couple years back right after the last one came out; me not being the type to wait many years for collective parts of a story). So, for those of you who don't know anything about Harry Potter...are you in the Taliban or something? Do you live in a cave? Go google it.
HP6 (as it will be called from this point on) picks up immediately where HP5 left off. A bruised and battered Potter leaves the Ministry of Magic as the press looks on. We then watch a few shots of the summer passing and the dark lord's evil forces wreaking havok on magic users and the rest of us alike. Dark times and whatnot. Finally, we come around to Harry again, sitting in a subway station hitting on some chick, which should be the tipoff for those of you following along with my review on your iPhone or Blackberry as you watch the movie (or you can NOT be that person and turn your shit off); this whole episode of Potter is as much about teenage angst and hormones as it is about anything having to do with wizards and dark magic. Probably 90% of the movie is teenagers trying to get laid, which actually makes it quite accessible to those of you who drowned your inner child in the bath tube of your adult lives long ago.
I want to interject at this point that HP author JK Rowling revealed that she wrote the character of Dumbledore, Harry's mentor and your friendly neighborhood old fart, as being gay. Not that I've told you that, you won't be able to not see it in his every gesture. And I find amusement in knowing that. You two Christians in the back row who were overlooking the whole witchcraft thing and came to watch anyway...yeah, you can leave now.
So Dumbledore whisks Harry away to some random shack where they turn a chair into a man and then convince him to teach potions class at school. Perhaps this is why we are having job shortages; there are plenty of unemployed workers out there in need of income and we're transforming furniture into educators. I could comment on the state of education as well...but this movie takes place in Britain so I'm not going to. If it was America though, oh boy would you be getting an ear full.
The next thing you know, Harry's in a swamp and then he's in his friend Ron's house and then they are on the way to school with the rest of their friends. It all moves pretty quickly to start which is understandable since the amount of content in the book could have easily been two movies (and the last book WILL be two movies, but I digress). Speaking of digressions, I have to point out that each subsequent HP movie truncates the story further and further. In the first one, the biggest benefit of reading the book was seeing how the visualization compared because it was basically all there. Now, reading the book is more like reading the instruction manual for an SR-71 before trying to fly it; practically a necessity. Not that you won't be entertained, you just won't know what the hell is going on.
Potter spends the year cozying up to both Dumbledore and the new potions professor, Slughorn, while trying to land Ron's sister Ginny. Meanwhile, Ron spends the movie playing Quidditch and making out with this crazy chick. Hermione spends the movie trying to land Ron and showing off her cleavage that she now has. Being that she is over 18, it is legal for me to point this out.
Eventually, some shit goes down and Harry and Dumbledore go to a cave to get a locket that contains part of Voldemort's soul. They then fight zombies, which is awesome as a rule.
They return to the castle where Draco reveals what we knew all along; he's trying to kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore talks him out of it though. However, Draco already let some of Voldemort's other cronies into the castle, plus Snape is playing double agent and joins them. Since we saw Snape take a vow to complete Draco's task for him if he fails earlier in the film, we wait on the edge of our seats to see if he will really do it (or the two people in the theater who A give a shit and B haven't read the book wait on....oh nevermind, those where the two Christians who left already). Snape then casts the killing curse, ending Dumbledore's life and sending him over the tower wall and down to the
Everybody cries and shit. Then Harry, Ron and Hermione decide to skip their last year of school to go fight Voldemort, kind of like skipping high school to go to Iraq in terms of danger and overall likelihood that it will work out good for you.
Oh yeah, and Snape was the half-blood prince. It kind of a big reveal in the book. It doesn't matter at all in the movie. By the time you even get to the last scene with him where he says it, the audience is like "the half who what?"
Conclusion: Rather than giving this movie a straight up grade, I'm going to tell which people will like it and which won't.
People that will like this movie: folks who enjoy some lighthearted fantasy, HP fans, perverts who liked Emma Watson better when she was younger, most casual moviegoers who have a rough idea of the story and have seen at least the last couple movies in the series, most kids under 15 and over 10, girls with a thing for Daniel Radcliffe, anyone who enjoys a good Alan Rickman performance, and people who in general are obsessed with magic, witches, wizards, mythical creatures and whatnot.
People that will not like this movie: HP haters, people that don't like fantasy movies, people looking for a deep and coherent narrative, people looking for a movie that challenges you, people who don't like teen romance to the point that they can't overlook it for magic and shit, people that don't like magic or mythical creatures or all that, hardline Christians, homophobes (because of me), people who just really hate children, kids under 9, people who see the movie with people who brought kids under 9, and zombies.
My personal feelings: I liked it a lot, it was a good addition to the series, and I'll probably watch it again when it comes out on video. I'm a sucker for sagas. Sphere: Related Content