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January 01, 2003

Very Potter and the Photo Opportunity.

Saw the latest HP vehicle today. I'm willing to say that I enjoyed it, if I'm also allowed to comment on what was so horribly stupid about it. Very little of the stupidity actually came from the story, but lots from the film production itself. That is unless the story actually goes to all the trouble of describing events like the chamber of secrets itself: first that the hidden chamber is hard to find, but when you enter it it is an entrance to the sewer system full of bloody entrances and intersecting drainage ways, all the way to the central entrace to the snake pit. Then on the way out there's the massive crevase from which the heros leave. I know, I know. Reading too much into a children's story. But I deny that. Again, Philip Pullman to the rescue. He knows how to write a tight story. Yuka's reading Terry Pratchet's intelligent cat and mouse story (can't remember the title at the moment) which also sounds internally consistent. Even CS Lewis (ugh), Ursula Le Guin and the billion and a half other children's books around me know how to get continuity and internal consistency right. Sure, lots of kids, and parents won't notice. But then again, they're probably the types who don't notice the clouds on the horizion, and when the storm hits they blither, ""Why me?"" No, the silliest bits were the stupid music. The standard lame symphonic stuff that doesn't want to admit that it has no melody. The really disney type music that is vague and without voice. Icky. No, the silliest bit was the long, plot-independent, probably contractually obligated, closeups of smiling actors being mutually supportive. Would have been OK if the stares conveyed information, or plot development, or something. But they were just something that credits could roll through. Bit of a waste of screen realestate, if you ask me. The ending was the worst. Big boy gets out of prison, and gets a standing ovation for just being there. Oh, ya. Because he wasn't guilty of something he wasn't guilty of. No apologies for feeding HP and the crew to the spiders. No apologies for saying that the answer was to follow the spiders (which it was not), when the answer was to go in the opposite direction. Oaf. So he comes back and smiles at everyone. And they smile at him. And then everyone claps. And it is obvious to everyone that this is a good thing. Silly inconstant movie. But all in all, I guess that the problems I've always had with HP was the total disregard for internal consistency, except on the most superficial level of the plot. And you can never always blame the book for that when watching the movie. Though the first book was a good example of not bothering to connect all the dots, and no I don't mean merely leaving a thread hanging, and this is carried over to the movie. So I sort of assume that it happens in version 2. Bought ""the Science of Harry Potter"" though. Should be a fun read."

Posted by jason at January 1, 2003 08:55 PM