Saturday, July 18, 2009

Harry Potter is So Lame

I mean in the movies, of course! I am a huge, ridiculously so, fan of the Harry Potter novels. It's fair to say that I've read each book at least ten times. And last night I went to see the latest movie, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince". I think I am with most fans in that I liked the more faithful approach of the first two films (directed by Chris Columbus, screen play by Steve Kloves), I was befuddled by the darkness of the third film (directed by Alfonso Cuaron) and hated (and still do) the ridiculous portrayal of Dumbledore by Michael Gambon, who was brash, unpleasant, and spoke primarily in cheesy fortune cookie one-liners. I made my piece with the darker directing in "The Goblet of Fire" because let's face it, the books were getting darker too. Gambon was in rare form when he began snapping at students and even lunged at Harry at one point, shaking him violently while asking him a simple question. The fifth one and now this latest installment have been directed by a David Yates. I don't even remember much from "The Order of the Phoenix", though I am sure it bugged me in some way or another. But while the latest film is so fresh in my mind I shall make some points about it, all SPOILERS, so if you haven't read the books (and why on Earth not???) or haven't see the film yet, I would suggest you don't read ahead.

First and foremost Daniel Radcliff is a remarkably shitty actor. Sure he isn't very attractive, but that shouldn't be held against a person. He is just plain dull. Think Keanu Reeves and that cow in the headlights out to lunch blank stare. This brings me nicely to the part of the movie that irked me the most - the Harry-Ginny relationship, or rather lack thereof. Harry is supposedly pining for Ginny, and though I knew he was supposed to be (having read the book), I saw no hint of it in the movie until Hermione asks Harry how it feels to be wanting Ginny and not being able to have her. And then (!!!) Ginny kneels down and ties Harry's shoelaces. What!?! Who thought that was a good idea, unless it's supposed to be some kind of "while you are down there" reference. The two do finally share a little peck of a kiss in the Room of Requirements, initiated by Ginny, Harry standing there entirely unresponsive.

On the plot side, they entirely skipped over the speculation about Horcruxes being objects of importance to Riddle, without which I have no idea how Harry and the rest will figure out what objects to search for (the cup, the diadem, etc).

Minor pet peeves also include Harry not being bound by a spell while Dumbledore gets killed, but hiding out of sight (way out of character), and the random attack on and destruction of the Burrow.

Still, weirdly, I thought the movie was overall ok. They managed to cram most of the book in (unlike "Order of the Phoenix", which if I recall correctly was butchered mercilessly). And Ron and Hermione were brilliant, in all respects, including their more developed romance.

P.S. This was such a cute picture of the two of them I had to include it, even though it seems to be from the fourth movie, and I don't recall that scene at all. Perhaps it's photoshopped? Any ideas?

















Update: The picture above was created by this person using a scene from "The Prince and Me". Good job!

Incidentally, why are there suddenly over a 1000 views on this post? Is it linked somewhere?

15 comments:

Spatula said...

Lol, so tell us how you really feel!

...I was OK with it, though I think showing the progression of Tom Riddle through creepy kid to beautiful yet hateful teen to beautiful yet creepy young man to melting-face semi-Voldemort would have been really nice. And his backstory was such a nice counterpoint to all the stupid teen romance stuff - conceived via coersive love spell, etc. It's a shame they took that out. I could have used 60% less teenage romance - actualy make that 90%, and more actual STORY.

Movie Dumbledore never bothered me because I didn't really have a strong mental image of book Dumbledore beyond "lots and lots and lots of beard". But the climax with him dying seemed so flat. Heaven and earth should have shaken when Snape! Iced! Dumbledore! OMG! and everyone just stared sedately instead.

Eh. I'm still going to see it twice :-D

Paulina said...

no way, I love the cute teenage romance. Makes me giggle. Especially Ron and Hermione. They have been my favorites from the start.
Talked to my mom and she pointed out that Harry is dull in the books too. He's not so much an interesting character but a guy that shitty things keep happening to.

Anonymous said...

that picture of ron and hermione is photoshopped. everything except the heads is from The Prince & Me.

Carissa said...

this picture is totally photo shopped from the movie "the prince & me"!

Ally said...

I throughly agree, Dumbledore is so... vicious. I though Dumbledore (Harris) in films 1 and 2 was excellent. He portrayed the wise and affectionate Dumbledore, not this angry man Dumbledore now is.

And what the hell happened with the horcruxes???? HOW CAN DUMBLEDORE NOT KNOW??? He has to know, otherwise whats harry got to thank him for at the end? friendship.. pfft. Look up.

But in spite of all the tiny errors, I liked it too. It just doesn't have the genius the novels have.

Anonymous said...

I quite miss the old Dumbledore, who sat on the bed with Harry in the infirmary and ate an earwax jelly bean. That's the Dumbledore I associated all the books with. The Dumbledore 2.0 seems to be created to appropriate with the rushed story line, and thus he seems more rigid, tense, and always in a hurry. I agree that they left out too much of Tom Riddle's life story. It was such a large part of the book.

Anonymous said...

Oh at first I saw that picture and thought it was real but if you look real close the face is a different color than the neck and rest of the body.
I found this blog on Google images when I searched for "ron hermione".
And I do agree with you, Harry Potter is kinda lame. I've never read the books but I've seen most of the movies. Why do they keep making more movies anyway? The actors are getting too old!

Anonymous said...

Simply, I think using a title like "Harry Potter is so Lame" shows immaturity and jealousy.

Paulina said...

Immature and jealous - that's just how I roll :)

Anonymous said...

Yea, the picture is photoshopped, but well done actually, it nearly fooled me until I thought, "This isn't from any movie we've seen and I don't recall any billiards tables in Deathly Hallows."

Anonymous said...

I think the movies are as great as the books. But I do agree that I hate Daniel Radcliffe and the early Dumbledores was better and also, I was annoyed by just that little kiss between Harry and Ginny. But all together I love all the films. And, also, I have read all the Harry Potter books a hundred times too, and they really are the best series of books ever written.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Harry Potter is a shitty character and I don't think Daniel Radcliffe is a shitty actor. I do agree that the first Dumbledore was A LOT better, but he died and we couldn't resurrect him for the films. I also agree they BUTCHERED the most of the movies. In their defense though I want to add that the movies would have been at least 3 or 4 hours long each. I also wanted to add that I LOVE these books (the sixth being one of my favourites).

Paulina said...

I agree that Harry Potter is not a shitty character and I do adore the books.

Samantha said...

I love Ron's facial expressions in the movies. I think they are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

i don't think Daniel Radcliffe is a shitty actor ,& i don't think Harry Potter is a duel character,he ties the moives together ! but i do agree that i like the old Dumbledore.but i never thought further on in the movie Dumbledore was mean ????