Tuesday, July 21, 2009

G'head, make it again, we'll wait.

On saturday past, the kids, hubby and I trundled off to the city. Anticipation was at hand; we were about to see the new Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Hubby had no idea what to expect as he hasn't read the book; DD#3 and I have both read them all, over and over. DD#4 is currently reading Philosopher's Stone but has listened to the first 6 books on tape. The unabridged versions, so knows the story pretty nearly as well as DD#3 and I do. This is usually the case. Hubby prefers to see the movie first, then listen to the books on tape. Us, not so much.

Movie nights are big in our family. Over the past 20 years hubby and I have seen a lot of them. We always sit through the credits because we're both big on it's not just the actors or directors that make the film. It's the writers, the AD, the cinematographer, the craft services, the continuity department, the cgi department and even the guy who drives the honey wagon that make the film worthwhile. It's a labour you gotta love, cause it's long tedious work, no matter how excited you get about doing it; so to honor those folks we sit through the credits. It's our little thing.

The HP movies (among other 'series' we enjoy) are an occasion for us, we do it up :) you see. Go out for dinner at a favourite restaurant, anticipate...oh there's that word again... get excited. We look forward to these times. We see a lot of movies as a family, but most often it's on dvd or ppv. Going to the theatre for one is saved for the big family faves, like Harry Potter and well Ice Age for another.

Anyway, we're anticipating, you all got that right? We're excited. We know the story. We're not really expecting any plot twists but we like to see how what we imagine when we read (or listen) to the stories comes out on film. So we nod to each other (that's dd#3 and I) when the movie begins. The nods quickly change to confused expressions. Hers starts to frown, mine to shrug, not much I can do to change the movie. See, that's already been done.

So Mr Yates and Ms Rowling, I would just like to know.. WTF?

When did Dumbledore become the slightest bit concerned about Harry's love life? When did Harry's life revolve around anything muggle? And when the hell did he go from slightly uncomfortable around girls to mr schmooze?

Oh and the whole 'ink in the water effect' ... little over used don't you think? I mean for starters, that whole three columns of black illwill disguised as ... hmm... ink in water but morphing a little? That was cheesy when the bad guys did that zoom around threesome deal in one of the Superman movies back when.

On what page in the book does The Burrow burn down? Cause I've read my copy cover to cover at least 5 times and I can' find that scene anywhere. And for that matter, how did the time leap happen so that Tonks and Remus are dating already? I'm surprised you didn't have her already preggers.

Why does Luna find Harry in the train, not Tonks, oh wait I know, cause she's off snogging Remus? *bleah*

Course, you can make it alright by turning the camera angles all wonky. First time I've felt vertigo watching a movie, btw. Yates? You wanna make *art films* please go do so without messing with an already awesome story and established and easily recognized backstory. Turning it on it's side and whipping the camera around won't make it anymore interesting to me.

Ms. Rowling??? Please... please tell me what you were thinking? IS THIS why there's to be two Deathly Hallows movies? To put right the utter ridiculousness of the mangled plot in this one? Did you have to negotiate and insist on certain things to get that done? I want to believe that's the reason.... I really do.

Oh there were bright spots, Lavender was a hoot, even though the actress might have been discouraged from that whole predatory crouch deal she had going on. The twins in their suits, the joke shop and I can even understand leaving out the poster though it would have been funny :). Seemed like the movie would get going off on a tangent, then suddenly it was *really important* to hit a plot point so it would veer back to the book almost word for word, then off it would go on some cockeyed vertiginous journey again. Why mess with it? Why make it damn near unrecognizable?

I'm not a director, I've not gone to school to learn this and my movie experience is about thatmuch. But speaking as a consumer of movies for a lot more years than I care to admit to here, what the freaking hell?

I understand about leaving things out that flesh out the book for lack of time or real importance to the movement of the film or plot. You can't dress every desk the way it's written in the book. Nor can you hit every little byplay between the characters, that's why we read the books, I get that, we enjoy that part but it's tedious to put on film and one scene well done is enough to establish the dislike between the characters, or the friendship or attraction. So yes, you have to edit... I get that...But making stuff up? Don't get that at all.

You wanted to show the horror of Voldemort and how he was impacting the muggle world too, how about a newspaper shot.... one page muggle news, the page turns, the other side is the wizard world report. And lose the idiotic black smoke of death crap. You want sinister? How about a cloaked man sweeping up a family and then showing the abandoned half eaten meal still warm on the table? Too mundane? Too done? It's a movie based on a successful series FOR CHILDREN. Trust me they haven't seen it before and even if they did, as a director you should be able to tell a story without the fuss and bull of inky deathsmoke.

Yes, that stuff really bugged me.

This was the conversation as for the first time in 20 years I watched my hubby walk out on the credits of a film. I think had it just been he and I, we'd have left before the movie ended to be honest....another first.

DD#3, "We don't have to buy it, do we?"
Hubby grunts.
DD#3 "But then we won't have the set, okay we can buy but we never have to watch it again, right?"
DD#2 "Right!"

These kids will watch the first 5 movies over a weekend and the very next weekend will ask to do it again.

So... please, MAKE IT AGAIN... please? We'll wait, we promise....