Thursday, June 03, 2004

Harry Potter review depot
CNN.com - An older,�darker Harry Potter - Jun 3, 2004
We've had tickets for a week. La & I have a date for tomorrow night's 7:30 show. I've been looking forward to this one for a really long time.

Edit: Yes! Edit!! (Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't) Well, Kenneth Toran of the LA Times and Morning Edition gave us his radio review just now, and he praised Cuaron for being able to break free of Columbus' "prison" and capture the spirit of Rowling's books. He, like several other reviewers, then went on and said a bunch of things that cast doubt as to whether or not he'd actually read the books. For instance, Toran suggested it was some sort of lack of courage for Cuaron to not write the Dursley's out of the story (displaying how little he understands of the importance of the Dursleys' roles in the story, the framework of the tales, and the characterization of the protagonist.) To Toran, they are boring. He also suggests the movie is too long (and I was wondering why it wasn't longer!) Toran displays his ignorance by implying that the elements of Harry Potter are like so many Tom Bombadils, interesting maybe, but unnecessary to the story.

One of the constant themes I've read from several reviewers is that Cuaron has made this film darker than its predecessors. Interesting, especially considering Rowling's books have become longer, more adult, and significantly darker in turn. Columbus did not capture the darkness of the first two books well. But he's a hack, so... Anyway, Cuaron comes along and makes a dark movie from a dark book (both apparently conveying Rowling's Dark, british humour) and reviewers are tripping over themselves to act as though Cuaron invented dark.

If the books were fluffy and shallow, they would not appeal to anyone, especially kids. Making a movie about a kid who has some really bad stuff happen to him while he dances with his own tortured soul is exactly as dark as we want and need these movies to be.

I'm looking forward to seeing this, although I'm almost certain that it's going to anger me at how many story elements and characters are removed in order to cut the movie's length to appeal to Muggles like Toran.

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