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Friday, July 17, 2009

Exceptionally Ordinary

So I have a daily football blog that I update every weekday during my lunch. Here's the catch though - I now have 124 posts, only 123 here. I'd like to keep this one up for at least a little while, and I do have some topics saved up so I'll knock one out today and hope I can do these on my lunches as well.

Topics -
The new Harry Potter movie, Half-Blood Prince...discuss
The potential longevity of the Harry Potter film series, it's growth and evolution, versus the book series
The actual possibility that ANY of the child actors from the HP series are likely to do anything post HP
Harper's Island, which I discussed earlier, but I'll do a full review of the accomplishments and flaws of the series and the thriller/suspense/quasi-horror potential on the small screen (this sounds like two posts to me)
How our lives are remembered - this will start out as a discussion brought up by the tragic deaths of Michael Jackson, who obviously had a very odd lifestyle for the better part of the last twenty years and Steve McNair, who while known as a tough NFL star and family man, was shot and killed by his mistress on the fourth of July.

So there's six topics, one for today, and then one for each day next week. I'll try to come up with five topics every Friday, in order to maintain this high pace of posts. (Possibilities for next Friday - the actual limitations of a film adaptation, the work place education versus schooling, social networking, etc...)

Now, onwards to the movie. I'm obviously not too concerned in regards to spoilers, as most of you members have either seen the film already, or read the books, or both. If you haven't, might as well skip the rest of this one until you do.

Now I've heard two major complaints regarding the film, one of which I voiced immediately after seeing it and the other, lack of action, moreso disappointed me than anything else. I'll first address the issue of action - no, there was not much action in the film. The fact of the matter is, books five and six (and by adaptations, films five and six), mostly consist of treading water but building the foundation for which the final two films will be built. The first four stories can be seen as individual storylines, as they all have a direct plot - stop whoever's trying to steal the sorcerer's stone from doing so, solve the mystery of the chamber of secrets, catch Sirius Black (and then save him from being wrongfully accused), and surviving the Goblet of Fire. After that however, the direct plots get a little fuzzy - in Order of the Phoenix, it was defying Umbridge and preparing themselves with defensive magic, but there are subplots abound that didn't translate as successfully to the big screen (the operations of the ministry and the order of the phoenix, for starters). The same is even more true in the Half-Blood Prince. In a two and a half hour film, how are they expected to reveal to us 1) the high school like hormonal atmosphere, 2) the memories, and hence Tom Riddle's backstory, 3) the growing Voldemort army, 4) Harry's paranoia surrounding Draco and Draco's fall into near madness, etc... In the book, there was one quasi-major battle - at the end at the movie is actually, not that far off. They didn't include this battle, for whatever reason, but they did include a small skirmish where the Weasley house is destroyed for no apparent reason, although it did introduce us to the fact that Tonks and Lupin were an item...unnecessary, but whatever. Anyways, my point is - there was little action because...there was little action to show. The skies are getting darker, but it's not raining yet. It's supposed to build our anticipation for the final two films, which of course, don't come out until Q4 2010 and Q2 2011, which sucks but what can you do?

My complaint, however it's relatively minor since I thoroughly enjoyed the film and plan on seeing it again this weekend (and again after the IMAX version comes out)...nonetheless, the movie was an emotional roller coaster. Now, I understand in the book, there is the comedy factor of teenagers being teenagers and discovering the opposite sex and we all laugh at the awkwardness present in ourselves that we see in these characters...that's fine. However, in a film where things aren't laid out into chapters and things happen in quick succession, these awkward moments were almost always followed by something dark, dreary, or just otherwise unpleasant...then back to funny again. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they attempted to capture the conflicting emotions of the book, but the execution played out much worse than one would have hoped. I've read this complaint elsewhere as well, so it's not like I'm crazy.

Anyways, it was a good film and a fine representation of the novel from which it was adapted. We'll get into further discussions of these things in the other, related topics, next week.

Until then - ta.

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