July 20, 2011

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2"

In terms of complexity, the eighth and final Harry Potter movie is like the other ones, only more so, because they have to bring every distinguished actor in London of a certain age out for an abbreviated final bow in which he contributes a crucial plot point in his character's obscure regional accent using words that nobody has said out loud in 300 years. From my review in Taki's Magazine:
Here’s what it’s like inside a middle-aged mind watching Part 2 as yet another great character actor gets his 15 seconds of fame (I later figured out at home from IMDb.com that this was Gary Oldman reprising his 2004 role as Sirius Black):
Hey, it’s that guy. 
You know, whoshisface, the one nobody can remember, the guy who was Sid Vicious and Lee Harvey Oswald. 
Oh, yeah, of course! That’s Henny Youngman playing Curious Yellow. 
Or something like that. 
What did he just say? 
It sounded like, ‘If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now; it’s just a spring clean for the May queen.’
But it probably wasn’t. 
Uh-oh, Henny’s gone already. 
Now who’s this?”

But that was all to be expected. What's not expected about this eighth movie was something that nobody else is writing about.

Now, I usually don't make a big deal about whether my thumbs up or thumbs down view on a movie is different from everybody else's thumbs up / thumbs down. There are usually more interesting things to say about a movie than whether you liked it or not. But, in this particular case of the last Harry Potter movie, I'm right and everybody else is wrong, and I can explain why.

Read the whole thing there.

My old articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

"Here’s what it’s like inside a middle-aged mind..."

A middle-aged NERD's mind. There seems to be a trade-off between quick-wittedness and the ability to focus deeply. We nerds can only really do the latter, even when young.

Anonymous said...

that's usually set aside for holocaust movies.

Moreover, the dialogue’s sound quality is often sketchy
sure it's not the print or theatre?

i agree about the age thing.. maybe they should have looked to the old serial models from the studios in teh 40s and 50s, or just shot a 10 hour movie and released a part a year -

Chief Seattle said...

The thing most surprising about the Harry Potter movies is how I've enjoyed them all but I'd be hard pressed to tell you what the plot was a day later.

Whiskey said...

Steve, what is striking at how little Hollywood has been able to create original movies. Harry Potter came from JK Rowling, a mid-thirties woman writing in the UK, about very UK subjects. Batman, the Marvel Comics characters, Superman, all got created by deeply assimilated Jews or guys like Gardiner Fox (Hawkman's creator). About the only thing Hollywood has done that is original is the Fast and Furious franchise.

And even here, you see its petering out. While DC/Time-Warner is getting its lunch eaten launching obscure, "could care less" Comic book characters: John Constantine/Hellblazer, Jonah Hex, the Losers, with a flopping Green Lantern and Superman movie, only the Batman movies with Nolan were any good and made money. Marvel at least got it and Disney has not screwed it up: if one hero is cool, having them ALL work together will separate every ten year old boy (and every guy who remembers being ten) from cash real quick.

Harry Baldwin said...

My wife and kids were into Harry Potter and we listened to the audiobooks on long car trips, but the story never grabbed me. Each book seems to introduce some whole new goal for Harry, some sort of scavenger hunt for horcruxes or deathly hallows. Unlike in the Lord of the Rings, the magic has no internal logic. It was at the point that Hermione had a necklace that could turn back time, and it was treated as a minor plot device, that I threw in the towel. (As I understand it, theologians believe that even God cannot undo what is done.)

The films remind me of James Bond movies in which plot is secondary to lots of breakneck action and dizzying special effects.

The actress that plays Jenny Weasley is awful, and Ron Weasley is a gargoyle--the price you pay for sticking with performers you hired when they were young and cute. Rupert Grint (Ron) can look forward to a post-Harry Potter career comparable to that of Mark Hamill.

Anyway, my wife doesn't want me to go see the movie with her as she knows I'll just bitch about it.

Anonymous said...

I did not read the books or watch the movies, but decided to see the last one to get what all the hubbub was about. Very disappointing. Pacing, mood, acting all off. The bad guy had no menace at all. I didn't really understand the point or theme.

I think I followed the plot alright, I read summaries on wikipedia right before going.

Visual effects were nice.

Anonymous said...

I saw some promotional still images of the main characters who now look like really old graduate students. Are they getting their PhD's in magic?

In another project of this type, Hollywood might want to have the child characters shoot all of their dialog in front of a blue screen over 2 - 3 years. Adults and special effects can then be added over 10 years. Or do that thing that used to be so funny on the Conan O'Brien show where he would interview a photograph of some celebrity with a digitally animated mouth.

Anonymous said...

It was a short movie, visually interesting and pro-natal. That's all I really remember.

Bullitt315 said...

I felt the same about the movie. I thought it was terrible. I felt like they botched every major scene, the moments that were supposed to be quick were extended too long and the stuff I was looking forward to seemed absent.

Anonymous said...

Gary Oldman is not an obscure actor. Granted, he's not Tom Cruise. He's not even the incredible prestige actor he could have been given the almost limitless talent — compare Sid Vicious to Lee Harvey Oswald to Joe Orton (Prick Up Your Ears) to Drexl Sprivey (True Romance) to Jackie Flannery (State of Grace) to Jack Grimaldi (Romeo is Bleeding). He had one of the best early careers of any actor ever and then seemed to decide that serious acting was too much damned work. Even when he's not serious, he commands the screen, especially as hammy villans, especially The Professional.

Also, he's the third most important actor in those obscure Batman films from Christopher Nolan.

Anonymous said...

"Unlike in the Lord of the Rings, the magic has no internal logic."

The Harry Potter books were written by a woman.

Anonymous said...

"The Harry Potter books were written by a woman."

Unlike Gary Oldman, you are not sexy.

Marlowe said...

It disappointments me that Mr Sailer didn't think 'Hey, it's Rosencrantz out of the film version of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead"'.

Whenever I see Mr Oldman I wonder whether he will hum some Beethoven before shooting a man in the face.

Steve Sailer said...

Oldman is hilarious as Rosencrantz in the 1990 movie.

Anonymous said...

Whose accent was obscure?

What exactly happens? Let’s just say that legacies have a lot of pull with the Hogwarts Admissions Office.

What are you referring to?

And the film sucked, and so did the book. She'd written herself into a corner and had to get out using blatant deus ex machina after blatant deus ex machina.

Anonymous said...

I may have missed this, but has Steve ever compared the special abilities that get you into Hogwarts to High IQ? And would you suggest a special boarding school - Hiqwarts, perhaps?