So I have two great posts outlined, but I spent ten and a half hours on Amtrak today and as such can barely spell my own name. So you get a smart post next week.
This week, you get a quick (and spoiler-filled) list of my impressions on the latest Harry Potter, which I saw over Thanksgiving with my cousins. If you haven't seen it yet, go read something else. I recommend something coherent.
1. So let's get this out of the way: it was a fairly decent movie. I feel like I've been watching the evolution of Steve Kloves's writing skills over the last ten (or however many) years, as he has gone from super-sucky to eh, nothing to write home about. A not inconsiderable improvement.
2. That said, there were still some clunker lines. The most obvious among them being, to my mind: Harry: We should get moving. Hermione: Ron's not strong enough to Apparate. Harry: Guess we'll go on foot. Next scene: Them in a completely different locale with none of the same geographic features. Me: Eyeroll. Exactly how many miles do three teenagers, one of them wounded, who are trying to keep out of sight, walk in a day?
3. That said, there were good lines. For example, how awesome was it that Harry finally got the whole "dead parents" thing turned on him? That was epic. (I have an actor friend who, when he needed to build up frustrated teenage angst for a role, used to say he was channeling Harry Potter, circa movie number five. "My parents are dead!" he would yell, and then pop in and do an angsty scene, note-perfect, against all his natural inclinations.) Finally, finally, Ron, in the exact same tone of voice as Harry made so famous, yells "What do you know about it? Your parents are dead!" And despite the sadness that the line implies and the importance of it in terms of plot, I chortled.
4. SPEAKING of dead parents, where was the Harry Potter memorial? AHEM. I thought that a vital and beautiful part of the book, and was sad when the movie showed only a burned out house. The movie was two and a half hours already, Kloves. Another ninety seconds won't do much either way. Christ.
5. You can really see the camaraderie among the three leads now that they've been making movies together so long. It's nice; it mirrors the camaraderie the characters have in the books. The kids are clearly comfortable with each other, which I liked. (Not at all like the early movies.)
6. Still, though. I don't know if it's me or them, but those actors? LOOKED SO YOUNG. And TINY. I once saw Emma Watson in real life, and she is ridiculously small; but the whole movie I was going, I'm not sure you're old enough to be doing this! All the adult actors are still taller than you! Eat some spinach or something!
7. In other I-am-turning-into-someone's-grandma news, they should have been wearing way more winter clothing. They're on a camping trip in England in winter. I myself have lived in England and spent a couple of winters there. (I had the sense never to camp outdoors during that time.) I know that as a native Californian I expect to be rather warmer than England can generally provide. But still. Trust me when I say, a turtleneck and a sweater is going to do nothing for you. You need about four more layers, and at least two of them should be waterproof. It was distracting, how freezing I imagined all of them being. Don't even get me started on the whole stripping, diving into iced over water, coming out, putting on one shirt, and being fine scene. Because when you're magic you don't get hypothermia!
8. Something done really well: The opening scene, where Hermione removes her parents' memories of her. Beautifully done, and done in a cinematic, not literary, way. Unlike so many other scenes in this series.
9. Something done quite poorly: Assorted lines wherein someone yells, "But that's so dangerous!" Mates. I do not want to be the one to tell you this. But you are past that level. It was "so dangerous" back in movie two. Now it's just your life. Love it or leave it.
10. Proof that my gay and gay-friendly friends have totally rubbed off on me: In the dramatic moment, when Ron is destroying the Horcrux, it's taunting him with Harry and Hermione kissing, naked. (Tastefully fogged out for the younger viewers.) Ron, in love with Hermione himself, gets a determined look on his face and stabs it to stop the scene. Me (in my mind): You go Ron! Kill the heterosexuality! You know Harry really loves you! (My sister, when I told her that: God, you can't even pronounce "heterosexuality," can you? England was so bad for you.)