What a crock! Just when I was starting to like Dumbledore and think he was more than a manipulative, conniving old fool who got a thrill out of seeing young people risk their lives on stupid stuff he has to go and take a nose dive off a tower and die of kinetic energy poisoning. It’s really kind of unfair. Part of the reason I was starting to like him was in this and the last movie he more or less showed what kind of kick ass wizard he was. Now it’s nothing but kids.
This movie was good as the rest, but I am really starting to feel the lack of knowledge not having read the books is handicapping me with. The first few stories managed to avoid that, but as the whole story progresses it gets more and more complex and it is pretty obvious now that the series really is for the people who read the books. I think the biggest part of my confusion has to do with all the girls. Somehow in this movie they managed to introduce between 3 and 8 girls who all more or less look the same, talk the same, have the same dialog writer, and are so interchangeable that I can’t tell which one is which and how they got involved in the first place. Was the girl who helped Harry hide the book Wealey’s sister, or the one with the love potion? How did she even know about the book or know that Harry had to hide it? Could she have been the one who tried to kill Dumbledore with the necklace? Why is it the only girl who looks at all distinctive (blond hair, super pale) is the local space case who can’t be counted on to deliver any dialog that isn’t surreal? It’s actually kind of infuriating. Weasley was dating a girl early on and then seemed to dump her when they found out he was under some kind of love potion, but it also seemed to be implied that there were two different girls.
I also think it worth noting that this movie doesn’t really seem to make any pretense of racial diversity. At least in the last one you had the two cute Indian girls and a couple of black people. In this one, except for the super hot waitress at the start of the film (Elarica Gallacher) it was a sea of whitebread. Even all the villains were pretty white. Not sure what that implies or says, but aside from the socio political ramifications it helped make keeping all the characters except Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Draco apart really, really difficult. They all seemed to blur into a sea of blandness.
Anyway, the movie was pretty good, and I have to say I am totally hooked and want to see how this thing ends. I will also say that while watching this film I had a sudden flash of insight about what may or may not be the big surprise at the end of the series. I won’t say it now, as some of you may have not seen the last one and also, if I am wrong I can just never mention my insight again to avoid embarrassment. If I am right, however, I hope you all remember this when I claim credit for being a super genius.
Once again I am force to point out that Harry and his Mystery Gang failed miserably to figure out who the bad guy was, and only found out when he revealed himself. I am actually really disappointed it was Professor Snape. That just seems really obvious and simple minded. It’s like having the bad cowboy always wearing the black hat. The really interesting twist would have been if the Death Eater turned out to be Professor McGonagall. From what I hear J.K. Rowling creates quite the diverse and descriptive world in her novel, but so far she hasn’t really shown that she understands what subtlety or plot twists really are.
1. Is the person associated with House Slytherin in any way?
2. Is the person the current instructor of Defense Against Dark Magic?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, the whip your your wand and blast him or her where they stand. They might as well rename the position the “Professor of Kill Harry Potter” (Curses Foiled Again image courtesy of the novelty t shirt category).
As always, this movie has inspired some other annoying, specific questions.
First off, I have to go back to Quidditch again. As far as I can tell, Hogwarts has one Quidditch field, yet with four houses has four Quidditch teams. When they were showing the tryouts for the Gryffindor team it seemed like they had the field to themselves. I have been on several athletic teams in my life (football, wrestling, and rowing) and in each case we practiced a minimum of five days a week for 3-4 hours a day, after class. Do the Hogwarts teams only practice 1-2 days a week? There are only so many hours of daylight after class in which they could actually do anything, so how to the teams practice? If they all practice at the same time wouldn’t that more or less make it impossible to develop new strategies without the other teams finding out? A Quidditch field looks pretty crowded with just two teams on it. Wouldn’t having four teams plus alternates on the field more or less make for mass confusion and/or mid air collisions?
Second, when I was in high school chemistry we would play with some dangerous stuff (acid, etc) but nothing that would do more than give you a horrible, disfiguring burn. How, then, can the new Potions Professor ask these 15 year old kids to make something called “Liquid Death” (I think) that he says “One drop could kill us all”? That’s like asking a high school chemistry class to make up some nerve gas. It’s pretty much guaranteed one of those kids is going to screw up and spill the stuff all over the place. Even if it wasn’t pure enough to kill the whole class it still sounds really dangerous. I think OSHA might have a few words to say about the lack of gloves and masks going on in that room. Also, what idiot thinks that 15 year kids are emotionally stable enough to be trusted with the knowledge to create a WMD in class and not use it? I can tell you that at age 15 if I had had the knowledge all it would have taken was one more wedgie to see me dumping in the school water supply. Maybe British kids are better adjusted, but judging by what is going on in London right now, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Third, while the whole movie really tries to make out Draco Malfoy as a young villain, I have to say I have nothing but sympathy for him. Sure, he as some serious issues getting on with fellow students, but he is obviously a very troubled boy. He is ambitious but constantly having his achievements and abilities superseded by Harry, who seems to succeed without really trying. His father looks like a Wraith from Stargate Atlantis and just turned Death Eater, after infecting him with all kinds of class and racial prejudice. He is kind of being alienated by most of the rest of Hogwarts. He is a member of the most evil house in the school. He doesn’t apparently have anything even remotely resembling fun in his life. Is it any wonder he is a member of the Trench Coat Mafia? Honestly, it seems that a caring and alert school official or instructor might have seen trouble coming with that one and perhaps tried to intervene in a positive manner rather than teach him how to make death potions. Is there no one who can spot a desperate cry for help? I’m probably just bitter because I had a laundry list of problems in high school that secretly I always hoped someone would notice, but no one did. Draco Malfoy, I hope you end this series in a positive place, but given J.K. Rowlings sledgehammer approach to story crafting I doubt it.
Fourth, while I understand the theory behind the concept of a boarding school, the fact is these kids are spending nine months out of the year away from their family. Ron seems OK as his brothers and sister are around, and Harry can’t get away from his aunt and uncle fast enough, but Hermione seems to imply she has a loving home of Muggle dentists somewhere in the world. No one sees a problem with the fact that parents never come to visit, or the kids go home on weekends once in a while to reaffirm their family ties? Sounds like a recipe for future sociopathy.
Finally, I’m a little confused as to when Ron became the Hogwarts sex symbol. As far as I can tell, he’s a mediocre wizard, not terribly witty or charming, doesn’t appear overly burdened with good looks, and not the brightest bulb on the tree. His only talent lies in being a Quidditch goalie. Why does he have every girl after him? I do gain some satisfaction in seeing Hermione interested in him, but I see that as more an offshoot of their long time friendship than anything else. I do hope that romance continues.
That’s pretty much it. My cousin just moved back to Oakland and is dragging me to see Tree of Life tonight, so expect a review for that one tomorrow. I have no idea what it is about, except possibly living and/or a tree of some kind. I’ll watch the next Harry Potter tomorrow, and then see the Deadly Hollows part 2 at the theater. Bye for now.