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Alexandra DuPont Spells Out the HARRY POTTER DVD!!

Published at: May 28, 2002, 1:21 a.m. CST by staff

I am – Hercules!!

Her breakthough experimentation with coherant light and the human genome project kept Alexandra DuPont from accepting the role of Elektra in the upcoming “Daredevil” feature, but she still has time to squeeze out a DVD review every now and again. Tonight she makes short work of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” – or “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” as you miserable yanks would have it.

Does it come with a keep case? Well, you’ll just have to read, won’t you?

Thanks as always to The DVD Journal for the regular loan of the comely Ms. DuPont’s fabulous Sunday-night - er, end-of-weekend reviews!


Review by Alexandra DuPont                    


"There's been some criticism from some people that we've been too faithful to the book. My feeling is: If you're a fan of the book, you need to be faithful. If you love something, you should be faithful to it."

Harry Potter director Chris Columbus
in the DVD's "Interviews" featurette


"There are many possible explanations for Harry's broad appeal: a troubled world's need for a little bit of magic, the way the franchise taps into powerful good-versus-evil mythologies, the chance it offers overweight 47-year-olds to retreat from their dreary adult lives into an idealized fantasy childhood. But whatever it is that makes us wild about Harry, one thing is clear: The fantastical universe created by author J.K. Rowling speaks to the child in all of us, whether young or way too old."

— From "Children, Creepy Middle-Aged Weirdos
Swept Up In
Harry Potter Craze,"
The Onion, circa the film's release



Introduction: Harry Potter and the Cultural Fabric

I haven't read the book, so maybe I don't know what I'm missing — but I thought the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was an absolute delight.

[box cover]Of course, voicing one's opinion on Potter is a bit like emptying a Dixie cup onto a forest fire, isn't it? "Criticism" can barely find purchase whenever a book or film becomes so omnipresent that it loses its status as art object and enters the so-called "cultural fabric" — that Jungian collective hard drive where you'll find such fantasy tales as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars and probably a moldering copy of The Bridges of Madison County.

Potter has certainly earned its place in the fabric, at least in terms of omnipresence. The books alone have sold over 100 million copies — a long way behind the Bible (6 billion and counting) and Mao Tse-Tung's "Little Red Book" (900 million), but still. The movie's worldwide gross hovers around a cool $1 billion.


Gross, Schmoss! Why is Harry Potter worth my time?

Well, like many stories to enter the fabric, the Potter tale is a fairly brilliant pastiche of several cultural tropes.


In English, please!

Harry Potter is a beautifully packaged blend of so many shared human experiences and obsessions that you wonder why nobody thought of it sooner.

Author J.K. Rowling's story is deceptively simple: Harry — an orphan raised by his beastly aunt and uncle — discovers he's actually the famous spawn of wizards when he's invited to attend Hogwarts, a school for magic folk. Under the loose guidance of a giant, the boy struggles through his first year of school — even as he joins the "Quidditch" team (which plays a sort of aerial soccer on broomsticks) and solves the mystery of the "Sorcerer's Stone" with school chums Ron and Hermione.

It's a ripping good children's tale, of course — but Potter transcends Kiddie Lit by juggling a seamless and mature blend of primal themes. In the first book alone, Rowling commingles mythology, class warfare, mentorship, a Scooby Doo mystery, sports, and death — all of it draped on a "hero's quest" plot frame that is itself draped on a boarding-school plot frame straight out of Dickens. (Future volumes, I'm told, interweave all the above and puberty.)


So how's the movie?

As directed with surprising restraint by Chris Columbus from a script by Steve Kloves, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a faithful, longish adaptation packed with talented and/or decrepit British thespians. It's also well-acted, lightly funny, mildly spooky, punctuated with well-staged action set pieces, lit with a perpetual autumn hue, designed to the tiniest candy wrapper and brass railing — and surprisingly tame, given that it's packed with monsters and the near-constant threat of child death.

Frankly, I didn't think Chris Columbus had a film of this caliber in him. He's best-known, of course, for spreading a mawkish trowel in the Home Alone movies, Stepmom, Bicentennial Man and the insipid Hugh Grant breeding tract Nine Months — all of which seemed designed by committee to play safely and unchallengingly to a white, upper-middle-class, nuclear-family audience. (Columbus' debut as a director, Adventures in Babysitting, was a comedy about a bunch of white suburban kids lost in an inner city packed with blacks — a conceit that played into some of the worst stereotypes of yuppie urban paranoia.)

Harry Potter, by contrast, sees Columbus taking the best parts of his later oveure — namely, his ability to work with child actors and compose tasteful images — and merging them with his best, early work as a screenwriter — specifically, on such lightly wicked fare as Gremlins and Young Sherlock Holmes (a marvelous movie that is sadly MIA on DVD at this writing; the Barry Levinson-directed tale of young Holmes and Watson solving a supernatural mystery at their boarding school echoes Sorcerer's Stone in terms of tone and plot to an astonishing degree).

I could go on an on, but you really want to know about the extras, don't you? Suffice to say, the central Quidditch-match set piece is thrilling — and strangely evocative of Return of the Jedi's speeder-bike chase — despite looking like a shiny video-game cut scene. Young Daniel Radcliffe is utterly winning as Harry, a perfect combination of John Lennon and Like Skywalker, and he sets the tone for all the child actors, who carry a two-and-a-half-hour movie on their shoulders with an ease that was probably murderously hard to come by. Meanwhile, the who's-who of British stage luminaries playing the Hogwarts faculty and hangers-on brings just the right tone of headmaster snobbery to the screen.


But is the movie "too faithful" to its source material — a common complaint I've heard from my older friends?

I'm not even sure what that means, really. Every time I've heard someone gripe along those lines, it's struck me that they're really complaining that the overall tone is too sedate — that the whole enterprise has the feel of a PBS "Masterpiece Theatre" miniseries with big-budget F/X. I'd counter that the movie held the attention of tots worldwide, and shows that a solid story is still king for viewers of all ages. If the book turned kids on to the joys of reading, maybe the movie will turn them on to the joys of pledge drives, Deepak Chopra and adenoidal-voiced news-readers.

My only real beef with the film is a certain ... clunkiness in its final-act tone shifts. Near the end of the film, Mr. Potter suddenly finds himself faced with a murderous foe, surrounded by flames, and dishing out some gruesome self-defense worthy of Indiana Jones. It's a pretty sudden lurch into horror — but Columbus et al dispense with the book's bittersweet handling of its aftermath, trying instead to drag us back into jolliness as Harry recovers from his actions. With any luck they'll show a bit more grace in the sequel.


Brief comments from "Rory Gilmore," a 12-year-old female fan of the books who's devoured the preview-screener DVD's contents almost twice already (all exclamation points hers):

"I thought the movie was magnificent!!! The only problems were that the Quidditch match looked a little fake to me, and some of the parts of the book I thought were important were left out of the movie. The best part of the movie version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was the end — when Harry, Ron and Hermione had to get to the Sorcerer's Stone before Snape (or at least that's who they thought was after it ) did. Overall, this movie was cram-packed with action."


Well, fabbo! So how about those "cram-packed" extras? [Warning: many puzzles spoiled below, and gleefully spoiled, at that]

Well, the Harry Potter "special features" are something of a generational double-edged sword:

•  For meat-and-potatoes viewers over the age of 12, Harry Potter's worthwhile special features are surprisingly few — a couple of trailers, seven deleted scenes (hidden under a tedious "puzzle" that I'll solve for you below), a production-sketch gallery (hidden in a "Library" menu); and a brief, barely-above-EPK-level documentary. To older viewers, Disc Two will probably be regarded as one of those "Easter egg" minefields that fuels the growing revolt against hidden special features — a revulsion summed up rather nicely by D.K. Holm in his Memento: Limited Edition review on The DVD Journal.


•  However, for viewers under age 12 (and, perhaps, for large-thighed aficionados of customizable card games), Disc Two is something of a low-cal CD-ROM — a meandering World Book Encyclopedia guide to the Harry Potter universe, complete with movie clips, virtual tours of the grounds and "puzzles" that tax not so much the intellect as they do one's remaining time on Earth. There are also a couple of hints as to what we'll be seeing in the just-filmed sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — hints that will surprise no one who's already read the books.


Is Potter creator J.K. Rowling interviewed anywhere on this disc?

No.


Is there a trailer for the next movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, anywhere on this disc?

No.


Before we listen to Alexandra prattle on: What did you think of the special-features disc, young Rory Gilmore?

"The only thing I didn't like was that in order to access some of the special features, you had to go back and visit a different part of the disc. This was very confusing to me. Also, most of the things in the extras seemed to be aimed at kids ages 5-9, and had no point. (I guess that's more than one thing I didn't like, isn't it?)

"My favorite part of the special features was when you went to Olivander's Wands, got a wand, went back to the main menu, then went into the "Classrooms" and clicked on the "H." There I found a game that was amusing — but not challenging enough, or with much of a point — to get to the deleted scenes. You will finish this game in five minutes. Tops. "


Thanks, Rory! Now feel free to read the obsessive, perhaps excruciating extras breakdown!

On Disc One, you'll find a Teaser Trailer and Theatrical Trailer; there's also a minimal cast-and-crew listing that leaves out British stage legend Zoë Wanamaker, who played Madame Hooch and who also perhaps coincidentally complained to the Daily Telegraph about her low pay.

Click on the owl on Disc One's main menu and you'll receive an "invitation" to insert Disc Two. Let's do!

The "Special Features" disc immediately sweeps you into the Great Hall at Hogwarts, where you'll see a number of menu icons scattered on the Headmaster's table.

Clicking on the owl takes you to Diagon Alley, where you must dial a clockwise pattern in the brick wall to gain entry. (If you can't figure out the pattern, don't worry; they eventually let you in anyway. The puzzles are, in general, remarkably forgiving, albeit time-consuming.)

Now you're faced with three "storefront" banners, which lead to related submenus. Before you continue, be sure to click the key on the Gringotts banner. Now, then:

•  Inside Gringotts Bank, you can click on the wall behind the goblin to open up a stash of coins. You can also click on the box of "Every Flavored Beans" on the desk and sample a few different flavors — chocolate, peppermint, buttered toast and (yuck!) sardine. (Yes, this is one of those sorts of special-features discs. We soldier on only because it is our duty.)


•  Next, visit Ollivander's Wands; you'll have to choose from a few different wands (and generally lay waste to the place) before you're finally rewarded with a maple-and-phoenix-feather model and can leave the musty old dump.


•  Next up, pop into Eeylops Owl Emporium and click through the birds on display.

(It should be noted that, to get to the final deleted-scenes puzzle, one "only" needs to have picked up money and a wand at Diagon Alley before journeying to the Classrooms menu — a trip detailed below. What's that? A mere 10 minutes of your life?)

Anyway. After that stirring trip to pick up bloody school supplies, journey back to the Great Hall. To the right of the owl is the "Guided Tour of Hogwarts" — a semi-navigable, narrated video guide that takes you through various sets used in the film, allowing you to take in 360-degree panoramas of a few well-appointed rooms.

I'm guessing young Potter obsessives will adore this feature — packed as it is with such, ahm, gripping narrative details as "On the right is where Harry and Ron sat by the fire on Christmas Day, and where Harry received his sweater from Mrs. Weasley." Well, whoop de poop. The tour takes viewers through the Gryffindor commons, into Harry's dorm, and through the Great Hall (where you can, alas, see the set's stage scaffolding and lighting where its "magical ceiling" should be; shame on you, filmmakers!).

Back in the main Great Hall menu, click on the "Sorting Hat" and examine the banners for (and learn the philosophies of) Hogwarts' four student halls: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Young Rory, I should note, found this feature utterly pointless — as will anyone who's read the books.

Next, click on "Interviews" to find a fluffy 16:23 featurette with sound bites from producer David Heyman, director Chris Columbus, writer Steve Kloves, and production designer Stuart Craig.

These seemingly genial fellows speak highly of author J.K. "Jo" Rowling, and touch lightly on the challenges of casting and bringing the Potter universe to the big screen. Columbus et al also offer hints at what we'll see in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets — a faster, more treacherous Quidditch game, Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockheart, a flying car, a darker-hued mystery, and a host of new characters (but then, if you're still reading, you probably know the sequel's story already).

Back to the main menu. Clicking on the "Extra Credit" scroll teases the disc's DVD-ROM features. Click next on the main menu's cat — and you'll be taken directly to the "Hogwarts Grounds" menu, where a dog, a broom and a noisy Quidditch kit await you:

•  Clicking in the golden snitch in this menu leads to a maddening game where viewers have to "catch" the snitch with their DVD remote — the reward for said hunt being a short narration on the tiny ball's annoying significance;


•  Clicking on the other Quidditch balls leads to a short montage of film clips further explicating the rules of the game;


•  Clicking on the dog's head leads to a navigable video tour of Hagrid's hut that plays like the 3-D tour of Harry's dorm mentioned earlier. At one point, click on the dragon's egg for another clips-derived mini-documentary, this one on raising dragons; you can also click on the picture of Hagrid for a "highlight reel" of Robbie Coltrane as the gentle giant.


•  There's another batch of "Every Flavored Beans" here, as well; one of them is flavored like a booger (or, as the British say, "bogey"). Such whimsy!

Return to the Great Hall menu and head to the "Library." Inside, you'll find a menu of five books. Moving from left to right:

•  The first book contains dozens of production sketches of props, monsters, set pieces, and costumes;


•  Book Two contains a hint you'll need for the final puzzle, which I'm going to solve for you anyway in just a minute;


•  Book Three is a "photo album" containing short "video highlights" of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy, Oliver Wood, Seamus Finnigan, Neville Longbottom, Percy Weasley, Madam Hooch, and Filch;


•  Book Four provides a quick précis of four of the ghosts flitting about Hogwarts;


•  And Book Five, of course, just screams at you.


The final menu's "big mystery" solved.

Having perused at this point all the other menus accessible from the main Great Hall, let's click on the center menu, "Classrooms." Inside, you'll find submenus for four different fields of study — "Potions," "Defense Against the Dark Arts," "Spells & Charms," and "Transfiguration." Each contains fanciful puzzles and video clips and clues and delightful damned nonsense for tots that will cause me to gnaw off my own fingers if I'm forced to describe them here.

So. Click on the Hogwarts crest at the center of the menu. It contains the puzzle that allows you to access the DVD's seven deleted scenes. Here's the solution:

•  On the first "trial," select the flute to get past Fluffy;


•  The next "trial" asks you to select one of a swarm of flying keys. Click on the one with the broken wing. (Having trouble spotting it? After the third "key swarm," it's the key in the deep foreground.)


•  The final trial asks you to choose one bottle from a menagerie of potions. Choose the round one.

Your reward for all this needless effort? Click on the Sorcerer's Stone in the mirror and you'll get to take a gander at seven mildly entertaining deleted scenes:

•  Scene 1 (:54) features the Dursleys lavishing attention on their nasty little son while promising to send Harry to a grotty state school in a hand-me-down uniform;


•  Scene 2 (:37) is an extension of the invitation-delivery scene at the Dursley household — with Mrs. Dursley finding messages in her eggs and owls outside her kitchen window;


•  Scene 3 (:37) features Hagrid and Harry on the London Underground, talking about school supplies, with Hagrid wishing aloud that he could own a dragon as a pet;


•  Scene 4 (:18) is a needless bit of business among our three heroes in the hallway, just after their encounter with the troll in the ladies' room;


•  Scene 5 (1:00) has Ron (in his dorky Christmas sweater) warning Harry (in his dorky Christmas sweater) about the dangers of the Mirror of Erised;


•  Scene 6 (1:56) is an exposition-heavy bit in the Great Hall — with Harry, Hermione and Ron talking about their upcoming exams, Longbottom hopping in with his legs locked together (thanks to a curse by Malfoy), a bit of bickering with Finnigan, and our heroes drawing a connection between Dumbledore and Nicholas Flammel before dashing off.


•  And finally, Scene 7 (3:27) is probably the best of the bunch — an extended cut of the bit where Professor Snape first tangles with Harry Potter in his classroom. It's easy to see why they trimmed this scene, however: Potter gets suddenly and unpleasantly insubordinate as he tells Snape to stop picking on him.

Hoping I've saved you a little time,

— Alexandra DuPont
dupont@dvdjournal.com

• Color
• Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
• Two-disc set
• Dolby Digital English 5.1, Dolby Digital Spanish 5.1
• English, Spanish subtitles
• Seven deleted scenes (accessible only after navigating a maddening puzzle)
• Tour of Hogwarts
• Behind-the-scenes documentary
• Production-sketch gallery
• Trailers
• Dual-DVD digipak with paperboard slipcover












Readers Talkback

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  • May 28, 2002, 1:49 a.m. CST

    TO HELL WITH HARRY, REVIEW MEMENTO: LE DVD

    by Bluntman420

    I don't give a muddle's tizzles shizzle about this movie or dvd. It's not that great. Memento beats this movie like the red-headed- stepchild (or Weasley if u prefer) it truly is.

  • May 28, 2002, 1:49 a.m. CST

    OH YEAH AND

    by Bluntman420

    FIRSTIES!!!

  • May 28, 2002, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Hmmm...

    by Roj Blake

    And yet she dissed all over Attack of the Clones. Weird.

  • May 28, 2002, 4:06 a.m. CST

    Funny how Harry Potter is treated with kid gloves...

    by Lazarus Long

    ...compared to the brutal standards everyone (A. DuPont included) holds Attack of the Clones to. Harry Potter was a soulless piece of studio moneymaking. Alexandra asks how one could complain about something being TOO faithful--if you're not going to reintepret the work with an adaption, why bother making the film? What is the point of just filming every page to the letter? Great adaptions show an understanding of the source material without being afraid to veer away from it when the limitations or opportunities of cinema call for it. Perhaps on its own Potter appears to be harmless entertainment of a grand sort, but compared to a labor of love like The Fellowship of the Ring it rings hollow. Watching HP you can just see the Warner Bros. honchos counting the money. It's all about The Franchise. The film appears to take no chances. The troll in the bathroom is some of the worst CGI I've ever seen, and Quiddich was no pod race, to be sure. Back to Star Wars--say what you want but Lucas loves living in the world he's created. People want to point fingers at the "soulless" design of everything, but I see a man amazed at being able to visualize anything he can dream up. To give Potter a free pass and at the same time lambast Attack of the Clones makes me laugh. Take a guess which film is going to stand the test of time.

  • May 28, 2002, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Lost the Pot.

    by paulio

    Sorry, Chris `hack for hire` Colon thinks that the film was close to the book? In what way? With the characters that didn`t look or act like the descriptions? The messed up scenes (Olivanders wand shop was a complete misreading of the book and a missed opportunity and thepitiful way that Norbert was handled)? The loss of good lines (are you a witch or not?)? The misreading of characters motivations (I don`t recall Harry removing the glass from the snake cage through spite). How about the writing out of the film of Neville (he`s got the winning ten points!! Woo-hoo now who was he again?)? Harry Potter was an adequate family film which benefitted from masive hype. With a good director it would have been a delight for all to watch and an equal of the Rings. Hopefully the diminishing returns of people gutted with the first film and those scared of spiders will see a director of the standard that the source material deserves put in place for book three, the best of the series so far. Repeat after me: Ang Lee for three, Ang Lee for three...

  • May 28, 2002, 6:53 a.m. CST

    Extras DVD

    by MrBabbage

    Setting apart the obvious stuff about how poor the movie is - like playing down Neville and even the important scene-setting stuff with Malfoy, the big difficulty with this DVD is that the extras disk, which will thrill young Potter fans, barely works on any DVD players here in Europe. Is it the same for the US release?

  • May 28, 2002, 7:15 a.m. CST

    I rented this yesterday and it was in F***ING FULL SCREEN!!!!

    by Cash Bailey

    Fuck Warners for this, and for about a thousand other things as well.

  • I just wanted to see the deleted scenes, interviews, etc., without playing some stupid game to get to it..

  • May 28, 2002, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Actually, it IS a far better movie than Clones.

    by minderbinder

    Is it really that shocking that someone could like HP better than AOTC? Sure, it could have been better (and any fan of the books would have a ton of nitpicks no matter what), but still a solid movie.

  • May 28, 2002, 10:23 a.m. CST

    Hey Cash Bailey, there's a seperate widescreen release of th

    by Osmosis Jones

    Of course, all of the major rental chains will only get the full screen version (with *maybe* one or two widescreen copies if their customers bitch loudly enough). Feh. Another wonderful review, Alexanda, although any DVD that literally requires a "cheat sheet" to access the special features (see also the Memento SE) is fucking ridiculous. If I want to solve puzzles, I'll play a videogame. Lastly, Harry Potter WAS better than Attacks Of The Snores.

  • May 28, 2002, 10:29 a.m. CST

    meh.

    by majorq007

    HP? very meiocre, very boring at times. It WAS too faithful to the books. A good book does not a good movie make. That should be universally understood. For what its worth, I loved AOTC.

  • May 28, 2002, 11:23 a.m. CST

    i have never seen harry potter

    by metallica846

    I will prob rent this piece of shit just to see what all the hype was about. im not going to waste my time searching for all the damn extras, becuz its NOT WORTH IT!! haha i pity all of u who saw it in theatres MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • May 28, 2002, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Goody goody!

    by Andy Andy

    I skipped over DuPont's review of AoTC until after I saw it, and by that point it was off the main AICN page. But now that she has a new review out, I get to tell the whole world that her reviews are pure garbage. She is reliably bad- if she dislikes a movie, more often than not it is good and I should go see it. She reminds me of that critic whore Pauline Kael, and that is about the worst thing you can say about any critic.

  • May 28, 2002, 11:55 a.m. CST

    The Problem with Harry Potter...

    by defenestratedone

    ...was that they decided to stick to the format of the book, no matter what minor details they left out. I read the book after watching the movie because the movie was disenchanting enough that I wanted to see if there was any justification for the fanaticism surrounding the books. Yes, there are certain aspects of this film that were handled horribly as they take for granted that everyone watching the film has read the books. I went and got a copy of the first book after the film and found myself astounded at the number of times I went, "Oh, THAT'S why that was important" or "Gee, so THAT'S why that character does that." But the biggest problem is this - it is a book that has a very serialized format. You cannot make a movie (not a good one, anyway) that exists in a serialized format because the actual PLOT OF THE FILM is given the same importance as whether or not Harry gets on the Quiddich team. The philosopher's stone was briefly hinted at near the beginning and then forgotten 'till around thirty minutes before the movie ended. The main plot of the film needs to be evenly distributed. In literature, a serialized format can be perfectly fine. What Chris Colombus and crew did was as uncreative as you could possibly be - just stick everything in in the same order it appeared to avoid having to creatively work out the kinks that this format of novel creates. I actually enjoyed the movie as it has many wonderful moments but as a story it's crap. There is too much reliance on a prior reading of the books and the pacing of the film is horrid. I'll probably buy the DVD because it was fun and had breathtaking visuals at times but I'm not under any delusion that it was a "good" movie - just a "fun" one.

  • May 28, 2002, 12:19 p.m. CST

    I agree with the poster above me...

    by FlickChick

    Yup it was not a good film...Fun in places, but not good...Damn you, Columbus!! I cringe when I think of that horrible centaur. They should have hired a make-up artist, and centaur actor from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys...They look ten times better and it's a freakin' TV Show!! And turning the Bloody Baron into something like Peeves?? What the f&*&?! Yeah, Columbus screwed this thing up royally...But did ya' expect anything less? I vote for Ang Lee, Tim Burton, (he needs some redemption after Planet of the Apes) Pete Jackson, or Terry Gilliam for part 3.

  • How old are you people? I'm just curious, because I find it strange that EVERY movie has to be held to some vague adult standard. That it needs to reinvent its source material so that it will appeal to adults who have already read the book. Well, it wasn't made for adults, it was made for our kids. It was made to put smiles on kids faces, and as the proud step-father of a little six-year-old girl who came out of the theater with her eyes the size of dinner plates, and who couldn't stop talking about Potter for months, who made a handmade "invitation" to attend Hogwarts and left it under her mom's pillow...all I can say is that I think the movie succeeded overwhelmingly. It wasn't made for the Lord of the Rings crowd, it wasn't made for the In the Bedroom crowd, it wasn't made for the people who THINK that they're the intended Star Wars crowd. No, it was made for the REAL Star Wars crowd. The kids. The ones who can still go into a movie to just have fun and enjoy themselves, who don't analyze everything to death until they're satisfied that they can't like ANYTHING anymore. I for one would envy them, if I wasn't still stuck in this childlike state of enjoying movies myself. I dread the day I ever "mature" into the unpleasable overly-analytical "adults" you armchair critics so pride yourselves on being.

  • May 28, 2002, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Eeeee... No thanks.

    by Halloween68

    I pretty much disagree with what everyone said about the movie in the above review. Of course, I expect kids to enjoy potter. Kids will probably go, see, and enjoy Scooby Doo when it comes out. It's understandable. I liked Grizzly Adams when I was a kid. But as to Columbus and Alexandria trying to play off the too faithful to the book criticism. I think this criticism is largely misunderstood by those defending the film. I've read all the books, so it has nothing to do with being a fan or not being a fan. I was a fan of the book, not a fan of the movie. I think the criticism for being to faithful to the book is basically a trunkated way of saying the movie was word for word in most instances with the book, but the end result was more like a cheap lifeless carbon copy. Sort of like when you xerox a painting. No texture, no vibrancy, lifeless, and one-dimentional. There's more to adapting a book to film than putting pictures on a screen that matches the words in a book. Columbus basically directed cliff notes to screen. The thrills, the emotions, and the spirit of the books did not make it to the screen. When you adapt something, you change it to suit the new environment. It's unavoidable and it's for the betterment of the film adaptation. I'm not saying Columbus and crew need to change plot points or add characters or anything. You can pretty much make every scene work on film, you just have to be smart about it. Dialogs, character quirks/expression, some quick editing, differing camera angles, reaction timing, props, sound, changing up direction, etc, etc. There's all kinds of these little things that can spice up and engage a scene without having to alter or substitute important plot devices. The Adventures in Babysitting and Home Alone were Columbus's previous credits. I say it shows. There wasn't really a whole lot to this first Potter movie. There was nothing there to carry the film except the pages of Rowling's novel. Now while some people may be happy with that, I'm not. Again, I liked the books, I'd like to think that movies can be made that are at least in the same ballpark. You have a great setup, so you're halfway there. But, Chris, you're still only halfway there.

  • May 28, 2002, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Every kid I know wants one....

    by BigW

    ...although I don't know if it's good or not. I was going to go and see it, but then I read that Onion article and, combined with this creepy middle-aged weirdo I met who went to see it, it scared me off: I didn't want everyone in the theatre looking at me like I was some creepy middle-aged weirdo. By the time I had gotten over my phobia, my girlfriend had seen it on a flight, so I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

  • May 28, 2002, 4:24 p.m. CST

    The director of the third Harry Potter

    by AshFett

    Full disclosure: I think the Harry Potter books are some of the best, most enjoyable fiction in any medium to come out in the past few years. Love the books to death. Enjoyed the movie a lot and totally agree with the guy above (screen name Vegas?) who said that all of you who are criticizing the film for not being an "adult" adaptation of the book are being silly. Anyhoo, Variety just reported a couple of days ago that Alfonso Cuar

  • May 28, 2002, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Potter is crappy storytelling

    by Victor_Laszlo

    Books AND movie. Just awful. Derivative crap. Why would anyone like Harry? He never does ANYTHING to help himself in the story. Everything that happens to him, all his good fortune and success, is handed to him by his teachers and friends. He's good a Quidditch because he got the top-of-the-line broom as a gift from a teacher. He doesn't do much of anything to defeat the troll, but merely stands back and lets Ron do the work. He works no real magic, instead allowing Hermione to cast all the useful spells. He doesn't sacrifice ANYTHING, or do any serious thinking, instead allowing Ron to think them past the puzzles and sacrifice himself to get the bad guy. Even when he confronts the bad guy, he doesn't DO anything. He simply cowers and lets the bad guy touch him, at which point his "cloak of love" or whatever they called it saves him. Harry does nothing but coast on the kindness and gifts of others. I also hated that JK Rowling appealed to kids by simply including a reference to every fantasy cliche possible, even when they made no sense or had no relevance to the story. The dragon egg scene- It hatches, they name it, and then a few scenes later it's gone! It's convieniently removed from the story, and never had a purpose for being there at all, other than to introduce Harry to yet another fantasy cliche. The candy ideas were borrowed from Willy Wonka, the main plot was borrowed from EVERY fantasy story, the characters were borrowed from various other authors (and JK didn't even bother to RENAME some of them!) and the whole thing was an exercise in futility. I was dazzled by the visuals for about 40 minutes, and then I started to see the pattern emerge, and the whole thing simply became a retelling of Alice in Wonderland, or the Wizard of Oz. Even the central theme: The magic was in you all along. It's crap. Harry Potter should be shelved, and a PROPER version of the Oz or Wonderland stories, or even NARNIA should be shown to the world. Right now, it's a shame that everybody thinks that Baum's Oz books were about that crap in the musical Judy Garland thing. Oz was a great story, and Dorothy was an excellent character- complex, insane, imaginative, and purposeful. The same applies to Alice. Harry Potter is just a do-nothing loser who lets everybody carry him through his "adventures".

  • May 28, 2002, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Alexandra DuPont

    by odietamo

    Not only do I love the books and the film, Alexandra DuPont's reviews are the highlight of my viewing on AICN.

  • May 28, 2002, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Mr. Laszlo: Your comments suggest that you did not read the boo

    by Bababooey Fett

    or that you have the reading comprehension of a troll. The dragon egg was essential in that 1) it fowarded the unraveling of the main story arc (via Hagrid) & 2) it provided a means for Harry's fall & redemtion with the student body. As to Harry's lack of heroism; this is once again clear to anyone who has read (& understood) the book. Harry is not some unfallable comic-book hero; he is not the smartest, or most talented wizard. He has courage of conviction, insatiable curiousity, bravery, & extreme determination. It is these qualities that have endeared Harry to his many fans.

  • May 28, 2002, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Man, that "Memento" DVD is the most maddening piece of crap I&#3

    by St.Buggering

    I want to find the guy who thought it would be cute to make us wade through a battery of psychological tests to get to unmarked features, and curb-stomp the jackass. And on the actual subject at hand, I love Harry Potter, books and movie. I find it a little sad that so many of the people who frequent this site are incapable of appreciating anything that doesn't ooze "edge". If it isn't dark and violent, most of you want nothing to do with it, and I find that pathetic. Harry Potter is the ultimate child's fantasy. If you can't find something here to relate to, then you've lost touch with something very important, and I pity you.

  • May 28, 2002, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Holm is right, Easter Eggs suck--these worst of all

    by Drath

    The only thing I'm interested is the deleted scenes. Why the hell is it a puzzle to access them? And I'd hoped the initial meetings between Harry and Malfoy and the entire students on the train sequence would be restored, but sadly they really were left out(bad bad choice filmmakers). Thank god Alexandra Dupont reveals what the deleted scenes are, what a waste of time it would have been to go through all that BS just to see that. I must differ in regard to the movie's critics. They are right that many scenes were just badly done and would have been better left on the cutting room floor that inlcuded for the sake of bragging about fidelity. The whole Centaur and Unicorn in the forest scene was stale, the appearance of Norbert was equally useless as his only reason for existing was to give the kids a problem to solve before the case of the Stone came up. And again, they left out the most important detail about Snape(his relationship to Harry's father), the wonderful initial meetings of *all* the kids, and the fact that Harry DIDN'T kill Quirrel as he appears to do in the movie. Really, the book is just better, and I find the smugness about not reading it very worrisome. Just promise me you guys understand that reading is always better than watching movies and I'll feel better.

  • May 28, 2002, 11:58 p.m. CST

    I think I know what they mean by "too faithful"

    by Cajun Lightning

    I am a college kid who has read and enjoyed the Potter series thus far. Does that make me one of the sad, creepy people The Onion refers to? Possibly. But as a sad, creepy person, I think I know what they mean when they say the book was too faithful. First of all, the phrase "too faithful" is idiotic but I think what they were trying to get at is something along these lines: The thing that takes the Harry Potter books beyond mere children's fare is Rowling's prose. Call her a hack all you want cause I know that's the cool thing to do. But her voice is what makes the books dark, funny, clever and scary all at the same time. She has a very macabre and satirist edge thrown in with all the whimsy that reminds me a bit of Roald Dahl. Her voice was missing from the film. They got all the events down pat. They got the costumes just perfect and the sets were all meticulous. But in all their attention to detail they forgot to give it a voice. Even if they couldn't give it Rowling's, someone needed to interpret things more than just trying to recreate them. Give the film, the characters and the dialog all of the personality that the book is just brimming with. As the film stands, it is simply a reproduction. A duller copy of the original. I think that's what they mean. And I honestly think a great story can be enjoyed by anyone. That's why "kids" movies like Babe and Beauty and the Beast get nominated for Acadamy Awards. The movie totally lacked that sort of cross-generational appeal but the books don't.

  • May 29, 2002, 12:16 a.m. CST

    Victor Laszlo's comments

    by Lazarus Long

    Interesting take on the book. So what you're saying, is that Harry Potter is Forest Gump for kids? Just sit back and let the world just happen to you? I'll have to watch the film again to see if everyone with a liberal lifestyle suffers like in Gump. It's amazing how many fools were lured in by the soundtrack "counter-culture" and then tricked into thinking Gump wasn't a conservative flag-waver. I wonder how many kids are going to just think their lives are going to work out because of the magic of love, or whatever bullshit was being spewed at the end of Potter.

  • May 29, 2002, 5:20 a.m. CST

    That take on the book and the main failing of the film.

    by paulio

    Actually that`s my one fear of the book that kids will feel that because things work out for Harry with little effort (in the film at least) then things will `magically` work out for them as well... As for the film I`m an adult, but with a child like love for good animated films, good books (whoever they`re aimed at) and anything that is well made to entertain people whatever their age. I`m not an adult moaning about a film or element in a film (for example: Jar jar was a kids character in a kids film...) The reason I DISLIKE HP is that Comlumbus and his fellow muppets misread the book, the characters motivations, key scenes and all. And then moan that they are getting sniped at for the opposite reasons. Children and adults would have emphasised with the feelings of inadequacy and joy of the proper Olivanders scene and the delivered slapstick cheap gag sequence was an embarassment for all concerned and a waste of John Hurts talent. I also must admit my admiration for Harry K (I don`t always agree with his words or his analysis but I always want to read what he does have to say) has been knocked by his level of support that he has for this truly poor film. Of course he`s allowed to love it but normally he does point out the glaring inadequacies of a film, whether he likes it or not... I walked into this film wanting to like it I came out wanting to shout at the director. Thats not good.

  • May 29, 2002, 11:08 a.m. CST

    To Each their own but

    by odietamo

    When I see a movie based on a book I don't want some goofy director's "artistic take" on the book. If I wanted the director's take I would see some film not based on a book. I go to see a film based on a book because I loved the book and want to see it brought to life. Changes not absolutely necessary for the adaptation to film irritate the daylights out of me. Who the Hell is the director to change what an author created, when the author's work was apparently well recieved enough to warrant a film? /// There are exception to this, such as LA Confidential. But they are the exception. Put soul into your own story. Leave the book adaptations true to the books, which he did with Harry Potter very well. But to each their own opinion. /// And Zod, if you have nothing of value to say, must you feel the need to share that you have nothing to offer to the world?

  • May 29, 2002, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Some people just need to bitch

    by Till

    First off, I am an adult, I have read all 4 Harry Potter books, and I think they are fantastic. Was the movie in the same league as the books, no. Was it still a lot of fun to watch, you bet. I do agree with an earlier post that it seems that the filmmakers assumed that the audience had read the books. Well, most kids, the intended audience, have. The same arguement could be made in a way for SW Ep.'s 1 & 2. I love SW but I think if you had never seen the origional trilogy (source material)you would have a hard time catching up and figuring out a lot of what is going on in those 2 films. I also agree that, in HP, several of the scenes were not handled well and the deal with Norbert was handled very poorly. That said, a class I was subbing in today was watching the movie and the kids were as quiet as they have ever been, a mean feat on the last day of school. All this said, I do hope they improve for future installments. This being the first, like Spider-Man, a lot of back story had to be established and a whole universe introduced (yes that's right, I like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Spider-Man, oh shit I also like LOTR, and my body still functions and none of the films has hunted me down and killed me). The books get better as they go and so hopefully will the films. Finally, to another poster above who wanted the backstory of the strained relationship between Harry's dad and Snape, I think that isn't explained really until Prisoner of Azkaban.

  • May 29, 2002, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Kajun Lightning

    by Halloween68

    Well said. A very good point about voice. That's part of the spirit of the film, what gives it life. I whole heartedly agree. And I don't know what's up with the whole 'kids' thing, 'adult' thing going on. A good film's a good film. No matter what age you are. As you stated, the books cross generations, so why shouldn't the movies?

  • May 29, 2002, 1:34 p.m. CST

    I read the book and and saw the movie...

    by cooper2000

    and it was a fun film. It could have had a bit more heart but if we HAVE to compare, it kicks AOTCs butt which is laughable all the way through. I put in the second disc last night and knew it was going to be geared towards the younger crowd (which I think is crappy) but I couldnt for the life of me find the Deleted scenes which pissed me off. I would have liked a disc for all ages not just for todlers. Adults read the friggin books too. A commentary would have been nice too. I bought it for the movie but probably wont be watching the second disc again. Good ol' Studio Mass marketing.

  • May 29, 2002, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Till, you're wrong about Snape

    by Drath

    Snape's back story was expanded in PoA, but in the first book Dumbledore explained to Harry at the end that Snape's motive for helping him was that Harry's father had saved his life and he didn't like being in Potter's debt. The movie left that backstory out and in so doing they left out one of the best details about Snape--that he was the equivalent of Draco Malfoy to Harry's dad when they were kids. I assume now they'll insert it in Chamber of Secrets. They HAVE to reveal it before Snape turns Dumbledore's version on its head in Prisoner of Azkaban and tells Harry it was Potter's fault Snape was in trouble in the first place(which isn't completely accurate either). Otherwise they've lost the evolution of the audience's opinion of Snape. In the film's favor I felt the three lead actors to be more credible and more effective in their roles than the heroes of the Star Wars prequels, a considerable achievment for three child actors in their first big job. And I think Wendigofett is going a little overboard with his complaints. Yes, the movie was boring, but most of the things he/she's pointing out are in the book where they worked(Harry's job in Quidditch was to look for the Snitch, and once he saw it he went for it, but until then we saw the other teams playing, what's the problem with that?). Now that I've watched the movie again on DVD(a friend's copy) I think the complaint that the movie depends on the audience knowing the books is The Defining Criticism of the endeavor. The moral to everyone is: read the books. And yes, if you care enough to be on this talkback or reviewing the movie, then you ought to be reading the books as they're no more targeted for kids than the movie.

  • I was hoping some of the "deleted scenes" would be of Peeves the ghost, a charcater I enjoyed in the book and who wouldn't want to see how Rik Mayal(sp?) played the role?.........................and yuou SW fanboys ned to sit down and fucking relax already...shouldn't you fatfuck mama's boys be camping out for the next Star Wars movie? Just shut up and fix me a mochacino, bitch! As for the HP haters who haven't read the book...I love how haters dismiss this as children's literature and kids books, yet you are the same geek bitches who read comic books...so fucking illiterate that need big colorful pictures and large words like "KABLAM" and "POW!"...on second thought, I'll get my own mochacino, you'll probably fuck that up too...

  • May 29, 2002, 4:39 p.m. CST

    book

    by punto

    how can she answer the question "But is the movie 'too faithful' to its source material[...]?" after saying "I haven't read the book"? if you liked the movie so much, just download the book and read it. I had to stop watching the movie after the first 10 minutes to search for the book because I didn't understand what the hell was going on. After reading the book, the movie was alredy spoiled.

  • May 29, 2002, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Deleted Scene #7 - Should have been left in!!

    by spiritsister

    I personally feel that the review was off-base on the assessment of Deleted Scene #7. In the book, Harry Potter DID talk back to Snape, and in the deleted scene, Daniel and Alan showed more life, grit, and sparkle in that scene than most of the rest of the movie combined. Alan Rickman's Snape just sort of looked like a kiddie version of Goth. Don't get me wrong--Alan Rickman was a perfect pick for the part. They could have done more to show his character's menace, though. And Daniel Radcliffe is a PERFECT HP double. I just wish his "acting" didn't look like the perfection of the blank stare masquarading as emotion or angst. Some of the performances were understandably stiff (this being the first movie and all--it's not easy acting for the effects of CG), but I look forward to more and better performances in the Chamber of Secrets.

  • May 29, 2002, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Is there a "back door" to the special features?

    by Kiyone

    For a lot of disks with deleted scenes and other stuff hidden as "Easter Eggs", there is usually some sort of "back door" into the individual video segments if you fool aound long enough with the Title and Chapter buttons, cheacking each individual chapter. But I'm most disappointed with the lack of a commentary track, the only DVD extra I care about most of the time.

  • It would`ve just been CC blathering on, justifying himself for all the problems and saying he`d get `em sorted out over the next six films (shudder). Hearing him direct (sic) would`ve been cool though..."OK Daniel..Look oblivious... oblivious... oblivious... NOW open your eyes in wide eyed shock... and back to oblivious... oblivious..."

  • May 30, 2002, 8:29 a.m. CST

    wendigofett, did you even see the movie?

    by minderbinder

    Voldemort "allows" harry to live? Are you sure you didn't rent Willow by mistake? I've heard many criticisms for the movie, but insisting that the kids behave like little angels has to be the silliest. And NO, you don't have to read the book to understand the movie, I know plenty of people who haven't who loved the flick. Don't read the books to understand the movie, read them because they're fun books.

  • May 30, 2002, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Love in his skin...Except the bit below his neck..

    by paulio

    The thing I liked about all of the Lovey skin cobblers was that Quirrel had been strangling him for a couple of minutes without any problems.."You have love in your skin (except for your neck in scene 24) Harry"...Should`ve stuck to the book for the end of the film maybe.

  • May 30, 2002, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Library Whore

    by Corbeau

    Wow. Never expected to see that on Talkback on Harry Potter. Ok, just a little explanation - Dumbledore was gone because he had gotten a note from the Ministry of Magic that he was needed urgently. They don't tell you that in the movie, and yes, perhaps they should have. But you know, sometimes things like that happen. Second - Star Wars, Lord of the Rings? What's the next comparison Harry will get? Oh No! Harry Potter is TOO MUCH Like Mork and Mindy! Ok, so they're similar stories, but you know what? There are a LOT similar stories out there. Hell, I work in a library (Yup, you guessed it. I'm the biggest library whore of them all!) and I see books pass through here with the same plot nearly every day. Hell, every book Danielle Steel writes has the same plot. Just wanted to put my two cents in.

  • May 30, 2002, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Sadly not a library nut as much as he would want to be...

    by paulio

    Apologies for showing my ignorance but isn`t there a script writing help book that predates SW and HP and pretty much suggests the plotline for both films (young orphan meets wise old master who encourages him to side with the good guys and eventually defeat the nemesis he didn`t know he had)? Something like that anyway. I`ve read the book a couple of times ad seen the film once. All told I`d read the book again but wish i could have the hours I wasted on the film back. And I`m not having a go at people who like the film.. You`re perfectly entitled to and I wish I had. I`m not comparing it to anyother film either. I just wish that the quality of the people making HP had been of the callibre that the film deserved.

  • May 30, 2002, 12:06 p.m. CST

    apology

    by paulio

    Sorry, meant to say not as much as a nut as I would want to be...Didn`t mean it as an attack on the prev talkbacker honest...

  • May 30, 2002, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Heh, heh

    by Halloween68

    That Star Wars parallel was pretty funny. It is definately curious when you think about. The similarity to Lord of the Rings is also is also pretty funny. The two most obvious things that jump to mind are the Ringwraiths/Dementors and the traitorous Wormtongue/Wormtail. And I don't think Rowling stole anything or ripped anybody off. All literature references other literature in one way or another. But I just think it's funny that Rowling swears up and down that she was never influenced by any previous works of fantasy. What a crock of crap. At least admit it. There's no shame in admiting influences.

  • May 30, 2002, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Wendigofett, I was agreeing with you, dumbass!

    by Drath

    I was NOT forgiving the movie for needing the book to make sense! I observed that your criticisms were largely about story points that, as I said if you had bothered to read my post, were in the book too and that it was unfair to bash them given how poorly they were executed in the movie. Even then you picked on bad examples(Harry's part in the Quidditch match for example). If you're going to further the cause of anti-bad movie adaptations(a worthy cause) then quit submitting to thoughtless outburts. Oh, and read the book so you know what the hell you're talking about. "Library whore." What kind of sophmoric insult is that?

  • May 30, 2002, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Ah, it's nice talking at people and not to them

    by Drath

    Wendigofett, you just aren't listening to me. No one is telling you that reading the book improves the movie, or that it should be necessary to appreciating the film or vice versa. If you got that from my posts, forgive me for being unclear. I AM telling you that if you care so much about how bad the movie was, then it's well worth your trouble to look at the book. If nothing else, you'd get to come up with your own ideas about how it should have been done. For me, Dune was a revelation to read after having seen the film first. I didn't appreciate the film more, I loathed it more than ever before. I don't see why you're so resistant to the idea of reading the book, because if the movie interested you so much that you're THIS disappointed by it then I think you'd like the book. My sister is just like you, she won't read the book out of pride or something and its her own loss. She hated the movie and keeps asking why people like Harry Potter(the craze, not the movie), but she won't read the book to understand. Meanwhile, how are you getting the idea that good books and good movie adaptations cannot coexist? Lord of the Rings is both a good book and a good movie, Bridges of Madison County is pretty good in both forms too. There are even some movies that improve upon the books that originated them, such as Mario Puzo's Godfather, Peter Benchley's Jaws, and Stephen King's Delores Claiborne. I admit, all of that is subjective, and no one has to read the book version to like the movies--which again is not what I've been trying to say(hands raised innocently). But whatever you do, don't brag about that "library whore" thing after high school.

  • May 30, 2002, 5:49 p.m. CST

    Some of you fellas need to chill

    by Wicked Willow

    Granted,HP was not a perfect adaptation(would've preferred Tim Burton or Terry Gilliam at the helm)but it was pretty damn good. Wendigofett,ok you don't like the film,fine but some of the reasons you stated about why you have probelms with it have to do with plot points that are brought out in the other books in the series. What Dumbledore said to Harry about having "love" within him that defeated Voldemort was just a nice way of easing any guilt Harry might have over Quirrel's death-the truth about that is explained in the fourth book. No,I don't expect you to read any of the HP books but jeez,mellow out alittle-repeat to yourself,"It's only a movie..It's only a movie". As to the second disc-the puzzles are very easy(thanks to Alexandra's tips)and were obviously marketed to the kid viewers,which is fine. I would've like alot more deleted scenes(the Snape scene really should've been kept in the film)but maybe with the next couple of HP films,they'll get better with the extras. Should've added a Chamber of Secrets trailer-the marketing guys slipped there.

  • May 31, 2002, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Wendigofett, you're overreacting

    by Drath

    My god, why are you going nuts? It was only a suggestion to check out the book, not a fascistic command. No need to be an asshole over it.

  • May 31, 2002, 1:32 p.m. CST

    **sigh**

    by Athene_Moon

    Don't you guys ever get it? It is a rarity for a book-to-movie flick to work. Check out all of those Stephen King Movies, most of them suck (with the exception for The Green Mile). I am an avid reader of Harry Potter, and i KNEW the movie was going to suck. I would have been crazy to think any other way. You can't put so much detail in a movie without it turning out crappy! Unless, of course, it turns out to be a 4 hour movie, which it didn't. And people need to lighten up: IT IS A FRIGGIN KIDS NOVEL/MOVIE, IT WAS ****INTENDED**** TO BE CHILDISH. Yes, adults like it, but where are the books stored, what is the rating of the movie? How old were most of the cast members? See my point now? I had my five minutes of fun trying out all the extra stuff, and yet i agree with most folks that it wasn't nessecary. And that's because i'm nearly an adult. I would have liked to have the extras in the movie, than hunting around for it. What time did they 'waste', hmm? What, five or so minutes? And yet i have the dvd. And i don't love it, but i don't despise it. I'll go to the movies for the second, third (especially!), fourth, and all the way until the final seventh movie. Because Its just the director's view of the Harry Potter world, and its sorta fun to look in someone else's perspective of things. I always intended for my version of Harry to be dorky, small, and very skinny. Columbus's was clearly different. He can't cast all the perspectives that all the fans have in just one movie. And, what makes you think this is the only HP movie? Maybe, in a few years, another will have a try, just like in LOTR. Remember, there was an animation movie for LOTR, way back in the 70's?

  • May 31, 2002, 2:07 p.m. CST

    So, where exactly does one find a library whore?

    by TimBenzedrine

    Do you look under W, or Adult material? Or does she hang out in that little conference room they have near the entrance?Seriously, I was also more than a little disappointed with the movie, but I'm even more disappointed with Chris Columbus' comment because it clearly demonstrates that he has learned nothing from this experience. I hope he doesn't really believe that the film's biggest problem was that it was "too much like the the book". Sure, he followed the text close enough, but for a profesionional director to think that that was all he needed to do,shows how ill-suited he was for this project. So what if he followed the book? I'm sure everyone has seen a bad dramatization of a really good play. This has practically the same problem. Every scene is handled in such a routine ,workmanlike manner I'm surprised anyone was able to stay awake for the 2.5 hours it took to unspool. If I hadn't read the books with my son earlier, I would have been just as lost as wendigofett. Lost,as in not being able to follow the story and lost as to what the big deal is with this character anyway. CC makes Harry such a blank slate, its almost as if WB gave him the directive,"Now, don't let him react, don't let him get upset, don't let him do anything that might endanger the franchise. We still have to run every thing past the focus groups too." I can understand why a studio wouldn't want to take a chance with a more idiosyncratic director like Gilliam or Burton, but if they were looking for a nice safe Speilberg protege' that had some experience with big budget films, they should have gone with either Robert Zemekis or Joe Dante, at least both of these guys know how to handle special effects (and Dante would have probably relied less on CGI to get the job done.) I'm not looking forward to these new films as long as Columbus is directing, cause I'm sure he completely misinterpreted the criticism as meaning that he should use his own personal style, in which case expect plenty of pratfalls and closeups of people looking straight into the camera and screaming. Maybe Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern can make a cameo. Oh god, I think I'm going to be ill... excuse me..

  • May 31, 2002, 2:48 p.m. CST

    I bought this DVD at Target...no warning on the box...it's a

    by Confabulat

  • May 31, 2002, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Indy 4 announced...AICN talkbackers rejoice that they will have

    by Confabulat

  • May 31, 2002, 2:54 p.m. CST

    O.k. I'm back,

    by TimBenzedrine

    Windigofett, You've made it clear how much you hate to read, but if you've got a minute, I'd like to answer your question about Voldemort: the movie does a really bad job of explaining him away . Basically, he was the wizard version of Hitler, he hated humans and half-human wizards and he headed a secret society that was bent on exterminating all but the "pure-blooded" wizards. The wizard community has so terrified of him they couldn't even bring themselves to say his name, even after most of them assumed he had died. Voldemorts disappearance was the result of a spell that was meant to kill Harry, but for the intervention of his mother, a human woman, the spell backfired and blasted Voldemort out of existance, leaving Harry with his famous scar. Voldemort was left an undead,bodiless spirit , that needed another body to act as a host (which is why he was attached to Quirrel's head) Regarding Draco Malfoy and his family, they were part of Voldemorts inner circle. There was a scene in the book that wasn't in the film were Harry first meets Draco and he reveals himself pretty early on to be a bigot and a snob. This is the reason why Harry dislikes him initially. Draco has contempt for Ron because his family is poor, and Hermione because her parents are human. Most of this information was given the short shrift, because appeared in the more slow moving scenes. A good screenwriter and a good director would have found a way to work it into the story as it is key to what motivates all of them.

  • May 31, 2002, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Importantant Public Service Announcement concerning library whor

    by TimBenzedrine

    I haven't actually found one yet, but I have been told that you need to excersize extreme caution when dealing with them because some of them can give you bookworms. So as we go into the weekend, remember kids: be careful out there, and reading is FUNdamental.

  • May 31, 2002, 3:23 p.m. CST

    "Can we all just agree that if the books did not exist, that if

    by minderbinder

    I know plenty of people who saw the movie without reading the book and loved it, made perfect sense to them. Does the movie explain everything? No. But that doesn't make the movie any less enjoyable or make less sense, it just made them hungry for the next movie (and so they went out and read the books). And half of the "plot holes" you mention seem to be you misunderstanding the story - you seem to think that Voldemort is harry's dad? You'd probably find less "plot holes" if you'd actually pay attention.

  • May 31, 2002, 7:41 p.m. CST

    Library Whores and Movies From Books

    by Victor_Laszlo

    I think it was an excellent point that people who claim we need to read the book to like the movie aren't being very honest with themselves. Books and movies are very different. My best example of this would be BLADE RUNNER which is a movie adaption of DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? (and my favorite novel, ever). Anyone who would watch Blade Runner and dismiss the book would be doing themselves a disservice, because the novel is truly superior (and an almost completely different story). I LOVE the film version- Blade Runner- but the book is wonderful too, IN A DIFFERENT WAY. The same can be said for THE GREEN MILE. Both are excellent, book and film. They are very different, though. ULTIMATELY, though, a film-goer shouldn't NEED to read the novel to enjoy a film. That's just sloppy filmmaking! If you can't tell the story properly with the film, then you shouldn't make the film! The analogy of it working the opposite way was great! How often have you read a book, found it lacking, and then was told "Go see the movie, and then you'll understand the book!" ????? What? That's stupid. Both mediums have their merits, and one should NOT be required for the other. In the case of Harry Potter, my comments are on the MOVIE. From everything I've been told, the movie is just a word-for-word translation of the book (verbatim, even!) and so that raises suspicion as to the AUTHOR's skills. As a movie, this was weak and hard to watch, with many inconsistencies and a lot of literary thievery. I'm certainly no fan of miss Rowling. I have read a few paragraphs of her work, and her storytelling skills seem inadequate to me, but perhaps that is because I'm older and have grown accustomed to Phillip K. Dick, Carl Sagan, C.S. Lewis, L. Frank Baum, and Isaac Asimov, among many others. J.K. Rowling comes off as someone who merely borrowed every fantasy cliche possible and crammed it into a story, thus making it seem "enchanting" and "magical" but to anyone who has read a good amount of science fiction and fantasy, it's poorly pieced-together retread material. Of course kids were amazed by it! She stole from the best! If you rip off C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Doug Adams, L. Frank Baum, and Anne McCaffrey (among others) and introduce the material to people who HAVEN'T BOTHERED TO READ THESE GREAT AUTHORS you'll impress them! (kids don't read the Oz books, or Alice In Wonderland, or any of the classics. They watch the movies and miss the good stuff in the process)- What's worse about miss Rowling is her need to blatantly steal names and characters. I won't go into detail here, but check out http://www.realmuggles.com/ and pick "Interview" and "News" areas. N.K. Stouffer created a series of books about LARRY POTTER and the MUGGLES years before J.K. Rowling, and she has a pretty good case. It's fairly obvious that J.K. copied some ideas and names. A couple COULD be coincidence, but in the numbers we're talking about, it's really suspicious. The truth is that J.K. Rowling IS a hack, and she was handed this idea on a silver platter by her publisher (who had access to the Larry Potter books in the past) and merely wove together all the fantasy elements she could remember into a story that was MASS MARKETED by the publisher as the hard-sell kids' book of the year. Harry Potter is the result of ad campaigns and toy tie-ins. If you want to be enchanted by the REAL authors who gave Rowling her ideas, check out any of the authors listed above. Read Narnia. Read Oz. Read Wonderland. Read Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Read The Lord Of The Rings. Don't give the Potter books to a kid until you've given him the all the OTHER books that came before Potter. The real crime is that kids will grow up thinking that Oz, Wonderland, Narnia, and the writings of Tolkien are all "copies" of Harry Potter and not the other way around. People who blindly defend Rowling without having read the authors whom she "borrowed" from so heavily are the obtuse ones. Just because you finally managed to pick up a book and read it, you suddenly think you're the expert on plot development, exposition, and dialogue? Please spare me the "adults love her books, too!" line. I'm guessing that any adult who loves J.K. Rowling hasn't read much else, and if you have, then SHAME ON YOU! Go read some T.S. Elliot and remind yourself what GOOD writing can be like!!!

  • May 31, 2002, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Pardon my language but what the FUCK is wrong with you people!?

    by Iroquois_Pliskin

    If a movie isn't faithful it sucks, if its TOO faithful it sucks... You know what, you guys are a living contradiction. MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS. There was NOTHING wrong with the film, it wasn't too faithful, it was faithful enough. You guys are a bunch of whiny bitches, what... do you have NOTHING else to do but complain endlessly about a movie even though it has no faults? You're the only people I know of that would scream 'bloody murder' at a viewing of Ben Hur or The Omen. You'd probably criticize hardcore porn because it just isn't too hardcore. Sure, there may be no such thing as a perfect film, but that doesn't man you MUST criticize every sngle frame, and every single word or note or patch of light or hell, even every single strand of hair on a characters head. You're not critics, you're not movie viewers you'rewhiners, you cmplan endlessly about movies. Movies hae faults, they're not great but when you say "this movie sucks because that guy didn't look great in this scene", there's nothing wrong with the film, there's something wrong with YOU. STOP paying so much attention and over-exagirating(i fucked up that word didn't I?) things, just watch the damn movie and try to have fun, or atleast... try not to whine about ever single bit of detail in the film. I rented this film, I watched it and I loved it, the acting was great, the score was wonderful(expcted from Mr. Williams), the directing was great. I didn't mind the use of CG, atleast Chris and Warner didn't go overboard and ruin the film like Lucas did with TPM and AOTC, which ABUSE the use of CG in films. Atleast Hogwarts is an ACTUAL set most of the time, atleast that sorting hat was REAL(to an extent, the movements may have been CG but the hat was an actual prop), atleast Columbus and Heyman BOTHERED to make a life-size prop of the Troll, and atleast the goblins were actual MIDGETS IN MAKE UP. Te use of CG did't deterr from the film as much s AOTC. Infact, I think even though CG in HP nd S-M looked fake, they were still better than what is shown in AOTC. Lucas abuses the use of CG in films, Columbus, Raimi and Jackson(LOTR) dont. They use it when its NEEDED, rather than when its not(CG sets? CG cityscapes? gimme a fucking break! as if thats not possible with a set department and some scale models!?). I found the 2 dvd set to be pointless, but the movie itself was wonderful, I find Hagrid has that Chewbacca feel, they're both big and loveable characters(screw EU chewie cant die). Snape is extremely dark and cool(Rickman is the epitome of coolness in this film), Quirrell was damn funny at times, and the rest of the characters were great. Child actors achieved what other adult actors wish they could in HP. They were witty, they were funny, the were charming and they were graceful, as well as evil and despicable. Acting in this film was great, it was the highlight of the film(quidditch was also a highlight, having the same feel as the pd-race scene in ep 1, it was excitng and fun). I loved the film, thank yo. I'm no fan ad I dont like HP, ut loved the flm.

  • May 31, 2002, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Pardon my language but what the FUCK is wrong with you people!?

    by Iroquois_Pliskin

    If a movie isn't faithful it sucks, if its TOO faithful it sucks... You know what, you guys are a living contradiction. MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS. There was NOTHING wrong with the film, it wasn't too faithful, it was faithful enough. You guys are a bunch of whiny bitches, what... do you have NOTHING else to do but complain endlessly about a movie even though it has no faults? You're the only people I know of that would scream 'bloody murder' at a viewing of Ben Hur or The Omen. You'd probably criticize hardcore porn because it just isn't too hardcore. Sure, there may be no such thing as a perfect film, but that doesn't man you MUST criticize every sngle frame, and every single word or note or patch of light or hell, even every single strand of hair on a characters head. You're not critics, you're not movie viewers you'rewhiners, you cmplan endlessly about movies. Movies hae faults, they're not great but when you say "this movie sucks because that guy didn't look great in this scene", there's nothing wrong with the film, there's something wrong with YOU. STOP paying so much attention and over-exagirating(i fucked up that word didn't I?) things, just watch the damn movie and try to have fun, or atleast... try not to whine about ever single bit of detail in the film. I rented this film, I watched it and I loved it, the acting was great, the score was wonderful(expcted from Mr. Williams), the directing was great. I didn't mind the use of CG, atleast Chris and Warner didn't go overboard and ruin the film like Lucas did with TPM and AOTC, which ABUSE the use of CG in films. Atleast Hogwarts is an ACTUAL set most of the time, atleast that sorting hat was REAL(to an extent, the movements may have been CG but the hat was an actual prop), atleast Columbus and Heyman BOTHERED to make a life-size prop of the Troll, and atleast the goblins were actual MIDGETS IN MAKE UP. Te use of CG did't deterr from the film as much s AOTC. Infact, I think even though CG in HP nd S-M looked fake, they were still better than what is shown in AOTC. Lucas abuses the use of CG in films, Columbus, Raimi and Jackson(LOTR) dont. They use it when its NEEDED, rather than when its not(CG sets? CG cityscapes? gimme a fucking break! as if thats not possible with a set department and some scale models!?). I found the 2 dvd set to be pointless, but the movie itself was wonderful, I find Hagrid has that Chewbacca feel, they're both big and loveable characters(screw EU chewie cant die). Snape is extremely dark and cool(Rickman is the epitome of coolness in this film), Quirrell was damn funny at times, and the rest of the characters were great. Child actors achieved what other adult actors wish they could in HP. They were witty, they were funny, the were charming and they were graceful, as well as evil and despicable. Acting in this film was great, it was the highlight of the film(quidditch was also a highlight, having the same feel as the pd-race scene in ep 1, it was excitng and fun). I loved the film, thank yo. I'm no fan ad I dont like HP, ut loved the flm.

  • Aug. 24, 2002, 11:57 p.m. CST

    hahah

    by FreakyLeprechaun

    sykkboy guy dude or whatever his name is is a funny as hell. have to admit, I do like star wars though. not obessessed. i love harry potter too, i think its a lot of fun. oh on the dvd, if u want to get to the deleted scenes, click on the classrooms part and where there is a torch with an H on it and two owls on the side, or cats or some kind of animal, press down until the owls or whatever are highlighted, I think if u click that you'll get in. I haven't done it in a long time. the second dvd is really annoying though. what the f**k is up with the Bloody Baron? isn't he supposed to be...scary? and where is peeves? *sighs* I still love it.

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