Nov. 26, 2002, 11:03 a.m. CST
Cannot wait to read you review.
Nov. 26, 2002, 11:43 a.m. CST
Moriarty you rock. I think your critical reviews are much more blanced and intelligent without having to resort to some sort of deviant sex act in order to make a point. You are able to clearly articulate why a film is good or bad, essentially finding specifics rather than generality. Take over the site. Plan a coup already. You have earned it.
Nov. 26, 2002, 12:17 p.m. CST
SPOILERS. While Ginny Weasley was very underused (making her into more or less into the token victim rather than an actual character we might care more about), which was perhaps a weakness, I really don't think that fact hurt the movie at all. In fact, I'm actually glad that Columbus kept himself restrained and didn't show his hand until the very end, as anything more might have let us in on the secret too early, leaving us to wait impatiently until the Potter clan figures it out for themselves. Tip your hand too early, and the audience spells everything out for you before you get there - Ginny's gonna be the victim, Tom Riddle's name is a hint that he's actually Voldemort, the chamber is in the bathroom, etc. Screenwriters who seem to make a habit of tipping you off as to where they're going always annoy the hell out of me - I'd rather that foreshadowing in this kind of mystery be left more in the hands of the director, through the use of an established tone, or where he subtly directs your attention. Any mulling about "Tom Riddle... Tom Riddle..." would have made it obvious - oh, hey wait a minute, there's a t, o, m, r, etc, in that name, I'll bet it spells something with Voldemort in it! A riddle, very clever, ha, now let's wait until Harry figures it out. Instead, Columbus waited to let Tom explain it - and you know that the very instant he starts putting letters in the air, the audience knows the punchline. For being a "children's movie", Chambers did a better job of not speaking down to the audience than the vast majority of blockbusters I've seen in recent years. Personally, I thought this movie exceeded in every respect where the original fell flat. The first movie felt long, it trudged through material ploddingly. Chambers, despite being nearly 3 hours, absolutely flew by because the pacing was better, the action was scarier, and the mystery was genuinely enthralling. If Azkaban can keep up the pace with a new director and Radcliffe realizes he's got a cash cow right now and he would have a better career if he DOESN'T jump ship before the 4th movie (I'd give a better shot at his two co-stars having a successful career post-Potter), this series may be well on its way to making some serious history.
Nov. 26, 2002, 1:53 p.m. CST
Its not the films fault its just that the source material is entirely naff. For Gods sakes, as Harry Knowles pointed out in his Patricia Highsmith bit , there are better books out there to make films of. Just one example of what pisses me off about Harry Potter is The Dursleys(?). Is it just me or is the way they treat Harry, the way he lets himself be treated and the way everybody else lets him be treated , only something that would exist in a Roald Dahl type world. Fine but for 90% the feckin books it is standard boys own adventure type dross and the weird existence with his adopted parents doesn't fit at all. Its lazy trite bollocks the whole exercise and I'll bet that Rowling gets found out as she progresses these books. Books to film please : David Gemmells Jon Shannow books (any of em), Terry Pratchett( any of em including Good Omens),HitchHikers Guide, Any Phillip Pullman book. Ta.
Nov. 26, 2002, 6:36 p.m. CST
...and so are good characters, but this Potter flick just grated on me as much as I loved it. Sure they had a series of complex riddles that made sense in hindsight and are entertaining for the next viewing, but too much of the movie in the MOMENT is drenched in Deus Aux Machina (God in The Machine - pardon the spelling). SUDDENLY THE ANSWER APPEARS AND NOW ITS SUPPOSED TO MAKE SENSE. I DOUBT THE AUDIANCE THIS MOVIE WAS MADE FOR COULD FOLLOW THE MYSTERY AND WAS JUST CONTENT TO FOLLOW ALONG UNTIL THE NEXT BULLSHIT GAME OF QUIBBAGE! *ah - that felt good* For example, Wes and Harry are about to meet their doom at the hands of the spiders in the cave and POOF along comes the car and saves them. How the fuck did the car know where to go? How is it these kids can't be found sneaking around on the school prenmisis but the car that was on death's door 45mins ago can find them off campus? Little things like that just use up the good will of many of us. The Movie was great but they should've called it HARRY POTTER AND THE TEDIOUS SCOOBY-DOO STYLE MYSTERY!
Nov. 26, 2002, 7:17 p.m. CST
nice reviewing moriarty, keep it simple. thats all for now, carry on.
Nov. 26, 2002, 7:34 p.m. CST
by midnight fairy
I absolutely loved this film. I would've watched it just for that one shot of Eminem's ass. Hehe, just kidding. Anyway, great film...great directing, very well done. And Eminem was fantastic. The film is so well done...I was completely drawn in to it; at no point during the film did I feel like I was sitting through a movie. I was right there, watching life in the Detroit ghetto. I kinda had to "snap back to reality" once the credits started rolling. And of course Em's freestyling is pure fun. Midnight Fairy's review: Wonderful movie. I loved it.
Nov. 26, 2002, 7:37 p.m. CST
Poppycock. What "circumstances" are these? Rowling's involvement? Phuey. The very fact that that nit-picking litigating old bag doesn't have the sense to leave the films in the hands of FILM-MAKERS and insists on "meticulously overseeing the production" (not my quote - her money printers, er I mean "publishers") says everything that needs to be said about these Potter so-called movies ("visual equivalents of audio-books" would be a better description, but not as snappy). But far from making for difficult circumstances, it makes the director's job easier, because he/she (nothing says the next one has to be a man) needn't put any effort into making the film, he/she can just stick slavishly to the source material and blame that when it all goes wrong. (Hmmm - slavishly and effortlessly copying something that has gone before.... sounds familiar.... seems to me that Harry should be proclaiming in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS that the Potter books don't need to be REMADE as movies in the first place!). I see no-one else has yet done so, so let me be the first to point out that Peter Jackson (Ok guys/gals, get the groaning and sighing over with... done now? Good) had a far harder time of it - he took all responsibility for realising Tolkien on screen on his own shoulders (and those of his associates) and the Tolkien estate was deliberately kept at arms length (even further than that in fact). Yet what he has produced under far greater pressure than Columbus - albeit mostly self induced - is technically and artistically superior to the Potter mush. The miracle being of course that it achieves this whilst deliberately deviating from the letter of Tolkien on many points, yet as a result ends up _feeling_ far more faithful than it is. More Tolkien than Tolkien, if you like.
Nov. 26, 2002, 8:46 p.m. CST
Nov. 26, 2002, 10:15 p.m. CST
I don't think I'm alone when I say I'm impressed how much the very busy Moriarty has managed to contribute to the site lately. I hope his screenplay isn't suffering, as a result. Good work, Moriarty. Everyone else, feel free to attack me for saying something nice: "Plant!"
Nov. 26, 2002, 10:20 p.m. CST
The begins-with-"I" movie you've heard compared to MEMENTO is Gaspar Noe's IRREVERSIBLE. Check out my report from TIFF if you need a refresher.
Nov. 26, 2002, 11:18 p.m. CST
just say so. I used to like the music, but it's way too pop, it's everywhere and now I can't help but hate it. He essentially cheated in the last battle, anyway, though a nice way to end, if not very interesting....
Nov. 27, 2002, 12:09 a.m. CST
Not quite. It's so goddamn tiresome when people read Harry Potter reviews and have nothing better to post than "PJ should be promoted to God," or "HP sux compared to LOTR," or "there are two types of people: those who "get" LOTR and those who don't." Somebody please find MeatCleaverMojo and tell him that he has work to do. Look, I'll say without hesitation that the Fellowship of the Ring was clearly superior to either of the first two Harry Potter films (and yes, they are films, not soulless cash cows), and yes, it was a great movie-going experience, but what, exactly, do you stand to gain from declaring any of this information? I don't think many people who visit this website actually do think that the Harry Potter books or movies are better than Tolkien's world, probably a good percentage that don't care for the Potter movies at all; however, it's quite remarkable how most of them don't feel the need to express that opinion whenever an opportunity arises. By publicly shunning the inferior "hackjob,", does that make you more erudite; and does being erudite make you an overall better person than those who don't go out of their way to compare the two? And if you are so much more important than everyone else, then what the hell are you doing trolling a Harry Potter talkback? Maybe you're frustrated that 'your' book goes unappreciated while tripe like Harry Potter flies off the shelves. Well, you can get over your misery, because at least you can "appreciate" the depth of Tolkien's works. First of all, that's quite an exaggeration of LOTR's diminished poularity. It still is, and will be, hugely successful. Also, if you truly think that people in general are of disappointing character because they have yet to be enriched by "The Lord of the Rings," then you're the ones with ridiculous worldviews, and your realist stance on the human condition belies your love of an adventure/fantasy. Maybe it won't be as widely embraced as you'd like, but as long as there are film clubs and English Lit, Tolkien's works will never go unappreciated. There. I've just gotten my groaning out of the way. Have you?
Nov. 27, 2002, 1:23 a.m. CST
Hehe, I always imagined a note like that attached to the end of the HP movies, just like the Bond movies. I have to say, the first two Potter movies were, to my surprise, very watchable. I have now read the books, and with this new director, I can easily say that the next movies are not going to just be the good cinema we have already seen. They are going to be downright classic, must-see cinema.
Nov. 27, 2002, 2:45 a.m. CST
by Darth Siskel III
My favorite part of Potter2 was Dobby. God Bless that little bastard. I hope he's in the next movie.
Nov. 27, 2002, 3:14 a.m. CST
I didn't post merely to state that "PJ was God blah-blah". The Moriarty "review" offered the view that Chris Columbus has difficult artistic circumstances to work in. I went to some length to explain why I thought this was in fact not the case and merely provided Lord of the Rings as an example of how good product CAN come out of difficult artistic circumstances where they do genuinely exist. In other words "Oh it was tough <whine>" is not a valid excuse for producing bad movies. I'm sure there are lots of other examples too, but given the genre similarity and the fact that both films are adaptations of well and widely loved books it is inevitable and most appropriate that Potter should invite comparison to LotR. But that WASN'T the ultimate point of my comment. Go back and read the whole thing instead of pedantically picking out that one aspect of it and you might understand.
Nov. 27, 2002, 7:29 a.m. CST
by Spam Gamgee
Nope, but he'll be in the fourth one, Goblet of Fire
Nov. 27, 2002, 8:19 a.m. CST
I wouldn't say the Potter films are very good movies... I'd say they're decent enough. But knowing what was expected from them; that's a disapointment. This latest Potter film was better in most ways than the first film. They fixed the underlying boredom and emotionless core that haunted the first. This one does actually have some excitement, urgency, and intensity to it. Unfortunately it fails on other levels. For me, the problem with this latest Potter flick were all the holes. I'm guessing Columbus ran into the problem Jackson did with Rings. The second book is much larger than the first. To keep the film at an acceptable time frame, he had to cut some things. Unlike Jackson and his staff of writers, Columbus didn't rewrite scenes to incorporate more of the story into the film. There's really know adaptation here. It seems the problem with this second film lies more with the scriptwriter than the director himself. He left these great building, developing, transitioning moments that Rowling uses throughout the story out on the cutting room floor, leaving it up to his builtin audience of readers to fill in the blanks for themselves. Unfortunately, I don't know about you guys, but when I go see a film, I like to see a complete, comprehensable film that flows from beginning to end. I don't like gaps in story telling. I like things being developed, moments being built, and these moments being delivered, and then getting hit with reactions and the results of these reactions. I mean, I've read the books, every one of them to print to date, but when I go into a film all that goes out the door because no matter how faithful or unfaithful a movie is to a book, it's still a different story teller, you're going to be left with a different telling. Chamber of Secrets fails to deliver on so many ways. Primarily, it's the things left out... But I also came to realize something else at the end of my viewing of the film... Some things just aren't filmable. The ending to this second story (more so in the film because of the lack of development and gaps in storyline) is insanely convenient and outright silly, I was left feeling more a dislike for the movie than it actually probably deserve. If we are to look at a movie just on the merits of a movie, and as the old saying goes, "an ending can make or break a movie," then Potter should never walk again. I'm not certain how, but the book didn't seem halfway near this contrived... Maybe this is the time where a director (and/or writer) should take some artistic license and try to come up with the same result but in a different, more acceptable fashion. In any event, that's my take... Do what you will with it. And sorry about the grammer, I'm in a hurry. My server's going down.
Nov. 27, 2002, 12:31 p.m. CST
No shit. And not because JKR is meddling or similar nonsense (although we should be glad that she has some control, otherwise we'd be watching some shitfest with Spielberg and Haley Joel Osment). These movies are incredibly difficult to film simply because the books are SO FUCKING COMPLICATED. You have a ton of characters, the plot of each individual movie plus the overarching story of Harry finding more about his history and what really happened to his parents. Not to mention that seemingly unimportant characters and events often turn out to be crucial later on. And people DEMAND that these movies not deviate too much from the books - these are some of the most widely read books of all time, not like LoTR where people may have read the books decades ago and don't really remember the details. The critics may complain that the movies are too similar to the books, but the general public complains because they're missing too much. To be honest, I think these books are harder to adapt than LoTR - much of the character of the HP books comes from the insane amount of detail, subplot, and rich supporting characters that are simply IMPOSSIBLE to put into a film. Do I wish the HP movies were better? Sure. But I realize that it's probably virtually impossible to make them much better than they have been so far (although I have my hopes up for 3 and 4).
Nov. 27, 2002, 10:34 p.m. CST
I just watched Memento and Proof back to back....so, if I close my eyes....
Nov. 28, 2002, 12:59 a.m. CST
I completely understand why you initially brought up Harry Potter in your post. Your reference to the fact that the Harry Potter books don't need to be remade at all, since they're in essence remaking another series, is what got me thinking about HP trolls. I never said that you called PJ God, but I was just covering my bases. This might've been the wrong thread to bring it up, but all that stuff has gone on (with frequency) in other talkbacks. The snide remark to Rowling's inferiority and lack of creativity just got me irked. So I'm sorry if I offended you, going over your post I realized that I was a little harsh in reply to your statement, but my complaints still apply to other people.
Nov. 28, 2002, 1:31 a.m. CST
Almost everyone on this site can get pedantic when they have too much time on their hands, including you, Mr.CGI-Eyelines. It's just something I felt needed to be said.
Nov. 28, 2002, 6:03 a.m. CST
I loved it and though that it improved upon the novel in many ways. Yet, Moriarty is right in the points he mentions and I was wishing they had made more of Harry's relationship with Ginny and hint at what will come later in 'Prisoner' and 'Goblet'. As for working out the Tom Riddle anagram - well - you would have to leave your brain at home not to get it. Otherwise, this kicked Philosopher's Stone into touch. My six-year-old daughter found it enthralling and didn't blink for it's entire duration and never went to the toilet once (twice during FotR). Trying to see it through HER eyes, I can understand how reviewers have compared it to 'Empire Strikes Back' because this was one scary movie that was chock-full of the Dark Side. BRING ON ALPHONSO CUARON !!!!