Thursday, March 31, 2011

Projection Booth: Harry Potter: End of an Era

The final poster says it all.
And states it quite well.
After July 15th, honestly, what is geeks, nerds and dorks have to look forward to?
Saga is over and thank fucking god for that, the Watchmen was made and didn't get the end right like the uber-nerds would have liked, The Crystal Skull pretty much killed any future excitement for more adventures of Dr. Jones.
Yeah, I suppose one COULD say that there is the third Transformers movie but honestly who has looked forward to a Michael Bay movie since they were fooled by the first Transformers teaser. Oh ok, there is going to be a two part Hobbit movie but Randall in Clerks 2 was right, Lord of the Rings trilogy was fucking boring. I assume there will be more action in the two prequels but again "THE Saga" has deflated any prospect of a prequel being anything more than a letdown. I guess we have plenty of superhero movies to watch but even these are starting to feel like overkill. Hell the Punisher has been rebooted twice, Spiderman just finished a few years ago and is getting started over. For fucks sake, we don't even have the third Batman movie in the can nor is the new Superman and WB is talking about rebooting both it so they can make a Justice League movie.

I cannot say just how sad I am going to be to see this movie franchise come to its glorious end. I originally did whatever I could to avoid getting into the "cult of Harry Potter" but one slow day at a boring job left me with little to do but read a book that someone had left behind from the prior shift. It was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and immediately I was hooked. Starting in the middle of the series didn't phase me at all. I picked up the gist of it quite quickly and did whatever I could to get my hands on the rest of the books about as the time as the 3rd film hit DVD. So of course I started watching.
Thanks to Alfonso Cuaron's masterful blending of the seasons as well as giving the series its first real taste of darkness, I was a full fledged Harry Potter cultist.
The Goblet of Fire was intense and riveting it was a great way to follow The Prisoner of Azkaban. 
Sure there were some missteps in the film version of the series such as letting Chris Columbus direct the first two movies, the rewritten version in opening of The Half Blood Prince, um well actually pretty much all of The Half Blood Prince. The film version of THBP was the most anti-climatic of any of the cannon when it was actually one of the most emotional with exception of The Deathly Hallows, well I haven't gotten to see the second half of The Deathly Hallows, but after seeing the first half I'll trust that it just gets even better.
But as I was saying, the death of a major and beloved character was washed over and was missing the cathartic funeral scene that ended the 6th book. Not to mention flippant way they revealed who the Half Blood Prince actually was. Another terrible mistake was letting David Yates take over as director for the remainder of the series, they missed fleshing out the relationship between Sirius Black and Harry as well as not making Voldemort more frightening, the red slitted pupils would have gone along way, instead he looks more like a burn victim who lost his nose to the burns. Not the great evil villain I had imagined reading the books.

Even with all that said, the franchise is greater than the sum of its parts and spanning 10 years  give or take, it became something to look forward to each year to year and a half. I can't imagine how this must be to the kids who grew up reading the books first and then catching the movies after the fact. I understand that these books were written for kids and are kind of heavy handed and simplistic but as a film franchise they are near brilliant even if you know how its gonna end. A feat that George Lucas absolutely failed to pull off. We all knew Anakin ends up Darth Vader but no one cared because the prequel trilogy fucked over cheapened the original saga.
As much as I know I'll have the films on blu ray or dvd, the feeling of anticipation that the Harry Potter series gave at least me is going to leave me with a gaping hole. As a gore hound I still have World War Z even though I know it won't fulfill its potential, its still something.
I can only hope as a fan of the work and ingenious casting of this franchise the studios don't do something stupid like turn it into a television series or reboot it just to cash in.
Yes there is a lot of side plots that were left out for example the liberation of the house elves, which while not major exactly, did have some impact on the main story and fleshed out Hermione's character a bit more. Again this is nit-picking and honestly as a whole even the first movie as cheesy and cheap it seems now, its still worth watching. The height of the cinematic glory can be seen in Prisoner of Azkaban and I'm honestly hoping that it will be topped by The Deathly Hallows second feature. I know its most certainly has to be absolutely epic as far as the battle scene and needs to carry enough weight to mourn the characters that are lost which the Potter-nerds have vested so much into as well as let it collectively sink in that the series is at its bitter and hopefully fitting end. Reading this last book 4 or 5 times, I could still take comfort in knowing I had the movie to look forward to but now after July 15th it will be like looking down a desert road at sunset. Desolate and nothing on the horizon.
David Yates has a tall order and I hope he made the most of every morsel of plot given to him because worse than reaching the end of the series is reaching that end feeling like you missed making it to the hospital to say goodbye before a loved one passed away.
Its uber-geeky but when you invest that much of your life to reading and watching a group of characters, the payoff needs to feel tremendous.
Otherwise honestly just quickly reshoot the ending so we find out this has all taken place in the mind of an autistic child holding a snow-globe.

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