Friday, July 27, 2007

Hot Potter? Harry Fuzz?

So, this is pretty overdue, but I saw Hot Fuzzin Berlin. Why was I in a movie whilst in Berlin, you might ask, when the delights of Ku-Damm and Checkpoint Charlie beckoned? Well, because while Strasbourg certainly has its charms, the chance to enjoy the delights of a city that not only recognizes that time has progressed since 1689, but embraces the fact (out of politeness, we won't dwell on their motivation for that) meant that Amynah and I spent much of our time in malls, train stations and on the subway, simply to remind ourselves of the joys of urban living. It's amazing how beautiful neon is, shining on rain slicked roads, especially when those roads are entirely devoid of cobbles.

Right: Hot Fuzz. I'd been looking forward to it for months. I loved Shaun of the Dead, and I harbour a not-so-secret love of big dumb action movies. Hot Fuzz managed to both flatter my "I'm too smart for Die Hard" pretensions, while still pandering to my "God, I loved Die Hard" inner self.

Even the first half, which was pretty slow, managed to be consistently funny in that not all that subtle British way - even better that every minute of it paid off once stuff started blowing up.
Oddly, Amynah's favourite moment was when the Farmer's Mom got kicked in the face, which I thought was a little broad. My favourite was when, in the midst of the grocery store battle, blonde Supercop (I forget his name) found it necessary to recount how, the night before, he had told the big Jaws-from-Moonraker-like-villain "play time's over" before bashing him on the head with a flowerpot. Totally the sort of exchange I could imagine me and any of my guy friends having, were we in the middle of gun fight in a grocery store. Anyway, seeing Hot Fuzz managed to utterly overcome any of my residual nasty feelings I had for the city that resulted from the weather and my travel ineptitude. Easily the best movie I’ve seen all year, and quite possibly in my entire life.

Also on movies, I saw Harry Potter last week. I will admit I have not nor have any intention to read the books, though I pretend to no virtue as a result. In any case a recurring gripe*, about the movies that I suspect must be shared by the books, given how integral it appears to the plots. To wit: Why is it that Rowling and her script doctors haven't come up with a better way to create tension other than "I have something to tell you, but I can't tell you now" even though THERE"S NO F**ING REASON WHY NOT!!! Minor case in point from the last movie: big hairy guy (Hagrid?) drags the kids into the woods, telling them "I've something to show you, but it's a big secret" thus setting up the introduction to his brother, who of course picks up Hermione before an explanation or introduction could be effected. Why not just say "Here kids, I have to introduce you to my Brobdignagian special needs half brother. He lives in the woods. Follow me!"
If it only happened the once it would be annoying, but basically the ENTIRE PLOT of the last movie was driven by this cheap gimmick. I know it’s only children’s lit, but for the love of Buddha, even Snow White managed to keep up tension better than that.

* I debated about posting this for a while, and only did so at the request of my friend Julie, for whom this note was originally composed. I beg the mercy of the Potter fans that have apparently commandeered the Internet to discuss the book. I do not want my final vision in life to be a horde of pointy hated uber-fans waving “wands” in my face and yelling “Indignantus spittleus!” until I am drowned.

** If anyone calls me a muggle, I swear to God I will not be responsible for what I do.


Travis said...

I am in a minority amongst Potter fans (although I can't figure out why!), but in my opinion the movies stink. They are rapid transcriptions hacked out by Hollywood committee turds filled out by special effects, and feel very thin compared to the books.

Harry Potter is children's literature in the same way that Dumas was children's literature. It's immediately accessible, suspenseful and full of action.

Christ, I can't believe I'm spouting this. I'm stil coming down from the high of reading the last book, okay?

Travis said...

Honestly! There's a guy in town I chat with re:comics and we once got on the topic of comic book movies. This otherwise intelligent man gushed over the prospect that his favourite comics might be made into movies! This might get made into a movie, THIS might get made into a movie, wow wow WOW isn't that exciting!

No! It's not! Have you SEEN any movies? Generally speaking, they're terrible. Wasn't the original work enough for you? Does having it gang-raped by Hollywood lawyers justify your liking it somehow?

Okay, really I'm just cheap and deeeply affronted with the low entertainment efficiency ratio of movies (money:hours entertained).

Mark Reynolds said...

I've let my dislike of the movies be a justification for knocking the Potter-hype (which you have to admit, is excessive). I will have to yield to those who've actually read it (but gol durn it, I really want to hate the books too, with actually wanting to risk reading them and being proved wrong).
It is weird that being made into a movie is like some mainstream seal of "quality", when it probably should be taken as an insult by any writer who cares for their work. Then again, I'm very fond of money also, so who am I to judge?

carol said...

Hi, Mark! I agree -- thumbs up to Hot Fuzz. The "Narp?" scene killed me.