Monday, November 21, 2005

So I went to see the latest Harry Potter movie...

...with Annie, Bruce, and Mrs. T.C.I. last Saturday night at West Bend's premier cinema hotspot (and by "premier cinema hotspot" I mean "the one that isn't the ancient, creepy, God-please-just-turn-me-into-a-historical-landmark-already firetrap downtown on Main") for the 7:45 pm showing. As the credits rolled by, the time was approximately a quarter past 2 on Sunday. Afternoon.

Yes, folks, it is a long movie. But, ahhh, what a movie! Let's see, there are kids wearing robes, and grown men wearing robes, and dragons of apparently different nationalities, and an annoying-as-shit dead girl who constantly tries to sneak a peek at Harry's "li'l wand," and a grand tournament that allows the students who attend Hogwart's to achieve endless glory and fame through the act of, uh, dying gruesome deaths, I guess...

Oh, and did I mention the incredibly vast stretches of time devoted to these death-taunting tournament tasks? So, go ahead and take that bathroom break, baby bladder! Re-butter your popcorn, you spherical glutton! Hell, go one theatre over and watch AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE MOVIE! Rest assured, upon your return Harry Potter will still be fretting over whether or not that Chinese chick with the wonky Scottish accent will go to the dance with him (she doesn't. END SPOILER), and you will have missed precisely nothing. Although that snivelling turd, Ron Weaselly, manages to toss out a few naughty words here and there. However, this being a 'veddy, veddy' British film, this basically equates to any combination of the words "bloody," "hell," "piss off," and/or "devil." Several of the limey stiffnecks in attendance were heard to mutter "My word!" and "Most unseemly!" and "Bad show, Miss Rowling! Tut, tut!" whilst fanning themselves with their lavender lace hankies.

And here's another thing: Author J.K. Rowling has actually demanded that every actor with a speaking role in a Harry Potter film be of strictly British descent, doing her part to ensure that the stereotype of Brits as petulant, condescending, self-serving elitists lives on ad infinitum. Now, here's the problem with this misguided caveat: The trouble with forcing English actors to speak English is that, well, they end up speaking English. Now, this is a layman speaking, but it is my firm belief that the people of England are taught at a very young age that if you speak the English language by annunciating and projecting in a very clear and precise and intelligible manner, you are quite certainly doing it wrong. Muttering, mumbling, shouting, groaning, murmuring, whispering, coughing, grumbling, sighing... these are all perfectly acceptable forms of vocal communication in Merrie Olde Englande. But you simply don't SPEAK English there. Good Lord, you might run the risk of someone actually understanding you. To illustrate (read: belabor) my point, here is a sample of dialogue taken from Harry Potter and the Cup What Spit Out CGI Effects. To save time, I have edited out the unintelligible bits using ellipses.

WISE OLD WIZARD WITH BEARD IN RUBBER BANDS: Harry, ..... ...... ..... the ......... (coughing for some reason) ....... and ..... will ......... ........... ............... ............... ....... (stern look at HARRY)

BLAND-LOOKING GIT WITH METROSEXUAL HAIRCUT AND GLASSES: Uh, yes. But ..... scared. ........ again? ..... ...... ...., blimey. (touches scar on forehead and winces like a fucking baby)

WILD-EYED BULGARIAN BADASS WITH POOR HYGIENE WHO IS OBVIOUSLY JUST A RED HERRING SO DON'T WORRY ABOUT HIM, HE'S HARMLESS: (Roaring loudly and gruffly for five minutes) .......... ........ ......!!! (another bout of roars and growls) .............. ....... .........!!!!

ME IN THE AUDIENCE: Um, I'm not 12. Why am I watching a Harry Potter movie?

I actually didn't say that last part aloud. But I sure as hell thought it. You know I did.

To be fair, there were several good points to be had during the 8+ hours of HP4. Brendan Gleeson makes a kickass Mad-Eye Moody, and the always magnificent Alan Rickman is equally kickass (though underused) as Snape. Extra points to Mr. Rickman for not only having the coolest accent ever to have existed ever anywhere ever, but also making the brave acting choice of allowing us to clearly hear every word he says. If it were up to me -- and I think we can all agree that it should be -- I would rewrite all of the Harry Potter books to feature Snape as the main character. And to be ten pages long each. And to feature laser-wielding robotic dinosaurs prominently. On every page, in fact. Twice.

And, uh, isn't that wee Emma Watson (as emotionally-unbalanced know-it-all, Hermione) turning into a right nubile young slice of hotness? I mean, yeah, she's supposed to be all of fourteen in the movie, but cute is cute, you know? Interestingly enough, she was even hotter in the previous film, a fact that the producers and perverts everywhere did not fail to note. They must have scaled back on her hotness for this film, seeing as how fourteen is a bit young for sex symbol status. Not that she actually is fourteen. At least, I don't think she is. Honestly.

I have a very unsettling feeling that the previous paragraph will come back to bite me in the ass in a most painful and unwelcome manner...

Let's see, what else can I bitch abou-- Oh! Duh. Before I forget... the Li'l Puker incident. Some poor five-year-old girl in the audience-- for convenience and empathy's sake we'll call her "Li'l Puker"-- must have had one too many bourbon on the rocks before the show. Li'l Puker, whose parents are undoubtedly closely related, was having rather a rough go of it during the first third of the film. Either as a result of a pure and simple illness or as a surprisingly powerful critique on the film she was forced to watch, Li'l Puker proceeded to project a steady stream of uninterrupted bile not once, not twice, but three times in the vicinity of her darling mother. "Thanks for subjecting me to a fourth round of Miss Rowling's trite plots and pedestrian dialogue!" she seemed to say with each Herculean bout of up-chuckery. "This is the physical manifestation of my displeasure. Enjoy!"

Keep in mind, dear friends, that this awesome event occured not one-third of the way through the movie. So you can imagine the audience's excitement upon realizing that, after Li'l Puker's mentally deficient co-creator removed her pint-sized vomitbag from the theatre, we were then forced to endure the reminder of the film with the imminent threat of the sweet stench of baby barf slowly wafting its way to our nostrils. There is truly no better way to experience Harry Potter first-hand. Hell, it was like Ol' Moneybags Rowling handed out Scratch 'N' Sniff cards to go along with her movie.

In closing, Cedric Diggory dies. Boo-fucking-hoo.

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