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too faithful to the book
Chris Columbus really bungled this one. Why he failed to see the myriad moments of the book that fall flat on screen escapes me.
For example, the opening scene: what's exciting about a couple wizards telling each other about this Harry Potter kid? Show--don't tell--please. Then much of the following scenes were the same thing--actors sounding off lines without really listening to them.
Did anyone edit this movie?
After the show, I heard several audience members murmur how they enjoyed it. But during the show, there were few moments when anyone laughed, or reacted in any way at all. I suspect people are so convinced by the marketing plan that the movie MUST be good--and after this year, desperate for creativity outside of Hollywood--that they have no choice but to react with quiet consent. An epic movie like this one should do more than illicit a few, 'oh yeah, it was good, sure....'
The film should have been half as long. Why keep so many scenes from the book that were boring exposition? J.K. Rowling's only tools were words on the page. Columbus has image and sound--why does he always revert to dialogue to explain everything? I realized that the film is largely intended for kids, but kids aren't stupid.
There was never a sense of an over-arching conflict that bound the pieces together. The scenes were occasionally exciting, but only in a self-contained context. John Cleese was wasted as Nearly Headless Nick. The lighting was less than magical. Harry Potter acts like a tiny Keanu Reeves, his only reactions to anything being "whoa," and "wow." The introduction of Hogwarts fizzles as soon as we get inside and the professors start explaining things. The podrace sequence--excuse me, Quidditch match--has been done, done, done. What's the deal with Quidditch, anyhow? Why bother scoring points when the whole match comes down to whoever catches the Snitch? A lot of the magic in Harry Potter's world is either ripped from older stories or too half-baked to make any sense.
I would, however, like to commend Alan Rickman, Tom Felton, and David Bradley, for their nuanced performances of Snape, Malfoy, and Filch, respectively. Fine job.
My advice for the sequel: take liberties with the book!
Atomic Tabasco (1999)
This is the most energetic and entertaining ten minutes of film >I've seen in a long time. As a film student at NYU, where this >short has been screened several times, I salute Jim Cox for his >astute sense of style and pace for our generation. I'm sure >I'll see his name later on the big screen. Hopefully this short >will find a market on TV or somewhere, so this inspiring work >can get the wide distribution it des