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David Poland

By David Poland

It’s A Commercial… But It’s Fun To Remember Those HP7 Kids As Kids

8 Responses to “It’s A Commercial… But It’s Fun To Remember Those HP7 Kids As Kids”

  1. anghus says:

    2 movies? Seriously? Had they not wrung enough cash out of this franchise?

  2. IOv3 says:

    Anghus, read the last book. The last book demanded to be made into two movies. The fans (Hello, ME!) also demanded it be made into two books unlike Breaking Dawn, which needs to be a 30 min film involving only sex and vampire fighting.

  3. leahnz says:

    i’m excited for the grand finale(s). i’ve read every HP book out loud to my boy starting when he was just a wee nipper, he’s grown up with harry, hermione, ron and the gang – both the novel and film versions – and it feels like our grand adventure together is now coming to a bitter-sweet end.

    and as much as there have been times i’d like to throttle JK rowling for her difficult-to-read-out-loud stilted prose and long-windedness in need of pruning by a stern editor with a sharp scalpel (getting thru the incredibly thick and at times excruciatingly dull ‘order of the phoenix’ out loud nearly killed me), i’ve found myself more than once sitting on the boy’s bed in that little pool of lamplight with a tear in my eye for a beloved character having died in our imaginations, our hearts having been so drawn into that wondrous wizarding world and the epic but very personal, difficult and selfless battle to save it from the ravages of evil totalitarianism in the name of love, family and freedom.

    in my eyes the HP films have varied in degrees of excellence from competent to brilliant, but overall they’ve grown in stature as consistently decent adaptations and compelling family entertainment, having taken on a life of their own and destined to go down in cinema history as one of the most successful and beloved fantasy film franchises/series, surely. i do hope they really wrap it all up with a compelling bang for the gang, anticipation is setting in.

    —– spoilers ———
    speaking of bang, i have no idea where the production has split the story, but there’s a certain point about half-way thru the novel after the trinity – back together again – escapes the set-up/attack of the death eaters at the lovegood residence in a rather spectacular fashion that seems like a natural place for an ‘intermission’, as the story changes tack a bit from that point on. i wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the spot, but of course i don’t know how the story has been adapted for the screen so i could be totally wrong there. i think one thing is certain re: ‘deathly H’ part 1: be prepared to spend a good deal of time in a tent.

  4. IOv3 says:

    I always figured they would end part one when they find Luna in the basement.

  5. Michael. says:

    They’re ending it with Voldemort taking the elder wand from Dumbledore.

    Okay, I’m a geek. Whatever.

  6. anghus says:

    never read the books. loathed the first 2 movies. loved azkaban. loved goblet of fire. order of the phoenix and half blood prince were remarkably average.

    i know people who have explained why the final book deserves 2 pictures, but i also know the same people told me they have cut so many large chunks and subplots from the series already that giving them time to wrap everything up seems kind of unnecessary.

  7. IOv3 says:

    Anghus, some book fans are a bit ridiculous when it comes to what is cut and not cut in these films. I have had discussions with them and they want the most mundane stuff in there and the conversations with these people always leave me wondering why some folks lack the ability to learn the word; “ADAPTATION.”

    Nevertheless, The Deathly Hallows, unlike Goblet, OotP, and The Half-Blood Prince, is not a book with a lot of padding. This leaves use with one long book that’s super economical with it’s story, even if it’s long, and that’s why you need two movies. Without the two movies, a lot of story would be cut out, and that would just ruin one amazing story.

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin