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Pottering around

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    I went to see Harry Potter today. It was a pleasant movie, worth the price, but I did not feel it was significantly better than the previous one (in contrast
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 15, 2002
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      I went to see Harry Potter today. It was a pleasant movie, worth the
      price, but I did not feel it was significantly better than the previous
      one (in contrast to what a lot of critics are claiming). I'm always
      happy to see Hagrid and Dumbledore, my favorite characters.

      Joan
      ******************************************
      Joan Marie Verba
      verba001@...
      http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
    • Stolzi@aol.com
      In a message dated 11/15/2002 9:07:26 PM Central Standard Time, ... Both the WPOST reviewers panned the new movie. If the series continues, they must recast
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 16, 2002
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        In a message dated 11/15/2002 9:07:26 PM Central Standard Time,
        verba001@... writes:


        > Hagrid and Dumbledore, my favorite characters.
        >
        >

        Both the WPOST reviewers panned the new movie.

        If the series continues, they must recast Dumbledore. Wonder who.

        Diamond Proudbrook


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • WendellWag@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/16/2002 1:46:32 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... More precisely, of the three reviewers in _The Washington Post_ who critiqued the film,
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 16, 2002
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          In a message dated 11/16/2002 1:46:32 PM Eastern Standard Time,
          Stolzi@... writes:


          > Both the WPOST reviewers panned the new movie.

          More precisely, of the three reviewers in _The Washington Post_ who critiqued
          the film, Stephen Hunter was pretty negative, Desson Howe was not very happy
          with the film but not quite so negative, and Jane Horwitz was almost
          satisfied with the film. (_The Washington Post_ has five movie reviewers:
          Hunter and Ann Hornaday in the Style section, Howe and Michael O'Sullivan in
          the Weekend section, and Jane Horowitz with a one-paragraph review in "The
          Family Filmgoer" column in the Weekend section.) Hunter's comments were
          awful close to my view of the entire series: There are lots of interesting
          incidents and clever ideas in the series, but Rowling doesn't understand
          plotting at all. The books are just a mess in my view.

          Wendell Wagner


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Stolzi@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/16/2002 1:38:46 PM Central Standard Time, WendellWag@aol.com writes: Thanks, Wendell. I didn t see Horowitz, and got the other two off
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 16, 2002
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            In a message dated 11/16/2002 1:38:46 PM Central Standard Time,
            WendellWag@... writes:

            Thanks, Wendell. I didn't see Horowitz, and got the other two off the Web
            this morning.

            > Hunter's comments were
            > awful close to my view of the entire series: There are lots of interesting
            >
            > incidents and clever ideas in the series, but Rowling doesn't understand
            > plotting at all. The books are just a mess in my view.
            >

            Possibly this is more visible in the film rendition. Because to me, the
            books =read= just fine. I enjoyed the first film, but feel very lethargic
            about going to the second one, rather like my attitude to the whole seemingly
            endless STAR WARS series.

            Diamond Proudbrook


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Joshua Kronengold
            ... Actually, I think it s less so -- the pacing in the second movie (having just gone to see it) is much better than the book, where they spend pages and
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 16, 2002
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              Stolzi@... writes:
              >Possibly this is more visible in the film rendition.

              Actually, I think it's less so -- the pacing in the second movie
              (having just gone to see it) is much better than the book, where they
              spend pages and pages basically pottering around while the plot is in
              neutral.

              >about going to the second one, rather like my attitude to the whole seemingly
              >endless STAR WARS series.

              I don't think they're comparable, largely because the recent Star Wars
              movies are Just Bad -- bad directing, bad writing...good visual
              extragavanzae, but if that's all that they have going for them...


              --
              Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
              --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
              /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
              /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
            • Stolzi@aol.com
              In a message dated 11/16/2002 11:01:05 PM Central Standard Time, mneme@io.com ... Mebbe, but plot was the chief complaint of one of the POST film reviewers.
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 17, 2002
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                In a message dated 11/16/2002 11:01:05 PM Central Standard Time, mneme@...
                writes:


                > -- the pacing in the second movie
                > (having just gone to see it) is much better than the book, where they
                > spend pages and pages basically pottering around while the plot is in
                > neutral.
                >

                Mebbe, but plot was the chief complaint of one of the POST film reviewers.

                > >about going to the second one, rather like my attitude to the whole
                > seemingly
                > >endless STAR WARS series.
                >
                > I don't think they're comparable, largely because the recent Star Wars
                > movies are Just Bad -- bad directing, bad writing...good visual
                > extragavanzae, but if that's all that they have going for them...

                I cooled even on the second and third ones (Ewoks, blecch; Yoda, yawn) but
                loved the first one. Wouldn't even have bothered with the recent ones, word
                of mouth was enough.

                All us book-lovers here have endured, often enough, the butchering of our
                favorite books at the hands of the movie-makers, so even if the HARRY movies
                are dull, I like the fact that millions of enthusiastic young readers are
                getting the product they initially loved, or close to it, and not something
                else.

                Loose connection to HARRY: a piece of trivia I read while out having lunch
                today said

                "Eating salted owl was a cure for the gout."

                My instant reaction was, which would be WORSE? But perhaps those who have
                suffered from the gout will tell me that any amount of salted owl wd be
                preferable.

                Diamond Proudbrook


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • SusanPal@aol.com
                In a message dated 11/17/2002 1:18:15 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... Well, I don t think the HARRY books are dull, so it s too bad the movies are. However, I
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 17, 2002
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                  In a message dated 11/17/2002 1:18:15 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                  Stolzi@... writes:


                  > All us book-lovers here have endured, often enough, the butchering of our
                  > favorite books at the hands of the movie-makers, so even if the HARRY
                  > movies
                  > are dull, I like the fact that millions of enthusiastic young readers are
                  > getting the product they initially loved, or close to it, and not something
                  >
                  > else.
                  >

                  Well, I don't think the HARRY books are dull, so it's too bad the movies are.
                  However, I love the fact that the HARRY (and LotR) films are serving as
                  gigantic, multi-million dollar advertisements for the books themselves. A
                  number of the students in my Tolkien class this semester decided to read the
                  book only after they saw the movie, and there are probably some Potterites
                  who were brought to the printed page the same way.

                  Susan


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Pauline J. Alama
                  I m glad I didn t see the first Harry Potter movie before I read the book, because I think if I had, I would have thought the book wasn t worth reading. I ve
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 17, 2002
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                    I'm glad I didn't see the first Harry Potter movie before I read the book, because I think if I had, I would have thought the book wasn't worth reading. I've often complained about movies being unfaithful to books they're based on, but I've never before realized that a movie can be faithful to the book in many places and still manage to lose what makes the book memorable. It was as if the book was fresh hot coffee and the movie was the same coffee gone cold and reheated: the basic ingredients may still be there, but the flavor's ruined.

                    Pauline J. Alama
                    http://www.geocities.com/paulinejalama/paulinealama.html
                    THE EYE OF NIGHT
                    (Bantam Spectra, July 2002)


                    --- On Sun 11/17, wrote:
                    From: [mailto: SusanPal@...]
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2002 16:39:31 EST
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Pottering around

                    > In a message dated 11/17/2002 1:18:15 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                    > Stolzi@... writes:
                    >
                    >
                    > > All us book-lovers here have endured, often enough, the butchering of
                    > our
                    > > favorite books at the hands of the movie-makers, so even if the HARRY
                    >
                    > > movies
                    > > are dull, I like the fact that millions of enthusiastic young readers
                    > are
                    > > getting the product they initially loved, or close to it, and not
                    > something
                    > >
                    > > else.
                    > >
                    >
                    > Well, I don't think the HARRY books are dull, so it's too bad the movies
                    > are.
                    > However, I love the fact that the HARRY (and LotR) films are serving as
                    > gigantic, multi-million dollar advertisements for the books themselves.
                    > A
                    > number of the students in my Tolkien class this semester decided to read
                    > the
                    > book only after they saw the movie, and there are probably some Potterites
                    >
                    > who were brought to the printed page the same way.
                    >
                    > Susan
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >

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                  • David S Bratman
                    ... To each his own, clearly. I have read plenty of fantasy novels in which the plot spins in neutral for much of the book - it s as if the characters are
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 17, 2002
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                      Wendell Wagner wrote:

                      >Hunter's comments were
                      >awful close to my view of the entire series: There are lots of interesting
                      >incidents and clever ideas in the series, but Rowling doesn't understand
                      >plotting at all. The books are just a mess in my view.


                      And Joshua Kronengold wrote:

                      >Actually, I think it's less so -- the pacing in the second movie
                      >(having just gone to see it) is much better than the book, where they
                      >spend pages and pages basically pottering around while the plot is in
                      >neutral.


                      To each his own, clearly. I have read plenty of fantasy novels in which
                      the plot spins in neutral for much of the book - it's as if the characters
                      are sitting around waiting for the rest of the plot to show up - and I did
                      not feel that way about the Harry Potters. That I was actually able to
                      finish all four of them counts as a major mark in their favor. I do have
                      some problems with them, and I consider books 2 and 3 to be weaker than 1
                      and 4. But if Rowling doesn't understand plotting, I wish that other
                      authors had the same difficulty. Her books are not the end-all of
                      children's fantasy. But I found them pretty good books.

                      I saw film number 1, but that was enough. I hear they're getting a new
                      director for number 3, so maybe I'll see that. But I have never been
                      impressed with blockbuster movie series. I saw one each of Indiana Jones,
                      Batman, Spiderman, and Superman movies, and even though I liked the last
                      one in that list, I've never seen any sequels of any of them. I saw three
                      Star Trek films, but only because I was dragged to numbers 2 and 4. I saw
                      4 Star Wars films, but after Phantom Menace I never want to see another
                      film with George Lucas's name on it EVER AGAIN.

                      - David Bratman
                    • David S Bratman
                      ... As with Peter Jackson s Lord of the Rings, the film kept the text, but not the spirit. What I found missing from Jackson was the beauty and wonder, among
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 17, 2002
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                        Pauline Alama wrote:

                        >I'm glad I didn't see the first Harry Potter movie before I read the book,
                        >because I think if I had, I would have thought the book wasn't worth
                        >reading. I've often complained about movies being unfaithful to books
                        >they're based on, but I've never before realized that a movie can be
                        >faithful to the book in many places and still manage to lose what makes
                        >the book memorable. It was as if the book was fresh hot coffee and the
                        >movie was the same coffee gone cold and reheated: the basic ingredients
                        >may still be there, but the flavor's ruined.

                        As with Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, the film kept the text, but not
                        the spirit. What I found missing from Jackson was the beauty and wonder,
                        among much else. What was missing from the Harry Potter film was the
                        bounce and humor. Strange, because the first book in particular struck me
                        as very cinematic: it hurled forward with headlong speed. How could they
                        make a movie of it that dragged so?

                        - David Bratman
                      • Carl F. Hostetter
                        ... Indeed (and I wouldn t be so quick to say the film kept the text, either; Aragorn s character seems utterly extra-textual, for instance; as does Frodo s
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 18, 2002
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                          On Sunday, November 17, 2002, at 11:50 PM, David S Bratman wrote:

                          > As with Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, the film kept the text, but
                          > not
                          > the spirit. What I found missing from Jackson was the beauty and
                          > wonder,

                          Indeed (and I wouldn't be so quick to say the film kept the text,
                          either; Aragorn's character seems utterly extra-textual, for instance;
                          as does Frodo's (in)action).

                          Consider this: in the book, Sam is full of delight at the prospect of
                          seeing Elves, and we share in his wonder. In the film (esp. the
                          theatrical release -- the extended version has some scenes that should
                          _never_ have been cut that give a nod to the majesty of the Elves),
                          there is not the first indication of why Sam should ever have such a
                          desire. Jackson's Elves are uniformly dyspeptic, if not outright
                          menacing; and even in the extended version, there is no hint of why the
                          Fellowship should have become so awestruck by the Lady of the Golden
                          Wood as they are at their departure.

                          The audience is expected to fill in the (vast) blanks from their
                          knowledge of the books, or (for those who haven't read it yet), accept
                          it on faith, so that the film can just move on to the next battle
                          scene. Either way, it is a clear failure of the storyteller in his
                          "art".


                          --
                          =============================================
                          Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org

                          ho bios brachys, he de techne makre.
                          Ars longa, vita brevis.
                          The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
                          "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such
                          a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
                        • David S. Bratman
                          ... Well, it relatively kept to the text. I recognized the plot easily, and even the characters; I didn t recognize the atmosphere and style at all. ...
                          Message 12 of 14 , Nov 18, 2002
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                            At 07:04 AM 11/18/2002 , Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                            >Indeed (and I wouldn't be so quick to say the film kept the text,
                            >either; Aragorn's character seems utterly extra-textual, for instance;
                            >as does Frodo's (in)action).

                            Well, it relatively kept to the text. I recognized the plot easily, and
                            even the characters; I didn't recognize the atmosphere and style at all.

                            >Consider this: in the book, Sam is full of delight at the prospect of
                            >seeing Elves, and we share in his wonder. In the film (esp. the
                            >theatrical release -- the extended version has some scenes that should
                            >_never_ have been cut that give a nod to the majesty of the Elves),
                            >there is not the first indication of why Sam should ever have such a
                            >desire.

                            That's atmosphere, not text, except insofar as it's all text. But the
                            theatrical version (I haven't seen the extended) is even worse than you
                            say: Sam's exclamation of his love of Elves (in the "eavesdropping" scene)
                            has been cut, replaced by an awkward line about the danger. The first
                            reference to Sam wanting to see Elves comes from Frodo in Rivendell, as a
                            back reference to the eliminated line.


                            >even in the extended version, there is no hint of why the
                            >Fellowship should have become so awestruck by the Lady of the Golden
                            >Wood as they are at their departure.

                            She's only human. That's the problem, isn't it?


                            >The audience is expected to fill in the (vast) blanks from their
                            >knowledge of the books, or (for those who haven't read it yet), accept
                            >it on faith, so that the film can just move on to the next battle
                            >scene. Either way, it is a clear failure of the storyteller in his
                            >"art".

                            Indeed, and it has nothing whatever to do with the differences between the
                            novelistic and film-making versions of the storyteller's art.


                            To Steve Law: Your suggestions sound good to me, especially because of your
                            observation that they would have added virtually no time - certainly not
                            time that couldn't easily have been cut from endless tedious battle scenes.


                            - David Bratman
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            ... Sorry, I see I was unclear in my construction. The Consider this part was by way of example of our shared disappointment in the lack of beauty and
                            Message 13 of 14 , Nov 18, 2002
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                              On Monday, November 18, 2002, at 04:37 PM, David S. Bratman wrote:

                              > At 07:04 AM 11/18/2002 , Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
                              >
                              >> Consider this: in the book, Sam is full of delight at the prospect of
                              >> seeing Elves, and we share in his wonder. In the film (esp. the
                              >> theatrical release -- the extended version has some scenes that should
                              >> _never_ have been cut that give a nod to the majesty of the Elves),
                              >> there is not the first indication of why Sam should ever have such a
                              >> desire.
                              >
                              > That's atmosphere, not text, except insofar as it's all text.

                              Sorry, I see I was unclear in my construction. The "Consider this" part
                              was by way of example of our shared disappointment in the lack of
                              "beauty and wonder" in the film, not of its textual failings (which was
                              merely an opening aside).
                            • Stolzi@aol.com
                              In a message dated 11/18/2002 3:38:50 PM Central Standard Time, ... amen, amen, amen! [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              Message 14 of 14 , Nov 18, 2002
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                                In a message dated 11/18/2002 3:38:50 PM Central Standard Time,
                                dbratman@... writes:


                                > endless tedious battle scenes

                                amen, amen, amen!


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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