So I went and saw “Goblet of Fire” t’other day, when on vacation.
The basic problem with the Harry Potter movies is that they’re not meant to be movies, they’re meant to be a sort of moving pictorial synopsis of highlights from the books. It’s like the “Harry Pottery Companion” cinema version. If you’ve read the books, they’re fun. They’re worth plugging money out for. If you hadn’t read the books, I don’t know if they’d be even remotely coherent as stories.
I actually rather liked the third one because it struggled somewhat free of the trap–it at least tried to act like a movie, not like a rundown of book bits. But they switched out directors again, and here we are again. It’s fun, it’s just not a good movie. And to be fair, it’d be nearly impossible to make people happy and make a good movie–there’s far, far too much source material that would have to be cut, and the minute you hack out anything, book-to-movie purists begin thumping their dog-eared copies and chanting for blood. Peter Jackson pulled off a bloody miracle cramming books that fat into movies that short, and miracles like that are few and far between.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t kick Lucius Malfoy out of bed for sacrificing bunnies. Raowr.
I mention this because despite my frequently rehashed ambivalences towards C.S. Lewis–which, so help me GOD, we are not rehashing again here, or I’m getting Aslan tattooed on my left buttock to prove a point, and I don’t even know what point I’m proving, but HA! That’ll show…somebody or other. Err. Where was I? Oh, yeah. I’m looking forward to “The Lion…” movie. I re-read the book yesterday, and yup, I think it’ll work better. It’s a helluva lot shorter. I could read the book in less time than the movie will require to run. This is a good thing. It is straightforward and easily plotted. It could be done gracefully and well. I have hope.
And then I think “Man, they should do “Prince Caspian,” not because it was fabulous, but because they could then do “Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” and then I think “God, I don’t think I can live through the waves of Reepicheep porn that would hit the internet,” and I die a little inside, because no matter what you think of religion or Lewis or the price of tea in China, Reepicheep was really rockin’. Damnit.