Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bollemanneke

Harry Potter Disentchantment

Recommended Posts

What is a Fantastic Beast?

 

And how can anyone be disenchanted by a series of movies that are predictably just vehicles for fake Harry Potter PR and cash cows?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bollemanneke said:

I found the first beasts movie excellent: engaging characters, the much-needed 'welcome to a magical world' feeling that had vanished since HP5... This one was just boring, even annoying.

 

Exactly this. The most original character, and the one I was most enchanted by in the original - Tina, was completely shafted in the sequel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

I found the first beasts movie excellent: engaging characters, the much-needed 'welcome to a magical world' feeling that had vanished since HP5... This one was just boring, even annoying.

 

After 5 movies of going to always to the same place, the movies were wise to not over-hokey-fy the "welcome to a magical world" aspect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Horner's Dynamic Range said:

Anyone else prefer The Pagemaster to HP scores?

 

Not even a little bit, though honestly, I may not have even finished The Pagemaster album...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, gkgyver said:

And how can anyone be disenchanted by a series of movies that are predictably just vehicles for fake Harry Potter PR and cash cows?

 

See, this is what I don't understand.

 

Stories are defined by their central conflict, and while other long-running series have such a single central conflict, here the throughline between Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter seems to be the setting itself.

 

This, to me, makes the films feel like vehicles for the Wizarding World itself, as if the goal of the film is to experience this fictional setting for two hours, which is simply not what cinema is about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had no interest whatsoever in Harry Potter until I heard John Williams would be scoring the original film.  I had not read any of the books, but I knew that it was the kind of vehicle that would enable him to write a truly memorable score -- and draw him back into the territory which inspired The Witches of Eastwick and Hook.

 

Predictably I loved the score, which remains one of my very favorites of his.  I also loved the film, and became a fan of Rowling's entire series (I now own all the books and Blu-rays).  I even came close to buying a Gryffindor jumper from the gift shop at Alnwick Castle!

 

In the spirit of this thread's "disenchantment" agenda, I will add I wasn't enamored of the post-Williams scores, which were serviceable, but to me nothing special.  I didn't mind other composers stepping up to the plate, but my ideal scenario would have been for Richard Rodney Bennett, Danny Elfman and George Fenton to have scored the "middle movies" with John Williams returning for the finale.

 

Oh well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started the books a bit late but by the noughties had caught up.

 

Even by 2003 when I started uni, I had only a couple of tracks from the first score and soundtracks weren't my main focus. I think that by CoS, I was starting to notice the music more and proactively sought the soundtrack.

 

As I've said before, I have virtually no interest in any non-JW Potter expansions. I'm not really into films 4-onwards and therefore the albums are good enough for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5 has some very good music hidden among the slog! The OST has everything you need.

 

I "grew up" with the books, started reading them when I was 4 years old and finished the last one when it came out when I was 11. I had many of the old Lego sets befor I've seen the movies (I was absolutely terrified of the first 2 minutes of PS and we had to shut it off), but soon the first 3 movies became an important part of it, too, they had great atmosphere and casting and represented their stories well (probably too well in the case of 1-2), which was all I wanted from an adaptation as a kid. I was scared of the Voldy scene in 4, I watched its extras more than the movie itself.

Then after the books finished I was starting to get cynical enough to not expect the subsequent movies at all, I already got my finale and closure. I liked 5 fine enough, hated 6 (and watched it at a time when I couldn't care less about it), wasn't a big fan of 7 and absolutely despise 8. Those last 3 never got another watch and I'm not really planning to give them one. So that's about my disillusionment with HP, I still adore the books and reread the series occasionally.

Got halfway through the first Fantastic Beasts when I decided at the big dull CG creature showreel that I'd rather shut this off and forget it than fall asleep. Most of what I heard of the fanfiction play's plot and characters is absolute garbage.

 

Rowling making up canon and character traits randomly after the fact to stay relevant and PC, or straight up retconning half of it for fanservice seconds is ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Fabulin said:

Here are my problems with HP:

> Rowling using her little brain to go political

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania winnie the pooh think

> Rowling embracing capitalism 

Podobny obraz

> Someone using Rowling to make money

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania winnie the pooh toy package

> Someone using Rowling to achieve political goals

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania xi jinping winnie the pooh

> The series getting grimdark

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania winnie the pooh dark

> The gradual degeneration of music

<no fitting Winnie The Pooh example>

 

Rowling's political ramblings are infantile and stillborn. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said enough on the subject, I don't want this thread to devole to the other one's level.

 

 

Spoiler

Alright, 6 looks like they graded it with diarrhoea and selects all the wrong plot threads (khmm Lavender) over crucially important and interesting ones aka Voldy's psychoanalysis through the memories. Many of 8's problems wouldn't be problems if 5 and 6 (and 4 and to a lesser extent 3) built things up properly instead of focusing on the silly cutesy cringyness.

7 was kinda alright thinking back but nothing that riveting. It focuses on the camping, the most boring part of the book, and omits Dumbledore's backstory, crucial to Harry's development - oh, but we gotta have a Harry-Hermione dance. It looks messy and dreary. Has a ton of oppurtunities for reprising old themes but can't be bothered to.

8 is absolute garbage, a dumb, dull, soulless action blockbuster that takes a dump on all the core themes of the books, a lot of character development and some of the coolest moments of the series in favour of mindless, not even that impressive visual "spectacle".

Yates directs his visuals to be dark and dull, his music to be inoffensive and dull, his actors to be standing in one spot looking forward and never moving, or showing emotions in the last 2 - it's a wonder 5 is kinda fun if you look past the fact that it's supposed to be an adaptation and forget what it should build up.

 

Overall I think WB initially didn't trust the HP train to keep on going, so they wanted to ride the wave and get returns on their rights investment as quickly as possible. Therefore 1 and 2 had to be rushed into production, and once the kids were cast there was no going back. Seemingly there was no proper time to discuss future book plans with Rowling, come up with a consistent visual and cinematic language for the series in advance with maybe preselecting directors and locking down a good Hogwarts design (I love what 3 did to it, and Stuart Craig (production designer) also said one of their biggest regrets on 1 was not coming up with an iconic enough design and silhouette for Hogwarts, and there was no time or drive to change it for 2), 1 and 2 and 3 had to be shot as quickly as possible while the kids still were kids with overlapping pre-and postproduction schedules, 1 and 2 were both made in a year with outsourced and often crappy effects shots and uninspired scripts and camera work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Holko

 

Rowling was consultant on all the Potter films, giving direction for each department of production, I don't get the impression any of these films were rushed, only that these huge franchises either demand the consultancy of their source material, or they're these giant cash cows that no one gives a shit about producing or which direction they take. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the first film was rushed: you can really see it in some of the effects shots.

 

To me, the issue with films 1-2 isn't with Rowling producing the film, or even Chris Columbus' directing (although his work with the actors is very subpar). Its main weakness is Steve Kloves' screenwriting, and way its presented in the final edit: whether he lacked the confidence to make changes and only gathered it as he progressed with the series, or whether he was coarced to write a "faithful" screenplay by Columbus or one of the producers. You can't in good conscience call it a screenplay: its just an abridged version of the novel, formatted as a screenplay.

 

The first one's charming enough, though.

 

As for being "cash cows" - to me, that's irrelevant if you enjoy the movie. All blockbusters are cash cows in that they're designed to make lots of money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember Warner Bros. pushing to re-cast the kids (I believe after he second film) presumably to be able to spend more time on each subsequent movie -- but that idea was nixed in a hurry.  Later, Warners wanted to shift production to Eastern Europe (Hungary if I recall right), but the parents of the three leads -- and Rowling -- adamantly resisted this.

 

Chris Columbus' films are to me the most appealing. He accentuates the fantasy, adventure and sentiment with an approach I'd describe as "Spielberg meets Dickens".  I always felt Columbus was ideally suited to the material, because I have a hard time believing Rowling was not influenced -- even subconsciously -- by Young Sherlock Holmes.  John Williams' score of course further establishes the "Spielberg" tone.

 

I like some of the visual panache which Alfonso Cuarron brought to the third film, but don't care for the dour, unsubtle "real world cynicism" he imposes on the movie. He pushes Rowling's (hitherto subtle) comments on bigotry, inequality, animal rights, etc. (as well as the horror elements) to the fore -- at the expense of the magic and wonder. The result is more social justice sermon than fantasy. Critics hailed Cuarron's movie as "more mature", but think it has didactic and pretentious moments (plus I dislike the pointless continuity breaches with the previous films — the street clothes, completely altering Tom and Professor Flitwick, etc.).  And I'll never forgive him for not casting Peter O'Toole as Dumbledore!

 

Mike Newell plays-up the British boarding school experience -- which makes sense, his having been British boarding school boy himself. The book's emphasis on growing-up (in particular how the relationships of boys and girls start to change around the age of 12) is also nicely handled. In terms of interpretation, Newell seems more sympathetic to the Columbus approach of Harry Potter as a fantasy-adventure first and foremost, while retaining some of Cuarron's visual flair.  Not a fan of the score though.

 

David Yates' movies were solid -- but they lack the scope of the previous films.  I think the fact that Yates had been a TV director, and that the Harry Potter movies are a series to begin with, cause his films to take-on a more perfunctory, "this week's episode" quality.  I like his Potter efforts, but I don't feel he brought much to the franchise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, TSMefford said:

There’s some people here who don’t seem to understand the term “disenchantment”.

 

In order to be disenchanted, you must first be enchanted.

Good point, I wonder if the people decrying these films were ever enchanted with the series to begin with...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Horner's Dynamic Range said:

Gay Dumbledore! The most famous Tweet about a fictional character ever. Mark Hamill later attempted to pull a Rowling by saying he thought Luke was gay. Unfortunately, no one believed his ass.

That wasn't a tweet. During the book tour for Deathly Hallows she was asked by an audience member if Dumbledore found "true love".

Her answer was that Dumbledore is gay and was in love with Grindelwald. He was blinded by love and was horribly let down by it. His love Grindelwald was his 'great tragedy'.

The audience gasped, then applauded, to which she said something like "I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy."

 

Steve Kloves later revealed that he had written a scene for the script of Half-Blood Prince in which Dumbledore reminisce about a girl. Her only note to the scene was 'Dumbledore is gay'.

 

While it may not be explicit in the books, I definitely think it's hinted at in the last book when we learn about Dumbledore's back story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The “Dumbledore is gay” thing is only annoying in that it’s sort of become a thing where people try to retroactively use it as an example of diversity in the books when it’s not. I think it does make his backstory more interesting but for all intents and purposes Dumbledore is pretty asexual, like most of the adult characters. 

 

Rowling will sometimes do stuff like that, though. Like the “Black Hermione” thing where instead of simply arguing for a perfectly valid theatrical interpretation, she tried to be all “Well I never said she wasn’t!” and sort of putting a smokescreen over the fact that her characters do generally default to white as written. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×