Harry Potter and the Little Golden Man

-Dragmire-

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I really don't care for Harry Potter but I can respect the effort that went into this massive undertaking though.

... but I'm still not gonna watch it.
 

Penguin_Factory

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Until I read this article, I had never really stepped back to consider the series as a whole (mostly because I vastly prefer the later entries to the earlier ones). When I skipped ahead and saw Bob describing the series as "Hollywood's moon landings" I initially reacted with incredulity, but thinking about it...... you know what, you're right. It is a big achievement.
 

The Bandit

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MelasZepheos said:
They are mere abbeviated counterparts. Don't make comments like this unless you have read the books. You can't compare them to something you haven't experienced.

Also, I don't rate films 3, 4, 5 or 6 at all. I think they're utter garbage frankly. I think the problem with Potter is that people got so caught up in the phenomenon, then the 'oh my god they're really going to finish these adaptations,' that they forgot to honestly judge the movies on any sort of standards or quality.
And the problem with the hardcore book crowd is that they believe that if the movie doesn't follow every single plot line then it's trash. The fact is, Rowling desperately needed an editor, and, while her publisher didn't come through, the movies were happy to oblige.

The first two movies- the ones that weren't abbreviated- were the worst ones. They were so long and tedious, it didn't matter how epic the climax was, the viewer couldn't help but be bored by the end.
 

moviedork

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How could you say that LOTR is a niche audience? Those films each made more money than any of the Harry Potter films, as well as getting nominated for a lot more academy awards (all three best picture-one win-and two best directors-one win). You're hyping Potter up too much.

Plus how do Nolan's Batman movies appeal to just fanboys? TDK is the third highest domestic money maker. Obviously fanboys went to it a lot, but not enough to put it at #3 all-time in the North American box office!

As for Academy Award nominations- technical...yes, other awards...it's too early to tell!
 

walrusaurus

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There's no way that it doesn't get nominated for Best Picture; they're nominating everything in the book these days. As far as winning though, I'm of two minds about that.

1. The last mainstream film that won was Return of the King which came out in 2003. Its been a string of indie/art films since then with a number of high profile 'snubs' i could see the Academy voters throwing a bone to the masses, so to speak.

2. It'll be up against The Tree of Life, which the whole film world has a hard-on for at the moment. It's eminently possible htat this film will sidle along in the last month before voting and win out from under whoever's thought to be the frontrunner at the time, a la Hurt Locker.

The second scenario seems more likely to me, in which case we'll have a repeat of last years Old Hollywood v. New Hollywood proxy battle between The KIngs Speech and The Social Network. Which history shows the old guard as the clear favorite time and time again.
 

Zechnophobe

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MovieBob said:
MovieBob: Harry Potter and the Little Golden Man

Is it about time for a Harry Potter movie to win an Oscar for Best Picture? MovieBob thinks it very well could be.

Read Full Article
Hah, my initial reaction was "Wait, does that mean it's time for them to make an actually good Harry Potter Movie?"

The bitter me is always like that though.

Honestly though, I've been very sad for each HP that's come out after, like, the third. The plots seem very disjointed flitting from one scene to the next, and there is either a lot not spoken in the movie, or very little reason for a lot of actions.

Take Part 1 of Deathly Hollows. We have an entire lead up with the fecund poly-juice potion... lots of giggles and time taken with it... and then it fails IMMEDIATELY. And the characters don't even seem that particularly put off.

It wasn't even explained why a poly juice potion would effect a magical tracking device.

In general, the story can't figure out if it is 'high fantasy' ala Tolkein, or token fantasy ala Susan Cooper. We have powerful magics and absolute evils... but still light candles in the darkness.
 

MB202

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The "risk" as I see it when it came to the first movie seems, to me, like Hollywood being greedy and wanting in on all that money J.K. Rowling was raking in, not caring about the books or continuity itself. They made the movies when Harry Potter was at the height of its popularity. It's questionable to see if it would still be as successful if they tried to make the movies after the series was said and done...
 

millertime059

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I feel those who are dismissing the movies, or decrying them as unworthy of such praise really need to step back and examine them more objectively.

Full disclosure, I'm 26 and thus missed the boat the first time around. I had neither watched any of the movies or read any of the books until last October. I saw all of the movies without any prior knowledge of the series. I have since read all the books, and rewatched the movies.

The movies stand on their own, and have many merits. They generally got better as the series progressed.

The books are fantastic in their own right.

Some things work better as literary devices than cinematic ones. All the carping about how 'the movies changed the books and therefore are inferior' is quite frankly utter tripe. Certain things that were in the book, even great parts, could not have been filmed without ruining the flow of the story. Perfect example - Half Blood Prince. All the flashback stuff. It makes little more than a cameo. Great swaths of backstory cut. Thing is the movie is better for it. Flashbacks need to be carefully administered, in the book Rowling gets away with it because it serves to bring much more depth to the character of Voldemort. In the movie it would have dragged pacing down unacceptably. Same with much of the stuff on the half blood prince. That said the movies add lots of little incidental details to enrich the world. They hint at depth and scope without the need for pointless exposition. Careful viewers, or those who read the books will notice little things that make repeat views worthwhile, and even neseccary.

What the books do that is most noteworthy is character development. Where most movies have shallow arcs and 2d characters HP gives life to so many. Even those that seem to be stock tropes usually get some development to make them more believable. Dumbledores flaw, when revealed, not only hits on a visceral level (and you see it in Harry's character) but also retroactively makes the other books and movies better. Harry's flaw subverts audience expectations but also drives the fifth story. Sorry son, you may think you're special and right, but good intentions can produce bad outcomes when you act rashly and foolishly. This is the series greatest strength, and this is the one thing the movies focused on most. It's why the movies are good adaptations even when they changed plot points, they didn't change the characters at the stories heart.
 

K_Dub

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When you put it that way Bob, I wouldn't be surprised to at all to see HP recieve a nomination or some kind of award. It damn well deserves both in my opinion.
 

The Electro Gypsy

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From a purely monetary standpoint, definitely. From any of the series deserving an award for being good, definitely not.
 

Darth Sea Bass

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I could live with the films getting a special needs oscar or any of the technicals i just don't know if i'd feel comfortable with them getting any of the top nominations.

Saying that this years looking pretty sparse in the best picture category so why the hell not give it a shot this year.
 

BrotherRool

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I have to admit, I do consider the films as abbreviate not as good version of the books and apart from the middle part of the last film, they deserve that.

But I also agree that the actors are a testament to something monumental. Pictures of the Philosophers Stone just shocked me completely, I was one of the few people who will ever get to grow up alongside a series of books that grew up with me, and a set of films where the actors grew up with me too and that's pretty crazy
 

MovieBob

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Mikeyfell said:
I also find my self hoping that Harry Potter doesn't get nominated so, come January, nothing can impede me from crossing my fingers and going "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo..."
That came out in 2009 du... Oh, you mean the English language one. No fucking chance. It's not even an original film, and Daniel Craig as Blomkvist? No. No, no, no, no, NO.

But IMO, Tree of Life is gonna walk away with the best picture, the Academy eats that kind of shit up.
 

MovieBob

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walrusaurus said:
1. The last mainstream film that won was Return of the King which came out in 2003. Its been a string of indie/art films since then with a number of high profile 'snubs' i could see the Academy voters throwing a bone to the masses, so to speak.
Um... the winners since ROTK were Million Dollar Baby, Crash, Departed, No Country For Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, Hurt Locker and King's Speech - NONE of which are "arthouse" by any definition and maybe three of which are "indie" only by the broadest possible definition of the word.

walrusaurus said:
2. It'll be up against The Tree of Life, which the whole film world has a hard-on for at the moment. It's eminently possible htat this film will sidle along in the last month before voting and win out from under whoever's thought to be the frontrunner at the time, a la Hurt Locker.
"Tree of Life" isn't even garaunteed a nomination, from where I sit. I'D nominate it - it's a magnificient film - but it's extremely divisive within the industry and doesn't have any of the social-commentary aspect that can sometimes carry a non-traditional film to a nod; though I wouldn't rule out a "surprise" visual effects nomination or a Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain.

Right now, the Big Dog at this year's Oscars is "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo." It's got everything - a lead actor everyone in the biz loves, based on a book that everyone is reading (which possibly means a big boxoffice a'la DaVinci Code) and if so it's a "mainstream" hit for David Fincher to win the Best Picture award he's "owed" for the snubbing of "Social Network." Unless of course it sucks, but again - DAVID FINCHER. Probably not ;)
 

malestrithe

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Yeah, another year of listening to fanboys repeat the empty and meaningless threat of, "if this movie does not win, then we will boycott the oscars for the rest of our lives."

It got old when the Return of the King us up for the award. It was pathetic when it was the Dark Knight. Now with potter, it is just sad.
 

Mikeyfell

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Tin Man said:
Mikeyfell said:
I also find my self hoping that Harry Potter doesn't get nominated so, come January, nothing can impede me from crossing my fingers and going "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo..."
That came out in 2009 du... Oh, you mean the English language one. No fucking chance. It's not even an original film, and Daniel Craig as Blomkvist? No. No, no, no, no, NO.

But IMO, Tree of Life is gonna walk away with the best picture, the Academy eats that kind of shit up.
dude seriously, more than half of the best picture hves been an adaptation.
A few have even been remakes. The Departed was a remake of a Chinese movie called Infernal Affairs and it won best picture.

I'm worried about Daniel Craig too but with David Fincher directing and Steven Zaillian writing I think it could happen (at least let Fincher win directer. He deserves it!) **Note** I have not seen this movie yet it may suck


And Tree of Life came out really early in the year, they might forget it happened.
 

Toriver

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Jan 25, 2010
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Sorry Bob, but while I would like to agree with you that the film (and series) will get some sort of recognition from the Academy, I just don't see it happening.

1) Its own status as an institution, as you put it in your video review, instead of just a book or film series, will be a big part of its downfall. The movies can easily be seen as a cash-in on a series of books that was already insanely popular with the public at the time the first movie was produced (and still is insanely popular today). And in the eyes of a great many people, there are other parts of the Harry Potter "institution" that are much better than the films. The Academy doesn't like to reward cash-ins. The LotR trilogy (gonna use this example a lot, sorry, but it fits) was based on a trilogy of books that, while regarded by many as the greatest fantasy literature ever written, still had a relatively small hardcore fanbase at the time, so when Fellowship of the Ring was released, it was still opening up a new world that was only well-known by a niche readership. Even at the time Sorcerer's Stone was released, the book series was already wildly popular among children and was gaining serious popularity with adults. You may even be able to recall the huge buzz in the UK about finding the children to play the heroic trio. I grew up in the USA and I remember that. That movies would be made of such a franchise, and that they would rake in serious cash, was a surprise to no-one.

2) While the series has gotten much "darker" and maturely-themed over time, as the books did, it still has the burden of being a family-oriented series, as you said yourself in the article. There have only been four films geared towards children or families that have been nominated for Best Picture in my lifetime: Beauty and the Beast, Babe, Up, and Toy Story 3. I don't believe anyone took any of those four seriously as actual contenders to win, especially not the two Pixar films, due to the expanded nomination roster and the presence of the Best Animated Feature category. Though Harry Potter is not animated, it still has that "family film" or "kids' movie" perception about it. That comes from the first two or three installments. You said it yourself: sometimes some decisions are made that aren't based on the movies as stand-alone projects, but in view of other factors. This last installment of Harry Potter must be able to overcome the vision that its predecessors give the series: well-made films, but as films themselves (without looking at the series as a whole), nothing to be amazed at.

3) Speaking of that dichotomy between the series and each stand-alone film, here's something interesting: everything that you are mentioning Harry Potter has done, has been done before, except for watching child actors grow up over a span of eight movies. We only have to look at nerds' beloved sci-fi films to see it, namely the Star Trek and Star Wars films. The original Star Trek series has six films, spanning two decades in their release. No cast changes to major crew members on the ship were made in that time. To this day, William Shatner will always be James T. Kirk, and Leonard Nimoy will be Spock. The new film's cast had to do their best to try to both give their own take on the characters AND draw from the work of their predecessors to provide a believable sense that these people will grow into the Kirk, Spock, Scotty, etc. that we know.
As for a longer-length series that weaves into one narrative, the Star Wars films are a prime example of that. While done in something of a reverse order, one could argue that the only film in the series that could be completely and totally independent of the other films is Episode 4, due to it being the first film that was actually produced in the series. The other episodes to some degree draw on what fans already know of the Star Wars universe in order to be fully understood, just like you point out about Harry Potter. While they are not as totally integrated into one narrative as the later Potter installments are, the same concept exists with Star Wars. In fact, with Harry Potter, this was even easier to do, because even if it was as of yet unfinished, there was already outside source material for them to work with, and a good deal of it is based on places that already exist. The entire universe in which Star Wars exists had to be created by George Lucas in a believable way in order for it to work. With these things in mind, the accomplishments of Harry Potter seem less impressive to me.

4) This film needs to show that it can hold its own as a great stand-alone film in its own right, which is something that its predecessors, especially the first part of the 7th book, just haven't been able to do as effectively as parts of other well-known series, such as the Godfather films and the LotR films. Each part of the Godfather and LotR trilogies, especially the first two parts of the Godfather, was seen as an individual piece of film-making that could stand with the best of all time on its own, as well as adding to a larger project that in the end would become two all-time great film franchises. While the Harry Potter series can certainly be looked at as a great accomplishment as a whole, when viewing each part individually, they don't seem like much more than what other series are offering. Let me put this in other terms: The Godfather was special, one of the greatest films of all time. It was the first part of the Godfather trilogy, one of the greatest movie series of all time. The Harry Potter series, as a series, may have some merit to being a great series when you put them together. But each Harry Potter film on its own isn't very special. So unless the last film is truly something special, I don't see it going anywhere. If Hollywood loved this franchise so much for its art, earlier parts would have seen nominations. I think Hollywood just loves this franchise for the money it makes them. And as I said in my first point, the Academy doesn't reward money, it rewards art.

5) Because of the new rule on the number of nominees, we can probably expect to see a more protracted roster this year in response to criticism of the pool being too large in the previous two years, and when push comes to shove, I can see Harry Potter being a "snub" victim in this regard. It's a fantasy film, a sequel, none of its predecessors has been nominated for anything major, and there are bound to be higher-quality stand-alone films out there that deserve a spot.

6) Look at the types of films you are saying this movie is influencing. The Avengers? Really, Bob? Is that the best you can come up with? I love my Marvel movies as much as I am sure you do, but as much as The Dark Knight has paved the way for superhero movies to be taken seriously by the Academy, I don't think we're quite at the level that Avengers is going to be anything impressive to them. And then to claim that Harry Potter's artistic legacy is to pave the way for the comic book continuity used by that movie isn't really much of an argument there. When another series of films that the Academy would take more seriously begins to use such a continuity in the time after Potter is finished, then we can talk about such a legacy. But if the only example you can come up with is The Avengers, that doesn't say much.

I love your work, Bob, and I agree with you most of the time, but on this one, I just can't, and those are my reasons.
 

Gunnyboy

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Star Wars (rightfully) never secured a best picture nom either.
What? It was nominated for 10 awards, including Best Picture, won 6 and probably should have won over Annie Hall.



Potter isn't any good, and never was. None of these films are cinematic or deserve any recognition. In this era of people complaining about sequels and franchises the kingpin of the entire racket, that defines the whole process - Harry Potter - deserves acclaim, why? Because they kept the cast? Because they adapted each book, instead of condensing some to make for better movies? Please.


And if Bob wants to bring up continuity, hell, Tarantino did his own thing like that first.
 

MovieBob

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A good adaptation shouldn't have audience members rely on the book, and that's why I don't think the film is good enough to get a nomination. My parents didn't like the movie because they didn't know what was going on, and my brother said "FOOLS! YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOKS!!"
It's a movie; no one should have to read a book to understand a movie.

Although I'm suspecting something like Lord of the Rings, where Return of the King won all the Oscars because the films are meant to be seen as one. Harry Potter Part 2 will get nods for the series as a whole, but won't win 11 Oscars, because LoTR is a better film series :p
 

walrusaurus

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MovieBob said:
walrusaurus said:
1. The last mainstream film that won was Return of the King which came out in 2003. Its been a string of indie/art films since then with a number of high profile 'snubs' i could see the Academy voters throwing a bone to the masses, so to speak.
Um... the winners since ROTK were Million Dollar Baby, Crash, Departed, No Country For Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, Hurt Locker and King's Speech - NONE of which are "arthouse" by any definition and maybe three of which are "indie" only by the broadest possible definition of the word.
My point was that none of those films were mainstream hits prior to winning the Oscar, and some not even then. I had actually forgotten about The Departed, which did moderately well if i remember correctly. Even so that came out in 2006; still 5 years ago.

Your points about the Tree of LIfe are good However, I will be surprised if The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo gets as grand a reception as you think, seeing as the Dutch version is still relatively new. It only came through my city for the first time last summer. On a semi-related note, are the books that popular? I haven't heard anything about them in my social circle. Definitely not Da Vinci Code level of interest if nothing else.