Friday, November 26, 2010

Movie Reviews

Last night we viewed the film Avatar on DVD. Imagine restaging Custer at the Little Big Horn, only in the future with aliens as Indians. The aliens are very well done, the avatar technology is interesting, and Sigourney Weaver is in danger of being typecast in space movies, in this one she plays a relatively believable scientist. All in all, a fun action movie.

The bad guys are a greedy corporation once again; doesn't Hollywood ever get tired of this theme? Why not greedy politicians or greedy scientists or physicians? Nope, it is always a company out to make a buck. Maybe Hollywood uses that theme out of guilt, for "greedy businessmen out to skim off all the money they can" is exactly what the studio heads and movie producers are.

Today we saw the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. It is a good 'un. Turning book 7 into two films is enabling the screenwriters to include more of the book, which is good for continuity. I suspect this film holds together better for a viewer who hasn't read the book. The film is substantially faithful to the book, unlike some earlier films.

One oddity, the last film more or less ended with the Weasley's home The Burrow burning down as a result of a Death Eater attack. You'd never know it in this film as The Burrow is just fine once again. There appear to be a couple of casting changes, nothing serious.

The three main characters, Harry, Ron and Hermione, are well done in this film. Either the director was doing his job or the kids have learned their craft. The director has built into this film the hint of a more-than-platonic relationship between Harry and Hermione. It isn't in the books but I didn't find it offensive.

This film has Voldemort's nose looking good, unlike the last film where it looked like they didn't want to spend money on special effects. Of course they failed to have his fingers look long, white and spidery, and his eyes aren't red, but you can't have everything and the nose was more important.

Also with regard to special effects, the elves return in this film. Both Dobby and Kreatur(e) are very well realized, both facially and as complete little people.

A casting quibble: many of the Death Eaters whom we see gathered around a table at the palatial home of Lucius Malfoy seem too wholesome, although they try their best to act nasty.

The fellow whose body Harry takes over to infiltrate the Ministry walks like he had a dry corncob stuck in a very uncomfortable place. If this "funny walk" was supposed to suggest Harry inhabiting an unfamiliar body, it didn't work.