I actually had the chance over the Thanksgiving break to see 2 (count ’em 2) movies in the theater. Tangled I saw with all the family, and Denisa and I went to see Harry Potter on our own. I assume everyone’s familiar with the plot and subject matter of both films, so I’ll jump right to my response to them.
Tangled was excellent–a really fun film that I wholeheartedly recommend. 3 and a half stars, and easily Disney’s best animated movie since the days of Aladdin, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and the like. It was funny, fast moving, enjoyable, and you really should see it if you’re a Disney fan. I remember when new Disney animated movies coming out were an Event–one not to be missed. Somewhere along the way, that feeling stopped. This is a return to form. The songs didn’t feel quite up to par, but part of me wonders if that’s just because I was comparing them to songs that are now classics. I’ve read that Disney’s abandoning its fairy tale movies for the foreseeable future, and I think that’s a shame. They’re fun, they’re familiar, and this is a movie that proves the formula can still work.
Harry Potter was . . . good. I’d give it around 2 and a half to 3 stars. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then it hit a lot of the right notes. No expense was spared, certainly, but seeing it on screen brought to light a lot of the gripes I had with the book. SPOILERS AHEAD (but then again, if you haven’t read Harry Potter 7 at this point, it’s your own fault if you get spoiled)
One of my biggest complaints is how irrelevant a lot of the first part of the book seemed, and thus the entirety of this movie. Why wait until book 6 of the series to mention that there are these Horcruxes that need to be destroyed, and oh yeah–there are seven of them. Yes, one of them was already destroyed by Harry accidentally back in Book 2, but still–I think it cheapens the experience. If Harry can dispatch the other 6 in the space of one book, why was it so hard to get rid of them, exactly? In my opinion, the Horcruxes should have been limited in number to 3 or so–so that destroying each one feels like a real accomplishment. I mean, by the end of the movie, they still have only gotten one more destroyed, and they have no clue where the others are. This was a total Deus Ex Wrench–my term for when a random thing pops up to make things more complicated (as opposed to a Deus Ex Machina, where a random thing pops up to solve things).
There are other complaints I had–the camping, the aimlessnees of the plot, etc–but I’ll stop grousing. Rowling is the one with five trillion dollars, and I’m not, so clearly she’s doing something right. I loved the series, especially the first four or so. The last few felt to me in need of a good edit. That statement won’t make me popular with the Harry faithful, but there you have it. The movie is faithful to the book, for good and bad. Let’s leave it at that.
So how about you all–seen the movies? Got an opinion? Questions? Do share!