Thursday, March 13, 2008

Harry Potter and the never ending sequel?!

I am unsure how to feel about the latest "Harry Potter" film news. I have read a few articles and I am divided as whether I feel this is Hollywood commercialism at it's utmost, or good film making.

According to Alan Horn at Warner Bros., there are plans to divide the final book into two parts. Horn said, "Cutting the book to fit the film would have been a disservice. This way, we have an extra hour and a half, at least, to celebrate what this franchise has been and do justice to all the words and ideas that Jo [Rowling] has put in the amazing story." The films star Daniel Radcliffe pointed out, "There have been compartmentalized subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut. The seventh book doesn't really have any subplots. It's one driving, pounding story from the word go."

I must say that the final book is very exciting and would be very difficult to pair it down to a two hour movie with out loosing the elements of the story that make it engaging. Dividing it into two parts would give more space for plot development... but where do you split it? There is also some talk that the film makers are unsure they want it to end the same as in the book.

I am a firm believer that books are books and films are films. And books based on films, should fill in where the movie can't (a script is between 100-120 pages as compared to hundreds of pages in a book) and when books are adapted for film the film must mold and adapt the story so as to allow the watcher get pulled into the story, which can be hard if the film is trying to put in too much from the novel making the story crowded and confusing. But I guarantee you that there will be an uproar if the "Harry Potter films" stray too far from the books. There are already complaints of that. I even feel in that lot with the third film... feel much of what I had loved in the third book was left out. But I have since realized that they are two incomparable mediums, each with strengths and weaknesses.

So to reel in my ramblings... I pose this question to the void... should a film try to hold strictly to the text of a book to which it is based? Should it be an interpretation of the text? And in regards to the "Harry Potter" films, is it good to split the final installment? Or do you as the viewer feel that it is just a ploy to get an extra $12 out of you? I am still undecided...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Justice League of America Movie

So Warner Bros. is pushing its JLA Movie and the rumors are flying. One thing is quite certain that with the Batman and Superman franchises well under way, it will likely be new faces reprising those roles.

Call me a nerd, but I want to see Brandon Routh and Christian Bale together in the Justice League. I have already bought into their portrayals of my childhood heroes and I don't want to have to "get to know" someone else as my kid heroes.

I understand that the studios are wanting to ride the "Comic Hero" wave while it's high. Yet, it seems like a total lack of vision and good judgment. Superman Returns... not super popular, however, one thing no one can argue is that Routh is Superman the way Reeve was in the 80's. And the main reason for that is he was almost a perfect recreation of Reeve's Superman, which is how everyone expects Superman to be played (at least all of us who grew up with Christopher Reeve as Superman). And as for Bale, he has breathed new life in the Dark Knight and returned it to the greatness of the 1989 Batman original film. So imagine those two power houses at the helm of the JLA.

Instead we are going to get two new faces that will be conflicting with the faces of the Batman and Superman franchises, which will be releasing along side this JLA feature. Justice League of America is being treated like just another comic book movie, when it should be the culmination of the afore mentioned franchises successes. A bringing together of two of the best known and arguably greatest comic heroes ever, to make the super over the top grandiose comic movie franchise.

I have this hope and vision for a deep and epic hero film... but I am afraid that what is coming will be cornball and forget-able.