Monday, November 22, 2010

Saying goodbye to Harry: Part 1

As a huge fan of the books let me say, you have to extricate yourself from them to enjoy these films.

I got the chance to go with some friends from work to see the latest installment of this behemoth of a film franchise. It was hilarious to take a step back and listen to the resulting "round table" discussion that took place immediately thereafter in the theater lobby. The scrutiny of the loyalty to the book, the quality of the visual fx, whether or not Shawn White (sitting behind us) enjoyed the movie. Let me say when you work in the art of film industry, especial as vfx artists you are the rock stars of the nerds, and we showed it. I digress.

The story of the film was, well, previously known (thanks obviously to the books). That said, I did enjoy it very much. I felt breathless at times as we ran through the story with reckless abandon, much of which is to expected when trying to take a book of 784 pages to celluloid. But overall, it was wonderful to see something akin to what I had imagined in my reader's mind played out before my eyes.

Now to nerd out a bit. The visual effects were ranging from good to incredible. I was particularly impressed with Kreacher. His flesh seemed so tangible and human like, a quality which is extremely difficult in cg. That said, on sequence ruined the movie for me. Early on in the film there is a sequence which consists or Ron and Harry talking outside the Weasley home. It was obviously filmed on a sound stage and the backgrounds were extended using the "magic of computers." But in a few shots the green screen work was so bad, akin to that of a first year cg student, that the rest of the film I couldn't help but watch for more cg offenses.

In conclusion, the film was adventurous and fun. If you want a celluloid version of the books, this is not it. As for an adaptation, it was very enjoyable.