Posts Tagged ‘harry potter’

Treading Water in the Deep End

August 22, 2013

“No, Horsie – I don’t want to hear any more songs from ‘Gypsy’…”


An Active3D Movie Review

Movie: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Rating: *½ (out of 5)

Ethnic mythology and classical history seems to be enjoying a revival in Hollywood, although the stress is on CGI spectacle above than any kind of adherence to those time-honoured tales. Thor, with his ridiculous silver hammer, is about to resurface – again – in another Marvel movie, and there are discomforting rumblings that a sequel to the overrated 300 is on the table. This Percy Jackson sequel is an uneasy patchwork of Greek mythology, contemporary college flick and teen detective thriller; and it teeters uncertainly between these genres, like a drunk that’s forgotten his name and purpose.

I was furthermore not persuaded by the interaction between the film’s many CGI critters and its real-life protagonists. Picking up on the prevalent buzz, I understand that most everybody in the industry appears to be drawing parallels with the Harry Potter franchise, so let me address that directly. Apart from a scattered, episodic script (crammed with dei ex machina) that doesn’t provide him with any support, the bland Logan Lerman, as Percy, lacks that finely measured mix of vulnerability and heroism that made Daniel Radcliffe so popular in the Harry Potter movies. And, of course, Radcliffe also had a strong ally in those googly, Lennonesque specs of his.

The 3-D depth has been cranked up by the tech team, although it stops short of endlessly shoving swords and snakes up our nostrils (not that I mind a bit of show-off gimmickry once in a while!). Finally – and here’s the movie’s only perk – I’m prepared to bet that 3-D geeks will love the opening and closing credits, which serve up some tasty stereoscopy.

Harry bows out

July 14, 2011

An Active3D Movie Review:
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2: 3-D

Rating (out of 5 stars): ****

Welcome to the movie that’s going to be paying cinema staffers their year-end bonuses, the world over. The critic-proof phenomenon that’s had audiences – yes; even staid South African ones – applauding as the end credits rise. The theatre-filling behemoth that’s had members of the public – yes; even staid South African ones! – turning up at afternoon screenings in full wizardly regalia.

There’s nothing I could do – or would want to do – that would dissuade passionate Potterites from turning up at the cinemas in their droves to see this noisy, climactic final chapter of this young wizard’s adventures.

Normally, sequels of popular movies try desperately to replicate the look-and-feel of the original film, but, to the credit of this franchise, each new episode has progressed (invariably in a darker, scarier direction). I suppose that the kudos here belong to the original books upon which they were based (and not “on” which they were based, despite that grammatical lapse in the film’s closing credits).

I’ve enjoyed spending this last decade with Daniel Radcliffe and company, although I’m not an out-and-out Potterite, so I’ve required assistance from time to time with the convoluted plot and mystical terminology. And what did I think of this concluding part? A bit too dark (visually speaking) for a 130-minute film. Otherwise; noisy and filled with action and excitement. As expected, there were a few special, quiet moments that had the fans reaching for their tissues. And let’s not forget the stellar cast of British thesps that no film without a budget this size could dream of attracting.

And the conversion to 3-D? OK, on the whole. Some dodgy moments here and there, and let’s not forget that faked 3-D is rarely the equal of stereoscopically originated material.

My favourite moments of the film lay in a brief sequence showing the trio of Radcliffe, Watson and Grint as middle-aged parents, and proving that even a supernatural education at Hogwarts can’t help one against the ravages of time. And, speaking of the passage of time, every now and then during this film I spared a nostalgic thought or two for the original Harry Potter film, with its sunny skies, flying Anglia, and raucous games of Quidditch. But that was yesterday and we were all younger dogs then and there’s nowt to be done about it, so, as the sun sets on Kings Cross Station, we bid Harry and his magical mates a fond farewell. It may have occasionally have been complicated telling a Grindlewald from a Slughorn, or figuring out whether Snape was a goodie or a baddie, but it has, on the whole, been quite an adventure!