observations from a slightly mad german-american

Monday, November 19, 2001

Being the father of an 8-year-old boy, it was a given that I'd be part of the masses flocking to see Harry Potter.

I am usually loathe to attend movies surrounded by so much hype. Hollywood has a poor history with those. Witness the mindless drivel that was The Phantom Menace, Titanic, Indepenence Day, Gladiators, etc.

Harry Potter was a refreshing change of pace.

It is certainly no masterpiece. More than anything, I would say it was "extremely competent".

But no film, especially adaptations, can match what one's imagination conjures when reading a book. So I wonder how I would feel had I not read the novels with my son.

I was pleasantly surprised by one thing: the total absence of condescension towards the audience that characterizes most Hollywood efforts.

Harry Potter is a smart film.

I don't know how much credit I'm willing to extend to Warner Brother for that. The novels are so good that all WB had to do was follow the mantra "don't mess it up".

And follow it they did. The film is strikingly faithful to the novel. Conservatism certainly ruled the day.

But what matters is the result: an effort that ought to be rewarded at the box office.

And it has been. HP has smashed all "opener" records, and appears set to take on all others.

And if it should knock "Titanic" off it's revenues pedestal, I shall be quite happy.

Box Office Alchemy (washingtonpost.com)

But it still ain't got nothing on Pulp Fiction.

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