Thursday, July 14, 2011

The new Harry Potter movie

I hate to be out of touch! I always feel so inadequate when there’s a national phenomenon and I’m out of the loop. As a blogger of popular culture (not that anybody is paying me… or even asking me to be a blogger of popular culture) I do sort of feel it’s my responsibility to stay up with current trends. That’s why I watched AMERICAN IDOL (until it became too mind numbing even for me). That’s why I watched Oprah (well, maybe not “watch” per se, but I did see clips on THE SOUP). I’d watch MTV to see the hottest new bands but they don’t play music on MTV anymore (so the “M” now just stands for what, Money?). I’m familiar with video games like Bio-Shock (so I can accept compliments from people who think I’m the Ken Levine who created it). I own an iPad. The point is – I make it my business to ride zeitgeists like they were plow horses.

So it pains me to say, with the final HARRY POTTER movie coming out this week, that I am not into Harry Potter.

I tried. I read the first book and loved it. So brimming with imagination. Saw the first movie and thought they did an excellent job of translating it to film. But by nature, I’m not a big fantasy guy.

I read another Harry Potter book along the way. Enjoyed it but not as much. 700 pages is a lot of wizards and wands for me. Saw one of the other Harry movies. Same thing. Okay but didn’t grab me.

And then last year, all the hoopla about the final two installments coming out. And the emphatic declarations that this would indeed be the end of the series. The kids in the cast are now old enough to star in THE SUNSHINE BOYS.

I didn’t catch part one when it was released during the holiday season. Misreading the zeitgeist horribly, I just naturally assumed everyone was going to be flocking to BURLESQUE.

But I was curious. Not curious enough to do anything but mildly interested just the same.

And then recently my daughter Annie and her writing partner, Jonathan rented the DVD of part one and invited me to watch it with them. Perfect! I thought. I’ll be able to catch up and at the same time enjoy a rip-roaring movie.

I made it through an hour. I was so confused. And that’s with Annie & Jon trying to fill me in.  Harry and the gang fly to some house somewhere in the moors to hide from someone, but the location is not so secret that they can’t entertain guests and even have an outdoor party. And then suddenly they’re back in London at a present day coffee shop and then another old house where a creature arrives and then someone else, and then they go through a portal to another world where they have to get a locket, and then it becomes MAD MEN meet THE MATRIX, and now Harry has to wear the locket, and every so often he has dreams where he can see what evil his nemesis is doing, and… WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING??

If you’ve followed the series and are up on Harry Potter lore all of this made complete sense. Annie & Jon were having a rollicking good time. My head was about to explode.

So I won’t be seeing the new HARRY POTTER movie that opens this weekend. I feel bad about that. Not bad enough to go back and watch six movies or read 15,000 pages, but I do feel like I've been excluded from a club. And not a real exclusive club either. A club that’s easier to join than Costco.

Still, this is one worldwide craze I’m going to have sit out. Enjoy the final HARRY POTTER. I hope it lives up to all your expectations or even exceeds them. And don’t worry about me. I’ll be in the theater next door, hedging my bet just in case there will be a BAD TEACHER 2-9.

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