Harry Potter. The name means so much to so many. Young children cheer at the geeky magician traversing various opponents in a sporting event while flying a broom. Adult fans flock to theaters and spend hours reading giant sized books dedicated to a kid going to school to learn magic tricks. Conservatives spew disgust at the thought of their children possibly taking up an interest in dark arts all because of the fandom created by this. And then there are those who are really disinterested and yet choose to blog about it.
I am one of the people that remain indifferent to the phenomena that was created by J.K. Rowling. I heard a lot of the hype surrounding these books and thought I might pick up one and see what it was all about. While I found the novel amusing and creative it really lacked a strong plot. Harry is one of the most uninteresting fantasy protagonists since Luke Skywalker and the absence of a real villain made it kind of dull. I've been told many times that the stories get better as each book goes along, but I don't really care enough to spend hours finding out.
The first movie came out which had a lot of great qualities, mostly visual. The acting was hit and miss and the revelation of the villain was so cartoonish I was waiting for him to turn into a silent movie antagonist and twirl a mustache and yell "foiled again." I actually laughed out loud in the theatre much to the dismay of the other movie goers. I seem to do that a lot.
The second movie came out and I really don't remember much of it. I do recall it did have the most annoying special effects sequence ever which included screaming plants that added nothing to the already thin plot. Oh and they had spiders. I was confused by the fact that some big guy sent the children to see the spiders knowing full well they might be eaten, but came out of the story as a hero. Fans always tell me I should read the book to find these answers, but why the hell should I? Is it too much to ask a filmmaker to explain the holes of the story in the film itself? I guess so.
The third one then was released and I actually liked it. Granted I wasn't thrilled, but it was pretty good. They actually had a plot and they at least made it somewhat suspensful, although it would help the urgency in the picture if they made Harry somewhat likeable.
Now the fourth one is upon us and every one is gaga over "the best film in the series." Now while I am curious to see this film I do have one thing to say to it's fans:
Grow up. Don't give me that blank stare when you find out I'm not a huge fan. I'm a fan of many things such as Star Wars, Marlon Brando, Steinbeck, 49ers (who suck this year), James Dean, UFC, Hunter S Thompson, etc, and you don't find me barraging people with asinine questions as to why they don't love the things I do. Not embracing a children' book doesn't make you a lesser person nor does it mean you hate all things childlike. Oh and don't get so pissed if I make any accusation that films and literature live and die by their marketing and not by their quality and Harry Potter is an example of phenomenal promotions, excellence be damned. And yes go ahead and trash my ability to judge fine writing while you open your copy of Stephen King's/Tom Clancy's/Dean Koontz's latest novel.
By the way when I ask you what it is you like about Harry as a character why do you all stand there and have to think for so long before giving me the same answer? There's nothing wrong with being a fan or being a geek really, but stop judging me because I haven't hopped a bandwagon of entertainment that's really, in my most humble opinion, not that good. Sure it's a fun series full of whimsy and magical delight and I'm glad you all enjoy these stories, but the one's who aren't as interested in the hype are still good people and do enjoy quality entertainment.
There are many out there like me.
"I keep hearing about mutha fucking Harry Potter. Who is this muthafucker?" - Snoop Dogg