Harry Potter and the 142 Minutes of My Life I’ll Never Get Back

I just snored my way through the third Harry Potter film. Oh the pain. At least it was shorter than the last two films. I swear Warner Bros. isn't going to get another $8.50 out of me for future instalments.

Fortunately my faith in Hollywood was saved by 20th Century Fox, as I also saw a fantastic movie this morning -- The Day After Tomorrow. I'd previously seen the film while I was in Australia, but for some reason the crowd on this side of the Pacific got a lot more laughs out of the whole illegally-crossing-into-Mexico idea. If you like a good disaster movie with lots of digital effects (or you just want to see downtown L.A. torn apart <g>) then this is for you.

The sad thing is that despite having plans to see the film with a good friend, sometimes things don't work out the way you want them to and I ended up seeing the movie alone. Kind of ironic really, since the film is about the things that people do for those they care about in a time of adversity 🙁

Troy is another great movie out at the moment, although it has little to do with The Iliad other than the fact that it has Greeks, Trojans, a misplaced queen and a wooden horse. All the major plot points have been changed to make a modern action movie out of a classic tragic poem. The film has some impressive sets, some pretty brutal battle sequences, and shows about as much of Brad Pitt as you're ever likely to see unless you happen to be Jennifer Aniston. Well worth the price of admission.

Question for the day: Why do we use the term "Trojan Horse" when it was actually built by the Greeks? "Odysseus' Horse" might be a better term.

Another great movie I saw whilst in Australia was Wondrous Oblivion -- check it out if you have it in your local area. Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a US release date yet; you may have to wait for it on video / DVD if you live here 🙁

Comments (6)

  1. Well, since you didn’t like the Harry Potter, maybe you can better appreciate the causality discussion I had based on the movie. I to didn’t enjoy the movie much and feel it worse than the first two, but the time travel actually had some scientific accuracy which is always good:


    It was called the Trojan Horse because it was supposedly a present or peace offering. Hence it was named for the people it was going to, rather not the people that built it. Hence we have a Statue of Liberty built by the French and the name holds highly more significance to us as is than would the Statue De Triumph or whatever they might have wanted to call it had they erected it in their own country.

  2. Jeff says:

    Weird, I thought this was the best Potter movie yet. A little more dark and scary and not plagued with tons of character background.

    Troy seemed like the dud to me. Yawn.

  3. Boyd says:

    For the records, the statue’s full name is "The statue of Liberty Enlightening the World." and we (french) call our smaller version of the satue "La Statue de la Liberté Eclairant le Monde" wich is a straight forward translation.


  4. Eric Lippert says:

    Let me just take this opportunity to point out that you are WRONG WRONG WRONG.

    Harry Potter 3 rocked. It was a visual delight. Best Potter yet.

    Troy… didn’t suck as bad as I feared.

    Indeed, it has little to do with the Iliad — though, to be nit-picky, the Trojan Horse wasn’t in the Iliad either. Remember, the Iliad starts with Agamemnon insulting Achilles by stealing Briseis, and ends with the funeral of Hector.

    Most of what happens after was modified from the Aeneid, which of course Virgil cribbed from various earlier mythic traditions.

    What I liked about Troy — aside from the excellend mass battle scenes — was exactly what Roger Ebert disliked about it. That is, Brad Pitt does a good job of showing us Achilles internal conflict.

    Achilles and Hector are opposites in many ways, but I think the most important and interesting in the Iliad is that Hector _accepts_ his role in society and everything that it entails, including risk of death. Achilles does not — Achilles spends the whole poem vacillating between whether his position in society is worth fighting for. (And of course, Achilles has the additional pressure of knowing that he will die if he stays.) Brad plays the conflicted hero well.

    What I disliked about it most was the complete absense of the gods. The whole structure of the Iliad as a poem depends on the war amongst the Trojans and Achaens mirroring the war amongst the gods. Putting atheistic sentiments into Achilles’ and Hector’s mouths didn’t work at all — Achilles has a personal relationship with the gods, and Hector knows perfectly well that bird omens come from Zeus. (Of course, Hector does not know that Zeus has turned against the Trojans at the request of Achilles’ mother, and therefore would be sending misleading omens.)

  5. KC Lemson says:

    Argh, if only I could get out of the house in order to watch a movie! I am dying to see Shrek 2 as well as HP III. I was bummed to hear that you didn’t like it, but the comments above make me feel better that at least it’s not a universal opinion 🙂 To be quite honest, I didn’t really *adore* the first two… I just enjoyed the retelling of the book, it’s nice to see it brought to life. Similar to how I feel about the LoTR movies.

  6. My 7 year old and I agreed that we liked the new Potter movie OK, but that (as usual) the book is much better.

    Sort of topical: one of my favorite lines from Pirates of the Caribbean is when Ragetti says:

    "Course, this is just like what the Greeks done at Troy. ‘Cept they was in a ‘orse. Instead o’ dresses. Wooden ‘orse."

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