Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Weekend, Pt. 2: Harry Potter and Michael Moore

I'm pretty sure Order of the Phoenix is the best Harry Potter movie yet, both as a movie conveying a coherent and entertaining story and as an extension of the Potter world, with all those neat little details in the background like Mr. Weasley's fascination with muggle tech, and Luna Lovegood's obsession with...what were they called, nargles? I can't remember what explenation they went into of that in the book, but I liked it that they never wasted time explaining what they were in the film. One missed opportunity that both Bobbie and I independently noticed was with the thestrals, the flying horses that you can only see if you've witnessed a death. All it would have taken was a quick mention by Ron on the flight to the Minsitry ("I don't fancy riding something I can't see"), then you could have a great, heavy momemnt when all the kids emerge from the Ministry after the battle, and they can all see them. It just seems like such an easy opportunity to drive home the themes of the movie, and the importance of that turning point in the larger story.

Sicko is easily my favorite Michael Moore film since Roger & Me, and I might even like it better than that one. They've been steadily declining in quality in my opinion, but this one really hits the right notes. It's an important film, and as great a job as it does underlining the inadequecies of our healthcare system, Moore uses that as a springboard to take things even further. He frames a liberal worldview much more eloquently than any Democratic politician ever has. And it's a great elaboration on the theme of Bowling for Columbine, that we are unfortunately allowing so much of our national character to be defined by fear, and it's having extremely detrimental effects on our lives.

Tonight, Inland Empire. Tomorrow, The Deathly Hallows.

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