As may have been somewhat apparent from past blog postings, I'm a little bit of a Harry Potter fan. However, I still haven't been to see the latest movie
and I'm really really hoping this one stays in theaters
longer than Serenity did (Scifi channel screwed that one up for me by
showing all the Firefly episodes ending the week after Serenity stopped showing anywhere). The problem? My kids have DontLetDaddyWatchHarryPotteritis :(
Opening weekend L. (#2) was coughing so badly he was choking
himself. Thanksgiving weekend A. (#1) spiked a 104 fever and ended up
at the E.R. where she was diagnosed with the beginnings of pneumonia
and put on a nebulizer which, no kidding, makes her act like a junkie.
And this weekend - when I swore come hell or high water I was
going to see it - L. is wheezing, was at the doctor today, has been put
on the nebulizer too (he's not acting like a junkie, yet, but we'll
see) and had a fever when he went to bed.
To cap it all off, my poor, longsuffering wife who has been doing a stellar job of taking care of both of these poor dears against impossible odds is now sick herself.
Don't get me wrong, I'd do anything for my wife and kids, I feel awful watching
them suffer and I want more than anything else to take care of them and
make them feel better. But there's still that little bit of me that's
saying "why oh why did they have to choose these three weekends?"
I'm particularly excited to see this particular movie, more than the
preceding three, because this is the best and perhaps only chance for
one of the HP movies to be better than the book. Goblet
is my least favorite of the series in books (warning: mild adult
humor in footnote) because of the big huge gaping plot hole, and one of
the advantages of the fact that so much has to be chopped out to make a
movie is that it's much easier to gloss over little details like, say,
whether there's any plausible reason for the bad guy to act as he does.
Out of fear of spoilers I haven't followed the fan reaction to this
movie very closely yet but I get the impression it's pretty positive -
more so even than to Azkaban which was light years above the
first two travesties. It seems like they've finally got the idea that
(a) this isn't a series for little kids (b) it can be more than 90
minutes long, and (c) Ron isn't just the Hogwarts incarnation of
Macaulay Culkin's "Home Alone" face.
To be fair, there's a chance that Phoenix could turn out to be a better movie than the book too, because Phoenix the book
is a better movie than it is a book! If the directors can recognize
that the essence of the story is the looming, menacing, horrible wrongness
of everything, and find an appropriately movie-ish way of conveying
that (the book does a good job, but it's something that's simply harder
to get across in words than in images) it could be a real triumph of a
movie. Then again, it could go horribly, disastrously wrong, too. It
looks like they may have done a good job on Goblet (I'll let you know when I (eventually) do see it) but Goblet is an easy task compared toPhoenix.
 A least favorite Harry Potter book is like a least
favorite time of day to have sex: still way better than not getting
laid at all!