... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

125: Penguins, Deathly Hallows and the petty distractions

Just got back from watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, and it was good but if I’m honest I didn’t enjoy it as much as the film of the Half Blood Prince.  The changes made from the book all made perfect sense considering the necessity to condense and the transition from written to visual media, but all things considered it wasn’t quite as exciting or emotional.  The books were the exact opposite with Deathly Hallows being clearly superior of the two.  It is much more story driven and focused with all the intrigue and war manoeuvrings accumulating and culminating.  I guess because the book has been split into two films we will get all the excitement and release in the final film.  (Note to my mates:  I am about to reveal myself as more of a geek than any of you perhaps imagined.)  The opening is bound to be incredible given that Harry, Ron and Hermione are soon to break into Gringotts to steal Voldemort’s Horcrux from the LeStrange vault.  From there on in it can only get better culminating in all out wizarding war and the Battle of Hogwarts.

I think the main reason I didn’t fully enjoy watching the Deathly Hallows tonight was that the house lights in the cinema were not fully extinguished.  They remained at a low level but noticeable in the corner of my eye.  This was massively distracting and prevented me fully suspending my disbelief.  Despite Ron Weasley continually playing with his Deluminator the house lights remained on.  I seem to remember when watching the Half Blood Prince the cinema was plunged into an oppressive choking darkness making the on-screen action the entirety of experience; no stupid little glowing bulbs at the outskirts of vision.  Why the cinema wasn’t in total darkness today I do not know.  It was my first visit to Vue in Lancaster; I watched the last one at the cinema in Parrs Wood, Didsbury.  Perhaps it is some health and safety based paranoia that keeps the low lights on; perhaps it is a forgetful, lazy and inconsiderate attendant.  Either way it is amazing how such a minor detail can affect one’s perception of events.

For years and years I couldn’t eat breakfast cereal because I had once found a hair in my bowl.  The hair was a long one (not short and curly) and mixed in with the milk and cereal.  It pressed across my tongue like a cheese wire, and for years afterwards when I thought of cereal I felt the cringe of the hair against my tongue and pictured the cheese wire.
I once tried to watch March of the Penguins, an American-made ‘documentary’ with extremely high-quality camera work.  Apparently good documentaries are so rare in the USA that when they make one they have to get all self-congratulatory and stick it in the cinemas.  We here in the UK are blessed with David Attenborough and the BBC and so are used to amazing documentaries.  As a result we know how to do them; as well as amazing visuals you also need to convey important accurate information about the actual lives of the animals being shown.  The makers of March of the Penguins didn’t give a shit about factual accuracy or naturalist realism; they thought fuck it, let’s turn reality into a made up story where everything is anthropomorphic and all the little penguins are good Christians, and if you have faith you don’t need knowledge and fuck off you fucking fucks, you ruined it with your stupid little script.

There’s more examples out there somewhere but my brain is in the off position.  Night.

2 comments:

NEIL said...

Yes, it's H&S paranoia. I had the same experience at the Vue - the celing lights were left on so you couldn't see the screen properly, and as the film is visually very dark that's a real distraction. I went out and talked to a member of staff, thinking they'd just forgotten to turn the lights off, but apparently Lancaster City Council insist they leave the lights on for Health and Safety reasons. Jesus wept! Apparently we can't be trusted to sit in the dark without breaking our fucking necks. Anyway, I was told Vue management have repeatedly complained about this but to no avail. It makes me want to cry....

Kevin Bradshaw said...

Pathetic; I guess I'll have to stick to Cineworld in Parrs Wood, Manc. I know that's dark as I like it.