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Friday, June 04, 2004

I know that everyone looks forward to friday, and now there is one more reason.


I can't speak for our readers (do we have any?) but I know that all of the six conservative guys either (a) have kids or (b) are nerds. In many cases, it is both -- so there might be some interest. Of course, I am sure Tom has this on his personal "banned books" list due to the fact that the storyline glorifies witchcraft.

I know everyone is saying it is the best Harry Potter movie yet, but frankly, that is like saying it is the best chicken wing you have had outside of Buffalo. They remind you of something very, very good, but they aren't actually very good themselves.

I am a huge fan of the books -- we have been reading them to the kids at bedtime for the better part of a year and are now halfway through book 5. The books are great. The movies, on the other hand, have been a disappointment.

What sucked about it?
In an effort to streamline the film -- the book was really, really long -- they spend very little time letting the story itself play out. Everything that explains the context of what is going on seems, well, rushed -- like an effort to get the plot out there so we can move on to the cool effects.

The new director decided to put his own spin on this one, so he completely changed the look of Hogwarts grounds, putting it on a craggy mountain rather than the flat English countryside of the earlier movies. This was distracting and not at all as anyone reading the books would picture it. To top it off, he puts the kids in regular clothes for much of the movie, even when they are at Hogwarts. It makes it feel like they are taking a break on the set to interview with the Today show.

The other big problem is Dumbledore. Yes, the other guy died, so this was going to be difficult. The problem wasn't with the actor, though. He did fine. The problem was with the way his part was written -- making Dumbledore seem a bit dimwitted and silly. Yes, he has a wry sense of humor. But he is also a powerful, bad-a** wizard, as the later books make very, very clear. This guy plays the part of a fool, rather than a wise wizard -- and I blame the director for that.

The one reason the third movie is better than the others is that they don't waste our time with lots of phony looking Quiddich matches. The Lupin/Werewolf scenes are very cool too. The dementors are well done too.


Caught a few minutes of a story on the president's visit to Normandy this weekend. I thought it was interesting on the same day that the CBS poll showed the President whipping John Kerry on the veteran's vote, the NBC reporter could only find veterans who were critical of the President. I have no problem showing a veteran who is critical, the problem is, lots of veterans are strong supporters of the President. Either they are deliberately not showing positive comments or they are skewing their questions so as to elicit negative answers suitable for television.

Of course, recent comments by former NYT editor Raines and Mike Wallace at 60 minutes make it clear that there is no room for balance in the big newsrooms. The good news is that they aren't even hiding their hatred for Republicans anymore. The bad news is, this won't be the scandal it should be since the mainstream media refuses to focus much, if any attention on it.

Think about it: The New York Times editor who guided the paper through two years of blistering attacks on the Bush administration reveals that he thinks Republicans are crooked and greedy and the voters are too stupid to be trusted, then recommends that Kerry use disinformation to fool people into believing he won't govern as a liberal.

The media response: cue crickets.

Now imagine the firestorm if the head of Fox News had said something similar, from a conservative perspective.

You gotta shake your head and wonder.

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