Tag Archives: cinema

The Making of Harry Potter: Warner Brothers Studio Tour


At last: my birthday gift to me!

I laughed.

I cried.

(Well, nearly.)

And I wandered Leavesden Studios in a daze, remembering with fondness every moment of Harry Potter mania – the seven books, the midnight release parties, the costumes, fan fiction, and hushed spoiler whispers – and the anticipation of the films that brought the magic to life.IMG_1132IMG_1065On the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, eager fans (e.g. yours truly + Marijn, my trusty comrade in arms) can revel with abandon in the literary and cinematic masterpiece of fifteen years of Harry Potter – from the 1997 publication of the Philosopher’s Stone to the box set release of all eight films.

Props, sets, costumes, interviews, pranks and quirks, production secrets and behind-the-scenes gossip – soak it all in, children of all ages. The magic lives on. IMG_1124

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Noah may be the story of a man (and his madness), but I thought the women carried this film.

Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson gracefully inserted some strong suspense into an otherwise emotionally constipated film. They developed their characters to such a degree that the viewer could connect honestly with their situations. Noah? Not so much.

Russell Crowe exudes his usual husky brawn, and his determined mental breakdown is fairly convincing, but the audience hardly sees the loving father, the respectful grandson, the mortal man grappling with spiritual confusion and human emotion. His transition to beach bum drunk seemed out of place, not within the storyline but in its portrayal. Did I simply miss the point? Of the other male characters: pretty-boy Shem lacked personality – I fault scripting and lack of screen time. Then again, Shem’s role is to be the new Adam, which requires mere existence not character. Ham, though admirably portrayed by Logan Lerman, did not fully convince me of his complicated relationship with Noah. The Watchers were an interesting Transformers-esque addition, and explained much of the ark’s otherwise implausible construction. Tubal-Cain did make a nice stock villain. I suppose.

I have the highest respect for Darren Aronofsky and have adored much of his previous work. I even enjoyed the artistic approach he took with Noah – the evolution of humanity up to its present state of chaotic decline in particular. The apocalyptic take seemed current, rather than biblical, rather than mythical.

A five of ten. Thanks primarily to the women.