The Harry Potter movies are an immensely popular series of films based off of J.K. Rowling's claim to Earth's presidency. Together, the 6 films thus far have brainwashed generations of children into thinking the world doesn't suck.
So I finally got around to watching the 6th installment of the gripping Harry Potter franchise that actually isn't all that gripping because everyone already knows exactly what happens, and it was hard for me not to notice how dark and gloomy it was. It was like some emo kids snuck onto the set and started passing around joints and turning up the Tool music. This is a glaring contrast to the first two movies, which blended darkness with this unique little charm that made them quite enjoyable, and yes, I am aware of how gay that sounds. That's tough for me to admit, especially considering I'd be more embarrassed if someone found a Harry Potter DVD in my closet than if someone found a big stack of fetish porn. But this new direction they've been taking since the third one just doesn't strike a chord with me. It's Harry-fucking-Potter. When it tries to be all dark and badass it just comes off like one of those kittens on youtube clawing at the screen and hissing (or Spider-Man 3, which in itself is a movie that should not be named…). It wants people to take it seriously, but you just can't, and here are some of the (most obvious) reasons why.
Quidditch is the Wizarding World's answer to soccer, football, basketball, and absolute pointlessness all rolled into one. I understand that wizards need sports too, but instead of something cool like sea parting or shooting things with wand lasers or something they instead ride around on broomsticks beating the hell out of each other for no reason, because whoever catches the little golden ball thingy wins. You know how kickers in football (the good kind), who only come to practice about 20 minutes and chill on the sideline while everyone else gets their asses beat in the game, are actually set up to win the game for the team? That's how Quidditch is. It doesn't matter how well your "beater" beats, as long as you don't totally suck and go down by 160 points, and as long as that little wuss who hasn't been involved in any of the action gets the golden thing, you win. Oh, and to reiterate, it's on broomsticks. They could've badassed it up a little and let them ride around on dragons instead. But no. Broomsticks.
Sure, son, of course you can do this instead of football.
So you're the Dark Prince of Wizardry. You're the world's ultimate badass and no one will so much as utter your name without hyperventilating. The whole world is on edge just because of you. So, one day, you come home to your wife, battered and bruise, and the conversation goes a little like this:
Voldemort's Wife: "Oh my, god! Honey, what happened?"
Voldemort: "I tried to commit mass genocide, enslave the rest of the human race, and take over humanity, both magical and not, with a shroud of everlasting darkness.
Voldemort's Wife: "Well, how did it go?"
Woldemort: "I got my ass kicked by Dumbledore. Dumbledore."
Having names like Slughorn, Dedalus Diggle, Luna Lovegood, those were all fine and dandy when the movies were still aimed at children and didn't try to go all Dark Knight on us. But now, they just sound stupid. If my name was Professor Mad Eyed Moody, I wouldn't expect anyone to seriously consider the outstanding academic potential of my class, either.
I know that wands are part of the whole Wizarding mythos, but when your wizards are going around making out and killing people, then maybe that's your indication that you should tastefully update your methods. How about like a Wii-mote or something? You know that scene in every single action movie ever made where the bad guy has a gun pointed at the good guy, getting ready to kill him, but not before mocking him and telling him how he wins? Pretty badass, right? Now replace that with a f*cking wooden stick and suddenly it doesn't seem so threatening, I don't care how good it is at streaming out laser shows. And when you give that "pointy-stick-hold-up" scene the atmosphere of a Die Hard movie, like the end of the Half-Blood Prince does, it makes it almost comical.
Personally, if I was at Hogwarts, I wouldn't have anything to do with wands. Instead, I'd be walking around with one of those lightning guns from District 9 that paints walls with human viscera. Voldemort can point his little wooden stick at me as aggressively as he wants, because if I have that lightning gun, his ass is getting fucked up. I don't care how many horcruxes he has.
Fuck. Your. Wand.
I know it's just British colloquialism, and that's fine. But when we're in the midst of an overlord attempting to annihilate every living soul on the planet and bring Hell upon the masses, the word "snogging," which comes up about 19,209,190,239,023 times in the 6th installment, takes you completely out of it and reminds you that you're watching something that was originally intended for 10-year-old outcasts. They could've used kissing, frenching, hell, even macking would've been okay. But they went with snogging, which honestly sounds more like something that happens at Smurf frat parties in those rooms with the hair tie over the knob.
Firstly, Deus Ex Machina is not just a videogame, but in a literary sense is when a solution basically just comes out of nowhere with no foreshadowing to it. The most famous example is the end of War of the Worlds, where all the Martians die, their entire plan to take over the planet thwarted, all because they forgot to pack Purell.
There's another term, though, for DXM that you may have a better understanding of: Cop out.
Oh, no, Harry needs to breath underwater, what will he do?! Ah, a magical underwater breathing thing. Brilliant! Oh no, he needs to sneak around without being seen! Does he go all Sam Fisher on everyone? Nope, an invisibility cloak. You see what I'm getting at, here?
The problem with having magic as the primary plot device in a movie or book is that magic, well, can do anything. It's kind of like that old saying, "Because God said so!" that no one uses, anymore. Whenever you have a problem, just make a potion or something for it. So why do they have any problems, whatsoever? Teenagers can make love potions but these genius professors can't make a "Banish Voldemort/Kanye West" potion and solve all the world's problems? It's like that kid who just makes up the rules as he goes along to ensure he can win.
The Time Turner. AKA J.K. Rowling flipping off fans of logic