Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

Backstory

Due to the miserable weather, we saw both the Harry Potter and Transformers films this weekend.

I was kinda disappointed with the Potter film: it seems like you need to have read the books to enjoy the films. There are just too many characters, with similar names, and huge past histories to make the film enjoyable for us non-potterarians. I just gave up caring who people were, why they running about, what that creature was, why the one-who’s-name-no-one-can-ever-remember did that, and so on. Spiderman films don’t require you to have read the comics. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was really for the 99% of the world who had a) not read the book; b) not finished the book; c) finished the book only to have forgotten the beginning. Unfortunately, Ms. Rowling seems intent on using the films as a sort of visual representation of the books. Great if you’re a fan of her writing, not so good if you prefer good books and enjoyable films.

In contrast, you really don’t need to remember the Transformers cartoon and toys to enjoy the film. It pretty much has everything you’d need on a wet Sunday afternoon: fast cars, explosions, robots, great special effects, some funny dialogue, and a reasonably cute girl. Of course, it does get slightly let down by the whole made-up-geek-speak thing and a fairly slow pace in the middle. Speaking of Die Hard 4.0, it was actually pretty good and, despite being based around hackers, didn’t have many Independance Day “let’s upload the virus to the alien mothership” moments of utter cringing. Again, it was pretty good entertainment without requiring you to have seen the previous 3 films.