The Boy Who Lived Gets a Movie That Rules

The script for Part 2 must be in here somewhere ...With the big Thanksgiving movies just around the corner, this week’s pretty quiet on the new-release front. Well, except for the one about the boy wizard. Shall we get into it?

“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer”: Alex Gibney’s documentary expands upon a thread dangled in his first 2010 entry, “Casino Jack and the United States of Money“, exploring the machinations of America’s financial sector to bring down the crusading (though fatally exposed) Gov. Spitzer. Susan likes it a lot.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1“: The first half of the last “Harry Potter” story finds the franchise fully matured and ready to tackle some very heavy themes. Speaking as someone who’s found most of the movies repetitive and pointless, I’m really impressed with the way David Yates has brought the series into its own as cinema. Pretty great stuff, even if you don’t know the first thing about Quidditch.

The Next Three Days“: Russell Crowe plots to spring Elizabeth Banks from prison in Paul Haggis’ slick but unnecessary remake of Fred Cavaye’s “Pour Elle”, which throws out all the ambiguity and psychological detail of the original for a more orderly moral universe where every awful thing is justified by the plot. And Liam Neeson only gets the one scene.

And don’t forget “The Light Thief” and “The People vs. George Lucas“, which opened at the Lightbox yesterday and are no great shakes, but still. New movies are new movies, right?

One thought on “The Boy Who Lived Gets a Movie That Rules”

  1. I was terribly disappointed with Client 9. The movie pulls all its punches, lets Spitzer competely off the hook for the criminality of his actions, and ultimately succumbs to abject hero worship of him in order to score political points against the other side.

    I guess since there are other people even worse than Spitzer, that must make it OK for him to knowingly and repeatedly engage in criminal activity while acting as the chief law enforcement officer and later Governor for the state of New York.

    The movie also shrugs off Spitzer’s notorious near-psychotic rages as a charming character quirk. “Yeah, I guess I can be tough sometimes. That’s politics.”

    Spitzer’s incompetence as a politician did more to harm the Liberal cause in American politics than his fiercest opponents could have ever achieved without him. Anything good he ever tried to accomplish was undone by the scandal he created, and now New York is a bigger disaster than it’s ever been.

    Basically, Spitzer handed a loaded gun to his worst enemy and then complained that it’s unfair for them to shoot him with it. Yet Gibney seems utterly blind to this. The documentary is a total PR image rehabilitation puff piece. I could feel Spitzer’s publicist and lawyer sitting just off camera, instructing Gibney on which softball questions he’d be allowed to lob.

    The more I think about it, the more upset the movie makes me. I expected a lot better from the director of the excellent Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room documentary.

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