For cable subscribers, children whose parents don't love them enough to wait in line for opening night tickets, and incurable nerds, I hereby dub this past weekend National Harry Potter Weekend. The new film was out in theaters for its second strong week, fighting its way past tough contenders like Femme Fatale and Friday After Next to rise to the top of the movie charts. The old film was on HBO. And I finally got my taste of young Harry. (i would like that comment stricken from the records, by the way.)
It has been said that children are rather difficult to direct in films. However, I think Chris Columbus had it fairly easy. He had two cards to play, asking children to alternate between reacting as if they'd just laid eyes upon the most wonderful thing they'd ever seen, and reacting as if they'd just laid eyes upon the most horrifying thing they'd ever seen. When they weren't doing either of those things, they were eating or smoking cigarettes. Easy. I think the hardest job must have been trying to get bigger and bigger reactions, based on previous ones.
"OK, now I want you to act as if you're seeing the most Splendifferiffic thing you've ever seen!"
"Remember that last scene? Well, this time you're seeing something even bigger and better. When I yell 'action', I want you to act as if you're seeing the most Magnittlefribberous thing ever!!! NO! Ron, you're giving me Wonderjistic and I really need Magnittlefribberous. Please - focus!!"
"Now my assistant is going to hand out copies of Goonies, which 'Cahiers du Cinema' once called a 'masterwork in wide-eyed takes'. I want you to study this intently, particularly Chunk's reaction to first seeing Sloth. Tomorrow's going to be a big day. We have both the introduction of the Fussy Book Case and Thideous, The Dancing Conflagration to film, so I'm going to need some Giggleblusteristic faces from all of you. Whoosh!"
That said, I liked the chocolate-covered frog.