The problem with discussing a new Harry Potter film—such as the just-released Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince—is that there’s no way to win. If you’re in favour of the series, you’re an adult in arrested development reading poorly written nonsense for kids. If you think it’s poorly written nonsense for kids, you’re a heartless curmudgeon who can’t see all the hidden depth. So to be honest, we’re just going to leave it completely alone. You pretty much know if you want to see it if you’re a fan or not, right?
Far more worthy of debate is (500) Days of Summer, a Sundance success that, similar to Harry Potter, you should kind of know if you’re going to want to see or not. Take a look at the trailer, for example. If the twee imagery of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Dechanel falling in love over a shared enjoyment of the Smiths doesn’t strike you as something that would drive you insane, then there’s a good chance it’s going to be up your alley. But Jason Anderson at Eye notes that “what’s smart and appealing about (500) Days of Summer is how it undermines its own occasionally twee trappings as a romantic comedy for the Sundance set with a more complicated and less rosy take on love,” and that’s almost enough to make us reappraise our initial “eurgh.”
There’s no easy segue into The Stoning of Soraya M. In fact, we shouldn’t really be funny about it at all, but we enjoyed NOW’s Susan Cole announcing it had an “unfortunate title” because “we know what’s going to happen before we walk into the theatre, and it’s confirmed within the first 30 seconds.” So not a wacky drugs comedy, after all?
Also out this week: Séraphine, and eco-horror doc The End of the Line, out to remind us all that commercial fishing is not a very good thing for the ecology of the ocean. According to the Globe and Mail’s Liam Lacey the director “pushes too hard to make this a big-screen experience,” but one wonders what on earth must be done to make people wake up to the need for sustainable fishing (oops, exposing our politics there, a bit).