Yeah, I got yer wand right here!
Suppose, dwindling readership, that I were trying to jack up my masculine street cred. How much do you think a story like this would help me?
OK, so Cho and Harry finally kiss, right? And right then the punk starts kicking the back of my seat so I just get up and say, ‘Hey bitch! You want a piece of me? Let’s go!’ And he’s, like, ‘Yeah let’s go,’ but he just sits there and I’m, like, ‘If you want I’ll fuck you up right here in the theater, bitch!’Are you slavering over my manliness yet? Well, sorry to disappoint, but for the record, I didn’t pick a fight at the midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the Chapel Hills Mall this morning. The guys sitting to our left and in the row behind us did, however. The frat-boy photograph of the "brothers thug" at right isn't of them, but it captures their attitude. They were shouting out stupid crap before the lights went out, and after the previews were over, they started passing around a fifth of something. By the time Dumbledore’s Army had finished its first round of illicit Defense against the Dark Arts practice, these young white toughs were showing just how bad they were at holding their liquor. The women in the group seemed embarrassed when one guy finally jumped into the aisle and challenged his comrade to a fight. Some date, huh?
And here we were expecting to be surrounded by enthusiastic thirteen-year-olds in wizard costumes with parents in tow. Turns out that the crowd was mostly groups of unsupervised teenagers. A few wore bathrobes and carried light sabers, but only one lone teenager put any effort into a costume, and the crowd made him feel silly. The idiots next to us appeared to be in their early twenties, and I thought I heard one refer to himself as a college student. Hmmm.
As for the movie, Lola and I were a little disappointed. Imelda Staunton gives an inspired performance as Dolores Umbridge, but the film as a whole doesn’t establish a coherent narrative line or maintain a compelling atmosphere. If you have read the book and would enjoy seeing scenes from it rendered in film, by all means go. But if you want a film that stands on its own and conveys the emotional turmoil of Western adolescence and the pettiness of Neoliberal education policy with the book’s effectiveness, you will have to look elsewhere.