I Have Met Two Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and They Are Named Chuck and Larry

Currently on Yahoo’s front page:

Adam Sandler: My accountant just came in his pants. I am nonetheless slightly ashamed.

Daniel Radcliffe: You’ve got to be fecking kidding me.

Melissa McEwan: I weep for the future, Shakers.

[The story says Harry may edge Chuck and Larry by weekend’s end. Let us dare to hope… BTW: I’m not much of a Potter fan, but I’ve seen all the films because Mr. Shakes is mental for the books. IMO, the new film, which we saw last night with Mama and Papa Shakes and one of my oldest friends, JWM, all of whom are also mental for the books, is the best film so far by a long shot. It’s the darkest and the most expressly political, with Voldemort’s reconstitution a pitch-perfect anthropomorphization of creeping fascism, abetted by the legislated conservatism of Professor Umbridge, who seeks to squelch anything she deems “progress just for progress’ sake.”]

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “I Have Met Two Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and They Are Named Chuck and Larry

  1. Brynn

    I’ve only read the first book, but I liked it a lot more than the movies and plan to read the others. And I agree with you, this last movie is —flaws and all–by far the best.

    What did you think about the portrayal of the aunt, uncle and cousin…?

  2. I’m not entirely sure how to feel about that whole Chuck and Larry movie… On the one hand, it’s a mainstream movie about gay marriage (or is it civil unions?), which strikes me a a good thing– we wouldn’t have seen that 10 years ago.

    On the other hand, the general premise behind it seems to be that they get married to get the “special” benefits that gay couples get– which is of course absurd since there’s nothing “special” about them, and with civil unions anyways they’re woefully inadequate much of the time.

    On the other other hand (apparently I have three hands now), I saw a clip from it on The Daily Show and it looked pretty funny. I dunno, it may be worth netflixing when the time comes. Anybody seen it already and care to comment from a progressive perspective?

  3. What did you think about the portrayal of the aunt, uncle and cousin…?

    Fat hatred-a-go-go, as per usual. Except for the auntie, of course, who is merely tacky as hell.

    Seems like all the even remotely chubby kids at Hogwart’s end up us Draco Malfoy’s toadies, too. Go figure.

  4. Brynn

    Yeah…and they had such an opportunity to do something different. The franchise is so beloved, how could it fail? Yet still they wouldn’t take any chances. Hollywood: epicenter of both fear and mediocrity. Good for Radcliffe for striking out in a totally new direction!

    Arlen, we kinda went over that topic here and here.

  5. Fat hatred-a-go-go, as per usual.

    Actually, Rowling is much worse, since she’s free to use adjectives.

  6. Doctor Jay

    When we read the book, a few years back, it was very clear that Rowlings had put her feelings about current events into the book.

    That being said, the performance of Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge was brilliant. She and the director took the material from the book and made it pop so well, and so viscerally. I don’t think we’ve seen anything quite like it since Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratchet. Arguably better, though it might well not be taken seriously, as HP is thought of as “kid stuff”.

    Also exceptional were Luna Lovegood and Alan Rickman’s Snape, who managed to foreshadow events from later books in what is usually called a highly “layered” performance.

    I’d like to know what Iain thought of the film. Many of the hard-core fans reacted with “But my favorite bits are missing or changed.”

    I have to agree though, with the treatment of the Dursleys. I think some of the other films did better in this regard, focusing a bit more on behavior than appearance. And you have to remember, Molly Weasly is fat, too.

  7. I’d like to know what Iain thought of the film.

    He also thought it was the best film by far. He commented that he thought the film was great at capturing the spirit of the book, so the left-out bits didn’t bother him.

  8. I can’t imagine Chuck and Larry’s unholy lead will last — and really, they’re opening at half of HP5’s first weekend, and the weekend ain’t over yet.

    I’m guessing it’s a fluke, caused by movie-going fundamentalists choosing the lesser of two evils — let’s see — warlocks, witches, and other servants of the devil, or a movie about two straight guys pretending to be gay and pretty much making fun of gay people while doing so . . . hmmmm . . . . what do you think, honey?

    If only they knew that Chuck and Larry were just waiting for War and Famine to show up. Oh wait, I guess War and Famine are already here.

    Take heart, though, ‘Liss, it ain’t over ’til I sing.

  9. nightshift66

    If you are accurately describing the creeping fascism/enforced conservatism in the film, that might help explain why it has gotten the worst reviews to date of any Potter film. (At least, the worst that I’ve seen.) One doesn’t make even veiled criticism of the regime without consequences.

  10. Rachel

    Oh yes, the book had a great slow building mood of paranoia, fascism, hushing-up of anyone not toeing the party line. A lot of it was lost in the movie, but it still hit the big points.

  11. Jaclyn

    It’s been Harry Potter week here … movie last Sunday, book all night Friday. All good.

  12. Did you read the review at The Village Voice? It’s surprisingly kinder and more thoughtful than I expected it to be…

    http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0729,lee,77246,20.html

  13. One thing about Umbridge’s rule that I think came off better in the book than in the movie: The innocent were punished mercilessly while the truly guilty not only went free, but were rewarded. Remind you of anyone in the real world?

    For those who complain about favorite pieces being hacked out of the book to make the screenplay; that was one of my complaints about the fourth movie, which jumps from ch. 1 of the book right to ch. 5 or 6. The thing is, I read in a review somewhere that if the usual pages/minutes-on-screen ratio is followed, Order of the Phoenix would have been over !14 hours! long. Anyway, it is a rare movie indeed that can compete with the book that spawned it.

  14. I can’t remember my favorite bits from the books by the time the movie rolls around, I quite enjoyed this HP flick (and HP7 was a satisfying conclusion, IMO.)

    My favorite movie will always be Cuaron’s whether that was 3 or 4 I can’t remember, but I loved that dreamy, magical quality the visuals had.

    The main complaint I’ve seen in reviews is that the movie is dark. Well, yes, of course, because the fascists are moving into power. That’s a pretty dark time in any story, including reality. And we have the wonderful Fred & George Weasley to lighten the mood.

  15. puellasolis

    SadButTrue makes a good point about the length of the book. For an adaptation, I thought the movie did a pretty good job of abridging the book. I don’t think it could have stood any more inclusion of book detail without falling apart, but at the same time I think I’m glad they didn’t go for the “take a few plot elements and develop them further,” since that would have left out an awful lot.

    Oh, and I found the wizard battle in the Dept. of Mysteries way cooler on screen than in the book.

    Seems like all the even remotely chubby kids at Hogwart’s end up us Draco Malfoy’s toadies, too. Go figure.

    Neville doesn’t. Then again, he’s portrayed as near-incompetent, so….

  16. and HP7 was a satisfying conclusion, IMO.)

    Yes, yes, yes. Sometimes books end the way they’re “supposed to,” and it’s horrible. Sometimes they just end the way they’re supposed to.

    I agree that Cuaron’s movie was wonderful. Goblet of Fire – the last movie – was my favorite book, but the movie was very underwhelming.

  17. My guess is that “Chuck and Larry” beat Harry Potter because lots of Potter fans stayed home to read the new book.

    I haven’t seen the new HP movie yet, but since I booked a vacation day for tomorrow (being unsure as to how fast I’d get HP7 read), I now have time to go see it at my local independent theater!

    Oh and I totally

  18. oops, angle bracket tripped me up…that should read I totally (heart) Fred and George Weasley.

  19. Neville doesn’t. Then again, he’s portrayed as near-incompetent, so….

    Although that changes starting in Goblet of Fire and by the end of Half Blood Prince, he’s really coming into his own.

    As to the stuff being cut out (and I haven’t seen the new one yet), I’ve long felt that these novels would be far more interesting as an extended serialized drama. But most novels would be, in my opinion. I think that in many cases, the best adaptations are from short stories or novellas. Less need to compromise.

  20. Neville totally wins. He wasn’t incompetent, just lacking in confidence. Not to give anything away for HPatDH, but he’s great. And his grandmother wins everything.

  21. Neville doesn’t. Then again, he’s portrayed as near-incompetent, so…

    Neville is also not particularly chubby in this movie.

  22. napthia9

    Ahhh, I feel ashamed to have seen Chuck and Larry! Luckily, I saw Harry Potter too.

    Chuck and Larry was an odd movie. I liked bits of it, but at the same time I was aware that all the jokes were old and not very original. The review linked upthread was interesting to me, but I would have to disagree and lean on the side that says this movie is kinda offensive. It’s not only that the movie is clearly marketed to straight men (and so homosexuality is consistently portrayed as icky and strictly stereotypical). The owner of the Canadian chapel where Chuck and Larry tie the knot is a very blatant, offensive Asian stereotype.

    And it’s not funny. It doesn’t do anything to or for the movie. There is absolutely no reason for it. Perhaps I, in my ignorance, am merely not identifying a comedian for whom this is a signature gimmick and who, like that lady from SNL, is guest-starring in Sandler’s new flick.
    But it’s not funny. It’s offensive. Therefore, do not spend your money on this movie. Go see Potter twice.

    (I also find it implausible that Sandler would attract that many women. There’s no way he could get a group of attractive women all at once. Period.)

    (Especially not the doctor-lady, who made it absolutely clear she thought he was a pig! Eyuugh.)

  23. drj

    stopped lurking just to agree with maurinsky– Alfonso Cuaron’s HP film , the 3rd one, was, in my opinion one of the best. The first and and fourth seemed like too much was jammed in, and jumped and skipped plot points in huge leaps. (I didn’t even want to see the second, also directed by Chris Columbus) Cuaron captured the spirit of the Prisoner of Azkaban with a dreamy, magical quality and a tight, smooth narrative. I didn’t miss any of the left out bits. And in #3 things are starting to get progressively darker.

    Looking forward to the new one, as the director, David Yates, previously worked in British TV, the sensibility of which seems light years ahead of American TV.

  24. GayAsXmas

    What isn’t mentioned above is that Potter has already been out for 10 days and made $150 million in its first five days, when Chuck and Larry will likely make about $120 million tops in its entire run. There is a BIG difference in their respective performances.

    But what is really interesting is the number for Hairspray – a big giant campy musical made $28 million in its opening weekend, which might be the biggest opening yet for a new run of musicals. Now I know a lot of people on this site are a little militant about not wanting this new version, but I saw it in a packed cinema here in London on Saturday and had an absolute blast. Its easily the most blissfully entertaining film I have seen in months – and the cast are dynamite!

  25. Arkades

    Now I know a lot of people on this site are a little militant about not wanting this new version [of Hairspray]

    I will see this remake as soon as they release a Travolta-free Special Edition. Until then, stick with the original.

  26. I agree with Vicster. I’m pretty sure the fifth movie suffered this weekend because all the Harry Potter fans were busy waiting in line for book 7 and reading it all weekend. No time for a movie!

  27. Zack

    Or maybe the new Harry Potter movie wasn’t number one because it opened a week and a half ago. The way it works these days, especially with “EVENT” movies, is that the opening weekend (in this case, opening week, since the movie started preview showings midnight Wednesday morning) is huge, and then there’s a big drop-off in profits. Potter went down `, and it will be interesting to see how much Chuck and Larry drops next weekend, ‘specially since it will be running head into the Simpsons juggernaut.

    I still prefer the third movie. By far.

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