as someone who hasn't really been infected with the harry potter epidemic it might seem strange to take an ignorant step into it via "Harry Potter VI: The Teenager's Wand", or whatever this one is called; but it's not as if it's a story with very much depth and it's so built into popular culture nowadays you might as well name him Steve Jones from E4. To be honest, i'm pretty surprised the american's haven't signed a blank cheque to j.k. rowling and turned it into a 1000 episode sit-com yet.
i think i did read the first one, and got about halfway through the second, but then i discovered nude pictures of emma watson on the internet and haven't been able to concentrate on anything else since.
what suffers from wandering aimlessly into the Potter Franchise at episode 6, is that you don't actually get an entire film. instead, you get a series of events with no introduction or resolution as the production company try and squeeze all the necessary information into a mere 2-and-a-half hours. rather than it's own story arc, this is just part of a bigger plot that won't work without watching all the films back to back. by my calculations that'll end up being about 96 hours.
actually i'd quite like to do that, as aside from the central awkward boy becomes a wizard story the whole thing mainly seems to be about teenagers growing up and developing the horn. Which is a laugh on any day.
it does make sense that the evolution of adolescent libidos takes such a central role in film six as the books were written to accompany each year of a "muggle's" school life in the real world, and there is a noticeable attempt to attach some kind of social education. obviously it doesn't completely accurately echo real life.
Firstly: the whole wizard nonsense.
Secondly: if these guys existed in a real boarding school, harry would be pretty much ostracised by the rest of the school as a four-eyed teachers' pet orphan with a facial disfigurement and personality of a bag of wet dust.
hermione (who is now so pretty she juts out of the films cast like an extremely beautiful cat sitting amongst the gnarled, peg-legged pigeons of trafalgar square) would be part of the school 'in-crowd' and would spend her life pursuing heroin, threesomes and bulimia.
then of course there's the tragic ron weasely, who should consider himself lucky if his school time was filled with tears in his eyes; as he solemnly masturbated in The Locker-room of Azkharban.
putting aside the painful memories of my youth and the resulting fixation with deviant teens (plenty of websites for that already) the director does a reasonably good job, considering he probably had no choice over any of the content. in fact, to provide the viewer with hours upon hours of footage where nothing happens, yet still remaining watchable is quite a feat.
some of those kids have become quite acceptable actors as well. probably due to their childhoods being spent working with the likes of Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham-Carter. that certainly couldn't have done any harm.
and the piles of hollywood studio money poured into the whole thing - like swill into a trough - has made it all look pretty impressive too.
i may even go back and watch the previous films. even if it's just to see how many times Dumbledore says "Harry, take out your wand" ... yeah, and spray your potion over my mouth.
okay that second bit probably won't happen.