Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - reviewing the reviews

I'm sure it won't have escaped your notice that the reviews for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have started appearing now that the embargo has been lifted. It's quite heartening how good the various reviewers have been about not giving things away, but although the reviews are by and large safe, some of them may give away a little more than a person who has yet to see the plays may want to hear. So I have gone through the reviews and assessed them all for spoilers for you YEAH I EVEN WENT TO THE DAILY MAIL WEBSITE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO (and, obviously, I CANNOT recommend it). No judgement on the reviewers here (except Quentin Letts), and no spoilers in this post, just a round-up with spoiler warnings!

I have assessed the reviews on eight particular aspects, which I will list for you now and explain using an entirely non-Harry Potter example, that absolutely stunning example of mid-'90s action movies... *drum-roll* ... Con Air!

Title - it's called Con Air.
Loose premise - convicts on an aeroplane.
Premise - when a prison transport plane is hijacked by its passengers, America's most hardened criminals, it's up to former prisoner and Army Ranger Cameron Poe - on the plane on his way home to his family - to save the day.
Surprises - there's a bit where a car hilariously falls out of the sky! "On any other day, that might seem strange"!
Obvious characters - as Cameron Poe, Nicolas Cage really commits to his character choices. (He is obvious because he is on the poster.)
Less obvious characters - as Johnny 23, Danny Trejo is arguably the creepiest crim on the whole plane. (He is less obvious because you probably don't know he's in the film until he turns up.)
Production values - David Tattersall's cinematography is very good, and Mark Mancina's score very appropriate.
Homework - if you'd like to watch the film with deeper understanding, you could do some reading up on the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System before you start.

Obviously every single review mentions the title (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!) and the loose premise (a continuation of the story starting from the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) but they vary wildly with regards to the other six aspects. So... click "Read more >>" for the list of reviews? Tweet at me if any other reviews appear that I should add, or if you disagree with any of my safety assessments so I can make the necessary alterations. Also if you are SUPER spoilerphobic, then consider not reading any reviews AT ALL.

(Also also if you're a Con Air fan too, lemme know what crime you think it is Baby-O got locked up for.)


Title, loose premise, premise, surprises, obvious characters, less obvious characters, production values, homework.
Easily the most spoilery review I've read, only to be read once you've seen the plays. Refers to one character as looking a bit like Boris Johnson.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, premise, surprises, obvious characters, production values, homework.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

The Independent - Jack Shepherd
Title, loose premise, surprises, obvious characters, production values.
This one gives us a spoiler warning but it's pretty spoiler-light. Mostly a safe read, but due to a couple of milder surprise moments, I'm calling it
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Financial Times - Sarah Hemming
Title, loose premise, premise, obvious characters, less obvious characters, production values.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, obvious characters, production values.
SAFE TO READ!

Entertainment Weekly - James Hibberd
Title, loose premise, obvious characters, production values, homework.
An enjoyable read but nonetheless
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Evening Standard - Henry Hitchings
Title, loose premise, surprises, obvious characters, production values.
It's a brief review that doesn't really give away anything exceeeeept a couple of moments that came as good surprises to me when I saw it so for those moments I am declaring this one
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, premise, obvious characters, production values.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, obvious characters, production values.
They charmingly put a spoiler warning on this review, but I honestly think they'd have been okay not to.
SAFE TO READ!

Title, loose premise, premise, obvious characters, less obvious characters, homework.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, premise, surprises, obvious characters, production values.
I mean, he obviously doesn't want to spoil anything, but he sort of does. But it's such a lovely review that you should definitely read it when it's safe for you to do so. He refers to Jamie Parker as looking "like a menacing Stephen Colbert" for heaven's sake!
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, premise, obvious characters, less obvious characters.
Another Boris Johnson reference.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Hollywood Reporter - Leslie Felperin
Title, loose premise, premise, obvious characters, less obvious characters, production values.
Spoilers aside, this one is notable for a number of factual errors contained within. Can't recommend this review to anyone.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Radio Times - Kasia Delgado
Title, loose premise, premise, surprises, obvious characters, production values.
Jampacked with spoilers but written by someone who's been a fan for years so worth the read when it's safe for you.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Time Out - Andrzej Lukowski
Title, loose premise, premise, obvious characters, production values.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Daily Express - Neil Norman
Title, loose premise, surprises, obvious characters, less obvious characters, production values.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, production values.
If I were giving out prizes for the reviews that give least away, then Ian would get all the house points for his secret-keeping.
SAFE TO READ!

Title, loose premise, obvious characters, production values.
This is a really nice read actually. I like the reviews that are most clearly written by the people who've had an emotional stake in this world for years.
SAFE TO READ!

Title, loose premise, surprises, obvious characters, less obvious characters, production values.
Another one who goes into it not wanting to spoil things but then drops a few clangers.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

What's On Stage - Sarah Crompton
Title, loose premise, premise, obvious characters, less obvious characters, production values.
NOT SAFE FOR SPOILERPHOBES.

Title, loose premise, premise, surprises, obvious characters, less obvious characters, production values.
NOT SAFE FOR, LIKE, ANYONE. EVEN WHEN HE GIVES A PLAY A GOOD REVIEW HE JUST CAN'T STOP HIMSELF BEING MEAN-SPIRITED AND SMALL IN HIS WRITE UP.

1 comment:

  1. I got my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book today.
    I brought it from Amazon and they delivered it in just 2 days!
    Check it out:
    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2

    ReplyDelete