Open Mouth, Insert Foot

Actress Helena Bonham Carter at 26th Santa Bar...

Image via Wikipedia

A few months ago, I wrote this post, regarding the BBC’s Anglophenia Blog, which hosted a poll for readers to vote on the “Fan Favorites: Man of 2011.”  There were lots of obviously sexy, typical hunks listed, but the winner was a 65-year old (who admittedly, I adore, but this is besides the point).

I ranted and raved that if a women’s poll were ever created the winner most certainly would NOT be north of 60, hell, I didn’t believe she’d be north of 30.  “Imagine if you will, what “The Women of 2011″ poll might look like.  I feel safe in assuming (making me an asshole, of course) that the final four would all be ladies under the age of 25 (certainly the youngest on the list would NEVER be 36!), who are smoking hot.  Sure, they might be smart or interesting as well, but that would be the icing on the cake.  They would have won the poll by being young and beautiful.”

Hahaha, ooommmmffff.  That’s the sound of me laughing crazily, then shoving my foot in my mouth, because the winner of the poll was Helena Bonham Carter.  HBC is 45, not conventionally hot in any way, and slightly bonkers.  Like her male winning counterpart, Alan Rickman, she’s seriously talented and has lots of admirers – obviously, she won the damn poll.  I think HBC is cute and goofy and I dig the fact that she always looks like a disheveled enchantress.  She obviously is who she is and to hell with the rest, which I greatly admire.  I’m super happy she won, even as I’m ingesting my words.

What’s even crazier is the rest of the final four:  Emma Watson (no surprise – young and gorgeous), JK Rowling, and Dame Maggie Smith (who is 76 – way older than Rickman). !!!!  So, the entire foursome either stars in, or has created Harry Potter.  And two of the final four men were death eaters, so my opinion about this whole popular man/woman business is now of the conclusion that the enormous popularity of the Boy Who Lived has most certainly had an impact on the winners of this British poll.

Helena Bonham Carter at the 2005 Toronto Inter...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ll make a new outlandish (and certainly ignored) claim and say that if there was an AMERICAN Fan Favorites Men/Women Poll, the winners would be insipid sluts.  Kim Kardashian and Kellan Lutz would probably nag the top stops, because Americans value youth and hotness, and Brits value wit and substance (and Harry Potter, of course).



My Homework Was Never Quite Like This

Hello, dear readers!  I went to New York City for the first time in my life last weekend (AHHHMAAAZZIINNNGGG, and why my sis’ has been posting for me), and I had the extreme pleasure of going to see an actual Broadway play, the new and currently-in-previews “Seminar.”

I could actually write two reviews for this play:  One being an actual discussion of the plot, acting, and writing/directing.  The second being the experience of attending.  The sounds, smells, the way everything FELT, and the huge life-gasm that happened afterwards when I got to talk to each cast member and get their autographs.  I’ll try to integrate these two pieces. 🙂

“Seminar” is a new play from Theresa Rebeck.  Not being a drama buff (despite my two years spent performing as every possible maternal character in the drama club in high school –  shout out to “Little Women” and “Father of the Bride” – and LOVING EVERY MINUTE OF IT!), I don’t follow playwrights, and had never heard of this woman before.  Turns out, she’s very well-respected and accomplished, having written many plays, received awards, and even penned some episodes of TV shows.  Oh, and she’s also from Ohio.  🙂   And let me tell you, girl can write.

The story is about a group of four young writers, all dealing with different issues, and in different stages of their careers.  They meet at one member of their group’s huge, rent-controlled apartment in NYC (a hilarious conversation regarding this particular piece of property), to participate in a private writing seminar they’ve all paid to be a part of, with the legendary writer and professor, Leonard.  Leonard rips most of them apart, sleeps with some of them, and in his way, complements and validates them, giving them the courage to continue on with their chosen paths.

My date for the night (who knew nothing about this play going in) looked at me as the curtain rose and said, “I LOVED that.”  I have to concur.  The dialogue is crisp, biting, and whip-smart.  The tone was hilarious, truthful, (sexy!) and poignant, all at once.  The cast was MARVELOUS.  I haven’t mentioned this yet but Leonard is played by the legen-wait for it-dary, god-among-men, Alan Rickman.  He’s every bit as good (and more) as you’d think, if you have a pulse or enjoy films.  There’s a bit of Severus Snape in there (he is a scathing Professor after all), but this is still a completely different character.  Leonard is a womanizer, but he’s honest.  If he tells you your story sucks, it does.  Rickman speaks every line with contempt, experience, and almost tragedy.  It feels cliche to say that he was “mesmerizing” to watch, but that’s the best description I can come up with.  When he was on stage, you couldn’t take your eyes off him.  The four young writers (who all played off Rickman with skill and force) are played by Jerry O’Connell (verrrrry funny as the pretentious up-and-comer), Lily Rabe (a standout for sure, she was wonderful as a woman who is still finding her way, alternating between not knowing if she should even be a writer at all, and knowing, without a doubt, that she can and SHOULD.  She was fantastic.), Hamish Linklater (the “Debbie Downer” of the group – conflicted and slightly depressed, terrified to even share his work with Leonard, his story arc had me almost teared up) and Hettienne Park (the sex-kitten, if you will, of the group.  She’s not afraid of who she is or what she might have to do to get ahead …. she was fresh, and funny, and adorable).

I loved the sets – they were colorful and made me feel like I was in the apartment with this fun, interesting group.  I laughed, a lot (although I must admit, not having gone for a liberal arts degree or being a professional writer, lots of jokes went over my head – the whole audience would bust up at a reference to particular writers I’ve never heard of, so I felt like an uneducated, mid-western fraud, but this was more the exception than the rule regarding the humor portrayed).  I was transfixed by the actors and their way of speaking, delivering these marvelous lines that Rebeck conjured up.  I was enamored with the intimate Golden theater (which honest to God reminded me of my high school’s theater, but I mean this in the most comforting, lovely way possible).  I was PSYCHED UP to be in New York City, at a Broadway production, sitting 10th row center.  (!)

I must interject here and just note for this story’s sake that someone’s CELL PHONE ACTUALLY RANG during a long, critical, profound soliloquy from Rickman.  To whoever didn’t turn their phone off (despite being told multiple times before the show started to SHUT IT OFF) – “I will count to three. There will not be a four.”  And I hope you ROT IN HELL.  It was embarrassing as shit, to sit in the presence of a screen/stage LEGEND, and hear your stupid fucking shitty Nokia ringer go off.  There was a low grumble heard throughout the audience, and I literally covered my face, I was so mortified.  Unsurprisingly, Rickman didn’t miss a beat.

Once the show ended, we went right outside and I planted myself in the autograph line.  I can’t believe that these actors do this, but they all did, and were so unbelievably gracious and polite.  I told each actor how much I enjoyed the show and their respective performances (I also mentioned to Lily Rabe how much I am loving her on American Horror Story, which she really seemed to appreciate!), but when Alan Rickman (who is truly my favorite actor, portrays one of my all-time favorite literary characters, and who resides on the isle of my celeb crushes (that’s right, don’t hate)) walked up to me, I blanked out.  All I could think to say was that he was my favorite actor, it was my first time in the city, and this night was amazing.  He looked me right in the eye, SMILED, and nodded approval.  I cannot fathom that this happened to me, but there it is.  (After this summer’s Loki experience, my sister pointed out that she and I each got to interact with the British villains of our dreams.  What a lovely turn of events!)  I was trying not to be a douchebag or too pushy/aggressive, because that was happening all around me.  Some gal even told him that “Like, Love Actually is like, my favorite movie EVER, but you’re my LEAST FAVORITE CHARACTER IN IT! HAHAHHAHA.”  I mean, seriously?  Rickman was kind and respectful to us all, which I consider a feat, because some people are just insane.  (I’m talking to you, lady-who-pushed-her-kid-in-front-of-him-and-snapped-a-pic-even-tho-we-were-told-we-couldn’t-take-pics-WITH-him)

I’m sorry I wrote a book on this night, but it was truly one of the standouts of my entire existence.  If you are in New York City this fall/winter/spring and feel like seeing a funny, thought-provoking, unique little story, portrayed by an actual legend and sparkling new talent, go see this play.  You will not regret it. (Said in the awe-inspiring perfection that is Alan Rickman’s voice)

– Here’s a great New York Times article about the play, and a video of a collection of scenes, in case anyone is interested.


I Hope You Choose The One That Means The Most To You

A couple of weeks ago, my co-blogger posted this gem about the differences between men and women regarding what each gender finds attractive and what they look for in a mate.  I don’t want to repeat a post, or bore anybody, but I came across something that reaffirmed my feelings on the subject (which are right on par with hers), and I’d like to elaborate on this topic.

Source -

BBC’s Anglophenia blog, which provides many nuggets of info regarding British entertainment and celebs, is currently running a poll of “Fan Favorites, the Men of 2011.”  It’s kinda like March Madness (without the easy bracket to look at, sadly), and as I type this, they’re down to the final four.

Who are these four studs, these stallions of youth and sex appeal?  Not who you’d think, I’m sure.  I need to step aside before I tell you their names and mention that a couple of these guys, I’d quickly abandon my life for to run away with, in the Lost In Translation of my dreams.  I find these guys majorly sexy, but this post is not about my personal thoughts on the appeal of these men, it’s about WOMEN OVERALL, and I think the final four is a study in the female psyche.

Drumroll, please.  The final four are:  Alan Rickman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, and David Tennant.  All four of these men are over the age of 36, and not typically “hunky” in the manner of, say, Sean Bean, or Tom Hardy (who were both beaten badly by our semi-finalists).  I also want to tell you a few of the dudes these bastions of awesomeness decimated.  Second drumroll:  Robert Pattinson (peace out, you pre-pubescent, controlling, sparkly douche), Ewan McGregor (oh, Christian, 😦 ), Liam Neeson, Christian Bale, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Simon Pegg, Jason Statham, Gerard Butler, Stephen Moyer, Matthew MacFadyen, Hugh Laurie, Henry Cavill, Daniel Craig. . . the list goes on.

Imagine if you will, what “The Women of 2011” poll might look like.  I feel safe in assuming (making me an asshole, of course) that the final four would all be ladies under the age of 25 (certainly the youngest on the list would NEVER be 36!), who are smoking hot.  Sure, they might be smart or interesting as well, but that would be the icing on the cake.  They would have won the poll by being young and beautiful.

So what do the final four men have in common???  They all give the impression of being wise, mature, witty (like they would slay you with their dry, British cleverness), slightly mysterious, slightly reserved, and are all full of substance and talent.  We women don’t care what you look like, as long as you are a worthwhile being, can make us laugh and win at Jeopardy.  I think all four of these guys fit that bill.  Oh and also, two of them are death eaters (I will never miss an opportunity to use a Harry Potter reference), and two of them have voices that will make your panties melt away – as in liquefy and evaporate.

I believe this poll ends next week, and I think Rickman will take the prize.  He’s generally adored by hordes of fans around the world (many of them women, myself included), and one of the finest actors working today.  He’s also 65.  That’s an amazing feat; I imagine that if I make it to the sixth decade of my life, the only list I’ll be on is the clipboard in my doctor’s office waiting room.  This all just supports my hypothesis that as people age, the traits and physicalities they pick up along the way are all attributes that females find alluring, and men find cumbersome.

*Whines and stomps feet at unfairness of it all*                                                                  ~Annie

**UPDATE 9/3/11** Rickman won, I called it. :)~ Also, they’ve officially begun the “woman of 2011” poll as well….

Super duper scientific study

All facts and figures are TRUE

I’ll Keep On Smiling From The Times I Had With Them – Part 5 of 5

*This contains spoilers, and is also, really, really long*

Alright, it’s here.  It’s finally happened.  And it’s over.  *sigh*  And it was … interesting.

I wanted to write this review at 3 am this morning when I burst into my house after attending a sold out, nerd-filled showing at my local favorite theater.  But I needed time to marinate.  I feel as though I need to see it a second time to fully appreciate and understand, but I like to keep things timely, if I can.

The Harry Potter series (in case you haven’t figured out if you’ve glanced through this blog) is one of my favorite things, pretty much ever.  I got into the game late (2009), even though my lil’ sis (Prof. X) was a devout believer from the start.  And now that it’s over, I feel empty.  As if there will never be anything else like this, something that captures your mind, heart, and soul so entirely,  you truly cannot fathom how you existed before you knew about this world and these people.  So um, yeah … it means a lot to me.

Coming in, I had high expectations.  Part 1 was very faithful and websites like Rotten Tomatoes had nothing but awesome buzz and tons of snippets of early, excellent reviews.  At the age of 30, one would think I’d eventually learn not to get too amped up, but I guess I’m still a 3-year-old at heart.

The film picks up right where the first left off, and then jumps right on in.  The pace is brisk, and it’s all very action/emotion-packed, but that petulant 3-year old in me is bothered by the changes that were made and things that were glossed over.  Many, many things are omitted:

  • Any explanation of why the Hufflepuff cup or Ravenclaw diadem were chosen as horcruxes, and how they came to be such objects, let alone how the kids figured out how they were going to find them, is just eliminiated.  Harry literally says something to the effect of “I have a feeling the cup is in the Lestrange’s vault, let’s go.”  No, it would not have been prudent to try to explain 100% how those things came to be, but it just felt so rushed, that the horcruxes ended up seeming quite easy to destroy, which is certainly not the case on the page.
  •  There’s no Dumbledore back story here, which breaks my heart because I thought it was so sordid and tragic, and as always it makes you understand why the character is who he is, the choices he makes.  Why mention that Dumbledore has a shady past in Part 1 if you never bring it up again?
  • Certain deaths that take place, while not explained in great detail in the book either, are literally relegated to Harry glancing over at their dead body; if I was a casual movie-goer, I’d have no goddamn clue who any of the dead were, or why I was supposed to be sad.
  • Harry never uses the Elder Wand to repair his own, he simply snaps it in half and dumps it over a cliff.  (!)
  • When he finally kills Voldy, once and for all, it’s only the two of them, no one else witnesses, and it’s like, never mentioned again.
  • The Epilogue is clunky (although to be fair, ’tis the same in the book, so I shouldn’t be bothered).
  • Harry never asks Neville to kill Nagini, he keeps bugging Hermione and Ron to do it, and they keep failing.
  • Harry never explained Snape’s true allegiance to Voldy, they just fight and blast themselves all over the castle, and the awesome scene in the trailer, where he says “because I have something to live for” is nowhere to be seen.
  • They don’t let Ron call Draco a “bastard.”  Can’t you say “bastard” in a PG-13?
  • When certain characters died, they exploded into confetti….when, in the entire saga, has this ever happened?
  • I also had problems with Voldemort himself … he honestly at this point has become a bit silly.  Many in my screening laughed when he was on-screen.  He even awkwardly “hugged” Draco.  Yes, you read that right.

Despite the tone of this post, I don’t want to vilify the film too greatly; in defense of screenwriter Steve Kloves, there probably wasn’t much way to get exposition like the story of Helga Hufflepuff’s cup in without making three movies.  The film did get some things right, one in particular, spectacularly, and I’m ready to go full bipolar and change to the happiness gear:

  • Some of the characters are finally allowed to get the screen time they’ve always deserved.  McGonagall (the marvelous Maggie Smith), who is kind of badass throughout the series, finally gets her awesome scenes on-screen, and we get to watch her duel with Snape, and cast the spell for Hogwarts to start protecting itself.  These were some of my favorite parts of the book, and while they’re a bit truncated here, they were still included, and for that I’m thankful.
  • Neville (Clive Owen-minus-fifteen-years lookalike Matthew Lewis) gets to shine as the badass that he is, fulfilling his pivotal role of chopping the shit out of Nagini.
  • And finally, Snape.  I was TERRIFIED that they’d ruin his death scene and memories, two of the most heart-wrenching, touching, and pivotal moments in the entire saga. Shockingly, most of the Prince’s Tale is included here, and it’s done marvelously.  All the credit goes to the ridiculously talented and plain EXCELLENT Alan Rickman, who hits it out of the park, conveying the pain, tragedy, unrequited love, regret, bravery, and sacrifice that his character embodies.  The death scene was sudden, shocking and violent, even though I knew it was coming.  It’s fair to say a pin drop could be heard during this stretch of the movie; almost 24 hours later, I’m still slightly stunned that the filmmakers managed to get this part so RIGHT.

The Snape-amazement kind of nulls and voids my disenchantment with the rest of the film, and I’m hoping that with another viewing, I might pick up a few more snippets that I missed the first time around, or I’ll just be in a less psyched up frame of mind, ready to see things a little differently.  Overall, I was simultaneously disappointed, and greatly entertained.  I was hoping that with two films and almost 5 hours, nothing would have been missed. However, The Deathly Hallows is an enormous, insanely complex tale, that wove together thousands of pages of plot details and character bits from ten years of story-telling; we as viewers should not expect it all to fit.  Given that it seemed to be a lackluster adaptation, but overall enjoyable film to just sit back and watch, I can’t put it at #1 in my personal ranking.  After some soul-searching, I decided it fits below Part 1.  As time goes on, this may change, but currently, this is the final ranking, and it’s with a heavy heart and choke in the back of my throat that I use the word “final.”  I know we’re all luckier for something of this magnitude to be in our lives.     

  1. Prisoner of Azkaban – the best :)
  2. Deathly Hallows, pt. 1
  3. Deathly Hallows, pt. 2
  4. Goblet of Fire
  5. Chamber of Secrets
  6. Half-Blood Prince
  7. Sorcerer’s Stone
  8. Order of the Phoenix – the worst :(


The rest:  The Trailer Test, Part 4, Part 3, Part 2.5, Part 2, Part 1

You Put A Spell On Me, I Don’t Know What To Do – Part 4 of 5

And so begins the last week before a Harry Potter movie is released, ever.  I feel comfortable commencing absolute excitement, obsession, and all-consuming sadness.  To honor the emotional roller-coaster and epic cultural event, all of my posts this week are going to revolve around the boy who lived (why yes, I get made fun of constantly).

Part 4: Ahh, Just Right                                                                                                           Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Deathly Hallows isn’t my favorite book, but it’s damn close.  Every storyline, every character, every moment, serves a purpose.  Loose ends are tied up in knots, there’s heart, deaths, tears, enough action to please even Michael Bay … I can’t imagine any series ever being wrapped up so perfectly.

Many people have expressed anger or annoyance that the book was split into two films; I for one cannot understand how anyone who has actually read the thing would feel that way.  If one film had been made, David Heyman (producer) has said himself they’d have to leave out things like Snape’s memories.  You know, the chapter that explained the crux of the ENTIRE STORY.  So leaving out explanation like that I find to be completely unacceptable.  Was Warner Bros. pumped up to make even more money?  Undoubtedly.  However, a creative and integral choice was made when they decided to go with two; it allowed them to be more faithful, explain more things, and do justice to the finale.  How is that bad, in any way?  Who possibly loses in that scenario??  Definitely not me, who gets to see an extra film.  The 5th and 6th installments left out so many plot points, to try to tie the end of the story up, and explain things, even in a “for dummies” way, REQUIRES two parts.  It could have been done, but would have been a travesty and greatly dishonored one of the most cherished, and magnificent, stories of all time.

The film looks crisp and beautiful; here, finally, David Yates’ vision finds a harmony between that level of darkness that’s only visible in a theater, and the light of being out in the real world, not solely in a gloomy castle.  I’m usually averse to wasting screen time adding bits that never would have happened on paper (the Burrow burning down in HBP, I’m talking to you) but the extras here were welcome, even pleasant.  The much-maligned “dance scene” between Harry and Hermione that totally never happened worked on-screen – it was a break from the all the heavy drama that was going down, and provided a nice showcase to see these lifelong friends actually act like it.

Honestly, one of my only complaints with this film is why they failed to explain the trace put on Voldemort’s name – in several scenes, it’s used and Death Eaters promptly arrive, with no explanation.  Although, it might get mentioned in the second part, which means I can’t file a formal complaint yet … so I guess I have no complaints.  The kids acting has never been better, there are dozens of emotional punches packed, everything looks FANTASTIC, and even clocking in at 2 hrs and 26 minutes, this puppy is BRISK.  It moves along, and you don’t want it to end.  They got everything of chief importance in there, which is truly saying something, given how little filler there is.

Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1 is a terrific adaptation of about 2/3 of the book, and as a movie, is exciting, sad, and engrossing.  Does it serve to set the stage for part 2?  OBVIOUSLY ( ;)), but what so many fail to realize, is that part 2 means nothing without the groundwork of that stage.

Current rank (verrrry curious to see how I’m going to feel Friday morning!):

  1. Prisoner of Azkaban – the best :)
  2. Deathly Hallows, pt. 1
  3. Goblet of Fire
  4. Chamber of Secrets
  5. Half-Blood Prince
  6. Sorcerer’s Stone
  7. Order of the Phoenix – the worst :(


The rest of the series:  The Trailer Test, Part 5, Part 3, Part 2.5, Part 2, Part 1

Wait Until I Come I’ll Take Your Soul – Part 3 of 5

Is the title of this post a tad dramatic?  Maybe, but in all honestly, the 5th and 6th films (two of the most important, foreboding, and enormous of the books) in the Harry Potter series were total failures on many levels, and I need to get it off my chest.  These films are like knives in my gut.

Part 3:  The Blasphemous                                                                                                                                                                  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix & Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Both of these books begin to unveil the labyrinthine truths behind everything that has ever happened in the series, and guess what?  Said truths focus on the adult characters, their pasts, their sins, and Harry begins to discover and learn facts that change him forever. This is one of my major problems with the films once David Yates took over as director – the adult characters were relegated to the background, and their storylines trimmed to, in some cases, nothingness.  For instance, Snape’s fairly prominent role in Order was somehow turned into about 4 minutes of screen time, McGonagall is almost entirely omitted, and everybody remembers what happened to her in the same book.  I’m WELL AWARE that everything on the page cannot be transferred to the screen, but since Order, it has felt like the filmmakers purposely tried to diminish these vital aspects of the story, because they just wanted to focus on the main trio, apealling to the masses of youngsters who love the franchise.

Some of my many problems with the fifth film are that it’s boring as shit, terribly paced, and overall, the story is just hacked to pieces with an ax.  SO many events of importance are omitted to the point where it’s just like, why the fuck did you even bother to make this movie?  There were ONLY two good things featured in this installment:  Umbridge (Imelda Staunton nailed the uptight, prissy terrorist), and the final, surprisingly awesome battle scene between Voldy and Dumbledore.  Someone named Michael Goldberg wrote this screenplay (this is the only film without Kloves penning the script) and this may be the most unfortunate thing to happen to the franchise.  He’s the first person who trimmed so much fat (that turned out to be lean meat), I honestly don’t know how Rowling didn’t go after this guy with weapons of mass destruction (I know, I know:  Her hands are tied when it comes to the films, and she continues to state that she loves each one).  I wondered what else Michael Goldberg had ever written and guess what I found?  He’s one of the co-writers of the current Green Lantern film, which I have not seen, but is getting decimated by critics, and the poor writing is one of the main complaints.  So, cheers to you Michael Goldberg.

In my opinion, Half Blood Prince was much gloomier than Order – shit gets BAD.   And there’s lots of meaty information divulged.  But here, inexplicably, Kloves/Yates and company have decided to make this a PG rom-com. The book’s side plot of Lavendar hearts Ron has been brought to the fore-front, and the kids hormones and teeny-bopper love issues (which were nothing of great importance in the book) are the main plot.  !   What.  In the.  FUCK.  Were they thinking?  Honesty, how can they live with themselves?  When Lavendar Brown has more screen time than Snape ( I apologize that my irrational Snape love colors all my posts, but he’s the most complex, interesting character in the books and if you can’t agree with that, go fly a kite – in a lightning storm) something’s definitely rotten in Denmark.  The filmmakers have said that this is the darkest film, blah blah blah, you know what’s dark?  The color scheme.  Everything is so grey/blue/cyan-ified, unless my house is pitch-fucking-black, I can hardly see what’s happening on the screen.  I give them credit for trying to make the thing look unique, but when I saw the 6th film in theaters (at this point still not having read a single page of any book), I remember being really angry that Dumbledore’s death was less poignant and intense than Cedric Diggory’s.  That hurts, on a cellular level.

I’m sad the prophecy was never properly explained.  I’m sad Dumbledore got the shaft; there was no funeral to honor this beloved character.  I’m pissed Snape’s memory of getting terrorized by the marauders was chopped up into little pieces like it was at the mercy of Jigsaw.  I’m sad they dropped a grenade on the Tom Riddle memories – which has done a massive disservice to the entire franchise by relegating Voldemort (who in the books is a much more Hitler-like, complex bad guy) to the one note “evil for no reason except he’s fucking evil” villain.   Hmmmppff.

All I can say is, Half-Blood Prince is paced better, and if you don’t worry about the book, it’s a decent film.  That’s why it’s a few spots higher in my personal ranking. Phoenix however, (minus Umbridge and that final action-packed ministry scene) sucks as a film, and is an abortion of an adaptation.  I wonder if Goldberg had never written that film and planted the seed into the heads of the suits that you can cut most of the book out and still make tons of money, would the following two films have contained more meat of the story?  Did the suits tell Kloves (who wrote faithful, decent adaptations before his one-film break) post-Goldberg – “cut this shit down?”???!  I found this awesome little nugget on the interwebz, and you can see that films 1, 2, and 5 have a GINORMOUS disconnect between length of film vs. length of book.  Oh wow, the ones who match up approximately are decent films (6 is not a bad movie, it’s a bad ADAPTATION), and 5 is both the longest book AND shortest movie.  That is fucking warped and ass-backwards.  I’ll never be able to get over this.  Ever.

Current rank:

  1. Prisoner of Azkaban – the best :)
  2. TBA – although you can figure it out by now 😉
  3. Goblet of Fire
  4. Chamber of Secrets
  5. Half-Blood Prince
  6. Sorcerer’s Stone
  7. Order of the Phoenix – the worst :(


The rest of the series:  The Trailer Test, Part 5, Part 4, Part 2.5, Part 2, Part 1

You Take The Breath Right Out Of Me

As promised, today’s post is dedicated to Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, which, along with HP and The Order of The Phoenix, is tied for my favorite of the Harry Potter series (books ONLY- I have yet to see any of the movies).

Deathly Hallows, for me, was so very long-anticipated that I feared it wouldn’t, that it couldn’t possibly live up to my absurdly high hopes for it.  But it shattered all expectations I had and far exceeded them.  Unlike the books that preceded it, no pages were wasted re-capping what had previously taken place.  It was nonstop action- intense, suspense-riddled action.  There were times I became so enthralled, I had to make a conscious effort to keep my eyes from darting ahead on the page.  Harry and Hermione in Bathilda Bagshot’s house, during which Nagini (Voldemort’s huge, deadly snake) erupts from the old lady’s corpse, Hermione being tortured by Bellatrix in the Malfoy’s living room, Harry, Ron & Hermione robbing the Malfoy’s vault in Gringotts and escaping by riding a DRAGON- it was almost more than I could handle.

Though I love the story itself, and the gripping way its many subplots are interwoven throughout, what impressed me the most was the impeccable character development.  This, in my opinion, is Rowling’s greatest talent.  The culmination of the slow, natural development of so many of the characters in this final book absolutely blew me away.  We always knew Hermione was smart -she studied constantly and aced all her tests- but that hex she instantly threw at Harry when they’d been discovered by some Death Eaters to make his face swell as though he’d had a bad allergic reaction, effectively disguising him against their enemies, was pure genius.  And Neville, the boy who could have been The Boy Who Lived, who gradually grew confident in his inferior abilities as a wizard, ended up vital to Voldemort’s defeat when he courageously slayed Nagini.  Professor McGonagall’s unwavering loyalty to Harry and Draco’s blatant cowardice, which we’d seen coming since the very beginning, it all came together with perfect timing.

If I had one complaint, it would be simply that Snape deserved a much more dignified end.  To be bitten by Voldemort’s snake and left to die alone is a sad, quiet death not befitting to the strong, bold character of Severus Snape.  I remember reading the end of the 6th book, HP and the Half-Blood Prince, when Harry chases after Snape upon Dumbledore’s death, eager for a fight, for vengeance.  And Snape brushes off Harry’s curses with the flick of his wand, making Harry’s best efforts look like mere child’s play.  I thought then that Snape would be a deadly enemy, or a powerful ally, however the chips might fall.  Reading his final scene felt so anti-climactic to me after all I’d come to expect of him.

I won’t comment on the epilogue other than to say that for me, it felt unnecessary.  I choose to ignore it and pretend the book ends with Harry, Hermione and Ron in the Headmaster’s office.  I need nothing else from this beloved story.