Category: movies



Because my first impressions can be wrong sometimes, mmmkay?

I will be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the series when I first heard of it around a year ago. There’s a not-too-exciting review of both the book and the movie on this very blog. But I went to watch Catching Fire with some friends earlier tonight, and I have to say I changed my mind…about the movies only! My biggest issue with this series is that it’s probably the only one I know of where the movies are actually better than the books. The prose just doesn’t hold my attention, but all that means is I won’t ruin how much I enjoyed this movie by reading the book.

Jennifer Lawrence’s acting truly surprised me – even though she’s won an Oscar, I wasn’t expecting her to be so good! Everything right down to the tears seemed genuine enough that it left me wondering if she was really crying. I’m still in awe of how she can express changing emotions so clearly (or appear so stony, as called for) without moving anything but her face. I LOVE her now and I think she did a fantastic job.

Everyone else played their roles to their best effect too, and the action sequences and special effects made me cringe so hard in my seat a couple of times. Despite the storyline being so similar to Hunger Games, I didn’t find it predictable or stale. But I have to say, the costumes were the best part. The burning wedding gown can be seen as superficial showing off or deeply symbolic depending on individual interpretation, but it is a true artistic accomplishment. Personally, I didn’t even have to read the book to understand the statement it makes – the dress it turns into recalls the simplicity of just before the Reaping in the previous Hunger Games, and the addition of wings represents the liberation Panem is going after. To me, the fire represents the rebellion taking place.

The idea of rebellion in this series is really what gets its target audience hooked. So many teenagers are going through that phase in their everyday lives, and every one of them will feel a certain sense of solidarity when they see it put on screen. That’s why it’s a little disturbing how violent and gory the film is, but on the other hand, our particular generation is pretty much exposed to that all day long as it is. I know a lot of viewers (especially the older ones) have an issue with the seemingly purposeless violence going on, and I won’t pretend that’s not warranted. At the same time, the kids watching this are the same ones who already live in a nation where a mind-blowing number of real-life, well-publicized mass shootings occur within one year, so I don’t think there’s too much more damage to be done.

All in all, Catching Fire was an amazing movie all around – graphics, costumes, acting, the whole package. The storyline hasn’t been particularly meaningful so far, but it’s still definitely worth a watch – maybe even worth an Oscar – for its other merits.

 

Harry Potter Fact #209


Omg…and to think I’ve considered Ron and Hermione a done deal since the 3rd book…

Harry Potter Month is back!


Ok, yes. I’ve been gone for a while (again). But fear not! September was Harry Potter Month last year on my blog, and I’m doing it again. I may intersperse other things in there (being that *ahem* I’m running out of material), but it’s happening. I KNOW there are more fans on WordPress, show yourselves!

Harry Potter Fact #83


🙂 Perfect.


That’s cheating, I know…but I couldn’t choose between them. It’s not meant as a diss to Imelda Staunton’s Umbridge or the written portrayal of Barty Crouch Jr. They’re both wonderfully despicable.

Look at that. David Tennant’s face could become a meme right there. He was amazing in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. That’s a really important book in the series and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie kind of disappointed me, so when I went to watch the movie I was nervous about how well the story would be represented on screen. This was the period when directors were being switched around and things looked as unsteady as possible for a film series that has never changed the three main actors, but David Tennant did not disappoint. His whole story is morbidly fascinating, made only more so by his being one of the Death Eaters who tortured Neville’s parents into madness, and he conveys the qualities of his character perfectly on screen. It’s a fairly difficult task given how many little details from the book were left out.


On to Umbridge…to be frank, I think she was way scarier in the books than in the movies for some reason. She didn’t end up looking as unpleasant as I was hoping (although the abundance of pink did help her get there) and I was particularly upset that the teacher inspections and fights with McGonagall were either cut out or nowhere near as intense as I expected. From my perspective, those were a key part of her character because that’s how her evil was articulated in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Imelda Staunton didn’t really take risks with the character like David Tennant did (quick tidbit: the tongue thing was actually an improvisation on his part and not in the script…genius). I don’t mean to compare them as actors rather than characters, but when you’re talking about a beloved book that became an equally beloved movie, it’s hard not to. In the books, she gets under everyone’s skin and makes students and teachers alike hate her so much that she kind of becomes a unifying force among those who might not otherwise even speak to each other. The obvious example is the formation of Dumbledore’s Army, which teaches Harry such an important lesson (that he doesn’t have to do everything alone, even if he is the Chosen One) and is so incredibly important to his ultimate triumph. Not gonna lie, though, I kinda wish we’d gotten to see the bitch dying at the end of Deathly Hallows 2.

So, do you agree? Disagree? Have a different villain in mind entirely?

A/N: Yes, I am aware that September aka Harry Potter Month has ended. However, I did such a pathetic job of it that I feel like it’s physically impossible for me to call it quits yet. I have some awesome posts lined up for the grand finale, and I’m gonna get them out of my drafts queue. So I’ll extend HP Month to the end of October, but that’s it. I’ll probably still do some HP posts after that, but it’ll be back to business as usual for the most part.

Harry Potter Fact #242



A lot of people I know say this one might be their least favorite book because of how angsty and moody Harry is (and also because of who dies at the end). It’s true, his character really does get darker in this book and we discover some of his imperfections. It’s hard to relate to for younger kids, but for me, it came out at the perfect time. I’m one of the lucky ones who was the same age as Harry when all the later books were released, and 15 was not a good time for me. It was kinda nice thinking about his troubles for a bit.

I also love the glimpses of the previous generation we get in this book…not to mention Dumbledore’s Army. Bad. Ass. To top it off, Order of the Phoenix contains my favorite Potter villain. I enjoy loathing Dolores Umbridge almost more than Lord Voldemort because as the series goes on, she becomes proof that bureaucracy, when corrupt, can be its own class of evil. She institutionalizes everything that Harry fights against, and he still finds a way to get around it. The way J.K. Rowling writes about abandonment and anxiety just makes his courage that much more admirable.

Plus, this is the book where Fred and George Weasley make their grand exit from Hogwarts, which is without a doubt one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. I can’t even count how many times I dreamed about sticking it to the teachers/admin and walking out of school when I was 15. To see it done so creatively and described in such vivid detail always makes me smile. That scene translated beautifully onto the silver screen, too. I went to the midnight premiere when the movie came out and the entire theater was cheering!

I like seeing Harry’s darker side in this book…it prevents his character from falling into the stereotype of the perfect hero who everyone loves. I can’t think of many other novels in which the writer makes the negative perception of the protagonist this believable. I’ll admit, there were some points at which I didn’t really like Harry myself, but I think it’s needed in order to stop him from ending the series looking like a saint.

For me, this book is the one that has the perfect blend of humor, dark themes, and run-of-the-mill teenage worries. The later ones start to reflect deeper political and social issues more, which I love, but can’t always connect with the same way.

Harry Potter Fact #126


I never even thought about this…he loves her so much 😦 I hope they’re together in the afterlife. Also, Chosen One or not, Neville is still a badass.


So, HP Month kinda got put on hold. I’m sorry, I really am. I love Mr. Pottah so so much and reliving the series is lots of fun for me, but life got dramatically crazier than normal for me after Labor Day. Now I get to wonder in amazement at how far I’ve fallen behind in school within the first two weeks of classes, and find myself a new place to live before the end of the weekend, all while learning the ropes of a new job. And that means HP Month needs to freeze for a hot minute.

In short, I’m in an unpleasant and sticky place right now….I’d like nothing more than to escape into Harry’s head for a good long while, but as I can’t, I decided to procrastinate for 10 minutes by writing a blog post for you wonderful people. I hope you’re having a  better week than I am.

Anyway, Harry Potter Month will recommence as soon as I can. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day/evening/whatever it is in your part of the world!

Harry Potter Fact #174


 

Hahahah! It’s so fitting that Fred and George would be the ones to do this. Excuse me while I go read Sorcerer’s Stone again and laugh my ass off.