A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 5: Posts of 2010

It's New Year's Eve, and in honor of this awesome ending to the year, here is a list of my top 5 most popular posts of this year, according to Blogger-in-dash stats. I also took the liberty to average in # of comments with number of page views since interaction is more fun. Hah! If you missed any of these, here's your chance to catch up! Hope you enjoy. See you next year! Click the titles to go to the entries.

5. Movie Review: Inception
With nearly 700 hits and a pretty hefty discussion started in the comments section, this one surprised me with how many of you were interested. And needless to say, I was glad, because it's a fantastic movie! I always love to hear what you guys have to say.

4. Dexter Season 5 Finale Discussion
Nothing on TV makes me more excited than watching what the heck will happen next on Dexter. Truly, this season was one of the most stressful yet wonderful experiences I've had while watching a show. And I finally got to watch this one in real time! Needless to say I ready to write a big frikkin' post about my thoughts on this one, and you guys were just as ready to add in your thoughts as well!

3. Discuss It: Dumbledore vs Gandalf
This wizard show down has been discussed many times before, but I was glad to bring it to my blog. With the most comments of any of my entries to date (32), this post was a blast for me to sit back and watch evolve. You guys did most of the work! Hah!

2. It's a TIE!
-HP World Entry Part 2: The Rides!
-Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
With both posts just over 1,200 views, I had to put both entries here at #2. Apparently a lot of my readers are Harry Potter fans. Love it! My trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was one of the best trips of my life, and I was so glad I could share it with whoever wanted to read about it. Also, the beginning of the end which is the newest HP movie, was a big deal for any Hp fan. I think you who viewed these entries totally understand!

1. Hollywood Suggestions: My Hunger Games Cast Suggestions
I have been continuously floored by the way this entry has taken on a life of it's own. At nearly 5,100 views, it's clear to me that this is a hot topic! Each time Id' go back to see the stats on new entries, this one was always at the top. I am excited to see what The Hunger Games movies will look like, and apparently so are a lot of you guys. Hah!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hey guys! Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays, or whatever you celebrate this season! I will be out of town for the next 5 days, so no new posts for a little while. However, as soon as I get back I will be writing a lot about year-end tallies, reviewing The Fighter (hopefully I can get to see it this weekend), and talking Awards Season!

"Happy Holidays" from my dog, Penelope.
Yes... my dog is wearing a hat, but it's not mine. It's my mom's and ... I mean... come on, it's kind of cute. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Movies With Impact

I was talking to my friend Matt, who I went to High School with, and he's now at NYU getting his masters in composing (which, on a side note, makes him perhaps the coolest person I know).  I asked him when I was explaining my idea for this entry which story or movie changed his life. He replied it wasn't a story so much as a score he heard when he was 15 years old. It was the first Harry Potter score. ...And now he's a composer! Because of that one score he heard from 10 years ago. That's power. That score shaped his future. A good friend of mine from college said once: "Lives change on a day-to-day basis, for a number of reasons: either a best friend gets married or you see a beautiful sunset. Or you read a powerful book."

I'm sure anyone who has been interested in reading my blog is probably under the same belief that stories have the power to change perspectives, change ideas, change hearts, and under the right circumstances maybe even change lives. I really wanted to have an entry where people could discuss and talk about the story that impacted them in this way. In my experience, there has been one movie that has impacted me more than any other: The Lord of the Rings.

I was a sophomore in high school when The Fellowship was released, and I was unaware what the movie was about or that it was based on a book. I never enjoyed reading before (I mostly blame the Accelerated Reading program we did in middle school), and so it wasn't important to me, anyways. However, on a church trip December of 2001, Ashlie, who is now my best friend, took me to see the first installment of The Lord of the Rings. I was so clueless when it ended that I asked, "So... do we just assume everything goes as planned?" Her and our other friend, Rachael, laughed. "No, there are two other movies!" I was intrigued. It wasn't until the next year, when The Two Towers was released, that the fire started to grow in me, and I decided that I couldn't just watch these movies. I had to go against everything I would usually do and actually READ THESE BOOKS. I couldn't wait any longer to do so. 

It was through reading this series that I discovered I could enjoy reading. No one assigned me these books. No one forced me to test over them. I picked them up on my own and read them, and found I couldn't put them down. I never imagined before that I could ever feel so attached to a book. This was the beginning of me experiencing what (I later learned) Keat's called “the holiness of the Heart’s affection and the truth of Imagination.” I began to realize that some things that are created in the mind can be more real than some actual things in our lives, and through fantasy, real-life truths can be found. A Tolkein scholar has said, "People make the comment that this type of fantasy is escapist and evading the real world, but I think that [thinking] is an evasion. [The story] is actually trying to confront something that some people would rather not confront."

This new perspective and passion for the power of literature is what lead me to want to help others realize their capacity to love reading and how it has the power to change people. In turn, this made me want to teach English, directly sending me into my profession. I decided for sure, a year later in my senior year of high school (not far after the release of the third movie), that I wanted to be an English major, and so I was. And so I became, and am now, an English teacher. With a library in my room for my students to check out books they may enjoy. (Yes, Lord of the Rings is on there!)

Also, I fell in love with the cast of this movie. They will, perhaps, always be the cast-love-of-my-life. I don't know another movie that has ever been cast so perfectly. But besides that, they also gelled so beautifully with each other behind the scenes, it was that much more fun to watch them on screen. Chemistry abounds! Watching the actor commentary and seeing pictures of them from set, hanging out, or even red carpets was just a blast because you knew they loved each other, these films, and the experience of making them as much as you did. These movies/this story changed their lives, too, and it made me feel like I was, in some way, connected to these people. Because even though our lives were changed in completely different ways, they were still changed for the same reason and by the same means. 

Ultimately, because I adored this cast like I did, I wanted to watch all the special features I could get my hands on about the making of the film. I learned about every element of film-making, from adapting and writing a script, to story boards, to casting, to making scenery, to props, to directing, and much, much more. It made me discover my love for the art of film-making and it awakened my passion and interest in everything that goes with it.

Here I am, nearly 10 years later, and I still feel the same way about this story as I did when I first started on my journey to discovering it. Each December I watch all 3 movies all in one day, and my favorite parts always make me happy or bring a tear to my eye. Rereading the books always makes me feel like I am coming home. It's the kind of love you know will last a lifetime when you can go nearly a decade and nothing has worn off or gotten old. 

What movie/story/book/score/show has had an impact on you in this way? Please tell me in the comments!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dexter Season 5 Finale Discussion

I just finished watching the Dexter season 5 finale and I am surprisingly still alive. I really had expected to die during the show tonight from some sort of heart attack, but one of the things I have learned about this show is that the build up is sometimes more frightening than the the outcome (with exception of the season 4 finale). Not all season finales can be as intense as last season, but I still thought this season, as a whole was awesome. I absolutely loved season 5. FAVORITE so far! But it may have a lot to do with the fact that this was the first season I was actually able to watch in real time. However, I think it mostly had to do with Julia Stiles. Spoilers below!

Because of Julia Stiles' character, Lumen, we were able to see a part of Dexter we had never seen, a tender, loving, and completely unfiltered lover version of Dexter. Because Lumen was broken and had the same "Dark Passenger" as Dexter, he was able to fully be himself with her, and for the first time, feel like he could connect to someone genuinely and be human. Now, my love for the character of Dexter is like that of an overprotective older sister, I think. I find myself, while watching, wanting to hold him or wanting to give him a hug, console him or comfort him. So watching Lumen finally fulfill that part of Dexter's life, allowing him to feel like he's not the only person on Earth, was so wonderful for me. That moment, when it dawns on Dexter, that she looks at him and doesn't see a monster, that she appreciates him, ALL of him, was perfect! It was so special. And the first time Dexter realizes he may love Lumen was one of the sweetest things, in my opinion.

Perhaps my favorite moment of this entire season was, well obviously, the moment that all the walls come down and Lumen reaches out to Dexter. The embrace these two share in that episode was not just one of the first touch of two lovers, but the rebirth of these two broken people. Dexter, in this moment, is finally able to be with someone who knows his entire self and still cares about him, and his reaction in this moment could not be more touching. As for Lumen, this man has been her savior and guide and now he is her refuge. It was just such a beautiful scene. They have shared a deep intimacy and trust that few couples will ever share, and that moment allowed those emotions to come to fruition.

Which brings us to the finale and how things end. With the death of Jordan Chase, Lumen's need to kill no longer exists, so she decides that she will have to leave because she knows Dexter will not be able to stop his "Dark Passenger." And therefore, once again, Dexter's need to kill will keep him from having the companionship he desires and needs. What is really heartbreaking about this scene is that Dex begs Lumen not to go. We see flashes of anger and weakness (maybe desperation) we've never seen before. Is he mad at Lumen? I was. But I believe Dexter was more angry at himself for allowing himself to believe that he could have that sweet little life, with a lady who would accept his Dark Passenger, and she could meet all his friends, and his children, and share and understand his double life. The one thing he was missing with Rita was allowing her to know him completely, and I think with Lumen, he believed he might achieve it, only to have that hope (the highest hope he'd ever allowed himself to have) crashed by the reality that Lumen is not as damaged as he is. She is healed, and she must move on.

"Don't be sorry your darkness is gone. I'll carry it for you. I'll keep it with mine."(Be still, my heart!)

With that being said, I don't believe that the feelings they have for each other are gone, and since Lumen did NOT die, there is no reason for me to believe that one day she won't show up in the show again. I really hope to see her sometime in the 6th season, even though I doubt it. They were such a beautiful pair for this short while, and now it was tied up so nicely, I doubt they could re-open it. But I really just want Dexter be happy. What was truly sad about this finale is Dexter beginning to believe the last 5 years of trying to be human and nearly succeeding, was all a lie. He almost got there with Rita, only to find her murdered because of his extra-curricular activities. Then, he felt lost, but he was reborn in meeting Lumen, only to have the same issues drive her away. Could this be the last straw that makes him believe there is no point in trying?

Hopefully, Dexter will take into consideration that for a time, a person knew his secret. For a time, a person loved him despite, and respected him for it. For a time, someone loved all of him with no reservations, and could relate with him on every level. Hopefully, that will be enough for him, until he finds a better way to fulfill that void. I think the children coming to stay with him for the summer will help. Astor being sweet at the end was certainly a nice refreshing surprise.

One of the neatest thing that this season tackled was what right and wrong means, and how it's not always black and white. In many ways, in many situations within the story lines of this show, what is right is relative. This entire show is based on that principle with how Dexter views the world, but this season, many other characters learn their own perspective of right and wrong. We finally see Deb begin to construct her thoughts on this theme, and learn that not everything can be put into one side or the other. Her choice to let the "vigilante lovers" go shows that she's beginning to become a seasoned cop, like Laguerta or Angel, who make decisions based on what their experiences in the force have shown them. Also, that decision helped to keep me from dying in my seat of panic (haha).

Dexter is SERIOUSLY one of the best shows on TV, and now I am really not sure what to do with myself until season 6 returns. However, Justin just got me all 4 seasons on DVD so I think a re-watch is in order. What were your thoughts on the season finale? Please comment and share!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Top 5: Favorite Holiday Movies

It's that time of the year! And every Christmas, I set aside time for each of the following movies. Maybe you will agree. If I leave one off that you enjoy, tell me in the comments!

This movie is probably on so many people's lists for the holidays, but it's no wonder. Maybe the most adorable role Will Ferrell has ever been in, Buddy the Elf captures the same attitude of Christmas we all had as kids. And there is nothing more fun than a clay-mation Narwhol. 

Love Actually
I absolutely ADORE this movie. I usually wait to watch it during the holidays with the friend I saw it with originally (MELISSA) to keep it special, however, I really want to watch it throughout the year, too. With as many British all-stars as you can fit into one movie, it's no wonder this movie is so entertaining, but also it has a message that is refreshing and sweet without being cheesy. Perhaps my favorite line from the movie is from the beginning: "When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around."

Muppet Christmas Carol
This story has been done SO many ways. I don't know anyone who hasn't heard or seen some sort of version of Dickens' classic story, however, of all the ones that exist, this one is the best, hands down! I get tired of this story REALLY quickly, but for some reason, no matter how many times I watch this version...  I never tired of it. I love it.

Just Friends
I've actually cheated and watched this throughout the year. But it's especially necessary to watch this one during Christmas time. This is one of the funniest Christmas movies I think I've ever seen. There are Christmas songs in this movie, that when I hear them in real life on the radio or something, I laugh out loud. It was my first brush with Ryan Reynolds and I've never looked back, haha!

Lord of the Rings
Yeah, yeah this isn't ABOUT Christmas, but whatever. When I was in high school, I couldn't wait for the next Lord of the Rings movie to come out in theaters. It was always the weekend of December 16th that they were released. Now, every single December I block an entire Saturday off and I sit down from 8:30 in the morning and watch the Extended Editions of all three Lord of the Rings until about 11 at night (if you factor in meals and bathroom break times, it can take that long). It's the BEST. I started this yearly marathon in college my sophomore year when I realized I really wanted to chill out before exams. I organized it into a campus-wide thing and one of our professors let us into the projection room so we could all watch it together on a big screen. There were usually about 25 of us and we were all in our sleeping bags and PJs all day and it was glorious. And it has been every year since. And will be every year in the future.

Now tell me your favorites in the comments! And don't forget you can "like" my blog on Facebook. Just click "like" in the Facebook box to the right!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Movie Review: Black Swan

Black Swan has finally made its way to the Metroplex, and I was lucky enough to get to see it this weekend! I've heard so many things about this movie, so I was really pumped to see it, and it didn't disappoint. I'll give a general impression of the film for anyone who hasn't seen it, spoiler free!

From the moment the poster leaked online, I knew I was going to be interested in this film. I've never seen Natalie Portman in such a light before, almost unrecognizable. When I found out that Darren Aronofsky was going to direct, I was slightly frightened because his movies are ALWAYS hard to watch. They are unapologetic and raw. I was mostly basing this conclusion on Requiem for a Dream, which, to this day, is a movie I can hardly re-watch. However, as the opening grew closer, buzz for Portman's performance grew louder, and I knew there would be no question of whether or not I would see it, even if I was scared of what might be on screen.

Some of you may have heard that it is classified as a horror movie. This, I can attest to, because even though it is a psychological thriller, there are moments I absolutely did jump because of some frightening images. Also, there is a bit of gore. I didn't know just how much feet and finger nail violence would upset me until this film. Others of you may have heard it classified as a "sexual thriller," which is a term I didn't even know existed until this weekend. As for this label I would say I not only just learned of its existence, but now fully understand its meaning. There is a lot of sexuality in this film. It's not really gratuitous as sexuality is a huge catalyst to some things Nina (Portman) does, why she does them, and why she goes through what she goes through. However, I can understand if you are sensitive about sexuality (or maybe not even sensitive, but just moderate about it) you may not enjoy this film. You cannot escape the sexuality. It is throughout the entire film, so take this into consideration before stepping into the theater. You must be prepared, to give this movie a fair chance.

As for my impression, it was amazing. It's very rare to see a movie that is so beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Plus, blood, sex, and scares don't really bother me. Natalie Portman's performance should get her an Oscar nod, at least. And Mila Kunis was nothing to sneeze at. It was easy for the audience to believe that she was either or both a playful, care-free girl or a scheming, jealous understudy. As a fan of The Texas Ballet Theater and as a person who has seen Swan Lake at least 3 times, it was a frightening look at what might be going on behind the scenes, haha.

I was impressed by how the story is very straight forward with what is going on. Nina is already losing her mind as we enter the story. There is never any question of what is real and what is in her head. It's fairly obvious. And yet getting from the beginning (where I honestly guessed how the end would go) to the actual ending, you are still shocked by what you are seeing. It's nearly perfectly done. The camera work, the lighting in every scene, spot on for the mood and tone every time. Perhaps this is Aronofsky's most complete and best film to date. (Though that's hard for me to say, as I adore The Wrestler so much.)

A+! Now bring on the Awards Season!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Discuss It: Dumbledore vs Gandalf

I am just winding down (well as much as I can, haha) from my Harry Potter high since the 7th movie was just released a few weeks ago, and usually around this time of the year I am getting pumped about my annual Lord of the Rings marathon. Because of this, a thought occurred to me and now I need your input. Yes, you, all you fantasy geeks like me who have read/watched both series.

Who would win in an epic wizard battle? Gandalf or Dumbledore?

I know this has been over and over, but I am interested to see what my readers have to say on the subject. Let's base this debate on the books for the most part, but if you have only seen the movies, that's ok, too. I just really want to see where this goes. So make your cases, pick your sides, and tell me what you think and why!


(And don't forget you can "Like" my blog on facebook now! There's a box to the right. Give it a click. :) )

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Like" my blog on Facebook.

For those of my followers on Facebook, I made a page for my blog there. If you hit the "Like" button,  I would really appreciate it. It would help me see just how many people actually read my blog regularly and it would actually make it easier for me to keep my readers updated because it would act as a mailing list. I will start posting a link to my newest entries at the page.

You may or may not have noticed that to the right of my entries, I added a "Facebook 'Like'" gadget so that anyone who visits can easily "Like" the page from here. 

Tah Dah!

So if you enjoy my blog and you plan on coming back again and again, "Like" that Facebook page! Thanks guys, you're awesome.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Photoshoot: Keira Knightley

I know this isn't really NEWS WORTHY for a lot of people... but since I can hardly handle my love for Keira Knightley and it's been forever since she's had a new photoshoot.... I have to post THIS:


Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I've seen the movie twice now, and I am still a little fuzzy on all the details I want to zoom in on... however, my feelings for the film are set. Below are the MANY reasons why I liked it, with some spoilers and a few things I didn't like...

I chose the Snape poster for this entry since he's one of my favorite characters, but is not really in the story until Part 2. Probably my favorite comment about this film came from the FugGirls over at GoFugYourself.com and it ran:

: "One of my fave things about : Snape's hair is MUCH more lustrous & voluminous now that Lord V is back. Voldy demands volumizer! - J"

My thoughts exactly, ladies!

Overall, I LOVED this movie. Having just finished re-reading the book, I was extra critical of the movie, and even so, the movie satisfied me and I was very impressed with the adaptation. I can say with no reservations, this was the best adapted of all the films so far. I kind of wish they were able to go back and split the last 3 movies, too. It seems to have helped!

One thing I loved about Part 1 is it really hit the emotions like it should. Sadness, fear, doubt uncertainty, etc. The movie opens showing how the trio is cleaning up and preparing their lives for what comes next. The most moving of all, in my opinion was watching Hermione erase her parents' memories of her existence and watching her disappear from framed pictures throughout the house.

Then, it switches to the Malfoy Manor. I thought this scene was TERRIFYING. I kept wondering how younger kids who love Harry Potter would react to it because it was so frightening even to me, a 24-year-old woman who has read and knows what to expect. I loved seeing Snape, even for a moment. Alan Rickman never disappoints. Plus, the moment where Voldemort asks for Lucius' wand was perfect. Jason Isaac plays Lucius so terrified in this scene that I actually felt badly for him. And when finally, Voldy kills Charity Burbage, I love that the first reaction shot is on Draco, and Tom Felton plays him perfectly. He does not want any part of this and he is NOT ready to be a Death Eater or to kill or even be near someone being killed. LOVED this scene. I knew we were really in for a great film after this.

Maybe one of the funniest moments for me was in the 7 Harrys scene, and this wasn't meant to be funny... but it was: Everyone comes into the house on Privet Drive and in about 10 seconds we get  a bunch of exposition that they skipped in the other movies. It's like "Hey, I'm Bill! I'm the oldest and most forgotten Weasley brother. I was bit by a werewolf! I'm married to Fluer!" and then Lupin comes in and makes a joke and Tonks is like "Hey, remember how we're married! And we're pregnant and...!" and then Mad Eye interrupts, thank God. It was PRETTY hilarious, but I am glad they included that. I bet anyone's who hasn't read the books head was spinning at that moment. It was also wonderful to see the twins again, just because they are so precious. I was actually appreciative of the change that George walked in on Harry and Ginny kissing at the Burrow, rather than Ron, because George's "Morning" was spot on hilarious!

I love the chemistry between the trio, as always. The moment they are together, it's seamless.  There is real friendship and affection as well as comedic timing. They can play off each other in both types of scenes, dramatic and funny. I guess working together in 7 movies will do that to you, but also, these kids are SO talented. I especially love watching Rupert Grint looking with puppy eyes at Emma Watson, finally giving us Hermione/Ron lovers what we've been wanting to see. And he does it SO well. It's subtle, and funny, but real and genuine. Every time there was a little nuance of their relationship growing, I got more and more excited for what's to come in Part 2.

They changed a lot having to do with Kreacher, I guess, for time. They didn't have time to show Harry mend his relationship with him, even though it proves very important in the end as Kreacher leads the house elves on a rebellion against the Death Eaters in Part 2. Instead, they insert Dobby into this part and have him help Kreacher bring back Mundungus. Because of this, Kreacher is almost completely overshadowed... which upset me because I love Kreacher. I'm one of the weird ones who isn't a big fan of Dobby in the least, so I was mostly just annoyed during this part, though I did understand why they did it. However, the tiny aside where Ron goes to shake Dobby's hand and Hermione looks on lovingly was precious. AND I really enjoyed Kreacher continuously poking at Mundungus threateningly with a small fork as though it were a wand. HILARIOUS.

The ministry scene was great. The adults they had play the kids were awesome, and Harry's even tried to walk like him. I didn't like that Harry changed back into himself before they left... though that was a weird decision, but overall it was a really great scene, albeit not my favorite. 

With that said, the scene I was really hoping to be satisfied by was the scene where Ron leaves. In the book, Hermione's reaction is what really gets me, and so I really hoped they would hit that on the head as best they could. Without conveying that emotion, it would be hard for the viewer to understand what a blow it was to their quest that Ron left. Thankfully, this scene was played out very well. The boys' argument was raw and furious as Hermione looked on helplessly. I could feel Hermione's tension and desperation as Ron asked her to choose between Harry and him, then leaves. It was in this moment that Emma had me sold on this scene, when she leaves the tent and all you can hear from her are her pleas to keep Ron there. Broke my heart! It was perfect.

They added a little scene between Harry and Hermione after Ron left where Harry comes over to her and they dance to a song on the radio. At first I was super awkward about it because I didn't know where the movie was trying to take it, and I was like "SEXUAL TENSION WHY OMG!" But, the second time I watched it, I understood it much better and saw that it was just a very sweet moment between two friends, one trying to cheer up there other. I was glad for the addition! Again, chemistry x 10000000000000. The same can be said for when Ron returns later. SO cute and funny, and perfect.Their chemistry cannot be complimented enough.

I was really thankful they cut out Harry's obnoxious obsession with the Hallows. I love Harry so much, but there are moments I want to slap him for being so irrational. He's like my precious little brother that, sometimes, I just want to shake. So it was nice in the movie to not have to deal with that. I also thought it was interesting that they didn't talk too much about Dumbledore's past and all of the doubt and anger Harry shows towards him throughout the story. They talk a bit about it, but in the book it consumes him, almost. I am sure that they are saving all the details (such as Aberforth's resentment towards his brother, the coffin-side brawl, his mother hating Muggles) for the Kings Crossing scene in Part 2. It may just be too much for them to deal with in Part 1 and have to recap in Part 2 when the answers are revealed.

It goes without saying that I loved the Godric's Hallow scene. There really is no way to capture on screen the beautiful writing JK put into it, but they did a good job anyways. And the Bathilda Bagshot part was horrifying, also. I thought it would have been a bit scarier.. but then Hermione finds a fly-infested room with blood on the walls, and that made it hit the mark. GROSS! How frightening!! It was awful in the best way.

Which brings me to the Malfoy Manor scene part 2, AKA: The Hermione Torture Scene. In the book, this scene absolutely HORRIFIED me and so I was expecting a whole lot. The first scene at Malfoy Manor delivered, the Bathilda scene delivered, so I had high hopes for this one, too. However... as awful as it was... it didn't hit the mark for me. I think Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix sitting on Hermione, holding her down as she carves into her arm was so unnerving... but then later on you see that she carved "Mudblood" into her arm and it's a teeny tiny little thing. I'm not saying that wouldn't hurt, I'm not saying that isn't a HORRIBLE thing, and I am not even saying that I didn't like that idea... I just wanted MORE overall. I wanted Ron to be more concerned, I wanted there to be more urgency overall in the dungeon, I wanted more violence upstairs, and I wanted Hermione to look a lot more beat up.

I MUST disclaim that Emma and Helena's acting in this scene was awesome and they both did GREAT. I mean, especially the second time I saw it, I was just haunted by hearing Hermione's screams and seeing her struggle. It was truly awful. I just thought she needed to be bruised, she needed to be bloodier, she needed to look like the WORST most FRIGHTENING witch in the world was TORTURING her. Because that's what was happening, but she did not look like that at all.

As for the Dobby stuff, as a stated before... I am not the biggest fan of him, and I am sorry. Therefore, all the extra lines ("Dobby only meant to maim or injure...") he got were really just unnecessary to me, though everyone else in the theater seemed to enjoy them. It just seemed like it made the scene less frightening and just... silly. It didn't match with the tone of what was supposed to be going on there. But it made the death scene hit harder, I guess, for those who haven't read. I thought that the death scene was sweet and touching, and I did feel sad then.

Does Hermione REALLY look like she's just been tortured? NO! She's gorgeous and there is no blood! Ron looks like he was more tortured than her... Pssshhh.
I was glad for how the movie ended. I thought that it was wise to skip the interrogation and save it for the beginning of Part 2. It may be a good way to review everyone on what has happened so far. And then, for the first time, David Yates does NOT gloss over the sad atmosphere of the ending and he allows the bad guy to win! Hooray, David Yates! There was no uplifting music... there was no trio looking hopefully into the sky even though someone important just died. There was exactly what was supposed to be: grief, fear, and what seemed like Voldemort winning. Then it blacks out and leaves us totally wanting more. I think I made the comment that I wanted to just sit in the seat until summer when the next one comes out, haha.

I never felt like the movie dragged. I never felt like any of the little things I disliked overshadowed anything else that was more important. There was nothing within this movie that upset me or was fundamentally wrong. This was the BEST adaptation of all the films. And maybe with a few more viewings, it will become one of my favorites. Cannot wait for Part 2! Even though I don't want Harry Potter to end... ever. Is there a way to do both?!

Friday, November 19, 2010

HP7: Verdict Pending

This is NOT a review! REPEAT: This entry is NOT a review. I am certainly going to have to see this movie another time before I feel confident in writing up what I think of it. I am just going to recount what last night was like with the HP movie release experience with my friends!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows happened last night! And I was there at midnight... well, actually EARLIER. I got to see The Deathly Hallows at a special early screening at 7:30 last night. It was slightly more expensive per person, but all proceeds went to suicide prevention AND we got to see the movie 4 and half hours early!

Starting about a week and a half ago, I started re-reading the seventh book and decided to make it last till the day of the release so I could end right where Part 1 would end. I was successful and felt pretty confident in where they decided to split it. It was the end of one quest and the beginning of another. There is closure ... etc... however, this conversation did happen between Kevin and I:

Me: I love and hate Return of the King so much.
Kevin: lol
Me: I don't want to feel that way with HP7! Those movies are usually not good enough for me to care, but I fear the 7th and 8th will be just good enough to make me miserable.

Return of the King is the movie have the most confusing relationship with because I love it as a movie, but the adaptation is wrong in so many ways! And with Harry Potter, I usually can let the bad adaptation roll off my back because the movies are never good enough to even be in the same ballpark. But the 7th looked like it might be... which is why I made that comment about RotK. Because that one is SO good but SO wrong I love it and hate it at the same time. I didn't want that for The Deathly Hallows!

As I finished out the day at school yesterday, I had a list of things I want to see in the movie and that I had hoped they would do well. They are as follows (only readers should see below as there are spoilers):

1. Dudley's civil goodbye to Harry
2. The seven Harrys
3. Bill existing in the HP movie world for once
4. Bill and Fluer's wedding (this part is so beautiful in the book, I just wanted a nice glimpse of what it would really look like!)
5. Kreacher and Harry's healed relationship
6. Sneaking into the Ministry: HEART ATTACKS ABOUND

7. Ron leaving and Hermione crying for him to stay. That part ALWAYS really affects me.
9. Godric's Hollow: When I read this part (even for the 3rd time) I wept like a small child when Harry finds his parents' graves.
10. The snake coming out of Bathilda and freaking us all the frick out!
11. Ron coming back and Hermione's reaction

12. Malfoy Manor. I wanted this to TEAR MY HEART OUT.
13. Watching the love between Ron and Hermione grow and them being adorable!

As for what I got when I saw the movie, that will come in the review!

I raced home so I could have time to eat a quick meal and then change into my costume. I had FINALLY just ordered Hogwarts robes. I've been going to HP Events since high school and I don't know why I hadn't just invested in a pair... but I finally did. And I really liked how my costume turned out! Justin, my husband, wore his Triwizard Tournament jersey and brought along Harry's wand. Yeah that's an actual artifact that we have decorating our living room. We were ready! We travelled out the The Rave theater in Hurst with Ashlie and Rocky. Ashlie had a very wizard-like ensemble put together, while Rocky was a Slytherin student! I am pretty sure we looked AWESOME. It's always fun to dress up and go to events like this, but it's especially unique to be able to do it with your spouse and your best friends and know they love it just as much as you do.

Rocky and Ash's outfit! Justin in his jersey!

When we arrived, the line for the midnight showing was already wrapped around the building. And it was cold outside, people. Thankfully, as I said, we were able to go to an early show and that line was inside. We walked in, scanning through the line looking for my friend, Meagan, and just as we thought she had gone missing, she appeared... at the FRONT of the line. Best ever! We ended up getting FABULOUS seats. Middle row, middle section, digital projection, awesomeness.

Meagan and me, and Ashlie and me getting snacks!

Harry and me!
After we got snacks, and I enjoyed my first bag of theater popcorn in ages, we all say and discussed what parts we couldn't wait to see. Because this was a special event, they had hired people to be look-alikes and pose with people in pictures. Because of my renewed red hair and my awesome Gryffindor robes, one of the workers came to me while I was sitting with my friends and asked me if I wouldn't mind posing as Ginny. It was fun, and the guy who was "Harry" was hilarious.

As the lights dimmed and it was time, I couldn't help but feel a little nervous. This was the beginning of the end, and I have forgotten what it was like to be in a world where there was no Harry Potter movies or books to look forward to. What will this new world look like after the summer, when Part 2 ends? What if this one isn't what I hope it is, and then I'm let down by the series? It was a scary thought for a bit, as I watched the trailers. Surreal, to sit there and know I was about to see the movie that has been over a decade and hundreds of millions of fans in the making. I couldn't imagine what kind of pressure the cast must have felt with all that was riding on this movie... but I will say, that as it started, a lot of my fears subsided.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie Night: Shutter Island!

The Dearings
So my husband and I have started to get together with another FABULOUS newly-engaged (Check out how awesome they are. Yup, that is their Halloween costume) couple for a monthly dinner and a movie night. This month (... we would have started earlier, but since 3 of the 4 of us are teachers, November is the earliest we had energy to do so, haha) we got together for Shutter Island on Blu Ray!

Caty and I have been friends since college, and she's just recently brought Justin into our lives. He's hilarious and fun, just like Caty, and he has a passion for media and things like that. You may have seen him over at his blog: A Media Hero. Since we all love movies, we thought it would be a fun thing to theme our dinner night to our movie choice. Since this was the first one, we didn't really go all out. However, we did stab the delicious casserole Justin made with a knife (if you've seen Shutter Island, you know it's not really about stabbing but... we couldn't shoot or drown the casserole).

Dun dun DUN!
Anyways, it's always fun to watch Shutter Island. For me it is one of my favorite films of 2010 (as can be shown in my original Shutter Island review, click!) AND who doesn't LOVE watching Leonardo Dicaprio? I mean really. But for all others present, Caty, Justin, and my hubby Justin, it was all their 2nd viewing. Those who have seen this movie know that the second viewing of this movie is a completely different experience than the first time! It was fun to see their reactions and talk about it afterward.

So what do you guys think? What should be our next movie night and theme dinner (Christmas maybe??!?!)? Since we'll have more time to think again, we can tie to movie in with the meal more easily. I am excited, and glad to have such fun friends. Holla!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deathly Hallows London Premiere

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows just premiered today in London and I have pics from the red carpet with a few fashion comments to make. And so the countdown to Thursday at midnight begins!

Our man Harry!

Daniel Radcliffe looked sharp in this black suit and his blue patterned tie. The red poppy is for Remembrance Day. He's clean-shaven and his eyes are the usual bright blue. Perhaps, that's why they chose that color tie. I may have chosen a different pattern for it, or maybe a solid blue... but overall, he looks snazzy for this premiere.

The ginger

I think Rupert Grint looks so cute here! His suit seems to fit slightly awkwardly in the shoulders... or it might just be the length of his hair, but overall I like it. The dark gray shirt looks good, but I think the tie should have been a different color to make more of an impression.

The hottie 

Um.... I kind of don't have words for this. Emma Watson has always been gorgeous, but since when has she been supermegafoxyawesomehot?! (Name that reference and you will be my favorite person!) There is so much going on with this look, and it all works together so well! The lace at the top is sexy, but not slutty. The skirt is flirty and fun and, again, a great length that flirts with crossing the line of too-short, but is a perfect balance. And her LEGS go on forever and are only complimented by those FANTASTIC pumps! Not to mention that her awesome new pixie cut is nicely balanced with long dangling earrings. A+, chick. You have become a WOMAN. 

 We love you, trio!  Cannot wait to see what you have in store for us in the final installment!! 

The tool

Tom Felton looks so good. I love that he is wearing a tan suit! It's different, it makes a statement, and it matches his coloring perfectly. He is absolutely my pick for best dressed guy on the red carpet. Way to go, Tom! You look delish. P.S. THAT blue tie? WIN.


 Look who it is, it's Chloe Moretz. She was just TOO adorable not to include in this post. I think she looks perfect. Age-appropriate, classy, and more feminine than usual. I love it. And her. 

The crazy B

Oh Helena Bonham Carter? Do true fashion rules actually apply to you? I am sure the Fashion Police on E! will tear you apart, but it's because they don't know the unspoken understanding you have with the fashion world. You're a little nuts, you're basically married to Tim Burton... and you're a totally awesome actress who plays mostly eccentric roles. Therefore, you get to be as weird as you want on the red carpet, from here to eternity. So girl, you WEAR that crazy fucshia wad of fabric like it's a dress, and tease the heck out of your hair until it's stacked a few feet in the air. Then hold a clutch encrusted with rhinestones that is shaped like a Japanese fan while standing pigeon-toed in heels that seem too normal for the rest of your ensemble. Because, babe, NO ONE does Bellatrix like you. 


And last, but NOT even a little bit least, JK Rowling, the woman who brought us all of these things from her brilliant and wonderful mind and heart. She looks so beautiful! Here hair is a gorgeous color and length, make-up done well, dress flattering and graceful. It almost looks like she is wearing the conservative more mature version of the type of dress Emma had on. I wonder what it must have been like to see here there in real life? Even better, I wonder what it must have been like to be her at this event, knowing that none of this would exist if it wasn't for her. What an overwhelming feeling it must be to know that your creation has taken on it's own life and grown to this magnitude! I am so glad it has!

Is it November 19th yet?