Friday, November 19, 2010

Harry Potter and the Blown-Off Workday

I finished and sent off the proposal yesterday, and now I'm going to take a long Thanksgiving holiday (though I do have some medical school work to do). I celebrated by making a Target run and getting the new Josh Groban CD (I've decided to fully embrace the fact that I have a middle-aged woman's taste in music, which I've had since I was a small child, but now I've finally aged into it), then digging into my new set of Doctor Who DVDs that I had been too busy to look at, followed by a bubble bath and some reading. During some of the reading, I had the sixth Harry Potter movie playing from HBO OnDemand in the background (I have the DVD, but it's easier to pull it up OnDemand right now).

Then this morning I went to see the first morning show of the new Harry Potter movie. Yeah, I'm getting together with friends tomorrow to see it, but what's the point of working for yourself and getting a project done if you can't play hooky for a day and see the first show of the day? Since my friends happen to be gathering at my neighborhood theater, I decided to go to the theater at the mall that has digital projection, since it's rather redundant to see the movie twice at the same theater. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. In this one, the digital sound and projection were lovely, but the walls between auditoriums were apparently made of tissue because in the quieter moments (and they do a lot of letting silence speak volumes) you could hear the movie showing next door well enough to understand the dialogue. It was the same movie that started half an hour later, and I was able to track exactly where in the movie they were next door. That sort of ruined the impact of those quieter scenes. I don't recall that problem at my neighborhood theater.

As for the movie itself, no spoilers, but I liked it. I'm glad they cut it into two films because that allowed them to get the important stuff in without it feeling too rushed. I would say that you might be a little confused if you haven't read the books -- not so much this book, but the rest of the series. There were several things in this book that I was wondering how they'd deal with them, since the plot lines that set up those things had been entirely left out of the movies. I was surprised to see that they were more or less dealt with exactly as they were in the book, so the set-up came out of nowhere. Even weirder, they referred to events that didn't happen in the movies -- and I'm not just talking about things that might have happened off-screen, but where they changed the way things happened in the movies and who was present for those events. That made for a couple of weirdly unnecessary references. I may have to rewatch the fourth movie, because there's something that was in that book that I was pretty sure wasn't in that movie that gets referenced here, and it took me aback. There's also one little thing changed from the book that really bothered me because changing it struck me as falling into the category of Missing A Major Point They've Been Setting Up For Seven Books, but I suppose there's still a way it could be made a factor in the second part, so I'll let it slide for now.

Other than those nitpicks, I enjoyed it. The three main actors have really grown into those roles and you believe in their bond, and that makes everything else work well. There's some inspired casting for the "adult" roles. I'm probably still in the "squee!" phase and may be able to be more analytical after tomorrow's viewing.

While I'm in review mode, I'll need to give it another listen, but I think this Josh Groban album may become my favorite of his. With his others, I have favorite songs I've put on playlists, but I seldom listen to the entire album. This one is an album to listen to in its entirety. It's a lot more intimate and less of that "popera" bombast that his former producer seemed to like. And, weirdly enough, it almost works as a soundtrack to the book in progress. That could be because that's what's on my mind and that makes me see everything that way, but there's something about the sound that seems to fit for me and many of the songs could come from the perspective of the characters.

And now the sign is telling me to go spend the rest of the day relaxing and reading. Or baking cookies. I suddenly really desperately want cookies. That is, the sign says I do (actually, it's just telling me that there's a town hall meeting coming up, but I think that's code for "bake cookies").

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