Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Prop on Potter (and Flyboys)

I just saw Flyboys. I'm glad they made a WWI fighter pilot movie, but I wish they'd have been just a little more historically accurate. For instance, all the Germans are flying Red Triplanes. I'm pretty sure Red was rare if not unique to Baron Von Richtoffen. I caught a few other things out of place, but it was enjoyable. I was going to rip it up for historical inaccuracy, but there are already enough sites that have done that. This site is VERY specific.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – I watched this two days ago. I didn't put any spoilers in it so don't worry.

Well, they did at least one thing very right. In the book, I feel that Harry whines throughout. I just felt like slapping him in the book. In the movie it is better balanced and is shown less as whining and more as frustration. I really appreciated that.

Three things really struck me.

The actors are too old for their parts. I think that's been said other places before ad nauseaum, but unfortunately it's true. My remedy would be to skip the sixth movie and jump right into the seventh. I think the sixth movie will be anticlimactic after all is revealed in the seventh book anyway. All the suspense and good storytelling (finally) will have paid off already.

The second thing is that there are scenes where some of the actors don't have lines. Jenny [EDIT: Ginny] Weasley goes through the entire movie and the only things she says are her spells and curses. It looks to me like the director felt that we all needed to see those characters, we wanted to see them, but there just wasn't enough time in the film for their storylines. I don't know enough about filmmaking to give an answer, but I can see if it is wrong and this was wrong.

They left out some small, but I thought important points. I am not a dyed in the wool fanatic and I don't have all the books memorized. I read that book so long ago that I forgot what happens in it and I get things mixed up between the books, so you know that if I spot an omission it was probably something memorable. The biggest one of these is when Harry gets into Snape's thoughts and sees his father teasing and bullying Snape when they were both in school. What they don't show is how Lilly, Harry's mom, saves Snape. I think they should have left that in.

That said, I enjoyed it, especially since the tickets were a gift (my opinion is that Jo Rowlings has enough of her own money and I'm not going to give her any more of mine). It had some really great wizard battles and some pump your fists kind of scenes. I recommend it (especially if you can get it for free).

Now I am going to make public my opinions on the seventh book. Mark these down and note the date:

1. The seventh book will be the LAST of the Harry Potter books. I do not think it will be the last book set in that universe, but I think that if J.K Rowlings decides it is the last book there is no force in the world that can change her mind, but I also think that she loves that universe (or world if you will) too much to leave it.

2. Snape is a Dumbledore man. That's right, no quibbling about it, no reservations. Snape is a Dumbledore man. I don't know how he got out of the oath he made, but I do know that he didn't kill Dumbledore. I even have a theory of how he made it look like he killed him, but didn't. Rowlings had been trying with very poor effect to paint Snape as a bad guy and she finally found a way to do it convincingly. It is still the Snape that is loyal however.

3. Dumbledore is not dead! He explained it all to Malfoy. Dumbledore told Malfoy that they could make it look like he was dead. It was all a set up by Dumbledore, in front of two of the most unimpeachable witnesses (Harry and Draco).

4. Snape actually killed the horcrux of Voldemort. That's what he was aiming the curse at, not Dumbledore. I guess this is a minor thing after the other three, but I had to say it, it may be important.

Any questions?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Camera Adds Ten Pounds (I swear, at least that many)

Well, I just started an exercise routine called P90 (by Beachbody). It is supposed to last for 90 days, 6 days a week and you start out by taking a photo of yourself.

My God! I swear that's not the person in my mirror! How come I don't look that bad when I'm shaving?

I'm going to use this as the wallpaper to my home computer. That way, every time I sit down to use the computer I'll say to myself, "get up quick and work out, now!"

I'll spare you my stats, but I do still make the body fat percentage for the Army.

In the movie The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible works out after his first trip to the island. He lifts trains and such, just like my workout routine. After that he measures his waist, he's happy that it's down to 39" but when he goes to E to get his suit fixed she says, "My god you've gotten fat."

HEY! That's right about my waist size. I was always offended. Now after seeing these photos I'm saying to myself exactly what E said.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Serenity Review


I want to get this over with from the get go, DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE.

I went to the library and grabbed the TV series. The little props and I enjoyed it very much (I enjoyed it almost as much simply because they enjoyed it). So, when we ran out of episodes (too quickly) I picked up the movie. We decided that the movie might be a little too much for little prop eyes and they didn't watch it (I'm glad they didn't), but I did.

I am disappointed and happy.

I'll talk about the things I liked first.

It was actually Sci-Fi! I'm so glad the Western part fell behind the actual SF. The TV series was often TOO Western and they could very easily left the "boat" behind. The stories didn't need the science to make them work. The movie could not have worked if the science weren't involved (okay, it could have worked with magic, but ANYTHING could work if you just say it was magic). This is what defines SF and I am so glad they finally got that right.

As a writer I have to say, I'm glad they weren't afraid to kill some of the main characters. Yes that's right I'm glad they killed main characters. That isn't a bad thing in and of itself. I know that sometimes it just works. If you are too in love with the characters to kill them then they could stop being real in your story. You remember when MASH stopped letting the characters be real in the story, about the time Winchester came along. To me that also happened in Angel in the second season. They didn't let that happen too much in this movie and I'm glad.

I liked the Shepard's death. He shot down the ship, he managed to keep himself alive long enough to talk to Mal, he gave Mal good advice and then he died. He had a good death. I'm not happy that any further Firefly/Serenity things cannot have Ron Glass and his Shepard character, I'll miss him, but his was a good death.

I didn't like what they let the River character become (played by Summer Glau, which we all thought was funny, that River was played by Summer). She ended up being Buffy the Reaver slayer. What the heck was that? She was a weapon, okay, but a mental weapon. In the TV series she shot three people, but she did it with math.

I listened to Joss Whedon's comments for the big, River vs. the Reavers scene and he even said he didn't know why all his movies/TV series involve a super powered adolescent girl. I don't know why either, maybe you should get help (that's why I chose the photo I posted here: no River).

Two other minor problems about River, why did the reavers stop shooting during her big fight and couldn't you have used some different makeup to at least TRY to make Summer Glau look 17 still?

The song was gone. It was very charming to hear my six-year-old walk up the stairs to her room singing, "Take my love, take my land…" I missed the song.

Now comes the proverbial straw…

Wash's death SUCKED! Not because he died, and not just in how he died, but in everyone's reaction and especially in ZOE'S LACK OF REACTION!

That was wrong, wrong, wrong. I listened to Joss Whedon's commentary for that part too and he said that he had to fight Gina Torres (Zoë) to get her not to react. Hey Joss, she got it right!

I said the Western thing got on my nerves. I said that my three young daughters liked the show. What made the show good was the characters and how they worked with each other. I loved the fact that Zoë and Wash (Alan Tudyk) were married. I didn't realize it until the movie, but Zoë had actually taken his name. I love that.

I'm a sentimentalist and a romantic. I didn't want them to be lovers; I wanted them to be husband and wife. In the episode "War Stories" you got to see that taken to the extreme. I loved that. The bond between a husband and wife has got to be as strong or stronger than any other.

They completely lost that in the movie. Zoë doesn't EVER mourn Wash. Okay, she's tough. She was shook up. It made her move too close to the reavers and get cut. She stabbed one reaver kind of a lot. I expected at least that. It made sense, she was tough, she had been through the war and had seen many of her comrades die, but COME ON! She was more broken up when that nut job that used to be in their unit got himself shipped to them as a dead body and eventually did die than she did when her husband, her soul mate, her better half died.

Not only did he not get the chance to have an heroic death like Shepard Book, fighting to save everyone else, making the ultimate sacrifice, but now I have lost all respect for the Zoë character. How can you respect anyone who can't cry for their spouse's death?

That ruined the movie for me.

Oh yeah, and in the movie, the spaceships make noise in space. UGH!