Monthly Archives: November 2010

Review: Deathly Hallows I

Wow. No Dumbledore, precious little Snape, no Hogwarts, no quidditch (thankfully), no Gate Nine and Three-Quarters. Was this a Harry Potter movie?

Yep. And how.

It’s been awhile since I finished the last book (2-3 years, maybe?), so there were several “Oh, yeah” moments during the film. I’d totally forgotten about Mad-Eye Moody coordinating Harry’s initial escape, for instance. And the reappearance of Kreacher. Details kept me hopping. It was like a big quiz for the Potter faithful. Remember this? Remember that?

Still, what captivated me was the distance the three young lead actors have covered over the last decade. Gone are the sheepish glances, the goofy, slappy repartee between Ron and Hermione. Things are serious now, and everyone means business because the future of the wizarding — and Muggle — world hangs in the balance. The three musketeers have much more to worry about than whether or not they’ll advance to the next year at school. In fact, they’re all three dropouts now. (Interesting twist on a story initially meant for pre-teens.)

For the first time in the film series, I felt pressing drama; real acting by the three leads. It was fun to watch. The writers also managed to deftly reinforce prior situations and details (in fact, Harry himself has to have things explained to him twice at times), so everyone’s on the same page early on. The ending point was brilliantly thought out. I can only imagine the crowds at the next opening.

There’s also a prescience that pervades the movie, and that gave me some periods of sadness. The end draws near, and I don’t want it to come. But I’ve already decided that when the series comes out as a set, I’m going to buy it to show my grandchildren. It will be kept on the same shelf as the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Godfather series: a classic collection indeed.

I do look forward to the next film, though, when my favorite character (Severus Snape) plays a much larger role. I miss his pretty face.

On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I:

Sickly. Ick.

Just when I get through with one illness, another one comes along to take its place. What is up with that? I’m never sick. (Can’t say that anymore.)

So instead of getting gussied to ask Helen, Johanna and Simone out to lunch today, I’m sitting in the parlor, layered in sweatpants and two sweatshirts, freezing to death and generally feeling sorry for myself. Blah.

However, there are things to look at:

1. This might benefit those who partake in No-Shave November.
2. Did you know that Antônio Egas Moniz won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1949? Whoa. This was just sixty years ago, fiends.
3. George Washington suffered from taphephobia. (I’m with him there.) Apparently, it was a big problem, dating back hundreds of years. The New York Times even published a helpful article about it in 1899.

And a hundred other things too, but I’m too tired to write about them. I think it’s DayQuil and the couch for me today. Ugh.

Happy Sumday to all!

Review: Elf

Kids, I tried. Honest I did. I even tried to laugh out loud. Alas, my forced guffaws slid off the couch and died a miserable death on the carpet. I still stand by my (albeit highly personal) assessment:


The best part about the film (and the solitary reason for my not flipping the channel and watching the Texas/Texas A & M game) was James Caan. Of course, Bob Newhart was, well, Bob Newhart. Guy can’t play anyone but himself, which is fine.

But Ferrell. You guys, sheesh. I guess he’s an acquired taste. I insist on this because one does not immediately cotton to a face like his. Well, one might…but I’d question his/her taste in men. Maybe if I saw him play anything other than a bumbling, clueless fool, I’d feel differently. I think what makes an actor really appealing is diverse dimension. Ferrell — at least in the few movies I’ve seen of his — has only one. Gotta hand it to him, though: he’s sure cashed in on that one basic SNL-type character, dropped into a dozen different settings. I’ll bet he doesn’t have a mortgage, and I do, so I’m the big loozer. Somebody likes him, right? Who am I to judge?

It’s not that I can’t enjoy a silly, feel-good holiday comedy, mind. I like brainless funnies like A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole ChristmasThe Santa Clause and Christmas Vacation. (In fact, The Santa Clause will always be special to me; it’s the last movie I ever saw with my mother.) It’s just…Ferrell. Ew.

Still and all, the story didn’t offend me. But a Christmas “classic” that people watch over and over and over? That’s a head-scratcha.

On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Elf:

Now hey — get that holiday shopping finished. I am definitely getting  it all done today. Easy to do when you shop from your office chair. :-)

Happy weekend, fiends.



Don’t you hate it when you wake up with a screamin’ backache at 2 a.m., schlep your carcass downstairs because you can’t sleep, take aspirin, read to pass the time, then get super sleepy around a half hour before it’s time to get up and get ready for work?


Still, it’s an exciting day, being the last day of school till Tuesday & all. Sleep can wait for tonight. I pine for good rehearsals this day. I hope I get a few. A couple. One.

Then it’s off to spend the evening with Mavis, cooking and baking. Tomorrow morning: Harry Potter with the family who aren’t doing double duty by visiting in-laws. Tomorrow night’s dinner should be a grand time. Can’t wait to see everyone.

If I don’t get the chance to check in with you tomorrow morning, have a wonderful holiday, my fiends. I am thankful for you, for if not for your kindness, participation and indulgence, would have been a failed endeavor a couple of months in. You keep this thing going; I heart you all.

Happy Finksgiving :-)