Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mischief Managed!

So I (probably along with a lot of other people I'm sure) have been on a big Harry Potter binge.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Finished HP and the Chamber of Secrets, which used to be the definite least favorite of the HP books but through many rereads and what happens later on, I like it a lot more now. I like how in a lot of ways, it's a harbinger to many things to come much later in the series when it's much darker: people's distrust of Harry after the attacks start, a peak into Horcruxes... The Basilisk through the pipes and Tom Riddle's diary are still pretty down right creepy, in a good way.

A Very Potter Musical
"You think killing people might make them like you, but it doesn't. It just makes people dead."
-Voldemort from Harry Potter the musical.

I've also recently discovered (found out from mugglenet) this fantastic Harry Potter parody musical.
It's really well done and really really funny in a lot of parts. HP has a huge fandom and it's always interesting seeing people's various takes on the characters. Harry plays the guitar, Cho Chang's Southern, Queriell and Voldemort miss being stuck to each other, Ron's constantly eating and sort of like a frat boy, and Draco wants to go to Pigfarts which is in space and is played by a girl but it's all good! Really a must see for all hard core Harry Potter fans.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
I'm not a huge fan of the movies. I haven't seen the 6th one yet but am planning to soon. The movies-They're all right, don't compare with the books, and are great eye candy, but I decided (on my massive HP spree) to rewatch movie 3. I remember liking it, especially how unlike the first two movies, it was the first one to really stand on its own right.

Rewatching it, I am in awe with how beautifully filmed it is. It's probably my favorite HP movie take on Hogwarts. There are so many gorgeous scenes. The numerous portraits in the hallway, the giant pendulum swinging in the great hall, the lake, Buckbeak in Hagrid's giant pumpkin patch, Buckbeaks executioner- how eerie he looks sharpening his axe outside. Love the parts especially where you see the seasons changing, Hedwig flying overhead, and the whomping willow shedding its leaves.

In terms of the characters, I'm finding myself actually liking Ron and Harry quite a lot. They really grow on you, as well as the interactions b/n the trio. Hermione-there's something...she just doesn't quite feel as Hermioneish to me as she should be.

I find that I like the movie the best when it deviates from the books somewhat and comes up with new scenes, new moments. In particular, I loved this one scene where Harry, Ron, and the other Gryffindor boys in their year are in their dorm room, trying these magical candies- it's a simple scene but there's something really natural about it that we don't quite get enough of in the books since Harry's too busy fighting LV- wizards just being wizards and hanging out like regular kids. I love this other scene where Ron's having a nightmare about spiders making him tapdance; Harry's still up and tells Ron to show the spiders whose boss, and Ron falls straight asleep. Also loved the random Hermione, Ron moments scattered throughout the movie- especially at the shrieking shack.

Hermione: It's meant to be the most haunted building in Britain. Did I mention that?
Ron: Twice.
Hermione: Oh. Do you want to move a bit closer?
Ron: Huh?
Hermione: To the Shrieking Shack.
Ron: Oh, no. I'm fine here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

He didn’t know what he was going to- but it had to be better than what he was leaving behind.

There's nothing quite like rereading old favorites.

Finished rereading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone today. Still a great book that makes me smile. In particular, I loved reading through those character defining moments...Hermione's now infamous (roughly paraphrasing) "We could die or worse get expelled" line, Harry's humbleness and desire just to be normal, Ron's loyalty (of course all three of them were going to find the Philosopher's Stone together), Dumbledore's brilliance and quirkiness (wool socks in the mirror of erised), Neville's awkwardness and clumsiness- of course we all know people like Neville who are kind but awkward and you want to be their friend but just can't quite do so, so you hope that he'll make other friends.

One of my favorite moments from the book has to be Neville finding out that he has magical powers- of course he tells it and it doesn't seem like a big deal (understated) but it *is*. Also loved all the really lovely lonely descriptions of Harry before he finds out that there are people out there who actually do care about him. And at the end of the day, it's not really about the magic but about the friendships. Another particular favorite moment towards the end of book 1. <3>

It seemed to be a handsome, leather-covered book. Harry opened it curiously. It was full of wizard photographs. Smiling and waving at him from every page were his mother and father.

“Sent owls off ter all yer parets’ old school friends, askin’ fer photos…knew yeh didn’t have any…d’yeh like it?”

Harry couldn’t speak, but Hagrid understood.