Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Part 2

I read an excellent review in World Magazine on the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  I enjoyed Megan Basham's comments, and I was intrigued by her observation here:

What falls on the cutting-room floor are the elements that were most effective at turning a fanciful series about a boy wizard into an epic tale of good versus evil. Almost all the background on Lord Voldemort—his parentage, his seething resentment toward his own father, his early crimes against his family—are lost, as is much of the narrative that allowed Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) to grow into more than a one-dimensional school-boy rival. In essence, with an opportunity to give Harry Potter more fleshed-out enemies that will allow him to become a more fleshed-out hero, Yates sticks with juvenile preoccupations of spell-casting and romance.

Her observations coincide with what I was trying to get at in my previous post.  Brasham mentions how significant this aspect of the plot is in the Harry Potter books--the importance of the war between good and evil.  I think this is incredibly important.  I LOVE book 7 (more on that another time!), and part of the reason behind that is the age-old story of good winning over evil.  It is such an important concept that the book illustrates so well and the movie just didn't focus on.  I think it is significant that Harry's life is surrounded by love and sacrifice--that of his father and especially his mother and also Sirius and Dumbledore.  The "good" sacrifice that is made for Harry shapes who he is, the decisions he makes, etc.  Voldermort has none of this in his life and it shapes him in a completely opposite way creating such a stark contrast between the two characters and ultimately shaping the decisions each one makes.  The movie didn't bring much of this to life.  Luckily there are still two movies left for this theme to be brought out more.  And even luckier, we can always reread the books!
I wanted to post the link to the review, but only half of the review shows up.  If you want to view the entire article, however, I was able to pull up the entire review when I googled "World Magazine Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and clicked on the following link from the search engine page:  

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Part 1

I have so many Harry Potter things I want to say, so I guess I will start from the most recent and work backwards.  I think it is only fair to preface this review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by noting that I saw the movie at 10 pm at night (after a long day!) in a theater with a broken air conditioning.  I think this may have influenced my viewing from being as enjoyable as other conditions would have provided.  But when you have a baby to take care of during the day, this is how it goes!
So, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a most excellent book.  It may be the most informative book in the series (other than book 7) because it includes so many important bits and pieces to connect books 1-5 and book 7.  It also is the book, in my opinion, where Harry grows up the most, therefore preparing us for the tasks he takes on in book 7.  I think the movie did an excellent job portraying the second part of this.  The movie shows a great maturity in Harry when it comes to relationships.  Not only in his growing recognition of liking Ginny (and his ability to respect Ginny's current relationship and Ron's reaction), but also in his friendship with both Ron and Hermione.  I think the movie shows growth in these friendships and the ability to deal with tougher situations.  Secondly, the movie also portrayed Harry as more of a "take charge" person.  From the very beginning with Harry in the diner reading and flirting with the waitress, to his reaction's to Dumbledore's request to gain the memory from Slughorn, he shows control of the situation.  Though, I wasn't completely a fan of the movie portraying Dumbledore as encouraging Harry to be "collected" by Slughorn, the maturity Harry faced in recognition of his task impressed me, and I believe it will make what we see in movie 7 more realistic.
As far as the movie's representation of the important information from the book, this I found lacking.  I didn't feel that the importance of the horcruxes was emphasized enough.  The number of horcruxes and the necessity to destroy all of them is what drives book 7, and I don't know if movie 6 really prepares the audience for it.  I believe this can easily be made up in the opening of the 7th movie, but it could have been better emphasized.  I'll probably have more to say on this later when I talk about one of the reviews I read.
I definitely enjoyed the movie, and I look forward to the opportunity to see it again.  I will share more thoughts on it later including Dumbledore's death, Harry and Ginny, and what I loved and "hated," so check back!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Photo Freedom!

I recently finished a book that has really inspired me.  The book, Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian is a book for scrapbookers about organizing pictures to optimize time and creativity.  Her system, Library of Memories, is amazing.  It's simple--one of the simplest scrapbook things I have ever seen, and it definitely sounds like it can work!  It's also a huge stress reliever because it in no way focuses on chronological scrapbooking, but rather on what is inspiring and documentation of true meaningful memories.  I know it may not make sense to say there is more focus on memories when you avoid chronological scrapbooking, but if you have ever scrapped you know what I mean!  It is also a great system for creating mini albums or other items beyond layouts.  I am really looking forward to incorporating this system into my scrapbooking.  I believe it will help me be more creative and more productive.  It also encourages me to work hard on getting my scrapbook area set up!  I can't wait to start scrapping again! 

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Family!

It's Been a Long Time

I can't really explain why I left the blogging world three years ago.  Honestly, that should have been the time I got serious about it since I was moving away from Lexington.  I suppose I can use the traditional excuse that "life took over."  It is true after all, life really did take over.  New spouse, new home, new job followed by Nathan's first deployment, another new home, a new baby, and eventually another new home.  That's the past three years in a sentence or two.  :)  So, here I am married almost 3 years (can't believe it!) and living in Sanford, NC.
Since most of you who will actually read this already know about most of my life, I'll just start with the most recent.  We moved to NC in May, had to live in a hotel for 3 weeks which was not fun, and finally bought our house at the beginning of June.  It's an amazing house which we just recently bought furniture for.  It arrives over the next two weeks!  I loved setting up Thomas's nursery.  He has one blue wall and the rest cream.  He already has tons of clothes and toys.  My next favorite part of the house is the library.  We finally have a place for all of our books!  If you have seen our collection of books, you know this is a wonderful thing!  And finally I'm very excited that I will soon be able to have a scrapbook space.  It's a work in progress, but eventually I'll have somewhere for the stuff and a workspace.  Then I will just have to find time to work in it!
Well, since it has been so long, I felt that an update on life was necessary.  Hopefully I will be more diligent!