Sunday, December 30, 2012

Harry Potter: Then and Now

Last week I watched a split-screen of the first Harry Potter film, The Sorcerer's Stone,  and the final installment, The Deathly Hallows: Part 2. The film series took place over the course of ten years, so, obviously, there was expected growth, changes, and evolution in the characters and franchise. However, watching the split screen of two movies, filmed a decade apart,  brought home the fact that each one of these characters had grown up in front of the entire world, and had brought a best-selling novel series to life. Some key points of note:
  • The original Dumbledore, portrayed by the talented Richard Harris, will always be my favorite actor portrayal of the character. 
  • By the end of the series, who would have thought that Neville would be on the cusp of becoming the Hottest HP character? Neville also goes from the nerdy wizard who has difficulty casting spells to the confident, Gryffindor Sword wielding wizard who saves Ron and Hermione from Nagini the snake.
  • Ron teased us all with his transformation into a mighty cute wizard, highlighted even more by his quiet, growing, protective love for Hermione.
  • Severus Snape's character and true role in Potter's life is slowly revealed in a way that keeps the audience wondering whether to hate the complex and enigmatic professor or sympathize with him. In The Deathly Hallows, we are shown a side of Snape that helps explain his tumultuous relationship with Harry over the last ten years and the part he has played in many key moments in Harry's life and moments of imminent death.
  • "And the award for Best Transformation goes to: Voldermort!" Voldermort progressed from being a cloaked, hovering, incorporeal entity feeding on Unicorn blood, to riding shotgun on the back of Professor Quirrell's head, to a powerful, corporeal form that possesses Dumbledore's wand.
  •  A lot of main characters die in the final installment during the big battle with Voldemort's army, which will always make me cry.
  • The screen in The Sorcerer's Stone was bright with colors such as orange, red, and blue exploding off the screen in numerous backgrounds and rooms. The Deathly Hallows film was dark both figuratively and literally with the rise of evil, dark magic, characters dying, and with the use of dark, charcoal colors in scenes.
  • The roller-coaster ride that was Ron and Hermione's relationship was a true love/hate relationship that had Hermione hating Ron most of the time while rolling her eyes most emphatically, while Ron acknowledged that Hermione, while often annoying, was truly "brilliant". Their relationship came to a head in the final installment during their first passionate kiss marking their growing love for one another, and their survival of yet another brush with death. 
  • Though Harry's parent's died sacrificing themselves for him in events preceding the first film, they are seen in flashbacks and through Harry's desire in the Mirror of Erised throughout the first film. In the final film they appear to him through the Resurrection Stone reassuring Harry that they would be with him in his final moments.

    What were your favorite moments from the Harry Potter film series?

Drop Dead Diva: Ashes to Ashes

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read until after you’ve watched Drop Dead Diva "Ashes to Ashes".

I don’t think anyone was as anxious about the return of Drop Dead Diva last night as I was. I’ve given up hope on True Blood, so I had a two week wait for Drop Dead Diva: “Ashes to Ashes” and the bombshell explanation that was to come with Owen’s return. See, Jane and Owen’s relationship was similar to my last one in that it started off with skips and giggles, smooches and hugs and ended with him deciding to seemingly drop off the face of the earth without any communication. Yeah. Now, while my ex opted to return to his single and mingling days to leave me cleaning up the mess of a drive-by relationship, Owen had open heart surgery and was put into an induced coma.

What I found interesting about this episode was that while Jane was going through the pain and confusion of Owen returning only to formally withdraw his proposal, she was simultaneously representing a client who was fighting for possession of her deceased husband’s ashes in order to digest them for visions of her late husband to appear. While Jane seemed to lose hope with her client after that revelation, (interestingly enough considering she’s rolling two souls deep in her own body) it seemed to trip an emotional trigger in Grayson both for the understanding for the varied processes of grieving and the belief in the presence of her late husband’s spirit. He reveals to Jane that he went to therapy after Deb’s death, and he has a lingering belief that her spirit may be present in Jane.

I am an avid fan of Maya Angelou’s quote, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them. Owen mentioned in an earlier episode that he did not believe in the institution of marriage. Last night’s episode sealed the deal for me in that he kept Jane in the dark about his health condition and he lied as to his whereabouts before his heart attack and coma. He was already showing that the whole “in sickness and in health; til death do us part” wasn’t part of his mindset for their relationship. This was highlighted further when he returned, not to apologize for keeping Jane in the dark, but to withdraw his proposal and describe how his condition and surgery had changed him to the point of no longer wanting to continue their relationship. Now, Jane inferred that he was afraid of dying so he was choosing to not get close to her, but to me, real love is wanting to spend every minute with the person you’ve given your heart (figuratively) to because we never know when we could pass on. Why waste that time without the one you love if they’re willing to be with you through thick and thin? Jane’s client depicted the lengths someone would go, even after consuming the ashes began to make her sick, in order to maintain some semblance of a connection to her husband. Her love was not dictated by what others thought of her actions. (And there were definitely some grumbles, headshakes and gasps.) Jane, who Grayson describes as “never taking no for an answer”, decides to deflect Owen’s change of heart and propose herself. After a courtroom like argument from Jane, Owen finally accepts. Probably. I think. I’ve kind of felt like a tennis fan watching this relationship go back and forth. Call me old fashioned, but when someone withdraws a proposal that you never expected to hear anyway, I get an uneasy feeling about whether this is marriage will see the light of day.

Update: The beautiful and fabulous song playing during Jane's office proposal to Owen is "The Last Thing We'll Ever Do" by The Daylights

What did you think of the episode?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Valentine's Resolution 2013

I read an article today about the joys of being single during the holidays (hooray) but the mandatory nature of having a relationship during Valentine's Day. I sincerely disagree. My last Valentine's Day, while in a relationship, was spent crying and accepting the end of said relationship and the lameness of my then boyfriend. You see, that morning, ex BF ignored my call and chose not to greet me with a "Happy Valentine's Day", opting instead to send me an impersonal "Happy V Day" text message. He then proceeded to break our evening plans with the excuse that he had come down with something, but not too sick to brag about buying flowers for his mother and a random widow on Facebook. Ain't love grand? However, when I was single the year before I had a wonderful day treating myself to lunch, a trip to the spa, ice cream, and a Valentine's Day Party that night complete with men who appreciated being in my presence, even if only for an hour or so. My point is that while having a love shower you with affection, chocolates, and roses can make for a wonderful Valentine's Day, that can all go south if your significant other doesn't find the day (or you) well, significant. Valentine's Day is what you make it, so in 2013, buy yourself some chocolate, have that sassy dress and heels (or suit) ready to dance the night away with or without a guy/gal on your arm. That sounds like one heck of a New Years Resolution, huh? ;)