Archive for Crichton

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2…HUGE SPOILERS here!!!!

Posted in Books, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2011 by otakujade

First off, I apologize that this took longer than I expected but RL caught up with me and I had to set aside writing my blog for a few days but anyways..it’s here now.

Harry Potter and the Death Hallows part 2 was probably THE most anticipated movie of 2011; it was the culminating piece to the 10-year run of the series and expected to create a big bang…and the movie did not disappoint. To say that the movie was enjoyable was probably the understatement of the year – it was memorable, enjoyable and all together magnificent.

The movie started right where it left off in part 1…it began even before the Warner Bros. logo appeared. Then it went right off to give a review of what took place during the last movie and dove right into the action sequence. The insertion of the now very familiar HP theme just at the moment when the trio decided to return to Hogwarts was done to create a feeling of nostalgia which greatly worked. Being a huge fan of HP from the very start, having followed the books (lining up in front of the bookstores when the next installment was supposed to come out) and then following the films…the scene pinched my heart evoking a reaction I can only describe as bittersweet.

David Yates did what many of his predecessors should have done – he did not try to compress a very complex and voluminous book into a 2 ½ movie but rather he took the time to stay “almost” religiously close to the original text and gave the story the width and berth that it deserved. True there were instances where the movie deviated from the book but those moments were few and tolerable, even to the point of being wholeheartedly welcomed. In truth, the movie clarified a lot of issues that the book was not able to do, and when it did deviate from the original text it was all for the betterment of the plot. Ultimately, Yates improved on Deathly Hallows.

In the film we saw what we would have wanted to see in the the book.  David Yates also gave us some of the things we would have wanted to find in the final installment of the book but didn’t. Here we saw Ginny, having broken up with Harry and yet the love between them was so obvious it was painful to see. Then even if you don’t see Ginny as much as you wanted to it was obvious that, at least in the film, she was a powerful witch and a very brave one too.

The film was basically dark and serious but there were moments of humor and these came from the most unexpected characters and at the most unexpected moments. We also saw McGonagall prove to us why she was Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts. We all knew she was “supposedly a powerful witch, adept at Transfiguration” but who knew McG could kick ass – and a damn well good ass it was! Seeing McGonagall in a duel with Snape, I honestly grew nervous, not really sure who would win. Snape was a noted dueling master but who knew McGonagall could kick his ass! Wooot!!!!!!!

And then the scene..the moment that everyone was eager to see..the one that if the film makers did not include in the film you can be sure that fans will tear their hearts out and feed it to the dogs…maybe to Greyback ,who knew – Molly fighting with Bellatrix! Oh that moment when Molly said those memorable fine words “Not my daughter, you bitch!” the theater literally exploded with shouts and claps from the excitable audience. That was truly one of the highlights of the film. One of her sons had just been killed and she was in no mood to see anyone hurt her only daughter too!

And here we see the complexity of Snape’s character. It was rumored that all these years Alan Rickman kept a secret about the character that only he and JKR knew…and I guess this was it. Honestly, the scene of Snape’s death and the revelation of his memories did not affect me at all in the books; it lacked the right element somehow. But the movie brought it all out in full detail such that the scene was so emotionally packed. I was crying.

The idea that Snape could dedicate himself to protecting the son of the woman he loved just seemed so ridiculous in the book, however the way that it was presented in the film made it completely believable, even heart-rending. We were made to understand that few people ever got close to Snape, that he had loved Lily even when they were children and because he had little friends and almost no association with women, he loved her from afar. There had never been any other woman in his life except for Lily. He protected her even when he knew it would put him in danger, his affinity to Dumbledore had nothing to do with love or loyalty but rather he was indebted to the man from the day he promised to do anything if Lily and her family could be protected. He was willing to suffer as a double agent if it means protecting the woman he loves and those she loves. And yet there was nothing overly romantic or lovey-dovey sweetness about it, it was just plain devotion and pure love – it was tragic but beautiful.

Then came the horcruxes…Harry’s death was one the lamest part of book 7 for me and yet here it was presented and explained in such a way that it all became clear. How Dumbledore knew all along that Harry was a horcrux and in Snape’s words Dumbledore was raising him “like a pig to the slaughter”.  And yet again you are made to understand that it had to happen because without Harry they would never be able to find the other horcruxes. Voldemort needed to rise again to be able to be destroyed. And Harry has to die so that he could be separated from the part of Voldemort’s soul that was living inside him. It just all made so much sense all of a sudden.

And finally the last battle between Harry and Voldemort – the film wisely deviated here so that at the heat of the battle at Hogwarts you will rarely hear anyone use spells to fight. Now, in the book one of the parts that received the most criticism was the part when Harry defeated Voldemort with a simple Expelliarmus spell. The film brilliantly down played that part and rather had the characters fight without saying any spells. That was really a very, very smart move on the part of David Yates.

If there’s ever a spin off to be done on the story I wish they would make one about Neville and Luna, those two have developed into great characters but I just get this feeling that there was more to them. Neville finally proved without a shadow of doubt that he was a true Gryffindor, having been able to wield the sword of Gryffindor. And in the end killing Nagiri.

All in all it was a magnificent rendering of a very complex book and even more so since it was done in 3D. The subtle symbolism of farewell inserted here and there was really the proper way to say so long to the series. We were confronted with places and things we have come to associate with the Harry Potter story – we said goodbye to the Quidditch stadium as it burned to the ground, we passed through Hogsmead, the Sorting Hat all tattered and grimy but still useful, the boat house where the first years enter through….it was wonderful to see those places and things again.

The characters have grown up so much too over the decade, I guess that’s why I feel sort of cheated that Daniel seemed to have move on so quickly..but I guess they all deal with sadness differently. Emma immersed herself in her studies, Rupert will be taking a breather and Dan is drowning himself in his work.  I wonder when we’ll be able to see these actors and actresses again but whenever that  will be they will always be the magical trio of the Harry Potter fame for me.

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10 Writers That Has the Most Influence on Me…

Posted in Books, Random, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by otakujade

This is actually an off shoot of my friend Joleene Naylor’s post about the 15 authors that influenced her. Since I am an avid reader, it made me think on which among the authors I follow actually has any significance for me.  Although for my own purposes I narrowed it down to 10..the top 10! So to speak….

This is in no way done in any sort of ranking…I am just listing the names of the authors as I move along and well, explaining how they influenced me – one way or the other.

1. JK Rowling – Harry Potter – need I say more? hehehe! Well, it was through her HP books that I developed my love for the fantasy genre. I read the Sorcerer’s Stone and I was hooked. I became one of the millions of HP fanatics out in the world. An addiction that I carry up to this day…

2. David Morrell – the way I found David Morrell was really unexpected. I saw a novel of his laying around my friend’s apartment and started reading it while I was waiting for him to arrive. It turns out to be a turning point for me. David Morrell started my love for espionage and the suspense-thriller genre. And although I have started to follow other writers of the same genre and caliber I find that I like Morrell’s style better than anyone else’s.

3. Michael Crichton – I love his attention to details and I love how my intellect is constantly challenged by his works.  My brother always say that I am a glutton for information and Michael Crichton satisfies that craving. It’s sad that he has passed away and won’t be writing any more novels.

4. Anne Rice – Lestat! OMG need I say more? She ruined me for all other vampire novel writers. My idea of what a vampire is and should be is largely influenced by her vampire mythology.

5. J.R.R. Tolkien – Middle Earth; Legolas; Frodo….I don’t think I need to elaborate on how Tolkien became a huge part of any reader’s author list. LoTR was a fantastic book given legendary popularity by 3 hugely successful movies.

6. Miyamoto Musashi – “The Book of the Five Rings” – though I have not read the original Japanese work of this popular Japanese author and undefeated warrior, what I was able to gather from the English translation of the books were enough to shape my own perception of everyday life and how one should live and discipline himself to be in order to attain the perception of his craft. Many of my management and trade principles are also lifted straight out of Musashi’s teachings.

7. Sun Tzu – he was probably a little more famous than Musashi in terms of books. His teachings have been adapted by many corporate CEOs and corporate directors. His book together with Musashi’s are some of the required readings given to Japanese CEOs before they are given any high ranking positions. Though, I love his principles and writing and I would admit that they are very useful, I still find I love the simplicity of Musashi’s writings. But Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” led to me to decide to take up my graduate studies.

8. Caroleen Keene/Franklin Dixon – I know that they are only pseudo-names of several unnamed authors who wrote for Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys but those books were what started it all for me. I first started the love for fiction and reading when a cousin of mine gave me a copy of ‘The Secret of the Wooden Lady” and my love for reading just took off from there.

9. Bob Ong – again this is just another pseudo-name and yet the books made by this author was one of the most entertaining, funny and socially and politically honest books I have ever read.

10. Robert Fulgrum – it is very seldom that I take books on life lessons, opting to learn about life on my own. But Fulgrum’s books were not only very lighthearted but also he sees life in a very positive way. He takes lessons from common folks with a very uncommon look on life.