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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Harry Potter goes out with a sigh instead of a bang…

I’ll preface this by noting i am copy-pasting some of this from google+…sorry, too many dang places to post….

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2:  4 hours later, it still feels like it was a bit of a let down..Was thinking perhaps just the melancholy of the ending of an era was tingeing my feelings, but i think now, with more space, i am more sure that the movie was good but a little  underwhelming.  I cant believe i am saying this, but i really wanted a bit more melodrama than I was given.  There were achingly sad parts, but by and large, much of the movie felt like an awkward, dutiful hug at a funeral: steeped in the moment, highly charged, but painfully and noticeably lacking in something ineffable that would make it more effective. At any rate, the movie was a nice capstone to a…hrmm…15? year journey…wow…

anyways, specifically, I would like to have had more face time with several of the characters we’ve grown to know and love…i know in the later books, pretty much everyone besides Harry, Hermione, and Ron are reduced to mostly afterthoughts, but in this final film, it would have been nice to spend a little more time with McGonagall, Hagrid, Neville and Luna….Each had a few moments…literally… to deliver a plot point, or make an aside, but  by and large they are scant window dressing for the harry vs voldemort show…which is ok, but it could have felt richer and more meaningful if i had felt more connected to the other characters…at the apex of the film, nameless hordes (of students and teachers) run pell-mell through halls while hogwarts tries to defend itself from Voldemort and his death eaters.  what ends up as a fairly distant and disconnected montage, could have been time spent making me meditate on the sacrifices being made and feeling sad about the lives being lost…instead i didnt really feel anything….perhaps that was intentional on the filmmakers part–have the audience mirror Harry’s isolation and unfeelingness at the end–but i wanted to feel emotional highs at that point and i experienced the climactic sequences as a lot of “meh” moments rather than “aha!” moments.  oh well.  I thought Severus’ death scene and pensieve montage was a nice break from the rest.  As with the books, i was left feeling Snape’s end was perhaps more tragic than Harry’s.

I was glad that was conveyed in the film (or at least presented in such a way that i could choose to parse it in a way consistent with my preconceived notions…lol)

I don’t mean to sound like the film wasn’t good.  it was highly enjoyable, with at least acceptable acting, and it hit mostly right notes.

I loved the reveal of Ron’s weight gain after 19 years

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and Luna and Neville’s moment on the stairs post battle.

I loved Mrs. Weasleys battle with Belatrix (not my daughter, you bitch!) and thought they made the escape of the white dragon from gringotts surprisingly touching…when it pauses on the top of the building before hurling itself into the air, there is a moment absolutely pregnant with meaning when you begin to feel what it must’ve been like to be chained in that dungeon and to have finally escaped.  It was surprisingly evocative and i thought one of the best scenes in the film.

One big complaint I do have is i felt like the movie really shied away from Harry’s death, and subsequent meeting with Dumbledore, and the meditations on the tortured being with them, and the purpose of Harry’s journey.  All that might have felt like fluffiness to the filmmakers and so perhaps they rushed through it.  In my 4 or 5 readings now of the book, i have always spent the most time lingering in that section…i feel like it is central to the book in particular and the whole world in general.  I wanted to watch those scenes and feel their great import, but instead i felt like enough was done to nod to their place in the books, but not really focused on for conveying the messages, themes and feelings of the piece.  Probably an intentional choice by the filmmakers..pathos may not be the best thing to overdo in a film, but i was waiting for it, almost yearning for it…it would have been a great catharsis.  oh well…enough rambling…lol..ill be seeing the film again once or twice, perhaps I will ramble on more.  GO OUT AND SEE THE FILM!

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2011 in stuff i find interesting

 

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Basilica Block Party 2011

Or – Drunk and Disorderly brought to you by St. Mary’s Basilica.

Amos Lee with his band

SO last night a coworker and I ventured out the the second night of the Annual Basilica Block Party to enjoy the musical stylings of Amos Lee and Ray Lamontagne.  For folks not from the Twin Cities (or just clueless in general, but living in the Twin Cities) the Basilica Block party is a fairly large event put on by the Catholic church (is it called a diocese, or something??) who’s aim is to raise money for the church and in a roundabout way, gain exposure among a varied grup of folks who may not otherwise have anything to do with the church.  End backstory.  ANyways….there were more people last night than in any night previously ive gone to the event…there must have been upwards of 10000 people.  it was just jame packed.  all in the space of about 4 blocks.  After wending our way back to the main stage (thank you Sun Country!)  we positioned ourselves strategically about 20 feet from the stage more or less dead center.  Now, it was about 500 degress hot yesterday and the humidity was oppressive, so the only sensible thing for the crowd of thousands to do, was to keep pressing in closer and closer to one another.

angry lady and 1000s more at Basilica Block Party

After 4 hours, literally, of being packed like sardines (thank you radiohead)  i was sopping wet, and i have what appears to be friction burns on my arm from the crazy woman who spent that 4 hours grinding and gyrating *against* my arm. I dont care how cute (you think) you are, no one wants you essentailly molesting them at a concert.  Seriously.  If i knew your name lady, i would call you out.  i wish i had your picture…

but i digress.

Enough ranting.  The music was fantastif.  Amos Lee is an incredibly talented and charming musician.  His band is excellent, particularly his Drummer who is extremely fun to watch.  Among other things, he played Flower, Keep It Loose Keep it Tight, SUpply and Demand, A song i imagine was called Elephant Boy, and covered Fat Bottom Girls.  He was a lot of fun to see again.

Ray Lamontagne was excellent.  His voice is so unique.  He sounds like an open wound, if that makes sense…it is like his voice aches with 100 years of suffering and longing and regret, which is amazing given that he is a young man…He and his band turned in a great show, at times slow and mournful while at turns very much like a jam session.  He played among other things, Trouble, Burn, and Shelter You.  Unfortunately i had to get out of the steam cooker up front so i didnt get to see most of his concert from up close.

Gomez also played on the same stage.  They are  UK band sorta like…i dunno…weezer, maybe?  They were good, although i didnt really know much about them beforehand.  Their song  “Here Comes the Breeze” was pretty cool.

Here is one of the videos i shot last night 

If you want to see any of the handful of other videos i shot at the concert, head over to my youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/ominousicity?feature=mhee

 

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