I wonder if it even makes a difference to try?

[Makes Me Wonder – Maroon 5]

I went to see the final Harry Potter installment yesterday/day before, but I will write about the entire 2 day thing here before giving my judgement on the movie.

I got up at 7 am to meet up with Vinchi to go see X-Men First Class (we’d put it off for ages). She’d never been to Jam Factory, so it was one hell of a tram ride of her asking we were there yet. It was also REALLY windy and cold, and the girl was wearing a flannel shirt with a light jacket.

We were a bit late to the movie, and the theater was pretty much empty save for one other guy. The movie was pretty good, despite my having seen half of it through GIFs on Tumblr. It was a fun moment when Xavier reached out with his mind for the first time and we saw Little Storm on screen.

After the movie we went back into the CBD to have lunch, and Vinchi took me to a really small Chinese-run Japanese restaurant (which is pretty much every other Japanese restaurant in the city), and I had super salty Katsu-Don. That wasn’t really a highlight, but I just had to remember that the place sucked. I forgot the name of the restaurant but it’s on Russel St close to Crazy Wings.

We walked back to Gloria Jeans on Elizabeth for her to quench her Ice Chocolate thirst, and I soundly beat her Fruit Ninja Arcade best score. Before we knew it, it was time to meet Dani, so I picked up my things from Vinchi’s convenient city-based apartment (10 minutes’ walk to Uni, 2 minutes to work, 30 seconds to a 7/11), and headed off to an awesome night of not sleeping.

We went to Dani’s mom’s apartment to help babysit Lyshana. This, by the way, is little precious and very intelligent and great at dancing (even at such a young age) Lyshana:

We played around with Lysh’s Legos, which basically consisted of Dani and I making cars or ships, and Lyshana ripping it apart and us pretending that our fleet of warships have been destroyed. The kid finds amusement out of our cries of terror.

We also filmed our questions video deal, which was funny to start with but Lysh kept on interrupting. Halfway through my video you can hear “I need to go toilet”. After the videos are done, we realized that it was pretty late and dinner time, so we took Lyshana to Bel’s apartment where I was going to spend the rest of my night (bar the movie, of course).

When we were at Bel’s apartment, her older sister Anita was still there. We got out some paper for Lyshana to draw on, and she was of course talking loudly, and Anita emerged from her room saying “I hear a baby, who does she belong to?”

Sonam, Tiff and Julia were at the apartment already, and Bel had gone to get pizza. I told Lysh to show Sonam her drawings, so she went up to the jetlagged girl (having just touched down from Canada earlier that day) with her masterpiece, to be greeted with “Oh wow, that’s beautiful! …What is it?”

We spent most of dinner discussing how creepy kids’ cartoons are these days, as well as reminiscing the awesome ones we had as children. Bel put on X-Box Kinect, and Lyshana soundly beat 3 19-year-olds in rounds of Rally Ball. After Dani and Lysh left, Julia, Tiff and I played a few more rounds on Kinect, with Tiff providing, as usual, the most number of laughs. Bel brought this huge container of Red Vines.

We then put on Deathly Hallows Part 1 to get ready for the movie later that night, but the mood was somewhat tainted by all of us (mostly me) making comments about the movie, and Sonam falling asleep and dreaming that we were the 3 Brothers. Bel sat by and made her tiny ships in light bulbs. When Dobby died, everyone sort of went quiet and there was a lot of blinking.

A bit before we left, we got out all the trundle beds, and having failed to bring a sleeping bag, I was told I’d sleep on 2 sofa cushions on the floor, wedged between two trundles. I’ll just say now, without meaning to, I ended up getting the largest sleeping area on the couch.

At around quarter past eleven, Annie and I had to leave for Hoyts, because we thought it would take us a long time. We got there perhaps 20 minutes early, and stood around feeling out of place, being the only ones in normal clothes. We saw a few what we thought were owls, a lot of slutty female Harrys, the treats trolley on the Hogwarts Express, a few Death Eaters, and a lot of just really random scars drawn on.

The movie itself disappointed me slightly. I suppose on its own it would have been pretty well done, but after the hype and the first part which I still deemed to be better, it felt rushed like the 5th and the 6th ones were. The Snape parts were good, but not as emotionally hitting as I wanted it to be, and the whole story of young Dumbledore and Grindelwald were COMPLETELY omitted. The movie aimed for many jokes, some of which were great, some of which kind of felt lame. It was definitely good to see it with an enthusiastic crowd, though, because everyone applauded and whooped when Ron and Hermione finally kissed – which, even after the eye-popping Hermione/Harry kiss, still managed to be an amazing moment.

After the movie, Annie and I walked the long walk back to Bel’s. We did our film-students analysis, and kept warm by practically jogging. When we got back, the others, of course, had already been back, and we did our washing up and Sonam and Tiff somehow had an argument over brushing their teeth. We sat around for a while because we found out Bel actually had to get up in 2 hours to take a friend to the airport, so we all stayed up talking and listening to Annie play Kpop on her iPod.

At around 4 or 5, everyone simultaneously decided to all just go to sleep. It was initially very hard because Tiffany was still wide awake and laughing, to the point where Julia told her to just close her mouth, and forget about closing her eyes. I myself prepared to try to sleep in the city apartment – having gotten used to theย suburbiaย quiet – when Annie’s blocked sinus started announcing its existence in funny but very distinct little snores. When Bel’s friend called to be let in, it was nearly 6, and I had given up on sleep, instead opting to lie on my back and watch the light filter through the blinds like a weird zebra trip.

At around 6:30, 7, Sonam rolled over and pushed Annie off the trundle, making her fall on top of Tiff who took my little sofa-cushion bed, and so Tiff and Annie both became awake. Tiff was feeling sick from lack of sleep and how hot it was under the blanket, so after some rather noisy packing, she slipped out to go home for a quick nap.

Annie went back to exercising her sinus, and I sat awake, playing with my ring. I suppose my sleep deprived brain shut down temporarily, and I found myself waking up at around 8, then at around 8:30. At around 9, everyone got up, and Annie, Sonam and I got ready to meet Dani and April for breakfast at 10. We said goodbye to Julia who was waiting for Bel to come back to take her home, and left the apartment to…

Rain. Somehow we forgot which city we lived in, and were even slightly surprised that it was raining. We met up with Dani and April, the latter of which seemed to have stolen Timberlake’s sexy. We had breakfast at The Quarter on DeGraves, and I dropped my bacon. It was not shaping up to be a good day. To cheer me up, Dani took pictures of me on Instagram. Unfortunately, I was so tired that I came out looking super Asian – tiny small eyes.

After breakfast, April, Dani and I met up with Maggie at Flinders Station. We went to Chapel Street to shop – or rather, they shopped while I tagged along and dozed infrequently on husband chairs. I think at some point I just turned off all smart retorts and just told Dani her face was [insert adjective here]. Carmaine joined us a small while later, and they went to a lot of stores and got a lot of discount goodies at Op shops.

We went to Dani’s South Melb apartment in the afternoon (my God I missed being there. It felt so familiar climbing those deadly flights again), and I took a quick nap in Dani’s new makeshift mattress bed – it was strange to be in her room without her walls being covered by posters.

Went home, and had a lot of Tumblr catching up to do, so despite being at nearly 30 hours with no proper sleep, I stayed up. I slept at 11, and ended up gaining consciousness at 5 pm the next day. Oops.

It was a darn good day/night/day.

Alex.

P.S. Sorry for the very late posting. The original date of writing was 14th of July, which was timely. I forgot I’d saved a draft, so I posted it on the 26th.

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L-O-V-E’s not what this was

[Starstrukk – 3OH!3 ft Katy Perry]

Should I go meta and explain why I haven’t been writing? Nah, the truth is I have just been plain lazy.

I finished my assessments for Semester 1…last week, and despite the fact that it became a last minute rush, I finished to some degree of satisfaction. And now I am living in that blissful constant, where whenever I feel like I should be doing something, I don’t really have to do it.

Except, of course, I really need to get my exchange process going. Yikes.

So yesterday I watched The King’s Speech finally (obviously not in the cinemas), and I know I probably missed all sorts of auteur references and all that stuff, but the one thing that really struck me about that movie was how Helena Bonham Carter played her character’s love and support of Bertie. Without overusing physical affection, she managed to convey how much pain she was in to watch her husband stutter through his first speech, and how his victory is as much hers as Lionel’s. I think it’s a very succinct way to depict how, when it comes to monarchy, the Queen is usually pushed to the sidelines, when most of the time it’s her love and support that makes the King who he is – Helena Bonham Carter played her Queen with a quiet and determined dignity, never questioning her husband’s decisions, but always supporting him when he starts to waver.

And that’s my rant on that movie.

In other news, my friend Clem helped me get the game Portal, and I’m learning how to play it properly – kind of stink at solving the puzzle, but I think it’s a good game to get me used to FPS games.

Got my midnight tickets to HP7.2 already, and very excited to be going! I should probably start deciding if I will dress up, and if I do, how.

Alex.

I can see your heart…

Today I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1, obviously), so I will warn you, I WILL be talking about the movie in here, so don’t read on if you don’t want spoilers.

Seriously.

To start with, I was already aware of the scene where we see Hermione wipe her parents’ memories. The thing was, I felt that it was going to be really heart-wrenching when I first saw a few screen caps of the scene, but they placed the scene really early on the in the movie, and it wasn’t as filled out as I thought it would be. It was still pretty sad though, and for people who didn’t know about the scene, it would have been a pretty heart-string-tugging start to the movie.

The wedding scene was cut really short – Harry wasn’t in disguise, and Viktor Krum wasn’t there at all – but I supposed that had to be done for timing purposes. Also, because it was a movie, it wasn’t logically possible to show the entire piece that Doge wrote on Dumbledore, so if you hadn’t read the book, you’d have to assume half the things written about Dumbledore – and you didn’t know about the baby sister at all. Aberforth was mentioned once, very briefly.

Kreacher’s warming up towards Harry wasn’t really shown at all, which I found a bit of a pity because I rather liked the Kreacher arc. Grimmauld’s place was altogether a very short sequence, put in only to let Harry know that the real locket is somewhere else, and to be a segue to the Ministry story. I was really disappointed, because I sort of liked the homely belonging that Grimmauld’s place actually provided, however short.

The Ministry scenes were changed quite a lot, in the sense that little details were taken out. When I read the book, the Ministry scenes were REALLY tense and scary, but translated to film, the whole sequence was actually funny – minus the parts after they were discovered, of course. While it was nice to be able to laugh a little, seeing as the rest of the movie is pretty dark, I thought that it was a pity they had to give up such a tense situation for comic relief. I suppose really what I wanted was Grimmauld’s place to be put in more, and make that amusing and funny, and then have a really tense Ministry sequence.

Speaking of funny and amusing, every-time there was a Ron/Hermione moment – and there were quite a lot of them – there was a group of girls behind me that ‘aww’d. It was kind of annoying.

The Ron/Hermione scenes themselves were not annoying. The one thing great about film is that you can actually see all the cutesy little things they do. In the diner, Ron tenderly wiped away a bit of blood on Hermione’s face, and later on in the tent, Hermione was teaching Ron the piano, and the expression on Ron’s face when he watches Hermione play was adorable. While Rowling wrote these in very well, it was even better to see it enacted.

Translation of words to screen isn’t easy – I mean, we’ve seen the Harry Potter movies flounder a bit in the previous movies, by literally putting stuff in the books onto the screen. There are a lot of things that writing just couldn’t bring out, and Rowling stayed away from them. So the small dance-scene between Harry and Hermione, even though it was awkward dancing and kind of out of place, I think worked really well. It’s a really sad and depressing mood that Ron left when he first stormed out, and everyone was feeling a bit sad at the time because Ron and Harry had a fight – I know I was really uneasy when Ron was angry at Harry in GoF – so having a giggle at Daniel’s atrocious dancing skills actually put a smile on both Hermione and the audience’s face.

One other Harry/Hermione moment that made my jaw drop was the make-out that they had in the vision the locket showed Ron. Noticeably naked (or at least semi naked, smoke covered the rest), Harry and Hermione was shown in a tight embrace and…really going at it. In the story, we all know that Harry and Hermione didn’t kiss, because it was just a vision. But in order to film it, Daniel and Emma actually had to…go at it. And they were GOING AT IT. The cinema was in a bit of a stunned silence, privileged usually to a sudden sex scene.

The one problem I had with film representations of a book is that sudden visions and flashbacks or whatever, those get really hard to see. The first time round, you’d have to look really carefully for the clues and pictures, so if you miss stuff, you’ll have to wait til you can see it again. It makes sense for the flashes to be hard to be seen, obviously, because they’re flashes, but it’s hard on the audience to take in everything suddenly.

And, of course, the Dobby death scene. I was very aware that the scene was written and filmed with the audience knowing that Dobby will die in mind. The way that it is executed completely brings to attention the very moment when Dobby will be killed – from the comic relief he brings when he shows up at the Malfoy Mansion, all the way up to the slow motion blade flying towards the group and Dobby Apparating out.

I won’t lie, I still cried when Dobby died – and even a bit before that. But I didn’t cry as hard when Harry buried Dobby as I did in the book – I think the emotional hit was more in the moment up to Dobby’s death than the burial for the film, which is fine and all, but I would have liked the film burial to be as hard-hitting as the book’s.

In fact, I think I first teared up when George got his ear blown off, and Lupin pushed Harry to the wall to make sure he was the real deal. The panic and desperation in Lupin’s actions, and the anger and vast sadness in Harry’s face was enough to really nail home how dangerous their mission was.

It was disappointing when the credits started rolling – I sort of wanted just a bit more for Part 1. I’d always thought that Harry getting all the information out of Ollivander and the goblin would be the end – sort of like a cliffhanger for what Harry will do next – will be the end of Part 1. I wonder how they’ll tie up Harry getting information as the beginning of a film? There is no way they’d do something as cheesy as “Previously, on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows…”

And, of course, as always, there are people who don’t have a clue what is going on. When the lights came on, a girl sitting in front of me said out loud, “that was alright, except I didn’t like Dobby. I was rather glad he died.” The moment she said that, a dozen people around her gave her a look and Dani and I hissed, “SHUUUUUUUUN.”

So, my last word? Go see it.

Alex.

P.S. Can’t wait ’til July 2011! More Ginny/Neville/Luna scenes. And more tears, of course, because after that there really isn’t any more of the adventures.