Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sir Kenelm Digby's Birthday, or The Day We All Should Go Watch Harry Potter, July 11th

Sir Kenelm Digby, according to my Forgotten English Calendar, was a "colorful English writer" and was interested in the "six follies of science:" which included: "the squaring of the circle, perpetual motion, the philosopher's stone, magic, astrology, and the elixir of life."

Honestly, I have never heard of Kenelm Digby. But, he sounds like a wizard. If he was, he probably would want his birthday celebrated in a wizardly way. You know, like going to go watch the new Harry Potter movie.

If you missed your opportunity to attend a midnight showing of the movie, where you can see half of the audience dressed up like various Harry Potter characters, you really missed out. Okay, you really didn't. You got a good night's sleep, and are well rested for work and you didn't have to deal with the interruptions of cheering and clapping and woot-wooing at every few minutes. I was most bothered by some weird cheering when one of the characters that we are supposed to like died. Hello? Even if you didn't read the book, weren't y'all paying attention to who that was? Harry hugged him, like, five times in the movie; that means he's a good guy.

Anyway, I thought that this was a pretty good adaptation of the book, even if it felt a bit rushed. It was interesting to me that they did not explain anything. They assumed the audience knew the story, knew the characters. I liked that. If you hadn't read the books you might have wondered, "Hey, why does that woman with the pink hair get to fly around with Harry so much?" It would have just taken a few seconds of dialogue to explain, but it wouldn't have added anything to the forward motion of the plot. But, since she was an important character, she would have been missed by HP fans. I'm glad Tonks was there, but, I'm glad they didn't spend unnecessary time explaining that she is an auror.

Even with the rushing, I think they got all the important characters, plot elements, and themes covered. I liked that this really wasn't a children's story any more. It's the beginning of a dark time for Harry and his friends and the colors in the film and play of light present that mood well. The editing and story-flow was a little choppy, but I hope there will be an extended version that will smooth that out a bit. Umbridge was perfect. Bellatrix was perfect. I even liked how they worked with Snape's character.

Yes, I can recommend the new Harry Potter movie, and I don't really recommend the other ones. Except for the third one. It will be a good Sir Kenelm Digby's Birthday Day activity for you.

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