Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

It’s time for my first movie review!

And, fittingly, it’s for one of my favorite series.

The last movie (tear) was really quite good. It didn’t have the charm of the 6th (one of my favorites) but it also left some of the angst from Part 1 behind.

Like with every movie, there are small things left out (sometimes several words that I think really made the scene in the book) but, after all, when does the movie really live up to the book?

Especially such a book, filled with webs untangled, mysteries revealed, heart-wrenching moments, and J.K. Rowling’s incomparable storytelling.

The movie, unfortunately, failed to capture (**spoiler alert**) the sheer elation of Harry and the rest of the Wizarding world upon the defeat of Voldemort, but it did a decent job of grabbing the bittersweet moments of growing up, and then watching your children leave you, as well. There were certainly the triumphs–Ron and Hermione kissing, the death of Voldemort, Snape’s true allegiance–and the heartaches–the Resurrection Stone, Fred, Harry facing his demise.

I had a big problem with Harry telling Ron and Hermione he was sacrificing himself, and with him simply breaking the Elder Wand in half, but these details still did not detract from the overall feeling of the film.

The ending was corny, of course–as was the books–but hey, doesn’t Harry deserve a little corniness after all he’s been through? Although I must say, Hermione ages really well.

I have read that many critics are calling this the best movie–my favorites are still the 4th and 6th movies–but it is a satisfying end to the series.

It was fun to watch several of the older movies before watching the finale. While the characters have changed immensely, they still have the same core about them–Emma Watson, while she has certainly physically changed, doesn’t sound so much different from her eleven-year-old self meeting Ron (who is eating, no surprise) with a bit of disgust and disdain in her voice. And Harry, of course, remains his troubled yet awed by this new world self as he has from the beginning. Ron remains the brave, goofy sidekick–although I am glad that Ron had his heroic moments, as well. One of Rowling’s most powerful abilities is to, while giving her characters slots, is to also make them immensely more complicated that merely the hero, the sidekick, and the smart best friend.

The movies, for the most part, give us a glimpse of these complications, and let’s us visit their world and get to know the characters in a different way from what the books provide.

I urge anyone reading this, if they have not done so, to read the books through and through, to truly gain the magic of the tale of Harry Potter. It’s hard for me to describe how much these books have affected me; not only did they help me learn about right and wrong, the power of humanity, the immense changes present in every life, they also enhanced and deepened my already dear love of reading and writing. If one woman can create a world like this, a world that really has impacted our world, what kind of world can I invent? The books also gave me a glimpse of the sheer complications of people, and a fascination that still exists today.

I feel like I am not doing a very good job at explaining what these books mean to me…so much for my years of English literary education, huh?

Anyway, while there are certainly gaping holes in the movies, they provide a good foundation for the stories, and if anything, make the stories even more British.

I kind of don’t want it to ever end–but we must put away childish things.

Although, I might have to see the movie again and revisit this topic. 🙂

The End of Harry Potter (and, coincidentally, the End of my Childhood)

Well, ladies and gents, this weekend I FINALLY got the see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2!

In IMAX, no less. It was my first IMAX experience, additionally, and it was kind of insane.

Just another thing to add to my I’m-a-little-town-girl-in-a-big-city-now feeling!

(In case you didn’t get that, I’m officially living in Denver now!)

The LAST movie was a bittersweet feeling. I’ve been obsessed with the series ever since that fateful day in the library, at around age 10, when I gathered all of books from the “New This Week” section into my weekly reading pile, as was my custom (I was really cool) and among them was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

No one else in my town had really heard of the book, all of my friends thought I was insane when I told them all about this wizard kid named Harry Potter, written by some guy named J.K. something. (Sorry, Ms. Rowling, I have no idea why I thought you were a man…forgive me in my naivete).

Well, now, fifteen years later, it’s a worldwide phenomenon, and while my inner rebel always wanted to eschew the phenom, I never could. As a kid who relied on the characters of books to be her main social life, Harry Potter and his cronies were some of my best buds.

This last movie parallels my life strangely. No, I’m not on an epic quest to save Wizarding kind or  the world, but I have moved away from my hometown and my parent’s house with the intent never to return again. I have left my childhood behind–and this movie is a symbol of that. Harry’s childhood ends too, rather abruptly, and while I held on to mine a little harder–I am 24, but part of the continued living-at-home was forced by the economy and my obsession with international travel–it still is a phase over.

The books and movies themselves were also such a major part of my childhood, that the ending of them also symbolizes a new phase. Every book has been linked with my various ages, and while I can read and watch them again–and believe me, as obsessed as I am, I will–but they are over. Time to say farewell.

Just like the end of a childhood, the end of the book series, while it can be mourned and celebrated, also disappears quickly in the new details, troubles, and joys of the new chapter.

So, no, while my days are not spent on an endless camping trip, hunting Horcruxes, and my childhood is not ending on an epic quest, I am starting a new (very much less epic) quest of my own.

So far, my days are spent going to the movie theatre alone, being a VERY TEMPORARY house-wife for my now live-in boyfriend (a.k.a I get the mail, clean the tub, make dinner and bake a lot…whilst reading and writing as much as I can) and getting lost every time I drive out of our apartment complex.

And I must say, these events are quite epic for me.

Stay tuned for further excitements and trials in the big city! Plus the beginning of my new job on September 1st!

(AND for a review of the final movie!!)

Heralding in a New Year

That’s right, folks, today I am officially 24!!!

I am officially in my mid-twenties…that sounds old.

But at least I am…

You know it!

Today is definitely a strange, adult-feeling birthday. I don’t have to work, but I do have to pack; while my lovely friend Kristin threw me an AMAZING birthday BBQ last night that lasted until the wee hours of the morning, it was also a goodbye party, and most of the people I will not see again until Christmas or possibly Thanksgiving!


I was very proud I didn’t cry at all the goodbyes–although I kind of wanted to. Then I was too busy laughing to think about crying–the best kind of send-off, I think! 🙂

It also feels like a very adult birthday because I am not going out and partying and dancing like crazy tonight; I am having a quiet dinner at home (well, it’s rarely that quiet around here, but still), doing some packing, and probably going to bed early…

I also got a pedicure today, and while my nails don’t look particularly sophisticated–they’re bright yellow with a flower that pretty much looks like a jungle on the big toes–the act of getting a pedicure makes me feel like a woman.

Anyway, I was out until four last night, so don’t lose hope in me yet!

As I reflect on this past year, I really feel for the first time that the years do tend to speed up when you get older! It feels like not so long ago I was turning 23…and here I am running right into 24. Sometimes I wonder if I should have accomplished more by this age…I always figured I would…but hey, on FRIDAY I am moving and will soon be starting a new, adult(ish) job and that seems like progress to me!

So, cheers, and sending out all sorts of love! Stay tuned for my continued packing adventures…



Do Good

It’s almost TIME!

ELEVEN days until I leave the lovely mountain town of Bozeman and move to DEEEEEEENVER, Colorado!

it's a colorful state, weee!

Very exciting.

The only part is, I am leaving a life behind. I’m sure there are only good things ahead of me, but goodbyes are hard.  Like I’ve heard many say, a goodbye is a very poorly named ritual…is there really anything good about it? Except the excitement of a new open door?

One good thing, besides all of the wonderful well wishes, is the advice I’ve been getting. Some of it isn’t so good, some of it is weird (although “always floss” is probably something I really should listen to) and one particular piece has really stuck with me, from a most unlikely source.

One of the cooks I work with a lot at the nursing home is in her mid-thirties, with several kids and several divorces under her belt. She’s smart and capable, but as she’s from rural West Virginia, she isn’t very educated. Yet, out of nowhere, she’s quite educated on life: the only thing she said to me by way of goodbye was “Do good in Colorado.”

“Do. Good.”

So simple, and for some reason it really just stuck with me. It’s all I’ve been thinking about.

I guess that, when it comes down to it, that’s what I want to do with my life. Sure, I want to be happy, and see the world, find a career (or careers) that I adore, make a home on the coast, surround myself with those who love and respect me.

But under it all? I want to do good.

I may be stressed about the move (i.e. stressed about the sheer amount of packing I still need to do) and nervous about my job and slightly freaked out by moving in with a boy. I’ve been worried about what I am getting out of my life, what I want out of it, what’s going to happen when I’m older, how short and unpredictable life is.

Among all these worries, I forgot that the root of the human experience is tied to our interactions with humans, all lifeforms, and as a result, it is tied to our relationship with the planet and the entire universe, and our treatment of all of this.

So thanks, Cook A, for reminding me that life really doesn’t have to be as complicated as I make it.

And that if you let yourself listen to the people around you, sometimes the most random sources can make it all startlingly clear.