Friday, July 17, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

It has taken me a couple days to recover from my midnight madness of HP6 the movie. Edith and Nima came up from San Diego to join me, Natasha, and Mike for the midnight showing at AMC in Victoria Gardens. We got in line between 6:30-7pm and were probably around the twenty to twenty-fifth people in line for our auditorium. We ate Chick fil-A, played two games of Taboo, ate some Chocolate Frogs, and at 9:45pm they let us into the auditorium. We got perfect seats and while waiting for the movie did some Harry Potter trivia. I won a free movie pass and a small popcorn!
After much anticipation the film finally started at a little after midnight. A few technical difficulties during the first preview had me quite worried, but the film played without problem.

While I know some people don't read anything about or watch any scenes before they are able to watch the movie for themselves, I read everything I could find and watched every scene available multiple times. I like to be prepared. As a result, many of the changes the writers and director made for this movie adaptation of the sixth book I was prepared for. The movie and book should not be compared. Despite the movie being around 2 hours and 30 minutes in length, a lot of detail from the book is left out. Somethings that you might consider to be vital to the book are absent from the movie. If you haven't seen the movie yet, go in with an open mind. I think you really have to trust the Art Direction to truly enjoy it, recognize that the book cannot be made into a theatrical film properly, it should be a BBC mini-series. But, keep in mind that the team who did this movie is the team doing the next movies and so there are probably reasons why things were left out of this movie, perhaps there will be greater resolution in the final two movies. Last note before I get into talking about specifics, the CGI has greatly improved! For example, Quidditch is much more realistic, then when it was last seen in movie three (I don't count movie four because you don't actually see much of the teams playing at the Quidditch Cup).

The following are things left out of the movie that I would have liked to see, if you don't want me to spoil the movie than don't continue.
1) There is no time to really delve into Tom Riddle's family, Harry only sees two memories from Dumbledore the one in which Dumbledore first meets Riddle at the orphanage and the one in which Riddle discusses Horcruxes with Slughorn.
2) The Battle at Hogwarts is completley cut. While the Death Eaters do get on campus and the "task" is performed, there is no attack on any students or professors. They swoop in and out rather quickly. Bill is therefore not attacked by a werewolf and Tonks and Lupin are romantically involved in this movie. Come to think of it, there is not even any mention of Fluer and Bill's engagement.
3) The Dursley's are completely absent from the movie which has me wonder if they will even be in the final films.
4) Dumbledore's funeral is not included and neither is the bit where he tells Harry that he must continue where he has left off with the Horcruxes. Maybe it's supposed to be implied.
All I can say is that I'm glad I've read the book so I know what to read between the lines.

That being said, I did really enjoy the movie and I'm glad I went to a midnight showing even though it took me two days to recuperate. The movie is more of a teen fantasy/romantic-comedy film. There is one scene in particular in which Harry and Hermione share this serious moment (not romantic) where they comfort each other because they both have feelings for people (Ginny and Ron, respectively) who are in relationships with others. It was endearing, not something that the book really had. You feel for the characters who are facing "real-life" problems on top of the bigger problem of their world being in danger.
The movie has a PG rating, so there are not many "dark" moments in the film. The darkest moment is when Dumbledore takes Harry to retrieve the locket in the cave. The movie is filled with lighthearted humor. Despite the relative absence of the Weasley twins, who usually provide the comedic relief, I found myself laughing a lot more in this movie than any other. My favorite scenes are when Ron eats the love-potion laced chocolates meant for Harry, and when Harry drinks his Felix Felicis and goes about in a somewhat drunken state to visit Hagrid.
The movie has done exceptionally well. Grossed $22 million the first night, and exceeded $100 million in the first 24hrs. Plus, it currently has an 85% rating on rotten tomato.
If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out. It is quite entertaining. I think I'll be seeing it again this weekend at a $4 matinee theatre :D

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chick fil-A

I remember when there were no Chick fil-A's in California, that was also when Chick fil-A was limited to only mall food courts. Thus, until my senior year of high school my only Chick fil-A experiences were in an Arizona mall food court. Now, my family eats it at least once a week, usually more. This week has been an unusual week. In total, I had Chick fil-A for dinner Monday-Thursday, for lunch Tuesday-Friday (leftovers from the previous day) and paid for a meal this afternoon. That is 9 meals, and I actually had leftovers for breakfast a couple times...I have gained 20lbs this week in fried peanut oil and chicken.
Life is grand :)
Did I mention that this week was Chick fil-A customer appreciation week, so from 5-8pm Monday-Thursday of this past week they gave customers a free item? Monday was a Chicken Sandwich, Tuesday was a Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Wednesday was 8pcs. Chicken Nuggets, and Thursday was 3pcs. Chicken Strips. I <3 Chick fil-A! Friday you could have received a free meal if you dress up as a cow.


Free Slurpee goodness today :D

I love when stores/restuarants/cafes/etc. do "free" promotions! Free is my favorite price.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


In honor of the sixth Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I have been spending my free time doing various Harry Potter activities.
Today Kimm and I made butterbeer!
The recipes we used all came from this site. We tried three of the ten recipes listed, here is a picture of the ingredients we used.

The first recipe:
1 cup club soda or cream soda (we used club soda)
1/2 cup butterscotch syrup
1/2 tablespoon butter

1. Measure butterscotch and butter into a 16 oz. glass
2. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, or until syrup is bubbly and butter is completely melted
3. Stir and cool for 30 seconds
4. Slowly mix in club soda. Mixture will fizz quite a bit
5: Serve
Comments: The club soda left it tasting rather plain. It wasn't that sweet despite the butterscoth syrup. I would try this again using cream soda, or maybe even rootbeer. The least favorite.

The second recipe:

8oz ginger ale or cream soda (we chose to use cream soda)
2-3 tablespoons of butterscotch syrup

1. Mix in a tall glass and serve over ice

Comments: butterscotch delish, it might be better heated. The butterscotch and soda didn't mix well, I think heating them might help that. It tastes butterscotchy and the cream soda makes it much sweeter than the first.

The third recipe:
1 can of root beer OR cream soda (we used the root beer)
1 tablespoon of honey
2 teaspoons of butter

1. Place soda into a microwave safe glass and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds
2. Remove soda and set aside
3. Place butter into microwave long enough to melt it
4. Add your soda, melted butter, and honey to the blender and blend for 5-10 seconds (we do not have a blender, so we just mixed the ingredients together in a jar)
5. Serve

Comments: This was my favorite, and Kimm's favorite too. Though, it didn't have a buttery taste (which is expected for a drink called "butterbeer"). The honey is easily tasted, and the rootbeer is not as sweet as the cream soda so the taste was milder.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

McDonalds, McCafe

I've always felt a kind of connection to McDonalds. It has always been a part of my life, actually in some way I owe my life to McDonalds since that is the place my parents met, so it's another comfort food of mine. Fortunately, McDonalds is everywhere and is always inexpensive so I often find myself going there. As a child my parents would take my family there for $.39 cheeseburgers and my siblings and I would play for hours in the Play Place. I played monopoly more times that I can remember and my mom would take us there early Friday mornings when a new toy was being released in the Kid's Meal. My family literally has a couple black trash cans filled with old Kid's Meal toys. And, in Italy Edith and I ate at McDonalds a couple times a week so we could save money for traveling and museums; all that is to say that I have very many fond memories of McDonalds.
So the new McCafe campaign has intrigued me because I have most recently become quite a fan of coffee. One friend told me that McDonald's actually has really great coffee, better than Starbucks, because the company invests a lot in that market in order to compete. Whether this is factual I do not know. I can say that I'm not a fan of the ice coffee at McDonalds. It doesn't even taste like coffee, it tastes like whatever flavor you get since you can't just order "ice coffee." I don't like when plain is not an option. I want ice coffee! If your ice coffee was really that great I should be allowed to drink it plain--coffee flavor--rather than be forced to choose between Hazlenut, Vanilla, sugar-free Vanilla,...
I MISS PJ's COFFEE!!!!!!!!!!!! The ice coffee there is the best.