Monday, November 22, 2010

Newest Obsessions (Rec of the Week post...technically)

Quick Update: American Music Awards 2010 was dull, compared to last year's homophobic freak-out about Adam Lambert that is. Oh well. In other news, I'm getting a new Facebook account (apparently I never verified my old one, so they got rid of it. Forget that!)

So, this is going to be the one blog entry for the week (Thanksgiving break! Three days off! YAY!) so time to make the most of it.

As of late, I have been warming up to new musical and/or film-ical crazes. I'd thought I would share some of it with you guys!

The band FILTER (you probably know their hit song "Take a Picture"). I've always liked them and the total of three songs I know by them, including an epic alternative rock cover of the song "One". Then after hearing another one of their songs in a movie, "The Only Way is the Wrong Way" I've been going psycho about them again. They have this sort of heavenly, industrial touch to their sound, it's very soothing.

The band MUSE, and no, not just because my favorite singer Avril Lavigne introduced them at the AMA's. I've just been getting "Supermassive Black Hole" and "Uprising" stuck in my head for no reason. Not complaining though. They're pretty epic Brits though.

The rock group HEART. I heard "Crazy On You" and "Barracuda" within the same few days on two separate radio stations. Result: Crazy for Heart. The singer's voice is friggin' epic.

My Chemical Romance, of course. Their new album, #DangerDays, is out today and there was a listening party to toast this on their Youtube page.

A band called Mindless Self Indulgence. They're very punk-meets-pyschadelic, but they have funny perverted lyrics snd a half-girl, half-guy line-up so why not? At the moment, their song "Shut Me Up" is dancing in my head. Very odd song.

And, I'm rediscovering the Pretty Reckless. Their new video for "Just Tonight" came out, and it's so Goth it's beautiful. Also, Taylor Momsen (the lead singer of the band) recently became a familiar character on the show "Gossip Girl". And yes, I watch that show. Feel free to throw stuff at me.

As for movies, the obvious HARRY POTTER. Holy skittles, that was beautiful. And also "Anger Management", since I realized my scratched-up copy of it is still in working condition. (I feel pretty...oh, so pretty...). The other day I also watched one of my favorite childhood movies about a kid and his dog, "My Dog Skip". Yeah, the dog dies, but it's of old age so that's a relief.

Other than, my only other obsession is Sarah Rees Brennan's "The Demon's Lexicon", the first book I ever won in a contest. I finally have time for it after re-reading the Harry Potter series. Anyone a fan?

Okay, peeps, be awesome and don't get too huge of a turkey headache! I'll see you later! And as a goodbye for now, here's a funny article about Photoshop I just read on "Cracked".

Friday, November 19, 2010


Quick Update: So guess who nearly dozed off during a math test today because she stayed up till three to watch a movie last night? Yeah, me. Not fun.

My Chemical Romance song of the day: Disenchanted (a sort of soft ballad, but it's lovable anyways).

I'm actually doing a legit review of this certain HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART ONE movie for my journalism class. But, I'd thought I would be a little less dull and a little more fangirl on here.

So obviously, I saw it via midnight showing wiht my best friend, dressed up in my prized Gryffindor robes (as a kid, I dressed up as Hermione for Halloween...three years in a row). And, as any diehard fan of the books and the films would say - "HOLY SKITTLES, IT WAS 100+ ON A 1-10 SCALE OF AWESOMENESS!"

The reasons? For once, things were spread out a bit and not jumping from plotline to plotline. Second, a lot of favorite characters returned that were necessary to be in the movie (i.e Dobby, Mad-Eye, Umbridge). Third, I'd never seen such beautiful effects - I felt like I was int he wrong reality after leaving the theater. And fourth...well, it just was, okay?

So here's some juicy tidbits. Oh, wait, this is required... *SPOILER ALERT!*

- Hermoine gets a character exploration I'm really fond of. The movie starts at the Ministry, with Rufus talking, but then goes to Hermione's house. There, she's walking towards her parents and, most painfully, erases their memories to keep them safe from the wizarding world. Slowly, to add a depressing emphasis, we see Hermione vanish from all her family photos and her walk away, alone, from her home. Later on, when she must "obliviate" the Death Eaters at a diner, she clearly hesitates. A lot of their hiding places are also old vacation spots with her family.

- As seen in a clip in my last blog, Harry does try to leave the Weasley's in the middle of the night. Ron ends up chasing him down, and gives the scarred man a wake-up that it isn't all about the chosen one and that, besides, neither of them would last two days without Hermione.

- After Ron leaves, there's a sweet scene in which Harry and Hermoine are sitting, lost in their own thoughts while listening to music from Ron's abandoned radio. Harry, who hates seeing Hermione so upset, walks and offers her a dance to the corny music playing.

- Dobby's part is lengthier than in the book, so as to make-up for him being MIA in all the movies since the "Chamber of Secrets". He arrives through Kreacher, having helped the bitter elf capture Mundungus Fletcher. His last scenes at the Malfoy's mansion and Shell Cottage also deliver an emotional punch that the book never could.

- As you may have already heard, the "Tale of the Three Brothers" is told in animation. Not like cutesy animation or's a cross between line-drawing and Tim Burton but it works. The story has more intensity, and a fairy-tale touch to it.

Most of the major scenes that were taken out are: the heartfelt goodbye to the Dursley's (though they show a hesitant Aunt Petunia in the car), meeting Tonk's family as they go straight to the Weasley's, the informative chat with Elphias Doge (though there is a small meet-and-greet), finding Lily's letter to Sirius though Harry roams through his godfather's room, and Kreacher's tale.

Also, Dumbledore's mind-bending secrets are skated over. While Aberforth's name is mentioned and Hermione shows Harry a picture of Grindelwalk in Rita Skeeter's book, his mother and sister are still unknown.

All in all, a lot of the important and most anticipated were in there, and thanks to acting by British veterans, they exceeded expectations. I hope you guys either see it and enjoy it, or have already enjoyed it. If so, what was something new you really liked about it? Or what was a scene you wished they included?

Another time then...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Harry Potter Facts - HP and MCR Week

Quick Update: Happy-birthday-mother-who-won't-ever-see-this-as-her-and-internet-aren't-very-close-but-what-the-heck. In other news, here's another blog hosting a Harry Potter week (at least that I know of, haha)

Harry Potter Week

My Chemical Romance song of the day: "Destroyah" (it's pretty badass, and really new as well!)

Okay, so I was going to talk about the importance of secondary characters but after seeing so much hooplah about that, decided to be a bit more original.

So, with a special thanks to Google, here are some fun facts I bet you didn't know about the HARRY POTTER SERIES! *drumroll? Anyone?*

- A picture of Gandalf the Grey (from The Lord of the Rings) can be seen in the collection of great wizards in Professor Dumbledore’s study in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

- Rowling is the first person to become a billionaire (U.S. dollars) by writing books

- The actress who played Moaning Myrtle is actually 37 years old and is the oldest actress to portray a Hogwarts student

- In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, dragon blood is revealed to be an effective oven cleaner

- Numbers are symbolic in the series, especially 2, 3, 4, and 7. For example, the trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione suggest the power of three and the spiritual trinity. Harry fatally wounds the basilisk on its third strike, and Hagrid knocks on the front door of Hogwarts three times. Students attend Hogwarts for seven years and there are seven players on each Quidditch. Sirius is also imprisoned on the seventh floor of Hogwarts

- Rubeus Hagrid, one of Harry’s closest friends, is part wizard and part giant. Rubeus is Latin for something produced from a bramble or a thicket, which fits Rowling’s description of him as “wild.” Hagrid most likely comes from the term “haggard” which also means “wild” or “unruly

- Sirius Black’s tattoos are borrowed from Russian prison gangs. The markings identify the person as someone to be feared and respected

- The divination textbook used at Hogwarts was written by “Cassandra Vablatsky.” Her last name refers to a real woman, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky who founded the Theosophical Society. Cassandra was the daughter of the rulers of Troy (Priam and Hecuba) who was cursed by Apollo to prophecy the truth but never to be believed

- The driver and conductor of the Knight Bus, Ernie and Stanley, are named after Rowling’s grandfathers

- Harry Potter books made the American Library Association (ALA) list of 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books for five consecutive years. A challenge is a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness

Okay, I'm actually doing an article (journalism, haha) for either a review of the movie or facts about the new movie itself. Maybe I'll post some here!

See you guys again!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ultimate Harry Potter Books Vs. Movies Debate (HP and MyChemicalRomance week)

Quick Update: Get your toy wands and Every Flavor Beans - HARRY POTTER AND MCR week has arrived, the series that is the #3 contributor to the fan girl I am today (MCR places somewhere in the twenties though, so yay for them as well).

My Chemical Romance song of the day: “Kill All Your Friends” (morbid title I know but it’s a pretty catch song for a B-side)

So, as my WIP declares yet another civil war on me (it’s been threatening to off a couple secondary characters and change the color of my protagonist’s hair, the rascal) the week preceding the release of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART ONE begins. As does the week before the release of rock group My Chemical Romance’s 4th album, “Danger Days: the True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys”. So, let’s jump right into it!

Okay, so I know the books vs. movies debate is as old as time’s great-great-grandfather but now that I have so many cool writer buds it’ll be interesting to share opinions.

My opinion? Well…I’m glad you asked.



- Sorta obvious. Meatier plots and characters, as well as backstories never mentioned in the films.
- Things are explained so you’re not left to wonder how one piece of magic is possible when something else said it isn’t.
- Peeves the Poltegeist! Everyone’s favorite, immature poltergeist. If he’d been in the movies, I would vote for a contemplation of his rude songs.

- Okay, the world’s a BIT too open for the imagination at times. You’d think they can do any sort of magic to achieve something, then get disappointed to learn the rules clearly explaining that, no, they cannot.
- There’s only so much time Harry can spend on his “obsessions” (like when he knows there’s a mystery in the castle or that Professor Snape’s up to something). In the movies, they’re introduced then resolved. In the books, Harry spends not only paragraphs of his book but weeks of wizarding-time thinking about the newest mystery. You guys probably already know, but as great of a way that is to focus on voice it means no action. It’s the whole “thinking-and-washing-dishes” technique.


- The constant action! The horror that is more distinct! Its amazing depth really resignates with people, even the ones who don’t know how to read. The screenplay adds just enough snarky humor that still aligns with the characters too.
- The actors have fallen so permanently into their roles that I wouldn’t be surprised if Emma Watson (Hermonie Granger’s portrayer) finds herself reading textbooks for fun while she’s a student at Brown University. Besides, there have never been so many spot-on castings in one movie - Helena Bonham Carter as psycho, but forever loyal, Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange is enough proof of that.

- Huge chunk of story missing, of course! No house-elves rights (S.P.E.W!). No Bill and Charlie Weasley (though hopefully that’ll change with Bill in this last movie as he’s getting, I don’t know, MARRIED). No dramatic Ron vs. Hermonie plots (I think their arguing over their pets in “The Prizoner of Azkaban” lasted a minute). Not even any Horcruxes - well, one Horcrux. Big whoop.
- Really random additions. I’m sure you all remember the shrunken heads in “Prisoner of Azkaban”. Or has anyone noticed that “Nigel” character that’s in the fourth and fifth flicks? I have no idea who this kid thinks he is, but he’s not a figment of J.K Rowling’s wonderful imagination, that’s for sure.

Yeah, sadly nothing about Harry Potter is perfect (the books are close though). However, one pro is that both the books and movies share is that they’re worth waiting in line at midnight for.

So, friends, what’s your view on the debate? Is there something you love about the movies but would usually hate to admit, or vice versa? Tell all.

And as a goodbye until tomorrow, here’s an entertaining cameo that British actor Daniel Radcliffe (you know…the guy who dons the Harry Potter glasses and lightning scar) did in “The Simpson’s” Treehouse of Horror episode last week. He plays a vegeterian vampire named Edmund…huh, sounds familiar.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

REC OF THE WEEK: "How I Met Your Mother"

Quick Update: I have gotten myself a flash drive. This shall make exchanges between internet-less laptop at home and school-computers-internet-access much easier. So, after HARRY POTTER AND MCR WEEK is done, maybe I can actually return to the schedule I once had!

All I ever watch is the CW channel (the epic channel that used to be the WB, for people who don't know it well). We lack cable/satellite so it makes sense. After all, it's played the best sitcoms, has random movies on weekends, and was the birth home of three-fifths favorite TV shows of all time (Reaper, Supernatural, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer...the other two are Family Guy and True Blood, which of course are Fox's and HBO's creations).

Whenever the CW adds a new show to its lining, I give it a chance. This isn't always wise (the new 90210 and this weird "Hellcats" should be proof enough) but it's always fun to watch the pilot and see what they offer. Since it recently fit the popular CBS sitcom "How I Met You Mother", of course I tried it out.

And while it's cliched, a bit corny, and not the most original...dang it, I LOVE this show.

So pretty much it's about Ted Mosby. He's this alright, sorta sentimental guy in the architecture field. His best friends - Lilly, who happens to be none other than Alyson Hannigan from the aforementioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Marshall - are a couple who have been together for so many years they've become the sort of ooey-gooey pair that you'll see just talking about how much they love each other. After Lilly and Marshall decide to get hitched, Ted considers the same, as he's never been so successful in the dating game.

With the help of his other friend, Barney - the suit-wearing, classy, but not too intelligent player portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris - he enters the dating world again. And the conquests of his romantic failures and craziness, the weirdness of his best friends Lilly & Marshall, Barney, and Robin (an ex-Canadian newsgirl that is introduced as Ted's first failed relationship and becomes a main character) are the whole hook of the show. Slowly and steadily, it's all up leading up to - what else? - how he met the mother of his two, teenage kids.

The show has flair to it though. It's random and explores the archetypes further than most sitcoms would. Also, Ted narrates in occassional places (he's telling this all to his kids in one setting) which adds a unique, and maybe even more emotional, edge to it all. I think the best part is that somehow all the characters come off as sentimental despite their flaws, so you're rooting for all of them.

Sentimental characters are indeed a beloved characteristic of TV shows...and maybe even literature, if you get my hint.

Another time then, my friends. Another time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Feeling Random

Quick Update: Once I finish re-reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" for the, er, tenth time I'm going to start Brooke Taylor's "Undone" and Sarah Rees Brennan's "The Demon's Lexicon". Kristin Nelson would be so proud. Sadly, I'm in the scene Battle at Hogwarts scene...way too many people die. It's actually rather depressing.

So, I saw this on Youtube (via the blog YA Highway) is rather odd...

And then got caught up in a related video, of course...

So I've decided...I'm declaring next week HARRY POTTER WEEK on my blog. What do you think?

Actually, just for the heck of it - as the band My Chemical Romance's album is coming out the Monday aftewards - HARRY POTTER AND MCR WEEK.

This will be fun.