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Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

What once started with a few broomsticks, magic wands, and three small, yet truly iconic children, has grown into something undoubtably larger-than-life.

July 15, the release of the final and highly-anticipated installment of the Harry Potter series.

I attended the midnight showing with friends, and arrived to our theatre a solid 5 hours prior to our showtime of 12:01 am. Wouldn’t you know it, there were already line-ups of people up and down the hallways of the theatre, young people decked out in Hogwart’s robes, still others dressed as distinct characters (Dumbledore, Umbridge, Snape and Bellatrix), and the always hated ‘seat savers’ guarding prime movie-watching seats for friends.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was perfect. It had everything: action, adventure, humour, tension, sadness, and joy. Fans got to see the long-awaited Hermione-Ron kiss, the horror of losing one half of the Weasley-twin-duo, the untold secrets of Snape, the bravery of Harry, the final fall of Voldemort, and the triumph of good over evil. Plus the glimpse of Harry and the gang 19-years in the future was so much fun!

A perfect ending to a perfect series.

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I recently watched the documentary How to Die in Oregon, directed by Peter Richardson.

I don’t think that I have ever cried so much watching a film as I did in this one.

“In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. As a result, any individual whom two physicians diagnose as having less than six months to live can lawfully request a fatal dose of barbiturate to end his or her life. Since 1994, more than 500 Oregonians have taken their mortality into their own hands. In How to Die in Oregon, filmmaker Peter Richardson gently enters the lives of the terminally ill as they consider whether – and when – to end their lives by lethal overdose. Richardson examines both sides of this complex, emotionally charged issue. What emerges is a life-affirming, staggeringly powerful portrait of what it means to die with dignity.”

It is very emotional and really pulls at your heartstrings. I mean, the main character in this film, Cody, is a 53-year-old-woman, who says goodbye to her family, and it is ALL caught on film. Right down to the very end. The very end. It is actually quite beautiful (and obviously ridiculously sad). The scene is a good 5 minutes or so, filmed outside the house, angled at Cody’s bedroom window with the curtains drawn. It is evening, and the light emanating from her window is very soft and inviting. We hear very faintly what is being said inside the bedroom: the goodbyes, the love, the last few breathes. I had goosebumps watching it.

I couldn’t help but wonder if my grandfather would have wanted to access his right to physician-assisted suicide, if it had been legal in Canada.

Assisted suicide is illegal in Canada, though I feel that within the next decade, it will likely be challenged so many times that eventually this will change. In 1992, Sue Rodriguez challenged the Supreme Court on this law, as she suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease and wanted to end her life with dignity. She stated to the Court: “If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life?” And its true, is it not? Why do we need permission from the State to take our own life?

Check out the trailer for How to Die in Oregon.

This interview with the director is also really interesting.

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Joss Whedon’s series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed my life. It was hands down one of the most influential series for adolescent females in search of independent role models. I credit this show (alongside my super amazing mum, and my intro class to WGS) with my coming to love feminism.

I’m sure you all remember the 1992 Buffy movie, written by Joss Whedon. Not the greatest movie. But it planted the seeds for the television series, and we must give it credit for that.

Now, there has been talk lately of revisiting the iconic female teenage vampire slayer on the Hollywood big screen. Here’s what Joss had to say about it…

“This is a sad, sad reflection on our times, when people must feed off the carcasses of beloved stories from their youths—just because they can’t think of an original idea of their own, like I did with my Avengers idea that I made up myself.

Obviously I have strong, mixed emotions about something like this. My first reaction upon hearing who was writing it was, “Whit Stillman AND Wes Anderson? This is gonna be the most sardonically adorable movie EVER.” Apparently I was misinformed. Then I thought, “I’ll make a mint! This is worth more than all my Toy Story residuals combined!” Apparently I am seldom informed of anything. And possibly a little slow. But seriously, are vampires even popular any more?

I always hoped that Buffy would live on even after my death. But, you know, AFTER. I don’t love the idea of my creation in other hands, but I’m also well aware that many more hands than mine went into making that show what it was. And there is no legal grounds for doing anything other than sighing audibly. I can’t wish people who are passionate about my little myth ill. I can, however, take this time to announce that I’m making a Batman movie. Because there’s a franchise that truly needs updating. So look for The Dark Knight Rises Way Earlier Than That Other One And Also More Cheaply And In Toronto, rebooting into a theater near you.

Leave me to my pain! Sincerely, Joss Whedon.”

First: this man is brilliant.

Second: I concur with Joss entirely. Vampires have been SO overplayed. Hollywood writers need to move on already. They need to put their brains together and come up with a new, strong, adolescent female heroine, who isn’t an over-sexualized teeny-bopper.

One of the reasons that the Buffy series was so popular was because it was a fresh concept. It twisted the typical highschool teen experience. Everyone remembers highschool as a time full of fear, stress and numerous failed attempts at fitting in. All in all, most people reflect on their highschool experience as somewhat of a nightmare. Joss Whedon made Sunnydale High literally a highschool of horrors. ‘Highschool as a horror movie’ became the central concept for Buffy, where all things supernatural and demonic became metaphors for adolescent anxiety, fear, and experiences.

“In the world of Buffy the problems that teenagers face become literal monsters. A mother can take over her daughter’s life (Witch); a strict stepfather-to-be really is a heartless machine (Ted); a young lesbian fears that her nature is demonic (Goodbye Iowa and Family); a girl who has sex with even the nicest-seeming guy may discover that he afterwards becomes a monster (Innocence).”

BtVS Original Cast

Genius.

There is no need to revisit Buffy, especially if it is going to Twilight-ify the crap outta it by adding big messy hair and overly-pasty, emotionless,  helpless young women.

And finally: Leave Buffy where it ended… at the edge of the Hellmouth.

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its coming!

Check out the trailer. And then buy your advance tickets to the midnight show.
I already did.

UPDATE – SUNDAY NOVEMBER 21 2010

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! Just a fantastic movie. Excellent translation from book to movie, incorporating just the right amount of information. The ending was a little abrupt but I liked that they chose to end this film with Dobby’s death, and leading into Voldemort finding the wand from the Deathly Hallows. And yes, I was in tears when Dobby was dying in Harry’s arms. And yes, I will be devasted in the next film — you know what I am talking about. It’s going to be a sob-fest.

PS – If you plan on hitting up the midnight show for the last intallment, I’d suggest arriving at 7 or 8pm. We arrived at 9pm for this flick, and barely got seats in the good section of the theatre (you know how the front section sucks… well we were real close to having to sit there). And come on guys, this is THE LAST HP MOVIE! Bring snacks, playing cards, and HP trivia to keep you busy. You are gonna want a good seat for this epic film.

PPS – Please check out this video if you haven’t already seen it.

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