Everyone should watch this…. Zach Sobiech died today, May 20, 2013. What he left behind was dedication, aspiration, kindness, and most of all, love. His message is universal, and I believe it is very important to live with that kind of love and empathy in your heart. I know I do. People joke around with YOLO and carpe diem, and all of that cliche “live life with no regrets” thing, but really, it is a blessing. We were all born on this planet and made to someday die, whether young or old; whether of sickness, tragedy, or natural causes. It is painful to lose someone close to your heart, believe me, I know, but it is also important to continue living life knowing that person would have wanted you to. It is important to live your life in your own terms, no matter the amount of obstacles that come in your way. Treat those obstacles as experiences, and stay positive. What’s most important is love and kindness. We all need to strive to be like Zach; try to be kind and warm-hearted. As Ellen Degeneres says after every one of her tapings, “Be kind to one another.”
On Thursday, May 16, the CW Network unveiled its 2013-14 Fall Schedule. And man, has the network changed things around. Nevertheless, there is only one show I want to talk about that airs on the CW. Nikita.
Nikita first aired September 9, 2010. It was a new show that was aimed at a more mature/older audience compared to others at the CW (Gossip Girl, 90210, The Vampire Diaries are all aimed at teenagers/tweens). It had action, romance, comedy, and a story that was so well written, that it didn’t have “fluff”–something that many shows have nowadays. There weren’t any useless story lines that didn’t contribute to the main goal of the show.
Now, it might be good for those of you who haven’t seen this show, to know what it’s about. Nikita is a show about (you guessed it) Nikita, a rogue assassin from the black-ops program Division. She escaped, and now seeks revenge because it was Division who killed her love, Daniel. She’s smart, dedicated, and focused on the mission at hand. She has help on the inside; a rookie Division agent Alex, a young woman who has endured a lot of pain and hardship in her life. Together, they stay one step ahead of Division in hope to one day destroy it. This is the link for the Season 1 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySr1u6jguHQ
For those of you who HAVE watched the show, you know what was announced recently. Nikita will be returning for its FOURTH and FINAL season next year but for only SIX EPISODES. I am extremely happy that Nikita got renewed, however, six episodes is simply not enough. You cannot create a good enough story arch in six episodes, let alone, an ending to a series. Nikita deserves at least THIRTEEN episodes to get the job done. I am writing this blog post to hopefully get it some attention, and get the specific attention of CW. Not only are they only giving it six episodes, but they are airing it mid-season. Which is pathetic. I would rather have them do what they did with Gossip Girl. Start it in September, end it in December. However, it needs more episodes!! Gossip Girl got TEN episodes for its final season. And let me tell you, the final season sucked. Except for the series finale. That was good. However, the series had gotten boring and tasteless for quite some time. If Gossip Girl could get TEN, I think Nikita could get as much.
The acting is really well done in this show. The two leading ladies, Maggie Q (who happens to be the first Asian female to lead a television show…Nikita) and Lyndsy Fonseca are strong, ass-kicking ladies that can also carry a great deal of emotion. The rest of the cast, Shane West, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, etc also hold their own. The entire ensamble is well-casted and have great chemistry, whether the chemistry is for hate or love. The cast deserves to go out with a bang, and six episodes won’t do the show justice, in my opinon. Here is a link for a petition: http://twitition.com/2psdh . Sign it, and tweet it out. Write to the CW, email the CW, tweet the CW, call the CW. If us fans join together and fight for this show, we just might win. As a devoted Chuck fan, I know that it can happen. So please, help Nikita get a season that lasts more than six episodes, because six episodes is just not enough to give us the closure that will do the show justice. Share this blog post, share the news, get attention. And if we don’t win, at least the cast knows that we cared enough to fight for them to keep their jobs so we can get more of what we love.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter movies. They brought the wizarding world to life. They made me laugh, made me cry, made me angry, made me smile. The acting is well done, the special effects are Oscar-worthy, and it is pure heaven.
Nevertheless, there are things about the movies that I do not like at all. The things I don’t like all have to do with what was and wasn’t included in them. Adaptation of a movie from a book is hard to do, especially with a 500 page book. However, there were things that really messed with my mind and annoyed me. There were things I felt were important to many key story lines that did not make the final cut. So, this post will be me ranting on a few of the things I wished they had done. If you don’t like ranting, you can leave. If you agree with what I say, or have some things you’d like to add that I did not mention, please feel free to comment! Harry Potter’s worst critics are the fans themselves. And I am one big fan.
Let me start with one of the biggest things that bugged me. Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Scene: The trio are on the bridge after the Battle of Hogwarts. Complaint: Okay, what do all the powers that be not get about wizards not being able to be wizards without a wand?? Wizards need wands. Wands need wizards. IT’S A TWO-WAY STREET. Harry was the owner of the Elder Wand. In the movie you see him break it, and throw it into the ravine. Yes, okay, he does that in the book. BUT, there is something VITAL he does beforehand! Remember when Hermione broke his wand in Godric’s Hollow from a rebounding spell??? Yeah, IT’S STILL BROKEN! In the book, Harry uses the Elder Wand to mend his own, because it was the wand that chose him, and he will only be his best with the wand that chose him. The Elder Wand, since it is the master of all wands, was the only way he could fix his wand. So tell me, why, in the movie, do we not see him mend his wand before destroying the Elder Wand? This implies that he no longer owns a wand. Obviously, us Harry Potter fans that have actually read the books, know he mends his wand, breaks the Elder Wand, and goes on with his life as a wizard. In the movie, the scene implies that he does not have a wand, therefore he can’t really be a wizard. Which is bad, considering he becomes an Auror! It’s hard to be an Auror without a wand. Actually, you most definitely can’t be an Auror without a wand. It’s impossible. The first time I saw this movie, I noticed that mistake RIGHT AWAY. So much, I had to whisper angrily to my friend two seats down about it. She just shushed me so she could watch the movie, which I understand, but man, I was annoyed. Nearly two years later, and I am still very annoyed. It’s simple wizard logic, and all the people that contributed to the movie either did not notice, or just didn’t think it was important. I hope to Albus Dumbledore (may he rest in peace), that they have realized the mistake they made.
Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Storyline: The house elves. Complaint: Well, the complaint here is that they just completely disregarded this storyline. I know that Goblet of Fire was material-heavy. I know that they had considered making two films out of it to fit more stuff. Oh how I wish they did, because they missed a storyline that had humor, romance, and social statements. It all starts at the Quidditch World Cup after the Death Eaters storm the camp. It is not Barty Crouch JR who casts the “Morsmordre” spell to put the Dark Mark in the sky, but rather Barty Crouch’s house elf, Winky. Barty Crouch JR uses the Cruciatus Curse on her to manipulate her into doing it. This leads her to be “set free” from being Barty Crouch’s house elf, which she does not like. She is one of the house elves that still believes in surving witches and wizards. She is then employed at Hogwarts to work in the kitchens. This starts the next segment of the storyline. Hermione finds out about the hundreds of house elves employed at Hogwarts who create their feasts, clean the house common rooms, and do many other chores. She believes this is unjust, that they are doing all this work and not given many rights (this is where the social statements begin to come in…). She creates S.P.E.W (not pronounced spew. It is Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. Say it right. Or Hermione will not be happy.) and tries to make a whole campaign about it. Not only does this bring the aspect of social issues to the wizarding world, but it provides humor with the Hermione-Ron dynamic. She’s very stern and proud of this, but everyone else thinks of it as a joke. After all, the Hogwarts kids were all taught that house elves were made to serve others; made to work. It’s the only thing they know. Humorous (and sexual) tension ensues between Hermione and Ron, stemming from S.P.E.W, and causes their relationship to evolve. Even if this didn’t play as much of a storyline in the movie, they could have still included it. I wouldn’t mind an extra 20-30 minutes if this were included. They would still make millions of dollars, and fans would still flock to the theaters. This storyline continues to the last book, and plays a VERY IMPORTANT part in a VERY IMPORTANT scene that EVERYONE HAS BEEN WAITING FOR FOR YEARS. And thus, I lead you to the next part of my rant…
Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Scene: Ron and Hermione Kiss. Complaint: No. No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no. No. No. Just no. Yes I smiled and clapped when they kissed, but gulpin gargoyles, they did it ALL WRONG. Wrong set up, wrong location, wrong foreplay, wrong EVERYTHING. This is what it should have been: Harry, Ron, and Hermione are in the Room of Requirement, after getting all the younger students out through the picture passage. Ron and Hermione had just come back from the Chamber of Secrets, and Hermione was holding a bunch of basilisk fangs in her arms. Hermione mentions how everyone is
safe. But then Ron is like, “What about the house elves?” And Hermione looks at him, and in that moment, she drops the basilisk fangs and runs into his arms, and plants a kiss on his lips. They start making out, and then Harry (who is always the awkward third wheel), is like, “Oy, there’s a war going on here!!” And Ron’s like, “Sorry, mate. It’s now or never.” And Hermione is smiling and blushing. A PERFECT MOMENT. A PERFECT KISS. Now, why oh why could they not do that in the movie? I don’t know their reasons, but seriously, I don’t know if they tried to make it more convenient for them, but it was not right. I had been waiting for this moment for FOUR YEARS. And it was completely wrong. Not to mention, the kiss they did in the movie, Ron’s head was devouring Hermione’s. No. Like I said in the beginning, just no. No no no no no no no no no no.
Those are the three biggest things that annoyed me from the movies. I think that is enough rant for one blog post, so I will finish here. But like I said in the beginning of this post, you are most welcome to do your own rants in the comments below. I encourage it!
~Break A Leg!~
In 2009, a new breed of Harry Potter characters came to life……on stage. A Very Potter Musical, the YouTube hit, has spawned millions of fans, some new, some already Harry Potter fans. The production, made from the group called StarKid Productions, a coalition of directors, writers, actors, and designers from the University of Michigan. The group was formed in 2009, and its purpose was to bring modern stories to the stage. A Very Potter Musical made this group of college students into YouTube stars (and some even more!).
The musical was a parody of the Harry Potter series, and because they did not have the rights from J.K. Rowling or Warner Brothers, they had to rename the title from the originaly planned Harry Potter: The Musical. AVPM was written by Matt and Nick Lang, and Brian Holden. The music was penned by A.J. Holmes and Darren Criss. Many people know Darren Criss by his character Blaine on Glee, but it was on the stage playing Harry Potter, where he originally achieved fame. Darren Criss starred alongside Joey Richter (Ron Weasley), Bonnie Gruesen (Hermione Granger), Joe Walker (Voldemort), Joe Moses (Severus Snape), and Lauren Lopez (Draco Malfoy). Yes, Malfoy was played by a girl. And yes, whatever comes out of his/her mouth is utterly hilarious. Draco will become one of your favorite characters, trust me.
StarKid quickly followed up with A Very Potter Sequel in 2010, which also garnered millions of views on YouTube. Recently, the final musical production, A Very Potter Senior Year, went up on YouTube. The difference about this one was that it was from a stage production at LeakyCon, and was more of a reading, than a full out musical. HOWEVER, it still was hilarious and supermegafoxyawesomehot. And yes, I cried at the end. It was nostalgic! I couldn’t help it!
I definitely suggest that you watch all three. In fact, I demand that you at least check it out. It’s full of laughs, pop-culture references, red vines, and rolling around on the floor. And, of course, there’s the music.
*From here on out, these posts will be written in first person, as they are more of opinion posts, and aren’t really telling any stories about me personally.*
~Music Makes the Movie~
You hear it. The sounds of violins and other instruments playing a melodious tune that you recognize instantly. The Harry Potter song, or, it’s formal title, “Hedwig’s Theme.” Everyone knows this piece of music. Even those who aren’t fans of the movies. Yet, they know it, because it is the Harry Potter movies’ musical identity. It plays all around the world. I even heard Harry Potter music that was on the radio in a shop in Santorini.
The Harry Potter movies are great, but without the music, like any other movie or TV show, it would be far less interesting. Music evokes emotion; it makes you cry, smile, rock out. A world isn’t complete until music is added to it. The brilliant John Williams, composer and conductor, scored the first three Harry Potter movies. I absolutely love John Williams. John Williams is the MAN! (Reference to youtube video, which I will provide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGYAPr6UKhs) I was actually able to see him conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra last summer in Boston (duh..), and it was absolutely amazing. Although they didn’t perform any Harry Potter songs, they performed songs from ET, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and various America-themed songs. I went with my friend Acacia, who’s also a big Harry Potter fan, and we were geeking out. We also found it funny that we were surrounded by rich people cloaked in Burberry jackets and drinking $15 dollar drinks (a small glass of watter was $3!!!). That’s what we got for getting table seats, but for $100, it was totally worth it.
The other movies were composed by Patrick Doyle (Goblet of Fire), Nicholas Hooper (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince), and Alexandre Desplat (Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2). Each have different styles and takes on the movies and the way they describe them through their scores, making them unique. Yet, all fully embrace and define Harry Potter correctly. Here are samples from each composer:
-John Williams: Harry and Lupin talking on the bridge at Hogwarts…
-Patrick Doyle: Scene of the third task of the Triwizard Tournament, as the champions prepare to enter…
-Nicholas Hooper: Scene where they are all at Fred and George’s shop…
-Alexandre Desplat: Scene where Harry, Hermione, and Ron are running through the courtyard, dodging spiders, trolls, and spells…
I have almost every soundtrack (only missing 2, 3, and 5), and the songs take up at least 1GB on my iPod. When I listen to the songs, I get pretty into it. This probably doesn’t shock you, especially if you have read all of the Harry Potter and Me posts. You should know by now how obsessed I am. Nevertheless, the music puts you in the moment. If you listen to the music, you can picture the scene it was in in your mind. You remember how you felt in that scene. Like I said before, each piece of music evokes emotion. The actors portray their character’s emotion, but the music brings it even further to life. It carries the scene, and moves it along. The music makes the movie.