Archive for February, 2014

Here it is guys, the epic conclusion, the final battle, The Return of The Jed…oh wait, that’s a different series. Everything you have been waiting to happen for ten years happens now. The Dark Lord gained a huge advantage at the end of Part 1, which in my opinion, could not have ended on a better cliffhanger. Alliances will be tested, battles will be fought, lives will be lost and most importantly, Neville finally gets to be a badass.

After the events of the last film, the gang are still on the hunt for the last few Horcruxes to destroy them in an attempt to kill Voldemort. They have to break into Belatrix Lestrange’s vault at Gringott’s Bank. They find out that Dumbledore has a brother. They also have to break back into Hogwarts, which Snape has been ruling with an iron fist. Naturally, things come to a head. Snape’s true intentions all along are revealed and the final battle is more epic than anyone could have imagined. We even get a P.S. to see what happens to everyone on down the road.

I can’t imagine a better way for this saga to end, except for maybe one thing. I hated to see so many beloved characters die but it is essential to the narrative for things to happen the way they do. Happiness is not in abundance in these last few installments, but I feel that it makes the story more real, more personal. I loved this series so much and it has been a blast re watching all of these films and revisiting the series to do this spotlight this month. I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as we did. Til next time…

-Heath

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Harold Ramis was responsible for a lot of my laughter growing up. The first laughs came with Animal House, Caddyshack and Stripes. Movies I was probably too young for at the time but thankfully my pop let me watch them with him anyway. That was back before I appreciated the writers of films or really grasped how film making worked. Those three films easily make it into the list of my favorite movies and each are tied to memories of my pop and I laughing over the years as we watched them again and again. Thank you Mr. Ramis.

Mr. Ramis is possibly best know for his role in a film I professed my love for last year as being one of the movies I’m most thankful for, Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, which he wrote with Rick Moranis and Dan Aykroyd. He would reprise the role five years later in Ghostbusters II which he also wrote with Aykroyd. While a third Ghostbusters film has been in the works for years, it looks like now a reboot is more likely and possibly a better choice than having Ghostbusters III without Egon.

I’ll end by mentioning Groundhogs Day. Ramis cowrote and directed this film about a man reliving the same day over and over until he gets it right. Its another of my “if its on, watch it” films that I can watch anytime and its also a film I connect with happy memories, this time the laughs were shared with my Ma.

As I said in the opening paragraph, Harold Ramis has been responsible for a lot of my laughter growing up and he will be missed. He had a hand in more films than I’ve mentioned here but I chose my favorites. I can’t think of a better way to end this than with the words of my good friend Heath, whom upon learning of this tragic news texted me “Goddammit, I no longer want to live here.” Till next time friends, stay entertained.

-D

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Okay Potter fans, this is the beginning of the end. There is not much happiness and joy to be found at this point in the series. Main characters are dead and the gang have been forced to grow up very quickly in light of the events of the last couple of films. At this point, youth and it’s pursuits are long gone and in it’s place are will power and determination.

Following the events of Half Blood Prince, the gang are on the run in search of Horcruxes. Hogwarts and the ministry are being taken over by those loyal to Voldemort and the gang can’t return. Their new mission brings new dangers and forces them to get creative in their search. Much like Half Blood Prince, this film ends on a really negative note for the gang with Voldemort gaining a key advantage and one of the sadest moments of the entire series.

Much like Harry, the franchise has matured so much at this point. As the films have delved into darker and more personal material, they have become more complex. The gang is almost at the end of their story and things are really only downhill from here. This is the perfect setup for the epic conclusion. Deathly Hallows is my favorite installment of the series despite the saddest loss of the series. You most definitely have to watch the other six films to really understand what is going on, but it is worth it for these last two installments if nothing else.

Til next time…

-Heath
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“These are dark times Harry.”

Indeed they are friends. Even the muggle world knows that things are taking a turn for the worse. The Deatheaters are running wild, destroying bridges, not caring if they are seen by muggles and returning their videotapes without rewinding them (ask your parents, kids). Shit is getting bad, people are disappearing and we’re one step closer to the end.

“You’ve been reckless this summer Harry.”

Harry went out for a nice ride on the trains one night, thought he’d grab a bite at a diner, flirt with the waitress and then boom theres Dumbledore arriving just in time to save Harry from getting his swerve on (again, ask your parents, kids). After using him to convince Professor Slughorn to return to Hogwarts, Dumbledore drops Harry at the Weasleys to finish the summer.
Meanwhile Draco has become a Deatheater and been given the task of helping Dumbledore kick that nasty living habit he has but seriously even his mother and batshit crazy aunt know he doesn’t have the stones to pull it off. So of course who can they turn to but good ole Snape who makes “The Unbreakable Vow” and agrees to carry out Dracos mission should he fail to. Romances bloom, lives are ended and things at Hogwarts will never be the same.

“Do as I say Harry”

Half-Blood Prince is possibly my favorite film in the series. Its one of the last times you get to see the kids have a bit of fun before they’re forced to abandon what remains of their childhood and began the final journey to destroy the ring in Mount Doom or you know, stop Voldemort. Its doom and gloom for a while from here friends but stay strong and we’ll make it to the end…together…too cheesy…meh. Till next time friends, stay entertained.

-D

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Ok guys, I’ve been pretty up front with my love for over the top action flicks. They are the type of films I grew up on. When I was a kid, Schwarzenegger,  Stallone, and Willis were the biggest action stars around and it seemed like every other movie that came out had one or the other of them in it. Then they got old, became governors, or moved on to other types of roles. Then a few years ago, Schwarzenegger and Willis made cameo appearances in Stallone’s The Expendables making action flick fanboys go nuts. I mean, the three biggest action stars from the 80’s in the same film? It was awesome. Finally, Schwarzenegger stepped down as governor and reignited his film career with full force. Last years The Last Stand totally lived up to my expectations for Ahhhnold’s return and I was really looking forward to this team up.

Stallone stars as Ray Breslin, a man who works under cover for the government breaking out of maximum security prisons to show their flaws. After accepting a deal that is pretty fucking sketchy from the start, he ends up in a supermax prison called The Tomb that is meant to make its inmates disappear from society permanently and naturally, he is trapped. He befriends Schwarzenegger’s Rottmayer and the two begin to hatch their plan for escape. Some pretty significant revelations come to light and naturally, some pretty big action sequences are included.

Long story short, I FUCKING LOVED THIS MOVIE. It was everything that I wanted it to be and more. Instead of trying to avoid the slightly cheesy 80’s action movie clich├ęs, this flick embraces them and wears them like a badge of honor, almost making them cool. Stallone and Schwarzenegger and stone cold bad asses together with enough swagger to fuel a small country. Naturally, there is an awesome scene where Schwarzenegger pulls a mounted machine gun off of a helicopter while giving a really intense look and starts mowing down the enemy with it. True badassery defined.

Some parts of the story line are slightly cliche. Some of the dialogue is kind of cheesy and some of the performances are a little over the top, but none of that matters. This is such a goddamn good movie it makes you forget about all of that. For an explosive good time give this movie a watch. Til next time…

-Heath
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Have you heard? They say the Dark Lord is back. They say he killed a kid at the Tri-Wizard Tournament. ‘At’s a bunch of rubbish, don’t you read The Prophet. Potter kid’s making the whole thing up he is, trying to get his name in the papers an such.

Thats right friends we’re back for another fun filled year at Hogwarts and have we got some shit to sort through this year. I mean we’re all still mourning Edwar-…I mean Cedric’s death. Parents are apprehensive about letting their children return to a school that has, on at least two occasions, had a teacher attempt to murder a student. Speaking of murdering students, Voldemort is back in all his pissed off wonder and you can’t help but think he had some influence in the decision to appoint Dolores Umbridge as the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher. Yes my friends its going to be another wonderful year full of excitement, danger and haircuts, lets dig in.

After a day of frolicking in the park, Harry and his best buddy Dudley are attacked by Dementors. Luckily Harry knows how to defend against them and chases them off with a Patronus but in doing so violates the “Underage Use of Magic in the Muggle World in Front of a Muggle, While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood” law. After a bullshit trial, Harrys name is cleared and he gets to return to Hogwarts. Once there he learns that the new DATDA teacher is the same bitch that was trying to get him expelled at his trial. In her first class Ms. Umbridge informs the students that there is no need to learn how to defend against dark magic because life is all rainbows and kittens. Harry and the gang decide to start a secret club where they will teach themselves. Shit hits the fan, Umbridge takes over Hogwarts and by the end theres no doubt that He Who Must Not Be Named is back in black… cue AC/DC.

At just over two hours, the second longest book somehow became the second shortest movie. I’m glad they were still able to hit almost all of the high points of the book without having to sacrifice too much. I’ve got to give special mention to Imelda Staunton who brought life to the one character that most fans hate more than Voldemort. I can’t watch this film without the phrase “what an unbelievable cunt” involuntarily slipping out. Well done.

The dark clouds that formed in The Goblet have set up shop in The Order and its going to be a while before we see the sun again. Till next time friends, stay entertained.

-D

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@dhbates87
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Well guys, this is the halfway point in our month long focus on/tribute to the Harry Potter film series. This time around, the darker tones really start to take hold for the long haul. To put it lightly, shit really starts to go south for the gang this time around, which pretty much sets the mood for the rest of the series. They have to deal with a lot of things that force them to not only grow as people, but to face their own mortality, albeit not for the first time or nearly the last.

While Harry and Hermione are attending the Quidditch World Cup with the Weasleys, Death Eaters attack the visitors area setting fire to all the tents. They are quickly sbut down, but the fact that they showed up in the first place is a terrible sign. After Harry’s name somehow gets entered into and drawn for the 17 and up Tri-Wizard Tournament, there is a school wide uproar. Once the events start to take place, it’s obvious that there are nefarious forces at work. Just to kick the forces of good while they are down, Lord Voldemort makes his return killing a student in the process.

This is one of a couple of the films in the series that totally has an Empire Strikes Back ending, whick is not to imply anything nevative at all just to say it ends on a total downer. Several key events take place in this film that lead to bigger things on down the road and some new characters are introduced as well as The Order of the Phoenix. The Order being a group attempting to keep dark forces at bay and out of the Ministry. This is also the first film to get a PG-13 rating, which I think speaks for the events that take place.

Overall it’s a solid flick. Not my favorite, not my least favorite, just a good solid entry in the series. Key events make it a must watch for the series, everything else makes it a must watch overall. Til next time…

-Heath

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