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June 13, 2004: M is for Movies

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Friday night we were supposed to go see Chronicles of Riddick with a friend. But schedules and busy lives being what they normally are, it was postponed until this afternoon. So instead we went to see the latest Harry Potter film.

We went to the latest showing on Friday night, which was chosen despite the fact that as I get older I have a harder time staying awake that late, because Friday was my dad’s birthday and I wanted to make sure we would have time for that as well. So Friday night we wrapped up my dad’s birthday present (an odometer for his bicycle, because he’s been bit with the bicycling bug almost as bad as we were!) and headed over to my parents’ house for dinner and birthday cake and unwrapping of presents.

My older sister and her family were down for the occasion and were planning on spending the night. So once the two little nephews were put to bed, Richard and I talked them into going out to see the movie with us. A movie without kids? It didn’t take much convincing.

The movie was marvelous – so very much better than the first two that it was almost amazing at the difference. It helped that the third book in the series is perhaps the best one (although I think it might tie with the fifth book on this). The dementors were deliciously horrible. Professor Lupin looked just as I pictured him – tired and gaunt and still somehow calm in the midst of everything. Gary Oldman did a marvelous job of playing Sirius Black, and Emma Thompson was almost unrecognizable as Professor Trelawney, so perfectly did she take over that role.

This afternoon we met the friends to see Chronicles of Riddick, which was perhaps even cheesier than any of us were prepared for. We’d seen the first movie - Pitch Black, which was actually a rather enjoyable horror film despite itself. So naturally we knew we had to see this one, even though we were fully prepared for it to be a rather substantial ‘B’ film. And it was, oh how it was. The special effects were amazing, of course, since one can do literal magic with computers these days, but oh the cheese of the horribly contrived dialog, the implausible plot, and the fact that harsh prison life still leaves a young girl’s hair and skin in perfect condition, even when racing through brutal terrain against the onslaught of the burning sun. Still, if there’s a third movie in this series I have no doubt we’ll all be there in the theater, cheering on Vin Diesel and his eye-rolling one-liners. There’s something to be said for good cheese, and his films certainly have it in abundance.

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