Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Short review: I didn't like it.

Ok potter heads, calm down.

First, let's review my opinions of the first three. I enjoyed The Sorcerer's Stone, although I thought it had an absolutely despicable ending that still pisses me off. I thought that The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban were both very good movies, with maybe a slight edge to Chamber. I should also mention that I have never read any of the books.

Nearly all of my friends who have read the books consider Goblet of Fire to be the best of the whole series, so I had high hopes going into the theater. And when I came out, I felt reasonably satisfied with it. But, after letting it stew for almost a week, my opinion has decreased significantly. Although I didn't like then end of the first movie, I have felt that the three previous movies were Complete Films. That is, without having the novels to reference, I didn't feel like there was more information that I needed to see that wasn't there. That wasn't the case with this film. Part of it may not have been able to be helped, since the novel The Goblet of Fire was about twice as long as any of the previous ones, but the movie was the same length. But I still think that any movie should work on its own terms, regardless of the source.

The biggest thing that bothered me was the treatment of Sirius Black. The end of Azkaban set up Harry and Sirius's relationship to be very important. And, while Harry has one conversation with him early in this film, he is never mentioned or heard from again. If he's still in hiding or whatever, it wouldn't have bothered me for him to be left out, but to introduce him and then completely drop the storyline didn't make much sense to me.

I also thought that Ralph Fiennes was absolutely terrible as Voldemort. After four movies worth of build-up over how dark and terrible he was, he actually came off as kind of sniveling and
annoying. I guess that's just my opinion, but it just didn't impress me at all.

I wasn't very impressed with the director either. After how wonderfully moody Azkaban was, this film just seemed drab. The CG was terrible at times (especially the underwater scenes). I also thought it was a step back in terms of acting, especially for Emma Watson as Hermione, who was great in Azkaban and just kind of annoying here.

I also continue to be bothered by the thing that almost ruined the first movie for me. That is, Harry keeps getting advantages just because he is "Harry Potter". In this movie, he only won the Tri-Wizard Tournament because he has someone cheating for him, and was out-right given a co-first place in a competition that he finished last in, just because he's Harry Potter. A hero should overcome adversity, not back his way into things as Harry continues to do.

So I'm sure that all you Harry Potter fans will explain to me why I'm wrong, but this movie, unlike the other three, just wasn't a Film, it was a Book Report. Add to that the decrease in quality of acting and directing, and that makes the least effective movie of the series.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Thank God for Bama

Thank God for Bama. They are our purifying filter as they siphon out all the redneck, uneducated, crystal meth producers in "Alabama the Beautiful." The legend of the Bear is like a mosquito zapper for white trash, sucking them in and metaphorically killing them by trapping them in a past of tradition and a future of mediocrity, and we here at Auburn are better because of it. Being a Bama fan in Alabama is like being in a really inane and incredibly ignorant cult, while we, the Auburn fans, kind of step back and say, "Are you guys kidding?" and watch them go crazy and know that while we're not the majority we'll probably have more fulfilling lives and at the very least not have to remove our own manlihood to appease a spaceman living in Haley's commit (or the Bear in this instance). Yes we should all be thankful for Bama, our clean ventilation, or else we would be stuck breathing dirty air here in East Alabama.

**Can't claim this one.  Stolen from here.**

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

BCS Math

I've been bored today at work, so I've been sitting here mulling Auburn's chances of getting to a BCS Bowl (If they beat Bama but don't get to the SEC championship game). While the chances are pretty slim, it is possible. I've actually come up with several convoluted scenarios, but there is only one that makes a lot of sense. Notre Dame has to lose.

Right now, the PAC-10, Big 10, ACC, and SEC are all fighting over 1 at large big (the Big 12 and Big East are joke conferences this year and stand no chance of sending two teams). This is due to Notre Dame's ridiculous contract with the BCS that basically assures them a spot if they ever have less than three losses (they're 7-2 right now).

I'm assuming than the current conference leaders all win out. That would result in:

Rose Bowl: USC vs. Texas
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs ?
Orange Bowl: Miami vs ?
Fiesta Bowl: ? vs ?

Teams with Guaranteed spots: Penn St., Notre Dame, West Va.

The bowl selection order this year (since the Fiesta will lose Texas to the National Championship Rose Bowl) will be: Fiesta, Orange, Fiesta, Sugar.

The Fiesta will most likely use it's first choice to take either Notre Dame or Penn St., and the Orange will grab up the other. That will leave the Fiesta to chose either West Va. or an at large team. The likely pool of at large candidates is: 10-1 Oregon, 10-1 Va. Tech, 9-2 Auburn, or 9-2 Ohio St. (Alabama, Texas Tech, and UCLA will also be 9-2, but will all likely be less than the required 12th in BCS rank). Out of those choices, they would most likely pick Oregon based on regional proximity. West Va. would then go to the Sugar Bowl.

But, let's say that Notre Dame loses another game. That would eliminated them from contention. Then the Fiesta would take Penn St. with their first pick, and the next move would belong to the Orange Bowl. They probably would not take Oregon, because it's on the other side of the country. They also would probably pass on West Va. (poor Big East . . .no one wants them). They couldn't take Va Tech because that would be an ACC vs. ACC pairing, which is against the rules. So they would get to pick between Auburn and Ohio St. Now, I know that Ohio St. has a larger fan base, but Auburn has more regional appeal. Also, it's not a given that Ohio St. will beat Michigan, so a loss there would leave Auburn standing almost alone.

Of course, I'm making a lot of assumptions. The biggest is that LSU will beat Georgia in the SEC title game. If Georgia wins, then any second SEC bid would fall to LSU instead of Auburn. Also, if Miami loses another game they wouldn't win the ACC, but would be a more powerful at large candidate than Va. Tech. And of course, if either Texas or USC lose, it will completely change the selection order, and all bets are off.

But for now, in addition to my Auburn colors, I will be cheering for Michigan, Syracuse, and Stanford.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My Eyes! My Eyes!

I'm certainly no fashionista, but the jerseys that Florida wore last Saturday to the Coctail Party have to be the ugliest ones this side of Oregon's Neo Yellow atrocities.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy All Saint's Day

I meant to post this last night, being Halloween and all, but I forgot.

Anyway, I was in Auburn this past weekend for the Ole Miss game and of course to see the Dude who was gracing everyone with his presence.  That evening, I went to a couple of Halloween parties (one at Joel and Kristi's, one at Jessi and Ian's, great times at both!).  They were costume parties, and I hadn't really planned or been working on a costume in advance, so I couldn't do anything as cool as my Black Mage outfit from a couple of years ago.  However, I may have come up with my most creative costume ever.

I bought a child's tiger costume from Wal-Mart.  I stuffed it with clothes and a sheet, and tied it to my waist with my belt.  I then took a white T-Shirt and with a black Sharpie I wrote the letters BCS.

So, for Halloween, I was the BCS screwing Auburn.

It was well received.