If I Were Scripting the DVD Commentary for Half-Blood Prince…

So, I saw Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince shortly after it came out. I have mixed feelings about the film, as I found plenty to both love and hate about it.

I figure the movie has been out long enough now to safely post details, but if you haven’t seen it and are spoilerphobic, you might want to bugger off about now.

And for the rest of you, I present my own version of DVD film commentary… you know the sort. The film executives and cast talk through the whole movie while you watch it. These can be kind of cool or uber annoying. Or both. But then again, that’s how I felt about the movie in the first place. 😉

Producers: Hello and welcome to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We’d like you to pay special attention to this first scene where we blow our entire special effects budget exploding a bridge. Please bear that in mind for later.

Harry: I’ve always been a bit reckless, so I’m sure you’ll understand why I’m hanging at the local café, hitting on waitresses as I read my moving-picture, magical-headlined Daily Prophet in plain sight of a zillion muggles. And don’t ask where I got money for restaurant meals, either, cuz I haven’t got a clue.

Dumbledore: I’ve been working this gig for four movies now and I’m actually starting to understand my character a bit. Yay, me! Let’s get our new potions master and get back to Hogwarts.

Hermione: For all you book-obsessed detail-freaks, please notice that my hair has returned to its bushy state for potions class and potions class only. You’re welcome.

Draco: Finally… a chance to show all of y’all how awesome an actor I really am. Perhaps this will console me as toddlers burst into tears when they see me on the street.

Producers: We’re taking great pains here to represent the teen angst well, and we really think we did a bang-up job with it. Bear that in mind when you’re wondering what happened to most of the plot.

Voldemort: No fair! I got totally gypped! Half Blood Prince is supposed to be all about ME! The tragic family history that created the DARKEST MOST POWERFUL WIZARD EVER!!  And you give me two puny scenes that explain NOTHING? Don’t you realize who you’re messing with? I could kill you all right now, but that’s not really my style. So I’m off to formulate an elaborate plot where I exact my revenge against you sniveling imbeciles!

Producers: *clearing throats nervously* You may have noticed by now that the movie is more than half over, and we haven’t actually shown much about Voldemort at all. Sorry about that. Please let us make it up to you with a random and gratuitous scene where a dozen Death Eaters show up at the Burrow and chase everybody around a cornfield for a while.

Harry: HA! Told you I was reckless. Watch me take off alone after the lot of them.

Ginny: Lucky for Harry, I’m such a badass witch that I keep my wand with me even in the shower, just in case I have to scamper off in my bathrobe to save my cutie patootie.

Greyback: Look! Look!! There I am! Right THERE!! No lines, of course, or anything to conclusively identify me at all… but I got a full 2 seconds of screen time, and that’s something.

Death Eaters: Having surrounded the majority of the Order of the Phoenix and Voldemort’s arch enemy, we’ll ignore our strategic advantage and go home now. But not before we accomplish the *much* more important task of setting fire to the Burrow!

OOP & Weasleys: Oh noes! Our house is on fire! If only we were witches and wizards who could DO something besides clutch each other and shake our heads sadly.

Harry: Hermione! I’m glad to be back at school. Some crazy weird stuff went down at the Burrow over the break.

Hermione: You’re lucky you weren’t killed. But I’m strangely disinterested. Probably cuz I’m still upset about Ron.

Ginny: Ron and Lavender stole my meet-cute, so I have to kiss Harry in a cluttered magical closet and then run away instead. That kind of sucks, but at least I get to kiss him.

Harry: And that’s not the only way I get lucky in this film. I’m about to do an amazing acting job right here as I collect the missing memory from Slughorn with the felix felicis potion.

Producers: Yes, everyone. Be sure you enjoy that scene, cuz you’re going to be furious with us in a few minutes.

Dumbledore: Excellent work, Harry! Now we have proof Voldemort was making Horcruxes. Of course, since we’ve eliminated all the other memories of  Voldemort’s past from the film, it will be practically impossible for anyone to find them, but I never said this was supposed to be easy. Now, Harry, if you’ll just follow me into this cave which we have neglected to explain is personally significant to Voldemort.

Harry: I’ll follow you anywhere with no questions asked, even though you haven’t explained a bit about why this necklace is important. Or how you know it’s a horcrux. Or how I might be able to find the others. Here’s that potion you asked for.

Dumbledore: I may be deathly ill from the poison here, because I desperately need water. But despite the fact Harry wasn’t actually able to get me any, I’m about to spontaneously recover enough to kick some serious ass.

Producers: Don’t the Inferi look cool? Everyone please remember that later on.

Dumbledore: Well, contrary to the oft-repeated unbreakable rule, we’re going to go ahead and just apparate right onto the Hogwarts grounds. And I somehow I know that Draco’s coming to bump me off any minute. You might expect me to paralyze Harry or something, but instead I’m going to just tell him to hang out a floor below. That will be extremely helpful.

Draco: I have acted my butt off all movie, and now it’s my big moment. Any last words, Dumbledore?

Dumbledore: Since I’m not busy casting silent spells on Harry, there’s really no reason I shouldn’t be able to disarm a naughty school boy, but for some reason I won’t bother to do that.

Harry: The Death Eaters have turned up. I can see everyone, but for some mysterious reason, none of them can see me. And I’ve completely changed character and  will stand here like a stump until Snape shows up and snuffs Dumbledore. How’s THAT for reckless?

Producers: Hey… remember how cool the bridge looked when it blew up? And those Inferi? Weren’t they awesome? Yeah… they were the best… So… anyway… no final battle scene. Sorry.

Death Eaters: Woot! We’ve killed Dumbledore! And we’ve met with no resistance whatsoever! Let’s smash things!

Harry: Pay no attention to the fact that, with no confusion of a big battle, it’s pretty hard to believe that no one bothers me as I chase after Snape all alone.

Snape: I’m uber emo, so I do sort of enjoy flipping my hair and shouting “I AM the Half Blood Prince!” But I still think I was better in the book.

Producers: So, er… we know you all were really looking forward to the emotional wallop of Dumbledore’s funeral. But… um… instead we’re just going to have everybody raise their lighted wands sort of like lighters at a rock concert. But, hey… the Inferi were way cool, right? KThxBai!

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When Query Met Sadly: Can Agents and Aspiring Authors Really Be Friends?

This something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, in the wake of Agentfail fallout regarding agents making themselves (as people, not just as agents) accessible online.

Because in the course of “establishing an online presence,” I’ve encountered quite a few agents who are funny and fabulous. People whom I enjoy interacting with as much as any of my online contacts (or, as Mr. Kiddoc calls them, my imaginary friends).

But it gets a bit tricksy sometimes. If any of my other online contacts posted they were having a bad day, I wouldn’t hesitate to try to cheer them up. I would use tongue-in-cheek humor without reservation. But when it’s an agent-type person, I worry I’ll seem insincere. I wouldn’t need a motive, ulterior or otherwise, to do these things. But I can’t deny that I do have a motive, shading my every action with personal gain.

It’s almost a consolation prize to have received rejections from a couple of these agenty peeps. Of course, I am disappointed not to be working with them, but at least I don’t feel cloying if I tell them when they crack me up or post something particularly helpful.

And all of this musing reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, which I now present for you with a few minor word substitutions:

Query Burns: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally Agent: Why not?
Query Burns: What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form – is that aspiring authors and agents can’t be friends because the representation part always gets in the way.
Sally Agent: That’s not true. I have a number of aspiring author friends and there is no representation involved.
Query Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Agent: Yes I do.
Query Burns: No you don’t.
Sally Agent: Yes I do.
Query Burns: You only think you do.
Sally Agent: You’re saying I’m representing these authors without my knowledge?
Query Burns: No, what I’m saying is they all WANT to be represented by you.
Sally Agent: They do not.
Query Burns: Do too.
Sally Agent: They do not.
Query Burns: Do too.
Sally Agent: How do you know?
Query Burns: Because no author can be friends with an agent that reps his or her genre. He always wants to be represented by her.
Sally Agent: So, you’re saying that an author can be friends with a agent who doesn’t?
Query Burns: No. You pretty much want to sign with them too.
Sally Agent: What if THEY don’t want to represent YOU?
Query Burns: Doesn’t matter because the representation thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.

But, Twittering/Blogging Agents, I like you for your minds, I swear.

Here’s to friendship anyway!

Mummy Dearest

So, my husband and I went to see the most recent Mummy movie. It was highly entertaining and the kind of movie that really makes you think…

Highly entertaining because so much of it was ridiculous beyond suspension of disbelief. And because of the enormity of the suck-itude of the majority of the acting on display. I laughed uproariously throughout the picture, much to the chagrin of the disgruntled other audience members who could not see the humor in the awesome awfulness. Photobucket

But it DID really make me think.

Spoilers ahead. Sort of. It’s already sort of pre-spoiled. Continue reading

Musical Musings

Someone today mentioned great “Dance Movies”, one of which was West Side Story. This reminded me of an inspiration I had for a silly project back in medical school…

A parody of West Side Story, about rival insurance companies. The sweet young couple love each other dearly, but cannot wed as their preexisting conditions prevent them from adding themselves to the other’s policy.

I thought one “gang” should be the Mets, but I never came up with a good Shark-analog. Still, I composed these parody snippets:

When you’re a Met,

You’re a Met all the way

From your first check that clears

to the last time you pay…

And…

I feel sickly. Oh, so sickly!

I feel crummy and bummy and dead

And so sickly, I just want sit and hold my head.

I feel awful, oh so awful

It’s unlawful how awful I feel

And so sickly that I hardly can believe I’ll heal

See the sickly girl in that mirror there?

Who can that repulsive girl be?

Such a pale face! Such a fuzzy tongue! And such puffy eyes!

What a sickly me!

I feel icky and disgusting

Like my ‘pendix could bust… there it goes!

And my doctor has me paying through my runny nose.

And a friend of mine actually won tickets to see West Side Story while I was in medical school, so I told him about this idea and we whipped up this one that night (this is mostly my friend’s):

I’m an MD in America

Come and see me in America

I’ll make you healthy in America

For a small fee in America

If you are ill in America

I’ll give you a pill in America

Or some Ny-Quil in America

And send you a bill in America!

So, big broadway smash, right?

Heartstrings

Music is extremely important to me. All types of music.

I love the melody and the rhythm, but they are mostly a vehicle for me to mainline powerful lyrics.

So, I recently watched “Easter Parade”, being as the season was right for it. And, as always, Fred Astaire sang about how he was “Drum Crazy”.

I’m not drum crazy.

I love the rhythms and all, but that’s not what gets inside me. It’s the strings that touch on transcendental. Acoustic guitars and violins, harps and cellos– that’s my musical language.

I was fascinated in medical school when I saw real heartstrings.

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Zing.

Open to Interpretation

I saw Juno last night with my husband and enjoyed it immensely.

The main character’s repeated questioning of “‘Sexually active’… what does that even mean?” reminded me of an incident during medical school.

During a rotation in the ER, one of the medical students I was working with saw a teenage girl who came in with abdominal pain. He asked if she was sexually active and she said she wasn’t, but he sent urine for a pregnancy test anyway.

When the test came back positive, he went to tell her the results. “I thought you said you weren’t sexually active,” he said to her.

“I’m not,” she insisted. “I pretty much just lie there.”

Words are such funny things. What is so clear to one person may be taken completely differently by someone else.

That is one of the things I really enjoy thinking about when I’m writing– considering how another character, with their own motives and experiences, will react to the same information differently.

I am looking forward to beginning editing in earnest and start making those careful word choices. I think I’m ready; it’s just been a bit nutty lately with my work schedule and the holidays.

But in the next week or so, I intend to really get down to it. 🙂