perder la vida

Learning to Live Missionally and Mindfully

Documentary Reviews July 20, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 6:11 am

When I was a little girl, I loved watching shows like Dateline where investigative reporting is front and center. So, it is no surprise that now, at 21, I enjoy a good documentary. And with my recent subsrciption to Netflix, I have been on a documetary watching rampage. So, to advertise and show my opinions, here is my commentary:

This Film is Not Yet Rated
  This documentary explores the secret world of film reviews…. I really liked it, except that it made me very angry! There were some interestingly funny interviews and some awkward clips (at one point they do a “thrust count”) – but it isn’t vulgar or crude. 

F**k
  Yes, I rented a documentary called F**k. It SAID it was a film about the origins of the word and the stigma attached to it. It was, in fact, actually a film about comedians complaining why they can’t say f**k on prime time television… I got so annoyed by their implications about people who don’t want to hear/use the word frequently that I stopped it about half-way through. 

Who the $%*& is Jackson Pollock?
  This was hilarious…. It’s the tale of Teri Horton, a 70-something year old truck driver with a potty mouth, who has spent ten years trying to gain authenticity on a painting she believes was painted by the hands of Jackson Pollock.  She had never heard of Pollock until she tried to sell this giant paint-splattered canvas at a garage sale, where – lucky for her – an art teacher saw it and mentioned that it might be highly valuable. She deals with some of the most pompass and egocentric art “experts” who make Simon Cowell look like a Saint, but she fights on… 

Maxed Out
   A product of Jamie Spurlock (Supersize Me), this film investigates everything that is wrong with this country – our greed and its consequences.  He depicts the credit card companies as ruthless vultures, which they are, and gives story after story of people who were misled by salespeople and collectors and ended up in a heap of trouble. For me, the film was very personal – as my parents have struggled with debt and loans and so forth for several years (which will soon all be over because our land finally sold!!!). I heard stories so similar to that of my parents – people who went through a rough financial patch and tried to make up for it by charging things on their credit cards… necessities like groceries and utilities… and then couldn’t keep up with the monthly payments. 
   What really made me upset was when I heard this lady talk about a phone call her father had with a collector from a credit card company. Her father saw that the incoming call was a private number, so when he answered, he said “Hello, who is this?” To which the collector said, “Well, you sure are nosy, aren’t you?” The father was angry from the get-go… he explained to the collector that his wife had been missing for six months, which was why he hasn’t been able to pay. The collector then said, “Well you’re so nosy, you ought to be able to keep up with your wife.” I started to cry at this point because my mom had a similar conversation with a collector a couple of months ago… my mom is not legally obligated to pay off my dad’s credit card, but this one company didn’t seem to care. They called every day after she stopped making payments and, one day, they went too far. The person started asking her how she was paying her bills, where her income was coming from, and so forth… and then he rudely asked “Well, how did you pay for the funeral?” Finally, our lawyer advised us to tell them that we would file for harrassment if they called us again – we did, and they haven’t. 
        Now, I am not one to believe that people who end up in debt are victims. We are all in control of our money and we are all too trusting with lenders and creditors. Granted, they make it sound so convenient and simple, but it is up to us, as individuals, to protect our assets. Individuals need to own up and take responsibility. But, to know that these credit card companies thrive on people who are trusting and ignorant to the damages of debt makes me so sick to my stomach. 
        The credit card companies WANT us to fail. They WANT us to miss a payment, they WANT us to borrow more than we can pay back, they WANT us to end up in misery. They claim that they “value the customer,” but if they saw how people in debt actually live, they would see that there is no “value” in a life of debt. This film shows the ruined lives of those in debt and how they may never recover from their financial troubles. 
      Obviously, I could go on about this forever… but, I won’t. You should just watch it. 

Yay for documentaries!!!

 

The End of Harry Potter July 19, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 6:18 am

There are some spoilers, so don’t read this if you haven’t read/seen Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Tomorrow night at 11:59, I will be standing in line for my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. At midnight,it will officially be the day of the last book’s release. At 12:01, the books will be distributed. I will spend all of my energy over the weekend reading. It is hard to believe that this is the end…. that we will all know what happens to Harry, what becomes of his friends, Snape’s loyalties, more about Lily, if Sirius returns, if Voldemort dies… and so much more. 

I just hope the book isn’t as much of a let down as the movie was.

I was really disappointed in the fifth movie.  There was no real build-up – it seemed to be just a story, with no climax. I mean… the climax was supposed to be the wand fighting, but it was a bust. The first night I saw it, there was a lot of laughing in places that I didn’t really think were funny… like, someone laughed when Harry yelled at Dumbledore. We are accustomed to, at least I am, having a lot of funny in the beginning and then fading into a more serious plot… with some sarcasm and jokes mixed in, of course. In this film, the seriousness of Harry’s situation comes too quickly and without real warning. The first time, in my opinion, that we realize something really terrible is going on is when he has the dream about Mr. Weasley. 

Some people have disagreed with me, but I think if you see things as Harry sees them, you would understand my point. Harry is heavily burdened in this book/film – he is being ridiculed by the majority of the Wizarding World, Dumbledore is ignoring him, he is afraid that he is becoming Dark, he’s having horrifying nightmares, he’s romantically confused… the list goes on and on. He is unable to truly let himself go, I mean – even when the Weasley’s give their final send-off (which was a great scene, by the way), Harry succombs to a terrifying vision. He is incapable of truly having fun because his mind is weighed down by the realities of his situation.

But… I think the actors did a great job. I am always pleased to see the un-whiney Ron. In the first two films, he really got on my nerves because it seemed like he was always whining and saying things like, “Blimey, Harry!” It really wasn’t a bad movie…. I think I just would’ve done it differently. But, then again, I would probably have trouble squeezing a 700+ page book into a two hour movie (which brings up my other point…. why was it so SHORT!?)

 

Snape, Snape, Severus Snape July 10, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 7:54 am

So tonight is the night that Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix opens. I’m pretty excited. This is actually the first time I will have read the book before I’ve seen the movie… which is pretty lame, but… that’s life. I was watching an A & E special that made predictions about the fifth movie based on the first four films and it was so weird to see all the character’s physical developments since the first movie – I didn’t realize how little the kids were in the first movie! The kid who plays Neville (forgive me for not knowing his real name) definitely wins the award for “most changed” in my book. 

I’m very excited about getting to see the thestrals. When I read the book, I could see them so clearly in my head that I actually had an argument with my 14-year-old nephew about whether or not they have actually been a movie before. (I thought they had!)

I am getting very anxious about the last book, as well. I have loved hearing everyone’s theories… there are so many interesting ones that would perfectly make sense. Some I’ve heard/thought of regarding who will die are:

1. Mrs. Weasley dies protecting Harry – She’s the closest thing to a mother that he’s got, but dying in this way would not bode well with her actual children. Although they love Harry, it’s a little too outlandish, I think. She might die doing something else, but I doubt it since we’ve already been put through a traumatic experience with one Weasely parent.

2. Mr. Weasley dies protecting Harry – This is also highly unlikely. He’s already put his life on the line for Harry once… it wouldn’t make much sense to go through it again.

3. Harry Potter dies – I don’t think he’ll actually die… I think we may be led to believe that he’s actually going to die (like in all the other books), but I don’t think he will. If Harry dies, Voldemort has a chance to live… unless Harry kills him in the process. That would be the only way that Harry’s death would make any sort of sense. 

4. Hermione or Ron die – Uhhh… I would cry. I don’t really think either of them will, although no one is really safe. It wouldn’t really make sense for one of them to die. They have already earned their stripes as dedicated friends of Harry’s, so it would be a little overkill for them to die for Harry at this point. If anything, Ron should have been eaten by spiders. Or at least bitten… (I love Ron, really.) 

5. Neville or Luna die (or Ginny or Fred or George) in battle – these would be good characters to kill off. Not because they aren’t important or that we don’t love them, but they are on an outer circle and we’re attached-but-not-attached to them, if you know what I mean.

6. Professor McGonagall – I doubt she’ll die, but everyone’s fair game. It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, though, because that would be two headmasters in a row.

7. Hagrid – Heaven help us if he dies. I really think he could be one of the ones who dies. I have heard that J.K. Rowling “sobbed” while writing the seventh book, and, well… I would sob if Hagrid died. I don’t think Hagrid would die in battle… he would be practically defenseless so would be tragically unfair. However, I think he could be summoned to death by Voldemort… maybe for hiding/protecting Harry. 

8. Percy Weasley – I am not sure how I feel about Percy dying or how he could die. 

9. Snape (or Peter Pettigrew) dies saving Harry – someone told me this the other night and I thought, “YES! That is what’s going to happen!” This would be a GREAT way for the books to end – especially if Snape died at the hands of Voldemort himself. Since the beginning, we have all been a little weary of Snape despite Dumbledore’s approval of him. Is he good? Is he evil? In the end of the sixth book, we are shown that Snape’s life is more valuable than Dumbledore’s… why? Is it because he’s a spy for the Order? How do we know he’s not also actually working for Voldemort? If Snape saves Harry, he will be able to redeem himself and it will show us exactly why Dumbledore has trusted him so much. However, if Snape dies, so must Voldemort – because Snape, although untrustworthy at this point, is one of Harry’s greatest defenses. If Snape doesn’t die saving Harry, I might be mad. 

So, let’s re-cap. 
People who I think might die: Neville, Luna, Ginny, Fred, or George, Hagrid, Percy, Snape
People who I think might live: Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Professor McGonagall, Harry, Ron, Hermione

At any rate… we know that at least two characters are getting the axe, so I think it will be a student… someone young, because no one young has died yet and the books are getting darker… and someone unexpected will die showing their true colors (ahem… Snape). 

Other questions & predictions:

1. Where did the Potter’s money come from? 
     I have read a couple of answers that make sense: a) That people donated the money to some sort of Harry Potter Orphan Fund out of gratitude, although it seems that we would have found out about that already – unless the people have all been told to keep it a secret, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. b) The money is from Sirius. The Blacks were very wealthy, so it is quite possible that he put his funds into an account as a way to help Harry from Azkaban. c) It could be “old money” from James’ parents. I hope we find out where it came from because it seems a little too soap-operaish, like… “how convenient” that Harry would have all this money without explination.

2. Will we learn more about Harry’s grandparents and/or ancestors and see that maybe he is related to someone unexpected? 

3. Is Petunia Dursley a squib? Will she be brought into the Wizarding World? 

4. Will Draco become a Death Eater?
    I doubt it. I suspect Voldemort isn’t very pleased with him after he failed to kill Dumbledore. I think we are going to learn that he is just one of those kids who is “all bark but no bite” – he has talked tough around us through the past six books – enough to think that he could possibly be pure evil. But, his hesitancy to kill Dumbledore shows us that he realized what he was doing and couldn’t go through with it. I doubt we will see a 180 degree turnaround, but I think he may be a better person than we’ve been led to believe. 

5. Neville will have his moment to shine… there are a few possibilities. He could kill Voldemort, although that is hopefully a task reserved for Harry or Snape. I would like himto kill Bellatrix LeStrange and that seems more likely for him. Some have predicted that he could become Minister of Magic. I think he’s a smart kid, but I think that would be a continuance of poor Ministers… I think, at most, he will become a professor of herbology. Plus, I think Mr. Weasley will become Minister.

6. Some have predicted that Harry will be the next Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. I am not so sure. Although he definitely did wonders with the D.A., I don’t think McGonagall would risk him in the classroom. It is possible that we could see Snape as Defense instructor… finally.

7. Dumbledore is dead – I don’t think it was a trick or a hoax. But, I think he will find a way to contact Harry. Some have suggested the two-way mirrors or through the portraits in his office. I hope it’s through the mirrors – the portraits seem a little too obvious.

8. Will we see Sirius again? I think so. I hope so.

9. Is the Ministry secretly linked to Voldemort and his brood? Could we have some dirty politicians in this book!? The Ministry has been reluctant to acknowledge Voldemort’s resurrection… is it simply because they want to appear as though they’ve got everything under control… or does Voldy have a hand in their inaction to try to stop him?

10. Although I don’t really know much about the horcruxes (because I can’t keep up with them all), some have stated that Slytherin’s locket is a horcrux and that Kreacher rescued it from the trash thrown out while the Blacks’ house was being purged. Some have predicted that Harry himself is a horcrux, although that doesn’t make a lot of sense – why would Voldemort be trying to kill Harry if he was a horcrux. HOWEVER, if Harry IS a horcrux, it would make more sense as to why Voldemort didn’t kill him in the graveyard… or why Snape hasn’t killed him upon the dozens of chances he’s had. Someone wrote that the invisible cloak is a horcrux – I think that may be more accurate than Harry actually being one. Maybe that is why Dumbledore gave it to him and why he hasn’t been killed yet – if he is the only one who knows its whereabouts, then it would do no good to kill him because Voldemort would first need posession of the cloak to ensure its safety.

11. As for the futures of our three friends,  1) Hermione eventually becomes headmistress of Hogwarts 2) Ron plays Quidditch professionally and wins the World Cup 3) Harry retreats into seclusion and then opens up some sort of shop in Hogsmeade. Oh, and he marries Ginny. 
    

If you don’t get “Snape, Snape, Severus Snape,” then check out “Harry Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise” on YouTube. You won’t be sorry.

 

July 6, 2007

Filed under: ME — Katie @ 7:50 am

“And while we are indeed human, and a quest to reach the perfection of Jesus is impossible, I know now we have one job. Our job is to love. Our job is to make deliberate decisions to see beyond prejudice, stigma and societal norms to recognize human heart for human heart and learn to clearly separate a person’s worth from the remnants of his or her current struggle… He looks at each one of us and says, “You are beautiful. You are worthy. You are loved.” And to love like Jesus is to say the same.” – Mallory Gabard in her recent article “Putting a Name to the Face” in the July/August issue of Relevant

Amen to that.