Sunday, July 22, 2007

The end of Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows

I have attended the book launch at Borders in Melbourne Central yesterday morning. I was there since 8:00 am, waiting alongside other Harry Potter fans for the first box of books to be opened by lucky little girl. I was part of long queue to purchase the book, and the queue didn't abate till the afternoon. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is clearly the most anticipated book of the decade. Finally, the question whether the 17 year old hero Harry Potter will defeat his nemesis Voldemort once and for all or will evil reign the world.

I have finished the book last night and have fully enjoyed it. I was also saddened that there won't be anymore Harry Potter after this book, but I 'll be consoled for the meantime because there are still two movies about to come out.

For my full review, click here. Major spoilers abound!

Monday, July 16, 2007

A bit of culture and child-like glee

This weekend was quite eventful. After spending three days at Newcastle for a conference, I went back home to Melbourne on the Friday only to get ready for a night of theatre - Miss Saigon.

Needless to say, it is a fantastic piece of musical excellence. The cast was full of Filipino talents. The Engineer was played by no other than Leo Valdez. He made a very good impression with the Australian audience. It's quite amusing that I still remember the songs from when it was made popular back in 1989 by the original "Kim", Lea Salonga. My girlfriend and I couldn't refrain from singing along, albeit softly, to Kim on-stage.

The boys had a wonderful time. I couldn't help myself from getting a bit teary eyed in the end. It is a tragic story but was a very common occurrence during the war. I guess people who watch Miss Saigon do get side-tracked by the music and fail to remember that women like Kim suffered in the hands of the GIs and fellow Vietnamese alike. I hope that Miss Saigon stands as a reminder of the atrocities and sacrifices people have suffered during the war.


Yesterday, Arnie and I - along with my mum - watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was a full house and everyone seemed to enjoy the film. It wasn't a bad effort - a 772 page book crammed into a 2 1/2 hour film. Of course, it was to be expected that there are some changes made to make the story flow better in the movie. In my personal opinion, it was fun. It was nice. Harry and Cho's first kiss was sweet - and there were people in the theatre who gushed of course. Luna was endearing. There was not enough Kreacher though. Bellatrix's appearance was short but very effective. The Thestrals were cool. Tonks was cool. Ginny kicked arse - very powerful Reducto curse.

I enjoyed Order of the Phoenix as much as the last Harry Potter movies. But if I was going to be honest with myself, it was anti-climactic. Sirius's demise was expected, of course, but very understated. Harry and Dumbledore's interaction was short and a bit emotionless. I was expecting Harry to have blown up spectacularly like he did in the book. Oh well, it was to be expected anyway - the movie will never be completely faithful to the book.

I am now looking forward to the book. I'm picking it up on Saturday morning at Borders and am expecting my free Hedwig plush doll. Can't wait!!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I got tickets!

Miss Saigon is finishing it's Melbourne run on July 15 and we've got tickets to see this wonderful musical on the 13th of July!

Very exciting considering I wasn't really planning to watch it to start with but a friend emailed me and told me that all tickets are being sold for $75 only. Wow! What a great opportunity to catch one of the best musicals ever written!

I vividly remember this musical when it was just new and our very own Lea Salonga played the most coveted role of Kim. That role made her a worldwide sensation. In this version, Kim is also played by a Filipina woman based in Sydney.

Can't wait for a piece of great theatre!