Wands for Wizards, Water for Elephants, Netflix for New Year’s

With our producer on vacation this week, co-anchor Claire and I had to assume Lara’s role, which means setting the alarm clock about two and half hours earlier. Skipping the whining, by about two o’ clock in the afternoon, the brain has turned into pudding and all good intentions about blogging, maybe a jog, or tackling the laundry give way to snoozing in front of a college bowl game.

However, I did catch up on some movies over the holidays.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, like the other movies of the series, is a grand visual representation of the novel, but, as you know, there’s no way anyone could follow what’s going on without having read the book first. In Part Two, barely any time is spent on the characters or subplots, those moments that make the books so wonderful. It’s pretty much two hours of wizards jabbing their wands at each other. That’s okay, I guess, but I was kind of expecting a bit more for “the big kiss.” The deaths of some of The Order seemed a bit brushed over, as well.

In contrast, Water for Elephants is a great character movie, and unlike the Potter franchise, most of the plot made it to the movie. A veterinary school dropout at the height of the Depression jumps a train that happens to be occupied by rubes, circus rubes.  As one tells him, “Get ready for the ride of your life.”  Jacob goes on to confront the harsh realities of  a traveling circus and falls in love with the two start attractions, one being a Polish-understanding elephant that steals the show.

Well worth your time, but don’t sell yourself short.  When hollywood turns a book into film, read the book first,  still the greatest show on Earth.

Water for Elephants by Sara  Gruen


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