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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Daniel Radcliffe …  Harry Potter
Emma Watson …  Hermione Granger
Rupert Grint …  Ron Weasley
Ralph Fiennes …  Lord Voldemort
Natalia Tena …  Nymphadora Tonks
Brendan Gleeson …  Alastor ‘Mad-­Eye’ Moody
Gary Oldman …  Sirius Black
Mark Williams …  Arthur Weasley
David Thewlis …  Remus Lupin
Maggie Smith …  Minerva McGonagall
Julie Walters …  Molly Weasley
Timothy Bateson …  Kreacher
James Phelps …  Fred Weasley
Oliver Phelps …  George Weasley
Bonnie Wright …  Ginny Weasley
Robert Hardy …  Cornelius Fudge
Jason Isaacs …  Lucius Malfoy
Chris Rankin …  Percy Weasley
Michael Gambon …  Albus Dumbledore
Imelda Staunton …  Dolores Umbridge
Alan Rickman …  Severus Snape
Emma Thompson …  Sybil Trelawney

Synopsis from IMDb: As another year begins for Harry, at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry so does the never-ending articles stating that he and Dumbledore are insane. As the ministry starts to invent new and malicious lies about Harry’s account on Voldemort’s return, Hogwarts begins to change for the worse as the ministry sends in their cure for all the insanity, Professor Dolores Jane Umbridge. As she begins to inflict her rules and regulations on the students at Hogwarts they begin to find that with her as their teacher, they’ll never be ready for the outside world. So Harry along with his friends decides to take things into their own hands and begin to learn magic the real way. As Harry starts having visions of terrible events happening with the Ministries very walls he decides to take action, leading himself and his friends into battle, ultimately teaching them what friendship, loyalty and sacrifice really means

VS – 1.8 pointed ears
Last movie, Ron was acting out of character.  This movie Ron and Hermione stand up for Harry against all.  Harry is pushing away everyone close to him.  At least a reason for this behavior is given on screen and has been established before.   Even though, according to my children, much was missing from the novel I didn’t feel that was anything missing.  Daniel Radcliffe is showing some maturity as an actor.  I only hope that he isn’t typecast by this series of films.

My only complaint with this film is that it is marketed as a children’s movie.  This is a VERY dark movie the only reason that it could even be remotely called a children’s movie is because the series which it is part of  is considered children’s literature.  Had this movie been produced as a stand alone, I’m not sure I would’ve taken my youngest to see it.

Mrs. VS – 1 pointed ear.
I haven’t sat down and watched this movie with my family.  The few scenes that I have seen can be pretty scary for younger impressionable viewers.

PIT #1 – 1.25 pointed ears.
This was the Reader’s Digest filmed version of the novel.  Harry Potter for Dummies would’ve made a better movie.  The script left wa-a-y too much of the novel out of the movie.  Even in scenes that were filmed the producers changed what was written.  Delores Umbridge was not even shown the way she was described in the novel.

PIT #2 – 1.7 pointed ears.
I don’t agree with Dad.  There were plenty of places that needed more explanation.  This movie could’ve used another 45 minutes.

PIT #3 – 1.8 pointed ears
The kissing scene could’ve been cut to make room for more action.  I’m very upset over the death of Sirius Black.

7.55 pointed ears out of 10.

This movie definitely suffers from to-be-continueditis.  I will state that having seen all five movies in nearly marathon sitting, there is definitely an over all arc to the story.  If you own other four movies you probably own this one as well.  If you’re contemplating buying the series in preparation for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, then yes you’ll need to see the first five movies for the sixth to make sense.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Game Night 2-27-09: Stargate SG-21

I have been waiting to to write this up for three weeks.  After the first open game night at the youth center in town we had some setbacks.  The second week was scrubbed due to a basketball game between the two high schools that account for 90% of the teens who hang out at the youth center.  The following week the youth center was open for a Valentine’s Day Dance, no game night.  Last week was inclement weather that kept most everyone at home.

Last night, I had six of the original thirteen interested players show up ready to play.  We played Ron Fricke’s Savage Worlds adaptation of Alderac’s Stargate SG-1.  I had two main reasons for using the SW ruleset; the first was that I find SW to be one of the easiest systems to explain to new players and two I’ll be able to use Reality Blurs’ Rune Punk SW setting as a Stargate world.  I’ll explain that more in a later blog.

The players ranged in age from 10 – 17.  The youngest is PIT#3, through a fore-knowledge of the hook the GM (me) was suing to determine rank in the SGC ended up being a Lt. Col.  The other players weren’t happy with it but are at least giving him a chance to prove he can be the team  leader.  Kudos to the other players for showing the maturity necessary to keep the peace.

SG-21 teamed up with SG-18 and went off to provide backup to SG-1 who had been overrun by Jaffa.  Upon exiting the Stargate, SGs 18 & 21 faced off against 24 Jaffa wielding staff weapons.  Showing a remarkable unity for a team that had just been brought together, SG-21 along with the NPC team of SG-18 defeated all 24 Jaffa with only minor injuries.

Just as the last Jaffa fell to a tossed hand grenade, Colonel O’Neil’s face came across the radio, “Col. Winston, dial up Earth we’re coming in hot.  Jaffa on our tail.”  SG-1 appeared over the rise on the run followed by another two dozen Jaffa.  The PCs secured the gate and wiped out another platoon of Jaffa.  After returning to the SGC, General Hammond told then job well done.

48 hours later SG-21 was called to the briefing room.  Daniel Jackson and SG-1 had retrieved a parchment containing the gate address for a planet rich in Naquada.  SG-1 made a first contact to the P4X-514, designated Scatterpoint by the natives.  SG-21 has been ordered to Scatterpoint to determine the societal mores and ruling body of the planet so as to strike a bargain for the Naquada.  Next week we go through the gate.

Scatterpoint is of course the world in Reality Blurs’ Rune Punk.  I’ll talk more about how I’ve home brewed that setting into the Stargate universe.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Observations of a Noob GM, RPG, Stargate | , , | 3 Comments

Report on Open Game Night 2-27-09

At 6:00 pm Steve Nibbelink was at the Youth Center setting up tables, turning up the heat and making sure everything was ready to go.  By 6:30 people started arriving.  By 7:00 there were four adults, four teenagers, and six children attending open game night.  These numbers include a new family that asked questions about game night, Wednesday evening services, and Sunday services.

The teenagers and two of the children played Stargate SG-21 hosted by Steve Nibbelink, while the new family sampled the various games in the game room and played Hungry, Hungry Hippos with the other adult leader and the remaining two children.  Youth Center closed at 9:00 and everyone stayed until closing.

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Connection Ministries | , , , | Leave a comment