Tag Archives: New York

Broomsticks and Snitches and …College Students?

12 Nov

There are very few things that can make me wish I lived on the East Coast. (I can’t handle the cold. California’s a chilly 54ºF right now and I’m wearing three layers, fuzzy socks and huddled under a blanket…)

However, this weekend, I would brave the bracing cold of a New York fall for the Fourth Annual International Quidditch World Cup (Muggle version).

Blurb from the official website says “On November 13 and 14, 2010, 46 official Quidditch teams from around the world – a total of 757 athletes – will descend on New York City for the Fourth Annual Quidditch World Cup. The teams are from 42 colleges and universities, three high schools, and one local community team, all from the USA and Canada.”

(Two countries involved, so it’s officially “international” and “from all over the world” apparently.) (Alright, to be fair, there are over 45 countries in the actual league, so that’s International, even if the actual cup isn’t yet.)

See the following video from last year’s World Cup for an idea of what it’s like.

The rules are pretty simple, modified though they are so that we mere Muggles can play this game of wizards. The players’ positions and duties are basically the same: Seeker, Chasers, Keeper, Beaters. The only real difference is that the snitch is real person (usually dressed in gold or yellow, sometimes with wings) to make up for our sad lack of actual magical flying golden balls. Well, that, and the fact that the broomsticks and Bludgers don’t really fly on their own either…

Sports and nerdiness are not completely separate, it seems. And the combination is pretty close to awesome.

It took me two years to watch this movie…

28 Sep

So, I watched Cloverfield this weekend (yeah, I know I’m several years behind the movie-watching curve, shut up. Real life (read: TV) got in the way) and I only sorta liked it.

In case you haven’t seen it (and are even further behind than I am in sci-fi movie watching), consider this your warning that slight spoilers follow.

The movie as a whole reminded me of The War of the Worlds (the H.G. Wells book, not the Tom Cruise movie.) I’d read it over the summer because I’m trying to better educate myself about the (sci-fi) classics, and found it disappointing. While I understand its importance as a foundational work of the genre and that it was the first time that a lot of those ideas had been expressed, it felt like just an outsider point of view/narration of events without anything other than its novelty to draw the reader in.  I didn’t care about the characters, and there wasn’t a plot arc with a proper climax and resolution that evoked the satisfied feeling that those things normally do. It was just someone telling you what he saw, but not telling it particularly engagingly.

The book was almost this exciting.

(Impressive Collection of The War of the World book covers, most of which are deceptively action-y and exciting.)

Cloverfield seemed like The War of the Worlds all over again. It wasn’t scary enough (and this come from me, Empress of Wimps: I get scared just watching trailers for horror movies) to be exciting, and it wasn’t dramatic enough to be watched just for the characters. The movie never really made you care about the characters: I didn’t really care if they made it across the city to save the girl he loved, wasn’t all that thrilled when they did, and, although I felt a twinge of sadness when they all died, it wasn’t nearly the emotional reaction the movie was hoping for, I’m sure.

The novelty of the idea of a handheld camera documentation of a random monster attack on NYC was clever and interesting. The execution of the camerawork, the special effects, the authenticity of the setting etc, were well done. The acting wasn’t bad, but wasn’t particularly great either; they seemed believable as real people who were caught on film, which I guess should be counted as a success because they played their characters well.

I think Marlena's facial expression here sums up my opinion of the movie

But, overall, it’s not a movie I’d watch again, or even have as a part of my movie library. It was a well executed and clever idea; not a waste of my 2 hours, but not the first sci-fi movie I’d tell someone to watch.

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