Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ice Castels 2010 Movie Review

The film starred an actress named Lynn-Holly Johnson and a guy named Robby Benson (yes, the same guy who went on to voice Beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast.") The film was especially interesting to me because Colleen Dewhirst had a role in the film, and I already knew and loved her as Marilla from "Anne of Green Gables."

This version was released just this year and stars little-known ice skater Taylor Firth as our main character, Alexis Winston, a girl who loves to skate on the pond near her home. Her mother was a skater and she mimics moves she saw her mother perform, but she's never entered any competitions. When the opportunity presents itself, her father and her aunt, also her coach, support her in competing, and she places very well. Skating coach Aiden is in the audience, and he invites her to come train with him.

But Alexis soon learns that the world of a figure skater isn't always pretty dresses and applause. The other girls at the training center are rude to her, and Aiden is harsh. Only her love of skating keeps her there, and a little at a time, she and Nick start drifting away from each other. Soon, she and Aiden start drifting toward each other.
Her new found star status unsettles her, and she just wants to get away for a while. Finding a frozen pond, similar to the place where she first found her roots, she goes out to skate, but the ice quality isn't very good and she gets injured, losing her sight.

The remainder of the movie consists of her learning that there is life without vision, and that she can still skate - a very interesting process as she learns to feel the ice rather than seeing it.

Harry Potter And Half Blood Prince Movie Review

Harry (Radcliffe) is taken under Professor Dumbledore's wing like never before to solve the mysteries behind the Dark Lord. The relationship between them is tender and convincing, but I can't help but miss the actor who originated the Professor's role, Richard Harris, who died a few years back. He was more like a Grandfather than a Merlin, which the current actor (Gambon) evokes.
Anyway, to dig deeper into Lord Voldemort's past, they must solicit the help of retired Professor Slughorn (played delightfully by Jim Broadbent) and coax some buried memories of Tom Riddle's time at Hogwarts out of him. For those playing catch up: Tom Riddle was Voldemort's childhood name. Riddle is coincidentally played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, who is the real-life nephew of Ralph Fiennes, who plays Lord Voldemort. The resemblance is both helpful and staggering (and hey, the kid can act too).

So, to get access to these memories, Harry has to manipulate Slughorn by becoming a star student in his Potions class, which he achieves by using the old textbook that once belonged to the Half-Blood Prince. Though no one knows the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, his potions seem to work wonderfully, which angers Harry's close friend Hermoine, because she sees using the book as cheating.

Aside from that, Hermoine's fallen in love with their mutual friend Ron, who has a new girlfriend he keeps snogging in front of her. And Harry's fallen for Ginny, Ron's sister, but doesn't know how to confront those feelings.

Combine this with some extremely scary Death Eaters (yes, it should be PG-13, but it's not) and you have a jam-packed film of teenage lust, good vs. evil, historical continuity and supernatural tricks.
Alan Rickman again stands out as Severus Snape, while all of the children have not only matured with their roles, but become better actors in the process. The final scenes are among the saddest and heaviest of the series.

When it's over, you'll be wishing it had a few more hours to go, even as you blink back tears.