Summer Movies

We’ve seen two of the big summer movies so far this summer. We caught Ratatouille while in Monterey with Jered and Blake. This is the 8th film by Pixar and is one of their best. It’s a story about a rat who has dreams of being a chef and his trials to become who he wants to be. Along the way, he forges a friendship with Rémy, who is a garbage boy turned chef in a Paris restaurant.

All of the Pixar movies to date have been amazing successes and there is a reason for that. All of the movies at their heart are about character and not just “a character”. In Toy Story, Woody needed to get over his demotion from being Andy’s favorite toy and to embrace the fact that it was simply enough to be just “Andy’s toy”. In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl needs to resolve their issue about having great power and trying to hide it just to be “normal”. These are challenges that are easy for everybody to relate to regardless of their place in life.

As usual, the production values were top notch and the film is visually stunning. I can’t wait until next year to see Wall-E

We also made it to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on opening day. This was the longest book and when I read it the first time, it was my least favorite. I’ve since read it again and enjoyed it more. In the book and the movie, Harry is very angry. Part of that anger is about his isolation (Dumbledore is ignoring him and he is deemed to be a fraud by the wizarding world since they don’t want to believe that Voldemort has returned) and part of it is just being a teenager angry at the world. This anger is shown in the film fairly well.

The main protagonist in the book (besides Voldemort) is Dolores Umbridge, who starts off as a member of the wizard court, then becomes installed at Hogwarts where she is the defense against the dark arts teacher and winds up as the headmaster. The actress they got to play her part was perfect.

The movie seemed to move slowly to me but Amy and Thomas thought the pacing was just great. The final battle inside of the ministry of magic was amazing. In the book, I could not imagine how the battle would have been. On film, it was simply stunning. Kudos to the special effects crew for their great work.

I look forward to watching this movie again when it comes out on DVD. As it stands now, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is still my favorite of the films. We’ll see if that changes after another viewing.

Both movies were worth seeing and the most important thing is that the kids really enjoyed them.


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