HP and the Cursed Child Review

Image result for harry potter and the cursed child

So I have finished reading “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and of course have to blog about it, being my ambition to take thoughts from my head and construct them into words.
There are a just a few spoilers ahead

I think I can officially say I have got my Harry Potter groove back again. It has been renewed and re-energized. I thought it would be impossible to get back the magic but I have been proven wrong. This is my trying attempt at a review of the long awaited eighth story in the Harry Potter series. Being a play, it was a little hard to get a feel for the characters, being little more than two dimensional and flat, but what a page turner it was. I read the story, which is little more than a manuscript of dialogue and stage directions, in about three days.

“Cursed Child” is a 308 page script (292 of it story; the rest cast info and production notes) and is divided into two parts of four acts. It is based on an original story written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. It is not canon and reads more like fan fiction.

The plot is all about time travel, and rewriting and un-writing history. What else could it be about? In order for the story to be anything worth reading, the old Voldemort plotline (or any similar sinister plot) had to be featured. Voldy may have gone Moldy in book seven, but the concept of Time-Turners makes his return an interesting possibility. At one point, the wizarding world is under control by Voldemort and his legion of followers. Dark days.

Part 1 is more about establishing the storyline and going through lots of talk at the Ministry while Part 2 is where the adventure really takes off, where it’s a trip back to a magically repaired Hogwarts where life goes on as usual as if the Battle in 1997 never happened (it’s about 2019 during Albus’ fourth year).

At times, it feels like all the script manages to do is rehash events from the past and try to paint alternative scenes from them. Maybe it is just serves as another excuse for Potter fans to dish out money.

The main characters:

Scorpius Malfoy – very unlike his father, becomes best friends with Albus Potter and the two are virtually inseparable throughout the play, developing  a bromance with awkward hugging:

“Okay. Hello. Um. Have we hugged before?” Scorpius says after a clumsy embrace. “Do we hug?”

He has a weird sense of humor and a slight romantic attraction to Rose Granger-Weasley, Ron and Hermione’s daughter, to little success at wooing her.

Albus Potter – the main protagonist of the story, is afraid of being sorted into Slytherin house, for which he ultimately is. Has some trouble connecting with his father from the beginning. Goes on a time traveling adventure with Scorpius and nearly ends up screwing up the world for good.

Harry Potter – a much older man now working at the Ministry of Magic. He has to grip with raising a family and keeping behind a past that keeps trying to resurface. HIs scar and vivid dreams relating to Voldemort come back into play.

Delphini Diggory – the main villain of the play, tricks Albus into thinking she was a pure goodhearted person when in fact she is the perpetrated daughter of Lord Voldemort (how this is even possible and why anyone – even the vilest of people – would want to mate with him – is a puzzling thought).

The connections between characters is apparent; Albus, like his mother Ginny, is easily fooled and like the namesake of his middle name, is a bit of an outcast; James, like his grandfather, is arrogant and rude to Albus.

I loved this story right from the get go. It had enough twists and turns to keep me interested. Like the main seven books before it, nostalgic feelings came back as I neared the end of the story, feelings of reading a Harry Potter novel for the first time and anticipating what was to happen next. “Cursed Child” is well written and has just enough of that Harry Potter magic to make us all believe again.

Going with a 5 star system, I give the play/book 4/5 stars. The plot could have been a little more original (I felt like I was reading a script for Back to the Future at times)and less hurried, but overall this was an entertaining and heartwarming read. I may still get the play in the crisp hardcover form, because then it would fit along with the beautiful set of seven books I already own.

Watch the video below for a more detailed review:

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Election Crisis 2016

For eight long years, Barack Hussein Obama served the United States of America. He’s been in office since I was an eleventh grader, which seems quite a long time ago. Now an historical era is set to come to an end, an era that saw the elimination of Osama bin Laden and the lessening of the great war overseas (and the rise of a new threat called ISIS/ISIL). It wasn’t the greatest eight years but who could have done better, right? The time now comes to elect a new president. It is a time when the country has a choice between two (and other) choices. Choosing a new president means shaping the future identity of the homeland.

Come this November, I’ll be choosing between either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. My options are quite limited in terms of who is better, but I can narrow it down to two things: Trump is for the rich and will cut off all food stamps and health benefits for the poor; Clinton is for the common folk and will keep Obamacare and everything peachy from 2009 til now. Do I really care? I should but at this point I’ve got better things to worry about.

Crisis

Nature’s Guests

In the thick of things, we are just guests to the bigger forces of nature. The rain and clouds were here before us.

It’s been a stormy evening with thunder and lightning shattering the dark sky. I’m here sitting on the floor, just listening to the sounds of nature battling it out for supremacy. This is one of the wildest, relentless storms I have witnessed in a while, the first this summer. I came home this evening to the sounds and sight of rain pouring down and the first booms of thunder in the background. Bright flashes of light made me jump out of my skin. It is rather calm and soothing, just sitting here to myself, letting my thoughts wander while the heavens shouted out from above.

A few years ago, I witnessed a first for myself. I was outside in a thunderstorm with only three walls of thin, rain-resistant fabric keeping me dry and safe

I stayed in the tent and tried to imagine that I was really in the wild with help miles away, not just a few feet away in my house. A few weeks later, my family and I would be going camping and living in the rustic outdoors. That means no electricity, plumbing, or phone/Internet service whatsoever. The tent session was in preparation for the day we go camping by testing out my wits in a thunderstorm. The tent held up well the whole night and through this treacherous morning so it wouldn’t be a problem when the real games commence. In a style reminiscent to The Blair Witch Project, I used my phone to film myself talking about my stay in the tent and various things around me, while the rain came down outside and thunder rumbled, adding to the spookiness. There wasn’t much light in the tent so when I played back the video all I could see was a creepy silhouette of myself hiding under a blanket.

I listened to the appropriate song for this occasion, “Thunder Rolls” by Garth Brooks, seeing how the thunder sound effects in the song mesh with the real world sounds, making it really authentic. I must had been in the tent for almost two hours, waiting for the loud but fairly tame storm to pass. The storm did pass eventually but not without a few flashes of Ben Franklin kite power appearing as I was just about to leave my sanctuary, scaring me out of my skin. I finally did get to fold my blankets up and head outside into the morning light. That stupid water hole of our’s was full of, well, water again.

Like the brave storm chasers, we need to learn how to become one with nature and tackle her beastly villains we call storms, wind, and rain. No one can control or change the weather, but we can be tough and try to see the real beauty of our planet Earth at work. Amazingly, our world’s cycles of random weather have been going on for billions of years. Patterns and seasons may have changed and become unpredictable but Earth still follows her unruly task of making us selfish humans realize what is out there for a minute. Okay, so the planet isn’t trying to seek revenge on people and only has crazy weather because of changes in the air, but humans still need to realize that the home they inherited thousands of years ago is being ruined by their selfish actions and greediness just to get a leg up in the world. Photographers and geologists alike are the few that really appreciate the true essence of the Earth.else could care less. They are more than just guests, they are the ones who shake hands with nature and become something like friends.

Guest

National Slurpee Day ’16

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the Slurpee at 7-11, among other stories, such as the Pokemon GO craze, Taylor Swift’s love life, Ghostbusters, The Home Run Derby, more shootings, and more #BlackLivesMatter drama. It’s a free Slurpee for everyone on the convenience store’s birthday, and a free cupcake is even on the side. This is a tradition that has been going on for at least 5 years now, starting back in 2011 I believe. Millions of people with nothing else to do line up to greedily raid the slush fountain and walk out like perpetual shoplifters.

Click on the pictures for a better look.

OWPC: Ceiling

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The ceiling of the clock tower on the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas.

One Word Photo Challenge: Ceiling

Goodbye, June

clouds

The clouds of June 2016 are now just a distant memory, but of course they don’t know that. I don’t want to sound sentimental but those were some good clouds. Fluffy like a pillow.

Goodbye, June and hello to the second half of 2016. What does the rest of the year hold in store for me? Well, I’m turning the big 25 (that line in Sugar Ray’s “Fly” is finally going to relate to me – I can’t believe it) and going to a casino for the first time. Then it’s off to Kansas in October to see little E and celebrate Halloween. Then the small clan is going to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a hotel – something different from the usual stay at home where I play Auld Lang Syne like a champ on the old Andy Griffith guitar and pop champagne over my dad’s head, much to his thrill (sarcasm).

Happy July.

Clouds

Mackinaw vs Mackinac

vacation
A 2010 trip to Mackinaw, not Mackinac – that’s the bridge

The simple tourist

Just your average guy

Knows nothing of this land

Is wowed by the landscape

And let the born and bred

Celebrate their heritage

While he simply browses

The history and the magic

A stranger wowed by the exotic

A simple tourist

Tourist

© Macbofisbil