Friday Favorites

Tonight, the mister and I are going to do something fun. We’re heading up to Denver for  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in concert with the Colorado Symphony!

Harry Potter

#PuffPride #Hufflepuff4life

Can you tell that I’m just a little bit excited? We’ve had tickets for this for months. We got great seats too! So in honor of going to watch one of my favorite movies with a live symphony, I’ve decided to devote this week’s Friday Favorites to my favorite Harry Potter characters.

Harry Potter

5. Fleur Delacour

Harry Potter

Fleur Delacour via Pottermore

“What do I care how ‘e looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I theenk! All these scars show is zat my husband is brave!” ― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

I have to admit, for a long time I had a severe dislike for Fleur. I thought she was vain and snobbish. The mister and I were talking about side characters one day and we got into a conversation about Fleur. He insisted that there was more to her than I was giving credit to, and after going back to reread the books, I realized that he was right.

If you’ve never read the books, you might not understand that Fleur wasn’t the only girl among the Triwizard Champions because she came from an all-girl school. Beaubatons and Durmstrang were both co-ed schools. So, just as Cedric was chosen over all of the boys and girls at Hogwarts, so Fleur and Viktor were chosen.

In the later books, she showed just how worthy she was of being chosen, through her skill and bravery. When Bill was disfigured, she proved her devotion and loyalty and when I read through that part, Molly wasn’t the only one who was moved! After taking a closer look at Fleur, she became one of my favorite characters.

4. Minerva McGonagall

Harry Potter

Minerva McGonagall via Pottermore

“… Harry witnessed Professor McGonagall walking right past Peeves, who was determinedly loosening a crystal chandelier, and could have sworn he heard her tell the poltergeist out of the corner of her mouth, ‘It unscrews the other way.’”  ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Let’s talk about the badass that is Professor Minerva McGonagall. In Order of the Phoenix, she not only stood up to Umbridge and made things difficult for her, she also took four stunning spells to the chest. And survived! This one is prickly, strict, kind, smart, strong, and well, she’s pretty damn amazing.

3. Neville Longbottom

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Neville Longbottom via Pottermore

“Well, my gran brought me up and she’s a witch… but the family thought I was all Muggle for ages.”  – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

“I’ll join you when Hell freezes over,” said Neville. “Dumbledore’s Army!” he shouted, and there was an answering cheer from the crowd, whom Voldemort’s Silencing Charms seemed unable to hold.” ― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I loved Neville Longbottom from the moment he first lost his toad until he proved to be a total BAMF in Deathly Hallows. The fact that he could have been the chosen one, and that his story arcs in similar ways to Harry’s is an important part of the books that a lot of people overlook. This poor, shy boy whose parents suffered horribly at the hands of Voldemort’s followers is easily one of the most engaging and relatable characters for me.

2. Fred and George Weasley

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Fred and George Weasley via Pottermore

“You haven’t got a letter on yours,” George observed. “I suppose she thinks you don’t forget your name. But we’re not stupid-we know we’re called Gred and Forge.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Who doesn’t love Gred and Forge? I mean Fred and George. This two wise-cracking, joke playing twins are such a wonderful addition to the series. They are irreverent and even in the darkest moments of the series they were able to infuse tense situations with levity. As a device for humor, J.K. was at her best when she developed Fred and George.

1. Ron Weasley

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Ron Weasley via Pottermore

“Rubbish,” said Hermione. “You’ve read his books — look at all those amazing things he’s done —”  “He says he’s done,” Ron muttered. —J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ron Weasley is the unsung hero of the entire series. From day one on the train until the very last page, he is Harry’s greatest support. He is a partner in crime, and while some might say he is just a sidekick, that’s the whole point to him! Everyone has worth, whether they are “the chosen one”, the “smartest witch of her age”, or the sixth son in a family of seven children. For me, Ron is the most well-rounded character in the series. He isn’t the smartest, he isn’t the bravest, he isn’t the most loyal, he isn’t the best Quidditch player, he isn’t the funniest guy in school (though he is pretty funny). But of all the characters in the series, he is the most real.

His struggles with feeling overlooked, unheard, unimportant…these are things that real people struggle with on a daily basis. That he is able to face them and come to terms with them makes him a real hero for me.

Here are just a few other things about Ron that put it into better words than I can!

Why Weasley is Our King

The chapter that made us fall in love with… Ron Weasley

What about Harry Potter?

Well, there wouldn’t be a series without a Harry Potter, right? But despite the series being about Harry in general, Harry isn’t really my favorite character. Don’t get me wrong, I love Harry. Especially when he’s being sassy Harry:

Harry Potter

But for me, the series is not just about Harry Potter. It’s an entire world, with a wide, diverse range of characters to relate to aside from the hero of the story.

Harry Potter

Who is your favorite Harry Potter character? Let me know in the comments!


Daily Dose of Music

Mimi’s Friday Favorites

The mister and I love to go see a movie. It’s one of our favorite things to do on the weekend. We go to the movies a lot. However, we have a pretty limited type of movie that we enjoy. For instance, horror movies are out for me. Romance is out for him (and for me most of the time). We both enjoy comedy, sci-fi, fantasy, and some comic book movies. And Disney. Don’t even get me started on Disney.

2016 Movie List

Why 2016?

We’re getting close to the end of 2017, but there are still two months of blockbusters coming out that we are planning to see. No joke, we have a movie planned for every weekend between now and Christmas. I don’t want to make a 2017 list until we’ve seen all the movies we are going to between now and New Years.

So I decided to take a look at the movies we saw last year. Wow, there were some great ones! We saw 19 movies that came out last year, 18 of them in the theater. Looking back over the list, I realized that there wasn’t a single one on there that I hated. Spoilers: There will be a list of disliked movies of 2017. But for 2016, all 20 movies ranged from unbelievably fantastic to fun and enjoyable.

It was actually difficult to make a list of my favorites! So I’m going to make this list a little bit different, and break them down into categories, with commentary on my favorites in each. I’ve also included their scores from Rotten Tomatoes.

2016 Movie List

Family Fun and Re-watch Worthy

Sing

2016 Movie List

We actually bought this one on DVD to rewatch several times. This movie is fun, the music is fantastic, and the cast is stellar. We went to see this one on Christmas Day. Big mistake. But we went to see it a second time a few weeks later when the crowds had died down so we could watch it without screaming babies and children who couldn’t stay in their seats in a sold-out theater. Kids at a kids movie? Unbelievable! That was sarcasm, btw.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Zootopia

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Finding Dory 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Stupid Funny Movies

The mister and I enjoy movies stupid funny movies. It’s a guilty pleasure, I suppose. These are movies that you definitely don’t want your kids to see, but they are great if you have a sense of humor and don’t mind occasional gross jokes.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

2016 Movie List

I am a sucker for The Lonely Island. The mister and I have most of their songs downloaded on our playlists. This movie was classic Lonely Island. If you are a fan of them, you’ll love it. If you don’t like them, you’ll probably hate it.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Sausage Party

2016 Movie List

What can I say about Sausage Party? Yes, it was gross. Oh god was it offensive. A little disturbing? Yes. It was epic. Incredibly crude, the debauchery of this movie is NO joke. Do not let your kids watch this unless you want to answer some seriously uncomfortable questions. But if you don’t have little ones running about…indulge.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Central Intelligence 

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Zoolander No.2

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%

Keanu

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Chick Flicks that Made the Mister Laugh

I do enjoy an occasional chick flick. And occasionally I drag the mister along to one with me! These are the ones we saw last year that we both enjoyed.

Bad Moms

2016 Movie List

More like Bad Ass Moms. I love this movie so hard. We actually went and saw the sequel last weekend. I was stoked, the original came on Showtime the night before we went. And when we bought tickets, we got a free digital copy from Fandango. Score!

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28%

The Boss

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23%

Super Heroes, Super Action

This is a class of movies that can be very hit and miss for me. I like action, and I like superhero movies. I don’t like ALL superhero movies, and I don’t like ALL action movies. Three of the four movies below almost made the top of my list for 2016.

Suicide Squad

2016 Movie List

Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a dismal score, but the viewer score is more than twice as high. I liked it so much that we went to the theater to see it twice. Once in our regular theater, and the second at a nearby dinner theater. And then we bought it on DVD. We also bought the soundtrack. So. Good.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 26% (Audience 61%)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

2016 Movie List

Another poorly reviewed movie that the audience had something different to say. Truth be told, I didn’t want to see this movie. The mister wanted to see it, so I insisted that we go to the good theater. The one with the bar. I wasn’t sitting through two and a half hours of Ben Affleck Batman and (gag) Superman, unless I had a drink in my hand. Wow. I was SO wrong. I really enjoyed this movie! And it got me super stoked to see Wonder Woman this year. This was another movie that we ended up getting on DVD. To put this in perspective, we see 20 some movies in the theater a year, but we only buy maybe 2 or three a year. 2016 was a good year for DVD purchases.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27% (Audience 63%)

Rogue One

2016 Movie List

I really went back and forth on whether this should be in my top three. This movie just tore me up. I loved that it gave some backstory. Even if the main character was a little bland, the rest of them make this story an immersive backdrop to A New Hope.

2016 Movie List

On the back of our nerdmobile.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Doctor Strange

This wasn’t my favorite superhero movie of 2016, but I still really enjoyed it! Two words: Benedict Cumberbatch. Mmmm…

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Top 3 Movies of 2016

Deadpool

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Oh man. The first rated R superhero movie. This movie earned every bit of that R. Rakish Rascal. Rejecting Redemption. Ruthless Revenge. Oh yeah…and Ryan Reynolds. Yum. Hilarious, irreverent, gory. Also, another one to hit our DVD shelf.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84% (Audience 90%)

Moana 

2016 Movie List

This movie goes down as one of my all-time favorites. And it is definitely my favorite Disney. The songs were definitely worth purchasing the soundtrack. This DVD hit our shelf the day it came out. I can’t play some of the songs in the car because they make me cry they are so beautiful. I loved that there was no love interest in this story. The story itself was just incredible. I love everything about this movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

2016 Movie List

Anyone who knows me, knows what a huge Potterhead I am. We bought tickets for the opening night as soon as they were available. Of course, that night turned out to also be our first major snowstorm of the season. I’m not just talking a few flakes and slushy roads. I’m talking full-on blizzard conditions. Ice. Snow. Wind. Accidents! We went anyway. We crawled up I-25 and we crawled back down after it was over. Worth it. Worth every single white-knuckled mile we had to drive to get to the good theater in Highlands Ranch. I was transported back to the Wizarding World that I wish so hard was real. Fucking Queenie and Jacob…they stole that movie! So good. SOOOOO Good. Number one movie of 2016 on my list.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

What’s the Take-Away?

The point is, we saw 20 movies that came out last year. They ranged from a score of 98% down to a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet, if we had listened to critics about every movie we went to see, we would have missed out on so many good films!

Were they all life-changing masterpieces or thought-provoking social commentaries? Not even close, but they were fun. We had a great time sitting down in a dark theater with our popcorn and candy and pretzel bites and Icees and escaping into another world that could make us laugh, cry, and think. Sometimes, it’s perfectly okay to enjoy a movie just for what it is, instead of what critics think it should be.

Did you see any of these movies? Did you like them? Hate them? Let me know in the comments!


Daily Dose of Music