Departures (A Weekend of Harry Potter, some TV series and films)

This weekend’s film marathon in our friends’ house and in a 3D theater was a trip down the memory lane. We started with Eiga Sai featured film Departures, then relaxed with 10 Things I Hate About You, then saw two episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and watched Harry Potter in 3D.

When did you watch these the first time? was our question to each other. Apparently, an acquired taste in pop culture starts early in life, in a time when going to school is your major responsibility and paying taxes is not in your List Of Concerns You Should Be Crazy About.


All I remember about this TV series is sex.
Medical interns sleep with attending doctors, doctors hit on other doctors, and doctors get in the patients’ pants. After seeing it again, it’ll be easy to remember that it’s the story of Meredith Grey, a medical intern in Season 1, who struggles in the world used to be reigned by her neurosurgeon mother (who’s aging with Alzheimer’s). More than a mother-daughter story though, the series deals with Meredith’s complicated romantic relationship with Dr Shepherd, aka McDreamy, that tall hunk whose eyes are to die for.

First time I watched all first three seasons was in an apartment I shared with a co-teacher in the University of the Philippines. For long hours, we would run the tv series episode per episode, never wanting to see a Finish Line in our marathon, until we see what happens to Grey and Shepherd (and his twisted marriage to another doctor who has another fling doctor), or until O’Malley makes our day with his unintentionally funny antics, or until Dr ‘Nazi’ Bailey uncover her good side, or until we observe the craziest surgeries on the operation table by Burke or Shepherd or the Chief.

How I longed to be a doctor when we were crazy over the series years ago, but isn’t this our instant reaction whenever we see moving series? Like when we ran Ally McBeal, some years ago, we dreamed of becoming lawyers too. (After True Blood and Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl and Glee, though, no I didn’t feel like saying “I wanna be just like that!”

And then, there comes a time when you need to stop running these kilometric marathons and live your own tv series entitled Your Life.

Friend Sharra showed me her list of movies and gave me the privilege of picking a movie that we’ll watch that Saturday noon at their house. Our taste for movies is one, that much I can say. Scrolling down her very long playlist, I saw my all-time favorites and some familiar titles that I’d want to watch again from the mind-fuck movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to the latest Mario Maurer Thai movie (that doesnt need any mind work to enjoy) Crazy Little Thing Called Love. One title that caught my mouse pointer was the first Heath Ledger movie I watched, which was back in highschool: Ten Things I Hate About You.

Its story has totally slipped my memory and all I could remember were 3 things:

1. That movie is cool because we grew up with these kinds of romantic comedies in the 90s.

2. Its soundtrack was a hit to us, MTV generation.

3.  There’s a lovable hottie here whom I wanted to take home when I was a hopeless romantic teenager.

When I watched it again, I couldn’t believe Joseph Gordon Levitt’s in it. The very actor who swept me off my feet in his performance in 500 Days of Summer and Inception. What a kid he was in 10 Things! Heath is different story. He’s macho from the start (Sharra: may ganyan bang hot guy pag highschool?). Well, I tried to defend the movie’s logic by saying highschool students in the US are about the age of college students in the Philippines because of education system differences (she bought it, because we were so engrossed by Heath Ledger).

And then of course, I don’t remember how many times we thought about Heath for his stellar performance as Joker in the Dark Knight, or how many times we said “sayang” for Heath (RIP) for he didn’t live long enough to have more women smitten by his smile (Oh god, that song-dance performance, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You).

Oh well, at least we had a good laugh at punchlines and quotable quotes. Once in a while, you need some brainless humor in your life, and that’s why we have feel-good movies.


Talk about rest in peace.

Watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 is my tribute to the Boy Who Lived in the imagination of millions of readers worldwide for more than a decade. First time the book came out, I was in highschool; the film adaptation debuted when I was in college; I stopped reading somewhere in Book 5, Order of Phoenix; I own a copy of the Sorcerer’s Stone  published by Levine Books, and a copy of Goblet of Fire published by Bloomsburry.

I jumped at the first copy I could grab because that time, late in the 90s, JK Rowling’s masterpiece was creating a noise. Internet that time wasn’t like Internet today with youtube and twitter, so I got all these buzz from the newspaper and magazines (the library was my sanctuary, understand that). Harry Potter books printed by US-based Levine publishing company are those cute and colorful eye candies of a novel that the Philippines buy and sell, the ones you see in bookstores. The ones printed by UK publisher Bloomsburry is not as exciting as appealing as the Levine books since they don’t play with fonts and chapter headings and even the cover, so much so that you’d think you’re reading a differernt Harry. But reading a Bloomsburry has a subliminal effect to it, since you touch the pages that came from the very continent of the author and the land of Harry Potter himself. What I’m saying is Bloomsburry’s Harry Potter is quite British: sublime; whereas, the Levine Harry Potter is totally American: fantastic. But of course, the reading experience is the same: magical.

I stopped finishing Rowling’s novels after the fourth book and didn’t get excited about the films either after the Prisoner of Azkaban because there’s a certain level of magic that I want to stay with me. This Harry Potter craze brought us a whole new world of fantasy as serious as reality, and from the very first book, I am hands down to this other reality that the author created so logically that you’d think this magical world of Hogwarts and all is possible! The charm of this craze appeals to me so much because when I was a kid, 6 or 7 maybe, I would always expect something fantastic to happen, like a hole on the wall that leads to a different dimension; I would also stand in our backyard, my arms spread apart and imagine I could fly. I even remember a time when I seriously wanted to fly and I even put a lot of mental effort on it, ha! For it to be possible. You could imagine how disappointed I was when no holes appeared and I couldn’t get any higher than my jump from the ground. So Harry Potter was all about Possibility for me. My childhood fantasies no longer looked ridiculous. Disney is ridiculous beside Harry Potter, so to speak. Come on. Rowling comes from that part of the globe that gave us all-time greatest writers (I don’t even know where to start. Oh, okay, Shakespeare and Tolkien).

Ay, it’s inevitable to talk about all these in watching the last of the epic saga.

End of an era, so it is. I was all emotional when Hogwarts was crumbling under the attacks of Voldemort and the assholes. I wanted to jump in the 3D theatre and shout No! That’s the Hogwarts I grew up with you motherf*ck@rs! But that is ridiculous. I didn’t read the book, but I’m sure I won’t be disappointed like the people who read the book and decided to be disappointed. All I can say is, they’re two different art forms, baby. If you want everything in the book materializing in the film, why hello to a real epic movie of 24 hours, how’s that.  So there. I love it. Even if I didn’t watch Part 1, I love it. It’s in 3D, man. How can it get more magical than that?


And, finally, the movie that made my weekend is


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