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Personal Finance Links (Harry Potter / Michael Edition)

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This weekend my wife and I went to see Harry Potter. It's a bit of shocker that it took this long. My wife is a huge fan to the point were we have Gryffindor dinner plates. I'm not as much of a fan. While I like it, Harry and I got off on the wrong foot. You see he expected me to read a series of really thick books about his adventures. That's not the way to win me over. Fortunately, he came to movie form - allowing me to follow his adventures in just a couple of hours. The problem that I had when it came to the adventures is that it seemed like I had seen them before in another form. Maybe I simply watch too much television and see too many movies. I'll give you an example and you can be the judge (I'll try not to give away any spoilers.)

I'm a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series so inevitably Harry Potter gets compared to that (teenage hero fighting evil theme). Throughout this new movie they refer to Harry as The Chosen One. Buffy has been The Chosen One from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movies (back in 1992) and the audience is reminded of it at the beginning of nearly (maybe every) episode. Luna's character in the movie could be compared to Buffy's Anya - a likable girl, who seems to say really strange unexpected things. Her lion costume reminded me of Anya's bunny one, even if they were worn for different reasons. Ron and Lavender's relationship clearly seems to parallel Spike and Harmony's. For a minute I had to make sure they didn't use the same actress. There were a few more moments, but the one about cutting your hand to use blood to open up an ancient cave... well Buffy did that in season 7. If you've seen both endings to Buffy season 6 and this Harry Potter movie (I'm told the book is nearly the same), you'd also note the similarity between the heroes' roles in the outcome - roles that should surprise.

That's not to say Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince wasn't a good movie. It's entertaining. However, I simply found it a bit anti-climatic.

On the other hand I had pushed Michael to the top our Netflix queue last week. I think it's a movie that mostly slipped by public attention. I think that's why I liked it. It had no lofty box office expectations... no fancy special effects. It's simply a good story with a lot of humorous and touching moments mixed in. And of course John Travolta dances in it, which is the #1 requirement my wife has for any John Travolta movie. I can't argue with that.

Enough of the movies, let's get to some personal finance links:

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5 Responses to “Personal Finance Links (Harry Potter / Michael Edition)”

  1. I’m not a huge fan of Harry Potter – just not my genre.

    I am, however, a huge fan of the story of J.K. Rowling. She pushed herself off the welfare rolls and into success.

    What did the citizens of England receive in return for supporting her? Hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue (as well as philanthropy from Rowling herself)

  2. Wil says:

    Thanks for the mentions! Not a huge fan of HP either, but wife is and I love making fun of the titles to get her.

    Harry Potter and Snapes on a plane
    Harry Potter and the Half-eaten luch (Half-blood prince)
    Harry Potter and Gaping plot hole (this one really sends her off!)

  3. John says:

    New to blogging myself, still trying to figure a direction. Have you ever thought about working on your PhD? If not, consider it, you’ll turn 50 before you know it and lean on your comm skills even more. Not a potter fan either, too mystical me. See ya. JHL

  4. Miranda says:

    I enjoy the books, but not the movies so much. But, as I’ve learned from long experience, the movies are never as good as the books! (My son is about to find this out next month, when we go to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.)

  5. Roger says:

    Hunh, interesting thoughts. In spite of being a big fan of both Harry Potter and Buffy, I hadn’t actually considered how similar they actually are. I’m inclined to chalk it up to random happenstance and the fact that there are, when get right down to it, only so many different stories that can be told, and therefore almost any story you can name will have similarities to other stories that already exist. I’m going to assume that neither Buffy’s writers nor J.K. Rowling intentionally stole characters/story elements from the other, although watching them argue that out in court could be nerd-tastic.

    That said, there are more than a few similarities; here’s a run down of some of the majorish characters from both, with notes on how some of them could practically be interchanged:

    -Buffy/Harry: The protagonists, faced with great responsibility, both also frequently expressing the desire for a more normal life (well, Harry wants a normal wizard life, but close enough)
    -Xander/Ron: The best male friend, neither is very powerful or smart, but both tend to be rather down to earth (and provide more than a bit of comic relief).
    -Willow/Hermione: The best female friend, both are smart nerds with questionable social skills (at least to start their respective series) who develop strong magical powers and have wicked tempers.
    -Giles/Dumbledore: British wizards and mentors who have a propensity for hiding the full truth from their charges and who have shady pasts.
    -The First/Voldemort: All powerful evil who prefers to work behind the scenes, getting others to do his (Or its, for The First, I guess) bidding.
    -Drusilla/Bellatrix: Dark-haired British girls who are evil, crazed-up fruit loops.

    I could probably come up with some thoughts for who’d correspond with Buffy Characters like Angel, Faith, and Johnathon (I’m thinking Neville for the last one, but it doesn’t quite fit with the whole ‘Trio’ thing in Season 6), but I think this shows some of the correlations that could be drawn.

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