Monday, July 27, 2009

7-27-09: Interesting Dining Experience; Harry Potter

I went to see the new Harry Potter film with the lady yesterday evening in New Haven. It had been a stressful and busy week for her (she worked the maximum amount of overtime allowed) and definitely needed a break.

Beforehand we ate at a new restaurant directly across the street from the theatre (Criterion on Temple Street) called MarketPlace. Decent place, though I have very mixed feelings about it after eating there last night. It has an enormous menu, mostly Italian and Indian (interesting combination, but they pull it off alright), and the food was pretty good. I had the Lamb Vindaloo, which was nice and spicy (had leftovers for lunch today; reheated quite well). The only bad parts of the experience were: 1) The hostess told us we couldn't order beer because their liquor license was being renewed. Seems a bit odd, since it's a pretty new place (they still had the Grand Opening banner outside). 2) Their website advertises half-price movie tickets to Criterion, which was a significant factor in our decision to eat there. However, when we went to pay the bill, I asked about the tickets, and was told "We are still ordering them." That's false advertisement, which I really don't appreciate, and may cause us to not return. The hostess may have been getting trained, because she seemed extremely new to the profession (she brought over a single plate of rice and had trouble finding a place to put it on the table). The manager, who was very nice, had to step out for a few minutes to move a delivery guy's illegally parked car (the delivery guy didn't appear to have a license when the cop came to give him a ticket - scary), and the hostess, for whatever reason, turned away a family of four when they came in to eat because they were doing "maintenance". There were maybe five people eating there at the time, in a pretty big place. Odd. I don't want to accuse her of shirking responsibility, but I didn't get the best impression. She seemed rather clueless.

Now, to the movie. I thought it was entertaining. I read the book about three or four years ago (I think it came out in 2005), so I didn't remember a lot of the plot details. The lady did, and would remark during parts of the film that "That didn't happen in the book" and at the end she went through some parts that were skipped over. For a film as long as it was, I guess I can't blame them for skipping some details, just to make it bearable. There were a couple scenes, however, that could have been removed. One in particular, I thought, didn't add a whole lot, and wasn't in the book at all.

But, overall, it's quite good. It has to be the most strikingly "the book is better" situation throughout the line of Harry Potter films thus far. It will be interesting to see what they do for the final book. I do know they are splitting it into two parts, which is good. The books just got longer and longer. Hopefully they can weave in some parts that they left out of Half-Blood Prince to make it all fit together. I'd rate it a solid 7 out of 10. If they got rid of that scene and did an additional Dumbledore scene, maybe I'd have rated it higher. Still, it was entertaining.

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