Archives for December, 2010

The Transformative Power of Love in ‘Groundhog Day,’ Part I

For someone who writes a lot about hatred and other destructive impulses, who has a completely unsentimental view of human nature, I confess I'm a sucker for a good love story; my favorite theme is the power of love to transform character in a way that leads to real psychological and emotional growth.  Few films portray this power better than 'Groundhog Day' with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell.

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Harry Potter vs. The Lord of the Rings, Part III

Click here to read Part I

Click here to read Part II

In the Harry Potter books and films, the forces for good magic are victorious while Voldemort is destroyed and the wizards who practice the dark arts are vanquished.  The good characters presumably go on to live happily ever after, continuing to practice their good forms of magic.

In The Lord of the Rings, however, the conclusion has a bittersweet tone.  Despite the fact that Frodo and Sam destroy the one ring on Mount...
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Harry Potter vs. The Lord of the Rings, Part II

Click here to read Part I

The splitting of good and bad characters in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is just as pronounced as it is in the Harry Potter films.  Hobbits in general are endearing and gentle creatures with some irritating quirks but no real malice in their nature; in particular, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are loyal and devoted friends who risk their lives for one another out of love.

Sauron, by contrast, represents pure evil and has absolutely no redeeming...
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