WELCOME to the personal home page/blog of Matthew La France. Please enjoy your stay.


I finally finished the last Harry Potter book. I will not give away any spoilers for folks that have not finished it. Suffice to say, it was good. If I have any gripes it's that it is too much like a Harry Potter book - none the worse for it - but I was somehow expecting a more dramatic departure. Some of Harry's behavior irked me slightly at times, I couldn't help feeling like he had matured beyond behaving as he did sometimes, but he was always true to himself. I noticed a great many things pop up in this book that were not sufficiently covered in the movies, I wonder how they will deal with them when filming the last two. At any rate, the ending was great. I could have done without the epilog, or with a different one perhaps, but this book was a great ending to the series. It finally solves the Snape question. I won't comment on whether or not it solved it in a way that I was pleased with, for those who know what my stance on Snape was. Suffice to say, it is - I suppose obviously - now put to rest. I hope everyone who is reading it, or has finished it, enjoys it as much as I did.


I'm tired. Inventory tomorrow at the store I work part-time at so I put in some extra hours tonight. I have to get some work done for my other job tomorrow, then I work Friday-Saturday. It kind of feels like work-work-work right now, but that's ok. I've been goofing off pretty much two days straight so I had it coming.

I watched a good movie recently. V for Vendetta. I remember this comic from when I was young, flipping through comics catalogs. It, along with the likes of Akira, was nothing I really cared about at the time. If it wasn't Spiderman or the X-men I wasn't interested, but unfortunately I was missing out on something I'd have appreciated a lot if I was a few years older. The movie was very good.

I was a little concerned about the timing, making a movie about a comic based on the historical story of a famous anarchist, concerning a terrorist waging war on a fascist government in the wake of 911. Is this really the right time for this movie? Well, now that I've seen it, I can say yes, undoubtedly.

Though it has to be slightly melodramatic, the melodrama becomes sobering parody in light of things that are really happening now. The main theme of the movie is that basically, if people are terrified enough and you tell them they will be safe if the do "X", "X" can be pretty much anything. And in that way, the real terrorists are those in power who use this fear against people to manipulate them into giving up their rights. The main conflicts in the story then have to do with the facing of fears, and the power of the people vs. oppression.

The story is told largely through the character Evey, yet we also get a number of glimpses into the lives of a pair of detectives, the inner circle of the government, and the doings of V himself. The over-all story is great, but it's the telling that sucked me in. The relationship between V and Evey, the whole unraveling of Vs story, and the plan that he set in motion, the whole thing just sucks you in. I was totally hooked. Very, very good movie, and very timely.


I saw the new Harry Potter movie tonight. I thought it was very good. Better than the last one. The dark tone of the book was very well kept. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who has not read/seen it, but I don't know if there was an important scene that was not in there. The beginning and the full first hour were particularly good. Grimmauld place looked exactly as I imagined it. The ministry of magic, Dolores Unbridge, all were well done. I found myself continually seeing moments out of the book that I had forgotten, or was only remembering as it happened. Hermione in particular got a couple good scenes while Ron seemed to play a much smaller role in this one. It was great seeing characters like Sirius and Lupin again, the latter in particular got a line at the beginning that reminded me what a comforting figure and interesting character he is.

The latter part of the movie felt more rushed. Things that I remembered from the book happened, but at a pace that felt like more was being left out than the first half. That is ultimately the danger of "having read the book", you are always expecting each scene to remind you fondly of a moment from the book, and if you ever have to wonder, "Is that how it went in the book?" you feel let down. It's really a difficult way to watch a movie, and a lot for a movie to live up to. While I was watching it though, it worked. Looking back is when you start to go, "oh, I wish that was in there.". (minor spoilers follow****) Now that I think of it, we never heard Sirius' mother scream from her painting, Mrs. Weasley never got the great scene with the boggart, Buckbeak never appeared, and maybe the worst omission, Kreature never betrayed Sirius. That was the part toward the end of the film that felt the most off. For some reason I really missed the coins they used to coordinate DA meetings too, esp. since those show up in the next book.(*****end spoilers)

Ultimately though, it lived up to my expectations and worked as a movie. I still fondly consider the second movie as the most well structured, and the third as the most emotionally satisfying, so I'm curious to see where this new movie ends up in my mind. I think the things captured in this movie the best were Harry's feelings of isolation, and his desire to make Sirius proud. There was some good comedy, and I think the Grawp scene was nothing if not improved. I think it succeeded in going out of it's way to including more things from the book than the last movie, but still missed out on some well liked details and was a bit rushed here and there. I think it was more successful, and more enjoyable than the last movie, and I think it stands as a good adaption of one of the longest Harry Potter books so far.


I cannot wait to see the new Harry Potter movie tomorrow! It's not like I haven't read the book, but I'm excited to see another movie after having read the book. This will only be my second one that I didn't see first. I'll probably blog about my impressions afterwards. It looks like they have fixed my biggest gripe about the last movie which was the hairstyles. :P

I've been watching lots of anime recently thanks to Netflix and other sources. Lucky Star is continuing to be highly amusing. It had some trouble around episode 6 or so, but it's been consistently cute and funny since then, if occasionally cliche. I rented Strawberry Marshmallow (Ichigo Mashimaro) which is similarly cute, though more subtle. It's sometimes less funny, but it can also be serious at times concerning things such at Miu's acting out as an obvious need for attention or the fragility of Chika's self-estem when she is picked on for gaining weight. It was short at 12 episodes, though I'm used to many ongoing manga series getting the 12 episode treatment these days. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

I didn't really want to spill the beans, but I don't think I can keep it a secret. I got a couple of screen shots of WtPC from David Michel recently. No script insertion has been made yet, but the screenies showed a redone 8x8 (rather than 8x16) English font routine working! I'm waiting to share any screenshots until there is some script in them, but I couldn't help but share the news. It's very exciting progress!


I saw the new Independence Day movie last night. I LOVED it. It stars John Cusack (as Sam Witwicky) and Jeniffer Connolly (as Mikaela Banes)

two teens from different social circles, and different sides of the tracks, sharing a coming of age romance.

I don't want to give too much away, but there is an alien invasion going on. We meet a family-man soldier who figures out how to kill the aliens.

Apparently these aliens are trying to hack into our military secrets with their advanced technology.
I don't want to spoil it, but suffice to say, there are some quirky, young, brilliant but under-appreciated code crackers that get invited to work on the team. They do some spectacular computer mumbo-jumbo, while one of the aliens

hacks Air Force One, and figure out that it must be aliens after Sam.

Meanwhile Sam and Mikaela get captured by the government and are taken to the secret underground base that not even the president knew about.

Here they get to see the robot that was originally captured 40 years ago, the study of which incidentally is responsible for 90% of the technological advances of modern times.

Finally, a group of aliens who befriend Sam and want to see they Earth saved fight against the "bad aliens" and save the day. Then one of them stays behind in order to help Sam get laid.

The only part I didn't get was all the lines they lifted from the Transformers. It's like they were trying to throw a bone to some small, insignificant, nostalgia demographic. Weird.

Anyway, it was a great movie and I recommend that everyone go see it.



I recently subscribed to Netflix. I qued up all the OAVs I could find from 1990 to 1999. I'm currently at over 70 disks in my que and that's only half of my list so far. 0_0 I put a few at the front that I've wanted to see for a while.

I watched the first disk of Agent Aika. It seems like one of the more risque things on netflix (they seem to not carry any porn), but it's still only innocent fun. A lot of panty shots and a non-graphic love scene. Aside from an excuse for lots of mini-skirts, there seems to be a vague sci-fi plot waiting to play a bigger roll in later episodes. The energy latent within the Earth that caused massive flooding (think global warming), is capable of being triggered again, on a much larger scale, by someone who sees humanity as evil and plans to create a utopia with him and his ship full of beautiful young ladies. :P

I also rented Strawberry Marshmallow (Ichigo Marshmallow). I'd seen the first few episodes and liked them so I figured I should watch the rest. The first DVD only had one episode that I hadn't seen, but it was cute and fun, esp. since it was set in a restaurant similar to Welcome to Pia Carrot. The girls ended up blackmailing the older sister who had started working at the restaurant to give them free food every day which culminated in both disaster and unemployment.

I'm making another post today. This is a message for zigfried. I realised that I don't know a better way to get ahold of you so I hope you swing by my page and see this. Just wanted to tell you that I'd like you to take a look at WtPC now if you would. I've reached my usual point of lack of motivation while play-testing, so I figure now is a good time for you to check over the script. I'd also like to offer if you'd like to edit for wording, I'm fine with that as long as I have veto rights. I'd prefer in that case that you played through the game while looking at the script as I did for Satomi's story. Anyway, just send me an email (room service) so I have your email and we can go from there.

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