The EFX were lovely. I especially liked how they showed the passage of time via the behavior of the Whomping Willow. And Buckbeak was amazing. My "Oh, Matthew! Let's get a hippogriff!" comments were tempered only by the realization that one would probably want to eat Hobkin.
But the film didn't engage my emotions. I sat back, watched all the pretty sets and costumes, and enjoyed myself, but the charm and involvement I got from the book didn't come across.
Also watched Pitch Black in preparation for the upcoming Chronicles of Riddick coming out this week. Matthew saw it when it first came out in the theater, but I skipped it, as I fully expected it to be too scary for someone as wimpy as myself. As it turns out, I needn't have avoided it. Nothing particularly squicky or creepy beyond the standard carnivorous alien-in-the-dark fare.
I do find it interesting that they're playing down the fact that Chronicles of Riddick is a sequel. Not really a problem as I don't really think Pitch Black requires follow up, and I'm more than happy just to follow the Riddick character.
Surprising myself, I'm liking Vin Diesel as the "new action hero." Being a fan of the James Bond, clean-cut, tuxedo suave persona, I didn't expect to find myself enamored with the gritty, ghetto-urban guise that they're pushing with him. But I liked him in both Triple X and Pitch Black. He's real and believable and sympathetic, anti-hero and all. Looking forward to seeing Riddick now.
Tried to trim Hobkin's nails while watching Pitch Black. In the span of a feature-length film, I managed to get two toes clipped before he rolled over (with a reproachful look at me) and tucked all his paws beneath him so I couldn't get at them. Sigh.
500 words on the fantasy piece. Not much progress, but the story is brewing.