Tag Archives: harry potter

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince: IMAX 3D

Just a quick note that Half Blood Prince is worth seeing in IMAX 3D. I thought the last movie was, too. The difference is that instead of the 20 minute 3D finale we got in Order of the Phoenix, we get a 13 minute 3D starting sequence. Still, extremely well done. And I thought the movie was great, especially considering all the material from the book that had to be thrown out.

Oh, if you’re not familiar with Harry Potter, here are some American Dad clips that pretty much sum it up:

Hogwarts Schoolgirls

I was flipping through the OC Weekly “best of” issue and couldn’t help but notice the various Halloween costume ads. One that immediately jumped out at me was a rather modernized Hogwarts schoolgirl uniform. If only Dumbledore weren’t gay Hermione Granger would be walking around looking like this:

Hogwarts Schoolgirl Uniform

I really hope this will be a popular costume at the Halloween party I’ll be attending. And if you’re thinking, “That’s all wrong! There’s certainly not a star at the end of their wands!” then I’ve got a guy named Albus I’d like to introduce you to.

Orson Scott Card Slams J.K. Rowling

Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game, slams J.K. Rowling for suing a small publisher for copyright infringement. The book, Harry Potter Lexicon, is based on info from a website that Rowling herself awarded in 2004.

Card is right on several points. He does an excellent job pointing out the similarities between Ender’s Game and Harry Potter, which reminded me of Harry Potter vs. Star Wars.

However, he seems so upset about JKR’s actions that he undermines his own agenda. Bringing up the Stouffer lawsuit diminishes his case, as 2 minutes of research shows it is without much merit. For one, the character Larry Potter is not, as he claims, in the Muggles book.

He also speculates on her motives rather unfavorably. I’m wondering if he had space to fill, or was just pissed off and rambling. If he kept his tone a bit more civil it would have made a more convincing argument. If I were to speculate, I’d say that as a literature snob himself (OSC almost got a doctorate in English lit.), he’s a tad peeved that JKR was so successful with her “subliterature”.

What he doesn’t bring up is that Rowling has stated that she wants to do a Harry Potter encyclopedia1. If the Lexicon was done well enough, it could potentially cut into her sales (although with a 10K print run it’d be like a fly buzzing around a cow). I agree that for publicity’s sake, she shouldn’t have sued. She does look rather greedy given her target.

For the record, I think Ender’s Game is one of the best sci fi books in the last 30 years, and the Harry Potter series is pure joy.

  1. Which I wrote about here, but it does contain Book 7 spoilers []

“Deathly Hallows” – Parts I & II

Variety reports that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be made into two movies, with the second to be released 6 months after the first.

For those not familiar with the books (no spoilers here), they keep getting bigger. By the fourth book, Goblet of Fire, Rowling was including enough material for two films. In fact, director Mike Newell was planning on splitting it when Alfonso Cuarón (director of Prisoner of Azkaban) convinced him it would be better to cut out tons of material and make one movie.

I was pissed, as were many (most?) other Potter fans. The movie turned out good, but when Order of the Phoenix was released, I think it became too obvious that subplots were missing, as well as chunks of the main plot. It felt very rushed.

So when I read that Hallows will be split I got pissed off again – because this means Half-Blood Prince won’t be split! Which only gives me 3 more shots at getting tickets to a premier and hitting on Emma Watson. Who, by the way, turns 18 next month. Just saying.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Spoiler-free Review

Granted, there’s not a huge reason to review this film. It’s the fourth in a fantastic series; if you’re reading this, there’s little chance you’re going to miss it. Because that would be stupid. So I’ll just provide some supplemental material to make you a more informed viewer.

First, Alfonso Cuaron gets the gas face. This bastard (who directed Prisoner of Azkaban) convinced Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell to NOT do a Kill Bill and create two movies from the book, released a few months apart. That was the original, glorious plan. While the movie is great as is, it does a major hatchet job on the plot in the book. As a result, many subplots and nuances are removed; the Dursleys and Molly and Percy Weasley don’t even show up. This is a sad way to treat a great book. To those who were planning on watching the movie and skipping the book to get onto the others, that’s no longer an option. You would be doing yourself a huge disservice, not to mention making books 5 and 6 a bit harder to understand.

And as Agent Assassin asked, didn’t the producers want to make twice as much money? You’d think with an extra $300M+ at stake, they could have paid off Cuaron to convince Newell to do the extra movie. Or just paid Newell extra to do it (he only got $1M, vs. $10M + percentage of gross for Sorcerer’s Stone director Chris Columbus).

Speaking of Cuaron, he declined directing Goblet of Fire because he said he’d still be working on Prisoner of Azkaban. This answers the question of how they’re getting them out so quickly (one every 1.5 years) – overlapping production. Must be quite the marathon for the actors.

Speaking of actors, Emma Watson is definitely coming of age. As Ms. Watson is (ahem) a few years my junior, I thought my mind should perhaps not be wandering in that direction. Then I found out every other guy thinks she’s hot, so it’s ok. Heck, Ebert called it when she was 12, in his Chamber of Secrets review. There are, in fact, two “countdown to 18” clocks for Emma, even though the age of consent in England is 16:

http://www.jonnydigital.com/countdowns/emma-watson (love the anime drawing)

Of course, for those worried about not looking as good as the actors in the film, another bit of trivia from the IMDB said they used computers to digitally remove any skin outbreaks, as makeup wasn’t cutting it in in the closeups. Amusingly they said they used the same process as Desperate Housewives, confirming that it doesn’t get any better with age.

I was asked to comment on watchability for kids, since this is the first Harry Potter film to get the PG-13 rating. While there is some scary/creepy imagery, it’s not very gory. Some dead bodies, sure. However, I definitely think it’s tamer than Star Wars III. If your kid’s 13, go for it. Especially if you can see it at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, that would be an experience they’d long remember. Heck, it almost makes me wish I had kids to share it with. Almost. Please don’t send me your kids.