Vulcan’s Peak

Archive for the 'Harry Potter' category

In anticipation!

July 18, 2007 1:00 am

Just because I haven’t had an opportunity to use this on LJ…

book 7

Image credit: LJ user shannonsequitur.

HP & the Order of the Phoenix

July 14, 2007 11:12 pm

In the tradition of HP flicks, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is good fun, not great cinema. It isn’t Lord of the Rings a la Peter Jackson, and it isn’t Star Wars in 1977. But as entertainment goes, it’s not bad.

The star-studded adult cast are in fine form, led by Imelda Staunton’s loathsomely perky Professor Umbridge. A vision in pink, she makes a fantastic stand-in for every teacher you ever wanted a centaur herd to trample. Alan Rickman plays the overbearing bat with his usual gusto; McGonagall, Trelawney, and Hagrid are spot-on.

The snake-like face of Ralph Fiennes’s Voldemort appears briefly in a number of dream sequences, but not until the final battle does he get anything that could be called a scene — those who find him utterly hideous don’t have to look at him for long. (And trust me, water and glass and any number of distractions are flying in all directions by the time Voldemort shows up.)

Helena Bonham Carter’s cameo as Bellatrix Lestrange has been well over-publicized, but she chews the scenery nicely.

Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore continues to bother me. The problems with the character are mitigated because this is the book in which Harry can’t figure out why Dumbledore is avoiding him. The flailing and yelling I objected to in the last film aren’t an issue here (perhaps due to the change in directors), but the presence, the voice, and even the costume (not Gambon’s fault, I concede) are all wrong. The half-moon spectacles that are synonymous with the character don’t even put in an appearance — I will need my memory jolted on whether they have been used since the part was re-cast.

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Being intolerant of the intolerant(so much for the moral high ground)

June 1, 2007 12:50 am

In the latest of a series of court cases that have come to resemble a game of Whack-a-Mole, Laura Mallory’s quest for the banning of Harry Potter from Gwinnet County schools has been thwarted once again. A short article in the Chicago Sun-Times quotes her as saying “I maybe need a whole new case from the ground up.” Ya think? Whack!

Which reminds me of the white bearded madman sitting in front of the Unitarian Universalist church in Harvard Square. He had set himeself up in a lawnchair with a couple of signs, handing out fliers that accused UUs* and specifically Cambridge’s UU First Parish Church** of anti-Semitism.

Understand here that UUs tend to value tolerance, acceptance, and understanding very, very highly. The first time I walked by, I laughed. Around places like Boston Common and Harvard Square, there’s always someone promoting a pet cause. A few weeks ago there was someone making similar accusations about and in front of an Episcopal Church, come to think of it. Might have been the same guy. At any rate, when I walked back by, I gave into morbid curiosity and took a flier.

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The Doctor has read Book 7

April 13, 2007 12:59 pm

Some HP love on Doctor Who: here are a couple of short clips, posted on The Leaky Cauldron. It’s from a third season episode that must have just aired in the UK. Maybe it’s airing on BBC America, too — dunno because BBC America is too high into the cable atmosphere for me to have it. I assume SciFi will start season three this fall, and I’m looking forward to meeting the new companion.

(And if that weren’t enough fandoms for one post: I turned on the TV this afternoon and hey look! There’s Inara — or rather, Morena Baccarin — on Stargate SG1, wearing a very Inara sort of costume, just with funny-colored contacts. No idea how old this episode is, only that it’s post-Richard Dean Anderson. But yay for Firefly cast.)

Later: Evil Dead: The Musical. What the hell??

MuggleNet reviews HP7

April 1, 2007 1:57 pm

Book 7 cover art

March 28, 2007 12:18 pm

The cover art for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was revealed this morning. Looky!

Front cover, U.S.

Full covers, U.K. and U.S.

potter_cover.jpg

Wizard Rock: The Rabid Harry Subculture

December 15, 2006 12:26 am

I think I qualify as a fairly hardcore fan of Harry Potter. I read the first of the books before they became a phenomenon. I dressed up as Professor McGonagall for Halloween before the first movie came out. I have copies of the first book from the U.K. and from Germany. I’ve been to buy a book when it came out at midnight. I know the ins and outs of the plot and I can tell you what’s non-canon about the movies. I skim the headlines at some of the biggest HP sites and I try to solve the puzzles on J.K. Rowling’s website.

So when I tell you that I felt like a newbie at this wizard rock concert last Sunday, I want you to understand my full meaning. It was a little like DragonCon in that one’s fandom is suddenly dwarfed by people you simultaneously want to hail as comrades and mock as fanatics.

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Gut reaction

November 22, 2006 11:16 pm

As you may have seen, the first teaser for HP5 (Order of the Phoenix) is online at HPANA.

Looks like we’re in for another wild ride! But there’s one split second early in the teaser that serves only to reminds me of how disappointed I am by Michael Gambon’s Dumbledore. I blogged about this when the last HP movie came out and I stand by my previous comments. I know Gambon is a big name and I have no doubt that he’s earned it. As a character, Dumbledore is too close to my heart — I can’t sob over his death and then see the character portrayed any old which way. Too much flailing, too little force of character.

As far as this movie, though, it looks like there’s plenty of Umbridge-hating and Snape-ambiguousness and showdown in the ministry to look forward to. The movie comes out July 13, 2007.

HP funny

August 11, 2006 11:22 pm

One Craig Berman imagines how all the Quidditch teams are going to fight over Harry. Assuming that he survives Book 7, of course.

The Recruitment of Harry Potter.

Some slightly dated Harry news

July 21, 2006 8:39 am

I’ve been staring at this for a few days now in case I changed my mind, but I still think it’s a bad idea:

Composer wants to create a Harry Potter opera cycle.

Okay, give the lady credit. From the quotes in the above article, it sounds like she wants to use HP’s immense popularity to revitalise opera and make it interesting to kids. But I just get the feeling that some things should not be set to music. They talked about making a Star Trek musical at one point, after all. Not to mention the fact that opera singers are stereotypically middleaged and overweight for a reason: the voice doesn’t finish maturing until you’re about thirty and opera music is demanding. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done. But I don’t think it would be a service to the stories. The composer likes that HP is “pure epic” — but I don’t think epic and opera are as analogous as she would like to make out.

Fortunately for all involved, both J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers have denied permission for the project.

In other Harry news, I really want someone to remind this guy [‘Harry won’t die’ says literature expert] that JKR has explicitly told us that Neville is NOT the chosen one. Voldemort made Harry the chosen one when he tried to kill him as a baby…because he percieved Harry, not Neville as a future threat.

I also think that the first point quoted in the article is bogus. YES, like in Dickens’ work, good has to win in the end, but that doesn’t require Harry to survive the book. He just has to take Voldemort with him if he does die.

I think what really gets my goat about that article is the way Prof. Krasner talks about Harry as though he’s got all the answers. Snape is “really fighting for good despite all appearances,” he says. Well, yes, the thought has crossed most of our minds, now hasn’t it? No call to sound presumptuous about it.