Tag Archives: harry potter

Movies in Fifteen Minutes by Cleolinda Jones

Movies In Fifteen Minutes by Cleolinda Jones: I’ve long been a fan of the original Movies in Fifteen Minutes blog, as well as Cleolinda‘s writing in general, so I sort of expected to enjoy this. That said, I was giggling almost nonstop through this book. I don’t know how much I would have appreciated had I not seen all the films being condensed, but now I want to go back and re-watch all these movies just so I can then go back and appreciate the m15m versions all the more. I loved the endless footnotes and the jokes that repeated through multiple films. And like most books I really enjoyed, I have basically nothing to say about it. Pick up a copy if you can find one – it’s a gem.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling: A collection of five fairy tales for the magical set, complete with extensive commentary by everyone’s favorite headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. The illustrations, penned by Rowling herself, were very nice. However, the commentary was by far the most interesting part, as the stories were honestly kind of generic. And there were so few of them they didn’t really get a chance to make much of an impression on me. I appreciate that this was created for charity, but on its own it’s nothing special. That said, if you’re dying for one more taste of the world of Harry Potter, this might just fit the bill.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Harry Potter!

I was at the dollar store recently and came across some Harry Potter-themed Valentine’s Day cards. Specifically, they were from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final and most tragic installment of the series. The publicity photos are not exactly what you would call “romantic” – or even “happy.” No, everyone’s sitting around looking pensive.

Something tells me Harry's not thinking about candy hearts right about now.

Hermione just looks depressed.

The text is actually appropriate to the photo, until you remember what happens to Hedwig in Deathly Hallows. Buzzkill!

Nobody gave Ron a Valentine, apparently.

Wait, doesn't that charm contain part of Voldemort's soul? Kill it! Kill it!

Reuse of this photo of Harry is made more amusing by the fact that he appears to be thinking wistfully of Ron.

Ah, but this one is my very favorite:

Magical surprises - like horcruxes!

Loved ones are dying left and right, and the fate of the entire human race rests on your shoulders. Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Colbert

The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Colbert: The name is somewhat misleading; this is a cute mini-encyclopedia of the real mythological roots of many aspects of the Harry Potter books. While I didn’t learn a whole heck of a lot of new information, I would definitely recommend this book to any Harry Potter fan, especially younger ones. The writing is friendly without being dumbed down, the articles are short but concise, and the breadth of information is impressive. If nothing else, it instilled in me a renewed interest in mythology, and the extensive bibliography and notes provide a good jumping-off point for further research.

On note: the copy I read was written between the releases of Goblet Of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, and thus is it full of spoilers from the first four books and contains a sprinkling of (sometimes misguided) predictions for the latter three volumes. There is a revised version, but I don’t know if it covers the entire series. Keep that in mind when reading.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: I loved this film. It is probably the least true to the book of all the Harry Potter films to date, but I felt very little was tossed that really needed to be in there. I really didn’t miss the Dursleys or the house elves, and the way this movie was structured the bad guy doesn’t seem to come out of left field quite as much as he does in the book. And I liked the changes: I like Neville’s dancing and the study hall scene with Snape and the flashy entrances from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. My main complaint is that because they had to squeeze so much story into 150 minutes, many of the scenes, particularly in the beginning, are kind of choppy and feel very rushed. Many of the characters don’t get the screen time they deserve. However, the overall feel of the movie is excellent. There is quite a bit of silliness, which some have said is almost “too funny,” but I felt the humor provided a good balance with the much darker parts of the film, thus avoiding depressing the audience too much. I’m glad they kept the same set from Prisoner of Azkaban; the Hogwarts of the first two films always felt more like a Disney park than a real place. I’m also glad they finally made good use of the Weasley twins, who really are quite funny in the books but had been largely ignored in the films until now. Again, I loved this film. However, I would only recommend it to people who already like Harry Potter, as this is not a standalone movie at all. You really need the backstory of the prior three films to appreciate it.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: From the first moments I could sense the new director. The whole look and feel was completely different from the first two films, at times bearing a strong resemblance to the work of Tim Burton. I liked it, over all – it’s been so many years since I read the book that I had no quibbles with any deviations from the text save Hermione’s marked lack of exhaustion (which, if you’ve read the book, you’ll probably notice as well). Otherwise, I thought it was fantastic. The computer graphics were remarkable. I found the fake people in the Quidditch match of the first film so obvious as to be distracting, but the Whomping Willow and hippogriff here were so well-integrated and gorgeously rendered I almost forgot they weren’t really there. I approve of the new director, though he says he has no intention of tackling the fourth film. The old Hogwarts felt more like a fantastic themepark exhibit, somewhere I’d love to visit but could never imagine as real. The Hogwarts of this film, however, had a more organic feel and its rich and sometimes dark history was much more evident, without losing the same magical air of the first two films. There is no question that this film was darker, but so was the book – the series has been growing increasingly more complex and angstful as it goes on. The characters are growing up and feeling the complicated and sometimes overwhelming emotions of being teenagers. Harry’s story does not shy away from this reality. Perhaps in the end that is what makes it so enjoyable: we empathize with Harry and cheer him on, despite his occasional irrationality. Even in his magical world, he’s still just like us at heart.

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