Tag Archives: harry potter

Emma Watson most bankable actress of past decade

Who’da thought a muggle-born witch girl who struggled to gain the respect of her classmates in her first year of school would be named the most bankable film character of the decade? Technically, Emma Watson was named most bankable actress — generating more film revenue than such well-known personalities like Keira Knightly and Natalie Portman.

Dame Maggie Smith (whose lengthy career has probably been overshadowed by her work as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies) also made the list of “most bankable actress” with Emma. Which just goes to show that, given the right opportunities, our great actors can still achieve great things. The film industry is notorious for giving up on actors after they reach a certain age. Women, in particular, feel the pressure to “stay young, stay sexy” if they want to keep their film careers moving forward.

Way to go, Emma and Maggie.


Harry Potter theme park video released

Attractions Magazine has uploaded a video to YouTube that shows off the new Universal Studios Orlando Harry Potter attraction. This is the first public look at the theme park section and they have some pretty cool stuff.

We have some discussion in our Harry Potter Forum at SF-Fandom.

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince

So I saw “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince” (the movie) just now and I liked it. Yes, they cut out about 2/3 of the book but I think that was to be expected. After all, the story is rather long and convoluted and there are many details the reader is expected to keep track of.

Most of those details, by the way, appear to have been left out of the movie, which runs for about 2-1/2 hours. I’m not sure of why the writers chose to focus so much on the kids’ relationships and leave out so many important points, such as the memories Dumbledore showed Harry about Tom Riddle’s family and valuable items associated with Hogwarts. Dumbledore’s exposition about Riddle’s psyche added a great deal to the written story but it is nowhere to be found in the movie.

This is, of course, a classic example of how difficult it can be to bring a complex story to the silver screen. Because there was so much angst and drama going on with the kids (Draco struggling to complete his mission, the conflict between Draco and Harry, Harry and Ginny getting together, Ron and Hermione getting together, etc.) the writers seem to feel the story would move forward better by following their sub-plots than by hanging on Dumbledore’s every word.

And perhaps the special effects budget just did not allow for all the time traveling memory mining.

I think they gave Horace Slughorn sufficient screen time to show that he was important to the story but his character has a little more depth than the movie was able to convey. By the same token, the kids in the Slug Club came across as little more than scene dressing. I think the intention was to elevate Harry above all the interesting family connections that Slughorn’s kids could bring to the table, but in doing so one of the more convoluted (and, in my opinion, interesting) clues about the whole mystery behind Voldemort’s power was sacrificed.

But then the needs of a screenwriter are different from the needs of a novelist. People generally watch a movie all the way through, once they start watching it. They may not get everything the first time through, but the story has to make sense. In a book you have to assume the reader will put it down for a few hours, perhaps a few days or even weeks at a time. The author is expected to subtly (or blatantly) remind the reader of significant points. I’ve read some books that rushed through a story so much they lost me when reintroducing characters or subplots that had received relatively little attention.

This is why we feel so much loss when we see a good book translated into a movie. The movie just does not need all that exposition, and “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince” follows the rule of thumb that less is better. It’s also extremely long for a movie.

All that said, some of my favorite points were touched upon briefly: we got to see Ollivander’s shop again — I missed seeing him return in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, as I thought he was a really interesting character. We also got to see George and Fred Weasley’s magic shop in Diagon Alley, and that was really only because Harry’s trick on the train needed some explaining. Perhaps that part of the story was altered to ensure that George and Fred were included in the movie.

I was also pleased to see Remus and Tonks together, but that was one relationship that needed more exposition in the books and didn’t receive any in the movies — poof! They’re a couple and be sure not to miss the line where she says, “Sweety”.

One thing we noticed was that everyone looked older except Dumbledore. The kids looked older, McGonagall looked older, the Weasley parents looked older — the story is taking its toll on the characters. Frankly, this is something you really don’t see in most movie franchises. Time is marching on. You almost get a sense of that in “Star Wars” but the problem with the Star Wars franchise is that it picks up in the middle of the story, reaches the end, and then backs up to show you the beginning. That’s just really odd.

So, to sum up, I’ll be sure to see this movie in the theaters again. Oh yeah, the special effects were pretty good. They definitely put some thought into all the Gollum clones — I mean, the Inferi guarding Voldemort’s cave. Okay, I let the Peter Jackson reference out of the bag. I’m not sure of why they felt compelled to make their Inferi look like Gollum, but there you have it.

More discussion in SF-Fandom’s Harry Potter Forum.

Emma Watson did not twitter about Yale

Emma Watson does not have a twitter account but someone managed to trick a lot of people into believing she did. On March 3 Emma Watson’s representative noted on her blog that Emma had not made any decision about her education and that she does not have a Twitter account.

News agencies around the world have been following the controversy for several days, basically just recapping events.

However, this just may not be Emma’s month. She was spotted exiting a club with ink on her chest, a message apparently scrawled by her boyfriend Jay saying “Be Emma”.

Like so many other young stars, Emma Watson is finding herself under close scrutiny by people who are expecting antics and mayhem. She is only 18 years old but her life experience is about to zoom to 30.

Emma Watson will be appearing in the next three Harry Potter movies, “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince”, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1”, and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2”.

Regardless of whether she actually ends up in a scandal between now and the release of the last movie, she will undoubtedly have an opportunity to provide narration for any adaptation of Tales of Beadle The Bard (not that I have heard of anyone picking up the movie rights but I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes its way to television, especially if someone can pitch a charity angle for such an adaptation).

Emma, be yourself and know that we’re all rooting for you!

SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.

New Look Behind Harry Potter And The Half-blood Prince

Well, they disabled embedding and though I could get around that I suppose it’s not worth the hassle, is it? So, click here to watch 2 minutes and 23 seconds of behind-the-scenes footage (and some new scenes I haven’t found before) from “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince”. It looks really, really good and promises to be the best of the Harry Potter movies so far.

I certainly hope it lives up to that promise.

SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.

Robert Hardy, Potter’s Fudge actor, talks new movie

Robert Hardy plays Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the first five Harry Potter movies. He is a fine character actor, in my opinion, and I’ve always enjoyed his performances. The Fudge character is distasteful and not very nice (nor really as much like President Bush as people have suggested) but he does help make the stories interesting.

Fudge — I mean, Hardy, plays a member of the Thatcher government in the upcoming movie “Thatcher” (about the government of Margaret Thatcher, a powerful Reagan-era diplomat and the UK Prime Minister who won the Falklands War).

You can read an interview with him here.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The insurers for the Harry Potter films were insuring me for a massive amount of money and being extra reluctant about it. I could almost hear them saying, ’Is he worth it? He’s broken most of his bones, he’s had cancer and he might drop dead at any moment!’

You mentioned Harry Potter…

I loved my time as Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, but my character has now been erased! I knew it would happen, because he’s quite a good part in the book, but there was no way they were ever going to fit everything into one film.

All three producers rang me up, separately, on the same day to give me the news – so I was told three times. They said, ’We’re so sorry, we’re having to cut the book by half,’ so that was the end of that. I was very sad, because of the amusing and wicked people I worked with, like Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith, who is an old friend. It was such fun to film, and there were so many laughs on set that it was hard to come up with a sober face just before they shouted, ’Action!’

Did working with children remind you of your own schooldays?

I was the youngest of five, and sent away to board at a prep school when I was eight. When I begged to leave because I was so utterly miserable, my father refused, saying that I had to prove myself. It was a very destructive experience, and I look back on it with loathing.

When it came to my own children’s education, I was very careful. When one of my daughters was unhappy at school, I did not hesitate – I whisked her straight out. I didn’t want her to experience the same trauma that I had.

Margaret will be shown on BBC2 at the end of February.

So, Fudge is done in the films. Somewhat sad. I was wondering if we would see him in “The Other Prime Minister”, but I suppose not.

SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.