Tag Archives: Harry Potter movies

Who is that masked Longbottom?

It has been two years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II was released in theatres, bringing the decade-long movie franchise to its satisfying conclusion.  The ending evoked a lot of emotions from us all, one of the more surprising being —

Neville Longbottom is a hunk!

Neville before and afterAt the time, I celebrated the transformation of actor Matthew Lewis on many levels.

First and foremost, I like pretty things, and Matthew had become one.  But as a geek whose own awkward period extends even into today, I was gratified to see how far he had come during the 10-year span…and gave his movie connections no small amount of the credit.

But it turns out the studio’s efforts were actually in the opposite direction.

Matthew Lewis was never the chubby, ear-sticking-out, buck-toothed character that we saw on screen.  The wardrobe and makeup departments created Neville’s persona and ‘plopped it down’ — fat suit and all — upon Matthew’s more leading man frame.  They even used extra-large shoes because that’s how JK Rowling described him in the her novels.

That’s why Neville was such a ‘boy toy’ surprise in the final film!

This just in

A few of my friends — okay, really just one, but I hate to name names — have had a lot of fun on Twitter slamming Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series The Newsroom.

To be fair, said friend slams a lot of other shows as well, but since I happen to agree with most of those observations, I don’t take issue.

But when he repeatedly tweetslaps –and retweetslaps — The Newsroom?

I cannot stand idly by.

Now, even I will admit the pilot was an explosion of exposition and classic Sorkin sermons.  But if we wrote off every series’ first episode for being exposition-heavy, the Harry Potter movies would have ended at Sorcerer’s Stone.  

You have to establish characters before you can build relationships.  That’s a given.

For those of you lucky enough to have stuck around for Sunday night’s episode of The Newsroom, your patience was rewarded.  Fewer sermons.  More focus on the relationships in the newsroom (which, if you’ve worked in one, do blow up like that from time to time).  Even some cultural references to add to the fun.  And did a few of you shed a tear at the ending?

I’ll take that bet.

And I’ll be DVRing The Newsroom this season.  And next.


JK Rowling, you witch.

When you launched pottermore.com last week, you had to know what Muggles everywhere were thinking.

Pottermore?  Pottermore??  JK Rowling is going to write a new Harry Potter book, we immediately surmised.

You’ve said more than once, JK, that you might not be finished with Harry and the gang.

But what did you announce instead?  E-books for everyone…of the existing Harry Potter saga.

Where’s the magic in that?

Sure, you’ve promised additional materials that will only be found in the e-books.  That’s all well and good.  We’ll enjoy that, of course.

But knowingly dangling the possibility of more Potter books in front of a rabid public?  You should be ashamed of yourself.  I demand an apology — a written one, in fact.

In the form of an eighth novel.

Class act

My first memory of actor Alan Rickman is in the Bruce Willis movie Die Hard.  He played the evil villain Hans Gruber.

His voice and unique intonation made a lasting impression.

While I have loved Alan’s performances in romantic roles in Truly Madly Deeply and Sense and Sensibility –– and his wonderful comedic turn in GalaxyQuest — I think Alan is at his best playing the villain.

Or, at the very least, having all the surface qualities of one.

But as any Harry Potter fan knows, his character Severus Snape — who appeared to be a very bad guy for a majority of the series — turns out to be okay. (Hope I’m not ruining anything for you non-readers…but seriously, if you don’t know by now, that’s just sad.)

And it’s no surprise that Alan himself is a pretty stand-up guy as well. He wrote a heartfelt thank you note to JK Rowling in a recent issue of Empire magazine.

I think there’s an entire Harry Potter nation that couldn’t agree more.

Truly madly deeply

Reason #1,485,208,771 to love New York City:

Alan Rickman

…the unforgettable villain Hans Gruber in the original Diehard movie?
…the tragically besotted boss Harry in the Christmas classic Love Actually?
…the outwardly evil yet misunderstood Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film saga?

(I also loved his portrayal of Dr. Lazarus in the hilarious sci-fi send-up Galaxy Quest, but I tend to get blank stares at that reference.)

Yes, Alan Rickman is consistently brilliant in whatever role he chooses to inhabit. Today I have the privilege of seeing him LIVE onstage at the BAM in Brooklyn.

Rickman is playing the title role in the Henrik Ibsen play “John Gabriel Borkman.”  I had never heard of the piece until I got the postcard in the mail, but as soon as I saw his face front and center, I bought a ticket.

The storyline sounds a bit Wall Street 2 (if it were told by Ibsen at the Abbey Theatre in Ireland).  And with Rickman, Fiona Shaw and Lindsay Duncan in the cast, I am primed for an amazing afternoon of entertainment.

While I’m at BAM today, I know many of my friends will be watching football, cheering on the Jets to bring home a Super Bowl berth.  Heck, New York City has Alan Rickman and practically everything else…

Why not another Super Bowl title, too?

Magic chef

When I think about the amazing world J.K. Rowling created in her series of “Harry Potter” novels, there are so many things I wish really existed.

The magic, first and foremost.  Wielding a wand for good — and a tiny bit of evil — would be quite a rush.  Next, the people. I especially love Snape.  I stood behind him even during the darkest days. And Hogwarts, of course.  It makes school actually look like fun.

But I never pictured the dining hall and thought, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

I don’t even recall what they eat at Hogwarts.  (They drink butter beer — I do know that.)

And yet, an enterprising editor has compiled an unauthorized collection of recipes featured in the “Harry Potter” books and films.  Some are specific to the series — like Cauldron Cakes and Petunia’s Pudding.  Knickerbocker Glory and Harry’s favorite dessert, Treacle Tart.

Nope, still don’t know when the heck any of these dishes appeared.  I mean, the names are kinda familiar, but they didn’t figure prominently enough in any of the story lines — at least, for me — to make me think, “Wow, I wanna make that for Sunday dinner.”

And, let’s be honest — most of the recipes in this rather lengthy collection are just standards from English country cooking.  Kippers, steak and kidney pudding and English muffins — foods that have been around long before Harry and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named were duking it out.

Where’s the magic in that?  Nowhere, that’s where.  Except in this crafty editor’s pockets.  She used Harry’s name to make money appear out of thin air.

Maybe she’s the real witch in this story.

Childhood scars

The Sticky Egg happily takes topic requests.  Today we answer the following email from J. in Boston:  “Tell the hostage story!”

It is a defining moment in Sticky Egg history.

It’s the reason I will always wear bangs.
It’s probably why I always cry if hit on the head.
And it explains why the “Harry Potter” saga speaks to me on a very personal level.

I was in the third grade, the youngest child, scorned by my siblings.  On that particular Sunday, my sister — three years older and the coolest person I knew — offered to play with me.

This was a BIG DEAL.

She found a length of rope in the small building behind our house and suggested, “Let’s play hostage!”   She then hog tied me, wrists to ankles.

(You’re probably wondering why I went along with this.  She was playing with me.  This was a BIG DEAL.)

After she secured the rope, and I was awkwardly squatting, she told me to try to walk.  On the count of three, she pulled her end, and I fell forward, flat on my face.

That might not have been such a BIG DEAL…except I had been sitting on a cement sidewalk, and my forehead hit the edge.  Hard.

I rolled over onto the grass and started to cry, my nose already swelling.  My sister stood over me, blocking the sun.

“Get up, you big baby” she said.  The truce had ended.

As I quickly sat up, a curtain of bright, red blood cascaded — seemingly in slow motion — across the yard.  I went silent, then began to scream.

The rest is a blur of my brothers and my mother and the rush to the hospital.  I do remember Dr. Stone, my pediatrician, had a pillow mark on his face, like he had been woken up from a nap.  He was especially grouchy in the ER, even for him.

In the end, I had to have 12 stitches in my forehead and was monitored for a possible skull fracture.  (I didn’t have one.)

But I was left with a slightly crooked scar on my forehead…

And a special power — even today — over She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named.

Summer school

The Fourth of July was the official start of summer, and for some peeps, that means summer school.

Regis and Kelly are both going this week — for ratings, not grades — and are studying some really cool subjects: pizza-making, gymnastics, acting, bicycling, even how to be a ball boy at the U.S. Open tennis tournament.  (Heck, if they had offered stuff like that in summer school when I was a kid, I would have wanted to go.)

Which begs the question:  what kind of fun courses could I take this summer…if I wanted to go?

The Art of Walking” — Once I tell you this is offered at a college in Kentucky, you’ll be less surprised.

Maple Syrup: The Real Thing” — This Alfred University class teaches students how to make maple syrup.  (No prior experience is required)

“The Phallus” — Occidental College in Los Angeles offers this one.  Hope I get an A.

“Learning from YouTube” — Once I tell you this is offered at a college in California, you’ll be less surprised.

But seriously, here are a few that I would take:

“The Science of Harry Potter” — At Frostburg University in Maryland, you can see the science behind the movie magic.  (Insert spell here)

“Star Trek and Philosophy” — In this Georgetown University class, you watch Star Trek, read philosophy and talk about it. I’m guessing William Shatner will sit this one out.

Twilight: The Texts and the Fandom” — Brand new at Cambridge University, this course examines the saga’s impact on popular culture, even allowing people outside the class to participate online.

Hmmm.  Wonder which one I’ll take first…?

Super Harry

Attention members of the “Harry Potter” fandom!

If you are planning to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday — and even if you aren’t — at the very least DVR the ads.

Universal Orlando has shelled out a reported $2.5-3 million to air a commercial for “The Wizarding Word of Harry Potter” theme park — scheduled to open this spring — during the big game.  Daniel Radcliffe himself is featured in the 30-second spot.

I know these ads are targeted to the dads and moms and kids who will be watching the Colts take on the Saints, but I’m pretty darn psyched myself.  In fact, one of my very first posts yammered on about the theme park’s announced opening.

The ad reportedly shows kids riding broomsticks with Harry and a rollercoaster in the background that looks like twin dueling dragons — hints at two of the more technologically advanced rides that visitors can expect.

The press announcement last fall already hinted at the recreation of the shoppes and streets of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle itself.  Too. Much. Fun.

We’ll just have to see if the commercial gives a better indication of the opening date.  Lots of reasons to tune in on Sunday!

(I hear they are playing football, too.)