September 13, 2013 |
WARNER BROS. and J.K. Rowling are going back to the fantasy well with a movie based on "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," her textbook to the magical universe she created in the Harry Potter stories. Rowling will write the screenplay. Gee, if this works, maybe they can start making movies based on textbooks for history and algebra. The story will focus on the book's fictitious author, Newt Scamander, and is anticipated to be the first in a series. Rowling said in a statement that the movie "is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.
April 1, 2013
Richard Griffiths, 65, one of the great British stage actors of his generation, a heavy man with a light touch, whether in Shakespeare or Neil Simon, died Thursday at University Hospital in Coventry, central England, from complications following heart surgery, said his agent, Simon Beresford. Mr. Griffiths appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, but for millions of movie fans, he will always be grumpy Uncle Vernon, the least magical of characters in the fantastical Harry Potter movies.
January 6, 2013
Julie Vick is a freelance writer in Haddonfield and works at the University of Pennsylvania For eight years, my now-22-year-old son and I were part of a mother-child book group. Three boys, two girls, and their mothers started meeting in February 2000, when the children were in fourth grade. The goal was to encourage reading and talking about reading. At the first meeting, we established the format: Go around the room and each person says what he or she liked about the book, followed by a short open discussion, then wrap up, and leave after an hour.
November 28, 2012 |
EVER WISH you could hang out at Hogwarts, mastering its magic and sharing tales of great adventure with Harry Potter and friends? Now you can, Muggle, creating something out of nothing while gaining important life lessons through the power of the Sony PlayStation 3 game system and a special gathering of software and peripherals. Bearing the highbrow and imaginative stamp of Potter author J.K. Rowling and exclusive to the PS3 system, the new augmented reality video game and storyteller "Wonderbook: Book of Spells" requires a would-be conjurer to sit cross-legged on the floor in front of a TV and game console.
October 31, 2012 |
John Bolaris , bon vivant, boulevardier, and baron of barometrics, is bailing out on bachelorhood, thanks to the matchmaking skills of Howard Stern . Bolaris, 55, the former Philly weather guy whose romantic life has long been a bountiful source of material for "SideShow" and similar journalistic enterprises, proposed to gf Erica Smitheman , 33, at Stern's urging during The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Radio Monday morning. Bolaris was there to do a weather special for Sirius and had brought Smitheman with him. The Stern show website, howardstern.com, recounts what happened next: "Before he left, John introduced his girlfriend, Erica, noting that she was 20 years his junior.
October 29, 2012
WHADDYA gonna be this Halloween? You mean you haven't decided yet? No worries. We've got you covered. Of course, you've gotta be current - Harry Potter might still be popular, but he is sooo four years ago - and it wouldn't hurt if you were at least a little bit something else. Like hilarious. (Andy Reid's mustache!) Or hot. (Melissa Gorga in gold lame!) Could be scary. (Zombies!) Or sassy. (Blue Ivy Carter!) Maybe a little bit controversial. (Who woulda thought, but Big Bird, Bert or Ernie!
September 28, 2012
J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter franchise, is out with her first novel not steeped in fantasy and the New York Times says it sadly lacks magic. The novel, The Casual Vacancy , is set in an English village full of secrets called Pagford. Times book critic Michiko Kakutani says the novel is peopled with characters like Harry Potter's "aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley: self-absorbed, small minded, snobbish and judgmental folks, whose stories neither engage nor transport us. " "Unfortunately," she writes, "the real-life world she has limned in these pages is so willfully banal, so depressingly cliched that The Casual Vacancy is not only disappointing - it's dull.
September 27, 2012
J.K. ROWLING isn't finished with everyone's favorite boy wizard. In an interview with the BBC, Rowling said she's not opposed to revisiting Harry Potter and the Hogwarts crew for another book. She doesn't want to do a sequel or a prequel, but she'd consider "a sidestep. " "If I did have a great idea for something else, I probably would do it," Rowling said. Despite the massive popularity of her series, Rowling expressed dissatisfaction with some of the books. "I had to write on the run, and there were times when it was really tough," she said.
April 8, 2012 |
The manipulative baddie Wes Bentley plays in The Hunger Games - the Capitol puppetmaster Seneca Crane - has heaps more face time than he does in the Suzanne Collins book whence he sprang. That's a fortunate turn of events for the actor - who gets to sport an ultra-trim steampunk beard (it looks sprayed on, not grown), and wears strange Edwardian-meets-disco era clothes. Bentley, already a fan of Collins' dystopian young-adult trilogy before he sought the role, explains that part of the reason Seneca figures so prominently in the screen adaptation is that Collins' book was penned in the first person, from the vantage of its teenage heroine, Katniss Everdeen ( Jennifer Lawrence in the film, of course)
March 18, 2012 |
Harry Potter. . . . Bella Swan. . . . Katniss Everdeen? If the bespectacled boy wizard of the Harry Potter books and films and the sulky high schooler-turned-vampire-wife of the Twilight Saga have long been imprinted in the collective consciousness, is it now time for the teenage heroine of The Hunger Games to join them? With the Suzanne Collins book perched atop the children's and young-adult best-seller lists pretty much since its publication in late 2008, and with advance ticket sales for the $100 million Lionsgate film adaptation - opening at Friday - outpacing the inaugural Harry Potter, there are strong indications that Ms. Everdeen is indeed heading for that rarefied realm of pop iconography.