Knocks Sy Hersh Into A Cocked Hat!

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Found on Google News, the hardest-hitting investigative story of the year:

The Dark Side of Harry Potter

Written by: Natalia Olenicoff

The Prisoner of Azkaban reveals darker troubles for Potter

The latest Harry Potter film, set to hit the big screen on June 4th, is said to have a refreshingly different feel to it than the first two films. Critics have commended the new film for delving into the darker side of the young wizard?s story. Unlike the first two films, which entertained the audience with fantastical Disney-looking sets and characters, The Prisoner of Azkaban is set predominantly in a dark, rainy world, where Potter seeks out his parents? alleged murderer who has escaped from the prison. In this film, Potter?s character exhibits more of his inner turmoil over his parents? death and his predestined role in wizardry.

Fans of the first two films should not be disappointed by the series? darker third installment, though. Director Alfonso Cuaron whipped up another extraordinary adventure film with enough magic to make even the most committed realist wish for a magic wand.

Pages Updated On: 25-May-2004—16:18:55

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  1. Any ideas what fans of the books (you know, those paper things) will think of it? I’m optimistic because I think Cuaron is better suited to direct for the later, darker books than Columbus is.

  2. I just got Natalia Olenicoff on the phone, and she assured me that fans of the books will be delighted as well, because Harry, Ron, Hermione and all their favorites will be back for what sources are calling the most exciting Harry Potter adventure yet!

  3. a 3 way?

  4. I’m just happy they decided to hire a director for this one!

  5. And, if they are charged, will Robert Zicari support them? 😉

  6. She’s looking to write Ad copy for a living. Do I care who Natalia Olenicoff is?

  7. I’m tired of liberals bringing up the example of Sirius Black and the way he was falsely accused and imprisoned in a magical fortress full of monsters. You can’t use this isolated incident to argue that terrorists should have the right to a trial. We’re at war here, people! Do you want the Enchanter-Fascists to win?

    And don’t give me any “blowback” nonsense to argue against our alliance with the Dementors….

    Oops, thought this was a different thread 🙂

  8. Industry insiders are predicting that aix42’s no-nonsense blog comments will be a winner with fans and critics alike!

  9. Since someone had to ask for the opinion of fans of the books, let me be the first to vent this niggling complaint: during Hermione’s confrontation with Draco she punches, not slaps, his face. Once again, they damage the true charm of the books in order to appeal to the dull witted popular mind.

    The moral: Don’t ask real Potter fans for their opinion. You’ve been warned.

  10. Speaking of real HP fans — http://jasonkill.com/hermione/about.htm

    That’s as real as real gets.

  11. Thank you very much Josh. I no longer feel like I’m in desparete need of a life. Click on my link below for my work on the books to see the difference.

  12. Josh,
    Yet another case of “When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong”

  13. You’d think that when he made the countdown till her 18th birthday and the days column needed four digits, something would have triggered in his head, but apparently not.

  14. You said it, Eryk. I recently saw a movie called Bloom, an adaptation of Ulysses (see my article in the July issue of Reason!) that comes in with a screening time of 1:54 and a budget that wouldn’t cover a day’s worth of Craft Services for Prisoner of Azkaban. Now I make no claims for any book’s being greater or more canonical than any other, and if I were a studio I too would gamble more on fantasy bestsellers than on modernist experiments. But if that’s the best Joyce can get I have absolutely zero sympathy for Tolkien/Rowling fans who still gripe after the incredible justice Hollywood has done them.

    Josh, the photo of the fan on his bed at that site is just so, so… so… that I’m almost inclined to think this is an even defter version of the “For the Love of Julie” hoax site from back in Old ’99. But you never know.

    Or as my hero Natalia Olenicoff would say: Devotees and naysayers may differ on the authenticity, but nobody doubts that this is one genuine blockbuster!

  15. aix42…and what, exactly, is wrong with earning a living by writing ad copy, eh comrade?

    I have a Tolkein fan for a friend who is still having kittens over the manufactured romance between Aragon and the elf so I accept that some peole take purity too seriously. Just think of what has been done to Shakespeare’s work over the last century. Nevertheless, Rowling deserves all she gets because A) she earned it, dammit and B) She’s done more than any living person to counter the government conspiracy to make American kids illiterate. Let’s see Joyce fans make that claim.

  16. “And Harry Potter and all his wizard friends…
    went straight to hell for practicing witchcraft.”

    Ned Flanders

    “Yaaaayyyy!”

    Rod and Todd

  17. Well, it can’t be worse than the other two films, which were utterly tiresome affairs.

  18. “I have a Tolkein fan for a friend who is still having kittens over the manufactured romance between Aragon…”

    They obviously didn’t read the Appendicies at the end of the series.

  19. We Tolkien fans are well aware that Arwen and Aragorn got married and had a romance prior to the novels. We’re just upset that it was shown in the movies when it wasn’t in the books. Every second spent on that romance was a second that could have been spent on Tom Bombadil! 🙂

  20. OK, I have to ask: what is so awful about the first two?

    That they were just like the book? And this is a bad thing because…?

    Sure, you can wish for a director to take more “creative control,” but you usually end up with Johnny Mnemonic. Or The Postman (n.b., I’m not talking about Il Postino).

    Seriously, what’s the big deal?

  21. “Steve Martin did a great version of the death of Socrates on a tv special in the eighties. Others I guess shy from it because everybody knows how it ends. ”

    I remember that and it was a good bit.

    Steve Martin (as Socrates): “Why didn’t anyone tell me that hemlock was poisonous?”

  22. Well, Harry Potter 1 & 2 are the most juvenile books in a series written for children, so of course intelligent adults are going to have complaints. Kids wanted to see the books come to life, and within the constraits of time, that’s what they got. I’m looking forward to HP 3, which really is a better story than 1 & 2. I hope 4 & 5 get made into movies as well, though given the length there will probably be a lot cut. If you’ve only read the 1st book, or seen the 1st movie, the series does get more mature and more enjoyable as it goes on. I liked the series at first because it reminded me of the stuff I liked as a kid, by the last book I found myself actually interested in the story & the characters. Now if only Rowling has written the last two Star Wars movies…..

  23. By the way, Thoreau, what happened at the end of 24? I missed almost all of this season, but I understood from the commercials that nothing could prepare me for a season finale I would never forget. My kid was still awake, though, so when Jack went to chop off the guy’s arm I had to turn it off. How did it end?

  24. Tim Cavanaugh,

    Everyone knows how the trial and death of Christ ends, yet there are innumerable peans to it. This goes to my observation that many people praise the glories of Western civilization, yet know so little about it.

  25. For what it’s worth, the picture of “Jason” from that website is from the Onion. There was an article a few years back about “Creepy Middle-Aged Guys Into Harry Potter”.

  26. Almost without exception, the loudest singers of the Western Civ hymn are the people who know the least about Western Civ. The truth is I don’t know why nobody’s made a death of Socrates movie, or in fact why the unshod master has not appeared in any movie since Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. One possibility is that Socrates’ being able to expound at length while he’s dying of poison may seem stagey, and contemporary audiences have a brutish addiction to “realistic” mise en scene. More likely, though, nobody has thought of it, so why are you talking to me about this? Write up your treatment and grab a bus to Hollywood!

  27. I was half making a funny and half serious. Tom Bombadil was clearly a sensible cut. Complaining about that was just to gently mock Tolkien fanatics. But I did cringe when comparing Peter Jackson’s embellishments with some of the other cuts that he made.

    Oh, well, you can’t satisfy all fans. Especially not ones like me who know the names of all 13 dwarves from _The Hobbit_ and the difference between the Valar and the Maiar 🙂

  28. “Now if only Rowling has written the last two Star Wars movies…..”

    Shudder. I’ll be honest. I’m kida a sissy when it comes to movies. The Ring gave me nightmares.

    But not nearly as many as the god friggin’ awful lines in the last two Star Wars movies.

  29. Tim Cavanaugh,

    I have to admit that since “The Passion” I have given serious consideration to writing a screenplay based on the trial and death of Socrates as described by Plato.

  30. Tim Cavanaugh,

    BTW, as death by hemlock is apparently a long and nasty affair, he could continue to discuss in some detail his thoughts on the nature of virtue, etc.; however, he would be wretching throughout the process.

  31. And forth he goes ? no longer he would tarry / Into the town unto a ?pothecary / And prayed him that he woulde sell / Some poison, that he might his rattes quell. The ?pothecary answered: “And thou shalt have / A thing that, all so God my soule save, / In all this world there is no creature / That ate or drunk has of this confiture / Not but the montance of a corn of wheat / That he ne shall his life anon forlete. Yea, starve he shall, and that in lesse while / Than thou wilt go a pace but not a mile / The poison is so strong and violent.” – Chaucer, The Pardoner’s Tale

  32. Tim Cavanaugh-

    Jack cut Chase’s arm off to separate the virus dispersal device, then he rushed to put it in a sealed refrigerator before the powder was dispersed. Problem solved, world saved.

    Chase went to the hospital for surgery. Jack talked to Palmer, and Palmer told Jack that he’s dropping out of the election and that he’ll just be a one-term President. Jack and Kim talked about Kim’s future with Chase, and he basically gave his blessing. Then he went outside and cried. Then somebody called him on the radio and said he’s needed at CTU, so he went back to work.

    The end.

    New season starts in January.

  33. I guess if given the chance to be too much like a book or not enough, I’ll take too much any day, if the book is good.

    Really, read Johnny Mnemonic or The Postman and then watch the movies and tell me if your yen for directorial creativity is still as strong.

    Or worse…”Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov. It was made into a movie. The Worst Movie Ever.

  34. Thoreau,

    Well now I know how to handle things when my daughter reaches dating age. Thanks for the synopsis.

  35. What? Chop his hand off and then give your blessing to their relationship?

    I knew all season that at some point Jack would amputate a body part from the guy dating his daughter. I just thought it would be something other than the hand…

  36. There really is such a thing as too literal a transfer from book to film. Harry Potter 1 was one of the rare movies that erred in that direction. Movies need different pacing and emphasis, not just a chapter-by-chapter shooting. I haven’t seen Harry Potter 2.

    But I’m very much looking forward to the third movie. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the timing is excellent with regard to an issue which has been heavily discussed here on Hit and Run.

  37. I don’t get it. I read TLOR and there was a wedding, wasn’t there?

  38. Tim, when some evil boy comes to your home to pick up your baby girl just remember that you should be cleaning your shotgun while wearing jungle fatigues…oh, plus don’t shave for a couple of days beforehand and have a book on assassination methods on the coffee table “for informational purposes”. Any questions?

  39. Wait, Alfonso Cuaron? As in Y Tu Mama Tambien? Holy crap, I might have to see this.

  40. Actually, I found the books boring as well; then again, I also thought that the LOTR was tiresome too. Modern literature as a rule bores me; these authors simply cannot compete with “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” the Gawain Poet or Milton.

    In discourse more sweet, (For Eloquence the Sound, Song charmes the sense,) Others apart sat on a hill retir’d, In thoughts more elevate, and reasoned high Of Providence, Foreknowledge, Will and Fate, Fixed fate, free will, foreknowledge absolute; And found no end, in wand’ring mazes lost. – Milton, Paradise Lost, bk. II, l. 555

    Tim Cavanaugh,

    Neither of “Homer’s” epics (let us assume for now that Homer was a real person) has been treated well by Hollywood. I’m just waiting for someone to produce a film where Odysseus really slaughters all the “guests” at his home. BTW, why do you think no one wants to make a film about the trial and death of Socrates (the “greatest story never told” as some of my philosophy professor friends call it)?

  41. Nevertheless, Rowling deserves all she gets because A) she earned it, dammit and B) She’s done more than any living person to counter the government conspiracy to make American kids illiterate. Let’s see Joyce fans make that claim.

    If success were awarded according to meritorious service to America’s children, The Wiggles would all be billionaires ten times over. I agree that Rowling deserves the success, or rather that she deserves whatever she can negotiate for herself. In the event she got an adaptation that was more scrupulously faithful to the book than any screen adaptation since, well, ever. The movie versions also played a major role in pushing her net worth into the 10-digit range.

    The fans, on the other hand, are owed exactly nothing, just like Bob Dylan said. But they too got the slavish adaptation, and they still gripe about poor Chris Columbus, who in my book is a model Catholic and a fine San Franciscan (not to mention America’s discoverer).

    The Lord of the Rings was less strictly faithful than the Potter movies, but (and I think this is what really maddens Tolkienites) almost every change they made for the movie was an improvement. I’m assuming Thoreau is making a funny there, but I actually do know people who are pissed that they didn’t include Tom Fucking Bombadil and his sprightly lays.

    Basically, you can’t name any two literary properties, The Iliad and The New Testament included, that have been given more first-class, four-star, honest-injun, no-expenses-spared treatment than The Lord of the Rings and the Potter books. The only proper response from the fans is swooning gratitude.

    Or as Natalia Olenicoff would put it, whatever their other differences, all critics agree that these movies will definitely be awesomely stupendacular in their awesomeness!

  42. BTW, why do you think no one wants to make a film about the trial and death of Socrates (the “greatest story never told” as some of my philosophy professor friends call it)?

    Steve Martin did a great version of the death of Socrates on a tv special in the eighties. Others I guess shy from it because everybody knows how it ends.

    There really is such a thing as too literal a transfer from book to film. Harry Potter 1 was one of the rare movies that erred in that direction. Movies need different pacing and emphasis, not just a chapter-by-chapter shooting.

    That’s what I thought when I first saw it on an airplane, but they ran it on tv last week, and I thought “Criminy, what was everybody bellyaching about? This movie’s ok.”

  43. Tim: {Others I guess shy from it because everybody knows how it ends.}

    Uh? Titanic, Seabiscuit, The Alamo, The Miracle?

    Sandy: {Really, read Johnny Mnemonic or The Postman and then watch the movies and tell me if your yen for directorial creativity is still as strong.

    Or worse…”Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov. It was made into a movie. The Worst Movie Ever.}

    I nominate the movie version of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers.

    Eryk: {Tim, when some evil boy comes to your home to pick up your baby girl just remember that you should be cleaning your shotgun while wearing jungle fatigues…}

    What works even better is to have her cleaning her own gun, with a couple of well-perforated targets on the coffee table.

  44. You may not believe it, but I actually did like the movie AND I have read the books. You can sit here and chat all day about how awful my fluff piece on the movie is, but I think I’ll stop here. I have bills to pay.

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