Saturday, August 30, 2014

Is it remake time yet? Please...?

By my count, it has now been more than three years since the second part of The Deathly Hallows film hit the theatres.

I have one question: is it still too early to hope that they are finally going to start work on a remake? One that's better than the first? One that actually stays true to the book and doesn't undermine everything J.K. Rowling's awesome original stood for?

Actually, I am only partly kidding. As anyone who has read this blog with any regularity will know, I really detest the last two (and perhaps three) of the films made of Rowling's works.

I have no issues with the actors -- I thought Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were excellent choices for the major child roles. It's just the decisions made by the screen writers that I abhor.

So, what do you think? Can we start hoping to hear an announcement that work has begun on the remakes soon? And can we ask for veto rights on the script?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

On paintings, portraits and plots

I've written before about the role played by paintings in the magical world of Harry Potter, particular the portraits of former Hogwarts headmasters that hang in Dumbledore's office (sorry, I can't bring myself to refer to it as Snape's office).

It is clearly established that people captured in paintings can communicate with the living people who  wander past them. This happens all the time. It is also clearly established that the characters in the paintings actually carry on linear lives, lives that are situated within the same chronological context as the living beings.

These painting people experience events at a particular moment in time, then move on to other events while carrying memories of the earlier event. The Fat Lady recounts several times, for example, how she was attacked in book two, and finally identifies her attacker as Sirius Black. In the final battle for Hogwarts, the painting people carry information from place to place in the castle.

And the portraits in the Headmaster's office, in particular, appear to carry the memories, the attitudes, the opinions of the living people they represent. They are an extension of the earlier headmasters and appear to add the experiences and memories they accumulate as painting people to the experiences and memories they held when they were living people.

Does that all make sense?

Okay. So why would Harry ever feel abandoned by Dumbledore in Book Seven? Why would his first goal not be to break into the Headmaster's Office and have a long talk with Dumbledore as a painting person, to obtain the answers to all the questions he has?

If the painting Dumbledore is an extension of the real, formerly living Dumbledore, why would Harry, Hermione and Ron not try to find a way to get to the portrait and find out how to destroy Horcruxes, where the remaining Horcruxes might be, what the deal is with the Hallows, etc.?

And why wouldn't Snape have found some way to help Harry and the gang gain access to Dumbledore's portrait without raising suspicion?

Again, I am concerned that, in creating these magical portraits in so much fascinating detail, J.K. Rowling has set a trap for herself that actually ends up undermining the effectiveness of these wonderful stories she's written. Wouldn't it have been possible to tell the stories without making these portraits so fully functional as to undermine the plots?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Galbraith sparks interest; Warbeck draws yawns

You know, I was aware that J.K. had written a couple of mystery novels under some other name but it never really clicked to me that there were two new J.K. Rowling novels out there that I haven't read.

Now that two friends have mentioned the Robert Galbraith books to me again -- and told me how very good they really are -- I'm all atingle to get my hands on them and enjoy some more original Rowling writing.

More on that soon...

Oddly, the news that Rowling has written a new piece for Pottermore on Celestina Warbeck (the sometimes heard but never seen popular singer of the Harry Potter books) has had absolutely no effect on me. I find I really don't care. Maybe it's because the Warbeck piece doesn't sound like much more than another post-Potter sound-bite.